In England the winter light can be captivating; its watery quality from the sun barely making it over the horizon lends to rich colours. Here in California the light is more robust, but none the less interesting at this time of year. This week, once the rain and north wind had passed through, it was […]

What I think about when I am riding

This year I have had two regular teaching engagements outside of Zen Center: one at a tech company, and one at the county jail. When I mentioned this to someone I was meeting recently, they remarked on them being opposite ends of the spectrum, and of course in some ways they are. In terms of […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Shikantaza, our zazen, is just to be ourselves. When we do not expect anything, we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time. This practice continues forever.’ I just opened Not Always So at random, and there is was: just enough, fully complete. Read it again.


‘You should know that becoming a buddha is not something new or ancient. How could practice-realization be within any boundary? Do not say that from the beginning not a single thing exists. The causes are complete, and the results are fulfilled through time. Great assembly, please tell me, why is it like this? After a […]


‘While sitting, Layman Pang asked his daughter Lingzhao, “A teacher of old said ‘Bright and clear are the one hundred grasses, bright and clear is the meaning of the ancestral teaching.’ How about yourself?” Lingzhao said, “How could someone who is mature and great say such a thing?” Pang said, “How would you say it?” […]

Enkyo O’Hara

‘One of the elements in the ancient Chinese ideogram for Zen is “clearing a space for an altar.” I feel this is exceedingly apt, because so much of Zen is about making space in our heart-minds so that we can live a life that is direct and clear. We burn off the brush and find […]