Katagiri Roshi

Katagiri Roshi’s Peaceful Life is a very sweet poem that we occasionally chanted at Zen Center for services; its simplicity almost disguises his deep understanding of how practice can transform our limited mind, and bring out our full heart in the way of compassion. Being told that is impossible One believes, in despair, “Is that so?” Being told […]


‘It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not merely in water. There is a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a […]

What I think about when I am riding

I find myself less and less interested in professional road cycling as the years go by, with the seemingly endless episodes of drug cheating, but the drama of it can still be compelling if I watch some footage. Thinking back to the first times I saw professionals riding in the flesh, some twenty five years […]

Michael Stone

‘Though the mind’s function is to integrate events and help us make meaning through the use of language and boundaries, those boundaries exist only within the mind and dissolve at every opportunity in which we find stillness.’ (Awake in the World)

Reciting sutras

‘If practice and realisation were two things, as it appears to an ordinary person, each could be recognised separately. But what can be met with recognition is not realisation itself, because realisation is not reached by a deluded mind. In stillness mind and object merge in realisation and go beyond enlightenment’ (Jijuyu Zanmai) Recently I have […]

The Language of Ritual

Following on from last Monday’s post, another line from the shukke tokudo ceremony that always resonated with me and comforted me is the preceptor’s comment after the recitation of the three refuges (taking refuge in Buddha, dharma and sangha): ‘This is the path of mercy for all existence and things’. How does the line make you feel?


‘Do not remain bewildered and skeptical when you hear the words Mountains flow; but study these words with buddha ancestors. When you take up one view, you see mountains flowing, and when you take up another view, mountains are not flowing.’ (Mountains and Rivers Sutra) I would add, do not forget to let go of each view […]

The Fault Lines of the City

The rains that have filled this winter abated for a couple of days – though they are due to have returned by the time this is published – so I made the most of the clear sky lull by getting outside. Friends and peers in transition have cautioned me to watch out for old bad […]


There is going to be a little more Dogen in the next couple of weeks as I start organising my thoughts around the upcoming workshop in Santa Cruz, and that is how it should be… ‘The Buddha said, “All things are ultimately unbound. There is nowhere that they permanently abide.” Know that even though all […]