Shundo Aoyama

‘Happiness that depends on what you acquire or become is only conditional happiness, not true happiness. No matter what happens, it is all right. If you become ill, then just be ill; if you are poor, then just be poor. Unless you accept your present circumstances, happiness cannot be attained. To face any situation and […]


‘Fundamentally all people are fully satisfied, each and every one with wholeness fulfilled. Why are the weeds seven feet deep throughout the Dharma hall? Do you want to understand this situation? After a pause Dogen said: Flowers fall in our attachments, weeds grow following our aversions.’ (Extensive Record, Discourse 51)

What I think about when I am riding

It is a commonplace these days that our attention is the most valuable thing we can offer. The internet is driven and monetised by the desire for the attention of an eyeball on an ad for just a moment. We talk about constant distraction, what it does to our brains and to our capacity for […]


‘Many people today think that the making of statues and the building of pagodas cause Buddhism to prosper. This, too, is not so. No one gained the Way by erecting lofty buildings that have gleaming jewels and gold adornments. This merely is a good action that gives blessings by bringing lay treasures into the Buddhist […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘To understand reality as a direct experience is the reason we practice zazen, and the reason we study Buddhism. Through the study of Buddhism, you will understand your human nature, your intellectual faculty, and the truth present in your human activity. And you can take this human nature of yours into consideration when you seek […]

Blanche Hartman

‘A monk shaving the head is symbolic of renunciation. But really what is to be renounced is self-clinging, so shaving the head is just to remind us to renounce whatever it is that we cling to, whatever it is that we attach to. We need to let it go, let our life flow through our […]

Toni Packer

‘Sitting quietly, doing nothing, not knowing what is next and not concerned with what was or what may be next, a new mind is operating that is not connected with the conditioned past and yet perceives it and understands the whole mechanism of conditioning. It is the unmasking of the self that is nothing but […]

Shohaku Okumura

‘In the reality of Buddha’s life, we are connected with and supported by all things. The self is not the subject of reality and other things are not its objects; we are in fact one with all things in the entire universe, and this reality is itself enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that we can […]