Kobun Chino

‘What kind of breathing you do while you sit is an important issue: how the inside of your mouth, your tongue, your teeth should be. You should keep no air in your mouth. It sounds strange to say this, but can you do it? When you tighten the upper and lower rows of your teeth, […]

Ta Hui

‘This affair is like the bright sun in the blue sky, shining clearly, changeless and motionless, without diminishing or increasing. It shines everywhere in the daily activities of everyone, appearing in everything. Though you try to grasp it, you cannot get it; though you try to abandon it, it always remains. It is vast and […]


As with other personal posts, this one has a long and slow genesis, and a hesitation before I try to commit words onto the screen. I think it started a couple of months ago reading a very successful, middle-aged, middle-class, straight, white novelist in England expressing his disdain for the idea of safe spaces in […]


Once I passed through the cloud barrier South, north, east, west, the living road was clear. Lodging by night, traveling by day, neither guest nor host, My feet arouse a pure breeze underfoot.

Suzuki Roshi 

‘We should not cling to the idea of darkness or light; we should not cling to the idea of equality or differentiation. Most people, once they have a grudge against someone, find it almost impossible to change their feeling. But if we are Buddhists we should be able to shift our minds from bad to […]


‘Long ago a monk asked a master, “When hundreds, thousands, or myriads of objects come all at once, what should be done?” The master replied, “Don’t try to control them.” What he means is that in whatever way objects come, do not try to change them. Whatever comes is the buddha dharma, not objects at […]

Avatamsaka Sutra

‘If you make sentient beings happy, you make all Buddhas happy. Why? Because the heart of great compassion is the substance of the Buddhas. Therefore they develop great compassion on account of sentient beings, develop the will for enlightenment based on great compassion, and attain true awakening on the basis of the will for enlightenment. […]

Going Beyond

‘A monk said to Tozan,”Cold and heat descend upon us. How can we avoid them?” Tozan said, “Why don’t you go where there is no cold or heat?” The monk said, “Where is the place where there is no cold or heat?” Tozan said, “When cold, let the cold kill you; when hot, let the […]

Walking Like Lions

From time to time, Zen Center hosts venerable dignitaries from the Japanese zen establishment, and if the timing works out, they will be invited to give a talk. Usually they are quite formal and straightforward, expounding on the forms and merits of zazen, so when I saw that a rinzai teacher was scheduled to speak […]