Dogen’s Five-Part Harmony

‘To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, […]

What I think about when I am running

It feels a little like cheating when I use public transport to take me somewhere to start a run; somewhere in my mind it says, if you want to be self-powered, you should just be self-powered. It is the same for bike riding, though there are places – Mount Diablo for sure, and the times […]


‘A monk quoted a verse of Ch’an master Wo-lun: Wo-lun has a skill, Cutting off a hundred thoughts. When mind is not aroused in face of objects, Enlightenment grows day by day. When the Master heard this, he said, “This verse does not yet clarify the ground of mind. If you put it into practice, […]

Shodo Harada

‘People often ask me if zazen can ever be of any practical use in these complex and turbulent times. By way of answering, let us consider the concept of aligning. The word align signifies the idea of situating everything in its proper position relative to everything else. First we align our body, then we align our breathing, then we […]

Kobun Chino

‘We sit to make life meaningful. The significance of our life is not experienced in striving to create some perfect thing. We must simply start with accepting ourselves. Sitting brings us back to actually who and where we are. This can be very painful. Self-acceptance is the hardest thing to do. If we can’t accept […]

Coming and Going

It has been almost a year now that I have been commuting across the bay three days a week; it takes the best part of an hour each way, with five minutes or so on the bike at each end, and thirty minutes riding on BART. I have made a point of looking at it […]

Clouds and Water

It seemed to be auspicious timing to get out of town on Friday morning and be offline for three days, and I allowed another visit to Wilbur to be something of a retreat, with ample opportunities for silence, for contemplation, reading and writing – and some scheduled meditation, all of which felt very welcome. ‘Lorsque la […]

Shodo Harada

‘None of us thought to be born into this world, at this time, to these parents. We received from the source, totally and innocently, the circumstances into which we were born, with no expectations, no knowledge, and no preconceptions about what this life would be like when we entered it. We accepted our situation of […]


‘Naturally the wind blows and grasses sway, and seeing wind we use our sails, so how could there be anything ultimate [beyond this]? When we experience some new particular situation, naturally our affirming mind will not stagnate. This is not done by personal force, but is simply the expression of the way. Furthermore, within Dharma […]

Taizan Maezumi

Birds chirping, dogs run, mountains are high, valleys low. It’s all perfect wisdom! The seasons change, the stars shine in the heavens; it’s perfect wisdom. Regardless of whether we realize it or not, we are always in the midst of the Way. Or, more strictly speaking, we are nothing but the Way itself.