Suzuki Roshi

‘To practice is not to collect things and put them in your basket, but rather to find something in your sleeve. It’s just that before you study hard, you don’t know what you have in your sleeve.’ (Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness)

Blanche Hartman

‘You can use whatever metaphor comes up for you that will help you spot an unskillful thought and drop it. I had an image once of myself moving a piano and putting it down on my foot. Well, if you don’t want the piano on your foot, don’t put it there. Find whatever kind of […]

Clouds and Water

Redbuds always make me think of Tassajara, where I first came across them: one by the stone cabins, one by the lower garden, the two ends of the main drag. Last year, when I came to Wilbur in the spring with the friend who had first introduced me to the place, I was astounded at how […]

Baizhang Niepan

‘One day, Zen master Baizhang Niepan spoke to the congregation, saying, “If all of you go and till the field, then I’ll lecture on the great meaning.” When the monks had finished plowing the field they returned and asked the master to expound on the great meaning. Niepan held up his hands before the monks.’ (Zen’s Chinese […]

Sharon Salzberg

‘Our freedom to love arises from discovering that we can live without the concept of self and other. The joy of this discovery is incomparably greater than many of us have previously known, or even imagined – so much that our entire view of life changes.’ (Lovingkindness)

Layman Pang

Mind is Thus and objects are also Thus: There is no true and also no false. Existence doesn’t concern me, Nor does nonexistence hold me: I’m not a holy sage, But an ordinary fellow who understands things.


‘As soon as there’s something considered important, it becomes a nest.’ This line might not strike so deeply, but it reminded me of an exchange at Tassajara, during one of the practice periods I was there with Reb, Tenshin Roshi. As usual, after he gave a talk, people were allowed to ask questions, and one […]