The Way is at hand, but people are looking for it afar; People are using it every day without being aware of it; We cannot be separated from the Way even for an instant; What we can be separated from is not the Way.

Koun Yamada

‘I often use the concept of a fraction as a teaching aid. Usually I condemn the use of concepts in Zen, but sometimes they are a necessary evil. We know that every fraction has a numerator over a denominator. As the denominator, I use a circle containing an eight on its side. The circle of […]


‘What is called the mind of the Way is not to abandon or scatter about the great Way of the buddha ancestors, but deeply to protect and esteem their great Way. Therefore having abandoned fame and gain and departed your homeland, consider gold as excrement and honor as spittle, and without obscuring the truth or […]

Sekkei Harada

‘I think there are many of you who think, “I must not think,” so you suppress thought. This is the worst thing to do. You are suppressing the natural flow of the Dharma itself. Don’t think of trying to suppress thought. By thinking, “Don’t think, don’t think,” your essential nature is lost. Without any freedom […]

Uchiyama Roshi

‘In the stillness (when we are sitting zazen) various kinds of thoughts arise and go away when we let them go.They disappear and only the wall remains in front of our eyes.We should be grateful to zazen, which teaches us that all kinds of thoughts fall off when we open our hands, and only the […]

In Another Land

When I embarked on my month-long trip, a week ago, I noticed I felt almost light-headed about my lack of schedule. This was not because I am not traveling around: I will be using eight different airports and taking five significant train journeys, but apart from showing up for these journeys and my teaching commitments, […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Without students, no teacher. And the students encourage the teacher. It is very much so. If I have no students I may goof off every day. Because I have so many students watching me, I must do something; I must study so that I can give a lecture. If there is no lecture, I will […]


Speaking too much degrades virtue, No words are truly effective; Even though the great ocean should change, It can never be communicated to you.

Katagiri Roshi

‘Constantly try to realize the depth of human life. Accept the fact that whatever you do, wherever you live, under all circumstances, you have a chance to realize the truth. With sincerity, try to realize the ultimate nature of your actions: bowing, studying, talking, or whatever it is that you do. When you bow in gassho, […]

Avatamsaka Sutra

‘When great enlightening beings practice dedication in this way, they do not become attached to actions, to consequences, to the body, to objects, to lands, to places, to sentient beings, to the nonexistence of sentient beings, to all things, or to the nonexistence of all things. When great enlightening beings make dedication in this way, […]