‘Zhaozhou was asked by a monk, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?” Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the garden.” The monk said, “Reverend, please do not use an object to guide me.” Zhaozhou said, “I am not using an object.” The monk said, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from […]


‘Once you have seen the ox, make ox herding your only concern.’ (On Kensho) I remember reading, perhaps in Crooked Cucumber, that Richard Baker, after a couple of years of studying with Suzuki Roshi, said to a friend something like, ‘If we knew what we were doing, we would spend the rest of our lives doing this.’ There […]

Hui Hai

‘Mind is the great illusionist; the body is the city of the great illusion, and names are its garments and sustenance.’ (The Tsung Ching Record)

Lew Richmond

‘To see people fully is different from just looking at them. To hear people deeply is not the same as simply registering what they are saying. The organ that sees in generosity is not just the eye. The organ that hears in generosity is not just the ear; it is the heart. To See and […]

Shodo Harada

‘When we are separated from all of our thoughts, this is Original Mind, and because we cannot explain it, we call it “Mu.”… There is no beautiful or ugly there. Nor is there a fixed world of nothing at all; there is nothing to appear or disappear. Because it is unnameable we call it the […]


Ordinary beings and the myriad buddhas do not intrude upon each other. The mountain is naturally high, the water is naturally deep. Ten thousand differences, one thousand distinctions, what matter do they make clear? Where the partridges chirp, hundreds of flowers bloom anew.

Radical Non-Doing

Last weekend I went along to Zen Center to offer the zazen instruction, which I have not done for a few months, and which I enjoyed very much. In the few minutes between finishing the instruction and settling down for the lecture (I hadn’t intended to stay for it, but since it was my friend […]

Kobun Chino

‘The contents of the enlightenment experience are the same as this “Tathagata.” It rejects your knowing, because it exists in the root of the action of knowing. The who knows is what it is. The one which is known by it is not necessarily what it is. This “Tathagata” is what your real essence of […]


‘Very naturally mind and dharmas emerge and harmonize. An Ancient said that non-mind enacts and fulfills the way of non-mid. Enacting and fulfilling the way of non-mind, finally you can rest. Proceeding you are able to guide the assembly. With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the center of the circle of wonder.’ (Cultivating the Empty […]

The Diamond Sutra

‘With my superknowledge, Subhuti, I recall that in the past period, long before Dipankara, the Tathagata, Arhat, fully Enlightened One, during incalculable, quite incalculable aeons, I gave satisfaction by loyal service to 84, 000 million milliards of Buddhas, without ever becoming again estranged from them. But the heap of merit, Subhuti, from the satisfaction I […]