Suzuki Roshi

‘If you cling to an idea you create, like a self, or an objective reality, you will be lost in the objective world that you create with your mind. You are creating things one after another, so there is no end. There may be various worlds that you are creating, and to create and see […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘If I say, “When you do zazen you become buddha,” that is beautiful, but it is still words, still doctrine, still the moon in the water. Put it aside and just do zazen.’ (Returning to Silence)

Mitsu Suzuki

Learning to be “nothing special” day by day – autumn deepens — Another book that I had a chance to read while I was in England was A White Tea Bowl, which was in the shelves at the venue used by the Hebden Bridge group. I met Okusan only once, at Tassajara about fifteen years ago, but […]

Ta Hui

‘In my place there’s no doctrine to be given to people. I just wrap up the case on the basis of the facts. It’s just as if you bring a crystal pitcher which you cherish like anything, and as soon as I see it, I smash it for you. And if you bring a wish-fulfilling […]

Something Special

This post first appeared on my Patreon page: Way-seeking mind talks are a common occurrence at Zen Center these days. I understand that originally only the shuso, or head monk got to give one: it was their first opportunity to sit on the dharma seat, and talking about your own life and how you came […]

Sekkei Harada

‘One must abandon all learning when practicing Zen. Our practice must be such that each breath is everything; there must be liberation in the inhalation of just one breath. Yet this is not something easily noticed. And because it often remains unnoticed, inevitably we seek something “special.”  (Unfathomable Depths)

The Sea, The Sea

I managed to miss Storm Ophelia passing across the British Isles last week when I flew out to Portugal, but I certainly felt the effects of Storm Brian at the end of the week. I returned to London on Friday, and had my third visit with the Wimbledon group on Saturday morning. As with Hebden Bridge, […]


‘Each person naturally receives his allotted share in his life. He need not think of it, he need not search for it; the allotted portion is there. Even if you rush about in search of riches, what happens when death suddenly comes? Students should clear their minds of these non-essential things and concentrate on studying […]