Dogen

‘When you see a speck of dust, it is not that you do not see the world of phenomena. When you realize the world of phenomena it is not that you do not realize a speck of dust. When buddhas realize the world of phenomena, they do not keep you from realization. Wholesomeness is manifest in the […]

Under the Stars

I don’t remember how long it has been since I sat and looked at the Milky Way. At Wilbur and Tassajara, in the middle of the summer, generally speaking I do not stay up late enough for it to get really dark. Sometimes if I woke up in the middle of the night, or before […]

Guishan

‘Yangshan asked his teacher Guishan, “How is it when millions of objects emerge all at once?” Guishan said, “A blue thing is not yellow. A long thing is not short. All things abide in their own positions. Why should I be concerned?”‘ (Shinji Shobogenzo) This exchange came to mind again recently, and I spent some time […]

Tongan

‘A monk asked, “What is the transcendant matter?” Tongan said, “Pivoting but not changing position. Any special sign is bad.”‘ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage)

Ryokan

With no-mind the flower invites the butterfly, With no-mind the butterfly reaches the flower. The flower doesn’t know, Neither does the butterfly. Not knowing, no knowing – Fulfilling the law of the universe. A monarch and a dahlia amply demonstrating the poem at Green Gulch recently.

Suzuki Roshi

‘If you think zazen is some particular thing you are doing right here, you are quite mistaken. Practice is each moment every day all year long; over and over we repeat our activity. Our practice is like 10,000 miles of iron road. We run on iron tracks in a straight line, never stopping. The tracks […]

Toni Packer

‘Can the inner noise be entirely left alone while attending? When the changing states of body-mind are simply left to themselves without any choice or judgment – left unreacted to by a controlling or repressive will – a new quietness emerges by itself.’ (The Work of This Moment) These words, delivered on the subject of silent […]