Yen Shou

‘Turning against present awareness, you lose the essence of your own mind; pursuing comparative and wrong awareness, you falsely recognize external sense-objects. All day long you use mind to grasp mind, use illusion to take illusion as an object.’ (quoted in Swampland Flowers) As I was typing this out, at the end of a long day, […]

New Forms

This is about the midpoint of my visit, and after the constant movement of last week, now I am staying put for more than a week down in Cornwall; since there isn’t a car I can drive, I have only my feet to carry me about. The weather, similarly, has settled down, with sunshine and […]

Gesshin Greenwood

‘In my experience, there is a lot of basic trust involved in Buddhist practice. First of all, I trust in my basic potential to wake up. This is a basic, fundamental trust that I touch in with every time I sit down on a meditation cushion. If I didn’t trust that I have capacity and […]

Nyogen Senzaki

‘This meditation hall is sometimes quite warm in the summer, and somewhat cold even in early winter, but we always feel it is just right when we have tea together in the kitchen. This is our miracle, and we are satisfied and happy – what else could we want?’ (Eloquent Silence) My experiences of practice […]


The round pearl has no hollows, The great raw gem isn’t polished. What is esteemed by people of the Way is having no edges. Removing the road of agreement, senses and matter are empty: The free body, resting on nothing, stands out unique and alive. (The Book of Serenity)


(Zen Speaks) This is one of the best-known zen stories, and here it is in its entirety, from ‘being stumped by a nun’ (at least he has some humility about it) to the little boy’s stump of a thumb (like the story of the second patriarch, it wasn’t necessarily a literal severing, if you are […]

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

‘In a beloved community, our sacred incarnation is honored and loved. In a beloved community, “unacceptable” embodiments of the larger society are accepted. The protection, refuge, healing, guidance, and companionship found in sanctuary are prerequisites for our happiness and well-being. Finding personhood, dignity, and respect are the soil in which we can plant our feet […]