Like A Turtle 

The weather turned damp once I moved on from Hereford on Friday; I walked between the two stations in Manchester in a drizzle, which I think has accompanied me on my previous visits there as well. My routes around the country are getting more familiar now – I don’t remember going to Manchester at all […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘I don’t necessarily want to give a lecture. I just want to live with you: moving stones, having a nice hot spring bath, and eating something good. Zen is right there.’ (Not Always So) Of course that kind of thing is a little easier when you are living at Tassajara.


‘Shoushan said to the assembly, “If you attain at the first phrase, you will be teacher of buddhas and patriarchs. If you attain at the second phrase, you will be teacher of humans and gods. If you attain at the third phrase, you cannot even save yourself.” A monk asked, “At which phrase did you […]


Once I was a student with books and sword; I have lived under two enlightened sovereigns. I was an official in the east, but they gave me no prizes; I fought in the west but won no medals. I studied the arts of peace and the arts of war, The arts of war and the […]

Kobun Chino

‘I have spoken many times about posture, which is one third of the sitting position, but also the breath sits, the mind sits. It’s hard to talk about zazen body and zazen mind separately. Maybe it’s just a convenience to say, “From the physical, bodily perspective, I sit this way.” On the other hand, one […]

Uchiyama Roshi

‘Expressions like “letting go of thought” or “dropping off body and mind” become mere concepts or words in literature if the audience has not yet awakened to the way-seeking mind. I read a treatise by a scholar who tried to research the meaning of “dropping off body and mind” by referring to much literature. If you […]

Old Stomping Grounds 

I am a week into my trip now, and am still struggling somewhat to be awake at either end of the day here in England. On the other hand, there has only been one day so far when I had anything to get up for, which was the morning of teaching with the Wimbledon group […]


‘Existence cannot be grasped; nonexistence cannot be grasped either. Winter’s cold and summer’s heat cannot be grasped; inside, outside, and in between cannot be grasped. The one who speaks like this cannot be grasped; the one who hears such talk cannot be grasped either. Not even a fine hair can be grasped. Neither you nor I can be […]