The Emptiness of Emptiness

As an undergraduate, one of the courses I took was in Saussurian linguistics. It was revelatory to my still-forming mind in pointing to the arbitrary relationship between signifiers (the words we use), and the signified (what the words refer to). This, in turn, was a helpful hand-hold when I started to navigate the intricacies of […]

Getting Things Done

As it happens, I still haven’t really started working on the photos from my trip beyond the initial selection. I know how many hours it will take, and this past week, as I slowly drag myself into the right time zone, I have had some other things that have felt more important to take care […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘When I start to talk, it is already a smoky kerosene lamp. As long as I must give a lecture, I have to explain: “This is right practice, this is wrong, this is how to practice zazen…” It is like giving you a recipe. It doesn’t work. You cannot eat a recipe.’ (Not Always So) I […]


I am now at the stage of my trip where I summon up the energy to pore through the sixteen hundred or so photographs that I took, to see which of them are worth keeping, and then, laboriously, begin the editing process; I also try to pick up the various roles I inhabit in my […]

Uchiyama Roshi

Like the sunbeam In a beautiful Autumn Morning, I, both body and mind, would like to Completely become one With the transparent, Wholehearted Practice. (Poem for Leaving Home)

Nyogen Senzaki

‘Zen students often seem peculiar, but that just shows that they are on their way to accomplishment – they are not yet there. We wash our hands with soap, and the odor of the soap remains on our hands for a little while. That is an effect of washing, but it has nothing to do […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘Your life constantly gives you a chance, a great opportunity to touch the truth. If you touch it, everything becomes alive in a refreshing way. This refreshing life is called flexibility, fluidity, or freedom. At that time you can really do something – something more than what you have thought. This is spiritual security. Spiritual […]