Atmospheric River

I am not much of a one for harbouring end-of-times thoughts, unless I stop too long to think about the fate of the planet through climate change, but it has certainly been a strange year so far. On Wednesday, in the early hours, there was a small earthquake in the Bay Area – enough to […]

Chiang Wei-nung

‘Unfortunate suffering beings, the rich as well as the poor, spend their lives working for food and clothes. No matter what kind of job they do, they all work for food. They get up in the morning and hurry into the city to work. Working for food is important. But when your work is done, […]


Recently I have found myself thinking a lot (again) about the passages in the Shobogenzo Zuimonki where Dogen addresses his monks’ presumed fears about sufficiency. This paragraph is typical:’When one thinks about it, everyone has his allotted share of food and clothing while he is alive. It does not come from thinking about it; nor […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘In Buddhist history the word silence corresponds to right view: seeing impermanence, the truth that everything is appearing, disappearing, and changing from moment to moment. Impermanence is not something you see objectively – it is something you taste directly. Then impermanence makes you silent, because impermanence is very quiet. That silence connects you with a deep […]


‘If you are not great beyond measure, understanding a hundred and handling a thousand properly in a single laugh, then you cannot know that in our family there is indeed a subtle marvel not transmitted. Otherwise you’ll never be able to destroy the two words “doubt” and “wrath” till the end of time. It wouldn’t […]


‘A monk asked, “What about it when I seek to be Buddha?” The master said, “What a tremendous waste of energy.” The monk said, “What about it when I’m not wasting any energy?” The master said, “In that case, you are Buddha.”‘ (The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu)