‘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)


‘Changqing asked Baofu Congzhan, “Seeing form is no other than seeing mind. Do you see a boat?” Baofu said, “Yes I do.” Changqing said, “Putting the boat aside, what is mind?” Baofu pointed at the boat.’ (Shinji Shobogenzo) He might as well have been looking at a cypress tree…


‘Money and wealth are treasures of the world. Prajna is the jewel of the mind.’ (Commentary on the Diamond Sutra) Also perhaps a commentary on Saturday’s post.

Suzuki Roshi

‘Our way of observing things is based on view of being and non-being, both.  And we know that view of being is too naive, and view of non-being is too … logical.  Or too critical.  Or view of—true view of life should be both.  View of being and view of non-being.  This is our way. […]

What I Think About When I Am Running

Since I had a lot of free time over the Christmas and New Year period, I had anticipated getting a lot of exercise – of course it did not turn out like that. First of all I spent a couple of days at a friend’s house, with neither bike nor running shoes, and the weather […]


For a long while I’ve abandoned human realms, beyond attachments, Writing with brush and inkstone already discarded. Seeing flowers and hearing birdsong brings little attraction. Though dwelling in mountains, I’m still ashamed at my lack of talent.

Cycles of Change

It is perhaps ironic that I just acquired my first smartphone (a friend who was being upgraded to a spanking new iPhone by work was able to offer me her old one) at exactly the time that everyone is starting to preach doom and gloom about Apple.  Perhaps because I was at Tassajara as the […]

Maura O’Halloran

‘Kneeling in dokusan, the smell of incense sitting heavily in the air, made everything seem old and already cured by time, as if it all didn’t matter. He was glowing, enraptured in the excitement of his plan for me and my children, he and his “baby”, Kannonji. I found myself nodding – everything, anything was […]

Soko Morinaga

‘It was not due to reasoning but to actual personal experience that I was able to persevere with this kind of practice even through all my failures. It was having to live out my belief that made me break through with desperate concentrated effort, without grumbling. Rather than collapse when I found myself up against […]

Which Way To Turn

If anyone is interested or curious, I tend to write a whole bunch of blog posts at a time, on mornings when I don’t have anything else scheduled. These often feel like precious mornings, not just because I don’t have to rush anywhere, but because they allow me to enter a mood of study and […]