Kosho Uchiyama

‘We recognize things through abstractions in our mind or consciousness, but those conceptualized things are not the reality of life. IF we say the word fire, our tongues will not be burned. The force that is reflecting, imagining, abstracting, and conceptualizing things is the reality of life.’ (Commentary on the Bendowa)

Lingering Rain

I had two consecutive days of wearing my full ceremonial robes at the end of last week; one of them was wet, since it seems to have been raining every other day recently. I had been asked to officiate a wedding on Friday. It was always going to be a small wedding, as others I […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘You don’t know how vast the human world is. Even if you touch it, you don’t know. Human consciousness always tries to know, but fortunately or unfortunately there’s nothing to know. Unfortunately means, the more you try to know it conceptually, the more you cannot know it. Fortunately means, you can train your six consciousnesses […]

Gesshin Greenwood

‘A lot of people I meet in America seem turned off by the idea of Buddhist practice because it’s mostly hard. If it doesn’t make me happy, why should I do it! And I’ve heard more than one person say, “If it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it.” This seems to be the pop consensus […]

Maura O’Halloran

‘Rescued this notebook from a fire. Tessai-san said I should keep a diary. I felt there wasn’t time to write feelings and analyze reactions. He said feelings were moso [something that can distract]. I said they were not and he agreed but said a busy person should just write events. Events will recall feelings. This seemed a […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘It looks like a very impractical waste of time to sit here all day on your cushion; but if you understand yourself you will understand why we practice zazen. ‘ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives) This was from a talk during a very early sesshin at Sokoji, when I imagine many of the participants did not […]

Gary Snyder

A few light flakes of snow Fall in the feeble sun; Birds sing in the cold, A warbler by the wall. The plum Buds tight and chill soon bloom. The moon begins first Fourth, a faint slice west At nightfall. Jupiter half-way High at the end of night- Meditation. The dove cry Twangs like a […]

Keizan Jokin

‘If you think that you have to become a Buddha or acquire the Way, and that in order to acquire the Way you have to abstain from food [except once a day], live a life of purity, meditate for long periods, never lie down, venerate the Buddha, and chant the scriptures and accumulate all the […]

Sylvia Boorstein

‘If my mind didn’t cling, I would be totally fearless. Nothing would frighten me, because there would be nothing I would be afraid to lose and nothing I would need to be happy. But my mind does still cling, so I am sometimes frightened that I won’t have what I think I need or that I’ll […]