Koun Franz

‘There’s no place you can go that is not your life. You are not currently in a dress rehearsal for a life that’s going to happen only on Friday and Saturday nights, when the curtain goes up. For that reason, I wish that we’d found a word other than “practice” for practice, because of course, […]

Leaving Home, Attaining The Way

I was offering the zazen instruction at Zen Center last Saturday for the first time in a while, and as I was running through some of the things I often say, I remembered that I was coming up to the tenth anniversary of my shukke tokudo, which, like other important ceremonies, had taken place in the Buddha Hall, […]

Jakusho Kwong

‘While the Chinese ideogram for shukke [the word used in priest ordination] means “leaving home,” this word also means “renunciation.” It may sound like a heavy word. What does it mean to you? does it mean “I can’t do all the things I wish to do?” Contrary to what we might think, renunciation is not antilife but […]


When you’re happy, I’m not When you’re sad, I’m not A crane thinks of flying north or south A swallow thinks of its old nest Autumn moon and spring flower thoughts never end You only need to know yourself right now

Sylvia Boorstein

‘Right Aspiration is what develops in the mind once we understand that freedom of choice is possible. Life is going to unfold however it does: pleasant or unpleasant, disappointing or thrilling, expected or unexpected, all of the above! What a relief it would be to know that whatever wave comes along, we can ride it […]

A Day In The Mountains

One of my dharma friends, when we were discussing going down to Tassajara for Allison’s shuso ceremony, pointed out that it is a very long way to go for the day. Yes, I said, but it is always worth it. Even though I was tired out by the end of the day, and the next day, […]


‘The eye cannot see the pervasive Buddha body. The ear cannot hear the pervasive Buddha body. Speech cannot describe the pervasive Buddha body. The mind cannot imagine the pervasive Buddha body. Even if you can behold the entire great earth, not missing a trace, then you’ve only gone half-way. And if called on to do […]

New Vistas

For various self-care reasons, I did not run for three weeks, after my weekend at Wilbur. Sometimes, when I pick up again afterwards, there is something like a subcutaneous itch as my body adjusts to the demands again. It didn’t happen so much this time, and my foot did not hurt on the way round, […]

Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘Wholeness and connectedness are what are most fundamental in our nature as living beings. No matter how many scars we carry from what we have gone through and suffered in the past, our intrinsic wholeness is still here: what else contains the scars?’ (Full Catastrophe Living)


‘Here is a story. An ancient raised a fan and said, “Even though this has a thousand kinds of uses, after all there are not two types of wind.” The teacher Dogen said: I, Kosho, am not like this. Even though it has a thousand kinds of uses, I further see ten thousand types of […]