Shohaku Okumura

‘Usually we start to study or practice because of some problem or question. When we are lucky we find some answers, some way we think we can solve our problem. Then we think this is Dharma, this is the Buddha Way – and we cling to it. Even if the teaching is not mistaken, our […]

Revisiting Winter

I am fond of saying that I arrived to live in San Francisco during a heatwave, right in the middle of May (nineteen years ago now), and was firmly told not to get used to it. This May has been far from hot and sunny: in the last week we have had several storm systems […]

Rev. angel Kyodo williams

‘Everything I see, everything I say about liberation comes from this very dharma, the same dharma that you hold dear, these fundamental truths that give us the path to see ourselves. The only way I can sit here and not be absolutely furious, livid with every man, every white body, every straight body, is because […]

Soyen Shaku

‘Dhyana then is a discipline in tranquillization. It aims at giving to a mind the time for deliberation and saving it from running wild; it directs the vain and vulgar to the path of earnestness and reality; it makes us feel interest in higher things which are above the senses; it discovers the presence in […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Zazen is scripture itself. To do zazen for weeks or hours is to bring scripture into being. No scripture is left out of zazen, Buddha’s whole life teaching is there. In zazen Buddha (we) creates scripture, Buddha (we) creates Buddha. In zazen we are Buddha.’ (From the Suzuki Roshi archives)

Layman Fu

Where the East Mountains float on the river And the West Mountains wander on and on, In the realm of this world beneath the Great Dipper: Just there is the place of genuine emancipation.


‘The master questioned two new arrivals. The master asked the first one, “Have you been here before?” The monk said, “No, I haven’t.” The master said, “Go have some tea.” The master then asked the other monk, “Have you been here before?” The monk said, “Yes I have.” The master said, “Go have some tea.” […]