Sunday Poem

I loathe the twin seas Of being and not being And long for the mountain Of bliss untouched by The changing tides.   (Anonymous, Manyoshu, from One Hundred More Poems From The Japanese, tr. Kenneth Rexroth

Activating Resilience

Among the conversations I have been having over recent weeks, at Tassajara, as well as at the conference, there has been a thread around what my current teaching style is, and what I want it to look like. Obviously I spend very little time wearing formal robes and doing ceremonies these days, and more time […]

Buddha Work

In the Tassajara shop, there was (and probably still is) a sign hanging behind the main counter and the altar, made from a fine piece of wood, with Dogen’s line from the Tenzo Kyokun beautifully written on it: ‘The way-seeking mind is actualised by rolling up your sleeves.’ I tend to associate this with Greg, who […]

The Intimacy of Sangha

After my nourishing week in the mountains, and a turn-around in the city just long enough to do my laundry and catch up on emails, I headed up to Oregon last Wednesday to attend the Gen X Buddhist Teachers Conference at Great Vow monastery. This is my third time attending the conference, after 2013 and […]

Dogen

‘The great way originally has no names or words. Recognizing this principle, still we are compelled to call it the great way. Buddhas and ancestors appear one after another. The wooden man and the iron bull follow on each other’s heels, ascending and descending. However, they leave no traces to appear before us. But assuredly […]

Keizan Jokin

‘Do no say that “I alone am honored” is Buddha, and do not say that he either comes or goes. Who can speak of “before my parents were born,” or “prior to the empty eon”? Aiming at this place, one transcends birth and no birth, one is liberated from mind and no mind. It is […]

Kobun Chino

‘Why do we forget the self? To attain supreme prefect enlightenment? I am sorry, it isn’t so. Facing the wall means to shoulder the world and forget yourself. Maybe we’d better not think of this action too much. It is a kind of discovered wisdom, like our posture and breathing. Each of us discovers our […]