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 […]

Shinshu Roberts

‘If we understand our practice as attaining the absolute, we may encounter the problem of thinking our everyday life is of no consequence. We might believe that our effort is to transcend daily life and enter a rarefied and imagined spiritual state. It is imperative that we understand our everyday life as being-time’s complete expression. […]

Sekkei Harada

‘The main purpose of practice is to bring an end to the seeking mind and to live accepting your present circumstances. It is important that you sit in zazen and are content with the result. As you sit, inevitably the thought arises that somehow you should be able to sit better. This is a fact. […]

Joshu

‘A monk asked, “What is the one word?” The master said, “If you hold on to one word it will make an old man of you.”‘ (The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu) Hmmm…

Frogs In Cabarga Creek

Perhaps the most surprising thing about my week at Tassajara is that the temperature in San Francisco when I returned on Monday was as hot as anything we had down in the mountains. It adds to my theory that our weather has been running a month late for a while – this feels like a […]

Charlotte Joko Beck

‘People often do just what we are objecting to. When they do what they do, however, it’s not necessary for us to judge them. I’m not immune from this; I find myself judging others, also. We all do. So I recommend a practice to help us catch ourselves in the act of judging: whenever we […]