The Wind Blows Through The Empty Valley

Last week was by and large mercifully fog free in San Francisco, warm and with clear blue skies, reminding me of the best summer days in England – though England was then roasting in the kind of temperatures you expect to get in inland California. The fog came back in for Friday morning; this time […]


‘Buddhas and ancestors of old were as we; we in the future shall be buddhas and ancestors. Revering buddhas and ancestors, we are one buddha and one ancestor; awakening bodhi-mind, we are one bodhi-mind. Because they extend their compassion to us freely and without limit, we are able to attain buddhahood and let go of […]

Torei Enji

‘People may be of the present or the past, but the Way has no past or present. A person can practice the Way, but on attainment of the Way, the person is forgotten. Therefore the Way is the person; there is no person besides. So it is said that if the Way is the same […]

Norman Fischer

‘To be a bodhisattva is to be a bodhisattva in training, with a very long way to go. Right now we have selfish and self-protective impulses; we are greedy, grabby, fearful, territorial. This is normal. We can’t pretend we are better than we are. Pretending is pernicious. All forms of self-dishonesty hinder the practice of […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘The human mind doesn’t have its own particular form; it is a state of being that appears only when you do something. That temporary state of being is based on interdependence with all sentient beings, so it is constantly moving and changing. That’s why any psychological explanation is very complicated. If you see that movement […]

Here Be Dragonflies

Happily, the weekend panned out very much as hoped, with rather good weather on the whole; the second anniversary of the outdoor sitting on Monday was also a wonderfully sunny day. Zachary was away, as were our two mainstay regulars, so I brought the cushions and mats over on MUNI (rather than with the bike […]


‘The teaching has no dualism, neither does the mind; the Way is pure, without any signs. You should be careful not to contemplate stillness and empty your minds. The mind is originally clean, with nothing to grasp or reject. Each of you work on your own, going along as best you can according to circumstances.’ (The […]

Dale S. Wright

‘From an authentic Buddhist point of view, it matters little whether something can be identified as “Buddhist” or not. What matters is whether what it says is transformative and whether the transformation it offers will enlighten and awaken out lives.’ (The Six Perfections) This book has been very highly regarded around Zen Center, and several teachers […]


‘A monk asked, “There are words and phrases everywhere and all of it is polluted. What is the higher truth?” Cuiyan said, “There are words and phrases everywhere and all of it is polluted.” The monk said, “What is a place where there are none?” Cuiyan said, “The assembly is laughing at you.”‘ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage) […]