Charlotte Joko Beck

‘Joy isn’t something we have to find. Joy is who we are if we’re not preoccupied with something else. When we try to find joy, we are simply adding a thought—and an unhelpful one, at that—onto the basic fact of what we are. We don’t need to go looking for joy. But we do need […]

A Few Reflections

I realised, after I had posted the other day, that I had left out one element of the two different rides I had been on: riding up the mountain was all about effort, and riding along the water was all about no effort. Among my dharma talk drafts, I have one that centres on that […]

Enkyo O’Hara

‘When we first come to Zen practice, many of us think that is is only about us individually. We think it’s about “me” getting better at “something.” We might want to be a better student or parent or runner – or just a better person. Personally I wanted to be free of my fear: fear […]

Norman Fischer

‘This is the great secret of joyful effort and perhaps its most important aspect: Joyful effort isn’t something you do. Joyful effort is life, it’s sharing life. It come to you from elsewhere, flows through you when you are ready to allow it. Once you stop getting in its way, stop straining, stop thinking your […]

Dogen

‘Fellow monks, this is a good time; just make effort. Time does not wait for people. Extinguish the flames from your head. Entrusting what is in front of your face, how could this depend on expression in words? One who actively responds to what meets their eyes is called a superior person who studies the […]

The Mountains and Waters Sutra

As I like to point out, Dogen’s title is not claiming to be a sutra about mountains and waters, but telling us that the mountains and waters are themselves the sutra – if we pay attention to them rather than thinking we know what they are. I was originally going to title this post ‘things […]

Daochuan

Billions of offerings to buddhas create boundless benefaction. How can it compare to reading an ancient teaching? Yet, letters are merely inked on white paper. Please open your eyes and see through immediately. A picture I have used before.