Soko Morinaga

‘The mind that neither ignores anything nor attaches to anything is not something that is obtained through training. It is the natural “power” with which you entered this world. Those of us who are called Zen monks enter the monastery in order to awaken through practice to this power that we inherently possess, to freely […]

Tenkei

‘The sages and ancient Buddhas all had prescriptions for practice and realization. To those who were trapped in the notion of existence, they gave the medicine of nonexistence; to those who were trapped in the notion of nonexistence, they gave the medicine of existence. They measured out eighty-four thousand medicines to treat the eighty-four thousand […]

Dogen

‘Spring has the feeling of spring, and autumn has the look of autumn; there is no escaping it. So when you want spring or autumn to be different from what it is, notice that it can only be as it is. Or, when you want to keep spring or autumn as it is, reflect that […]

Grahame Petchey

‘What attracted me in the first half hour of zazen that I did with Suzuki Roshi was that I didn’t need to have faith anymore – just the blank wall. All I had to do was sit. Suzuki demanded no more than that – and he was humble. It was overwhelming joy when I first […]

Tao-ch’uan

When you’re happy, I’m not When you’re sad, I’m not A crane thinks of flying north or south A swallow thinks of its old nest Autumn moon and spring flower thoughts never end You only need to know yourself right now.

Suzuki Roshi

‘Zen student is not, you know, so expressive, you know. Mostly they keep silent. They do not walk so fast. They don’t act so actively, you know. You know, they have some– something, you know– something different, anyway. Especially when you sit for so long time, you yourself feel you changed a lot. You feel, […]

Gudo Nishijima

‘The true meaning of emptiness in Buddhism has been misunderstood for so many years as nothingness, or void. But if we have understood that Buddhism is a realistic philosophy, it is impossible for us to understand emptiness like that. In Buddhism emptiness is just “as it is.” A cup is a cup. A cup never […]

Hui-neng

‘On the best of paths there are no impure dharmas to avoid, not are there any pure dharmas to seek. There are no beings to liberate, nor is there any nirvana to realize. There are no thoughts about liberating beings, nor are there thoughts about not liberating beings. This is the best of paths.’ (Commentary […]

Jenny Odell

‘Practices of attention and curiosity are inherently open-ended, oriented toward something outside of ourselves. Through attention and curiosity, we can suspend our tendency toward instrumental understanding – seeing things or people one-dimensionally as the products of their functions – and instead sit with the unfathomable fact of their existence, which opens up toward us but […]

Coming Home

So today marks the twenty-year anniversary of my arrival in San Francisco. I packed up my mostly happy life in London (see here), and flew in with two bags, and a bicycle in a box. I was in love, and happy to be starting a new phase of life – which also included living at […]