Gesshin Greenwood

‘In my experience, there is a lot of basic trust involved in Buddhist practice. First of all, I trust in my basic potential to wake up. This is a basic, fundamental trust that I touch in with every time I sit down on a meditation cushion. If I didn’t trust that I have capacity and […]

Nyogen Senzaki

‘This meditation hall is sometimes quite warm in the summer, and somewhat cold even in early winter, but we always feel it is just right when we have tea together in the kitchen. This is our miracle, and we are satisfied and happy – what else could we want?’ (Eloquent Silence) My experiences of practice […]

Juzhi

(Zen Speaks) This is one of the best-known zen stories, and here it is in its entirety, from ‘being stumped by a nun’ (at least he has some humility about it) to the little boy’s stump of a thumb (like the story of the second patriarch, it wasn’t necessarily a literal severing, if you are […]

Like A Turtle 

The weather turned damp once I moved on from Hereford on Friday; I walked between the two stations in Manchester in a drizzle, which I think has accompanied me on my previous visits there as well. My routes around the country are getting more familiar now – I don’t remember going to Manchester at all […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘I don’t necessarily want to give a lecture. I just want to live with you: moving stones, having a nice hot spring bath, and eating something good. Zen is right there.’ (Not Always So) Of course that kind of thing is a little easier when you are living at Tassajara.

Shoushan

‘Shoushan said to the assembly, “If you attain at the first phrase, you will be teacher of buddhas and patriarchs. If you attain at the second phrase, you will be teacher of humans and gods. If you attain at the third phrase, you cannot even save yourself.” A monk asked, “At which phrase did you […]

Kobun Chino

‘I have spoken many times about posture, which is one third of the sitting position, but also the breath sits, the mind sits. It’s hard to talk about zazen body and zazen mind separately. Maybe it’s just a convenience to say, “From the physical, bodily perspective, I sit this way.” On the other hand, one […]