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 […]

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 […]

The Tenth Grave Precept

I vow not to disparage the Three Treasures. (Zen Center) Experience the intimacy of things. Do not defile the Three Treasures. (Zen Mountain Monastery) To expound the dharma with this body is foremost. The virtue returns to the ocean of reality. It is unfathomable; we just accept it with respect and gratitude. (Dogen’s commentary) — This precept has never […]

Buddha Ancestors

After finishing Shinshu’s book, I was moved by some mysterious preference to pick up as my commute read the Denkoroku, Keizan’s assembles stories of the lineage of teachers from Shakyamuni to Koun Ejo, Dogen’s first successor in Japan. I have two versions of it, and this time am reading Francis Cook’s translation. In his introduction he […]

Dogen

‘Even when we have the eyes [to see mountains as] the appearance of grass and trees, earth and stone, fences and walls, this is nothing to doubt, nothing to be moved by; it is not the complete appearance [of the mountains]… Even when they appear to us as the realm of the practice as the […]

Ruth Fuller Sasaki

‘The Japanese Zen masters of today are trying faithfully to carry on their reaching against tremendous odds. Furthermore, they are bound by a traditional system which, as regards many of its forms, is a relic of the feudal age. All are aware of this, but the great problem facing them is how to adapt to […]