Shohaku Okumura

‘When we have full understanding that each of us is living together with all beings, interconnected, we cannot live in the egocentric way. That is the difference. That is also the meaning of Dogen Zenji’s expression shinjin datsuraku, “dropping off body and mind.” That is what our zazen really is. Rujing, Dogen’s teacher, said, “Studying Zen is […]

Chiang Wei-nung

‘The ten directions are all within the sky. But actually they are all within a single thought of our mind. Using the sky as a metaphor and then dividing it into ten directions reminds us that just as the the ten directions are part of the sky so are the ten realms of existence that […]

The Emptiness of Emptiness

‘According with sameness is still not enlightenment.’ (Sandokai – Sekito Kisen) ‘The Buddha… urges Subhuti to look beyond “no perceptions,” lest “no perceptions” become a substitute for his earlier attachment to emptiness. He tells Subhuti to practice the perfection of wisdom, to practice the perfection of forbearance, to practice the perfection of charity. For only in […]

Radiant Light in the Ten Directions

Wilbur was entirely autumnal last weekend. Rain having passed through, there was a serene clarity to the low sunlight, and a sense – which came to me as I walked down the road on Saturday morning just as the sun was coming up – of moving gently through the stillness of nature. It was a […]

Blanche Hartman

This is a repost, but when I was looking for words I had written about Blanche for my Patreon post, I came across this post and wanted to offer it again. I know I am basically expressing the same thing again, but it was one of my most valuable lessons from living in community: ‘When […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘Spiritual practice must be carried out quietly and calmly because a passage to freedom opens to you only when you deal with right now, right here. So under all circumstances, whatever feeling, emotion, or idea your dualistic human consciousness has produced, just accept it. Then, next, don’t attach to it, just let it go, let […]

Shodo Harada

‘Where this idea of enlightenment often becomes a problem is when everyone reads the writings of both the old and the present-day masters and they take this one experience and place it in a conceptual framework. They just pluck out the idea of this excellent or seemingly magical experience and think, “That’s what I want.” […]