Qingyuan

‘A monk asked Qingyuan, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?”Qingyuan said, “It’s just like this!”The monk asked further, “What do you have to teach these days?”Qingyuan said, “Come closer.”The monk moved closer.Qingyuan said, “Keep this in mind.” (Shinji Shobogenzo) What did the monk miss here?

Equinox

I can’t say that I am used to Kansas weather, but I understand that September is one of the best months to visit – for the same reasons as that is usually true in San Francisco: warm sunny days, with just a hint of the changing seasons ahead.  Of course this year, nothing is quite […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘If I say, “When you do zazen you become buddha,” that is beautiful, but it is still words, still doctrine, still the moon in the water. Put it aside and just do zazen.’ (Returning to Silence) Let’s face it, whatever the phrase is, put it aside, and just do zazen. You’ll get into less trouble that […]

The Hidden Lamp

‘Magu, Nanquan and another monk were on pilgrimage. Along the way they met a woman who had a teashop. The woman prepared a pot of tea, and brought three cups. She said to them, “Oh monks, let those of you with miraculous powers drink tea.”The three looked at each other and the woman said, “Watch […]

Step By Step

As I mentioned the other day, when I moved into my previous place, it was the middle of winter, a day of non-stop rain, and I was sick. This past weekend we were in the grip of an intense heatwave – luckily without the accompanying thunderstorms this time – and I was just tired. The […]

Surrounded By Boxes

September has a feeling of change about it, and this year is no exception. The lingering memories of being at Tassajara and transitioning from guest season to practice period get fainter each year; what I feel this time is a preparation for hunkering down for more months of shelter-in-place. On a personal level, it is […]

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, […]

Lama Rod Owens

‘We have to understand that at some point we have to develop an attitude of needing to love everything, especially what is unlovable. Everything has to be loved if you’re interested in getting free.’ (Love And Rage) This made me think too that we can’t wait for the unlovable to transform itself into something lovable. […]

Dogen

‘Some people think that buddha nature is like seeds of grass and trees: when dharma rain is abundant, sprouts and stems grow; branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit mature; and their fruit contains seeds. Such a view is an assumption of ordinary people. If you come up with such an assumption, investigate thoroughly that each and […]

Respite

The temperature dropped, quite considerably, on Wednesday. As much as I usually grumble about the fog, I was glad of it on this occasion, as the coolness and humidity would ease the work of the firefighters all over the state. Maybe some relief is at hand. The air had been hard to breathe on occasion – […]