A Blast Of Summer Weather

My habit has been to schedule Roaming Zen alternately on Saturdays and Sundays, as some of the regulars had trouble making one or other of those days. Without that, if I had decided to do the last roam on Sunday, it would have been a day of endless blue skies, and far less wind. These […]

The Morning Schedule

In the end, I woke up very early on Saturday morning, bothered by back pain, so I had no reason not to get up and go to Zen Center. I arrived just as the han started, and the ino showed me to a seat next to Bryan (one of the few changes since I left […]

Kodo Sawaki

‘”No place to fall” is the life of a home-leaver.’ (The Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo) Leafing through this book again, I was struck by how many of his remarks are about our attachments to money and status – especially as these play out in Japanese society. Many of them are quite harsh, but I think […]

The Intimacy of Sangha

After my nourishing week in the mountains, and a turn-around in the city just long enough to do my laundry and catch up on emails, I headed up to Oregon last Wednesday to attend the Gen X Buddhist Teachers Conference at Great Vow monastery. This is my third time attending the conference, after 2013 and […]

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 […]

Revisiting Winter

I am fond of saying that I arrived to live in San Francisco during a heatwave, right in the middle of May (nineteen years ago now), and was firmly told not to get used to it. This May has been far from hot and sunny: in the last week we have had several storm systems […]

No Complaints

I know a few priests who have trained in Japan, and every now and again you could hear them say, “Thank you very much. I have no complaints whatsoever.” My instinctive response to that is to say, well I do. My back hurts – I didn’t get enough sleep – it’s raining too much – […]