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 – […]

Leaving Home, Attaining The Way

I was offering the zazen instruction at Zen Center last Saturday for the first time in a while, and as I was running through some of the things I often say, I remembered that I was coming up to the tenth anniversary of my shukke tokudo, which, like other important ceremonies, had taken place in the Buddha Hall, […]

A Day In The Mountains

One of my dharma friends, when we were discussing going down to Tassajara for Allison’s shuso ceremony, pointed out that it is a very long way to go for the day. Yes, I said, but it is always worth it. Even though I was tired out by the end of the day, and the next day, […]

Lingering Rain

I had two consecutive days of wearing my full ceremonial robes at the end of last week; one of them was wet, since it seems to have been raining every other day recently. I had been asked to officiate a wedding on Friday. It was always going to be a small wedding, as others I […]

The Mountain Seat

This past weekend I spent many hours at Zen Center, mostly wearing my full ceremonial outfit, for two of the biggest ceremonies that a zen temple can put on – the Stepping Down and the Mountain Seat. Linda Ruth was retiring as Central Abbess, and David Z was stepping up as the new City Center […]