Nothing on my Mind

During the winter at Tassajara, if you are very motivated, you can just about manage six and a half hours of sleep on a regular night. Six is more common. It took me until my second winter there to get used to this amount of sleep – along with the cold and the limited amount […]

Time Changes

Obviously the title is just me being provocative – since Dogen affirms in Uji that time is just here and now (and there will be more excerpts from Shinshu’s book soon). Still, a couple of times a year the clocks get adjusted, and we all struggle to change along with that. I noticed that I […]

Body Memory

On Saturday I had set my alarm early for the sitting, and, things being what they are at the moment, I was awake two hours before it went off. Which did at least give me time to do some reading and drink a little coffee before putting on my robes and walking over to Zen […]

Sitting

At a recent corporate meditation, I drew out a graph on a white board, following something that I believe I heard from Shohaku: the horizontal axis was time, the vertical axis measured from ‘lots-of-thinking’ to ‘asleep’. He said that we usually flow between the two ends of these (I thought afterward: in life, not just […]

Joseph Hall

‘So here’s what I learned about bells.  You always have the option of being a monk, all you need to do is decide that the world is your monastery.  There are bells constantly ringing around you and it’s up to you to decide which ones you are going to align yourself with.  Each bell has […]

Dale S. Wright

‘The skill of generosity is the ability to communicate courage, the power to stand up and address whatever is painful in life. Courage, in the form of encouragement, is a gift always potentially in our possession but actualizable only if we have cultivated it, only if we have developed our powers of compassionate, sensitive giving […]

Tea And Biscuits Zen

The invitation from the Dancing Mountains group was to come and sit shoulder to shoulder with them, and that’s what I did over the weekend. I had a split night of sleep on Thursday (and again on Friday), and started the day with a rush hour tube train through central London. After that, things got […]