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 […]

Which Way To Turn

If anyone is interested or curious, I tend to write a whole bunch of blog posts at a time, on mornings when I don’t have anything else scheduled. These often feel like precious mornings, not just because I don’t have to rush anywhere, but because they allow me to enter a mood of study and […]

Gesshin Greenwood

‘Whenever I see a monk or nun in robes, I feel encouraged. It reminds me that there’s another way of living. It makes me believe for a brief second that there is a possibility of freedom from my own obsessiveness and clinging. This encouragement comes just by looking at the clothes – it doesn’t have […]

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 […]