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 […]

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 […]