Jane Hirshfield

They have discovered, they say, the protein of itch— natriuretic polypeptide b— and that it travels its own distinct pathway inside my spine. As do pain, pleasure, and heat. A body it seems is a highway, a cloverleaf crossing well built, well traversed. Some of me going north, some going south. Ninety percent of my […]

Shohaku Okumura

‘Even though our day-to-day activity is incomplete, without it there’s no Buddha’s mind, no Buddha’s enlightenment. If we don’t practice, Buddha’s enlightenment ended twenty-five hundred years ago. Because of our incomplete practice, right here in this Dharma position, Buddha’s enlightenment is here. Otherwise Buddha’s enlightenment is only recorded in the sutras.’ (The Mountains and Waters Sutra) […]

Sekkei Harada

‘As I regularly say, good and bad are not within things. Higher and lower, absolute and relative, do not exist separate from ourselves. Rather, all things arise based on the notion of “I,” the viewpoint from which things are seen as other than us. And so our true mind is clouded.’ (Unfathomable Depths)

Katagiri Roshi

‘In the realm of science, or business, literature, sports, the arts, or whatever you do, these is a way to touch eternity. That is spiritual practice. Doing something as spiritual practice is to invoke the life force energy deep in your own life and use it to grow your life. Growth gives you room to […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘We are Buddha. This is rather difficult to accept. So we say, Zen Buddhism is very easy to understand intellectually. It is not difficult to understand, but it is difficult to believe in it completely. We cannot accept ourselves as Buddha. This is very difficult point. But intellectually each one of us is Buddha. That […]

What Comes Alive?

After the rains, it has been clear and milder on the whole. I drove up to Wilbur on Friday, taking my time in the old van, under blue skies, with glimpses of snowy peaks off to the east, and a couple not far north of Wilbur as well. Just a month after the solstice, the […]

Dana Velden

‘A kitchen chore will often tether us to a place: the sink, the chopping board, the stove. This is a good thing. On the surface, this tethering may feel like a restriction but it’s actually really helpful to restrict our options sometimes. This is in part what seated meditation is all about: quieting the external […]