Koun Franz

‘Life is the total working of all things, and you’re a part of it, and there’s nothing you can do about that. We could substitute “life” in this sentence with anything. Eating lunch is the total functioning of the present; shoveling snow is totally manifested. Because if not, what is it? What is your life but […]


‘Even when we have the eyes [to see mountains as] the appearance of grass and trees, earth and stone, fences and walls, this is nothing to doubt, nothing to be moved by; it is not the complete appearance [of the mountains]… Even when they appear to us as the realm of the practice as the […]

Nanao Sakaki

Why climb a mountain? Look! A mountain there. I don’t climb mountain. Mountain climbs me. Mountain is myself. I climb on myself. There is no mountain nor myself. Something moves up and down in the air. I will be at Tassajara this week, letting the mountains climb on me.

Ruth Fuller Sasaki

‘The Japanese Zen masters of today are trying faithfully to carry on their reaching against tremendous odds. Furthermore, they are bound by a traditional system which, as regards many of its forms, is a relic of the feudal age. All are aware of this, but the great problem facing them is how to adapt to […]

Hakuun Yasutani

‘Five-precent sincerity is enough to begin with [to sit zazen]. If you were completely sincere, you would be enlightened at this moment.’ (from Taking the Zen Path)

Norman Fischer

‘I have always appreciated the fact that when you give a Zen talk, you make three prostrations to the Buddha before and after the talk. These bows are meant to indicate that it isn’t exactly you giving the talk. The Buddha is giving the talk using your body and voice. Bowing is praying to Buddha […]

Joyful Effort

Last weekend I spent time at both temples: on Saturday I offered the zazen instruction at City Center, and had a much larger crowd than I thought would be the case for a holiday weekend. The Buddha Hall also filled for the talk, which was given by Norman, and I recognised a few of his […]