‘I have reached sixty years in this human life, and I have been following the Buddha’s teaching from my twentieth year. What have I gained from studying Buddhism for forty years? For about twenty years, I thought I was greatly benefitted by Buddhism, but in the last twenty years I have been ungaining everything I […]

Kobun Chino

‘We speak of “denko”, transmission of light. What kind of light? It is something which shines, sometimes externally, sometimes internally. There is brightness that you sense within your body, and bright light outside of your body… The light that is transmitted comes out of people. I don’t see it in myself, in me, but I […]

Marian Mountain

‘It is natural for my mother to doubt the value of this kind of life. From the ordinary point of view, our zen life leaves no trace of anything worthwhile. We have nothing to show for it, nothing to give from it, and nothing to say about it. Whatever we show, give, or say about […]

Returning Empty-Handed

I had been thinking of this title for the post even before realising that the Dogen quote was scheduled for yesterday. Sometimes, inevitably, I just feel flat about my life. The last few weeks have been painful in some aspects, and I notice how the way my body responds to those events bleeds over into […]


‘This mountain monk [Dogen] has not passed through many monasteries. Somehow I just met my late teacher Tiantong [Rujing]. However I was not deceived by Tiantong. But Tiantong was deceived by this mountain monk. Recently, I returned to my homeland with empty hands. And so this mountain monk has no Buddha Dharma. Trusting fate, I […]

Keizan Jokin

‘Don’t you see? Making the eyebrows rise and the eye blink is alright and not alright. That realm is beyond doubt. Everyone is already endowed with it. When you try to understand that place, it has no features such as ears and eyes. You cannot discern it through seeing and hearing; nothing at all is […]