The Language of Ritual

This is the time of the full moon, and the Ryaku Fusatsu ceremony performed at Zen Center connects us back to the earliest days of Buddhism, when itinerant monks in India would gather together at the full and new moon to renew their vows. Perhaps the highlight of my whole summer last year at Tassajara was to […]

Soyen Shaku

‘Buddhist ethics is the simplest thing to practice in the world. It has nothing mysterious, nothing superstitious, nothing idolatrous, nothing supernatural. Stop doing anything wrong, which is against the reason of things; do whatever is good, which advances the course of reason in this life; and finally help those who are still behind and weary […]

Michael Stone

‘The vortex in a stream is a structure that is created out of the swirling gravitational movement of water. All living things are flowing structures like this. Our identity, sexuality, economics, and relations are all temporary and flexible. One of the aspects of practice in the context of community (sangha) that I’ve deeply appreciated is the way […]

Katagiri Roshi

Katagiri Roshi’s Peaceful Life is a very sweet poem that we occasionally chanted at Zen Center for services; its simplicity almost disguises his deep understanding of how practice can transform our limited mind, and bring out our full heart in the way of compassion. Being told that is impossible One believes, in despair, “Is that so?” Being told […]

The Language of Ritual

Following on from last Monday’s post, another line from the shukke tokudo ceremony that always resonated with me and comforted me is the preceptor’s comment after the recitation of the three refuges (taking refuge in Buddha, dharma and sangha): ‘This is the path of mercy for all existence and things’. How does the line make you feel?

Pure Precepts

A jukai ceremony, such as we had on Saturday afternoon at City Center, with five people receiving the precepts, usually also counts as a family affair. The ordinands are taking a big step in their practice, and are supported in this ceremony by their friends, family and community. There are a few stages in the […]