Suzuki Roshi

‘We say we have two kinds of knowledge: intuitive knowledge, and thinking, discriminating knowledge. The scientific knowledge and the philosophical knowledge is the dualistic thinking knowledge. As long as we use words and we think by words, it is impossible to reach the absolute conclusion. When we just resume to our own nature, which is […]

Blanche Hartman

This is a repost, but when I was looking for words I had written about Blanche for my Patreon post, I came across this post and wanted to offer it again. I know I am basically expressing the same thing again, but it was one of my most valuable lessons from living in community: ‘When […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Even if you sit alone in the zendo, you are helping others.’ (from the Suzuki Roshi archives) I have been spending a little time dipping in and out of the archives, and this line jumped out at me. I often hear – and perhaps most often at Tassajara, which feels most remote from the ‘outside world’ […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘So you may ask, ‘What is the real teaching of Buddha?’ If you don’t understand it you will keep asking, ‘What is it? What is it? What does it mean?’ You are just seeking for something you can understand. We don’t exist in that way. Dogen Zenji says, ‘There is no bird who flies knowing […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘When I start to talk, it is already a smoky kerosene lamp. As long as I must give a lecture, I have to explain: “This is right practice, this is wrong, this is how to practice zazen…” It is like giving you a recipe. It doesn’t work. You cannot eat a recipe.’ (Not Always So) I […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘I don’t necessarily want to give a lecture. I just want to live with you: moving stones, having a nice hot spring bath, and eating something good. Zen is right there.’ (Not Always So) Of course that kind of thing is a little easier when you are living at Tassajara.

Gesshin Greenwood

‘The first thing we learned about at Nisodo was water. In the sleep-dazed morning rush, when people were scolding us about not covering our mouths when we brushed our teeth, there was also a teaching about water. We learned just how much water to pour into the washing basin to wash our face, and we […]