Effortless Effort

Much as I love reading the New Yorker for learning about new things, intellectual stimulation, and keeping up-to-date with aspects of the news, I was not expecting an article on natural wine to be prompting a blog post. In it were references to a Gurdjieff community in California (which prompted me to send it on […]

The Holy Hallway

Today is the day when Zen Center commemorates the death of Suzuki Roshi, forty-eight years ago now. The story of his dying, and the timing of it (on the first day of the Rohatsu sesshin)  is told often enough. I picture him lying in the room that is now the kaisando, the room that all temples have where the […]

Of The World

My post yesterday prompted a correspondent to ask, ‘What is going on (actually)? Do you have some verbal answer?’ I suggested in reply that they go and look out of the window. I received in return a description of things seen and things felt: ‘a very “mundane” verbal description of an experience – and yet, […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Anyway we should listen to the birds singing; listen to the insects singing; if you are aware of your exhaling and inhaling (where the inhaling come from, where your exhaling goes) if you feel the heart beat one after another, then you will understand what is going on in this world actually.’ (from the Suzuki Roshi […]

Issho Fujita

‘There is no other need to reach a certain state of mind as a goal or to attain a special experience. Therefore we are freed from anxiety and frustration which comes from seeking for a special state of mind and experience which we have not yet attained and are able to peacefully rest in the […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘“Emptiness is form” is rather difficult to understand.  The empti­ness which is the absolute goal we will attain, which is enlightenment itself, is form.  So whatever you do is enlightenment itself.  This is rather difficult to understand, or to accept, because you think emptiness is some unusual thing.  Something unusual is something very common.  This […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘We should be, you know, not only able to– being able to talk about– about practice, we should experience, you know– we must have full experience– better experience of our practice. And for– for someone, you know, it is necessary to have– to put confidence in your big mind which is always with you. And […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Without losing, you know, ourselves in city life, you know, to help others– how to help others is the point. We should be– whatever we do we should be Buddhist. To be Buddhist should not be just to practice zazen in calm nice building like a hermit [laughs]. That is not our way. Mahayana bodhisattva […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘The most important point is for us to exist in right place in right way. If we exist in right place in right way, everything exists in right place in right way. But usually without being aware of this point we try to change something else where it exists. That is wrong. Even though you […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘We are studying now the sutra of the sixth patriarch, in the evening lecture, and PRAJNA (this is of course Sanskrit word) we mean, wisdom, but this wisdom is not intellect, or knowledge. This wisdom is so-called our inmost nature, which is always in incessant activity. Zazen practice is to — wisdom seeking for wisdom […]