Soko Morinaga

‘To take the unsettles self in hand, under whatever conditions, and return to the mind with which one set out; to pick oneself up again, after the mind changes, weakens, and breaks down, and stiffen the determination; to carry through the oft-reconstructed original vow – isn’t this the true meaning of courage?’ (Novice To Master) […]

The Language of Power

I have been able to listen to a lot of dharma talks recently, in addition to my usual amount of reading, and that has been helpful as I work on my material for talks I will give while I am in England. One of these was given by Liên, who I have known since we […]

Koun Yamada

‘Put your questions on the shelf and practice zazen; you’ll get your own answers.’ (Zen: The Authentic Gate) At Tassajara recently, I browsed in the library as I usually do when I am down there. I pulled this book from the shelves, and found that no-one else had signed it out since I had, two summers ago. Then […]

Frogs In Cabarga Creek

Perhaps the most surprising thing about my week at Tassajara is that the temperature in San Francisco when I returned on Monday was as hot as anything we had down in the mountains. It adds to my theory that our weather has been running a month late for a while – this feels like a […]

Dogen

‘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 […]

Dogen

‘There has never yet been anyone who supposed time to be coming and going who has penetrated to see it as being-time dwelling in its dharma-position. What chance is there, then, for a time to arrive when you will break through the barrier [into total emancipation]? Even if someone did know that dwelling position, who […]

It Is The Time Of Flowers…

… And flowers have arrived. I used that Dogen quote on my shuso ceremony invitation, and it came inexorably to mind at Wilbur last weekend. I knew that conditions would be different from my last visit a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t completely adjusted to the change in the weather. I remember days in March during […]