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

‘Uchiyama Roshi wrote that if we cannot sit zazen, simply waiting is a good enough substitute. Because, if I’m really honest, a lot of my zazen is just sitting and waiting for the bell to ring. (God, that sounds horrible. Am I doing this all wrong?) (Bow First, Ask Questions Later) My time at Wilbur felt […]

Abiding with the four elements

‘The four elements return to their natures just as a child turns to its mother; Fire heats, wind moves, water wets, earth is solid‘ – Sekito Kisen For various scheduling reasons, it is three months since I have been to Wilbur, and I was looking forward to going again, knowing the the spring greens of […]

Chan Master Sheng Yen

I like to delve into the library at Tassajara while I am there to see what catches my eye. While I was looking over the shelves, I pulled one book out, and saw a tiny little booklet that had been hiding next to it; a short pamphlet with the title ‘The Advantages One May Derive […]

When Preferences Are Cast Aside

To founder in dislike and like is nothing but the mind’s disease – Hsin Hsin Ming If I had a dollar for every time I heard, while I was at Tassajara, a guest proclaiming that the creek was cold – either as a reason for not going in the water, or as a reaction to […]

What I think about when I am running

I thought about going for a run when I arrived at Tassajara on Memorial Day, but it was already in the eighties when we got out of the car, and relaxing seemed like a better idea. During my first week I was happy hiking and doing a lot more yoga than usual; having been feeling […]

Becoming Butterflies

When I am co-leading retreats at Tassajara, I feel that most of my job is to be the Tassajara translator – not just of the forms and guidelines, but also about the experience of living here, especially as summer guests are often curious about monastic life in the winter. I am rather embarrassed to realise […]