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 […]

Jakusho Kwong

‘In a Zen temple or monastery collecting garbage is one of the most important jobs. When we pick up papers or garbage, we have to understand that we are also picking up the garbage inside our own minds. The words outside and inside are two ways of describing one thing. Since our thoughts and dualistic understanding are […]

Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘We are constantly shoveling into our minds more things to react to; more things to think, worry, and obsess about; and more things to remember, as if our own daily lives did not produce enough on their own. The ultimate irony is that we do it to get some respite from our own concerns an […]

The Unavoidable Perfection of the Universe

Editing, processing and uploading the Zen Center dharma talks is one of the things I do as I create a livelihood. Sometimes I have to supply a title to the talk, so I listen through for the first five or ten minutes to find a resonant phrase that isn’t just part of the preamble. Very rarely […]