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 […]

A Day In The Mountains

One of my dharma friends, when we were discussing going down to Tassajara for Allison’s shuso ceremony, pointed out that it is a very long way to go for the day. Yes, I said, but it is always worth it. Even though I was tired out by the end of the day, and the next day, […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Student: Docho Roshi, for my practice, I believe that the hardest and deepest teaching of Buddhism for all men is to know not to be attached to any thing. Can you explain why this is so? SR: Not to attach to any thing, we say. Why you asked this question is, you know, it is […]

Cycles of Change

It is perhaps ironic that I just acquired my first smartphone (a friend who was being upgraded to a spanking new iPhone by work was able to offer me her old one) at exactly the time that everyone is starting to preach doom and gloom about Apple.  Perhaps because I was at Tassajara as the […]