Shohaku Okumura

‘When we have full understanding that each of us is living together with all beings, interconnected, we cannot live in the egocentric way. That is the difference. That is also the meaning of Dogen Zenji’s expression shinjin datsuraku, “dropping off body and mind.” That is what our zazen really is. Rujing, Dogen’s teacher, said, “Studying Zen is […]


One glance at the morning star, and the snow got even whiter. The look in his eye chills hair and bones. If earth itself hadn’t experienced this instant, Old Shakyamuni never would have appeared.


‘The way of water penetrates everywhere, above and below, vertically and horizontally. Still, in the sutras it is said that fire and wind go up, while earth and water go down. But this “up and down” bears some study – the study of the up and down of the way of the buddha. [In the […]

Chiang Wei-nung

‘The ten directions are all within the sky. But actually they are all within a single thought of our mind. Using the sky as a metaphor and then dividing it into ten directions reminds us that just as the the ten directions are part of the sky so are the ten realms of existence that […]

The Emptiness of Emptiness

‘According with sameness is still not enlightenment.’ (Sandokai – Sekito Kisen) ‘The Buddha… urges Subhuti to look beyond “no perceptions,” lest “no perceptions” become a substitute for his earlier attachment to emptiness. He tells Subhuti to practice the perfection of wisdom, to practice the perfection of forbearance, to practice the perfection of charity. For only in […]

Radiant Light in the Ten Directions

Wilbur was entirely autumnal last weekend. Rain having passed through, there was a serene clarity to the low sunlight, and a sense – which came to me as I walked down the road on Saturday morning just as the sun was coming up – of moving gently through the stillness of nature. It was a […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘We say we have two kinds of knowledge: intuitive knowledge, and thinking, discriminating knowledge. The scientific knowledge and the philosophical knowledge is the dualistic thinking knowledge. As long as we use words and we think by words, it is impossible to reach the absolute conclusion. When we just resume to our own nature, which is […]