Blog posts

The Two Truths

The two truths, the absolute and relative truths, which we speak of in Buddhist pedagogy, are a linguistic skilfull means to help teach, actually, the opposite. We want to be able to express “oneness” and “twoness” as a complete dynamic happening in the present moment. However we try to speak of this, we end up … Continue reading The Two Truths

We knowingly transgress

In Joshu’s koan: “Does a dog have buddha nature?”, my version of one of the questions is “Since everything is mu-buddha-nature (emptiness or suchness), why do we even have this skin bag? or why do we even bother taking care of form? If everything and every moment is already complete and whole, why act? Or … Continue reading We knowingly transgress

Seeing things as they are

July Clouds in Water community mindfulness, 2011 To see things as they are. To receive things as they are. To accept things as they are. These are the base principles of Zen. It is similar to the admonition to “be in the present moment” in that it is simple and straightforward and very hard to … Continue reading Seeing things as they are

Ken McLeod’s phrases for the divine abodes

I have been using Ken McLeod’s verses for the four immeasurables and students have been asking for them. Here is a web address where you can find them:

“You can’t beat samsara”

When Roshi Reb Anderson was at Clouds, the sound bite that stuck in my mind was “You can’t beat samsara.” Then my husband heard that and amended it by saying “You can’t trump samsara.” What does that mean? It is very similar to the first noble truth that human life contains within it; dissatisfaction, anxiety … Continue reading “You can’t beat samsara”

Training in Wholeness

The Clouds in Water Zen Center Monthly Mindfulness: Honoring my life as an instrument of peacemaking, I take up the way of not thinking ill of the three treasures. (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) The 16 Bodhisattva precept ceremony is a central practice in Zen. We acknowledge this practice by our monthly full moon precept recitation … Continue reading Training in Wholeness

Dragon Stability

“Dragon stability is a technical term for stabilization so profound that it is not destabilized by activity in the world. The image comes from the idea that a dragon is physically an animal yet mentally dwells in an elevated state. Thus it is used to represent the Mahayana Buddhist ideal of transcending the world while … Continue reading Dragon Stability