Blog posts

The entire 10-direction world is One Bright Jewel #5 of 15

Seppo asks Gensha:  Who are you, this acsetic practitioner? Gensha replies, “I never deceive others?” What is the deception that we, as practitioners, are trying to uncover?  This deception is the misunderstanding of duality.  We compartmentalize life into opposites and these opposites only exist in our thoughts and language.  In actuality, the opposites of life … Continue reading The entire 10-direction world is One Bright Jewel #5 of 15

The Mani Jewel #1 of 15

One Bright Jewel, or sometimes translated “One Bright Pearl” is a short but important fascicle of Dogen’s Shobogenzo – a thirteenth century manuscript. Dogen had a 5 year break from writing on the Shobogenzo which, when completed had 95 independent essays. This break from 1233-1238 took place when Dogen was starting his monastery, Kosho-ji, and … Continue reading The Mani Jewel #1 of 15

Miazong’s Dharma Interview

Miazong’s Dharma Interview, 12 century From “The Hidden Lamp” Before Miaozong became a nun, she used to visit Master Dahui Zonggao’s monastery to study with him, and he gave her a room in the abbot’s quarters. The senior monk, Wanan, did not approve. Dahui said to him, “Although she’s a woman, she has outstanding merits.” … Continue reading Miazong’s Dharma Interview

Ohashi awakens in a Brothel

Ohashi Awakens in a Brothel – 18th century Ohashi sold herself to a brothel to support her impoverished family after her samurai father lost his position. She served diligently and became a poet and calligrapher, but she was plagued by sadness for her former life. Later she met Hakuin, who advised her that enlightenment was … Continue reading Ohashi awakens in a Brothel

The Red Thread of Passion

  Koan by Chinese master Sung-yuan (Shogen, d. 1202) In order to know the Way in perfect clarity, there is one essential point you must penetrate and not avoid. The Red thread of passion between our legs that cannot be severed. Few face up to the problem, since it is not at all easy to … Continue reading The Red Thread of Passion

Do not misuse Sexuality

This is one of Buddhism grave precepts. It’s really quite an important one because of the enormous power and drive of our sexual urges. This power is what makes sex fantastic and also what can make it hurtful or damaging. It’s powerful. If there is a misuse of this power, we can hurt ourselves and … Continue reading Do not misuse Sexuality

Entering Mindfulness of Feelings

Liberation through Feelings These are notes from Chapter 11 in Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness. The purpose of these teaching is freeing the mind from suffering. It is about liberation not just: Getting more comfortable in our lives Or sorting out our personal histories These might be helpful But this exploration is about the larger questions … Continue reading Entering Mindfulness of Feelings

The Corpse in Decay

These are notes on the end of Chapter 10, mindfulness of physical characteristics, in Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness. The last section of mindfulness of the body is the contemplation of corpses in various states of decay. Buddha’s contemplation in the sutta is: Again, monks, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in … Continue reading The Corpse in Decay

Mindfulness of “I am”

Continuing to study Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein.   These are notes on the middle part of Chapter 10, “Mindfulness of physical characteristics” “Conceit” in its Buddhist usage, refers to the deeply rooted sense of “I am”, “I was”, or “I will be.” This is the last of the veils of ignorance that needs to be removed … Continue reading Mindfulness of “I am”

Post Election Practices #2

I have been studying and writing again about Jizo Bodhisattva.  Again and again, this archetypal energy inspires me.  I found it particularly inspiring in helping me practice during the current political climate.  If you are in my tribe of politics, the situation right now is disappointing, paralyzing, depressing or worse, as each of us reacts … Continue reading Post Election Practices #2

Mindfulness of the elements

These are notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness, the second half of Chapter 9, Mindfulness of activities. The elements Again, monks, one reviews this same body, however it is placed, however disposed, as consisting of elements thus: ‘in this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’ … Continue reading Mindfulness of the elements

Mindfulness of Activities

This is a continuation of notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness, Chapter 9: Mindfulness of activities: Again, monks, when going forward and returning one acts clearly knowing; when looking ahead and looking away one acts clearly knowing; when flexing and extending one’s limbs one acts clearly knowing . . . when eating, drinking, consuming food, … Continue reading Mindfulness of Activities