Blog posts

Exhaling and dissolving.

Here are some quotes from Suzuki Roshi in “Not Always So” (chapter: Calmness of Mind) that emphasize working with the exhale while meditating: “Calmness of mind is beyond the end of your exhalation. If you exhale smoothly, without even trying to exhale, you are entering into the complete perfect calmness of your mind. You do … Continue reading Exhaling and dissolving.

Express yourself fully

I have been reading “Not Always So” by Suzuki Roshi and found some interesting words on Time. They go along with what I have been working with for the past years but with a slightly different slant. From Suzuki Roshi, page 8, “When you live completely in each moment, without expecting anything, you have no … Continue reading Express yourself fully

Addendum to No-Birth, No-Death

I found this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh after I wrote the last blog. I thought it really described this practice of feeling the mutuality of form and emptiness. We can actualize this mutuality in our everyday activity and this coming together is the actualization of enlightenment. From Thich Nhat Hanh, “ Touching the Earth, … Continue reading Addendum to No-Birth, No-Death

No-Birth, No-death

From “Touching the Earth, Intimate Conversations with the Buddha” by Thich Nhat Hanh, pages 25 and 26: “Lord Buddha, I shall listen to your advice and look deeply into impermanence, interdependence, emptiness and interbeing, in order to arrive at the deep realization that all that exists has the nature of no birth/ no death no … Continue reading No-Birth, No-death

A warm feeling in Zazen

From Suzuki Roshi’s book, “Not Always So” page 77: “If we do not have some warm, big satisfaction in our practice, that is not true practice. Even though you sit, trying to count your breath with right posture, it still might be lifeless zazen, because you are just following instructions. You are not kind enough … Continue reading A warm feeling in Zazen

The Rhinoceros Fan is Broken

Buddha said, “This life is suffering or dissatisfying.” Trungpa Rinpoche said: “The center of our life is unrequited love.” I don’t know where I got: “Samsara is already broken.” They all point to the same thing. Life as we see it in its appearance is full of pain, loss, failure or blame. It’s built in … Continue reading The Rhinoceros Fan is Broken

The Burning House

There are many analogies to the phrase: “Samsara (the wandering-in-circles world, the world of life and death) is broken” from my previous blog. One that we are currently studying in the Lotus Sutra class at Clouds in Water Zen Center is the story of the Burning House from chapter 2 of that sutra. These stories … Continue reading The Burning House

Samsara is already broken

Samsara is the wandering-in-circles world. When people say, “the world is going crazy”, we are talking about samsara. It is the human world, which is driven by the hub of the Wheel of Life and Death, the three poisons: greed, hatred, and ignorance. This wheel turns round and round endlessly. As far back as we … Continue reading Samsara is already broken

Beyond Effort

With his archer’s skill, the archer hits the mark at a hundred paces, But when arrow points meet head-on, how could it be a matter of skill. Jewel Mirror Samadhi   Continuing to discuss effort and effortlessness, I like to use this example from the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Japanese archery is considered an Art, a … Continue reading Beyond Effort

Master of our Minds

Who is this person who can be master in any place and meet the source in everything?  Book of Serenity, pointer Case 4. Though I generally don’t like to use the word “master,” in contemplating this pointer I have liked the idea that I “own” or “master” my own mind through the practice of concentration. … Continue reading Master of our Minds

Abandon any hope of fruition

Abandon any hope of fruition. If there is a “time” which is more than just linear, than this Tibetan Lojong slogan makes sense. If we believe solely in a linear history that develops through time or over a period of time, then this slogan doesn’t make any sense. In development, there is hope for a … Continue reading Abandon any hope of fruition

Spiritual Empowerment

On my two-week vacation up north in a cabin, I often turn within.  “What’s happening with me right now?”    I try to listen to myself in a deeper way.  To hear my journey from a deeper level then my ordinary, repeating stories and I often turn to writing.  I pull out my Spriritual Journey- Journal … Continue reading Spiritual Empowerment

Witnessing and self-sacrifice

I’d like to hold up a very interesting article I read by Ajahn Viradhammo in the most recent Buddha-dharma magazine, summer 2013, in his article “Unlimited Heart.” I recommend reading the whole article. It was straight to the point of practice and practicing in a household, not in a monastery. He seems to have a … Continue reading Witnessing and self-sacrifice

The Original Face

You cannot describe it or draw it You cannot praise it enough or perceive it. No place can be found in which To put the Original Face; It will not disappear even When the universe is destroyed. — Mumon   As I have been studying the Bendowa and particularly, this past month, the Jijuyu Zanmai, … Continue reading The Original Face