The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

Unconstructed reality doesn’t negate the rules of our consensus reality. We have to abide by the code of behavior that has been established in our society. Nowness does not mean that anything goes. It does not mean that in understanding emptiness, we are given license to break down into anarchy the standards of civic society. … Continue reading The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

Rolling freely round and round

As I have previous said, Dogen deconstructs time and space in all his writing. He wants us to enter life in this very moment which Katagiri Roshi described as the intersection of time and space. Here is an entire paragraph deconstructing our consciousness’ misunderstand of “a body”. Our untrained mind thinks of our bodies as … Continue reading Rolling freely round and round

Gensha stubbed his toe

The next section of the primary story in One Bright Jewel is: Once Gensha was leaving the mountain carrying his traveling bag to visit masters widely in the various regions and thoroughly study the Way.  On his way, he stubbed his toe on a stone.  As it bled with terrible pain, he suddenly had a … Continue reading Gensha stubbed his toe

Intention and Vow, New Years

For the past many years, Clouds in Water starts the New Years off with an Intention and Vow Workshop. It was my answer to the failure, year after year, of my New Year’s Resolutions. Does Zen allow future goals? i.e. if you live in the present moment, can you have a future goal? Concurrently, there … Continue reading Intention and Vow, New Years

A Splendid Opportunity

Here is a terrific quote from Dogen Zenji on being in the present moment: “This is a splendid opportunity for buddha-dharma to enter into mud and water. If you do not realize the fruit at this moment, when will you realize it? If you do not cut off delusion at this moment, when will you … Continue reading A Splendid Opportunity

What is your original face?

Usually we answer the koan, “What is your original face?” with an emptiness response. It is a koan used to help Zen practitioners drop the stories and structures they believe as “self” and enter into a connection with ultimate existence. Sometimes, it’s even supplemented by saying, “What is your original face before your parents were … Continue reading What is your original face?

Talk for Carl Myosen’s memorial

From Reb Anderson’s Chapter on “Do not kill” in “Being Upright”: Life does not change into death. death does not change into life. life is just life; death is just death Life and death are not before and after In reality, death vividly and peacefully coexists with the fullest expression of life the ancient buddhas … Continue reading Talk for Carl Myosen’s memorial