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

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

Holding up the Moon

“Who sweeps the ground and also sees the moon? Holding up the moon, her sweeping is truly not in vain.” —Dogen Zenji from Eihei Koroku Our chores and repetitive actions that are the nuts and bolts of human activity are not simply mundane and therefore inconsequential. These activity; brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, changing … Continue reading Holding up the Moon

Circle of the way #2

“Our practice is not a kind of training for the sake of making an ignorant person smart, clever and finally enlightenment. Each action, each moment of sitting, is arousing Bodhi mind, practice, awakening and nirvana. Each moment is perfect and yet within this perfect moment we have a direction, the bodhisattva vows.” — Shohaku Okumura Roshi … Continue reading Circle of the way #2

Now, Now, Now

Bring your whole, unified body and mind to this moment, fully knowing that this moment is impermanent. This moment arises and disappears in 1/62nd of a finger snap. That happens so fast we cannot catch it with consciousness, but we can notice the activity we are engaged in and completely do this one activity. Katagiri Roshi … Continue reading Now, Now, Now

Worry and Fear

Worry and fear can alter our perceptions until we lose all sense of reality, twisting neutral situations into nightmares. Because most worry focuses on the future, if we can learn to stay in the present, living one day or one moment at a time, we take positive steps towards warding off the effects of fear. … Continue reading Worry and Fear

Saying “Yes” to this moment!

It’s strange how many decades it takes to digest the simplest instruction.  So many layers and “ideas” about the instruction have to be peeled off. Our intellectual understanding keeps us in our heads without taking the instruction into our bodies and hearts.  Perhaps that’s why Katagiri Roshi said, years ago, that one should practice for … Continue reading Saying “Yes” to this moment!