Oryoki at McDonalds

I’m in 7-day sesshin at Hokyoji Zen Community in southwest Minnesota. I have come here for almost 40 years now and have a profound appreciation for the deep core of Zen that can be practiced in this environment. Today during Oryoki, which is the procedure for a formal meal in the zendo, I thought of a … Continue reading Oryoki at McDonalds

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

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

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