Be the space where life happens, not just the person it happens to.
Thoughts are like birds—flying, circling, pecking, perching, singing, and crapping on stuff. Like some birds, they tend to flock together. At least that’s how it is for me, your experiences may differ. My thoughts tend to circle perceptions, memories, and feelings. They usually keep circling until I can get them in writing. That’s why this […]
What’s the first thing you do each morning? People answer that in a lot of different ways: get out of bed, open my eyes, go to the bathroom, check my phone, get dressed, eat breakfast, turn on the light, on and on. All of that’s inaccurate. The first thing we do each morning is wake […]
Huineng said, “Without thinking of good or evil, what is your Original Face?” On the other hand, when asked what the essence of Buddhadharma was, Daolin replied, “To refrain from all evil and do all that is good.” How is it possible to reconcile these two correct teachings? First things first, I’ve gotta realize that […]
Mahakashyapa and the Buddha had the same mind in that moment, a mind free of preferences, expectations, questions, answers, judgments, and desires.
The mind is like a pair of shoes. We wear them all the time, but we’re not usually all that aware of them. They pick up bits and pieces of the places we go. Sand, dirt, mud, dust, shit, and piss—whatever we step in, we pick up. If we don’t pay attention, then our shoes […]
Today I described Chan meditation like this to a friend: Grass grows, wolves howl, Buddhas sit.
Original. Authentic. Genuine. Enlightenment, awakening, wisdom, clarity, prajna, bodhi, freedom, truth… You can pick whichever word combination gets your rocks off, they all point to the same thing: you. Buddha-nature is one of the fundamental teachings in Zen. If you had to select only one teaching to go with, this would be the frontrunner. It’s […]
Sometimes, when I wake up after a deep, dreamless sleep, I think, “Thanks for the free sample of nothingness, asshole.” I’m not sure who the “asshole” is directed toward. Old habits from my God worshiping days, perhaps. I miss God sometimes; God gives us something to scream at. Thinking about eternal oblivion the second you […]
Buddhism doesn’t have a monopoly on emptiness. When it sailed across the Pacific and set up shop in the West, it found itself in a land with its own views and temperaments toward absence. To keep the dialogue going, we can’t just bring Zen to the West, we also have to bring the West to […]