What Does It Mean to be Awake?

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 … Continue reading What Does It Mean to be Awake?

Beyond Good & Bad, Who Am I?

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 … Continue reading Beyond Good & Bad, Who Am I?

What is Original Enlightenment?

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 … Continue reading What is Original Enlightenment?

Death & Eternal Oblivion

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 … Continue reading Death & Eternal Oblivion