Faith In Mind: Oneness and Duality

One thing is not different from another. The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires. If we awakening we can see how all things are connected, how separation is an illusion. When we attach to or reject anything, we are dwelling in duality with whatever that object is. If all things are one, then seeking Enlightenment outside of ourselves makes no sense. That creates a duality. The Diamond Sutra says there is no Dharma form and there is nothing that… Read more

Faith in Mind: Being Natural

Let it go and be spontaneous, Experience no going or staying. Accord with your nature, unite with the Way, Wander at ease, without vexation. This sounds like a Daoist teaching. It’s important to be natural and spontaneous. Being natural means being who we really are. Engaging the world with a sense of wakefulness instead of delusion. If we’re being natural we stop trying to control everything all the time. We just let the universe unfold as it is. Being natural… Read more

Faith in Mind: Comparisons and Anxiety

Not seeing fine or coarse, How can there be any bias? Fine or coarse refers to the depth or shallowness of our practice. If we’re practicing to practice, then we aren’t worried about whether our meditation is deep or shallow. We aren’t sitting to attain Enlightenment. We are sitting because that is how Enlightenment manifests itself. That’s an important distinction. This applies in other ways. Good and bad are the most common labels that we use. We compare everything all… Read more

Faith in Mind: Unifying the Mind with Silence

Merely stagnating in duality, How can you recognize oneness? If you fail to penetrate oneness, Both places lose their function. When we make distinctions between this and that our minds enter duality. Even striving for Enlightenment is, in itself, something that can put us in a position of thinking about subject and object. We tend to think that the person who seeks Enlightenment is separate from the goal. In seeking to become like the Buddha, we often separate ourselves from… Read more

Faith in Mind: Beginning the Practice

The Supreme Way is not difficult If only you do not pick and choose. Neither love nor hate, And you will clearly understand. Be off by a hair, And you are as far from it as heaven from earth. This is how Sengcan’s poem “Faith in Mind” begins. It’s about cultivating equanimity and practicing without a goal in mind. The Supreme Way at the beginning refers to Enlightenment. The wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of Emptiness seems really hard… Read more

Faith in Mind: Introduction

Faith In Mind is a long poem about Enlightenment. It was written by the third Chan Patriarch, Sengcan. We use the word ‘faith’, but of course it’s not about faith in some external thing. It’s about faith in our own minds, our inherent Buddha Nature. Most of the large Chan texts were written after the time of the great sixth patriarch. ‘Faith in Mind’ is one of the rare exceptions. We are going to be exploring this poem over the… Read more


We often think of stress as something that happens to us, something out there that is disturbing our peace of mind. But is this accurate? I’m getting ready to move and it’s stressful, as moving always is. It seems like there’s an overwhelming mountain of things that need to get done and I’m worrying about all that could go wrong. I’m doing this to myself. It’s not really about what’s happening. It’s about my reaction to it. What I have… Read more

Great American Eclipse: Expectations and Wonder

“Listen to the love letters sent by the wind and the rain; the snow and the moon.” -Ikkyu   Kansas City. Just on the edge of totality for the Great American Eclipse of 2017. I still remember people going crazy over a partial solar eclipse in the area when I was a kid. There was so much media around that event back then, and that was only partial. This was to be a full eclipse, not experienced here for over 100… Read more

Close Knit Sanghas?

Having a spiritual community is really important. And I wonder if we’re lacking that area in most Buddhist communities. Read more

Waking Up

Awakening and freedom. That’s what the path is all about. Enlightenment really just means awareness, seeing things as they really are. Reality unfiltered. The world as it is instead of as we think it is. We come to enlightenment by freeing ourselves of the three poisons; greed, hatred, and delusion. We free ourselves by transforming these poisons. We transform them to virtue, meditation, and wisdom. The truth is that enlightenment is simply not creating delusions. When we’re in delusion we… Read more

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