In some circles there is quite a lot of back and forth of late about who is a Buddhist. Specifically, what is it one must “believe” to be able to call themselves a Buddhist with integrity. While I am inclined to accept anyone who says they are a Buddhist at face value, I do think there are three assertions about reality that trace right back to the founder and which I believe are at the heart of the tradition…. Read more

      Daniel Terragno is a Zen teacher within the Diamond Sangha. We are both successors of Dr John Tarrant within the Harada-Yasutani lineage. So, he’s my dharma sibling. While my own path has followed the currents of the ordained way within the Soto school, Daniel has dug deep into the great matter as a lay practitioner. He is not as well known here in the English speaking community as he should be. When I looked at Youtube I… Read more

Zazenkai Join us for a day of Zen meditation Saturday 28 April, 2018 9am to 5pm at the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Costa Mesa, California Zazen, Practice Interviews, Liturgy, Dharma talk Liturgy led by Rev Yukinori Gyokei Yokoyma Dharma talk by Rev Claire Gesshin Greenwood Spiritual Practice/Koan interviews with Rev James Myoun Ford & Senior Dharma teacher Jan Seiryu Seymour-Ford There is no charge for this retreat, although there will be an opportunity to give dana to help defray the… Read more

      This morning I attended services at the Long Beach Buddhist Church. The congregation was formed in 1951, bringing together people of Japanese descent who met across denominational lines during their internment in the Second World War. The church while an independent and nondenominational congregation is also officially registered as a temple with the Sotoshu, and all four of the ministers who have been called to serve have been Soto priests. The incumbent is my friend the Reverend… Read more

          Thursday I was invited to talk about my experiences as a very long-time Zen practitioner at a survey of Buddhism class at the University of Southern California. As I understand these things normally you have to be at least fifty miles from your home in order to be considered an expert on something, and USC is only about twenty-three. However, as one has to cross the entire Los Angeles metroplex to get from Long Beach… Read more

  Huangbo said to his assembly “You are all slurping up brewer’s dregs. If you’re always wandering about, how will you find this moment? Don’t you know that in all of China there is not a single Zen teacher? One of the assembly stepped forward and protested. “But, there are people all over the country who lead communities and guide practitioners. What about them?” Huangbo responded, “I didn’t say there is no Zen, only there are no teachers.” Blue Cliff… Read more

  For me the most effective way of being in the world is to move in the direction of the stream of the Dharma. But one is not automatically “in the stream of the Dharma.” That’s where practice comes in. Meditation, devotion, Dharma studies, cause-and-effect studies, chopping wood and carrying water, and more meditation yet are the ancient and modern and future paths of entrance into the timeless truths of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Gary Snyder The Best of Inquiring Mind Read more

      Bow First, Ask Questions Later: Ordination, Love, and Zen Monastic Training in Japan Gesshin Claire Greenwood Wisdom Publications, Somerville, Massachusetts May 2018   San Francisco native Claire Greenwood was raised within the American Vipassana Buddhist community centered at Spirit Rock in Marin County. When she graduated from college in 2009, she went to India on a pilgrimage of self-discovery. There she took the opportunity to temporarily ordain within the Theravada tradition as a nun in Bodhgaya. Soon… Read more

    On Facebook I recently was reading someone whom I especially admire for his commitment to Buddhism and his erudition. He alluded more or less in passing to much of contemporary and largely Western Buddhism as, among other things, “annihilationist.” He was referring to Ucchedavada, an ancient perspective the Buddha spoke against in the collected Nikaya texts. And he was conflating this ancient Indian school of skepticism with the often materialistic perspective of many contemporary and, mostly, Western Buddhists. With… Read more

Nondual reality includes subject and object, each itself and freely transposing with the other; first this, now that – sometimes one drops away, sometimes the other, sometimes both drop away, sometimes one emerges from the other, sometimes both emerge together – but we rest nowhere. Resting nowhere and moving fluidly among these perspectives is the true practice of koan introspection – helping us on our way. If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break Read more

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