Mu & Buddha Nature A Reflection on Zen & Koan Introspection By Josh Bartok Josh Bartok is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, and a teacher of the Soto reformed koan system developed by Master Daiun Sogaku Harada, based on the master’s years studying the Takujo Hakuin koan curriculum at the turn of the nineteenth & twentieth centuries.  Bartok Osho is abbot & senior teacher at the Greater Boston Zen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Koan Mu, also known as Zhaozhou’s… Read more

    Today is the anniversary of that moment in 1918 when the English Parliament’s act granting the vote to “women over the age of thirty who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of five pounds, and graduates of British universities” took effect. It was not quite the culmination of a fierce struggle. That wouldn’t be won until 1928 when all women over the age of twenty-one were granted the vote. Still, an important… Read more

      On Lay Practice Within North American Soto Zen James Ishmael Ford 5 February 2018 Blue Cliff Zen Sangha Costa Mesa, California Last week I posted on my Monkey Mind blog an essay I titled Soto Zen Buddhism in North America: Some Random Notes From a Work in Progress. There I wrote, along with a couple of small digressions and additions I add for this talk: Probably the most important thing here (within our North American Zen and… Read more

        How It is Supposed to Be: A Zen Meditation Jan Seymour-Ford 2 February 2018 Blue Cliff Zen Sangha Sesshin Harwood Lodge Mt Baldy, California Those of us who give talks once in a while are advised to give the talk we need to hear ourselves. So this is the talk I needed to hear on Wednesday, the crappiest day  in a long time. I had tried for days to get confirmation about our reservation for this… Read more

Blue Cliff Zen Sangha held its first sesshin, intensive Zen meditation retreat, between the 1st & 4th of February, 2018. We met a Harwood Lodge nestled in the upper reaches of Mt Baldy, itself perched above the Los Angeles basin. We had members and friends of our sangha come from Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Long Beach, and Orange County. Thanks to Chris Hoff for the lovely photographs… Read more

    What They Dreamed Be Ours to Do A Meditation on Universalism & Restitution, the Path of Healing for Our Times January 29, 2018 A Paper Delivered at the Fraters of the Wayside Inn Sudbury, Massachusetts Nancy O. Arnold (The Reverend Nancy O Arnold is a Unitarian Universalist minister. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned her Master of Divinity at Harvard University. She also holds a certificate in spiritual direction from Fordham… Read more

Busy putting things in bags. Getting ready. And just a pause. Our little Blue Cliff Zen sangha is about to launch our first three-day sesshin. “Sesshin” translates roughly as “touching the heart-mind,” and is the term for an intensive Zen meditation retreat within Japanese Zen Buddhism. Three-day is a bit of a misnomer, it really is two full on days, in this case from five until a bit after nine featuring mostly seated Zen meditation interspersed with brief periods of… Read more

This past Sunday I went to Boston, picked up my old colleague and dear friend Walt Wieder, and together we made our way to the one hundred & sixteenth meeting of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, Massachusetts. I felt a mix of emotions. My association with the Fraters is long established. I’ve been attending Fraters meetings for fourteen years, and as a member for twelve. I arrived thinking this would probably be my last meeting…. Read more

I am a Buddhist for several reasons. First, because I am convinced of the teaching of the three marks of existence: anitya, that all things composed of parts will fall apart, and all things are composed of parts, anatman, that this is true of us as human beings as well. We have no special part in or about us that is exempt from the truth of anitya. And, that the experience of these things is dukkha, hurt, longing, dis-ease. But,… Read more

The West Needs Buddhism George W Wright Honolulu, Hawaii 1 January 1929 Published in An Outline of Buddhism, edited by Ernest Shinkaku Hunt I’ve looked for anything I could find about the author, George W Wright, but sadly, or, maybe not, I can find nothing. Well, other than perhaps that he was at one time a Presbyterian missionary, and perhaps at some point editor of the Hawaiian Hochi, a Japanese American paper. I really would like to know more about him…. Read more

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