Let’s Not Forget Donald Trump’s History of Sexual Misconduct, And, Perhaps, Ask What Should be Done?

          So many sad and terrible things are being revealed about men in public life sexually assaulting women. And with that, of course, questions about our lives writ large. The reality is that this has been going on for, well, probably pretty much forever. But less publicly, and more commonly privately. And never discussed. Just wasn’t done. But, finally, finally, something has happened. A dam has broken open, and a flood of allegations have overtaken us. I… Read more

Cooking a Life: Zen Teacher Dana Velden’s Six Tips With Comments

        I’ve known Dana Velden for something just shy of thirty years. She is a lot of things. Among them she’s a Zen priest. Dana’s also a cook. And she is the author of a book that brings those two things together, delightfully. Do yourself a favor, buy it. And then read it. As I said she’s lots of things. But, most of all Dana is a wise and faithful friend to all who walk the great way. Recently… Read more

Recalling the Trickster Sage Alan Watts

Alan Watts died forty-four years ago on this day, the 16th of November, 1973. Rummaging through my files I see I’ve written on him any number of times. He certainly is an important figure in my life. And, I think he stands as an important figure in the meeting of psychology and Eastern religions, as well as the introduction specifically of Zen to the popular Western imagination. In Zen Master Who? my history of Zen Buddhism come west I describe… Read more

The Day Football Revealed Itself

  According to the Wikipedia article about him Harry Turner “was one of the most popular players on the Canton Professionals, the pre-National Football League version of the Canton Bulldogs who played in the Ohio League. The team’s center, Turner played with the Pros from around 1911…” At the end of the 1914 season, while making a tackle, his back fractured, severing his spinal cord. He lingered briefly, but died on this day, the 15th of November, in 1914. Harry… Read more

Some Thoughts on How to Prepare and Deliver a Zen Dharma Talk

      “So the hymn comes to a close with an unsteady amen, and the organist gestures the choir to sit down. Fresh from breakfast with his wife and children and a quick run through of the Sunday papers, the preacher climbs the steps to the pulpit with his sermon in hand. He hikes his black robe at the knee so he will not trip over it on the way up. His mouth is a little dry. He has… Read more

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Long Beach Buddhist Church

    The Reverend Kosai Osada came to the United States in 1950 as a Soto Zen Buddhist missionary. Settling in Long Beach he met with a number of people who had met across sectarian lines at the internment camps during the war. He shared his vision of a “pure” Buddhism beyond sect, and was met with enthusiasm. In 1951 he conducted his first non-sectarian services at the Long Beach Japanese Community Center. By 1957 the congregation was ready to… Read more

Three Zen Teachers Teaching Online

      In case there is no Zen teacher in your area, or if there is but there isn’t a heart alignment, here are three teachers who have web presence that I can recommend. First, Sensei Domyo Burk. She is my dharma niece within the Soto tradition, a successor of the renowned late Zen master Kyogen Carlson. She offers guidance through Zen Studies Podcasts, which can be accessed here. Second, Sensei Konin Cardenas, who studied with the San Francisco Zen… Read more

In the Valley of the Shadow of Death: A Small Zen Meditation That Eventually Gets Around to What Zazen Really Is

    Yesterday we went to the Bowers Museum to see the special exhibition of Frank Hurley’s amazing photographs of the catastrophic 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. I came away with several images burned into my heart, as well as thoughts about a range of issues. One had nothing to do with the photographs. It was a display of Shackleton’s Bible that most riveted my attention. The caption explained that it had been presented to Shckleton by the… Read more

The Goddess of Reason Is Enthroned

        It was on this day, the 10th of November, in 1793, that the revolutionary French Convention proclaimed the investiture of a goddess of reason and a new state sponsored cult designed to replace Catholic Christianity. The deity’s image was installed on the high altar of the once (and future) Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The goddess and the cult were the brainchild of among others Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, Antoine-Francois Momoro, & Jacques Hebert. Herbet had… Read more

In Memory of Leonard Cohen

    A dear friend passed this on to me. I now pass it on to you… Read more

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