Satipatthana Sutta

The Satipatthana Sutta is a foundational text for those who practice meditation within any Buddhist tradition. Zen practitioners can easily discern the origins of our practices within its words. The following text is translated by Jason Siff from the shorter of the two versions available. It is edited to remove repeated material and one passage is shifted from its original position as is explained in his introduction to his translation. Among the many translations currently available I found this version… Read more

Cornelius Lockhart

When I arrived at Meadville Lombard for my stint as minister-in-residence last year I was quite anxious when I learned that my apartment on campus was at the top of a three-storey building. Really nice apartment. Really nice. The problem was my back wouldn’t allow me to carry my luggage (and I’m what they used to call a steamer-trunk traveller). I expressed my anxiety to the harried person sitting at the desk when someone standing nearby said, “Don’t worry, I’ll… Read more

Walking Meditation

I have friends who suggest anything they really like doing is a meditation. When they’re not just being cute or ironic the principal they seem to rely on for this assertion is that such things as knitting, bowling, cooking, all involve concentration and at best, perhaps, an achieving of a sense of “oneness” with the object of their concentration. I have little argument with such an observation and indeed many of the so-called Zen arts such as tea ceremony and… Read more

Vimala Thakar

A link worth following. Read more

The End of Harry Potter

It was quite a few years ago. Jan, auntie & I were sitting in the family room of our Arizona home watching Sixty Minutes. Jan & I were enthralled at the interview of an author who had been thrust into world wide acclaim entirely through children’s word of mouth. She had, as I recall, bags and bags of notes that she said were the deep background for her story which she saw as following this child-wizard through his seven years… Read more

Jesus Said

Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: From me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”Gospel of Thomas Logia 78The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus translated by Marvin Meyer Read more

Seven Days Staring at a Wall

Actually, in our community we sit “facing in,” that is we sit in meditation facing into the center of the room rather than toward the walls which is the more normative form for Soto Zen groups. Still, the real facing is toward the mind. And for seven days featuring a tad more than nine hours a day of seated meditation doing that facing – there’s a tonic for what ails!We met once again at Senexet House retreat center in Woodstock,… Read more

The last few days, and the next few

On Tuesday I logged on to this Monkey Mind blog to discover the clock had indeed rolled & I was now listed in the bio details as fifty-nine. Sort of an off birthday, not a major marker like, say, sixty (which, does, of course, now loom). Our family observations were modest. We went out to a nice dinner. Jan and auntie presented me with some very nice cuff links. And when we get back from sesshin, Jan & I will… Read more

How lovely

How lovely!Through the torn paper screen,the Milky Way.Issa(translated by Michael Sierchio & John Tarrant) Read more

How to Meditate in the Zen Manner

The Zazengi: Rules for ZazenBy Eihei DogenTranslated by Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi (reprinted from The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza edited by John Daido Loori)Practicing Zen is zazen. For zazen a quiet place is suitable. Lay out a thick mat. Do not let in drafts or smoke, rain or dew. Protect and maintain the place where you settle your body. There are examples from the past of sitting on a diamond seat… Read more

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