The figurines symbolize a proverb: if you fall down seven times, get up eight times. Apparently a prior abbot of the temple found this to be the heart of practice, and so started the collection. They range in size from one that comes up to my chest, to ones you can hold in one hand. Read more

Everything needs a little renovation now and again, even the human heart. Read more

It was as if the ancestral spirits were watching out over the city. I don’t have the planners handy to ask them, of course, but I would guess that’s a deliberate ritual placement. Read more

And it reminds me of one of the spiritual functions of travel: to shake up our neurological imprints. I have heard that in ancient China Taoist masters would hang out in inns, looking for travellers whose minds had been a little unsettled, and slip a little transcendental wisdom into their cracked-open minds. Read more

It demonstrates the way these two different paths fit together here. Religion is not seen as an either-or choice. Read more

And so I’ll get a little time in here with both Shinto and Buddhist deities. Read more

A rule for art: if you don’t have technique, have a fresh and creative approach. Read more

They scatter me and then cut me down but I rise again Read more

It is easy to say, "Something must be done!" It is easy to do something, and say "We did something; good for us." It is more difficult to do the right thing. Read more

If we see our spiritual selves primarily as products of a lineage, as inheritors of a chain of succession from some original teacher, then any imperfection along that line is reflected in us. We are sullied by the actions of those who have gone before. Read more

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