Dogen – The Movie (Not Kidding) 道元禅師 映画『禅ZEN』予告編'm waiting for the subtitles or the voice-over. What an utter hoot this living in the 21st century! The only two words I can make out in the clip are "Zen" and "satori." Thanks, Harry, for sending this my way via Jordan. … [Read more...]

Shaking the Self

As the year comes to an end, I've found myself reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. Late last night, I pulled Awesome Nightfall off the shelf and began reading in earnest, surprised to find similar struggles in Saigyo. "Leaving the world" (as priest ordination is called), yet still very much pulled toward the world and by it. Here's one poem.Shaking the bellon this mountain, am I loosened fromthe world now?Can I shake my self enoughto know what lies ahead for me?- Saigyo … [Read more...]

First Sunrise After Solstice

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Keep Me In Your Heart Is Out!

My copies arrived today just as my brother and I were struggling with translating Hashimoto Roshi's commentary on Dogen's "Way Mind" ("Doshin"). A very sweet moment ... and just in time for some holiday gift giving. By the way, I've updated the sidebar, changing the open zazen on four Thursdays in January and February to a book discussion:Keep Me In Your Heart A While Book Discussion: Thursday, January 15, 29, February 5, and 26, 6:30-8pm.We'll do zazen and then have tea and talk about the book. … [Read more...]

Abiding Together in Cold and Snow

Cold and snow everywhere in the northern half the continent. I'm off work and relieved that I don't have the morning commute as more than a dozen accidents have the metro on lock down.A reporter is coming out to interview me later - if he can get through the traffic, I suppose. When my son heard about the local newspaper's interest in me he said, "Is it because you're so weird?"Ah, children are such a blessing.My brother is also coming over for some translation work which you may hear about here … [Read more...]

Last Poem in Poetry Week (But Will Do This Again)

Finished a one-day sitting a few hours ago. Dog Bodhi sat through dokusan in the student seat along with each student, sometimes sleeping, sometimes starring wide-eyed at me. I'm sorry (but not surprised) to announce that he seems no more enlightened now than before. I've got some comments on a couple Dogen dharma discourses that are in the oven and will be served up here as soon as I find a fork to stick 'em with. In the meantime, here's a prose poem that I've used often in the intention class t … [Read more...]

-15F (-26C) Sesshin-Work-Period-Quick-Dog-Walk Poem

So bundled up my mother would be proud.So cold my eyes ache and icicles form on my eye lashes.What can be said that reaches throughthe classics of East and West?Haaaaaaaaa.... … [Read more...]

The Silence Afterwards

It's pretty clear from glancing at these posts that I like old poets (with the exception of Jane Hirschfield who isn't so old yet).  I'm also very fond of some old dead Chinese and Japanese brush-to-paper folks, but I'm saving them up for another time. The tie that binds poets that zing me is a cold-blooded willingness to speak directly from this broken-wooden-ladle life. I suppose that's also what inspires me about Dylan and various Country Music tunes like those that I've posted here. I'm in … [Read more...]

Visit to Katagiri Roshi

Here's another blessing poem. This one is from Diane di Prima, quite popular with Katagiri's students but probably not so well known outside his immediate circle. Diane really captures how it was to hang with the old boy.A pleasure.We talk of here & theregossip about the folks in San Franciscolaugh a lot. I tryto tell him (to tell someone)what my life is like:the hungry people, the trying to sit zazen in motels;the need in America like a sponge sucking upwhatever prana & courage"Pray to t … [Read more...]