“Followers” Added

I’m curious who is reading this blog and thought that it might be interesting for others too … so I’ve added the “Follower Gadget” on the right just after my profile. I invite you to add yourself if you read regularly. Thanks. Dosho Read more

Deep down I don’t see my ordinary mind as the way

So said one practitioner on the training blog.I felt happy when I read that – a statement of fresh honesty full of possibility.Belief in the buddhadharma and doubt in the buddhadharma can create the energy for digging-in-deep practice. Here’s one way to work with belief and doubt in zazen. The basis of zazen is the belief that we are already Buddha and the posture is the clearest expression of that truth.So when you sit down, pay attention to the specific… Read more

On Becoming Buddha

Notes: the photo is a sculpture by James Hunoldt and this is a slightly modified version of what I just posted on the training blog.In the study group on Thursday we worked through part of a commentary by Sen’ne, a 13th century Zen guy, on the genjokoan. I’ll try to present the heart of it here.And then there is digesting the material and actualizing it in our practice and life. After 30 years, I’m still amazed and the depth and subtlety… Read more

Finding Your Question

I suppose this is a postscript to the previous post, something that I find to be central about inquiry. For me and for many Zen students, a question emerges, gushes from the well spring, that must be resolved. I’ve written about my experience with such a “found koan” in Keep Me In Your Heart Awhile – “How can I go beyond self consciousness.” Discovering my question and digesting it together with Katagiri-roshi was probably the single most important part of my training. So… Read more

Inquiry, Patti Smith, and Deepening Zazen

In Omaha over the weekend, I worked with the group on how to do dharma study. I did this by asking questions and listening and in this case the medium was the message.Zen is questions and questioning. Zen is about learning to ask questions that crack the bunny life open. And about how to attend to those questions that erupt into our life.Sutras and koans almost all begin or pivot on a key question. Just pick up any sutra and… Read more

Rely On the Teaching Not the Teacher

That’s the first of the four reliances, along with these: rely on the spirit, not the letter; rely on the definitive meaning not the interpretive meaning; and rely on nondual wisdom, not discriminating consciousness. All of the latter three depend on the first one – rely on the teaching. The personality and body of any teacher is unreliable. We’re all bozos on the bus and we’re all going to get sick and die. What any student must do is to digest… Read more

How to Continue Zazen?

This is a key issue for many practitioners, especially those who aren’t in monastic settings or practicing regularly at a Zen center. One way that most people try is discipline – when it’s time to get up in the morning and sit, just get up. From what I’ve seen, though, I’d say this approach doesn’t work very well. “Discipline” tends to get colonized with the nasty parent/harsh critic voice. Aroused from bed by that voice, what kind of zazen can one do?… Read more

Another Bridge to Nowhere

Just drove across the new 35W bridge, like all bridges, going nowhere – still it was a sweet crossing! I’ve been in detour mode for the past year because the 35W bridge was the shortest route to work.  Humans really showed here what humans can do if we really work together and don’t let barriers stop us. Speaking of barriers, I heard an interview with the man who coordinated the project. The reporter asked, “Did you meet any big barriers?” “Yes,”… Read more

Wild Fox Zen Training Blog Added

I’ve added a training blog so that those involved in the Virtual and nonVirtual practice periods have some boundary around their training.I’m accepting people into the Virtual training until 9/22/08 – 100 days of practice before the end of the year. Those of you who have already signed up should have received a blog invitation.I’ll continue to post a reflection on the 100-day practice here following each study session but wild fox trainees will be encouraged to comment on the… Read more

Relief for Aching Sitters

I practiced zazen for about six years with lots of pain before I dropped the notion that it would magically get easier. Even in my early twenties I was already half or more as stiff as a corpse. Yoga helped open my pelvis and relieved my aching knees. A straight and relaxed back became something other than an oxymoron. The point of Zen is not to suffer more nor is it about being more macho than anyone since Bodhidharma.I’m not… Read more

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