40 degrees and snowing now in White Bear!When all dharmas are of the Buddha‑dharma, there is illusion and enlightenment, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings.A friend of many years came by last night to install a new “programmable” thermostat and have dinner. Although the installation went well – his part – setting the program didn’t – my part. The day and year just wouldn’t change. Maybe it’s the unit, maybe it’s my lack of mind-melding skill with programmable… Read more

An earthworm is cut in two pieces; the two pieces are both moving. In which piece do you think Buddha-nature exists?In the Genjokoan Dogen slices our practice into four pieces: when all things are the Buddhadharma, when all things are without self, leaping out from abundance and absence, and “…yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.”Which piece has the Buddha-nature? Just no delusion.When all things are the radiant blooming of  Great Perfection, they are just that. When the Great… Read more

The Venerable S. came by last night for Dogen study. I once gave her the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts and now she is a fully ordained Theravadan Bhikkuni, soon off on pilgrimage to western Australia and points beyond for more training. She’s living her dream and so I’m very happy for her. Really very happy. She brought a gift for everyone – Bhikku Bodhi’s Ten Best Talks CD. Very sweet. Dogghi Bodhi offered his ten best too. For one, he couldn’t get enough of Ven. S.’s… Read more

Tonight with dog Bodhi at my feet, I’ve been studying for the Dogen Study Group that meets here on Thursday evenings and clicked over to the Shasta Abbey Shobogenzo (the whole lollapalooza 96 volume version, free and online) to peek at their translations of Genjokoan and Bussho (the home of the earthworm koan way at the back). Tonight I found the translations quite wonderful and thought that some of you might enjoy them too – just click the titles above. Read more

This is my first (and maybe last) book so maybe that makes the process especially sweet but I just recently received a blurb from Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Bodhin is one of Phillip Kapleau’s successors (you know, Three Pillars of Zen) and I’ve enormously liked the guy since I saw him sitting at a peace vigil at the UN Disarmament Conference in about 1982. “Now that’s how to do zazen,” I thought. In northern Minnesota we’d say he sits like a brick… Read more

Sesshin ended earlier today. Back on June 25th I posted some thoughts about the earthworm koan regarding living a divided life. Here at Wild Fox we’ve been focusing on the earthworm again. Its keeps wiggling back. Today I look at it more closely, in terms of our hearts.Here it is followed by brief comments:In the assembly of Chang-sha, Minister Chu asked, “An earthworm is cut in two pieces; the two pieces are both moving. In which piece do you think… Read more

I just saw Bill Maher’s mockumenarty, Religulous – the Catholics come out lookin’ pretty good thanks to a couple odd-ball priests, otherwise Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all take a severe beating.I enjoyed the movie and found Maher’s emphasis on doubt and reason refreshing. But then I tend to like rough humor. The film underscored for me the importance of zazen as a practice for deep reflection and not for becoming a not-thinking zombie.During dinner conversation, we turned to what a… Read more

In today’s Soto Zen discourse in America, terms like shikantaza and practice-enlightenment are often wantonly misused. Reader of such words, take heed! They are often pasted onto some “special” state of mind or used to justify some deluded state of mind. In such a way the wondrous and vital realization to which they point is obscured.Maybe it’s always been this way. Dogen called practice-enlightenment a “subtle method.” Katagiri Roshi often said that only a few people really understood shikantaza.Similarly, in… Read more

On August 4th I first wrote about offering Virtual Practice Meetings via Skype.“I’m curious, I said, “about how this technology might be used to support home practice and I’m willing to give it a try. I may find that it doesn’t work, that our physical presence is so important that this mode of communication creates more confusion and misunderstanding than clarity and openness.”So here’s a brief update: so far, so good. This mode seems especially well suited for people who… Read more

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XDcVDKGdBFoA student was over this morning and said this song’s been on his mind. If you can handle the hand-held camera wiggling around, I think you’ll enjoy this. Read more

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