Schwag aside, Brad Warner’s poetry blows. This you can clearly see from his blog post today, “Spiritual Schwag.”, the guy’s ideas, I generally like. Warner comes across as needing to do the spiritual masquerade less than most and I respect that.What is “schwag?” you might be asking. Well, I’m getting old and I live deep in the fly-over, so I had to look it up. Merriam Webster doesn’t have a listing. The Urban Dictionary, however (something I use quite… Read more

Rather than sleep in on this Sunday morning, I awoke early. My kids are away on vacation with their mother, no zen activities were scheduled, and my partner was sleeping soundly. I quietly made coffee, reviewed for the Thursday night Dogen study group, and then was about to begin one of my summer reading projects, The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender by Bernard Faure when I found the current issue of Turning Wheel: Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism… Read more

Today, May 30, is the memorial day for Katagiri-roshi’s teacher and my dharma grandfather, Daicho Hayashi-roshi. His dharma name is Kaigai Daicho, meaning something like Beyond the Ocean, Great Tides. His name is strangely prescient given that his disciple, Katagiri-roshi, would come to America. I am interested in his story in part because it shows the huge changes that we’ve gone through in just a few generations. What follows is information about him that I’ve gleaned from conversations with Tomoe… Read more

I just saw a summary of a major review of the research literature on climate change on The Newshour and found the study on the web from the Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of Maryland. Here’s some good material for looking ourselves in the face. You can find it at’s a tiny part of the summary – big changes will happen even if we take appropriate action and much more dramatic changes will occur if we continue to… Read more

We ought to be able to look the situation (in this case the possible near-term big changes in our society caused by hovering past half-oil) square in the face or our practice of facing a wall is just more self indulgence.That’s the starting place.Another thing came to mind when I was talking with a co-worker about all this who is a Texas ex-patriot, now a Minnesotan for 35 years. Her brother is high in the oil industry. She assured me… Read more

Brad Warner has a crackin’ short piece on “mindfulness” or the lack thereof in actual Buddhist teaching (distinct from what’s being created in the hereabouts) at, my blog inspiration, James Ford, has a kickin’ sermon about war in which he quotes me, Fred, and Bernie. James puts lots up and this one is from yesterday but he’s added about 5 things since. Here’s the title:FOR WHOM DO THE BELLS TOLL? A Call to Prophetic Nonviolence Read more

Today we finished sesshin (literally, “gathering the heart”), a Zen-style retreat with 13 forty-minute sittings, formal meals, service, etc. I’ve been doing this practice pretty regularly, usually monthly, for over 30 years. My oh my (pat on the back). I think of Leonard Cohen’s line “Death is old but its always new.” So too sesshin. Now I sit with a small group and sometimes alone. After 30 years, I can heartily say, sesshin is a wonderful lifestyle. Here’s a few… Read more

Here’s somebody who might know what he’s talking about saying a very similar thing to my last post. Thanks to E for this and as E suggests, check out the date! after Memorial Day: This Wheels on Fire: What Can Dharma Do? Read more

I’m reluctant to address the mild suffering of the price of gas in the face of the enormity of suffering by the humans and nonhumans in the quake area of China (this morning’s news: China requests 3 million more tents to house 5 million survivors without housing in addition to the more than 51,000 people dead) or the unfolding catastrophe in Burma (paranoia will destroy ya) … but I saw an oil expert on CNN last night and it reverberated… Read more

You may have seen this on cable too – it’s my birthday present from my parents and is now hanging on the deck. Right side up is upside down for the usual planter. The planter is filled with soil, water goes in the top, and the tomato hangs in space free of struggle against gravity and all sucky forces. The tomato is still kinda cool mid-May Minnesota small but on TV the tomato plants were really big with lots of… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives