Archive for the ‘Zen’ Category

Here Today

October 5, 2017

Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.


Zen Love

September 18, 2017

One evening, after a Dharma talk at the Cambridge Zen Center, a student asked Seung Sahn Soen-sa, “What is love?”

Soen-sa said, “I ask you: what is love?”

The student was silent.

Soen-sa said, “This is love.”

The student was still silent.

“Soen-sa said, “You ask me, I ask you. This is love.”

“If you awaken from this illusion…”

August 8, 2016

“So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality,
the deep down basic whatever there is—and you are all that.
Only you’re pretending you’re not.”
~Alan Watts

Life as Koan

March 8, 2015

It’s only confusing
if you try to figure it out.


February 10, 2015


Pluck It

January 30, 2015

“A man walking across a field encountered a tiger.  He fled, the tiger chasing after him.  Coming to a cliff, he caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge.  The tiger sniffed at him from above.  Terrified, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger had come, waiting to eat him.  Two mice, one white and one black, little by little began to gnaw away at the vine.  The man saw a luscious strawberry near him.  Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.  How sweet it tasted!”

~Zen parable

Tick (Boom) Tock

September 7, 2014

“Quiet minds can’t be perplexed or frightened,
but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace,
like a clock during a thunderstorm.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Circus Act

July 21, 2014

and the net will appear.

~John Burroughs

Five Fingers Pointing at the Moon

August 4, 2013

Probably my five favorite books concerning Zen, Taoism and eastern philosophy in general (and the underlying principles that transcend labels such as “Zen,” “Taosim,” and “eastern philosophy”):

  1. Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
  2. The Little Zen Companion (compiled by David Schiller)
  3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (by Robert Pirsig)
  4. The Dancing Wu Li Masters (by Gary Zukav)
  5. Zen in the Art of Archery (by Eugen Herrigel)

“Wait for me.”

May 15, 2013

The Buddha knocked on my door this morning.

“Can I come in?” he asked.

“No,” I told him.

He seemed surprised.  “Why not?”

“Because I read your book,” I said.  “And you said that if I meet the Buddha I should kill the Buddha, and now here you are and I’m not a violent person so we’re kind of stuck, and why do you want to come in anyway?  I don’t feel like killing today, and if I did it would be some part of me that would be the victim, not a chubby, smiling, half-naked man sitting on my doorstep, one hand on his knee and the other touching the dirty sidewalk.  Come back tomorrow.  Maybe then I’ll kill you.

Or, maybe, let you in.”

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