Mind vs. Consciousness

I got a question via email that went like this: I really enjoyed your talk yesterday on Dogen’s Mujo Seppo. Your speculation that perhaps the sun has some form of consciousness made me realize that I don’t really understand the difference between “mind” and “consciousness” in Zen, or if there even really is one, as it seems that “vijñana” […]

One Bright Pearl for Cedar Rapids

On Sunday February 21, 2021 at 9:45am Central Time I’ll be speaking online at the Cedar Rapids Zen Center. For information on how to join go to https://www.cedarrapidszencenter.org. Here’s what I’ll try to talk about. One of my favorite stories in Shobogenzo appears at the beginning of the essay called Ikka No Myoju, which is […]

Ultimate Understanding?

I received an email that said: I found video of an interview with your teacher Nishijima Roshi and I don’t understand it. In the video he says he arrived at the ultimate truth of Buddhism after studying for more than 60 years,  when he was 88 years old. What does he mean by that? I thought that he […]

Brain and Brain? What is Brain?

Someone sent me a link to an article by Michael Taft, called A Universal Theory of Awakening. I’d never heard of Mr. Taft before, but apparently he’s a well-known writer and “mindfulness coach.” I get the impression from my very small amount of research on him that he specializes in presenting mindfulness as a secular […]

The Buddhist Ethics of Euthanasia

Someone asked me about the Buddhist ethics of euthanasia. In case that’s a new word for you (some of the readers of this page are not native speakers of English), the definition I found online goes, “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The […]