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Never Check Facebook on a Zen Retreat

Never Check Facebook on a Zen Retreat

I’m leading a retreat this week at Benediktushof, a retreat center in Southern Germany. While I’m here I’ve been working on the talk I’m going to give to the people of London soon (see below for details, you’re welcome to join). As part of preparing for that talk, I needed to know about the way […]

The Four Elements and Me

The Four Elements and Me

Here’s an interesting question I received via email recently: I’ve been practicing following the breath and it occurred to me that the air being breathed is as much or even more “me” than the lungs within this body. I hope this is a correct assumption. With this realization I’ve been trying to understand the four […]

The Eyes of Dogen

The Eyes of Dogen

One of my favorite quotes from Dogen is also one of his weirdest. It goes like this. “(In the) words of the ancient, ‘the whole universe in the ten directions is one eye,’ and furthermore, there are thousands of eyes on the tips of the fingers, there are thousands of eyes of right Dharma, there […]

Trying and Failing

Trying and Failing

I’m writing this missive on another train. This time it’s the 358 from Prague to Munich, calling at Plzen, Domazlice, Furth im Wald, Cham, Schwandorf, Regensburg, Neufahrn, and Freising. Out of the window I can see little Cezech farm houses and lots of forests and fields.  My first Zen trip to Prague went pretty well, […]

Czech This Out!

Czech This Out!

It’s Friday, so this must be the train to Prague. I am typing this dispatch from seat 95, car 22, on the 9:10am Ceske Drahy train from Vienna to Prague, calling at Breclav and Brno. My ticket is in Czech with a smattering of indecipherable English phrases like “first minute Europe” here and there. I have been […]