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Gudo Nishijima, Materialism, and the Material World

Gudo Nishijima, Materialism, and the Material World

On this day, January 28th in 2014, my teacher, Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi died at age 94. My friend Rob reminded me of this, so I thought I’d try to do something to commemorate him. About a month ago I did a talk at the Angel City Zen Center about Nishijima Roshi’s life. You can listen […]

Tense Situations, Social Media, and Zen

Tense Situations, Social Media, and Zen

In the movie Repo Man, the character Bud, played by the late great Harry Dean Stanton, says, “An ordinary person spends his life avoiding tense situations. A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.” I love Repo Man. It’s one of my all-time favorite films. It may even beat out Godzilla Vs. Monster […]

MAGA Kid and American Buddhism

MAGA Kid and American Buddhism

Over the weekend, two people looked at each other for a few minutes and the Internet erupted in a fest of crazy. I sensed that this story was probably a nothing-burger from the get-go. And yet I wasted I don’t know how many hours of my short and precious earthly existence trying to figure out what […]

Earning a Living Part 2

Earning a Living Part 2

I got a question in the comments to the video version of yesterday’s blog post. Here it is: I’m confused. I was waiting for you to explain how to do everything as an act of free giving, but the explanation never came. Here’s my answer. I think we each have to find our own way […]

Earning a Living

Earning a Living

“Earning a living and doing productive work are originally nothing other than free giving,” Dogen Zenji says in an essay called Four Elements of a Bodhisattva’s Social Relations.  This essay can be found on-line in book three of the Nishijima/Cross translation of Shobogenzo, or in volume one of the Kazuaki Tanahashi et al translation. Hubert Nearman’s […]