TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

The whole teacher/student thing is interesting to watch. At a big residential place like San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) where I’ve been staying for the past week or so, it’s vital to keep some clear lines of demarcation between teachers and students. The rakusus (little bib-like thingies you get when you receive the Buddhist precepts) […]

FREE SPEECH ABOUT BERKELEY

This morning I got to visit and sit with the folks at the Berkley Zen Center across the Bay Bridge. I also had the great honor to have breakfast with Mel “Sojun Roshi” Weitsman, one of the first whiteys in this country to take up the Soto style of Zen practice. How did I get […]

I LEFT MY HARA IN SAN FRANCISCO

Get it? “Hara” is a Japanese word that refers to your belly and the lower part of your chest, about where your diaphragm is. Some Zen teachers tell you to “Keep your mind in your hara.” I don’t. Your mind pervades throughout your body and throughout the universe. It seems silly to try and imagine […]

SANDOKAI (Harmony of Sameness and Difference)

I’m still here at the San Francisco Zen Center where I just participated in the Saturday morning service. Another round of Zazen starts in about 15 minutes and I’m going for it. But while I’m waiting I thought I’d share with you something they chant up here a whole lot, the “Harmony of Sameness and […]

TELLING YOUR FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN MOM ABOUT BUDDHISM

So I’m answering piles of e-mail that have accumulated since I’ve been out of Internet reach. One of them was from a woman whose mom is a hardcore fundamentalist Christian. She wanted to know how to tell her mom about Buddhism. Here’s what I wrote (slightly modified): I never know what to say about Buddhism […]

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