Quieting the Mind?

Quieting the Mind?

A reader asked about quieting the mind. She said she couldn’t find anywhere I’d written about it. I don’t generally write about quieting the mind because it’s one of those things that I find hinders rather than helps. It sets up a goal to reach and a comparison to make. You imagine what a quiet mind […]

The Orthodoxy of Being Unorthodox

The Orthodoxy of Being Unorthodox

Whenever I’ve seen Leslie James, the guiding teacher at Tassajara Zen monastery, give a talk she has started off by saying something like, “I’m just going to tell you about Zen according to Leslie. I don’t claim this is the official version,” or words to that effect. I was thinking about this the other day and […]

Enlightenment and Freedom from Suffering

Enlightenment and Freedom from Suffering

There were 325 comments on my previous post the last time I checked. I haven’t read all of them. But a number of them appear to be discussing the matter of Enlightenment. Someone said that Zen is definitely a religion because it promises Enlightenment, which is the freedom from suffering. I never really understood that. My […]

Going Clear

Going Clear

Yesterday I took the #2 bus up Sunset to the Arclight theater in Hollywood to see the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief*. There are already numerous articles on the movie all over the Interwebs. The most succinct one I’ve found is on the Los Angeles Magazine website. Salon.com also has a […]

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Lawyers, Guns and Money

So I’ve been reading Zen Buddhism: A History by Heinrich Dumoulin. This is the classic text on the history of Zen from its beginnings in India to its flowering in Japan. I’ve bought this two volume set several times over the years, always failing to read it. My pattern is that I keep the books for about […]

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