Zen

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    Peter Matthiessen, Writer and Zen Priest, Dies at 86 Paid Member

    Peter Matthiessen—prolific author, naturalist, activist, and Zen priest—passed away at his home in Sagaponack, NY, on Saturday, April 5. He was 86. His death—three days prior to the release of his newest novel, In Paradise—marks the end of his struggle with leukemia, for which he was undergoing chemotherapy. More »
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    Bits of Poetry That Stick Like Burrs Paid Member

    There is a man who travels around the world trying to find places where you can stand still and hear no human sound. It is impossible to feel calm in cities, he believes, because we so rarely hear birdsong there. Our ears evolved to be our warning systems. We are on high alert in places where no birds sing. To live in a city is to be forever flinching. The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three. Blue jays spend every Friday with the devil, the old lady at the park told me. More »
  • Myogen Steve Stücky, San Francisco Zen Center's First Central Abbot, Dies at 67 Paid Member

    San Francisco Zen Center’s first central abbot, Myogen Steve Stücky, died shortly after 4:00 on the morning of December 31 at his home in Rohnert Park, California. He was 67. More »
  • Swamp Marigold Paid Member

    I started going to pain clinics for spinal injections and physical therapy after I was diagnosed with spinal osteoarthritis six years ago. I was given the advice to keep a pain journal to record my symptoms, and for a while I did. And it was so depressing that I started referring to my journal as Fuck This Shit. I, who had been a brick house, was, in my 40s, crumbling to bits.  It certainly passes the time for the chronically ill to keep a log of symptoms, but is it healing? I have my doubts. When you have a chronic disease, you know there’s going to be a Greek chorus of tragedies big and small and symptoms that pop up like Whack-A-Moles. The question is: What do you do about it? More »
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    Zen Pace Paid Member

    Wincing at waste, write pocket-noteson the innocent sides of used pages, savelong distance calls till Sunday, chasethe last slipping rice grain around your plateand even hurry slowly, actingalways with trustful slowness within,mourning even the loss of a friendwith that dignity in her spirit nevergone…you have no need but to move,sleep to waking, insult to lovehappening to happeningat the pace of a gradual smile, at the paceof the hammer-stroke heartthat proceeds to the nextfull beat, and then the next. Barry Spacks, a poet and painter, teaches writing and literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A busy man, he hurries slowly. More »
  • Faith in Mind Paid Member

      Attaining the Way is not difficult, Just avoid picking and choosing. If you have neither aversion nor desire, You’ll thoroughly understand. A hair’s breadth difference Is the gap between heaven and earth. If you want it to come forth Let there be no positive and negative. For such comparisons Are a sickness of the mind. More »