Zen

  • Creatively Engage Your Thoughts Paid Member

    I think one has to be careful not to think that meditation is about getting rid of thoughts. On the contrary, I would say that meditation helps us to creatively engage with our thoughts and not fixate on them. When people say they cannot concentrate I say “No no no, you are concentrating—too much on single thoughts!” I think it is interesting in meditation is to start to notice all the different places that our thoughts lead us—what distracts us and what occupies our minds. It is important to notice these things in meditation because these will be the same things that occupy our minds in daily life. As we become more familiar with our thoughts in meditation, we will see how repetitive they are. More »
  • Glimpsing the Wild Cow: Oxherding in the Wild West Paid Member

    Genju of 108zenbooks, in the midst of her own oxherding journey, points us to another amazing series of Oxherding pictures by Ruben Habito on the site of Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas. Pictured below is "Glimpsing the Wild Cow": The style is Western in two senses of the word. We should also mention that the first spot to go to when you're in need of some oxherding is Barry Briggs's blog, Ox Herding. More »
  • Buddhism with God Paid Member

    Norman Fischer teaches meditation in lots of places—at San Francisco Zen Center, where he was once abbot; at the Googleplex, where he teaches techies "emotional intelligence"; and at Jewish retreats, where he practices the religion of his birth and speaks of God—not something we're used to hearing from a Buddhist teacher. Fischer, one of the leading Zen teachers in the United States, tells Kate Olsen at Religion & Ethics Newsleweekly, More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Taming the Ox Paid Member

    taming the Ox Number 5 of Genju's Oxherding pictures. Daido Roshi comments: We are pretty clear about how our mind works... The whole practice is gradually beginning to come together and is less of a struggle. But there is still the nose-ring, the need for discipline to actualize what is realized. More »
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    Find Refuge in Your Own Life Paid Member

    Buddhist practice is not about forcing ourselves to be natural. It is about being ourselves. When we take the vows of refuge, we are also pledging to find the refuge that exists within our own lives. This taking of refuge is not some kind of evasion or escape, but is the planting of our "selves" deeply in the nature of what surrounds us. We lodge ourselves in the deep waves and in the shallow pools, in the crests and depressions of our lives. Sometimes, even wreckage can make a temporary resting place. A person whose life is in tatters might have nothing much else left to do but relax and look at the pieces of what's left. -Gary Thorp, "Shelter from the Storm" (Summer 2005) More »
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    Catching the Ox Paid Member

    Genju at 108zenbooks is up to number 4 of the Oxherding Pictures: catching the Ox Read Genju's commentary here. (She uses the excellent term "connecting"—and dancing—instead of catching.) In the minibook Path of Enlightenment, we read: Through extraordinary effort You seize the ox. Still, its will is forceful, its body spirited Sometimes it runs high into the mountains, Other times it disappears into the mist. More »