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    The Vision Cow Paid Member

    Based on the traditional Zen Ox-Herding SeriesThe traditional series of ten ox-herding pictures depict the spiritual journey from ordinary life through realization of emptiness, and the return to the everyday. The Vision Cow appeared one day on the way home from Drake’s Beach and became the basis for a modern updating of the ancient paradigm: a cow realizes its true nature and is saved from all suffering, benefiting all beings. Here are some notes on the series: 1 The Ordinary Life of Cows   Grazing, lazing, plenty of grass and lots of space. What’s not to like? Each is a chosen one. Who says there is no pleasure here? 2 Cow Regimentation More »
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    Meeting the Buddha Paid Member

    The following are excerpts from Meeting the Buddha: On Pilgrimage in Buddhist India, a selection of writings by pilgrims from ancient times to the present, to be published in November by Tricycle Books (an imprint of Putnam/Riverhead). Here we have selected pieces from the sections on the pilgrimage itself and on Bodh Gaya. In a discussion with his attendant Ananda, the Buddha delineates the basis for the eight holy sites in India. Tathagata refers to the Buddha: More »
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    Moss Paid Member

    Every year from as far back as I can remember until I left home to go to college, I would wake up on three or four Sundays each winter to find my dad at war with moss. There were chemicals he could have bought to kill the moss with just a few sprays, but he was wary of them. In our theater of the war, moss stuck on the brickwork and cement of our front porch, and he did not want us kids or my mom to breathe in those chemicals or play in them. Like a true warrior, he would go out there with nothing more than a wire brush and a cushion to sit on and vigorously scrub the moss for the better part of a day. Every year he would try to mix up a safer version of moss killer, usually involving some bleach or vinegar, but none ever worked. More »
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    POETRY AS PATH: In the Spirit of Basho Paid Member

    For seventeenth-century haiku poet Basho, Zen and writing were inextricable. Here, four modern poets describe how Basho’s spirit continues to inspire their work, awakening them to a deeper language. More »
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    Fearsome Roots in a Quiet Forest Paid Member

    FORESTS INSPIRE INTENSE and intimate reactions: the feelings of peace and awe of temple groves. In mountain forests where ginseng grows, you find more unruly emotions. One evening on a hillside in the North Carolina section of the Great Smoky Mountains, I watched the last sunlight leave the tops of the maples and poplars and waited beside Lamon Brown, a park ranger on a stakeout for ginseng poachers. It was a chilly October evening. I was thankful the rain had held off. In the silence, the forest induced a mild delirium and time stretched like a clock by Dali against a slowly darkening background. More »
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    Nothing is True: William Burroughs and Buddhism Paid Member

    William Burroughs was not a Buddhist: he never sought or found a “teacher,” he never took refuge, and he never undertook any bodhisattva vows. He did not consider himself a Buddhist, nor, for that matter, did he ever declare himself a follower of any one faith or practice. But he did have an awareness of the essentials of Buddhism, and in his own way, he was affected by the Buddha-dharma. More »