parting words

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    Swallows and Waves Paid Member

      Massive, the sea sweeps and swerves, furious as a dragon. Salt-hewn, foam-roughed, it troubles the thirteen swallows who cluster— identical, overlapping—trying to build one steady thing. Mist wets their breasts and makes flying heavy.  The sea has no shore.  All middle, dense as middle age. Birds may be welcome, then, as minor miracles, granting grace to that universal struggle. —inspired by “Swallows and Waves,” a painting by Okamoto Shuki, 1785–1832, Japan         More »
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    "After a heavy, clinging snow" Paid Member

     “After a heavy, clinging snow, snow falling from pine trees, I like to watch,” said the Zen Master, “a large rib of snow falling from a high branch, then how it bounces off, cascades through lower branches, sometimes to fall sudden, sometimes slow, like the two types of Zen: the flash card koan, the settling down of zazen: sudden,           gradual.” Dick Allen is the Connecticut State Poet Laureate. His seventh poetry collection is the Zen Buddhist-oriented Present Vanishing: Poems, winner of the Connecticut Book Award for Poetry. Read our interview with Dick Allen, "Does a Cow Go 'Mu'?" here. More »
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    Thus Have I Heard Paid Member

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    Gary Snyder and “the Most Dangerous Man in America” Paid Member

    Most people know that in 1971 Daniel Ellsberg, an American military analyst who Henry Kissinger dubbed “the most dangerous man in America,” leaked the Pentagon Papers, an act that became one of the most decisive catalysts in ending the Vietnam War. But what many people don’t know is that Ellsberg’s decision to release the papers was, in part, a consequence of his conversations with the Zen Buddhist poet Gary Snyder in Japan more than a decade earlier. More »
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    37 Practices of the Bodhisattva, Verse 1 Paid Member

    Right now, you have a good boat, fully equipped and available—hard to find. To free others and you from the sea of samsara, Day and night, fully alert and present, Study, reflect, and meditate—this is the practice of a bodhisattva. Commentary By Ken McLeod More »
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    It Was Worth It Paid Member

    Case Seisen Fletcher was angered upon reading the Buddha’s statement that his allowing women to ordain would put Buddhism back 500 years. She went to Maezumi Roshi to ask him about it. After a few moments he said: “Well, it was worth it.”Commentary Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931–1995) studied in and transmitted three teaching streams: the Soto Zen lineage of his father, the Rinzai Zen lineage of Koryu Osaka Roshi, and the Harada- Yasutani blend of Soto and Rinzai in which koan training is emphasized. He founded the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1967 and had many disciples. He ordained Seisen Fletcher, who received dharma transmission from Tetsugen Glassman (a successor to Maezumi Roshi) in 1998. More »