Bad moods

April 22, 2010

I just returned from two weeks of cherry blossom viewing in Japan.   This year, the alternating warm and cold days made the blossoms especially vivid and long lasting.  They were beautiful.  But, despite their glory and the delightful company of my granddaughter and my wife, I struggled for several days with a terrible mood. My…

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Happy Birthday Sasaki Roshi

April 2, 2010

My first zazen experience was in 1965.  I was a freshman at UCLA.  I went to hear Josshu Sasaki Roshi give a talk on campus.  Today – April Fool’s Day 2010 – is his 103rd birthday and as far as I know, he is still teaching.  Happy Birthday, Sasaki Roshi!   Thank you for your talk.…

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What's in a name?

March 22, 2010

Shortly after starting to offer Zen sitting on Saturday mornings at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno, I got to thinking about a name for our zazenkai.  Zazenkai basically means “coming together for zazen,”  so of course, it’s okay to just be the Saturday morning Zen sitting.  But after a while, not having a name…

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Little problems?

March 7, 2010

“Even though the problems you have in your everyday life are small, unless you know how to solve them, you will have big difficulties.”   This is a quote from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in Not Always So. In my experience every one of us is prone to denying our own foolishness.  We all have behaviors and…

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Jumping off the 100 foot pole

February 15, 2010

On Saturday mornings, the Fresno Zen and Interfaith Meditation Group has been reading Not Always So, by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.  In chapter four, Suzuki talks about a famous Zen Koan, “Stepping off the 100 foot pole.”  This case is in both the Mumonkan (case 46) and the Book of Serenity (case 79). In the case,…

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Cultivating Gratitude

February 8, 2010

8 February 2010 I always thought gratitude was strictly something that happened to me.  Gratitude arose when conditions crossed the gratitude threshold.  When they were surprisingly good, when they beat my expectations, they crossed the threshold.  I noticed.  This meant  feeling the goodness was mostly good luck.  Not my doing.  If it were my doing,…

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January 29, 2010

Blogging First, just a few words about blogging:  Mixed feelings: so much Zen practice effort aims at releasing self-centeredness, and blogging has a self-centered flavor.  Sometimes it feels not very different from a sea of Tweets and Facebook messages about nothing very interesting, and, at its most shadowy, not entirely distant from The Jerry Springer…

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