Showing posts from April, 2017

The Zen of Holy

The Zen of Holy
And ye shall be holy unto Me; for I the LORD am holy, (Lev.20:23)
In the beginning they say the holy spirit swept across nothing and in a word the world was born.  That same spirit breathed life into mud and told the mud to name everything.  In the final chapters, so they say, the holy spirit told humankind to be holy, and to do so all they had to do was follow a few rules, and so they tried…but the rules were too difficult, don’t you know, and so?  We humans once again fell from grace.  Yet, in doing so we fully realized ourselves and THAT who always was and always will be suddenly goes silent: when all is One, there is no one.
Zen practice is like that, isn’t it?
We come to Zen seeking something, often salvation, a new life, a better life, or a life worth living. Such lives are hard.  They are hard because we need to let everything we know and care about fall away in order to be truly present. Being present, awake in the moment opens our hearts and minds. We can become a…

On Being a Zen Student

With palms together,

Teaching for nearly two decades has been a course in reality I deeply cherish, but have ambivalent feelings about. Students have come to me from around the world and throughout the United States each with their own agenda, their own motivation, and their own capacity for study and practice.  Most do not have the dedication to be a true student of Zen.  Most seem to allow their agendas to get in the way of their practice and, most importantly, continued practice.

My students often come wanting something a teacher cannot offer: answers.  They become frustrated or disillusioned and leave the practice hall.  The something that drove them to seek a teacher is often self-centered:  "I want to be less stressed, less angry, more compassionate" and so on. My answer does not satisfy: "You already possess these attributes, now sit and discover them."

It would seem the student wishes an answer, precisely to their need and their need is an answer, a concr…