Showing posts from 2019

Two Truths

With palms together,  Buddhism teaches there are two truths: the relative and the absolute. One is particular the other relative. We live in both.  When aware of the relative, we are each separate beings living on a particular planet in a particular solar system. When aware of the absolute, there is no us, no planet, no solar system: nothing is separate, all is one. Both “inter-are.”  What does this have to do with anything at all? Everything. Derived from the absolute, our morality guides us. Our oneness teaches us to do no harm. Our relative enables us to live and survive. I am drinking a cup of coffee, and in doing so I am drinking the beans grown in Guatemala or Brazil; I am enabled to do this as a result of the many lives and many hands that brought this coffee into existence and to my table.  When in the absolute all of this is clear and yet dissolves. When in the relative it is important to honor those hands and lives for they have provided us.  One might say living in the abs…

Zen of Trauma part. six

Zen of Trauma part fuve

Zen of Trauma part four

Zen of Trauma part three

Zen of Trauma part two

Zen of Trauma part one


with palms together,

Good morning all,

We teach “spring comes and the grass grows by itself.” Yet, the meaning of this phrase can elude us. One reading is the world to s what it is and it will be what it will be. We may gut inner from this a “hands off” approach, yet this is not so. The phrase is descriptive, not prescriptive.
As we confront the ills of the world, as we hear the cries of the world, we are obligated by our vows and more, our common decency and compassion, to act.

When we do, we are practicing engaged Zen.

What is that s thing we call “engaged Zen”?

Simply, it is the practice of healing a wound, correcting a wrong, or as Judaism refers to it, “tekun olam” repairing the world. We are partners in our creation . We share responsibility with all others to do what we can to make the world a better place.

So, while the grass may grow by itself, our world needs our assistance.

Be happy.


With palms together,

“The Roshi makes shitty coffee.” a poem by a Zen student and gift to me.

Sometimes our truth is simple and straightforward. Not always so. Sometimes our truth is muddy, lurking in the muck of a swamp. We don’t always have the clarity of the student poet, but we always have a direction we must follow, even if it’s through the mud.

Zen practice is the practice of taking a step with the deliberation of an arrow speeding to its target. Equivocate not, just do. So too, our truth: it’s always with us, but it’s up to us to have it see the light of day. There is a time for silence, a time for speech, and a time for action. Prajna is knowing which is which.