Touching contact

Sometimes there are no words. Lately I’ve found myself in a place of very quiet tenderness. It’s not that I am devoid of feeling. I feel a lot. Its not that words don’t ever come in response to a gentle request or a warm greeting by a friend. I simply feel no desire to lead … Continue reading Touching contact

Inconceivable Joy

As most of you know, my dear teacher Zenkei Blanche Hartman died only a few short weeks ago. Here is a lovely piece written for Tricycle by one of my good friends and  dharma sisters, Shosan Victoria Austin. The link to her reflection on Blanche’s last days can be found at Inconceivable Joy. Of course I … Continue reading Inconceivable Joy

The Dharma of Carl Rogers

I have been reflecting on the gifts of “ancestors” and the fleeting nature of life—mine and those around me.  My father recently celebrated his 88th birthday, I am the age at which both of my grandfather’s died, a close friend suddenly died after a very brief illness just last month, and three of my beloved … Continue reading The Dharma of Carl Rogers

Monasteries Everywhere

This is actually a letter I just sent to my friends taking the current Appamada course, “The Heart’s Release: The Zen Path to Softening Barriers to Love.” I thought it might be of interest to a larger audience so I am including it here as a blog post. I hope you find it an encouragement … Continue reading Monasteries Everywhere

Practice as a Conversation

As I sat quietly in my cabin on the hillside at Hui Ho’olana, looking out over the beautiful landscape, the vast sky, and seemingly endless expanse of ocean, I waited patiently for an idea to come. I was sitting with this question: “How can I weave various forms of meditation, embodied mindfulness practices, the challenges … Continue reading Practice as a Conversation

Embodied Practice and the Warm Sun of Friendship

The Buddha’s practice is an embodied practice. Every one of us is a product of the union of our parent’s bodies—we are miraculously borne in our mother’s body and then suddenly delivered into this world as a tender, embodied expression of that union. We learn to navigate our lives with a body and as a … Continue reading Embodied Practice and the Warm Sun of Friendship

The Space Between

Many of you have heard me say, over and over, that awakening does not happen “in” a person. It happens “between.” If our lives are woven as a single fabric and linked as one inconceivable network of relationship, then to “attain individual enlightenment” has no meaning. However, the realization of liberating intimacy through profound meeting … Continue reading The Space Between

Imagination and Wonder

There are two lines from the writings of the Chinese Zen Master Honghzi that I have always loved. I imagine their intention was instructive, however the phrase about “wonder” is also inspiring and enchanting. This translation is from the work of Taigen Dan Leighton (Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi). … Continue reading Imagination and Wonder

What do I do now?

There are moments in life when everything suddenly changes, when things shift in an instant and the world seems unfamiliar and new. In these moments we often feel confused, ungrounded, shattered, disoriented and disenchanted. No matter what we call these turning moments, we tend to think of them as problems to be solved, difficulties to … Continue reading What do I do now?

Ask me

This past September (2016) during the Swiss retreat one of my students brought a beautiful poem to me in practice discussion. The poem, Ask Me, is by one my favorite American poets, William Stafford (1914-1993). I’ve lived with the poem these three months and wanted to bring it to Inquiry. There is so much in … Continue reading Ask me