Author Archive | MCZC

Beautiful Storm: Part 1 of 3

The Kuna believe that a violent storm is a being that has lost its way, blundering about blindly, desperate to get its bearings once more. Beautiful Storm: Finding the hidden remedies in our troubled selves One night some 16 years ago, while on a writing assignment in Central America, I got caught by a violent […]

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Newsletter: February 25, 2015

…the Dharma, the great “fact,” functions flawlessly… It is a “perfect mirror,” as Joshu says. Below are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, February 25, 2015, featuring Henry Shukman’s dharma teaching. Please signup for our newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of this page (see the box Subscribe below) OR scroll to the bottom of any other page on this […]

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Spring Sesshin: March 27-29

Spring is rapidly appraching and so is our first sesshin of 2015. Our early spring sesshin, March 27-29, will be a regular but short retreat, and will include introductory guidance for people who are new to sesshin. People with all levels of sitting experience are welcome. Registration and cabin assignments begin at 1pm on Friday […]

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Wrongness and the Blues

Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so, said Shakespeare. When we’re depressed, or despairing, depondent, down or we’ve got the blues, the blah’s, feeling browned off… we often tend condemn circumstances as being wrong, not the way they ought to be. And we tend to condemn ourselves as likewise being wrong, not […]

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Self Improvement

We believe ourselves to be solid and separate “lumps of ice.” Don’t expect to be perfect. As we know, Zen is not about self-improvement. Zen may indeed help to alleviate some of the things we dislike about ourselves, but that is not its real purpose. Rather, give it time and diligence, constancy and faith, and […]

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How to Be in the World: Part 5 of 5

Koans, too, return us to our daily lives. This is surely why Salinger used one as the epigraph to one of his greatest books: It was in harmony with the thrust of his tender, farreaching morality. Click to read: Part 1, Part 2,  Part 3, and Part 4 of How to Be in the World. […]

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How to Be in the World: Part 4 of 5

Mu soon opened me up: suddenly, one evening… the world vanished; there was nothing at all. I remember thinking: all this training of the mind, yet there is no mind! There’s absolutely nothing! Not a speck in the sky. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2  and Part 3 and Part 5 of 5 of […]

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How to Be in the World: Part 3 of 5

“To study the self is to forget the self,” said Dogen. If you try to find who you really are, you may discover you’re not there at all. Dogen also said: “To forget oneself is to be actualized by all things.” Click to read Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 4 and Part 5 of […]

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Newsletter: February 11, 2015

There’s debate about what a self is, but most would agree it involves choosing. Wanting and disliking. Craving and aversion. The “three fires” of Buddhism—greed, aversion and misunderstanding—are all aspects of self. Below are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, February 11, 2015, featuring Henry Shukman’s dharma teaching. Please signup for our newsletter by scrolling to the […]

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