Author Archive | MCZC

Dangerous Formulae

  When treasures of the human heart become explicit, there is a greater risk of their becoming doctrinal, then formulaic, then ritualistic and ceremonial, and ultimately banal, mere forms of words and no longer living treasures at all. When Jesus talked about dying and being reborn in the kingdom of heaven, for example, it seems […]

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Newsletter: January 13, 2015

The teachings are nothing but guidance, a set of instructions perhaps, for something we have to do ourselves. Which is to settle down and drop into the reality of who we are. Below are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, January 13, 2015, featuring Henry Shukman’s dharma teaching. Please signup for our newsletter by scrolling to the […]

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The Point of Practice

All this existence is in fact nothing but Zen practice. What’s the point of this practice? Well, we could say: it grants space for things to be imperfect. It allows us to let things be as they are. It gives us peace. We somehow learn that the imperfect state of everything is also perfect. Things […]

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Newsletter: January 7, 2015

Just as we receive power and help (tariki) in our sitting, so our own sitting actively offers help throughout the universe. The interconnection is actual, not conceptual.  …our meditation is not merely shared with all beings and the whole universe. When we sit we are sitting not just with, but as everything. –From Zen Master […]

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Jōshū’s Oak Tree

A monk asked Jōshū in all earnestness, “What is the meaning of the patriarch’s coming from the West?” Jōshū said, “The oak tree in the garden.” There are several things Jōshū could mean when he responds to the monk’s question—“Why did Bodhidharma come from India?”—by saying, “The oak tree there in the garden.” What we […]

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Koans and Relationship

This is the lifeblood of Zen: the transmission, the intimacy of a bare-bones meeting between two people, between reality itself and reality itself.  Occasionally I’ve heard people ask if it’s valuable to read a book of koans. Some koans are beautiful; some seem to have humorous moments; some contain vivid dramas and narratives. Wouldn’t they […]

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Some Thoughts about Practice

If we want to sum up the precepts into one handy “take-home,” it might be: practice kindness. Or just: kindness. Or simply: be kind. Zazen gives us a chance each day to reset our perspective. We can reboot in a universal perspective of patience and acceptance, one which recognizes and is at peace with the […]

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Newsletter: December 30, 2014

“Causes and conditions are all quietly and peacefully obeying the natural law of Dharma, without agency and without fretting, resistance or objection.  Below are some excerpts from our latest Newsletter, December 30, 2014, 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 […]

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Radical Acceptance

  Slowly we are being pulled into the center and core of our being. We are gently coming to know our “kokoro” – our heart-mind, our core – ever more intimately. In Zen, the slower we go the sooner we get there. The “goal” is not out there. Maybe it’s better to think of ourselves […]

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Teachers

The tree is the self. The day it falls is the day we let ourselves go, and drop into a vast truth that has been with us all along yet which we didn’t see.. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t need a teacher but I’m so happy I’m not one of them. […]

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