sky

Develop a mind like the sky, vast and infinite

Our minds are vast and infinite, clear and spacious. Our minds have no boundaries, no limits. When we experience the vast clear spaciousness of our mind, the clarity of our awareness, we begin to see how our thoughts and feelings are like clouds in the sky, simply passing through this vast spacious awareness, not filling it up. Our minds are …

story

A moving story

A friend of mine once had to explain to her four-year-old son that the woman who had been providing child care for I him since he was born was going to move away. Because her child was very attached to this person, my friend carefully told him about this step-by-step, making sure to say that the caregiver loved him, that …

hug

What I learned from my very first hug

“The first time I learned hugging was in Atlanta in 1966. A woman poet took me to the airport and then, before saying goodbye, asked, ‘Is it all right to hug a Buddhist monk?’ “In my country, we are not used to expressing ourselves that way in public, but I thought, ‘I am a Zen teacher; it should be no …

monks

Monks are being rented out

No monk? No problem, says Amazon Japan. As communal ties to Buddhist temples weaken throughout Japan, many are at a loss as to how to find a monk to perform memorial services when a loved one dies. But now Amazon Japan offers “Obo San Bin” or “Mr. Monk Delivery” for just these situations. The basic plan offered through Minrevi Co. on Amazon …

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A time to learn

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked: “If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen?” The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.” The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then …

silence

The power of silence

We spend a lot of time looking for happiness when the world right around us is full of wonder. To be alive and walk on the Earth is a miracle, and yet most of us are running as if there were some better place to get to. There is beauty calling to us every day, every hour, but we are …

rabbitmoon

Crossing to the other shore

Paramita means perfection, the perfection of the crossing over to the other shore. We have seen that a paramita is not so difficult to practice; even children can do it. Paramita means from this shore of suffering we cross over to the other shore, the shore of well-being. From the shore of anger, we cross to the shore of non- …

clapping

The sound of one hand clapping

MAMIYA was a worldly man, but he thought he ought to study Zen. So he went to a great teacher, who told him to concentrate on the famous koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Mamiya went away, and came back a week later, shaking his head. He could not get it. “Get out!” said the master. “You are not trying …

zz

A Gift of Insults

There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him. One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an …

Zen stones

To save a dying sister

AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD GIRL BECAME ILL and was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease. She needed a transfusion, but her blood type was rare. A search went out for a donor. With every passing day, the little girl weakened, and still no donor was found. Then it was discovered that her six-year-old brother shared her rare blood type. The mother, along …