Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Zen Christmas Carol

Oh, the ego inside is frightful,
It can makes us mean and spiteful,
If True Nature you wish to know,
Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter retreat

I'll be on retreat from Wednesday to Tuesday. Being alone is always a test for one self-confidence, especially on these days, when one gets the message that one should be in company of others, having fun and being compassionate. Even my 7 year old daughter is beginning to challenge my decision of going in solitude. She too feels the pressure.

Maybe you think I'm being selfish, but I'm only acting without further hesitation in order to face affliction. Maybe my "selfishness" today is a way of showing that it is possible to live in such a way as not to be confused by others, so the teacher teaches without being bound to better answers and transmission is realized, the one that was not invented.

My stuff and bowl are ready. So is my cushion.

For those of you who will be celebrating, it is also there.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Confused by Others

I was contacted by a student of Zen who was greatly confused by a conversation with another Zen teacher. This other teacher told him that because he lacked sufficient training, that he could not be enlightened. The student asked me if I thought this was correct. To which I replied, “Yes, he was correct.”
“How can he make this judgment, he doesn’t even know me?”
“Apparently he does, or you wouldn’t be telling me this.” I affirmed.
“Why do you agree with him?
“Because you did.”
“I didn’t agree! I was insulted!” he argued.
“And, that’s what made him correct.”

“What I point out to you is only that you shouldn't allow yourselves to be confused by others. Act when you need to, without further hesitation or doubt. People today can't do this—what is their affliction? Their affliction is in their lack of self-confidence.”
–Lin Chi

So, what’s your excuse?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I've just come across a photo which I thought I'd share. It's helping me not to attach excessive importance to things - a sort of visual "Mu!" Here it is:

Build at hut

Sometimes we build a house, a zendo, a hut to practice meditation. We adopt some rules and etiquette and keep the place going. It may be not necessary, but it is a good help in the practice.
Sometimes we build a house, a zendo, a hut when we practice meditation. The only rules and etiquette is keeping the practice constant and steady. It may be not necessary, but it is a good help in the practice.
Every inhalation and every exhalation are stone blocks. They come in and out of your nose.
The house is built and destroyed in a moment. We build it up again and again until eventually it founds its foundation and it cannot be shaken anymore. From the outside it is small, almost invisible.
From the inside, it is boundless.
Weeds growing in the ceiling.