After a particularly beautiful period of meditation, Nyogen Roshi is prompted to share his inner experience of zazen. Though setting aside striving and expectation can be difficult, the rewards are beyond measure. “You relax and release,” Roshi tells us, “then at a certain point, you begin to feel good, and the sitting itself becomes rich. You experience the wonder of what you truly are.”
Maezumi Roshi answers the question, “How do we open ourselves to wisdom?”
Transcribed from a recording made in July 1993.
“I read a book that changed my life,” says Claudia Hosso Politi. The Overstory–a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about inter-connection between human beings and the natural world, especially trees–sparks wonder and a new passion for nature in Hosso…
I once heard Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron talk about the instructions she gave to people who came to retreats while dealing with trauma. She gave them the mantra, “Stay.” Whatever is going on, stay with it. Thoughts might be crazy — let them fly but stay with the moment. Want to get up and run — don’t, just stay. Stay within the body; stay within your field of hearing. Just stay. After a while, the individual would invariably settle.
A Review of Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson.
If you are a practitioner of Buddha Dharma for whom the pillar of great faith is unshakeable, I predict you will have no interest in this book. It is not really a book about the Way, as Zen refers to itself. An alternate title might be “This Is Your Brain On Meditation.”
Services introduce the aspect of ritual into our practice. Specifically, a “service” consists of a chant, performed in front of the altar, to transmit the energy, intention and benefit of our practice into the world we inhabit. In one way, rituals are an external expression of our inner state. At the same time, we strengthen and reinforce our inner state by the external chant. The service brings together what we think of as “inside” and “outside” into a unified whole.