Featured Stories

Journal 1971-1974

February 1, 2015
Editor’s Note: The following are entries from a journal Daido Roshi kept shortly after attending a photography workshop led by Minor White at the Hotchkiss School, prior to his involvement in Zen. The Images are roughly from this period, too.   The last record was concluded and this one started because of the transitions that took place during the 1971 Minor White Hotchkiss Workshop. I shall attempt to record those things that are remembered from the workshop and identify them as such. Other information or records will be dated at the time they were recorded. Learning how to turn the...
Read More »

The Gift of Monasticism

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi Gatha on Shaving the Head In this drifting, wandering world, it is very difficult to cut off our human ties. Now I cast them away, and enter true activity. It is in this way that I express my gratitude. As I shave my head, I vow to live a life of simplicity, service, stability, selflessness and to accomplish the Buddha’s Way. May I manifest my life with wisdom and compassion and realize the Tathagata’s true teaching. Continue reading “The Gift of Monasticism” »
Read More »

Spiritual Ripeness: The Tenth Stage

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi Entering the marketplace barefoot and unadorned. Blissfully smiling, though covered with dust and ragged of clothes. Using no supernatural power, you bring the withered trees spontaneously into bloom.   Arriving at the tenth stage, you enter the marketplace. This is nirmanakaya, the physical body and the teachings of the Buddha manifesting in the world for the benefit of others. In the ox-herding pictures, the youngster who started out on this search returns to the world as an old sage. By the time the journey is over the child has disappeared. Obviously, a lengthy period of...
Read More »

Meeting Maezumi Roshi

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi As I spent time at Dai Bosatsu, I began to suspect that the key to the profound qualities I was seeing in Zen art was Zen practice, and that zazen— Zen meditation—was its foundation. I had heard that as a young man Soen Roshi used to sit zazen high up on a tree to train himself not to fall asleep. It was said that once, when Soen was sitting at Dai Bosatsu Mountain in Japan (for which the monastery is named), he fell out of a tree and his head was pierced by a sharp...
Read More »

The Insentient Express the Way

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi Commentary on Master Dogen's "Teachings of the Insentient" Our usual way of understanding the insentient is that they are objects that make up the physical world, objects that are non-living, lacking consciousness or perception. They are stones, stars, atoms, mountains and rivers—the inanimate. On the other hand, we under- stand the sentient as the direct antithesis of the insentient; namely, as conscious, aware beings capable of responding to feeling and perception. Master Dogen’s view is nondual. He sees the sentient and insentient as two parts of the same reality. He regards them as inseparable, as...
Read More »

Really Put Yourself Into It

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi Opening Remarks to the Zen Training Weekend Welcome to Zen Mountain Monastery. This weekend in the Zen training workshop we’ll be looking at the basis of Zen training. We’ll be discussing the philosophy, the underlying theories. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and answers, but by far the most critical thing that will be happening is the experiential aspect of the training. Each part of the day is scheduled and everything that you experience this weekend will be poin ing to the same place. The whole point of Zen training, all of the...
Read More »

Raquette River Field Journal

February 1, 2015
The insentient speak in a language that we are unable to understand but some- how are able to feel. It’s way of teaching us is not rational but rather visceral. Listen to the voice of rock and water. What does it say? Is it one voice or is it many? A chorus of voices, perhaps. Can you hear its song? It sings its ancient story—a timeless story of life unfixed, impermanent, in a constant state of becoming. Continue reading “Raquette River Field Journal” »
Read More »

Light

February 1, 2015
by John Daido Loori, Roshi Pearly, shadowless images are becoming warmer as they begin to fill with color. Reds and oranges are seeping into the day, transforming this land and my feelings. Though still below the horizon, the sun has begun to illuminate the morning sky. The light filters through the forest of white pine and sycamore, and the surface of the pond glows, sepia tones shifting beneath my canoe. The water is still, broken only by the occasional movement of a fish or an insect touching the surface. Continue reading “Light” »
Read More »

ZMM Residents Attend Teaching by Tenzin Palmo at KTD

January 7, 2015
From December 19th to December 21st, a number of ZMM residents had the rare opportunity to step off campus and attend a retreat offered by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD), the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery just down the road in Woodstock. Tenzin Palmo, reknowned for being one of the first Westerners ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun and for the twelve years she spent in solitary retreat in a Himalayan cave, offered teachings on the Six Realms of Existence, among other things. The retreat, entitled “Understanding Emptiness: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising—Wheel of Life,” was an exploration...
Read More »

Selections from Shobogenzo Zuimonki

November 12, 2014
Sayings of Eihei Dogen, Recorded by Koun Ejo, translated by Shohaku Okumura In a dharma talk, Dogen said, Even if you are speaking rationally and another person says something unreasonable, it is wrong to defeat him by arguing logically. On the other hand, it is not good to give up hastily saying that you are wrong, even though you think that your opinion is reasonable. Continue reading “Selections from Shobogenzo Zuimonki” »
Read More »

More Topics

accessibility Ancestors ango Ango practice art art practice Beginning Mind Beyond Fear of Differences BFoD bodhicitta Daido Roshi Discernment diversity Dogen Earth Body earth initiative Earth Medicine Earth Treasure emptiness enlightenment Facing Truth Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Gratitude Hojin Sensei Jizo monasticism Mother of All Buddhas Mountain Record oppression Patience poems poetry racism Rebirth relative and absolute Resilience sangha shuso Shuso Hossen social justice Stepping Forward View Wildness Words and Phrases Zen training