Featured Stories

Liberation: Uncoiling in Space

May 2, 2014
by Francesca Fremantle What is liberation? How is it accomplished? Who is liberated, and from what? The state of liberation is the ultimate goal. It has been given many names and has been described in many different ways, although it is essentially inexpressible. It is our true, innate nature, our inalienable birthright, yet we do not recognize it. We seem to be imprisoned in a condition of unknowing. Continue reading “Liberation: Uncoiling in Space” »
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Why Beings Fare As They Do After Death

May 2, 2014
by Bhikkhu Bodhi Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering by stages in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of monks, and eventually he arrived at a Kosalan brahmin village named Sala. Continue reading “Why Beings Fare As They Do After Death” »
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The Original Question

May 2, 2014
by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei Zhao Zhou's "Indestructible Nature" True Dharma Eye, Case 288 Main Case Zhao Zhou was once asked by a monastic, “Before the world existed, there was already the original nature. When the world is destroyed, true nature is not destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?” Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.” The monastic said, “They are destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?” Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.” Continue reading “The Original Question” »
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Sangha Reflections: On Rebirth

May 2, 2014
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, as a graduate student at Columbia University, I studied with Yoshito Hakeda, Professor of Religion and a Shingon priest. We worked one-on-one studying Buddhist texts. He was not only my teacher, but also my mentor and my friend. Continue reading “Sangha Reflections: On Rebirth” »
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Adolescent Buddhism

February 20, 2001
by Rachel Yuho RiderOriginally published in Mountain Record journal: "Spirituality and Education" (2001) During my childhood, religion was not a major part of my family life, nor was it a part of the life of anyone around me. My life revolved around my fam­ily and friends; the people who loved me. I saw no need for religion and didn’t under­stand the importance of its presence until I came into adolescence.  Continue reading “Adolescent Buddhism” »
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Cars and Trucks, too

February 20, 1998
by Sybil Seisui Rosenoriginally published in Mountain Record journal: Teachings of the Insentient (1998) “Is everything in the world in the middle of my heart?” my nephew Austin asks me, out of the blue. He is four; I am dumbstruck. “Y-yes, absolutely,” I stammer. “Cars and trucks too?” he goes on. “Uh-huh,” I reply.  I don’t think he’s looking for answers be­cause he already has them. He just wants to see if l have them too, though I’m sure my experi­ence of them is less direct than his at present.  Continue reading “Cars and Trucks, too” »
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All the Way to Heaven

February 20, 1993
by Amy Shoko BrownOriginally published in Mountain Record journal: "Death and Renewal" (1993) For a long time after Michael died I wanted to write but didn’t because somehow it felt like taking advantage of his absence. It was as if in some way Michael was looking over my shoul­der and saying, “How could you do this to me?” And now he’s just humming along, looking out the window at the sky most of the time and then at me and he doesn’t even have to read what I write; he just says, “Oh, I didn’t know you felt that way.”...
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Lone Zen

February 20, 1992
by Bill Kigen DelaneyOriginally published in Mountain Record journal: "Fear and Fearlessness" (1992) At the very un-monastic hour of seven AM, in the basement of a house in the hills outside the Chilean capitol city of Santiago, the South American branch of the Mountain and Rivers Order begins the day. The ringing of a bell, forty-minutes or so of zazen, chanting the Heart Sutra. Zazen again in the evening, ending this time with the Four Vows. Continue reading “Lone Zen” »
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Wilderness Camping as a Retreat

February 20, 1991
by Robert Genjin Savageoriginally published in the Mountain Record journal on Compassion (1991) Before I discovered Zen, week-long solo backpacking trips were my sesshins. The absence of human references in the blank stare of nature can either quiet the mind or drive it crazy. I’ve experienced both. Continue reading “Wilderness Camping as a Retreat” »
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Shikantaza is for Wimps

February 20, 1990
by Maureen Jisho Fordoriginally publishing in Mountain Record journal: Wellness (1990) It was in the fall of 1985 that I first came to Zen Mountain Monastery. What had brought me here was the same search that, 25 years earlier, had taken me to the Novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy. The decision to be a nun had been made in early childhood, and, in retrospect, I realize that it arose from a desire to experience God. As a child I had been fascinated by the stories of the saints and mystics, and although many of the stories had an almost...
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