Book Excerpts

Clouds are Mere Guests in the Sky – Haruki Murakami

Sports people and meditators often use similar language to describe their experiences of practice: In his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami talks about how running for him creates a void in which he can observe the cloud-like nature of his thoughts. In this excerpt from the book, he expands on… Continue reading Clouds are Mere Guests in the Sky – Haruki Murakami

Book Excerpts

Be Like One Moment is Ten Thousand Years

Kodo Sawaki's reluctance to ever fully associate himself with a temple or a Zen institution earned him the nickname, 'The Homeless Kodo'. He was considered one of the most important figures of Japanese Zen in the 20th century for his direct approach to teaching across all social levels. The book, Teachings of the Homeless Kodo, was… Continue reading Be Like One Moment is Ten Thousand Years

English Poetry, Poetry

Babak Ganjei – Don’t Interrupt the Adults

Babak Ganjei is a London-based artist, musician, comic book writer and radio show host. The poetry he writes can be found on his website. An adept of blackout poetry - for which he has used books by Jeremy Clarkson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, Babak also writes his own original verse like this brilliant homage to… Continue reading Babak Ganjei – Don’t Interrupt the Adults

Book Excerpts

Uselessness as Survival

Students of Zen are well accustomed to the idea of doing nothing, sometimes in a very active way. Jenny Odell's book, How to Do Nothing, follows a similar idea and looks at the social and political implications of resisting the forces that demand our attention and distract us from ourselves and the things that really… Continue reading Uselessness as Survival

Book Excerpts, Chinese Poetry, Japanese Poetry, Poetry

Snow Makes a Mountain

In addition to the volumes of essays and lectures on Zen and Zen practice, Dogen also expressed himself and his teachings through poetry. This particular verse, which reflects on a moment of realization in which the poet's mind underwent a profound perceptive shift, is written in a Chinese style. The translation is Philip Whalen and… Continue reading Snow Makes a Mountain

Book Excerpts

Pulling Out the Rug – John Daido Loori on the Barrier Gate

Zen legend often brings up stories of students who have to work hard to be accepted into temples, and of masters who put potential candidates to rigorous tests. The most famous example is that of Bodhidharma and his disciple Huik'e, who stood in the snow for three days and even cut off his own arm… Continue reading Pulling Out the Rug – John Daido Loori on the Barrier Gate

Book Excerpts

Falsehood Triumphs Everywhere – André Gide

"The truth, in our day, finds few defenders" writes André Gide in this short essay on the importance of a thoroughgoing attitude towards accuracy and factuality. The scientific methods of research and observation, he laments, are frequently scuppered by the relative, mythical, dogmatic and equivalent truths of religions and political movements. As relevant today as… Continue reading Falsehood Triumphs Everywhere – André Gide

Joy Harjo
American Poetry, Native American Poetry, Poetry

Eagle Poem – Joy Harjo

Oklahoma-born Joy Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and the United States' 23rd poet laureate, the first Native American to be nominated for the post. Much of the imagery she uses in her poems is couched in nature as well as myth and ancestry. In Eagle Poem, she invokes circles and revolutions, wordless… Continue reading Eagle Poem – Joy Harjo