Book Excerpts

Disorder in Your Mind Shows in Your Feet – Shunmyo Masuno 

The Art of Simple Living is handbook for the paring down of details of your daily existence to the most nourishing basics. Written by Shunmyo Masuno, a Japanese Soto Zen priest who is primarily known for his Zen garden design, the little book offers 100 daily practices to cultivate calm and joy. Below is the… Continue reading Disorder in Your Mind Shows in Your Feet – Shunmyo Masuno 

Book Excerpts

Ursula le Guin and the Importance of Imagination

This essay by Ursula le Guin - a talk given at a meeting of Oregon Literary Arts in 2002 - is one of the longest posts on The Dewdrop to date, which is perhaps appropriate given that the subject of the piece is the merit of reading and the importance of nurturing the imagination. In… Continue reading Ursula le Guin and the Importance of Imagination

American Poetry, Beat Poetry, Poetry

A Buddha in the Woodpile

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a poet and an activist and one of the central figures of the Beat movement in the 1950s. From his City Lights Bookstore and publishing house, he published writers like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac who were breaking with the norms and traditions of not just poetry and literature, but… Continue reading A Buddha in the Woodpile

Book Excerpts

DT Suzuki on Eckhart, God’s Love and Prajña

DT Suzuki was a Japanese philosopher whose work helped to introduce Zen and Buddhism to the West in the time before it became a popular practice outside of Asia. One of Suzuki's enduring interests as far as Western spiritual philosophy was concerned were the writings of Christian mystic Meister Eckhart. He frequently referred to Eckhart… Continue reading DT Suzuki on Eckhart, God’s Love and Prajña

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