Chinese Texts, Japanese Texts, Texts

When One Can Know What is the Truth of the Heart

The most effective religious or philosophical texts are the ones that transcend time and culture and get to the core of the human situation which is timeless, no matter where and when in the world we live. Daikaku Zenji (Chinese name - Lanxi Daolong) was a monk and master who traveled from his birthplace in Western China… Continue reading When One Can Know What is the Truth of the Heart

Japanese Texts

Hakuin on Enlightenment – Never Ask Your Teachers to Explain

The experience of kensho or enlightenment is a subject that a lot of teachers prefer to distance themselves from talking about, as words put limits on the experience. Master Hakuin, however, was not one to shy away from such a challenge, and often tried to describe his own spiritual exploits to his students. He uses… Continue reading Hakuin on Enlightenment – Never Ask Your Teachers to Explain

Dogen, Japanese Texts, Texts

Dogen – Remember That You Are Alive Only Today In This Moment

In a world where a certain kind of intellectualism is valued over many other human capacities, it's easy to feel inferior to those we perceive to be smarter than ourselves and to imagine that the things that we do not understand with our intellect will somehow hold us back from a more profound experience of… Continue reading Dogen – Remember That You Are Alive Only Today In This Moment

Dogen, Japanese Texts

What is Essential is Only to Understand with Immediacy – from Dogen’s Hokyo-ki

The Hokyo-ki is a short memoir written by Dogen later in his life that chronicles his exchanges with Master Ju-ching (Tendo Nyojo in Japanese, also known as Rujing). Dogen only spent two years studying under Ju-ching at his monastery on Mount Tiantong, but the master's teachings were highly transformative for the young Japanese monk and… Continue reading What is Essential is Only to Understand with Immediacy – from Dogen’s Hokyo-ki

Dogen, Japanese Texts, Texts

The Genjo-koan (Part 1)

The Genjo-koan, whose name can be translated as 'Realizing the Heart of the Matter', is one of the key chapters in Master Dogen's voluminous Shobogenzo. The Genjo-koan cuts to the heart of Dogen's teaching and presents us with the fundamental tenets of Zen practice as well as an account of its distinct phenomenology. This version… Continue reading The Genjo-koan (Part 1)

Dogen, Japanese Texts, Texts

Fukanzazengi – Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen

The Fukanzazengi is a text written by Japanese master Dogen shortly after his return from Japan in the later 1220s. The Fukanzazenki provides us with the most fundamental instructions for zazen that details the ideal environment and posture for practice.   Fukanzazengi The Way is basically perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent upon… Continue reading Fukanzazengi – Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen