(Red Pine, Townsend 2019) Fifty years ago, when I first started reading about Zen, D. T. Suzuki’s Manual of Zen Buddhism was a constant companion. It included the recorded words of the earliest Zen teachers – as well as those of the Buddhas – from which Zen took root. This book is an homage, a… Continue reading Zen Roots – The First Thousand Years
audio "The Diamond Sutra may look like a book, but it’s really the body of the Buddha. It’s also your body, my body, all possible bodies. But it’s a body with nothing inside and nothing outside. It doesn’t exist in space or time. Nor is it a construct of the mind. It’s no mind. And… Continue reading The Diamond
This is a book of epigrams, epigrams that encapsulate the teaching the Buddha first transmitted 2,400 years ago when he held up a flower and Kashyapa smiled. They’re that simple. The Chinese call them ming 銘. I considered translating it half a dozen times. The language is so simple. It begs to be translated. And… Continue reading Not Two
For over a thousand years, the Song of Enlightenment 证道歌 has been one of the most popular Zen texts in all of East Asia. Composed in verse, it has also become one of the most chanted texts at Zen temples worldwide." (Red Pine at hometown in 2019) "Like a lot of what I’ve been working on… Continue reading What Could be Easier than Zen?
The author of these "Ten Oxherding Pictures” is said to be a Zen master of the Sung Dynasty known as Kaku-an Shi-en (Kuo-an Shih-yuan) belonging to the Rinzai school. He is said also the author of the poems and introductory words attached to the pictures. He was not however the first who attempted to illuminate… Continue reading The Ten Oxherding Pictures
One Sunday evening, after a Dharma Talk at the Providence Zen Center, a student asked Seung Sahn Soen-sa, “How can I get beyond just verbalizing the question ‘What am I?’ ” Soen-sa said, “You want this question to grow. This mind is no good. This is attachment thinking. You must cut off this thinking, and… Continue reading The Moon of Clear Mind
“There is so much baggage we burden ourselves with over the years that keeps us from seeing things the way they are. Some baggage we carry with us for a single thought, some for years and some for lifetimes. But there isn’t one piece that isn’t our own creation. Layman Red Pine,When your mind dwells… Continue reading Zen Baggage
"In 1934 on the second day of the eighth moon, Master Xu-yun arrived from Gu-shan and, followed by the district officials, literati and people, proceeded to Cao-xi. it happened to be the day when people in the district were celebrating the anniversary of the Sixth Patriarch’s birthday and about ten thousand of them were converging… Continue reading Empty Cloud
"Eighteen years ago, after I translated the Diamond, I translated a few pages of the Empty Bowl out of curiosity but put them aside to work on other projects. Then, earlier this year, I was invited by Jay Garfield to give a presentation about what I was working on to a Buddhist seminar at Smith… Continue reading A Day in the Life
Great as has been the influence of the art-masters in the field of art, it is as nothing compared to that which they have exerted on the conduct of life. Not only in the usages of polite society, but also in the arrangement of all our domestic details, do we feel the presence of the… Continue reading The Book of Tea
Delusion, enlightenment, training, life, death, Buddhas and all living things are in existence when there is Buddhism; none of the above exist when all is within the Truth; since the Way of the Buddha transcends unity and duality, all of the above exist; whilst we adore flowers they wither; weeds grow strong whilst we long… Continue reading Studying the Self
"Intoxicated by youthful dreams,I wandered far and widethrough marketplaces and countryside,until at last I met the Buddha!All compassionate, he sharedthe wondrous teachings with me.My faith was awakenedand I donned the robes of a monk.Dwelling in awareness,focusing heart and mind,I have attained the three knowledges,thanks to the Awakened One!Far and wide, the Lordhas sown the seeds… Continue reading The Finger Is Not the Moon
Lo Yu (陆羽，Lu Yu) was born in A.D. 733 and dies in A. D. 804. Nothing is known about his family background, as he was abandoned as a baby. He was found by a Buddhist monk who was walking around a lake. The monk saw wild geese circling in the air above lots of tall… Continue reading Story of the Tea Sage
Question: Is Chan (Zen) a religion? Chan Master Sheng Yen: Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment and taught Buddhadharma in India, at a time when its culture was spiritually and religiously oriented. He began his teachings by questioning some of the prevailing beliefs, such as the existence of individual souls, but for the sake of inducing followers… Continue reading Is Zen a Religion?
A group of travelers came to visit Achaan Chah with three elegant questions: Why do you practice? How do you practice? What is the result of your practice? They were sent as a delegation by a European religious organization to ask these questions to a series of great masters throughout Asia. Achaan Chah closed his… Continue reading Why Do You Practice?
Once, Chao Chou asked a monk,“Have you been here before?”The monk responded, “Yes, I have.”Chao Chou said, “Have a cup of tea.”Later, Chao Chou asked another monk,“Have you been here before?”The monk replied, “No, I haven’t.”Chao Chou said, “Have a cup of tea.” The head monk of the temple had been observing this, and said… Continue reading Zen Koan of Tea