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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: Zen

Renee Miller

Sep 07, 2010

“The Flowing Bridge,” by Elaine MacInnes

flowing bridgeWriter Renée Miller introduces a book on Zen koans written by Elaine Miller, who is both a Catholic nun and a Zen priest.

When we step to the edge of our experience and then have the courage to take yet one more step, we are often surprised to find that the anxiety we felt at taking that “one more step” vanishes in a whole new feeling of expansion. When it comes to religious thinking, we are accustomed to holding fast to our familiar patterns of belief and tradition because what we know or have been taught feels like a protection and security for us. The religion itself may put constraints on our exploration …

Lokabandhu

Aug 31, 2010

“Together Under One Roof,” by Lin Jensen

Together Under One Roof by Lin JensenLokabandhu, a peace activist, finds Lin Jensen’s new book to be a moving evocation of Buddhism’s ethos of lovingkindness.

Together Under One Roof is Lin Jensen’s third volume, and follows in the footsteps of Bad Dog! and Pavement (already reviewed here). It’s a more slender volume than the others, but still a delightful read and in places very moving.

Like the others, it’s a series of essays in which he takes an ordinary event and reflects upon it, drawing out of it some nugget for reflection, some correspondence with the teachings of Buddha or Zen, some motivation to deepen his practice. In …

Bodhipaksa

Aug 07, 2010

Farewell, Robert Aitken Roshi

Robert AitkenRobert Aitken Roshi, one of the most influential and respected western teachers in the Zen tradition, has passed away. I have to confess that I’m not that familiar with his writings (so many books, so little time) but I’m glad that although the man is no longer with us, he leaves an extensive body of work. Here’s one example of his teaching that I came across.

Recently, an old-timer came to me and complained that he no longer felt enthusiasm for his practice. I questioned him and learned that he was limiting his zazen to his visits to the Zendo. I can understand how his enthusiasm might erode over

Wildmind Meditation News

Jul 07, 2010

Purposeful Zen meditation (audio)

On the 21st of June 2010, Lynn Thompson, host of Living on Purpose, sat down with Wayne Codling to talk about his offering of Zen Meditation at Queenswood in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, in Canada. This 13 minute conversation reveals Wayne’s warm gentle energy, and the path that continually brings him to this present moment.

Zen meditation teaches a mindfulness that excludes neither ordinary nor extraordinary experiences and how to integrate the beneficial potential of each moment. Beginners are always welcome.

Wayne holds a BA in Buddhist Studies and is a lineage holder in the Soto Zen School as founded by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi. A Zen monk for more than 3 decades, he has lived many years in the …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 26, 2010

Norman Fischer on meditation

A video transcript.

KATE OLSON, correspondent: It’s early morning along the Pacific Coast. Norman Fischer, a Buddhist priest who’s been teaching meditation for over three decades, opens a day of silent meditation for practitioners of Zen Buddhism.

NORMAN FISCHER (speaking to group): Thank you all for coming, and I hope everybody has a good day, a peaceful day, a day in which whatever needs to arise in your heart will do so.

OLSON: Other days, Fischer is at Google in Silicon Valley offering the same meditation practice to employees participating in a class called “Search Inside Yourself.”

FISCHER (speaking to class): Lengthen the spine, open the chest, and let your body pull itself up.

OLSON: Or he may be at a Jewish contemplative retreat sharing …

Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 19, 2010

Jail’s meditation course is not a hard cell

Participants in the popular weekly course at L.A. County’s Men’s Central facility say the techniques they learn for relaxation and self-control couldn’t be more useful in their environs.

“Eyes closed, heads down. Focus on your breathing.”

The men in the sanctuary obediently followed their Buddhist chaplain’s command, bowing their cleanly shaven heads and beginning their meditation exercises. A bell chime hung in the air before melting into silence.

Most of the men were new to the relaxation technique, seeking to add a little Zen to their lives. But the venue for this course was not a posh studio in Silver Lake or Santa Monica.

These men were trying to get in touch with their chi at Men’s Central Jail.

The downtown L.A. correctional facility, which …

Jenn Fields

Sep 16, 2009

Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea, by Jaimal Yogis

Saltwater BuddhaThe siren song of the sea calls surfers away from school, jobs, family, and in Jaimal Yogis’s case, even a monastery. But for this surfer, bobbing on waves might be the best place to practice Zen.

If you’re wondering what in blue blazes has surfing got to do with Zen, don’t worry–Yogis clears it up in the book’s introduction. He cites a teaching in Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind as his “all-time favorite Zen-surfing quote:

…I like to think he [Suzuki] had surfers in mind when comparing thought waves to ocean waves. He said, ‘Even though waves arise, the essence of mind is pure… Waves are the practice of water. To speak of waves

Bodhipaksa

Aug 07, 2009

Meditation zeitgeist, August 7, 2009

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

Eileen at Soul Sleuthing gives a very honest account of what her experience of meditation is, complete with wandering thoughts (and wandering pets).

The Rev. Danny Fisher (no stranger to Meditation Zeitgeist) has a new article on his friend’s site, Amyknowsbest. It’s a mindfulness meditation exercise.

Lama Surya Das has an article on technology and spirituality, called The Tao of Twitter, in which he discusses matters from texting prayers to being reincarnated as a computer.

If that seems a little “out there,” Will Buckingham writes about how meditation is a very practical activity. Amongst many other interesting things, he says:

As I was sitting this morning, it

Gloria Chadwick

Jun 08, 2009

Thich Nhat Hanh, “Answers from the Heart”

Answers From the Heart, Thich Nhat HanhThich Nhat Hanh can be a brilliant communicator, finding fresh and direct ways of reaching the heart. Can be. Find out why Gloria Chadwick was less than thrilled by his latest book.

When Bodhipaksa asked me to review Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book, Answers from the Heart: Practical Responses to Life’s Burning Questions, I immediately said yes. I’ve read many of his books and found them to be loving and peaceful.

In the spirit of honesty, I must say that I was disappointed with this book. It seems vague; most of the responses to questions asked are answered with an all-encompassing response of basically to be mindful of the emotion …

Bodhipaksa

Mar 12, 2009

“Ten Zen Questions,” by Susan Blackmore

Susan BlackmoreSusan Blackmore’s Ten Zen Questions may at first glance seem silly or pointless — “Where is this?” for example — but when approached with a focused mind they can be used to push back our assumptions and let us have a glimpse at what’s really going on.

Susan Blackmore is justifiably something of a superstar in the small but important and expanding world that exists where science and Buddhism overlap.

She’s well-known on the TED circuit for her work on “memes” — ideas and cultural phenomena understood as viral-like entities that “infect” our minds and compete for dominance.

She is a psychologist by training, has 25 years of Zen practice under her belt, …