• Wasp

    Wasp

    When my daughter Ariya was about four or five, we all; our son, Jake, who was then eight or nine; Rose and I went on a camping trip to the Adirondacks. We had a tent, an old car, and some cooking gear. The car was old enough so that the trip that is now a pleasant half-day jaunt ...

  • Musician

    Self Doubt and the Buddha, Guttila Jataka

    The Buddha Loses Faith In Himself: The Master Musician, Jataka No. 243 (Synopsis: The Buddha as an aging master musician doubts his ability to win a musical competition. The king of the gods steps in to help him, revealing that kindness can be of greater benefit than great artistry.) Once the Bodhisattva was born into a musician’s family. When grown, ...

  • Yang-shan

    The Dream Within a Dream (within a dream): Yang-shan's Sermon from the Third Seat

    The Wu-men Kuan or Mumonkan, Gateless Barrier or Gateless Gate, a central koan collection put together by Zen Master Wu-men (Mumon) has, as its 25th case, “Yang-shan’s Sermon From the Third Seat.” Dogen seems to have made a commentary on it, (he never explicitly names it as such) as the thirty-ninth chapter of his great ...

  • Monkey

    The Buddha was a Monkey

    Even the Buddha had his trials – and not just when as the ex-Prince Siddhartha he sat beneath the Bo-Tree and Mara the Tempter appeared. The jataka tales show he had lifetimes of challenge and difficulty – perhaps facing the very kind of things we might be dealing with in our lives now. It seems that for the Buddha, being ...

  • The Buddha Touching the Earth

    Touching the Earth: The Jatakas and the Buddha’s Enlightenment

    At the moment of enlightenment, after the Buddha-to-Be’s six years of exhaustive effort, going the limit, trying and trying with all he had, Mara appears before him and makes one last ditch effort to tempt the ex-prince with self-doubt. “How could you, a sheltered ex-prince be worthy of the Supreme Goal of complete ...

  • BMW

    Riding Through the Gateless Gate

    I’m heading north on Interstate 390 to Rochester, New York, after a great October day of riding twisty rural back roads and hours of tales, tire kicking, good food, and motorcycles. The rain starts, then comes down heavily enough to wash my bug-splattered windscreen nearly clean. ...

  • Hermit

    Sex/Ethics/Practice: Looking at an Old Tale

    A talk given at a Casa Zen Jataka sesshin in Costa Rica. In yesterday’s talk we saw the Bodhisattva as perfect, and perfectly perfecting the paramita of dana or selfless generosity by ...

  • Roshi Philip Kapleau

    A Pillar of Zen: Roshi Philip Kapleau 1912 – 2004

    My Zen teacher, Roshi Philip Kapleau, died peacefully on May 6 at the venerable age of 91. Several days later, many of us who had known him and been with him for more than thirty years gathered ...

  • Sensei Rafe Martin

    The Paramita of Compassion

    Here’s a set of links to The Toledo Zen Center’s site — “Drinking Gourd” where they posted a talk by me (The Black Hound Jataka) and a Q&A panel discussion afterward between Jay Rinsen Weik, Karen Do’on Weik, myself, and the audience. Recorded at the Toledo Zen Center on September 12, 2010. This special Dharma Talk was ...

  • The Black Hound

    The Black Hound, Maha-Kanha Jataka #469

    Long ago, in a distant past world age, the Bodhisattva came to life as Shakra, king of the gods. Resplendent and radiant, shining with the glory of the merit he’d acquired in the course of countless lifetimes of noble and selfless effort, he sat at ease on his golden throne...

  • Saab

    Car Bodhisattvas

    Are there really skillful bodhisattvas who can appear in all kinds of appropriate forms to help us when we need them? Here’s a little story series of linked tales, all personal, all true...