Everyday Suffering, Everyday Freedom

by Mary Leigh Burke When people asked the Buddha about metaphysical issues (is there a God?  Is the soul reborn?) he replied with some variation of: “I don’t speculate on these things.  I teach only suffering and the end of suffering.” So some people...

On berating oneself

One of my most deeply rooted, and least helpful, habits was berating myself when I thought I had said or done something “wrong.”  At one point I stumbled across a loving-kindness meditation in Ezra Bayda’s Beyond Happiness (see below.)  I began...

Reminding Me — A poem

Reminding Me A vulture circles. Clouds play chase, then bumper cars. Bees hunting nectar, intensely. A hot sun dismissed by a wistful wind. Sparks dance while flames laugh, Reminding me – Who stopped time today.                         – Rich...

A Problem

Sangha Member Post: Most of the time I live as though life is a problem…like there are issues I need to solve. Of course the alternative, and the focus of Zen, is that life is a gift…and being fully in the present allows us to experience the joy of that...

Being Present

Sangha Member Post: Being present has seen many stages in my practice. There was the early awareness stage when I first became aware of all the mental noise. It was quite shocking. The next stage was dominated by a sense of being trapped in a thick layer of cotton. I...

Forest Morning

Sangha Member Post: It was a little before sunrise in the Great Vow Zen Monastery forest. I was sitting on a bench that had become a usual haunt over the week of meditation. Shortly after sitting down 2 owls started calling in the forest.  I couldn’t decide if they...