Recent Articles

Larry McSpadden

Sitting with Care

By Larry McSpadden

With the help of a months-long training program, a senior member dedicates himself to volunteer with people struggling with sickness, old, age, and death A couple years ago, I noticed that my collection of books about illness, end of life, dying, and death had overflowed from a third shelf onto a fourth. Around the same...

Sei and Her Soul Separate

By Roshi Philip Kapleau

A vintage koan commentary by the Center’s founder, the late Roshi Philip Kapleau. Mumonkan number 35: Sei and her soul separate The Case Goso asked a monk, “Sei and her soul separated—which is the true one?” The Commentary If you realize the One, you will know that we pass from one husk to another like...

Consciousness & Koans

By Rick Smith

So, what happens when the backward step is taken on the mat or through the looking glass of the mind and we turn the instrument of our being back onto being itself?

Buddha's flower

Buddha Holds Up a Flower

By Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede

Koan commentary How can we convey the teaching beyond words and letters… in words? Once, when the World-Honored One in ancient times was upon Vulture Peak, he held up a flower before the assembly of monks. At this all were silent. The Venerable Kashyapa alone broke into a smile. The World-Honored One said, “I have...

Graphic of skull, brain, machine cogs, footprints

Working with Habits

By John Pulleyn

We have, perhaps, a little veto power over what feelings impel us to do, but the idea of some rational decision maker who's in charge seems to be a fiction of the mind.

Painting of Nansen and cat by Shōkei

Nansen Kills the Cat

By Roshi Philip Kapleau

A vintage koan commentary by the Center’s founder, the late Roshi Philip Kapleau. Mumonkan number 14: Nansen kills the cat The Case Once the monks of the Western and Eastern Halls were arguing about a cat. Nansen, holding up the cat, said, “You monks! If you can say a word of Zen, I will spare...

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From the Archives

The Sweet Dew of Perfection Saturates All

By Sensei Amala Wrightson

2007, Vol. XXX, No. 1 & 2

An exploration of the three cardinal precepts related to Right Speech: not to lie, not to discuss the faults of others, and not to praise oneself.

Learning to Pay Attention

By John Pulleyn

2009–10, Vol. XXXII, No. 4

Attention is transformative. The thoughts and states of mind we experience now are the results of how we’ve used our minds in the past. By using the mind skillfully now, we make possible clearer and more responsive states of mind in the future.

Layman Pang’s Beautiful Snowflakes

By Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede

Spring 1995, Vol. XVII, No. 2

An abridged transcription of a sesshin teisho on koan number forty two of the Hekiganroku or Blue Rock Record, given December 6, 1992.

Zen Bow Archives

Spanning the 1960s, 1970s, and Recent Years