Tag: Zen

Practical Zen: An Approach to Secular Ethics

[This is a talk more or less as I gave it at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on October 23, 2016. It is based on a chapter in Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and

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Buddhas and Buddhas

In the last few posts I’ve been looking at Master Dogen’s Vow. Please note that a dharma master could probably write about this text for weeks. I’m just beginning to look at it myself. But I’m happy that several of

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Atonement

Still looking at Master Dogen’s Vow — the last post was on the third paragraph, and now I want to go back to the second — Past negative actions accumulate and cause the arising of many obstacles to the practice

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Buddhas and Ancestors

I want to say a little more about Master Dogen’s Vow. And I’m going to skip over the second paragraph for right now and go to the third one, because the third paragraph helps me understand the second one. The

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Master Dogen’s Vow

Master Dogen’s Vow is part of the common chanting liturgy of Japanese Soto Zen.  Dogen is the 13th century master who brought Soto Zen to Japan, and in Soto Zen he’s a  big deal.  But you might enjoy the vow

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Saying Too Much

In Zen — and I’m sure this is true of other Buddhist traditions as well — students are sternly warned not to talk about a kensho or “enlightenment experience” to everyone and his uncle. It’s fine to discuss these things

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Names and Labels

Many years ago, I “got into” Zen through Taoism, particularly the collection of verses called the Tao Teh Ching (or Daode Jing). Early Zen appears to have been influenced by Taoism, so it wasn’t much of a leap. Now I’m

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Submission or Surrender?

(Following up the last post) I want to say a little more about the new book by Zen teacher Barry Magid, Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans. This book is not primarily about teacher scandals, but there’s a

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Stuck in the Void

[This post originally appeared on About.com Buddhism on September 30, 2013. It sort of goes with the last post, on “Dark Nights and Dukkha Nanas.”] I’ve written a review of  Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans, a new

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Dark Nights and Dukkha Nanas

Westerners have been playing with eastern mysticism, and now some of them have had “bad trips” being called “dark nights of the soul.” There’s an article on The Atlantic website by Tomas Rocha, titled “The Dark Knight of the Soul,”

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