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Mirror, Mirror: The Riddle of Self Reflection, The Seeker

Mirror, Mirror: The Riddle of Self Reflection, The Seeker

By Fa Shi Lao Yue….We are the Light of the World Are we at words? I hope not. My purpose in writing this essay is to offer a spiritual practice of examining what comes out of our mouth. In other words, to scrutinize what we say about our world, whether it is the world of […]

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell by Ming Zhen Shakya, OHY I wish I didn’t enjoy my prison ministry so much. If it were less agreeable I could make myself seem like a martyr for making the trip out to Jean every Wednesday. But the fact is, I like going there. It keeps me on my toes. Every cleric is […]

On Being a Master: Sinking into the Mud

On Being a Master: Sinking into the Mud

  ON BEING A MASTER When discussing what a “master” is or can be in our tradition with Yao Xiang Shakya, in preparation before her Master Transmission, she said “I feel being a master is sinking further into the mud so the lotus may rise higher”. And indeed, knowing we sink into the mud so […]

When We First Begin by Fa Shi Yao Xin Shakya

When We First Begin by Fa Shi Yao Xin Shakya

When we first begin our path of self-inquiry, we have often been driven to it by a profound notion that there is something missing in our life. We begin to realize that life can’t be just endless burdens we face day after day. Something else exists….but it is hidden from our every day consciousness. This […]

Ornamentation: A Form of Communication

Ornamentation: A Form of Communication

I humbly accept the garland of master in hopes that it may strengthen both my resolve to continue on the path with vigilance and vigor. And to honor my teacher who gave without complaint. Let me follow in her footsteps and in the footsteps of all the women and men who have gone before me, […]

Essence and Expectations by Ming Zhen Shakya

Essence and  Expectations by Ming Zhen Shakya

Essence and Expectations by Ming Zhen Shakya, OHY   Archimedes was stymied. The greatest mathematician in the world had a problem that baffled him. How could he determine whether an intricately wrought crown was pure gold or gold adulterated with a base metal? He knew what a given quantity of gold should weigh and that […]

Dharma Up Close: An Approach to Study

Dharma Up Close: An Approach to Study

On Being in Prison As I read and reread Ming Zhen’s article on Expectations I thought I’d share both my approach to her work and my great finds in it. My approach is simple….rather than explain the approach I thought I’d show what I do. The work starts out comparing religious backsliding to prison recidivism. […]

Ming Zhen Shakya speaks on….Expectations & Martin Buber

Ming Zhen Shakya speaks on….Expectations & Martin Buber

Expectations by Ming Zhen Shakya, OHY What backsliding is to religious conversion, recidivism is to penal rehabilitation. Both represent failure, and Zen priests who have a prison ministry can be losers on both counts. Often we are moved to tears when we give Precepts to a man who receives his certificate with such profound gratitude, with […]

Old Age, Writing and the Sentiment of Things by Yao Xiang Shakya

Old Age, Writing and the Sentiment of Things by Yao Xiang Shakya

“If you don’t write of things deep inside your own heart, what’s the use of churning out so many words?” Ryokan, Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf Yes, I say. What is the use of churning out words if they do not come from deep within….where darkness and the unfamiliar live. Write, write, write….without worry, the worry […]

I Went for a Sunday Morning Swim

I Went for a Sunday Morning Swim

A Study in Desire and Letting Go By Yao Xiang Shakya   It sounds lovely, doesn’t it….to go for a morning swim. Well, actually it was but not without the possibility of obstacles. As I’ve thought about this the obstacles are akin to the undertows in the ocean, the rip tides, the jellyfish, crabs and […]

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