Alexander’s poem Equinox is about life and energy, and how it slowly disappears, sometimes the force leaving the body still living, but an empty shell.
THIS WEEK'S BLOG
Doubt is a key incentive of the spiritual journey, and, as per the old adage ‘Great doubt, great awakening’, it is foundational to the enquiry of Zen.
Alan Watts delves into one of his favorite and recurring subjects – the way in which we over-identify with the parts we play.
FEATURED AUTHORS AND POETS
In this short chapter from the Shobogenzo, Sho-ji, Dogen plays with the distinction between the nuances of the two different meanings, life and death being static and self-defined events, which he argues have no substance or existence, and living and dying which are an endless flow of events and dynamic being
THE ALAN WATTS CORNER
Alan Watts often said that in order to come to your senses, you have to get out of your mind. Watts was emphatic about self-realization and breaking through cultural and psychic barriers in order to live as a fully-fledged, fearless human being.
BROWSE BY THEME
FROM THE ZEN GARDEN
Ryokan loved children, and played with them so much that other adults began to question his sanity. He says, ‘Even if I were able to say something/how could I explain?’ His wholehearted immersion in playful activity is the essence of Ryokan’s very particular Zen expression.
Shunryu Suzuki always admitted his own difficulty with the English language, but also addressed the deeper problem of human communication, namely that ‘when we say something, our subjective intention or situation is always involved.’
The Bhaddekaratta Sutta is one of the many teachings the Buddha gave over the course of his 19 three-month practice periods at the Jetavana Monastery. It conveys the essence of a self-sufficient practice and way of existing – not clinging to the past or living for the future but diligently dwelling in current stability and freedom.
The Jijuyu Zanmai is the second section of the first part of Dogen’s Bendowa – ‘The Endeavor of the Way’ and concerns the experience of zazen
This biographical snippet, taken from the introduction of Tenshin Reb Anderson’s book Being Upright, tells a bit of the story of how he met his
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Published in 1925, The Game of Life and How to Play It was a trailblazing tome of self-help literature couched in positive thinking and affirmative actions.
Writer and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass is a call to awakening to ecological consciousness and an awareness of our interconnectedness with nature.
In this essay about anger and injustice, writer and social activist Alice Walker begins by presenting a curse prayer found by Zora Neale Hurston that is more than a century old.
In his 1946 essay, Why I Write, George Orwell set out what he saw as the main motivators for writing: they were, sheer egotism, esthetic
Ibn Arabi was a 13th century mystic, poet and philosopher in the Islamic tradition. He lived between Spain and North Africa and produced a prodigious and varied output during his lifetime.
Morgan Parker’s prose poem is a sharp critique of reflexive liberal white responses that mimic meaningful call to action but are at best ineffective and at worst damaging, seeking self-absolution over anything else. The poem moves from the two extremes of response – intellectual and deeply emotional – with no transition in between and no apologies for its erratic form.
This essay by Mother Teresa crystallizes her vision of compassion in action, of how the fundamental love and benevolence between humans can override all social, racial and doctrinal divides.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie argues that which stories get to be told and how they are told essentially depends on who is telling them, and that the privilege of storytelling usually lies with the person with power. In a pluralistic and diverse society, it’s important that storytellers from every perspective be heard, in order to reflect the truth of that society and its multi-faceted nature.
A sonnet from the ‘Fair Youth’ series that was occupied with themes of aging, passing time and the transience of physical beauty.
Susan Cummins Miller’s poem grew out of her interaction with the Sonoran Desert, and the many months she spent in solitude and contemplation at The Desert House of Prayer in Arizona.