Zen Filter

Zen Buddhist websites, news, and discussion

Monday, January 31, 2005

Taming the Wild Ox or Bull, Ten Zen Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

A sequence of ten illustrations depicting the levels of realization in Zen, these ancient drawings with Verse and Comments are presented in two new English translations along with contemporary commentary.

Buddha Desktop Pictures

Buddha Desktop Pictures, Wallpaper, Icons. Books, Software, ScreenSaver by DVDesign. What more can I say?

Gassho & Bowing, The Zen Center of Los Angeles

What . . . is the meaning of these gestures? Why are they done? And why is it necessary to do them so precisely and uniformly? These questions deserve careful consideration.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Random Zen Thoughts

Push the 'Zen Button' to receive your Koan


We're being BuddhaWatched!:
A post at Zen Filter, telling us that there are 237 'live' trademarks on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that have the name ZEN as part of the mark, interested me so I went to the online list of registrations to get more detail.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Automatically generated Zen sentences (Flash).

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Oneness of Two - Talk by Katherine Thanas

A choiceless practice requires that we actually limit ourselves to not choosing in a particular situation . . . and it can reveal the wholeness of our body and mind, of 'inside' and 'outside,' 'good' and 'bad'. When we suspend picking and choosing, things can be seen as the multiple aspects of one reality.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Zen Buddhism at About.com

Lots of useful information here, and links to other good sites.

Zen Quotations

Here's a nice one:
If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....

How to Sit in Zazen

Basic guide.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Idler: Ah, is this not happiness?

It is based on a wonderful piece of Chinese writing called Chin’s Thirty Three Happy Moments. Chin Shengt’an was a 17th century playwright who once found himself stranded with a friend in a temple for ten days because of a rainstorm. While thus secluded, the pair compiled a list of the truly happy moments in life.
. . .
To submit a happy moment send us an email The form is simple: describe the happy moment, and then add: "ah, is this not happiness?"
To read these amusing happy moments, ah, is this not happiness?

More Zen Jokes

Q: How many Zen buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Tree falling in the forest.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Buddhism Depot

If compassion arises from the awareness of suffering, why isn't the world a more compassionate place?
Good question. Visit this site for their answer, as well as an Introduction to Buddhism and Buddhist Humor

Sunday, January 23, 2005

What Is Zen?

Yet another approach to answering that time old question.
Zen shows us that what we mistakenly call ourselves, our personal identity, is really no more than a mask over our true selves and natures.

Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive

Visit the archive or go straight to today's picture.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

What Can We Learn From Buddhism

What can we learn from Buddhism? The answer to this question could be nothing or many things; both answers, according to Buddhism, are correct.
Interesting article. There are many more articles here.

Friday, January 21, 2005

True Zen Teachings; from the Soto Zen lineage of Kodo Sawaki and Taisen Deshimaru

Lots of good articles to read here. I particularly liked Good and Bad, which states "Joy and suffering are relative ideas, indefinite and deceiving."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Gateless Passage

The Gateless Passage is a Buddhist eJournal published by Charles Patton (Shih Famen). It was originally created in 1998 simply to share his own research and translations from the Chinese Buddhist Canon.
Includes an article called What is Buddhism?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Zen Interpretation of Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks' SMiLE

For all you Zen Beachboys fans.
This webpage is based upon the idea that the SMiLE album is in essence a Zen koan, or riddle,an expression of spiritual enlightenment.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana meditation is a Buddhist practice that uses pure self-observation to realize the transient nature of life's activities.
. . .
If you do find yourself thinking . . . then silently label it "thinking" and go back to the breath. If you hear a noise -- a cough or a siren on the street, for example -- label the noise "cough" or "siren" and return to your outbreath. If you feel discomfort in your ankles or knees, label it "pain," adjust your position if necessary, and return to the breath.
Related to this is the yoga meditation, witnessing your thoughts.

Monday, January 17, 2005

'Happy Birthday, Brother Vincent': Lama Surya Das pays loving tribute to one of the earth's great souls

At any exhibit of his paintings, I find myself standing long and strong before his self-portraits, attracted by the aura of spiritual energy in his dissolving-and-simultaneously revealing, halo-encircled depictions, particularly (given my Buddhist leanings) the one of himself “a simple worshipper of the eternal Buddha,” as he once wrote.
Look at this self portrait of Van Gogh as a Buddhist Monk. (via Metafilter)

A few Buddhist Stories

Broken down into Stories from the Pali Canon and the Jataka, Zen Stories, and Other beautiful stories, this site states, "This page is a must-see for every child looking for stories to educate his/her parents."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Zazen practice

Includes brief discusions of breathing and Zazen's influence on our lives.

Precepts of the Zen Peacemaker Order

Inviting all creations into the mandala of my practice and vowing to serve them, I take refuge in:

Oneness, the awakened nature of all beings.
Diversity, the ocean of wisdom and compassion.
Harmony, the interdependence of all creations.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Zen Art by Monk Song Yoon

What is the sound of one hand painting?

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Quotes from Bodhidharma. Here's one to ponder:
If you know that everything comes from the mind, don't become attached. Once attached, you're unaware. But once you see your own nature, the entire Canon becomes so much prose. It's thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind. Understanding comes in midsentence. What good are doctrines?
The links go to a glossary.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Zen Trademarks

A quick Trademark search shows over 237 current ("live") trademarks with Zen in them, including ZEN IN BLACK, SUSHI ZEN, ZEN LAW, ZEN ZOO, and of course, SIMPLY ZEN. Nothing sells like Zen! Buy it today!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Faith in Mind, With a Guide to Ch'an Practice, by Master Sheng-Yen

This is a long poem and longer commentary, but it might be worth printing out and reading if you can't bear to read it online. It starts off:
The Supreme Way is not difficult
If only you do not pick and choose.
Neither love nor hate,
And you will clearly understand.
Be off by a hair,
And you are as far from it as heaven from earth.
If you want the Way to appear,
Be neither for nor against.
For and against opposing each other
This is the mind's disease.
Without recognizing the mysterious principle
It is useless to practice quietude.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Zen Karmics - a Zen prison online comic

Yes, you read that right, a Zen online comic that takes place in prison. Honestly, what more can you ask for?

Art of Zazen

Very detailed meditation instructions and discussion:
Zazen is exactly peace, simple peace. There is nothing around zazen to touch it. Zazen is to realize exactly who you are. That's all you have to do.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Chan Magazine

There's some heavy reading over at Chan Magazine. I liked this book excerpt about Chan and "Emptiness" which says, "silence, in and of itself, is anything but innocent or neutral, much less free of ignorance. How the more problematic it becomes when it is blissful!" There are plenty of other good articles here worth checking out.

Vegetarianism and Buddhism

An interesting issue, dealt with at length in this article, which concludes:
The Buddha may have permitted monks to eat meat under very limited circumstances. Would he allow monks to eat meat today? It is very doubtful, as there are many alternatives to meat and the Buddha clearly indicated that not eating meat was preferable if at all possible.
I've read other articles that reach the opposite conclusion, but this one seems the best researched, so draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

20th & 21st Century Zen People

A slightly out of date but still useful listing of people currently involved in Zen, with their lineage and a link to more information about them.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Zen / Ch'an Writings

These leaves of Dharma are part of the paradox of writings about the 'wordless teaching' that is Zen (Chinese: Ch'an).
Wordless writings? Good enough. Includes a Zen FAQ

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Read about Zen

Zen is known for rejection of reliance on written texts. In spite of this, monks are well versed in Buddhism's ideas and texts. It's the old story of knowing the rules before you break them. Read Zen attempts to cover the basics in an entertaining way while intermediate practitioners can skip through this section quickly.
Includes sections on Tao and Zen and Zen Humor

A monk is walking back from a lecture at a distant temple and gets lost on the wrong side of the river. He needs to get across to get home but cannot find the bridge. Finally, he sees the Master who gave the lecture on the other side and yells out to him.

"Master, how do I get to the other side of the river."

Monday, January 03, 2005

Dharma Lessons & Daily Practice for kids

Sharing lessons with children can help them to develop an understanding of the Dharma. Hopefully these lessons will grow and develop along with these web pages.
Includes lessons on Wisdom & Compassion and What's Meditation?

Zen and the art of hangover maintenance

Sorry if this is a little late, I just found it. File it under "future hangovers." And Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Zen files for your Palm Pilot

For more Palm Zen there's SageBush Monkey's Palm Pilot Zen Docs and a game called Zen Garden 3.0

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