Zen Filter

Zen Buddhist websites, news, and discussion

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Zen and Popular Culture - An Interview with Zenshin Roshi

A good discussion of emptiness, Zen, and more.

. . . all phenomenon exists in conjunction with all other phenomenon. Consequently, when you try to look at something's ontological structure, that is when you try to define it as an absolute thing in and of itself, it is 'empty' in that what you're seeing is merely the result of your own sensual limitations or epistemological processes. It's not a matter of the thing's real being; it's a matter of the way you perceive it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Cultural Inroads/Polish couple seek peace through Zen - Daily Yomiuri On-Line

Interesting article:

Nyogen Nowak rises before dawn and starts every day with Zen meditation and sutra chanting. He has kept up this routine for more than 30 years. But if not for a gift from his mother on his 15th birthday, the 48-year-old Pole would never have had the life of a Zen monk in Japan.

Click the link above for the rest.

The Big Mind and the little self

Interesting article

When Dennis Merzel began his formal Zen studies three decades ago, his Japanese Zen master's methods left him perplexed. 'DIE ON YOUR CUSHION!' Koryu Roshi exhorted his novices who sat cross-legged on cushions facing a wall at the Los Angeles Zen Center. 'BECOME THE WALL!'

'I don't know what the hell he's talking about,' Merzel remembers thinking. 'And even if I knew, I'm not doing it.'

Buddhist Youth Network - www.YoungBuddhist.Net

A message board for, yes, you guessed it, young Buddhists. Neat!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Week of Kindness Blog: Laura K. Pahl is a Plagiarist.

File this under Zen and the art of plagiarism. A blogger is contacted by a college student who offers to pay him to write a paper on a Hindu related topic. He agrees, but writes a paper full of intentional errors, and alerts her school about the whole thing. Bad Karma? Bad prank? The comments range from very jokey to very serious discussions of the ethical ramifications. Here's one of the latter:

In my mind, the ultimate question is this: what position are we in to judge others and to determine what is good for them, especially when our 'help' actually leads to a tremendous amount of hardship for them? I think there are some particularly striking examples of this kind of behavior in the world today. No matter what judgment you personally make, I think it's important to give this matter some careful thought.

Much more good stuff here for those with time to read through it. What do you think his response should have been?

Alexander's ZEN Diary

Another nice Zen blog

This Weblog is about meditation: what leads people to it, the effect it can have on the quality of your life, and about some of the difficulties and misunderstandings that can arise in evaluating your practice.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Zazen Meditation Guide - Chapter 01. What is Zazen

'Zen' is not simply a device for centering and calming the mind but also embracing the wisdom of enlightenment.

A long but interest guide. You might want to start with the introduction.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Japanese Archery and Zen Practice - Moon in Dewdrop

Studying Kyudo [archery] can benefit anyone that is practicing Zen since shooting exercises patience, tolerance of frustration, and the awareness of one's state of mind. Similarly, the mindfulness developed by Zen practice can help the archer. Correct breathing is essential in Kyudo, and is almost identical to that used in Zazen, offering a benefit that can be realized early.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Marks Mind - Main Page

An interesting personal site with lots of quotes, like:
Watermelons and Zen Students
grow pretty much the same way.
Long periods of sitting
till they ripen and grow all juicy inside,
but when you knock them on the head
to see of they're ready—
sounds like nothing's going on.

Zen Mumonkan Manuscript - online exhibit

Munmonkan Manuscript dated 1246, Song Dynasty.
Mumonkan, The Gateless Gate, is a collection of Zen Koan ( a subject for contemplation in Zen Buddhism, usually one of the sayings or significant incidents of a great Zen master of the past ).

Friday, March 25, 2005

Water Dissolves Water - Picture yourself on a boat . . .

Another great post at Water Dissolves Water.
Picture yourself on this boat on the river. In that very moment, there is nothing other than the world of the boat. Just as your poling is what causes the aggregate to be a boat, the boat is also defined by the river, and the river is defined by the shore, and the shore is defined by the land just as the land is defined by the sky. In fact, everything in the universe is defining every other thing in the universe, and they are all defining the boat, and you are pushing the boat, and at the same time, the boat is carrying you.

Prime Minister receives expatriate Vietnamese Zen Master

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh expressed his joy at visiting the homeland and his thinking about the close link between Buddhism and the nation, stressing the importance of the spiritual life.

The Five Moral Precepts and Philosophical Tenets of Zen Buddhism

A sort of annotated version of the precepts. The extra large text and distracting background detract a little, but the information is good.

Vegetarianism and Zen Practice

Sensei Sevan Ross discusses Zen practice, Buddhism, and and being a vegetarian

I personally feel that vegetarianism can be a living expression of realization, an opportunity to practice BUDDHISM, with all its compassion and great regard for all life. It is the fulfillment of a habit of harmlessness and selflessness when regarding the animal realm.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Like sand in the hourglass, so are the days of our lives | MetaFilter

Metafilter post about mandalas with some good links

Zen Physics

Darling's 1996 book online. He deals with astronomy, astrobiology, spaceflight, speculative science (teleportation, time travel, etc), and the nature of consciousness. Also of interest is this post and Some thoughts on zen and modern physics [the latter has a dark background, hit Ctrl-a to select all the text on the page and make it readable. That's your Zen computer tip of the day].

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Zen helps educator show the way

Yet another "Zen and the art of" book

John Perricone said he uses the Zen concept of shoshin to avoid boredom. Shoshin means 'beginner's mind,' and it encourages one to approach each day like it's the last.

Yaddha, Yaddha, Yaddha: Ken Wilber on Emptiness

your present consciousness sees color and is therefore itself colorless. You can see space, so your present consciousness is spaceless. You are aware of time, because your consciousness is timeless. You see form, your consciousness is formless.

Journal of Buddhist Ethics

Interesting book review of "The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism"

It is particularly welcome in adopting what might be described as a 'second generation' perspective on Zen ethics which eschews the views of an earlier generation of writers such as Alan Watts and D.T.Suzuki that Zen is amoral and beyond morality. As the author rightly states, 'Although they made it sound right, both were implicitly dead wrong. Zen is not amoral. It is a practice that takes place within a very definite, clear context that is most definitely moral and ethical'

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A History of Zen Buddhism - Contents

A long history of Zen from About.com

Monday, March 21, 2005


Mindfulness (Sati) is a subtle process that you are using at this very moment. The fact that this process lies above and beyond words does not make it unreal - quite the reverse. Mindfulness is the reality which gives rise to words - the words that follow are simply pale shadows of reality.

A good excerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana

Do Buddhists Watch Telly?

But as the Zen and Tibetan Buddhists know - real Buddhism is indestructable. Whatever gets swept out of the water is just flotsam - the ocean remains untouched and expansive.
Interesting blog with lots of pictures.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Zen Talk: Silence Mind Disturbance Mind

'Silence mind' is not Zen. If we abide in silence mind, it soon breaks. Trying to stay in this mind of silence can be a source of confusion or disturbance. When we do Zen, the appearance is that we are supposed to be silent. Zen is the mind where both silence and disturbance is cut off. So from the outside it might look like silence but on the inside of someone doing Zen, its not silence either. We have to know this in order to practice correctly.
Interesting article.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Introduction to Hokku

Unlike contemporary haiku, which is heavily influenced by Western poetry and concepts, hokku uses ordinary English punctuation to guide the reader gently through the brief three lines. It also avoids topics that tend to disturb or trouble the mind.

Buddhist art

The link title pretty much says it all.

Friday, March 18, 2005

PortlandTribune.com | Thurman illuminates Zen path

Robert Thurman is the eminent American authority on Tibetan Buddhism, the first Westerner ordained as a monk by the Dalai Lama himself.
But Thurman’s decades-long search for spiritual serenity hasn’t kept him from enjoying the movies “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” on which his daughter Uma collaborated with hyperviolent filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.

Breath by Breath

Our mind is the most precious asset we have. No jewel can compare with it, because the mind contains the seed of enlightenment. Unless we use it properly, we're foolishly burying a jewel in the dirt.
Nice Zen blog

auspicious coincidence

I’m building my life on a fault line, which would be fine if I was really ready to build a life that I was willing to let go when the earth began to rumble and shake.
Another nice Zen blog

Thursday, March 17, 2005

BBC - Homes - Design inspiration - Contemporary Zen Living Room (?!?)

Apparently purple+stripes-children = "Zen"

Create a relaxing purple room, which is ideal for chilling out in. Escape from daily drudgery and the children with this calming design, enhanced by a simple water feature.


A nice blog that invites you to


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Water Dissolves Water: Hiking the Three Treasures

one does not 'attain' Buddhahood like one can summit a mountain. Where does one go after reaching the summit? Nothing is 'attained,' because you already are a Buddha, each and every one of you.
Interesting blog post

Black and White Photo Gallery

Some nice pictures from Zen Mountain Monastery.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Zen Terms

A useful Zen glossary with some interesting asides.

Zen Sex (?!?)

To say that zen has nothing to do with sex would be to say that sex is unnatural.
Replace the word "sex" with any other noun or verb.
  • To say that zen has nothing to do with apples would be to say that apples are unnatural.
  • To say that zen has nothing to do with sleeping would be to say that sleeping is unnatural.
  • To say that zen has nothing to do with faulty logic would be to say that faulty logic is unnatural.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Meditations for kids

If the animated gifs don't drive you nuts there are some good beginning Mindfullness exercises here for kids, including the Chocolate Meditation

Sunday, March 13, 2005


An interesting blog by a lay Zen Buddhist.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Clearing Clutter

As we bring order to our physical lives, we bring order to our inner being as well. “When the flower arranger arranges the flowers, he also arranges his mind and the mind of the person who looks at the flowers,” goes one Zen saying.
An interesting article in Tricycle.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Zen and the Art of Business Ethics - The Daily Californian

“If you’re reacting, you’re just a robot,” Phillips says. “Centering puts us all on the same page and gives us a chance to be human beings rather than human doings.”

Q & A Buddhism

Some interesting questions and answers for beginning Buddhists.
Q: What is the difference between reincarnation and rebirth?
A: The reincarnation idea is to believe in a soul or a being, separate from the body. At the death of the physical body, this soul is said to move into another state and then enter a womb to be born again.

Rebirth is different and can be explained in this way. Take away the notion of a soul or a being living inside the body; take away all ideas of self existing either inside or outside the body. Also take away notions of past, present and future; in fact take away all notions of time. Now, without reference to time and self, there can be no before or after, no beginning or ending, no birth or death, no coming or going. Yet there is life! Rebirth is the experience of life in the moment, without birth, without death; it is the experience of life which is neither eternal nor subject to annihilation.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Adventures of Ohmiomyo and Karma

Zen cartoons. Don't miss patience. [Flash]

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Zen MP3s from Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery

Among these online Dharma Talks are Responsibility for Happiness and The True Form of Things

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Big Mind

Big Mind is without size, without limits, and is utterly ungraspable. Big Mind has no beginning and no end, no birth and no death, no boundary and no center. We can verify this for ourselves by simply looking in.
An interesting article.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Causes of suffering - for Kids!

"The Buddha said that all sadness in the world has
Three Root Causes" A somewhat corny cartoony explanation of the causes of suffering, geared toward kids.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


The Dhammapada is a collection of sayings of Buddha in verse form that is one of the few (perhaps only) scriptures that is studied by all forms of Buddhism.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mark Light - The Zen Garden

A virtual Zen garden you can play with online. Relaaaaax

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A few good quantum mechanical Zen koans

One day Chuang-tzu and a friend were walking along a riverbank. 'How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!' Chuang-tzu exclaimed.
'You are not a fish,' his friend said. 'How do you know whether or not the fishes are enjoying themselves?'
'You are not me,' Chuang-tzu said. 'How do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?'

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

lotusinthemud: Babysitting Your Boredom

Interesting blog post.
When people say they are bored, often they
mean that they don't want to experience the
sense of emptiness, which is also an expression
of openness and vulnerability. So they pick up
the newspaper or read anything else that's lying
around the room --even reading what it says on
a cereal box to keep themselves entertained.
click above to read the rest.

Listed on BlogShares