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Practicing in the World, as the World

Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?"

Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"


What brings us to the Dharma? Inspiration? Aspiration? Personal Transformation? Freedom?  Love? Vow? A call from the world?



Bright Clarity Appears Before You

It came about slowly, almost imperceptible—an absence that is less seen or heard, but felt. Like how the swallows' nests nestled around the perimeter of the monastery one day, stopped singing. And the bustle of keeping the garden and grounds watered, dissolved into the cool shadows of an ever-darkening earth.


Silent and serene, forgetting words, bright clarity appears before you



All Inclusive Heart

This is Samsara. This is Nirvana. Exactly as it is.

The sun blazing open clear blue sky, as afternoon heat tenderizes the body, easing the remaining rough edges of self. Or maybe its the other way around, the penetrating heat of a heart opened through Loving Kindness and Compassion clarifies the sky, allowing the Summer Sun to blaze forth unhindered.


How do you help someone?

How do you help someone?

It’s Sunday Program at the monastery. Residents and community members have been sitting alone together in the stillness of zazen. As the sun gently enlightened the meditation hall, and a soft breeze kissed each face. Hogen posses this question to the group—


Kiss the Earth

"Try it", Chozen Roshi beckons, "when you wake-up—kiss the Earth".


Temple Cleaning

There's nothing like caring for our sacred spaces to sweep out the cobwebs of our minds! Twelve sangha members gathered to freshen up Heart of Wisdom inside and out by removing trees, pruning, digging, putting up blinds, planting shrubs and flowers, and working in the library. 


You're so....


Recognize this image? Alarming, disturbing, or plain out wrong? This is the posture of oppression. It doesn't feel good. And yet, we may have this going on inside our heads. The Inner Critic. The voice continously, harshly criticizing everything from our looks, behviours, dress, values, goals and aspirations.

On Thursday using his humor, charisma, and heartfelt honesty Soten helped us recognize how the critic functions in our lives.


This Summer’s Breeze Bellows Briskly and Full


The Summer Breeze resounds through Great Vow Monastery as the Summer Training Period turns over another month.

Hogen Roshi ‘s voice permeated throughout the Dharma Hall as we opened the July Period this Tuesday evening—

“What we put our life energy into matters,…for our lives are shaped by the way we continue to direct our attention.”


Absorbing World Sounds

Zen teacher-deejay-percussionist Adam Jogen Salzberg led an evening of deep listening meditation at Heart of Wisdom. He wove soundscapes to encourage full immersion into the depth and beauty of music and led toning practices to unlock and merge the body's own resonance. 


The Dragons' Roar

"By our age, we have acquired skills," Mushin said to a zendo full of Silver Dragons. "We're even masters in our fields. But we're amateurs at being old. Old is the new new. Old is the new now."