Bodhi Trees

Minding the Earth Mending the World Review

In nature we see Buddhist truths unfold, while in Buddhism we find ways to heal the natural world. Jessica Morey on Minding the Earth, Mending the World. Minding the Earth, Mending the World: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis By Susan Murphy Counterpoint 2014; 320 pp., $16.95 (paper) How can we wrap our minds around something so vast as the destruction of the [...]

Check out The Melanthium Band, featuring the piano stylings of Zen teacher Lewis Richmond

The work of Lewis Richmond has been featured a number of times here, but now we're looking at a different kind of work from the author and Zen teacher. "I have recently become part of a new music group called The Melanthium Band," he writes. "Many people who know my books and teaching may not know that I was trained as a classical pianist and composer, and now I have returned [...]

No Shortcut to Awakening


Ross Bolleter guides us through the Cycle of Merit, the ancient Chan master Dongshan’s map showing us the way to enlightenment and back to where we are. Orientation Sage rulers have always modeled themselves on Emperor Yao. Treating others with propriety, you bend your dragon waist. At times, passing through the thick of the bustling market, you find it civilized [...]

Being Shaken

Early in my Zen practice I could not sit still in meditation, as I was besieged with involuntary movements. I didn’t stop sitting—no, I kept meditating right on schedule—but my pelvis rocked and bucked, and if I managed to hold it still, my shoulders would break loose and rotate energetically. my head would also whip back and forth and from side to side. an intense fight was [...]

Abandon Hope & Other Surprising Slogans to Help You Handle Anger


Zen teacher Norman Fischer applies five mind-training slogans to anger and other emotions To practice with anger—rather than simply being a victim of it—is to make the effort to respect and understand it. This involves being willing to look more deeply at the complex of negative emotions, which naturally arise as part of our human condition. It requires that we take [...]

Facing suffering, finding joy: Women combat veterans at Tassajara

Every year since 2011, more and more women combat veterans have been making their way to Northern California’s remote Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for specially focused retreats called “Honoring the Path of the Warrior.” This year, the New York Times sat in as twenty women vets processed “the impact of combat, of taking life and of seeing life taken” as well as the particular [...]

Koans: They’re not puzzles. They’re not riddles. So what are they?

You've probably heard of koans, or at least of one particular koan: "What is the sound of one hand?" That one's so famous even Bart Simpson has grappled with it. Often koans are explained as being riddles -- which is how Lisa Simpson, actually a Buddhist, presented them to her brother. Well, koans can be mind-bending, in their way. But there's much more to them than some sort [...]

Read Brad Warner’s “A Punk Looks at Fifty,” from the July Shambhala Sun, now

Crummy cars, a wall of guitars, and a whole bunch of meditation: sure, it's not exactly the American Dream, but Brad Warner (rendered here by the legendary comics artist Peter Bagge, in his first Shambhala Sun appearance) is good with that. In "A Punk Looks at Fifty," Warner, a Zen teacher, a musician, filmmaker, and author of five books (including Hardcore Zen and There Is No [...]

Zen artist Mark T Morse: Depicting the masters

"I’ll keep to any teacher of Zen, alive between 1950 and today," writes Mark T Morse of his new art project, a series of brush-and-ink portraits of modern dharma teachers, each married with a short teaching/quote by its subject. "My primary goal," Morse says, "is to visually explore the rich and diverse world of individuals shaping what is presently called Zen, to explore [...]

Buddha’s Daughters: An interview with Karen Maezen Miller

The author of Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, Karen Maezen Miller describes herself as an errant wife, delinquent mother, reluctant dog walker, and expert laundress. She's also a Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles. Two of Karen's teachings are found in my anthology Buddha's Daughters: Teachings from Women [...]