"Bright Shards: Recollecting Marija Gimbutas" in From
the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas,
Joan Marler, editor (KIT, 1997)
"Body of Radiant Knots: Healing as Remembering" in Being
Bodies: Buddhist Women on the Paradox of Embodiment, Lenore Friedman & Susan
Moon, eds. (Shambhala, 1997)
Enlightenment (1997) "So what is your enlightenment? it is the
place you came from when you were born and it is the place you will
return when you die. It is home. The particular wave that is you rises
and falls for such a brief moment from that great ocean of essential
nature, and that wave is entirely ocean, is home itself. As children
the taste of salt water still lingers in our mouths, but as we grow
older the memory of ocean recedes, leaving a feeling of longing, of
inexplicable exile, in its wake."
as Art (1998) "These paintings gave me the light of my
childhood, which I knew in my cells but wasn’t aware of. So I had the
world, and my own life, in a way I didn’t before, because I became
conscious of something, and could articulate something, which had until
then been immensely important but unconscious. And this is how koans
can work: They illuminate the essential nature we already are but lose
touch with. They too can give us the world, and our own lives, in ways
we didn’t have them before."
the Dream of All Beings(1998) "Between the world of form and the world
of emptiness there is another world, the world of the dreaming of all
things. It is the place we are never alone, where all beings interpenetrate
and transform each other, where life dreams itself into existence moment
by moment, over and over again."
and the Transforming of Them (1998) "If the prerequisite for happiness and
sanity is to have this ideal life, all of us are doomed, because
no one, not a single one of us, does...This is exactly the kind of
delusion our practice is about letting go of. Not so we can come
into some kind of perfect life, but so we can come into relationship
with what is actually true about life...This is human life.
Exactly this. The vastness throws up redwoods and skyscrapers and
killer whales and human beings who are exactly like this, and it
is not a mistake."
into the Beautiful Project: Uncertainty, Grace, and Being Human
(2004) Baccalaureate Address, Colorado College "What does it mean to be alive in a
universe that’s like a vast sea, and everything we know and experience
is no more than the sunlit foam on the surface of the waves of that sea?
And how is it that that sunlit foam—the world as we experience
it—is so terribly lovely and so awesomely difficult, all at the
Floating World (2005) Originally published in Shambhala Sun "The image of a human life as a small
skiff on the wide waters of the world has been around as long as people
have had boats, and the thought that life is a dream is no news flash,
either. But what does it mean that there is something happy, maybe even
beautiful or consoling, in thinking so?"
Thoughts on Zen (2003) "One of the things I love most about zen
is that it accepts that life is simultaneously beautiful and difficult,
and it asks us not to turn away from either. It suggests that it is
helpful in this matter of being alive in a beautiful and difficult
world to foster an attitude of warmth and curiosity; this allows us
to live with a more open heart and mind, and to notice what happens
when we do."
The next three essays were a series looking at our place
within zen tradition, and how that tradition is changing. They were originally
published in the Dharma Rag, the newsletter of Springs Mountain Sangha
Marvelous Error(with apologies to Antonio
Machado)(2002) "Of course I recognize that what we're
doing is a mistake, just as a more traditionalist approach would
be a different mistake. Again, it's not that one way is better
than another, but that, for me, this is the way with which I feel
the deepest affinity, and so it is the mistake I choose."
House Style (2003) "It
is from a deep exploration of these three currents—that something we
recognize across time and space; the parts of our received tradition
we understand to be conditioned and find enduringly useful, or beautiful;
and our native expressions of Zen, both from the western tradition
and in our own practices now—that we can help create a Zen
of this time and place."
Alive (2003) "Sometimes we change something because
it isn’t working...But sometimes the tradition itself is changing,
outside anyone's control or intentions, into something else it wants
to be. Nowhere is this clearer than in the way we work with koans."
Refuge in the
Storm: On Taking the Precepts (1998)
"Deciding to participate in a ceremony of taking refuge in the bodhisattva
way is a deeply personal matter: It’s a request that rises from the heart,
usually to acknowledge the sense of coming home one has found in the practice,
and the desire to live a life that is beneficial to oneself and others, a life
of greater kindness."