tags /monasticism /

posts tagged with the above term(s)

view tagged posts from: any | journal | essays | notes | resources | collections | highlights | notebooks

insights from a forest monk

I like to read Buddhist books because it serves a radical narrative compared to the ones we’ve been served in mainstream society. It teaches us to understand the nature of our suffering,…


I read last year’s before writing this. Last year I wrote that I was profoundly sad – that sadness is a feeling stuck in the depths of my body. This year I think I…

on “A Psalm for the Wild-Built”

Someone on reddit asked for: “A book that tells you that your life doesn’t need a purpose, or a grand ambition; and that it’s okay to just wander through life finding interesting…

state-sponsored retreat

Lisa had once likened his cell in San Quentin to a monk’s cell in a state-sponsored retreat. She was joking, but he reflected on it again now. “It’s true,” he said. “It’s been a place to contemplate and study, to sit with all these new ideas and turn them around in my head and practice integrating them into my life. I never would have done any of that. I wouldn’t have looked at my past, that scary shit—I’d still be running from it.”

Many Japanese unconsciously regard the renunciation of the world

Many Japanese unconsciously regard the renunciation of the world to take Buddhist vows as inherently tragic. I myself had largely subscribed to this view. But after coming to Eiheiji, it struck me that there wasn’t necessarily anything tragic about it at all. People like Keikou, who’d chosen the monastic life for positive reasons, altered my thinking and inspired me. A serious, sober young man who devoted himself quietly to Zen practice, he had fully earned the honor and responsibility of being named head monk, and all of us held him in high regard.

discipline at Eiheiji

discipline at Eiheiji has nothing to do with attaining supernatural powers or doing special meditation, nor does it entail harsh penance or mortification of the flesh. Rather, it is to be found in the everyday practice of Zen rules. There is no differentiation between means and end. Monastic discipline is not something done in order to gain enlightenment; rather, the faithful observance of monastic discipline is enlightenment, in and of itself.