some funny things happened to me on the way to waking up...
- "My refuge as a sesshin stooge" - sesshin is to a zen student what a marathon is to a runner. This is an essay I wrote about my first one, a one-day at San Francisco Zen Center in July of 2006.
- To their great credit, a senior teacher, Victoria Austin, of the San Francisco Zen Center read aloud and discussed this essay during a dharma talk opening a sesshin on kindness at SFZC in March 2008. She contacted me and kindly asked for my permission to do this. Here is a link to her talk.
- "Buddhism without bullshit" - about my second sesshin in October of 2007 at Dharma Field Meditation and Learning Center in Minneapolis, MN, my home sangha. This is a record of the first time I practiced at Dharma Field. Now this essay seems embarrassingly over-the-top for both the sniping criticism of San Francisco Zen Center and the billowing praise of Dharma Field. One should read it in the context of knowing that I was greatly relieved to be warmly welcomed at a zen center (and still smarting from what happened to me at SFZC--see above essay). Because of that lingering emotional context, I lean heavily into idealization of Dharma Field.
- Advice for a novice sesshin sitter from an almost-novice sesshin sitter. I was attending my third sesshin, at Dharma Field this time in February 2008, and a friend of mine was coming along. This started out as an e-mail to my friend, and I decided to take my pedantry public (I suppose because I was so impressed by my wisdom). I still regard it as pretty good advice.
- Genzo-e for "One Bright Jewel" - a collection of essays from a Genzo-e (English-language study of Dogen's Shobogenzo) I attended given by Shohaku Okamura at Sanshin Zen Center in Bloomington, IN in April of 2008.
- Great Snow, Great Soreness, Great Sorrow, Great Sincerity, Great Guys - a collection of essays about my experience at my first 5-day Rohatsu sesshin in December 2010 at Dharma Field.