Friday, 15 March 2019


294. Just walk straight on the narrow mountain path of the Awakened One, even though you might find that it has ninety-nine bends. Don't worry about the bends but walk mindfully each step, with each step your first step. And so you cultivate 'beginner's mind'. Progressing along this path you will discover that you are always a beginner.  

Thursday, 14 March 2019


293. Zen Master AMA Samy says that the True Self is 'an openness to the All' and that this can be realized 'only in the journeying'. This journeying, he tells us, 'begins with the first step Here and Now'. He then adds, 'every step is the first step'.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019


292. When I vow to walk the Way of the Awakened One, I expect to walk and not to stumble. And yet, in spite of my best intentions, I sometimes stumble and even fall down. What to do? Must keep in mind my own limitations and not pretend to an unrealistic perfection. So while Zen talks of jiriki, I must not confuse the 'I' of self-power with that of my small ego self. 

Sunday, 10 March 2019


291. The Zen practitioner, vividly aware of being somewhat less than perfect, nevertheless vows on a daily basis to do the seemingly impossible. For how can someone who is weak, fallible, and burdened with a history of bad choices, sincerely vow 'to save the many beings', or 'to abandon delusive passions and thoughts', or 'to fully realize the vast and fathomless Dharma', or 'to walk to the very end the endless Way of the Awakened One'? Here such a one must meet the challenge of the koan: 'walk straight on a narrow mountain path with ninety nine bends'.

Thursday, 28 February 2019


290. Walking the path but getting nowhere while never standing still. The paradox of the wayless way. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


289. Homo viator: on the road again I travel straight on a narrow mountain road with ninety-nine bends. Finding that this 'Way of the Awakened' is without end, I vow to walk it to the very end. Treading this path I learn that I am a pilgrim and a wanderer like all my ancestors, and have nowhere to lay my head.    

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


288. Doing zazen we are advised to focus on just this breathing moment. But to focus on this moment we need to be open to the reality that presents itself here and now. What is this reality? Our answer here will depend on whether we view moments as discrete points on an invisible line or as ripples on a living stream of consciousness.