How to Find Enlightenment (at the Periodontist’s)

There is another world and it is inside this one. * ~ Paul Eluard                                         I arrive with headphones and IPod, open mouth, and through an enormous amount of injections, am numbed to the bone. Should I try this sans music, lie back and be...

This Land

In April of 1944 between excursions for the Merchant Marines, Woody Guthrie found himself in a recording studio.* He was tired of hearing God Bless America all the time on the radio (imagine!). When he sang the words, this land is your land, he didn’t mean that we can...

HOLDING SPACE

I sit in the family section, off to the side, in a folding chair, front row. When the officiant mentions the wife and grown children he turns left, where we sit. Those in pews also turn and look at us, the bereaved. I didn’t earn my seat. I married into this row. A...

retreat

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy—to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. ~ Kierkegaard  Snow falls in the early morning at Hokoji. First bells ring at 5:25. Warm inside. Quiet is palpable. Dim light in Zendo, and snow...

Follow

  Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go it’s own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow...

Ego Marmalade

During my first summer at Naropa I signed up for Contemplative Dance Practice with Barbara Dilley. In the mornings the entire community sits together. Then we break off into workshops, poetry, painting, calligraphy, dance. On the phone someone told me to bring a...

Wisdom & Compassion

It was Kobun Chino’s birthday a few days ago. If he was still alive Fran would give him some birthday money and he’d spend it all at the Pacific Mercantile. Lesley would make him sushi. I would be his assistant, along with others. He’d show up late and drive the...

Sangha

“One grass, one word covers the whole world.” Vanja Palmers Roshi, of Switzerland and beyond, sent me those words last week. Now I send them to you.   As I see it this little phrase means that wherever you are, this is it. And somehow this is enough. You’ve heard this...

Making Your Own Days*

  When I was 22 I lived on Cherryvale road with boyfriend, and goats, chickens. We cleaned houses, a good job for a hippie- philosopher- physicist and me, a dancer. I could fit work between class and rehearsals, hauling hay bales, and milking goats. I remember the...

Just Sitting

Just Sitting * The Way is perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent upon practice and realization? . . . What is the use of going off here and there to practice?   ~ Eihei Dogen   Are your lessons done? ~ Leonard Cohen   We come to winter sesshin at...

Katharine Kaufman

She is a priest ordained in the Soto Zen Lineage and teaches meditation and Yoga in Boulder County and the Shambhala Centers. She is an adjunct professor at Naropa where she teaches Movement Arts. She holds MFAs in Dance and Writing/Poetics.