Monday, August 6, 2012

Farming and Tea and Calligraphy

Some people have great complaints about Green Gulch. They're not incorrect. However, there is a lot to participate in here that people who complain about Green Gulch didn't actually participate in.

Aside from two Dharma talks and three Buddhism classes a week, 3 periods of meditation and two ceremonies everyday, and weekly roles, like chiden, tenken, or shoten, and monthly one day sits or workshops on everything from bee keeping to photography, or haiku or calligraphy, two yearly sesshins, practice periods, and tea ceremony events like a kaiseki or chaji, I find enough here to stay busy and motivated.

Not to mention a library with about 600 or so books I've never read.

Not to mention some senior Dharma teachers and seasoned priests to have practice discussion with, and traveling Dharma teachers passing through.

One close friend dared me to be happy here for more than two years. He lived here for several, so he's got a longer view than I do, but I can't help but think a poor attitude like that would make a person not like it here.

Everyone likes to talk about Tassajara and how much better it is than Green Gulch. Frankly, it makes me vomit in my mouth a little. I'm not buying it. I'm going in the winter, because that's the plan and path to ordination, but I'm not going because I think it will be better. Why? That's how I ended up here, thinking that some place was better than the place I was in. And just about every week, I miss Mid City Zen, our little Zendo, our little Sangha, its growth, and its sincere, almost pure way seeking mind, its beginning beginner's mind.

And there some things that bug me about Green Gulch, for sure, but I won't list them here. Let a person find out for themselves what their mind decides to attach preference to. For now, I'll abide, and point out three things that will keep me here for a while.


Learn about birth and death right here!

Tea Ceremony:

Sit in seiza until your knees explode in here! Also, enjoy the calligraphy, flowers, sweets, tea, and pottery, while in near death pain. 


Don't know what it says? No worries, neither do native Japanese or Chinese- it's hentaigana, older than dirt cursive, like reading a letter from your Grandparents. 

So, no disrespect to the disrespect, but there's a lot to love and hate wherever we go. Let's not offend or, whoops, defend! 


  1. Your blog looks VERY interesting. I'm glad I found it. :)

    1. Great to have you aboard! I've tried to respond about 3 times (each attempt thwarted), but, as you'd imagine, the temple's technology fund is a bit dry!

      Big bow,