Recent Posts

Ango Opening: What’s Your Story?

Ango Opening: What’s Your Story?

Seido talks about the Dharma Cloud practice of telling one's life story to open the fall practice period. It's through the release of one's story and willingness to have a story without being attached t it that the path of Zen is realized....

read more
Blue Cliff Case 78: 16 Bodhisattvas Enter the Bath

Blue Cliff Case 78: 16 Bodhisattvas Enter the Bath

Seido reflects on this koan and its relationship to what unfolded during a recent sesshin at Empty Field Zendo for 17 practitioners. In this talk, she asks questions about what it means to get in and out of the bath and what water is in practice....

read more
Blue Cliff Case 43: Dongshan’s Heat and Cold

Blue Cliff Case 43: Dongshan’s Heat and Cold

Seido talks about our propensity to avoid discomfort and the invitation from this koan to become intimate with life that says "yes" regardless of conditions. The three bodies of buddha are also referred to in this talk (nirmanakaya, dharmakaya and sambogakaya) and how...

read more
Case 52: Zhaozhou’s Bridge

Case 52: Zhaozhou’s Bridge

A disappointed monk traveling to great Master Joshu's monastery challenges the teacher about what Zen is supposed to look like. Seido encourages the student to look into what is known in experience about the "bridge" to the "other shore" - the path from samsaric...

read more
Case 91: Yanguan’s Rhinoceros Fan

Case 91: Yanguan’s Rhinoceros Fan

Seido opens this summer's koan study with suggestions on how to engage these classical exchanges not from the thinking mind but on a more immediate intimate level. She uses Case 91 as an example on how to take up a koan's dreamlike quality and follow the salient...

read more
Garden of Flowers & Weeds: Seppo’s Grain of Rice

Garden of Flowers & Weeds: Seppo’s Grain of Rice

Seido introduces koan practice for students of the Soto way that emphasizes the koan that arises in everyday life. This talk includes reflections on Blue Cliff Record #5 in which the Zen Master tells his students to "pick up the whole great earth in your fingers and...

read more
The Edge of Trauma and Zen

The Edge of Trauma and Zen

In this talk, Seido summarizes some of the key teachings presented at a recent workshop on healing trauma for Zen practitioners. Included are ways of understanding the karmic imprint of trauma, the essential need for compassion, and how Zen supports a return to direct...

read more
Case 52: Zhaozhou’s Bridge

Heart Sutra: The Meandering Nature of Practice

In this talk, Seido shares her own meander through the sixty days of the spring Ango period studying the Heart Sutra. Rather than a straight line, practice often takes on this winding journey involving inspiration and boredom, insight and forgetfulness, passionate...

read more
Heart Sutra: The Power of Disillusionment

Heart Sutra: The Power of Disillusionment

Seido talks about the Heart Sutra as a process of "disillusionment" - a teaching that takes everything away to reveal something of great value. Rather than be a depressing failure of life, Zen celebrates the liberating moment of disillusionment that brings us closer...

read more
Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day Celebration

On April 24, 2022, the Zen West sangha honored the giant incense cedar in the courtyard with an enormous green rakusu and the dharma name of Mokukan, Gentle Patient Tree. In the talk prior to the ceremony, Seido addresses the ecological crisis of our times and...

read more