RSS feeds

Zen Blog

Zen Blog

The First Noble Truth

teaching May 16, 2024 The First Noble Truth is "All things are suffering." Life is suffering. The word in Sanskrit is duḥkha. Sometimes it is translated as unsatisfactory." Situations in this world and our lives are not what we want them to be. There's almost always a gap between what we want and what is. As much as we cannot accept that gap, we suffer. Our inability to accept life as it is and our desire for things to be different create suffering in our lives. Out of that gap grow all the coping mechanisms that we individually create to try t...

What Is Enough Mind?

teaching Mar 07, 2024 "Enough mind" means you’ve got enough. You don’t need anything else. The First Noble Truth states that life is suffering. Sometimes we say life is unsatisfactory. Why is it unsatisfactory? It always needs to be a little bit different. But if life doesn’t need to be any different than it is now, where is the dissatisfaction? That’s "enough mind."   We suffer because we either want things to be different than they are now, or we’re afraid that they’re going to change and we’re going to lose what we have. So if we can just go...

Why Be In This Moment?

teaching Mar 05, 2024 The question always comes to, “Why do that?” So now we’re present, now what? Is it for our own enjoyment? That’s okay, that’s nice; we all want our own enjoyment. But that brings us back to suffering because we’re only happy as long as it brings us joy. As soon as that joy is gone, we’re not happy anymore, and then we leave the moment. So why be in the moment? What’s our intention? What’s our direction? What is it that we are after? Zen Master Bon Soeng

Struggle and Bliss

teaching Feb 22, 2024 We think we understand what's good and what's bad, but we don't know. So just breathe! And then whatever happens, that's what happens. You learn from all of it. That struggle is powerful. That moment of bliss is also powerful. There is something to be gleaned from all of it. It's just the craving of one and the pushing away of the other that creates a problem. By Zen Master Bon Soeng

The Meditation Pill

teaching Feb 15, 2024 If I can connect with what I am doing, I can stay grounded and pay attention to those reactions, see them and not get carried away with them. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the good times or despair the bad times. But if I stay grounded, connected with something beyond my likes and dislikes, then there is some stability and clarity in my life because I am not jumping all around getting lost in my reactions. If somebody calls me something that I don’t like and that raises my anger, I then start acting out of my anger and los...

The 84 Problems In Life

jason quinn jdpsn teaching Feb 08, 2024 During the Buddha’s time, there was a farmer who had many problems. He told the Buddha all about how difficult his life was. The weather never cooperated with what he wanted. It was too wet or too dry, so his crops often failed. His wife was very critical of him, and his children didn't show any gratitude for anything that he did for them. Also, his neighbors were always gossiping about him.   The farmer was expecting the Buddha to have a solution for his problems. But the Buddha said he could not help hi...

The Basic Teaching Of The Buddha

teaching Feb 01, 2024 The basic teaching of the Buddha was that if you want happiness, don’t go chasing after the things that you want or like, and don’t push away the things that you don’t like. It's chasing after what you want and the resisting of what you don’t want that causes suffering. The very simple truth, the Buddha said, was if you can stay present in this moment and accept what’s here, happiness actually arises. In a way that’s counterintuitive and a little bit preposterous. Happiness is not about getting what I want and not getting ...

Great Meaning To The World

jason quinn jdpsn teaching Jan 26, 2024 When we see the impermanence of this world and discover who we truly are, we can realize a truth that goes beyond impermanence. The truth is something every human being can perceive intrinsically and is already clear in every moment. It is acknowledging the difficulties and dissatisfaction in our own lives, which helps us to see the difficulties and dissatisfaction in the lives of others. We can see that many people are in a great need of help. When we perceive that need clearly, the meaning of life turns...

The Heart Of Zen Practice

teaching Jan 11, 2024 This sitting, being with ourselves, and wondering who we are is the heart of Zen practice. Teachers can guide us, but we have to sit there with ourselves, we have to sit and wonder. I say with ourselves, but who is it that we’re sitting with? Once you use this kind of language suddenly there’s more than one person. I’m sitting with myself. Who’s "myself" and who’s "I"? So fundamentally the heart of this Zen practice is the question: What? Who? That’s a question that always comes up in Zen: what is truth? Is it my idea? Is ...

Experiencing the Dharma

teaching Dec 28, 2023 The dharma can be taught. You can speak the words and learn about it, but the only real value it has in our lives is if we have some experience of it. Otherwise, it's just one more competing theory that exists in this world and there are enough competing theories already. We really don't need another one. So Zen always brings you back to your experience. I can tell you something, anybody can tell you something, but that's not the truth. You have to find it for yourself. Zen Master Bon Soeng

The Meaning of Meditation

Dec 14, 2023 Zen literally translates as, “meditation,” so meditation is the heart of zen practice. Meditation in the dharma room, meditation when you're driving, meditation when you're sitting at the dinner table with your families, all of it. Meditation means asking the question, "What am I?", staying with don't know, and observing from a place of not knowing. What is happening right now? But if you stay in your stuck conditioned mind blaming everybody else for what's going on, it will never change. Because everything is just a repetition of ...

What Kind of World Do You Want?

Nov 30, 2023 All of us are involved in situations, with ourselves, other people, other animals, other beings, the whole planet. All day long, every day. How do we decide what to do? One way to decide: If we go into the situation with the direction of helping the situation, then that’s the way we enter in and that’s the path to world peace. If that’s my direction and that’s my intention, my action is going to grow out of that. If I go into the situation thinking about what am I going to get for myself, and that I don’t really care much about wha...

Bodhisattva Path

Nov 16, 2023 Zen Master Seung Sahn used to say, “Life has no meaning, no reason, and no choice.” His next line was, “No meaning, no reason, and no choice is great meaning, great reason, and great choice.” Ultimately there is no meaning, but what do we do with the moment that we have? So in his teaching, Zen Master Seung Sahn said Buddhism means to attain your true self and help this world. Of course it sounds linear, but it’s not really linear. It’s not first do one, then the other. But attain your true self is the answer to that question “What...

What Is Clear Mind?

Nov 02, 2023 Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don't worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes, You must not be attached to the coming or the going. By Zen Master Seung SahnFrom Dropping Ashes On The Buddha

Why We Are Unhappy

teaching Oct 26, 2023 Buddhist practice is about coming back to the source and finding a way to find that stability so that we're not pulled and pushed around so much by everything that we like and everything we don't like. The Buddha simply said we suffer because we don't have what we want. Or we have what we want, but we're afraid to lose it. We're constantly trying to shape the world in the image that we think it should be, but it really translates into what we want. Usually, we want some safety, some security. We don't want so much change b...

Why We Are Unhappy

teaching Oct 26, 2023 Buddhist practice is about coming back to the source and finding a way to find that stability so that we're not pulled and pushed around so much by everything that we like and everything we don't like. The Buddha simply said we suffer because we don't have what we want. Or we have what we want, but we're afraid to lose it. We're constantly trying to shape the world in the image that we think it should be, but it really translates into what we want. Usually, we want some safety, some security. We don't want so much change b...

Don't Look Outside Of Yourself

Oct 19, 2023 The Buddha's enlightenment was about realizing what we already are. The Buddha's enlightenment wasn't about finding something outside of ourselves that suddenly now make us complete. It's finding and connecting to what we already are. We already have it. It's not something that we need to create, or get from somebody else. When we hear, "we already have it, don't look outside of yourself", it can bring up a view that myself is in the boundaries of this skin. But the confusing contradiction is that when you look really deeply, this ...

Enlightenment Is Just An Idea

teaching Oct 05, 2023 The advise that Master Wu Kwang gave is "Pay your rent on the 1st, pay your taxes on the 15th of April, and everything will work out."  He didn't say HOW they will work out.  We all think "work out" means, "Oh everything will work out well for me." That's what goes in my head, and I imagine most everybody thinks that way.  But, everybody gets sick at some point in time, everybody gets old, everybody dies.  Anything and everything that is born into this world passes from this world. So, that's how it all works out.   What a...

Poem for Founder’s Day

Sep 28, 2023 Founder’s Day celebrates the legacy of Zen Master Seung Sahn, founding teacher of the Kwan Um School Of Zen Poem by Marshall White JDPSN Wind through leavesThe tree speaks.Wind through throatWords appear:Tree, wind, voice Wind across waterAh! Waves!Wind across ear drumsAh! Voices! Wind inside, wind outside.Breathing in, breathing out.What is speaking, what listening?Where does this wind come from? Katz! A long time ago on a solo retreatA man heard footsteps and crowsFor the first time.Listen carefully: they are still speaking.  

I Do Not Understand Buddhism

teaching Sep 07, 2023 A monk asked the Sixth Ancestor, Hui Neng, "Who has inherited the spirit of the Fifth Ancestor?" Hui Neng answered, "One who understands Buddhism." "Have you inherited it?" "No" replied Hui Neng, " I have not." "Why have you not?" asked the monk. "Because I do not understand Buddhism." Hui Neng replied.

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

Call Us

Phone: 1 800 123 4567

Mobile: 1 888 123 4567

Fax: 1 888 123 4567

Email Us

Drop us an email and we'll respond (usually) within 24 hours.