Eulogy For Prince

To me, “The Meaning of Prince” was that I saw him as an unexcelled paragon of the courage of letting his artistic soul shine the way it wanted and needed to, of being who he authentically truly was, of following his inner guide, regardless of what was the safe, acceptable, or practical thing to do.

What I Say To Friends Who Are Grieving

I imagine that most people would agree that it is often difficult to find appropriate words of condolence when a friend is grieving. I personally do not want to say to a grieving friend that I hope that they feel better soon, because I think that it is healthy for a human psyche to go through a period of pain when it has lost someone or something that it cares about. I believe that people often say “feel better soon” because they are uncomfortable in the presence of another person’s pain, and that that phrase can sometimes feel like an unpleasant pressure put on a grieving person to have it all put back together sooner than would be otherwise natural for them.

Tassajara Zen Monastery: Learning From Kitchen Work

The group for this retreat has a little over forty monks in it, which fewer than the sixty to eighty who were here when I have been here for ninety-day retreats in the past. This means that all groups of monks (the work crews, the meal serving crews, the kitchen crew, etc) are on a smaller scale. We’ve had a number of people coming and going, which is fine, but I also find that I liked better the tighter container that I experienced in past years (i.e., where everyone who is here at all is here no less than the full three months).

Tassajara Zen Monastery: Doubts And Resolution

[Tassajara monastery has no internet.  I finished writing this letter in late March 2000, then I then sent it on a disk through the US postal service to my friend Rich, who emailed it out to a mailing list of friends]

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This is my first attempt at trying something new.  The temple director Leslie James gave me permission to type this letter up on one of the two computers here which are used for inventories and for composing official correspondences.  Also, the treasurer Linda Taggart graciously gave me an old disk with which to send a letter on.  So, in contrast with carefully writing everything out by hand, I am writing these words onto a keyboard – with a steep, rocky mountain rising in the big window behind the monitor.  It is familiar to me to be sitting at a computer and writing a letter, but it feels strange to be doing it here at Tassajara.