floatingzendo.org Blog

Floating Zendo is a place for Soto Zen practice in San Jose, CA and other locations

Studying the Lankavatara Sutra

Filed under: Books, Reading, Study — audio at 12:18 am on Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Floating Zendo has begun studying the Lankavatara Sutra. The sutra recounts a teaching between the Buddha and a bodhisattva named Mahatmi. Zen’s First Patriarch, Bodhidharma, is said to have told his successor that everything he needed to know was in the Lankavatara Sutra. We are using Red Pine’s translation and commentary to study the sutra.

If you would like to study the sutra with us, we meet every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Friends’ Meetinghouse, 1041 Morse Street, San Jose. Everyone is welcome.

Studying Dogen’s “Mountains and Rivers”

Filed under: Books, Reading, Study — audio at 10:42 pm on Monday, March 5, 2012

Beginning March 2012, Floating Zendo will study the Sansui-kyo (”Mountains and Rivers”) chapter of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Kazuaki Tanahashi, translator. The Tanahashi translation is available in the collected Treasury of the True Dharma Eye and also in Moon in a Dewdrop.

After we finish the “Mountains and Rivers” chapter, we will look into The Book of Serenity, Soto Zen koans translated by Thomas Cleary.

Studying Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind on Tues Evening

Filed under: Reading, Study — Administrator at 6:10 pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

As of late November 2007, we have begun our study of Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

We hope you will join us for regular zazen and our study of this wonderful book, led by our teacher Angie.

Aspects of Sitting by Kobun Chino roshi

Filed under: Reading, Study, Web — Administrator at 10:09 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2007

We have begun the study of Kobun Chino roshi’s Aspects of Sitting. We began this study in mid-August 2007, and will review a chapter each Tuesday evening after zazen in San Jose.

The text addresses guidelines for zazen, which are especially relevant, as we are about to hold our annual sesshin. Kobun was Angie’s teacher.

Angie handed out paper copies of Aspects for local use in San Jose.

There is an almost identical online copy available at Jikoji, if you’d like to study along with us (remotely).  Angie’s Tuesday evening talks on Aspects will be available as well.

A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, by Santideva

Filed under: Books, Study, Web — Administrator at 2:13 pm on Monday, April 30, 2007

[We are beginning study of A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, written by Santideva. We begin with Chapter 1 on May 1, 2007, as part of our regular Tuesday evening schedule in San Jose. Please join us.]
(concerning development of an enlightened mind)
Translations in print:

  • Bodhicaryavatara, Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton
  • Entering the Path of Enlightenment, Marion Matics
  • A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior, Alexander Berzin
  • A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Stephen Bachelor
  • A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Vesna and Alan Wallace
  • The Way of the Bodhisattva, Walstan Fletcher

Online Translations:


  • Transcendent Wisdom, Dalai Lama (on Chapter 9)
  • A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night, Dalai Lama
  • Meaningful to Behold, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • No Time to Lose, Pemo Chodron

Dogen’s Users Manuals on Zazen

Filed under: Reading, Web — Administrator at 12:35 am on Thursday, December 28, 2006

I recently read some lectures by Pat Phelan about Dogen’s Fukanzazengi, where she indicates that Dogen wrote three zazen “users manuals”, that are available in English from Stanford’s Soto Text Translation Project:

The translators’ notes and supplemental notes are especially helpful to understand the historical Zen background/context of Dogen’s references.

I hope you too find these excellent Dogen writings an encouragement in your practice.

… Dan

Possible Topics for Upcoming Tues. Dharma Talks (200609)

Filed under: Reading — dan at 11:21 pm on Wednesday, September 6, 2006

As you know, we are coming to the end of our dharma talks/study of the Dhammapada on Tuesday evenings in San Jose.

Below are a few ideas for possible subjects for the next dharma talks. The focus is classic Zen poems. Many of our sangha members are writers, poets, etc. and I think it would be interesting to study such materials. Many of these poems are available online, so that would make it easier to obtain for everyone’s reference. Besides, you may enjoy reading them anyways!
Please feel free to post “comments” with your opintions about which poem you’d like to study, or add your own ideas (not necessarily poetry). We’ll also discuss what to study next on Tuesday evening as we come to a close on the Dhammapada.

… Dan
Hakuin (J),
_Zazen Wasan (J),
Song of Zazen_
(Normal Waddell translation)

Seng-ts’an (Ch),
Sosan (J),
_Hsin Hsin Ming (Ch),
Shinjinmei (J),
Verses on the Faith-Mind_
(translation by Richard B. Clarke and includes original Chinese)
(translated by Richard B. Clarke as
it appears in Dennis Genpo Merzel _The Eye Never Sleeps_)
(Blyth _Zen and Zen Classics_ Volume One)

Tozan Ryokai (J),
Tung-shan Liang-chieh (Ch),
_Bao Jing Sanmei or  Pao-Ching Sen-Mei-Ko (Ch)
Hokyo Zammai (J)
Song of Precious Mirror Samadhi_
Blyth _Zen and Zen Classics_ Volume One
(includes Chinese)

Shih-t’ou Hsi-ch’ien (Ch),
Seikito-Kisen (J),
_Tsan-t’ung-chi’i (Ch),
Sandokai (J),
The Unity of Relative and Absolute_
http://www.bamboointhewind.org/chant_sandokai.html (Soto Shumucho 1997)
Suzuki _Branching Steams Flow in the Darkness: Lectures on the Sandokai_

Yung-chieh Hsuan-chueh (Ch)
Yoka Daishi (J),
_Cheng-Tao-Ke (Ch),
Shodoka (J),
Song of Enlightenment_
(Robert Aitkentranslation)

Shen Hui (Ch),
_Hsie Tsung Chi (Ch),
Illuminating the Essential Doctrine_

Kaku-an Shi-en (Ch),
Kuo-an Shih-yuan (Ch),
_10 Ox Herding Pictures_
Kapleau _Three Pillars of Zen_,
(D.T. Suzuki from _Manual of Zen Buddhism_)
http://iriz.hanazono.ac.jp/frame/data_f00c.en.html (Urs App 1996)