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 Dogen’s “Uji” (”Time-Being”)

Filed under: Study — Administrator at 11:50 pm on Thursday, July 1, 2010

As of June 2010, Floating Zendo in San Jose, CA is studying the Uji (”Time-Being”) chapter of Dogen’s Shobogenzo. We are using the English translation in Enlightenment Unfolds (ed. Kaz Tanahashi). A popular, similar, but not identical, earlier translation by Kaz is available online. Our teacher’s talks on Uji are given as part of our weekly meetings, where Angie welcomes people’s questions on the text. We hope you can join us, or listen in from near or far.

Hsin Hsin Ming Study 2010

Filed under: Study — audio at 6:37 am on Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Starting Tuesday, January 12, we will be studying Hsin-hsin Ming: Verses on the Faith-Mind by Seng-ts’an, Third Patriarch. The book that Angie will use as her reference in the upcoming talks is Trust in Mind: The Rebellion of Chinese Zen
by Mu Soeng & Jan Chozen Bays. This book includes the ancient poem and commentary; it is not required or needed for our Tuesday evenings. There are about 20 or so verses to this poem and it is in many anthologies, as well as on-line.

The translation by Richard B. Clarke can be found at this link: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/fm/fm.htm.

Precepts Study

Filed under: Study — Administrator at 5:29 am on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As of early June 2009, we are studying the Buddhist Precepts. Angie gives a talk on them each Tuesday evening after zazen, followed by comments and questions/answers with the sangha.

Here are the materials.

And here are the talks.

Tues. Study: Dogen’s Zuimonki

Filed under: Study — Administrator at 6:51 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Begining July 8, 2008, Floating Zendo in San Jose, CA will study Dogen Zenji’s Zuimonki on Tuesday evenings.

Zuimonki is a collection of dharma talks to lay and monk practitioners given by Dogen Zenji, recorded by his disciple Ejo.

We will use a few translations:

  • Online: from Sotoshu (Soto Zen in Japan, likely translated by Shohaku Okumura in 1988 variously indicating Kyoto Soto Zen or Sotoshu).
  • Book: Thomas Cleary’s Record of Things Heard, available from Amazon, and possibly from local book sellers.

If you can not attend our Tuesday evening zazen/study, we hope you will listen to recordings of these meetings.

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

Ox Herding Pictures (Study Materials)

Filed under: Study — Administrator at 12:43 am on Saturday, January 20, 2007

Beginning In late January 2007, Floating Zendo will study the 10 Ox Herding Pictures of Kaku-an Shi-en (Ch) / Kuo-an Shih-yuan (Ch):
Book, online:

Books, offline:

  • Loori, John Daido, _Riding the Ox Home_
  • Kapleau, Philip, _Three Pillars of Zen_
  • Shibayama, Zenkei, _A flower does not talk; Zen essays_ (another version, with 6 pictures)