Author Archives: gretchen

About gretchen

Gretchen lives in San Francisco. She writes about Zen practice and mundane moments on a planet that is increasingly ... hot.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee perform an investigation

Last night I arrived back at the Zen Center in the middle of dinner and dished myself up some tagine while engaging in conversation with a resident who wanted to tell me how much the ginger cabbage and kokuho rice … Continue reading

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Smells like Zen spirit

This weekend while waiting in the gift shop for my enzyme bath at Osmosis, I spied these nifty little Good Karma candles made by Zensual.*  I’m not normally enthusiastic about candles and gift shops but something about the colors and … Continue reading

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does this guy need a visa?

I spent a gorgeous Sunday afternoon driving through the pastoral countryside of Sonoma and Marin Counties.  Every once in awhile it’s nice to open the view and remind oneself that there are other beings we share this planet with and … Continue reading

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RIP Lou Hartman

Lou Hartman died today at 3:45pm.  He was 96 years old. (These are Lou’s poems from Inquiring Mind, Fall 2008 edition) First Sesshin with Suzuki Roshi What a laugh! The actor serving tea in the zendo Thinks he’s me! Enlightenment … Continue reading

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Old age, sickness, and death in the full moon

Tonight was our Full Moon ceremony, which we do every month, renewing our vows, the 16 Bodhisattva precepts of taking refuge and living in harmony with all beings. Once a friend from work who is a casual participant in Zen … Continue reading

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practice discussion

One form of practice in a Zen temple is the practice discussion, a brief one-on-one meeting with a teacher designed to explore the student’s personal practice and give them a direction for spiritual growth.  Here in San Francisco we have … Continue reading

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Breakfast practice

Perhaps in a few more lifetimes I’ll reach the point where I can cook breakfast and stir the pot in front of me without also stirring the pot of ideas in my head.  Some people say that practice and enlightenment … Continue reading

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She’s making a list

This just in from Rob Brezsny: AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority,” said author A.A. Milne. “The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. … Continue reading

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grapefruit identity

My current obsession is grapefruit.  Its tart, juicy goodness calls my name, morning and night.  My habit is to peel the grapefruit like an orange, and eat it section by section. One  evening I started in on half a fruit … Continue reading

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about Jerome

Long time Zen Center resident Jerome Peterson died at the age of 82 on December 12th.  He was one of the first American Zen students in San Francisco; in 1962 he showed up at the original Sokoji temple where Suzuki … Continue reading

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