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.

the lost shingi

Users of the small kitchen at the San Francisco Zen Center may recognize this story, which made its debut on the refrigerator there.  I had been assigned to clean the small kitchen refrigerator as a house job, and the story … Continue reading

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the backward step

One day in 1981 I stood on a bluff at Patrick’s Point State Park in Trinidad, California.  My back was to the edge of the bluff and a rock-climbing harness and rope firmly attached me to a secure point on … Continue reading

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the breakfast cook

Written without the assistance of any glossary :-).  But for the curious, this Zen glossary will explain any words written in green. I’m awake before the alarm, which arrives as a soft knock-knock-knock: a low-volume digital han offered by my Enso … Continue reading

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Room #8

or: “Let us not be submerged by the things of the world” I wrote this poem shortly after moving into the Zen Center, where my personal space became a room measuring about 10′ x 12′. Looking in through the doorway, … Continue reading

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Moons of knowing

Some context of this piece: (1) Where I live – the San Francisco Zen Center – many people have “temple shoes” that are easily put on and taken off – flip flops, clogs, birkenstocks, etc. It is permissible to leave … Continue reading

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