Written Teachings

Read from our archive of written teachings by Jon.

  • Reclaim Your Chicken – being present in the moment

    Reclaim Your Chicken – Being Present In The Moment

    Reclaim Your Chicken – being present in the moment
  • Empowerment Through Soji, The Simple Zen Practice of Cleaning

    In the daily routine of a Zen monastery, there is time set aside for Soji, or cleaning. Soji is a ceremony, and as such, it is a practice of mindfulness. During Soji, one is fully present in the moment, and free from the controlling mind in a way that can lighten one’s perspective and bring…

    Empowerment Through Soji, The Simple Zen Practice of Cleaning
  • The Dirt on Spiritual Teachers

    “Enlightened” teachers are perfect, right? You must be kidding! Do you believe that awakening to your true nature will somehow perfect your human nature? That awakening is like some kind of magic trick? Presto change-o and voila: parking is automatically available, even on Russian Hill in San Francisco; you are instantly floating in financial abundance;…

    The Dirt on Spiritual Teachers
  • “Knowing” vs. Understanding

    Being with what is, is understanding. From the perspective of understanding—of being—we don’t project our conclusions or judgments onto whatever is happening. When we project our conclusions onto reality, it may seem that we know something; but this kind of knowing is defensive. Its nature is endless unfulfillment. It offers a kind of illusory security,…

    “Knowing” vs. Understanding
  • The Question of Service

    I’d like to look at the idea—the concept—of “being of service.” From the perspective of separateness, we often desire to help, to fix, to ameliorate; and of course there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s possible to be of service in that way, clearly. From a deeper perspective, however, we have to talk about it a…

    The Question of Service
  • The Role of the Mind

    What is the point of talking about the inexpressible? Since it can’t really be defined, explained or understood by the analytical mind, why bother? The thinking mind, as much trouble as it can be, is also a function of the inexpressible and clearly has an agenda of wanting to know and understand. The sooner we…

    The Role of the Mind
  • The Menu of our Desires

    You’re at a restaurant, looking at the dessert menu. You read the ingredients: walnut carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, coconut ice cream and candied carrots. Your mouth is already watering—salivating with primal desire! So you order, more than likely with great anticipation. As I’ve been pointing out lately, wanting is really just about wanting—it’s…

    The Menu of our Desires
  • The Obsessive Mind

    The obsessive mind is addictive. It has a life of its own. It can’t be controlled or manipulated, and ultimately it cannot be satisfied. An example of this would be the longing one might experience in unrequited love. Many thoughts and feelings might arise about the desired person, but underneath would always be the essential…

    The Obsessive Mind
  • Dissolving Into Light

    To awaken is to dissolve in one place and simultaneously appear everywhere. Awakening can also be called being presence, being energy. Karmic arisings, whatever their nature, are fuel for dissolving. So rather than resisting, or fighting, or arguing with what is—instead of all that, simply accept what is. Receive what is, allow what is. Become…

    Dissolving Into Light
  • The Space of Listening

    Wanting other people to change is actually a very interesting realm of resistance. We think it’s about them, but it’s really a trip we lay on ourselves. When you eventually learn how not to lay a trip on yourself, then pretty soon you’re not laying a trip on anybody else either. That doesn’t mean you…

    The Space of Listening