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A Place To Start

Zen ... Koans ... Awakening ... Endarkenment ... Where to begin?
Here are links to a few of Joan Sutherland's essays that introduce the philosophy and practices that are essential to our Way.

  • Some Thoughts on Zen
  • "One of the things I love most about zen is its acceptance that life is simultaneously beautiful and difficult, and it asks us not to turn away from either. It suggests that it is helpful in this matter of being alive in a beautiful and difficult world to foster an attitude of warmth and curiosity."
  • The House of Style
  • "It is from a deep exploration of these three currents--that something we recognize across time and space; the parts of our received tradition we understand to be conditioned and find enduringly useful, or beautiful; and our native expressions of Zen, both from the western tradition and in our own practices now--that we can help create a Zen of this time and place."
  • Enlightenment
  • "So what is your enlightenment? It is the place you came from when you were born and it is the place you will return when you die. It is home. The particular wave that is you rises and falls for such a brief moment from that great ocean of essential nature, and that wave is entirely ocean, is home itself. As children the taste of salt water still lingers in our mouths, but as we grow older the memory of ocean recedes, leaving a feeling of longing, of inexplicable exile, in its wake."

A short film on a Zen vision that embraces endarkenment as well as enlightenment


  • Koan Meditation from Acequias & Gates : Miscellaneous Koans and Miscellaneous Writings on Koans
  • Every koan school has its own unique collection of koans, and this is ours. They provide a strong grounding in the koan tradition as we've come to understand it.