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March 26, 2009


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Wow, this was like cold water splashed in the face. She cuts right through the BS, doesn't she? Thank you, Barry. I needed my sh*t challenged today....
Peace to you

Lauren Crane

Barry, what a nice coincidence. I was really off my practice this morning. Wondering if I was really cut out for this Zen s**t. Comparing how I feel about it this morning with "wonderful people" I know who are very content and doing "good things" with Zen. Feeling like I should just go be a Methodist or something. This encourages me to embrace these curmudgeonly feelings (but strive to sit anyway).


mama p

I wasn't going to say anything, but in the end, I have to :) Please understand, it's coming from a loving place...

How ironic to read such a straightforward interview with such a straightforward teacher, to then switch to responses that each employ a meekish, polite "sh*t"...

Once more, for Joko, and with feeling!

Thank you. Great to read this today.

John Small

Boy did I just get hit!


"Well, there’s a little shade of piety that creeps into practice. You know, “I have this wonderful practice, I want to share it with everyone.” There’s an error in that. You could probably figure it out yourself."

Oh that is so me. I wonder if I will ever figure out what the error in that is?


Mama P,
Point well taken. :)

SHIT then!


There's just nothing like a well-placed "shit!" to get the point across. I, for one, find shit one of the most useful words of the english language... There's nary a word quite as multi-purposed...

We buy shit, eat shit, throw shit, talk shit...etc... I could go on but I won't because -- just like most of us -- I'm full of shit.


With a ; ) and a : ) of course....


Thanks Barry, my first exposure to Zen beyond general awareness was Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck, sent to me by a friend whose a member of the San Francisco Zen Center. I was looking for more hooks in her no bullshit prose, a little warm and fuzzy or something.

But I'm closer now. A bit. She cuts through endless delusions. Good reminder.


editorial correction to last post...

"...a friend who is a member of SFZC..."

(not whose...)

checking mind, the editor in me...

Barry Briggs

I'm sitting here laughing loudly.

Thank you, everyone, for reaching out to one another with interest and insight!


Hey Barry ~

Just catching up on all the posts I've missed, and as a welcome, getting whacked all over with sticks and now polishing off a shiny black eye from Charlotte Joko Beck. Thank you 'mam, may I have another!

BTW, your daughter is a beauty! May your knee pain, and "chair" complex, speedily improve.

John Small

Still getting hit.

Barry Briggs

Hi Alice, glad to see you up and about! Knee is better, chair is comfy . . .

Hi John . . . yes, it's the gift that keeps on giving . . .

eric kolste

I think Joko means by piety that that non-existant I is mixed up in whatever wonderful things we are trying to do and bogs us further down into our delusion...

Barry Briggs

Hi Eric - Thanks so much for your comment. In my own experience, whenever the thought that "I can help..." appears, then I've already fallen into the ditch. When that thought appears, then I'm only going to make things worse. When that thought appears, it's driven - inevitably - by ego. So, if I understand you rightly, that thought, "I can help..." is essentially delusory (there's an "I" and "helping" is possible). That's my experience - certainly my own attempts at "helping" usually involve some manipulation.


So - don't preach. Get on with the real stuff. Practice.


first, excuse my english, i'm a french speaker.
does anyone of you know where is joko beck now? i would like to go to a sesshin directed by her.
i know she's not in san diego anymore. I heard that she might be in arizona, but where? is she attached to any zen center? have an adress? thank you


Virginia Braden

If you have piety in teaching something like Zen or a religion, then you start to think, self-righteously, that you can save somebody....and, of course, that somebody is going to flee from you as fast as they can. It is pious to think that we can save somebody. She is, of course, totally perceptive in a beautiful spontaneous way. It is just pure and simple honesty acquired with years of seeking the truth.

Delores Nims

Joko, I studied will you in San Diego and I want to thank you for my practice. It has transformed my life. i have started a meditation group at the Unitarian Church in Ashland, Oregon which continues to nurture me and support my practice. I ekspecially appreciate your clarity and practical nature. Thank you for my life.

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