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Bodhisattvas in the Trenches: A Zen Priest at the Tar Sands Action

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Shodo Spring sits outside the White House / photo courtesy of tarsandsaction

This is a guest post from Shodo Spring, a Zen priest who has dedicated her life to socially engaged Buddhism. Shodo is a trained therapist, mother of two, and grandmother of four, who received priest ordination from Shohaku Okumura. She recently sent me this account of her time in Washington, DC, where she took part in the Tar Sands action, and I wanted to share it with all of you.


Leaving Washington after ten days in front of the White House, I ride the train through hills and mountains – Maryland, West Virginia? I look out on trees, rocks, river as: wide river, shallow with rocks, winding, here and there a small island;  now an old stone building, a wide field, a farm; now trees again, roads, farms. “Beautiful,” I think. There’s a bit of mist, now turned to rain streaming down the windows. Across the aisle a baby is entertained by his mother.

This is what it is about: that life should continue.

Read the rest of this entry

The Robe Chant (slightly edited)

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Vast is the robe of liberation

A formless field of benefaction

Wearing the Tathagatha’s teaching

Loving all sentient beings


photo: Sunrise in Sukhothai, Thailand

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