Welcome to Everything Changes.

August 28th, 2010 § 0 comments

My name is Rich Lafferty, and I’m a Zen Buddhist layperson in the Kapleau tradition, in Toronto, Canada.

This is a blog about Zen, about my practice, about my life, and the intersection of those things.

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February 1st, 2014 § 0 comments

See and realize
that this world
is not permanent.
Neither late nor early flowers
will remain.

— Ryokan

Edward Espe Brown on getting it right

March 15th, 2012 § 4 comments

The Zen Centre was considering showing Edward Espe Brown’s How To Cook Your Life as a public fundraiser (but we deferred), and thus a podcast of his I linked long ago on my LiveJournal came up. So I’m reposting this post, which originally appeared on LJ a couple years ago.

I had a thingy in my to-do list to post an excerpt from a Dharma talk given by Edward Espe Brown, the cook at Tassajara Zen Center and author of the Tassajara Cookbook and Tassajara Bread Book. But I’m listening to the talk now, and there’s really no one sound bite I can cut things down to.

So instead, here’s a link to the whole thing. Listen to the whole thing if you want. It’s a little slow-moving at first.

The stuff I was going to post about starts at about 16 minutes in, where Ed starts talking about relating to food, but the best part is around 17:50:

This is also something about your heart. Because most of us get involved with getting it right. I want to do it right. Because if I did it right, and it came out the way it should, nobody could criticize me, nobody could question me… but getting it right is different from what you love.

But the context is so much of it. Download and give it a listen, it’s at an easy enough pace that you could listen while doing something else.

I have that “getting it right” problem. That’s certainly related to what sent me back to school a couple of years ago, and it’s something I have to fight all the time on the cello and on the cushion. What experiences am I missing by trying to make sure mine mesh with what’s supposed to be happening?

Also, if you listen, you’ll find out what happens when an American Zen teacher ventures into an Apple Store in San Francisco.


February 20th, 2012 § 0 comments

Candice is on sesshin this week in Vermont. I’m overseeing the construction of a big new office for FreshBooks, and thus couldn’t go myself. That means I’m on my own this week and I have to cook for myself, which isn’t too big a deal but if I’m going to not eat veggie burgers and takeout all week I need to do some planning.

I’ve been sitting on a couple of big “learn to cook” veggie cookbooks for a while, partly because it’s easier to just look up a recipe online on the one day per week when I’m responsible for dinner, and partly because these books are so big I never know where to start in them.

But for this week I picked up The Complete Tassajara Cookbook and am reading the foreword and first chapter right now, and this at the end of the foreword caught my eye:

So I have wanted to explain that work is not just work, something you have to do to get paid, something you do to get it out of the way, but something that is the way: the way to be more intimately involved in life, the way to be more intimately human, awake and alive to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables; the way to connect this world with this life.
The difference between chore—where you are repeating an activity over and over, while telling your self it is boring—and joy—when you are studying, feeling, sensing the way—is the difference between being alienated and making yourself at home.

Off to make dinner.

rohatsu morning sittings #4 and #5

December 9th, 2011 § 0 comments

Five for five!

I didn’t have a chance to post last night because a work issue came up and I was up until midnight fixing that. But I made it this morning anyhow. Luckily I have today off so I can take a nap later.

While I don’t think I’ll keep going to morning sittings regularly, going to every morning and evening sitting this week was a great way to tap into (and contribute to!) the joriki of Rohatsu. Today is the last full day of the Vermont sesshin, and I could feel the energy this morning. May everyone from our triple sangha sitting sesshin be able to put their full effort into their practice today and tomorrow!