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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#5099 – Saturday, November 30, 2013 – Editor: Jerry Katz

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New from Nonduality Magazine:

Interview with Diane Musho Hamilton


…when you met your teacher Genpo Roshi, what happened with your development? Did anything transpire?

Diane Musho Hamilton: Yes I would say there were two things maybe more, but just in terms of my own path, what happened was that Trungpa had died and a kind of scandal involving the Regent Osel Tendzin ensued. Because of that scandal at the time, I simply differentiated from that lineage and for a period of seven years I had a child, who was born with Down’s syndrome. I was practicing in a much more, I guess nurturing way, and raising a child and dealing with my own grief. This was my practice at that time. I was integrating everything I had studied to that point and I would stay with my child 10 or so years into that and like many teachers and students in the West, I would say it was a bit of a smorgasbord of practice where I was exposed to some nature practices – to earth based Native American practices. I did yoga and kundalini and the whole spiritual market place, but my fundamental practice was really raising my child at that point.

Then this appetite for formal practice just arose spontaneously. I felt that meditation drawing me again, that deep stillness; that deepest enquiry into that dimension of who we are. It was kind of pulling at me and I knew that I wanted to study with a master and I wasn’t so concerned with which lineage, but what I wanted was a genuine lineage master. It could have been a sufi or a zen or Koeren zen master but it was at that point that I met Genpo Roshi. So I would really really credit Genpo with first of all creating a space in which my own reality deepened because his zazen was so stable and so committed just being in his presence and his sangha. I was also introduced to the soto zen lineage, the rituals and the ancestors. The way in which you have probably heard that Tibetan Buddhism is referred to as the complete Buddhism, and that zen is referred to as the essential Buddhism, and the way to use an integral phrase – the lower rite of practice the forms. I was introduced to the beauty of those forms as the formalism of Japan as you know is unparalleled; the way that they work with the robes and the way that they attend to the lineage master. So I was introduced to the forms and the beauty of Japanese zen and Genpo Roshi held the practice for the sangha. He had a monastic practice here at the time but it had a permeable boundary. The monks were very inviting of the lay people who wanted to practice; people who were questioning and people who were confused. There was a bit of a swinging door of how welcome people were to participate in those forms. So I learned a lot from Roshi how to hold the practice for others. So I would say that transmission was extremely important in my own development as a teacher.

And then finally I also participated in koan study. Koan study is one of the main ways that I interact with my students, which comes more from the Rinzai line, but Maezumi Roshi was more recognized in both the Rinzai and Zen schools. So finally I began to work with this process called big mind. He started to use what we might call a contemporary form of teaching in which the perspective of the student is already presumed to already have innate wisdom.

So it’s a facilitative style of teaching as opposed to traditional, but tradition happens in both conventional teachings and also in big mind. The facilitative aspects, you might call it positing out of helping the student actually identity in their own awareness, something like the infinite nature of mind or the relationship of form to emptiness. To actually use the process to bring those teachings home really lays out in a way like Buddha dharma, so people can really grasp it.

So I was the first person he gave transmission of studying with people in that particular method. I still use that method quite a lot in my own teaching. So it’s more than what I said in the beginning. I’m a teacher now due to his influence because I remember a meeting that I had with him one day. I just have so much appreciation for him as I’m talking. I had an audience with him and I had gone for a particular reason. I was going as a meditator at the time. I was really interested in something like meditation because by its nature it is dualistic. It is always something that’s transpiring between you and me. There’s always a subject object spilt and I was interested in what would happen in negotiation if the parties were capable of accessing the same mind and quality of mind. So I had that really deep question, and that’s part of why I went back to studying Zen. After a period of time he called me to have an audience with him and he basically asked me what my intention in practice was. I told him that I felt like I had received what I had really come for – the depth of the sitting and his pointing out and my realization through the big mind process. He looked at me and said what about others? And it was the first time that it had ever even occurred to me to support other people in their practice or teaching was even something I would be thinking about, even though I had been practicing dharma for many many years. It was only at that moment that it had actually occurred to me that I might have a karmic obligation – this is a way to say it. I actually mean that in a non dualistic way that it was simply a ripening of my own practice and to extend it to other people.

~ ~ ~

Read the full interview here:


New book by Jeff Foster from Non-Duality Press:

Falling in Love With Where You Are

Jeff Foster
A Year of Prose and Poetry on Radically Opening Up 
To the Pain and Joy of Life

As we open up to life and love and each other, as we awaken from our dream of separation, we encounter not just the bliss of existence, but its pain too; not only life’s ecstasy, but also its agony. Healing doesn’t always feel good or comfortable or even ‘spiritual’, for we are inevitably forced to confront our shadows, fears and deepest longings – those secret parts of ourselves that we have denied, repressed, or deemed ‘negative’ and unworthy of our love. How can we find the calm in the midst of the storm? How can we rest, even as the ground falls?

Falling In Love With Where You Are invites you to discover a deep YES to your life, no matter what you are going through; to see crisis as an opportunity to heal, pain as an intelligent messenger, and your imperfections as perfectly placed. Through his prose and poetry, Jeff Foster will guide, provoke, encourage and inspire you on your lonely, joyful, and sometimes exhausting pathless journey to the Home you never, ever left: the present moment.

“Even in your glorious imperfection,” Jeff reminds us, “you were always a perfect expression of life, a beloved child of the universe, a complete work of art, unique in all the world…”

Go to this page to download an extract and to purchase a copy:

218 pages. Paperback. A5 format


Jean Metzinger, Le goûter, Tea Time, 1911, 75.9 x 70.2 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Ken Sanes on Facebook writes…

“When this painting was first shown at the 1911 Salon d’Automne in Paris, the prominent art critic André Salmon dubbed it ‘The Mona Lisa of Cubism.’ While Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were moving even further toward the dematerialization of the figure in their canvases of 1911, Metzinger remained resolutely committed to legibility in Tea Time, where a seated woman, holding a teaspoon suspended between cup and mouth, is clearly discernible within a geometric environment. The artist does, however, show the teacup in profile and from above to demonstrate the new art’s mobile perspectives.” —,_Le_go%C3%BBter,_Tea_Time,_1911,_75.9_x_70.2_cm,_Philadelphia_Museum_of_Art.jpg

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