About Leaf of Grass

Leaf of Grass began as me sitting by myself in Lowertown, St. Paul and has morphed into a very humble offering of zen practice in the style of my teacher. What we do is really just sitting following Dogen Zenji’s teaching of shikantaza. Many months Leaf of Grass offers opportunities for a day of intensive zazen practice in St. Paul, MN. Please see the calendar page for upcoming days of sitting. We follow an abbreviated version of the sesshin schedule at Sanshinji. Leaf of Grass practice in St. Paul is temporarily suspended while I search for a new place for us to sit and study together.

When I thought I should have a name for this zazen space/group/activity I chose Leaf of Grass. I was inspired by the two writings below. They seemed to verify my sense that it was not only ok but important to name and take seriously this very small offering that I have to make. My aspiration is to put into practice as best I can the teachings of Shohaku Okumura and his teacher Kosho Uchiyama. In Uchiyama Roshi’s last public talk he enumerated seven points of practice. The seventh was “Cooperate with one another and aim to create a place where sincere practitioners can practice without trouble.” Zazen doesn’t depend on having a beautiful zendo or any other accoutrements. All that’s required is a quiet, safe space where people can sit together. Looking around I realized that at the very least I could provide that.

When the World-Honored One was walking with his assembly, he pointed to the ground with his hand and said, “This place is good for building a temple.” Hearing this, the god Indra took a stalk of grass and stuck it in the ground and said, “The temple has been built.” At this, the World-Honored One smiled. (Book of Serenity case 4)

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars.
(Walt Whitman)

Leaf of Grass sittings are hosted by Doan Brian Roessler, a disciple of Shohaku Okumura Roshi.



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