Ordinary mind is the Way

Jôshû asked Nansen seriously:

»What is the Way?«

Nansen replied:

»Ordinary mind is the Way«

Jôshû asked:

»Should I direct myself towards it or not?«

Nansen said:

»If you try to turn towards it, you turn against it.«

Jôshû fragte: »If I don’t turn towards it how can I know it is the Way?«
Nansen replied: »The Way does not belong to knowing or not-knowing. Knowing is delusion; not-knowing is a blank consciousness. When you have really reached the true Way beyond all doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless as the great empty firmament. How can it be talked about on the level of right or wrong.«
At these words Jôshû was enligtened.
Mumonkan case 19

The ordinary mind of Zen is completely free and requires no effort. It is without any kind of difference between holy and unholy, religious and non-religious, spiritual and unspiritual, right and wrong.

The ordinary mind really is quite simple and nothing special: eating, drinking, sleeping, laughing, crying, taking a stroll – the wind, the flowers in spring, falling leaves in autumn.

»An open and flexible mind is the Way.«


Manjushri Zendojo FreiRaum
Zen Dojo FreiRaum
Weg zum Teehaus_GreenGulchFarm
Stone path leading to the tea house of Green Gulch Farm

Sedakka Sutta • palikanon

ON ONE OCCASION the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sumbhas, where there was a town of the Sumbhas named
Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the monks:


»Once in the past an acrobat set up his bamboo pole and addressed his apprentice Medakathalika thus: ›Come, dear Medakathalika, climb the bamboo pole and stand on my shoulders.’‹. Having replied ›yes, teacher‹ the apprentice Medakathalika climbed up the bamboo pole and stood on the teacher’s shoulders.


The acrobat then said to the apprentice Medakathalika thus: › You protect me, dear Medakathalika, and I’ll protect you. Thus guarded by one another, protected by one another, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.‹

When this was said, the apprentice Medakathalika replied: » That’s not the way to do it, teacher. You protect yourself, teacher, and I’ll protect myself. Thus, each self-guarded and self-protected, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.em>


That’s the method there, the Blessed one said: » It’s just as the apprentice Medakathalika said to the teacher: ›I will proctect myself‹, thus should the establishments of mindfulness (satipatthāna) be practised: ›I will protect others, thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself, one protects others. Protecting others, one protects oneself‹.

And how is it that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development and cultivation. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others. And how is it that by protecting other one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, loving kindness and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

›I will protect myself‹, thus should the established merits of mindfulness be practised. ›I will protect others‹, thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself one protects others, protecting others, one protects oneself.
Source: S.47.19. Sedakam – 9. Sedaka Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya 47, German translation by K.E. Neumann, on www.palikanon.com and as book published by Beyerlein-Steinschulte.


Recitation texts



THE CLASSIC OF ZEN LITERATURE! Zen mind, beginner’s mind is considered the best introduction to philosophy and practise of Zen and the basis of Zen practise are described concretely. It becomes clear that the true Zen mind is the beginner’s mind that lets us rediscover everything freshly.

This book has inspired millions of people around the word to discover the practise of Zen and was already sold three million times in the United States of America alone. (Description)

Zen mind – Beginner’s mind

Informal Talks on Meditation and Zen Practise
by Shunryu Suzuki

Das kultivieren des leeren Feldes

Chan master Hongzhi Zhengjue (jap. Wanshi Shôgaku) is one of the great predecessors of Master Dôgen in the lineage of Sôtô Zen. His merit is to sum up the basic principles of Zazen clearly and in a practical guide as the first in a way that is unmatched up until today. Hardly no Zen teacher, no matter what school he originates from, can do without mentioning Hongzhi’s (Wanshi’s) practical guide because these words remain an important basis for the understanding of Zen.

Taigen Dan Leighton explains the historical connection in the introduction in which this main work of
Hongzhi stands, and gives valuable information for its deeper understanding. Some of Hongzhi’s religious verses give further insight in his work and round this basic book of Zen off.

Cultivating the Empty Field

Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschiessens

ZEN IN THE ART OF ARCHERY Eugen Herrigel is rather controversial in the Kyudo and the Zen scene, however, with his worldwide-known book »Zen in the Art of Archery« he has created a classic of western Zen literature. His literature is considered a key experience for numerous artist, intellectuals and searching on the spiritual Way.

»His writings are able to familiarise the western reader with this strange and seemingly inaccessible way of eastern experience, that we call ›Zen‹.«
(Daisetz T. Suzuki)

Zen in the Art of Archery

Eugen Herrigel


ONCE THE BOW IS BROKEN – shoot!, that is the title of the very first book of the author and experienced Zen teacher that has been out of stock for a long time. In his book he invites the reader to rediscover the fascinating Zen way of archery. Far more than hitting the mark, archery is indeed about getting to know yourself and learning to let go of difficulties and blockades. A book in which texts, lectures and meditation of Zen practise accompany the message that joy of discovering, growth of trust and love of being are in the centre of our lives.

With this holistic approach the art of archery is turned into a fulfilling and caring way of inner liberation that encourages us also to take the next arrow peacefully and unerring into our hands, no matter what the next crisis. (Description)

Zen in the Way of the Bow

About the energy that we live out of
by Kurt Österle


PAUL REPS COLLECTION of Zen texts is a real classic
of Zen literature and has been lastingly popular for over 30 years. The complete
experience of Zen is described by 101 Zen stories, the gateless gate and 10
images of the oxen.

An original addition are poems of masters from a 4000 year-old Sanskrit book, that interestingly enough already breathes the true spirit of Zen and could be considered an ancestor of all following Zen literature. (Description)

Without Words, without keeping quiet

101 Zen stories i.e. Zen texts from 4 centuries
by Paul Reps

Erinnerungen an Kobun Chino Roshi


Tribute to Kobun Chino Otogawa 1938-2002

»Houn Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi or Kobun, as we called him, was a great inspiration for many people. The predominant part of this book was written by one of them: anecdotes, short stories, memories of his students, friends and companions. We thought this might be a good possibility to outline the character of the man who had so many different facets; who was considered unorthodox in a tradition that was considered unorthodox.

The book includes a biography, record of his lectures, pictures and some example of his up until today unreleased art. We are confident that more about his teaching and his art will be released in the close future.« Vanja Palmers

Memories of Kobun

A tribute to Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi 1938-2002
1st edition 375 pages
Felsentor-Verlag 2017, energy compensation Dana

Please order via felsentor@icloud.com


Kobun Chino Otogawa was an instrumental figure in the transmission of Zen to America and it’s evolution within our culture. When Eijeiji, one of Japan’s two head temples, sent a classically educated trainer of monks to help establish the forms of the first Zen monastery in the US, they were unaware of the depth of his faith in Buddha nature – that we are already enlightened and the purpose of practice is to find Buddha within ourselves. With a refined ability to embody exquisite form and an emphasis on boundlessness, in this paradox, Kobun practiced Zen with intuitive creativity like Miles Davis played Jazz.

The wide-ranging talks in this book began as Sesshin talks, instructions given to students while in the midst of a weeklong period of intensive sitting. Together they offer an insight into the Zen of Kobun Chino Otogawa, containing both his perspective on the forms and teachings of Zen and his emphasis that Zen is revealed not so much in the sutras as it is the everyday.

Embracing Mind: The Zen Talks of Kobun Chino Otogawa (English Edition)
by Kobun Chino Otogawa (author)
Judy Cosgrove, Shinbō Joseph Hall (publishers)


THE LIGHT OF WISDOM of Buddhist women has been shining for centuries but mainly in secrecy. Today we need this light more than ever. In this book you will meet very different people on the spiritual Way – not only monks, nuns and teachers but also husbands and wives, hermits and cooks, courtesans and bold grannies. (Florence Caplow & Susan Moon)

The hidden Light

100 stories of awakened women of 2500 years looked at by (Zen) women of today
by Florence Caplow (editor),
Susan Moon (editor),
Karin Petersen (translator)

Roland Rauter_Einfach_Vegan

Vegan Cooking is everything but boring and so much more than just a skewer with tofu or stir-fried vegetables. The recipes of Austrian top chef Roland Rauter inspire to copy them and try out for yourself. Not abstaining from animal products or replacing them is in the focus for him but instead discovering the diversity of a vegan diet. Roland Rauter presents a vast number of recipes and shows for example how to start your day with a tasty vegan breakfast.

The broad range of different recipes within the book goes from snacks, smaller dishes and soups over main dishes to desserts. There is something for every taste and the reader can discover that a diet that is in accordance with nature is not only tasty but offers pure joy of life.

Simply vegan – throughout the day with pleasure:
100 Recipes – From breakfast to dinner
by Roland Rauter
232 pages
P.S.: Roland has published several other cookbooks



KyuSei draws his bow

Reb KinHin


Kobun Chino Roshi – lecture at Puregg

Camino – Interview of Klaus Hofmeister with KyuSei



Last but not least: Gallery

Impressions from Japan