March 18, 2014
Spring! And So the Work Begins, with Words from Myogen on Work Practice

Usually people do work with some complicated idea in their mind that is something extra. And so, in this simple practice we look at—okay, how can you let go of anything extra, and just put yourself wholeheartedly into the work at hand?

Inspiring Words on Work from a 2013 Interview with Myogen Steve Stücky, produced by Judith Keenan

Click to open video on Interview with Myogen Steve Stücky by Judith Keenan (2013)

Click to open video on
2013 Interview with Myogen Steve Stücky by Judith Keenan

As we welcome spring, we open also to some level of increased activity. For Zen Center, this becomes especially evident next month. At Tassajara, the period of monastic practice closes and work period begins, followed by guest season. At Green Gulch Farm, an intense period of construction will begin, launched with a special work period—not to mention farm season, with weekly morning periods of communal work and the arrival of farm and garden apprentices. Meanwhile City Center’s volunteer and outreach programs continue to thrive, among myriad other work opportunities.

Advice for the energetic season ahead, whatever one’s own projects might be? In this brief 2013 video interview (7.5 min), former central abbot Myogen Steve Stücky shares his thorough understanding of work and its relationship to Zen practice, which includes sitting, walking, hoeing or any activity. His words are set against the backdrop of an early morning communal work period at Green Gulch Farm, an annual practice that also resumes next month.

(Incidentally, nonresidents are also welcome to join in this period on Tuesday mornings [beginning mid- to late April] to make compost, plant baby lettuce, and work in the kitchen garden, greenhouses or sowing sheds. Other times may also be arranged. For more information, contact Qayyum Johnson, Farm Manager, at