The Alliance reaches out to the public through teaching, writing, and retreats, offering this vision of the human role in the community of life, grounded in the tangible reality of holding and caring for the shared land.

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The farm supports the Alliance and the Zen Community, offering a place for spiritual practice, a home for the work of protection and restoration, and food for residents, volunteers, and sharing.


The practice of awakening is one with the practice of transforming the earth which is our true body. A study and practice group meets at the Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center.


Words From My Teacher

Our lives are patterns of the fabric produced by the loom of time and space.

When we see the individual things, each one is impermanent, constantly changing, without any fixed independent entity.

But this work of weaving continues. Our life is a result and a gift from people and things from the past.

What we do now influences later generations, whether positively or negatively.

The loom is weaving the ancient brocade of eternity, while the spring is new, fresh and different each year.

The spring of the entire heaven and earth is manifested within a tiny plum blossom in the cold air.

The tiny blossom actualizes the spring of the entire heaven and earth.

All individual things are working together as a whole without anything being excluded.

There is no observer and observation from outside.

~ Shohaku Okumura Roshi

Shohaku Okamura Roshi

Upcoming Events


Starts: Fri Nov 30 - 7:00 PM

16922 Cabot Avenue

SESSHIN: SIMPLIFIED ZEN MEDITATION RETREAT Friday November 30, 7 pm – Saturday December 8, noon, 2018 In sesshin, we let in the support of the whole universe. This can feel profound or ordinary; it is actually extraordinary.

  • 22
  • Feb

Starts: Fri Feb 22 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with

  • 22
  • Mar

Starts: Fri Mar 22 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with

  • 26
  • Apr

Starts: Fri Apr 26 - 12:00 AM

16922 Cabot Avenue

Silent meditation retreat in the Zen tradition. If you would like to come, please speak with

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Latest News


Moving into leadership

On Saturday, Thich Nhat Hanh returned to his root temple in Vietnam – the place where he entered the Way. He wrote “It has been my deep wish for many years now to return and live where my ancestral teachers lived … until the day this body disintegrates.” (Full letter is here.) Louise Dunlop sent […]


Voting, Fascism, and Resistance

We live in difficult times. I started to list the events of the week, and gave up – there were too many and it was too depressing. Environmental (loss of species), climate (extreme weather events around the world), politics (fascist president elected in Brazil), and here in the U.S. increasing violence stoked by a President […]


Letting the Way find us (part 2)

Years ago, a teacher at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, said to me “We each have to find our own way.” There, when entering monastic practice for the first time, we would first sit in silence for five days. This was called “clarifying the mind.” Now, seeing more clearly, I recognize that this means dropping ideas […]


Letting the Way Find Us – October 19 and 22

From my childhood I remember going on walks in the woods with my father. He would take me and my sister to the “real woods” – not the overgrown orchard where we played all the time – and would talk about things, and he always brought cookies. It was a special time. Once we found […]


There are many ways to get involved

Learn more about Mountains and Waters Alliance Membership – working to protect and restore the wholeness of life on earth. Its members include human people, rivers, rocks, trees, hills – sentient beings from all parts of the family of life. Check out ways you can Volunteer or.. Consider donating to Mountains and Waters