You Are Still Here
By Kyogen Carlson
Edited by Sallie Jiko Tisdale
Foreword by Jan Chozen Bays
“There’s so much to learn and so much to know. It’s good to keep moving forward. And yet whatever we have is, in a very profound way, absolutely complete and always enough.”—Kyogen Carlson
Kyogen Carlson (1948–2014) was a Soto Zen priest whose writings, teachings, and commitment to interfaith dialogue supported and inspired countless Buddhist, Christian, and other spiritual practitioners. Set to the rhythm of the seasons, You Are Still Here is the first published collection of Carlson’s dharma talks. It illuminates key elements of contemporary Zen practice, such as the experience of zazen meditation, the pitfalls and intimacies of the teacher-student relationship and of sangha life, the role of community in personal practice, and the importance of interfaith dialogue reaching across political lines. Carlson’s teachings also underscore his commitment to lay Buddhist practice and women’s lineages, both significant contributions to American Buddhism. The beautifully distilled talks have been carefully edited and introduced by Sallie Jiko Tisdale, a respected writer, teacher, and Dharma heir to Carlson. Her masterful presentation highlights the significance of these illuminating teachings, while preserving Carlson’s distinct style of authenticity, humor, and conviction on the Zen path.