“My teacher’s [Roshi’s] school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me.” Leonard Cohen


quoteup2
My teacher’s school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me. I never really understood the Zen philosophy. What kept me coming back was my friendship with Roshi. Like all great teachers, he accommodates all students who come to him. Some seek a teacher, others discipline. I needed a friend and he gave me a great deal of affection. He did not try to give me spiritual instruction, but a solution to the pressures of my life, and it didn’t matter to me if it passed for religion, the kitchen or philosophy.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Intimate Conversation With…Leonard Cohen by Elena Pita. Translated by Marie Mazur (using translation software) and aided by Guadalupe Baquero. Originally posted in Spanish at Magazine, Sunday Supplement to El Mundo: September 26, 2001.

Note: Originally posted June 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The work that was in front of me was just to cultivate this tiny corner of the field that I thought I knew something about, which was something to do with self-investigation without self-indulgence.” Leonard Cohen

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia’ by Jian Ghomeshi (The Guardian: 9 July 2009). Photo by Paul. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Invokes Light As The Breeze To Characterize His “Position More Or Less Over The Years”

cohen-kneel-wang9
quoteup2
In [‘Light As The Breeze’] I say, ‘You can drink it or you can nurse it, it doesn’t matter how you worship, as long as you’re down on your knees.’ I think that’s been my position more or less over the years, and creakily standing up and regretting it and getting down again.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen by Barbara Gowdy (November 19, 1992 interview published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, ed. Leanna Crouch,  Somerville House Publishing 1994). Photo by xrayspx. Originally posted January 16, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Talks About How “We’re drawn to the truth”

lc-1988
quoteup2
We’re drawn to the truth. We’re drawn to the truth when we hear it and when we see it. We’re hungry for the truth. We’re always surprised because the truth manifests itself in so many different ways and in so many different forms. You can hear it for a moment from your friend, you can hear it from your wife, you can hear it from your children. You can hear it for a moment in a song on the radio. It is so precious when you hear it that you are immediately drawn to it. So I tend to be wary of confining this expression of truth to one kind of activity, one kind of artistic activity.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in First Person, a 1988 CBC broadcast narrated by Moses Znaimer. Originally posted April 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Finding A Solution For Suffering: “The broken heart illuminates a path, and it is a different path for each broken heart”

lc-1988
quoteup2
When the level of suffering in any individual reaches a certain point and he can’t deal with his own discomfort, then he is going to look for some kind of solution. I don’t think any religious quest is begun with a sense of luxury. I don’t think any serious study is undertaken unless the being is broken with some kind of suffering, either physical or psychic. I don’t think anybody undertakes a serious religious examination unless they’ve been creamed somehow by the world. And once that happens, once the heart is broken and once you recognize that the heart is broken, then various paths open to individuals. And there are very many different paths. That’s why we should never take a position from one path or another on the other paths, because the broken heart illuminates a path and it is a different path for each broken heart. I understand that when you say the words ‘broken heart,’ lots of people just turn off. But the truth is, this is the beginning of wisdom, to understand that you are deeply uncomfortable here. That discomfort illuminates its own solution and it is often years before you take that solution. So you poke around at the different solutions that are available. Maybe you come to the ones that are most familiarly articulated, your own religion. Most of the religions around are pretty good for that. It may be a political solution. It may be an ascetic solution. It may be a hedonistic solution. None of us has the right to judge other people’s solutions to suffering. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in First Person, a 1988 CBC broadcast narrated by Moses Znaimer. Originally posted April 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on his preference for “writing in which there is no reference to anything beyond the individual’s own predicament, his own mess, his own struggle.”

leonard_livebooks_antonioolmos-scaled1000
quoteup2
There are people like Charles Bukowski who make that tiny will glorious, and that’s a kind of writing that I like very much: a writing in which there is no reference to anything beyond the individual’s own predicament, his own mess, his own struggle.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen as interviewed by Robert Sward Montreal 1984. Photo by Antonio Olmos. Originally posted March 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Also see The Human Predicament In Leonard Cohen’s Music