Saturday, July 23, 2011

Maybe someone wishes to talk about gunning down youth on an island in Norway. Others might wish to talk about a woman who sang and drank and died in London. And still others might find themselves alone in a chair on a screened-in porch in the woods at the foot of a mountain.

It's an odd, funny, and disturbing world. Who knows the punch line?
Let go of all your previous imaginings, opinions, interpretations, worldly knowledge, intellectualism, egotism, and competitiveness; become like a dead tree, like cold ashes. When you reach the point where feelings are ended, views are gone, and your mind is clean and naked, you open up to Zen realization. After that it is also necessary to develop consistency, keeping the mind pure and free from adulteration at all times. If there is the slightest fluctuation, there is no hope of transcending the world. Cut through resolutely, and then your state will be peaceful. When you cannot be included in any stage, whether of sages or of ordinary people, then you are like a bird freed from its cage.
- Yuan wu (1063-1135)
The world is not a stage. We don't know our parts. We stand slack-jawed staring out at a series of stories that make no sense.

I don't expect to pass this way again. While here, might I be of some help?

Friday, July 22, 2011

A few seconds ago it was 7/22, 22:22:22 on the 24hr time piece. Just that
You cannot describe it or draw it,
You cannot praise it enough or perceive it.
No place can be found in which
To put the Original Face;
It will not disappear even
When the universe is destroyed.

- Mumon (13th cent)
It is time to end the Kabuki theater on the debt ceiling.

End ideology; begin reasoning together.

It is too hot for nonsense.

Let’s face it.

Mourn the sorrow in Norway.

Pray for sanity.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's not a choice.

Solitude is the way the solitary retains sanity.

Yes, of course, there are other people. But 'society' is optional.

It is the memory of God that informs solitude.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What if there were no black men? What if there were no white men? No red men? No brown men? No yellow men?
Nor any hues depicting various women?

What would we do then? How would we refer to one another without referencing color?
Misty trees hide in crinkled hills' blue green.
The man of the Way's stayed long
At this cottage in the bamboo grove.
White clouds too know the flavor
Of this mountain life;
They haven't waited for the Vesper Bell
To come on home again.

- Ching An (1841–1920)
I tire of the facile referencing and quantifying, qualifying, categorizing and compartmentalizing.

What would we do without our modifiers and descriptors?

Everyone is Buddha. Everyone Christ. All free. No one owned by or owning of another.

A tree is a tree. A dog a dog. God god. You you. Me me. A passing car a passing car.

We have not all been here before; we've been here all along. Where anything is there we are and have been and will be until there is no until.

Well then -- what's this all about, this packaging and selling and opining and attempting to conjure, consecrate, conjoin, and conjugate?

Don't ask me.

I have nothing to add. Or subtract.

I find myself numberless. As all beings, are.

We are countless. We don't count. We're way beyond that.

Way beyond!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When an itinerant zen practitioner stops by to visit, everyone is better for it.

I ask him to bless our zendo. He sits a while. In the silence, unmuffled sounds from direction of his sitting. He rises, bows, invites bell three times, bows three times, and exits.

The place is blessed.
The hermit doesn't sleep at night:
In love with the blue of the vacant moon.
The cool of the breeze
That rustles the trees
Rustles him too.

- Ching An (1841–1920)
Once we are born, there is nothing we can do but live. Once we realize we are dying, there is nothing we can do but visit a zendo and bless it with our presence.

Each step along this path is the journey of enlightenment.

Whether sudden or gradual. An ordinary Joe. At end, ordinariness is our common embrace -- a transmission of gratefulness, a ceremony reminder at walkway edge to hold dear and let go what is passing through.

It is joyful! It is good!

Thank you, Kozan, ancient mountain!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is in a name?

Yes -- what is is in a name.
When the mind is properly adjusted
And quietly applied
The Way is attainable;
But when you are too fervently bent
On it, your body grows tired;
When your body is tired, your spirit
Becomes weary.
When you spirit is weary, your discipline
Will relax, and with relaxation of
Discipline, there follows many distractions.
Be calm and pure, and the Way will be gained.

- Sutra of Forty Two Chapters
Only allow what is to sound itself through your name and you and I will be exactly what we are in this world.

In this way all is accomplished. In this way everything minds itself.

Nothing's wrong. There are no mistakes.

Follow, if you wish, this way of being.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What about not following nor having a following? Can we just be part of the journey?

What if there were nowhere to go and nothing to accomplish? Whence the journey then?
There's a stream, and there's bamboo,
There's mulberry and hemp.
Mist-hidden, clouded hamlet,
A mild, tranquil place.
Just a few tilled acres.
Just a few tiled roofs.
How many lives would I
Have to live, to get that simple.

- Yuan Mei (1716–1798)
Hot summer day in Maine. Sitting in shade in front of book shed, reading. Morning practice and Evening practice. We are so fortunate!

Without opinions what would I be?

Probably, free.