Showing posts from April, 2014

In the Night

With palms together, Good Morning All,
Thursday, April 17: It is 3:00 AM and I am awake because our lovable dogs decided to bark their heads off over some coyote in the distance.  The girls (our dogs) settled down and soon after fell asleep on pillows on our sofa.  While I, on the other hand, sat upright next to them. So it goes.
You know, I rarely have any real idea what I am going to say next when I write these blog notes.  What I do know is that I have a state of mind that, when I enter it, its as if I am in touch with all the buddhas and ancestors before me.  I feel my fingertips on the keyboard and realize Bodhidharma or Dogen or the Buddha. Sometimes its just a blank sheet of virtual paper staring back at me.  Other times its real paper and I use my fountain pen to jot down notes in my journal. In either case, Ancestors, words, and body are one.  At such times, something unfolds and presents itself. I am as often as surprised as, perhaps, you are. Painting and music seem to be like…


With palms together, Good Morning All,
This morning brought a brilliant moon and chilly air.  I am sitting in my flannel robe looking out the French doors in our living room.  Outside, things are still.  The world hasn’t quite woken up yet….well, at least my world.  Kathryn sleeps, as do Binky and Suki, and I putter.  My mind is on the Google Hangout.  Only one of our several invitees showed up.  Interesting.  I know people have their own lives to live and things do, indeed, come up that interfere with our plans, yet, still, it is disheartening.  I think we will come on at an earlier hour, say 6:30 Mountain Time, on Monday evenings.
The trouble with ideas is that they come with expectations.  In Zen, we are taught that expectations come with attachments, and attachments lead to suffering.  Perhaps so.  But, this does not mean that we should not have expectations, rather, that our expectations should be held like loosely held reins.  We have them, but are not attached to them. We move in …


With palms together, Good Morning All,

It is late in the morning for me at 5:57 as I sit down to write to you.  The air here in the desert is cool and the sun has yet to peak up over the mountains to the east. My usually slow Wednesday is sandwiched by two appointments.  The first, at 8:00 AM, is with my personal physician.  The second, at 7:00 PM, is with the director of the perpetrator’s program at our local domestic violence shelter. In the former, a check-up; in the latter, a planning meeting to see where I might fit into their curriculum.  
Our small study group met last night and we discussed “rites of passage” in terms of transformation in relation to our practice,  It is interesting to me how we distract ourselves from our inevitable death.  So, when confronted with it’s imminence, we are both surprised and frightened.  More, we are unprepared.  As a result everyone in our sphere of influence suffers. Yet, my sense is that such suffering is part and parcel of our human nature.  T…

Morning Notes

With palms together, Good Morning All,
This morning I woke at 4:30!  Yeah, getting a bit more rest!  I do love early morning: quiet earth, starlit sky, cool desert air, and birdsong.  All of these combine to make early morning very special in my heart.  And then there is the morning light of dawn breaking!  I longed for that light in Vietnam.  It meant the dark night was over and I had survived the treacherous night.  Naive.  There are, and continue to be, dark nights.  Today, I address them directly, however, although there were decades where I hid from them.  I guess I’m getting better at 67 years old.  Like someone mumbled at the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” rally last week, “Its about damn time!”
We should never hide from ourselves.  In Zen, it is nearly impossible to do so, although some of us manage.  I say nearly impossible because when we practice zazen we have nothing but ourselves to consider.  There is you, your cushion, and the wall in front of your eyes.  We sit and as we…