Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Does a flower become an Apple?

Now there's a little piece of early spring!

But, does the flower become the apple?
Does birth become death? Eventually?
Does it really matter?
Pay attention to the flower!
Pay attention to the apple!
Pay attention to birth!
Pay attention to death!
Form is emptiness, emptiness is form!
Chop wood, carry water.
Just this!
Just this moment!
Just now!

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Great is the matter of birth and death.
Life slips quickly by.
Time waits for no one.
Wake up! Wake up!
Don’t waste a moment
(thanks to Cafe Zen for the pic)
So here it is, this great matter of birth and death. Sometimes I feel I contemplate these things too much and miss this life that is slipping by quickly, right before my next breath. For many reasons, I am in a dark place right now. Life is good but my spirit is just kind of, well, dark. 

It is rare for me to be in this place. I am, for the most part, ridiculously  optimistic about life and all the matters of life.
I woke up at 3:45 this morning. I tried to make myself stay in bed until 5:00 but it just wasn't meant to be. I did get a good bit accomplished though. I cut up some celery for snacks, cut up and stewed some squash for a meal later this week, sat Zazen, ran the dishwasher and did some reading. So here it is now 8:00 in the morning and I am sleepy.
I guess I can say I "woke up" this morning and I did not "waste a moment".
Maybe I'll go for a walk and see what the birthing of spring has to offer the camera lens and report back later.

"Life slips quickly by"



Sunday, March 21, 2010


For all you Dogenites out there, here is a small bowl of Thai Jasmine rice I will be having with some chili. I am still hoping for my orchid there on the left and my sweet potato has all kinds of roots going on. Thanks to my dear friend Jim Stillings for that rock you see old Buddha sitting on. That rock came all the way from Maine. Anyway, just thought I would share some of what the Tenzo has been doing.


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What does it mean that I have nothing to say? Probably nothing. Even when I do have something to say it doesn't mean that I have said anything that matters. I think most of the time I write as a spiritual practice. It is important for me to note what I feel I have discovered about the truths of this path we call life.

 I'm cooking some stuff with Dogen and Uchiyama right now regarding this thing we call "Self". I'll get back with some thoughts on that when I have some. Anyway, right now there is just NOTHING.