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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Fruits of Zen Practice

Being a beginner on this path, it is hard for me to articulate what I feel and understand and know at this juncture. So I offer the following as a response to Scruff's questions, hoping you can see what it is that attracts me to this path of Soto Zen. At least this is a start in my trying to explain this to you. Thanks for your very good questions!

Thanks to Father Habito...


Ordinary Mind, Ordinary Day, Ordinary Life, Ordinary People

So here it is Saturday. Nothing special, nothing new, nothing amazing. Just an ordinary day. How wonderful is this path! Just this ordinary day is special, is new, is amazing!

Bows to the ordinary mind as the Way,


Sunday, August 22, 2010


All the discussion about the "priest" thing at Wildfoxzen got me to thinking about how in the Christian tradition things have been done and undone, layered and layered, crossed out, included, built up, torn down, moved, stayed the same and on and on and on and on...further and further away from the essence of what Jesus was getting at in simply the way he live his life..."the way, the truth, the I thought it might be a good time to just look at the following:

Four Noble Truths
   1. Suffering exists
   2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
   3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
   4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

Noble Eightfold Path
 Three Qualities Eightfold Path
 Wisdom (panna) Right View
  Right Thought
 Morality (sila) Right Speech
  Right Action
  Right Livelihood
 Meditation (samadhi) Right Effort
  Right Mindfulness
  Right Contemplation

Thanks to for the above.

And I am thankful for the teachers and priests we have in all traditions!

Deep Bows,


For The Shoebox

This is a personal post for The Shoe Box kitchen.

OK, the photo is definitely not your quality but here is the poached egg I cooked this morning. And by the way, thanks for the suggestion on the hummus! That was a nice touch.

During observation, the egg did go to bottom but as it began to cook it floated back up. It was removed with a slotted utensil.

Good Eats!


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The Dharma and Grandparenting

That's my first grandchild wrapped in all those stripes. Her name is Caroline Jo Coleman. She and her mother are here this weekend for a baby shower. Having this first grandchild is kind of like a koan for me. I really can't "know" anything about this until I experience it with my whole body/mind. I just "know" how much I love her mother, so I can't imagine what it is going to be like to love her. It surely can't be any "more" but I got to think that this is going to really be something different. What a great mystery it seems to be to me! What a great opportunity to forget the self!!

I love you Caroline but I think it is even more than that!


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

From Bus Stop to Burial

I'm burying a friend today. I say a friend. We have not really socialized as adults but many years ago we would stand at the school bus stop in our neighborhood and wait for the big yellow bus to pick us up, along with all the other kids in the neighborhood. I still remember the number of the bus and the driver. It was bus 53 and Mrs. Chainey was the driver.
It seems like the bus stop was another life. I remember this guy as one of the tough ones in the neighborhood. That is a small child's memory.

His wife and two daughters describe him as a man with a very tender heart. They remember a man who loved children and who loved to listen to the elderly tell their stories.

I don't know, there's just something about these two memories that seems to speak to something important.

 Who knows, maybe he was paying attention to the beginnings and the ends. Maybe he cared about the vulnerability of these two extremes. Maybe he was looking for an answer to the in - between times of these two extremes. Whatever it was, it seems to have played a part in creating a tender hearted human being and that's not a bad way to be remembered.

Bows To The Tough Guy With A Tender Heart,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

From Extraordinary to Ordinary

That beautiful lady became my daughter-in-law this past Saturday. What an extraordinary time it was for all of us. They seem so happy together and so comfortable with each other. They are still experiencing the extraordinary with a trip to Maine, sampling all the delicious seafood along the honeymoon path.

I have been entertaining some leftover guest from Connecticut and will be returning to work tomorrow. The guest is a friend of mine from the Navy days (69-73) and his wife. This too has been extraordinary because of our long time history together.

It has been a special time these past several days. And now we go back into our routine of the ordinary. And I am just as excited about that as I was about the extraordinary.

Reflecting on this, I realize just how precious this everyday life is if we pay attention to the ordinary. This past weekend was great but for the most part GREAT is not an everyday life experience. For the most part everyday is just everyday. And it is in the everyday (the ordinary) that we find what matters.

So as exciting and wonderful as all this was I can honestly say that I am excited about the wonderful everyday life which now has in it my new daughter-in-law Anne.

For me, the ordinary is the extraordinary. Pay attention! It's just this!


Deep Bows,