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, August 28, 2011


These little fellows pop up in my yard every morning. Then when the sun hits they shrivel up. What I have not investigated yet is whether or not the ones that pop up every morning are the same as the ones that shriveled up the day before.

I'll check that out in the morning.

Anyway,  a cool little event right before my very eyes.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Taking The Next Step

I have spent the last 15 years doing this practice on my own, not by choice but by necessity. I live in the deep south and there are no sitting groups close enough to connect with on a regular basis. About 8 years ago I took the long journey to Mt. Tremper in New York and spent four days sitting with the Mountains and Rivers order. That has been my only first hand exposure to any formal sitting.

Prior to this I did some formal sitting and study in centering prayer.

About three years ago I had the great fortune to encounter Dosho Port online. This has really been my connection. I communicate with him on occasion about different matters and know he is there for however I want to delve into this practice with him via the internet. I am thankful for his compassion in that way.

This is the form of my formlessness.

I am a monk in the world. 

I am alone, not lonely.

And this is my practice.

 I will continue to nurture this practice the best way that I can with great faith and great doubt.

Sentient beings are numberless,
I vow to save them.
Desires are inexhaustible,
I vow to put an end to them.
The Dharmas are boundless,
I vow to master them.
The Buddha Way is unsurpassable,
I vow to attain it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thirsty Texas

Somebody Give Irene A Call, Please!!

What do you do with Just This?


Saturday, August 20, 2011


My practice is flat.
form is no other than emptiness,
Emptiness no other than form;
My practice is flat.
My practice is flat.
My practice is flat.
My practice is not flat.
My practice is not.
My practice is.
My practice.


Thursday, August 4, 2011


pg. 98

When the Dharma is correctly transmitted to the self, the person is immediately an original person- Dogen

"Original person" is a translation of honbun nin, a reference to the self living in the network of interdependent origination. Hon can be literally translated as original, true, root,or source, bun means part or portion, and nin is person. So this word, which has the same meaning as "original face," refers to a person who is one with the original source that exist before karmic conditioning. This original person is actualized when we sit zazen and let go of thinking. When we open the hand of thought, in a sense we negate everything within our karmic consciousness, even the aspiration to become a Buddha. Thoughts well up even when we let go, but we just keep releasing them without grasping. We are also in a sense accepting anything that springs up from our consciousness; in zazen we neither negate nor affirm anything. We don't control the mind; we just sit. We really do nothing. We just keep sitting upright and waking up, breathing naturally, deeply, and quietly from the abdomen as we let go of thoughts. this is why Dogen says, "zazen is non-doing"; I do nothing. Sitting is no longer my action anymore. The entire universe is sitting, using this body and mind; that's all. In so doing, we put our entire being on the ground of interdependent origination, on the ground of impermanence and lack of independent existence that is the original source. This zazen is itself dropping off body and mind.


Monday, August 1, 2011


Reading in The Book Of Mu, chapter by Roko Sherry Chayat, Turn the Light.
Found some words by her that point to this "seamless". She even uses this word later on in her chapter.
She states:
"My teacher has said that there are three essentials of Zen practice: cleaning, chanting, and zazen. Just as the story about polishing the tile points out, most of the time we clean with the idea of getting something. We clean so that we can get through with the job and go on to do something more enjoyable, like taking a walk, or something more important,, like sitting down for the next period of zazen or chanting sutras. And then, of course, we find out that the presumed satisfaction in the projected next thing is lacking; that our absent-minded preoccupied cleaning has carried over to the way we take that walk, the way we sit: lackluster.

When we clean with buddha-cleaning-buddha mind, something very different takes place. With this mind, anything---the sound of the drum at lunchtime, pebble hitting a bamboo stalk in the story about Kyogen raking at the National Teacher's grave site, the sudden glimmer of a rainbow in a puddle at our feet--anything can be the trigger that brings us to the sudden recognition of wordless truth. It's never elsewhere. Then we might rephrase the koan: does a buddha have buddha nature or not? Buddha-cleaning- buddha is Mu, nothing more, nothing less.    The Book Of Mu, Pg. 218.