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, July 30, 2011

SEAMS, GAPS, INTIMACY








THERE'S A SEAM IN MY LIFE

WHICH DOES NOT EXIST.

A GAP, 

CREATING IN BETWEEN

PLACES,

WHICH DO NOT EXIST.

MY MIND NEEDS SWEEPING

BUT "MY MIND"

IS A GAP,

IS AN IN BETWEEN PLACE.

TO LOSE MY MIND IS FRIGHTENING,

BUT HOW CAN I EVER EXPERIENCE THE ONE?
Bows,
Alan
(inspired by a talk by Daido Roshi)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why?

Ignorance begets Evil and Evil begets Suffering

May this Suffering beget Compassion





Friday, July 22, 2011

Monkey mind

I have spent the last seven days a bit stealth. My wife has been in Atlanta, visiting the granddaughters. So seven days alone in the house. Worked during the day but mornings and evenings alone, no tv, just the sounds of a quiet home. It is amazing how loud your mind is when you are alone. Yes, I talked out loud to myself also. Anyway, it was like my mind had a bright light shining on it. A great training week!


This is by no means my first time to spend a week alone in silence but for some reason the mind thing was most prevalent.

"this mind is Buddha"

Well, no!

Monkey?

Well, just give me a banana!

Alan

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wasting Time



I have a friend who brings me poetry to be read out loud.
This friend thinks that it is wasting my time.


The friend asks,"How many people do you think sit around like this wasting time?"

I said to my friend, "I hope a lot."


Bows To My Friend,

Alan

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simple, Devout - Intimate



The Mary Oliver book I am reading right now begins chapter eight (Sand Dabs) with this:

 "The sharp-edged, glittering tens, the hours with locks on them; the hard twenties; the easing thirties;, the fretful forties;, the fifties, occasional hours of hope and promise, holding on. Now sixties.And I would like to be simple and devout, like the oak tree.And to tell the truth, sometimes I would like to be able to bark like a dog, to whistle like the meadowlark, to play a little banjo, like the frog in the summer pond.


Some of these words I think are too personal for me to grasp but the little line that speaks to my life is:

"Now sixties. And I would like to be simple and devout, like the oak tree.

"Especially "devout".
Defined on the www the following way:




Having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment
 she was a devout Catholic, a rabbi's devout prayers
(from the www)



I like the idea of "deep...feelings"


but I would want to translate "devout" as intimate.


So for me it would be "deep intimate feelings..."


For sure, life is becoming more intimate for me;


So here is my rewrite on that sentence of Oliver's


Now sixties. 


And I would like to be simple and intimate, like the oak tree.


I'm not sure how the oak tree is intimate but the oak tree probably understands what I mean.


As I think about it, maybe it is related to being more rooted, more grounded...to the things that matter.


Oh well, bows to the oak tree, simplicity and intimacy!


Alan

Friday, July 1, 2011

Paying Attention


(Posted at yourgrandpa.blogspot.com)
Dear Caroline,
That's a picture of you and your grandmother (Lala), doing what you two love to do together, looking at flowers, walking around outside, observing nature.


I guess this is "Mary Oliver" week. Look her up. She's a wonderful poet. 


Anyway, yesterday I was talking to a friend about the spiritual life and how complicated we make it sometimes.


( And by the way, the spiritual life is not something separate from this life. It is not something you do
and then go back to living an "ordinary" life. It is life!)
OK, back to my point.


My friend and I were discussing her spiritual practice. What was it? How should it be? How can one make time for it?
Well, I referred her again to the poem by Mary Oliver called "THE SUMMER DAY"...in that poem it states "...I don't know what a prayer is but I do know how to pay attention..."


I suggested to her that she just simply "pay attention", that was enough.


It's so important to just "pay attention", right now, this moment, this breath, paying attention to all the small wonders around us.


Again, back to the point of this little story.


Yesterday I watched your grandmother sitting with you outside in the grass, just sitting with you and letting you enjoy the warm sun, scratchy grass...her sitting there paying attention to you and you sitting there with all the wonder of an eight month old, feeling grass, looking for the birds, feeling the breeze...just paying attention.


What a wonderful prayer you two are together when you go outside and just pay attention.


What else was there for you two to do?!


AMEN,


Grampa