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

Thursday, June 28, 2012



I have arrived at the bottom of an empty bucket.
Should I wait for the bottom to fall out or
Should I kick my way through the wood?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making Love To Life

 Vital relationships are, by nature, erotic. They are sensual, in that they are informed by all our senses, our openness to see, taste, touch, smell everything with a willingness to be taken, to be surprised, swept off our feet. We participate in an erotic relationship  whenever we engage the world with full sensual awareness—for ex ample, whenever we bite into an apple. By itself, an apple has no taste, no piquant flavor of late summer. Our mouth, lips, and tongue, our taste buds by themselves have no taste of apple. The magnificent flavor of a crisp apple freshly picked by hand comes alive the instant the apple enters our mouth. One small bite, and a sudden eruption of juices, tongue, saliva, taste buds, and apple flesh create the necessary erotic intercourse that sets free the awesome taste, the flavorful wonder of apple. Just as we meet our choice points as uneaten fruit, it is only in our tasting fully the texture, fragrance, sense of how we are, who we are, in this moment, everything we could not possibly ever know until now—not yesterday, not tomorrow, not next year, but only in this moment—that we can fully know what is true, beautiful, necessary, right. 

This is an erotic life. It is a dangerous life, because it refuses to be predicted, planned, controlled, evaluated. It is radical, in stark opposition to the way the culture presumes we absolutely must live in this world. It is dangerous, because we must finally abandon the comforting illusion that we can in any way control the outcome.

(Not so sure I agree totally with "...the comforting illusion that we can in any way control the outcome."...But not so sure he meant it the way it is said, because his next statement reveals we have an influence in some way by our choices)

How we choose this moment will change the way we live. This smallest of things, this mustard seed, this single pearl of great price, will change our life, our relationships, our happiness, our sense of whether we feel filled or emptied. It will, in the end, change everything. When we can discern what is most true, inspired by our deepest love for all involved, our decisions are likely to land us in moment after moment of easy sufficiency.

Muller, Wayne (2010-03-31). A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough 

I share all the above because of his suggestion about vital relationships being "erotic". Approaching life with great awareness is a daily experience of intimacy!

How wonderful if we can apply this to our relationships with people, places and things!

One great act of making love!


Saturday, June 23, 2012


In this dark room called my heart
There is this flicker of light,
Like a lighted candle,
And I am warmed.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Dark Night

Dark Night

I have been working on "mu" with my teacher and reading again Paul Knitter's book Without Buddha I Couldn't Be A Christian.

I'm really in a mysterious place right now.

This place is beginning to feel a little like depression.

I just spent two wonderful weeks at the beach with a very large group of family members (including thirteen children) and felt pretty much alone in the midst of that crowd.
I think I would call it a feeling of “having no place to go”. That is kind of what I am feeling about my “Mu” work. 

It’s also a feeling of just “not belonging”…anywhere.
Another thought (feeling?)…It’s like I have nothing to “work” on…all that is left is to experience.

I don’t mean that in “I have arrived”…I mean there seems to be nothing to reach for…nothing to look for…

Maybe this is the dark night of the soul!

 I’m not worried about. It’s something I am curious about.
I don’t know what it means.

Maybe it means nothing.
Maybe it means everything.

Deep Bows to this mystery,


Thursday, June 7, 2012

(picture from old post at wild fox zen)


As I stated in my earlier post, I'm at the beach for little r&r. However, I am now beginning my second day of self-imposed solitude because of flu like symptoms throughout my body. It would be a great time to be able to drop body and mind.

I spent yesterday re-reading Victor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning. His story certainly helped me to see that my present self-imposed imprisonment was 
insignificant but, it (self-imposed imprisonment)  has been a teacher for me.

The ease in which I have endured the solitude is definitely a fruit of my practice. This is not to say that I am a "good sick person". I'm not. I whine a lot! But even that is a teacher for me. Has it not be said that everything is practice, if we pay attention.

My little needy small self is always getting in the way but I am better at sending him back to his room.

So I will probably spend one more day in solitude, hoping not to infect the community.
Being open, paying attention.


As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion and realization, practice, and birth and death, and there are buddhas and sentient beings.
As the myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death.
The buddha way is, basically, leaping clear of the many and the one; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas.
Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.
To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.
Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion.
When buddhas are truly buddhas they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddhas.
When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illumined the other side is dark.
To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

Hands Together,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two Weeks To Consider MU...and the rest of my life.

The above shot is a picture from google images of Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
Because of a gracious heart of one of my relatives, I am able to be in this place for the next two weeks with many family members on my wife's side. And my two precious granddaughters.

So does one set "MU" aside? I don't think that is possible. MU is always present! The struggle is trying to actualize that "MU".
Maybe if I take a long leisurely walk on this beach I will run head on into mu.
Lots of myriad things to come at me on such a walk.

Dosho asked over at Wild Fox Zen:

"What do we do with this one great life?"

Today I may just walk it down the beach, me and mu, just a walking!