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, November 11, 2012

From Mary Lou Kownacki's

Conversations with Ryokan

Priest Senkei, a true man of the Way!
He worked in silence----no extra words for him.
For thirty years he stayed in Kokusen's community.
He never did meditation, never read the sutras,
And never said a word about Buddhism,
Just worked for the good of all.
I saw him but did not really see him;
I met him but did not really meet him.
Ah, he is impossible to imitate.
Priest Senkei, a true man of the Way!


I read about a woman
Who chose cleaning
As her path
To enlightenment.

Rather than beads,
A toilet brush and broom,
From door to door
And train station, too,
Like a servant
Who had been given an example.

What if...
Instead of sitting with "om"
In my inner-city monastery
I asked my neighbor's permission
And cleaned the sidewalks
Each morning, raking
Leaves, sweeping litter.
Only one block...
One block at a time.

Mary Lou Kownacki

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life's Prayer Continued...

It seems to me that this spiritual journey (which never ends) has been an effort to understand what it means to make two into one. This has become more evident as I have spent my time in the depths of Soto Zen and Contemplative Christianity. More and more the lines are fading and that field of which Rumi speaks is becoming a reality, at least cognitively but the experience is still Paul’s vision, “for now we see in a mirror dimly...”

Out beyond Ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.

From Essential Rumi
By Coleman Barks

Bowing to “One”,








Saturday, November 3, 2012



Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

  -- David Whyte
      from Everything is Waiting for You
     ©2003 Many Rivers Press



 So much close to me, 
Eyes see!
Ears hear!
Tongue taste!
Make love to the moment!
Delicious intimacy!