Old Photo

Old photo

seeing my parents

before we were born


young and happy

full of energy

before they knew



from themselves

from their kids

from each other


It’s hard to believe

they  ever looked

quite so young

so hopeful

or that good looking




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Original photo from : https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/23750564284

Posted in Off the Wall, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , ,

About Satori …


Oshaku Okumura, one of the foremost exponents of Dogen’s teachings, said when he was asked about Satori: “Satori is nothing but being aware of, or being alert in, whatever activity you are doing right now, right here. Any activity is not a step, means, or preparation for other things, but rather should be done for its own sake, being accomplished in each moment.”

Viewed through the lens
of self and time,
this statement
did not seem
to make sense.

Isn’t satori
an awakening experience ?

Isn’t awakening
stepping outside
of time ?

So how could satori
be present
” all of the time ” ?

It took satori
to understand
not understanding.

What seems to be present
before satori
is utterly complete

What seems to be present
after satori
is utterly complete

The difference
lies in

To practice
as if
what is real
and always present
really is real
and always present
of the moment
would have helped.

Who knows ?

_ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ ______________________________

Oshaku Okumura Roshi

Drawing of Dogen from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C5%8Dgen#/media/File:DogenP2.JPG

The image of Oshaku Okumura Roshi from here: http://www.upaya.org/uploads/images/ShohakuOkumuraRoshi2.jpgsized.jpg

The quotation came from here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2013/09/joel-agee-appearances-are-self.html

Posted in Zen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Primitive Hut Retreat


primitive hut retreat
on a breezy hillside
of scrub forest
in winter

little hooves scuff by
at 1:00 am

one morning
two owls duel hooting
in the predawn dark

immersed in natural quiet
alive, vital, spacious, free

animal, vegetable and mineral
acoustic contributions
from every direction

not like the dead quiet
at Bell Labs sound-damp chamber

where no owls hoot
no chipmunks dart
no drawn out lowing
from cattle across the valley

why step back from the world
on a pilgrimage to nowhere
looking for nothing
waiting for nothing
sitting with no goal
not even an aspiration ?

didn’t this used to be spiritual ?
driven ?
important !?!

an agenda
trying to budge, shove, succeed
as if practice
was about winning a prize

a farce of inner force
twisting God’s arm
to make awakening fall
from her grasp

like the mythical apple
that never struck
Sir Isaac Newton

gravity never noticed
his marvelous observations
the planets continued on their course
naturally, marvelously indifferent
to the brilliance of his thoughts

all along
God and this one
breathed the same breath
entertained the same notions
emoted the same heart’s energy

now standing under the open sky

twilight fades into night

stars peek out in twos and threes

the half-moon rising slowly

scree tumbles down the hillside

cold breeze caressing

hot tea steaming

starlight shining

bright and vivid

nothing missing

nothing missing

_ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________

The hut photo was taken by the author.

Starry night from here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Night_Sky_Stars_Trees_03.jpg

Reference to the anechoic chamber : https://www.bell-labs.com/anechoic-chamber/

The retreat took place here: https://garchen.net/registrations/
( see https://garchen.net/product/primitive-retreat-hut/)

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

What is Water ?

A humble , honest look at the actual day-to-day,

moment to moment experience

of one person.

Sound familiar ?

A big part of the spiritual journey, told in less than 10 minutes.

This video comes from here: https://vimeo.com/68855377


Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The One Process

The One Process Worksop



This extraordinary One Process Workshop helped deepen current experience here, clarifying some questions about post-awakening life through powerful direct inquiry and focused contemplation.

Ken Kelly and Brigitte Hansoul lead the practices through a highly participatory and example-based style whose gentleness belies its power and efficacy.

An amazing experience with continuing unfolding practical benefits.

Ken Kelly

Brigitte Hansoul

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Forgive Everyone, Everything, Forever

[ Cross-posted from Vanishing Narrative. Enjoy ! ]


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Top 12 Ways Losing Weight Resembles Spiritual Practice

12) Learn new vocabulary, such as ” Dharmakaya ” and ” pummelo ” .

11) Counter intuitive.

10) Full of surprises !

9) Hard to believe what you just nearly did.

8) Just one more thing your spouse shakes her head about.

7) Sometimes you’re totally high, sometimes it’s a slog.

6) Takes ” discipline“. ( really just awareness )

5) Both may call for fasting.

4) Transformative.

3) Motivation colors the outcome. ( A lot ! )

2) Delayed gratification is the name of the game.

1) You’re glad you did it.

Dave Letterman

* * ** *** ***** ******** *************

While the format above was [ vaguely ] inspired by Dave Letterman’s ” Top Ten Lists “, the content is entirely original.

Photo comes from here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Dave_Letterman.jpg

Posted in Dyad, Humor, Humor, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Waking Up out of a Tradition

Buddham sarinam gacchami.
Dammam sarinam gacchami.
Sangham sarinam gacchami.

I go for refuge to Buddha , Dharma and Sangha.

Through the virtues I collect
from giving and other perfections,
may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all.

How many years have I recited this formula of aspiration
waiting for wisdom, waiting for unequivocal truth ?

After taking refuge in the Truth of B-D-S,
time and again,
I landed in the no-place
of no-I, no-Buddha, and no-time.

This raft got nobody to the far shore;
more or less extinguished and utterly astonished.


More than three years after the upheaval, the journey continues.

Sans identity.

The Buddha’s 2500 year old word’s provided such a sure guide along the way.
Now, this life lives
in this moment,
as Presence,
in Flow,
circumscribed by no-thing.

(except when it doesn’t)

This fragment cannot express how it loved the path the Buddha
( and those many who dutifully, lovingly followed after ) laid down;
a path paved by empty bricks.

Perhaps, no matter how reliable a path one has followed,
the written path ends , whilst the journey continues.

In this case, it certainly has.

Am adept at following signs.

Signs ran out.

Perhaps this mirrors what Krishnamurti referenced
as he timelessly stated
” Truth is a pathless land. ”  (1)

This condition, highly wished for, meditated for and sought,
finally manifested after many years of practice.

What happened stretched  beyond what mind had ever imagined.

No words delineate it.

No guideposts left,





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Raft photo from here: https://theconsciousprocess.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/raft.jpg

Space photo from here : <img src=”http://www.imaginator.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Vast-Expanses-Of-Thought-Mandala.jpg” width=”800″ height=”600″ class=”alignnone” />

Quote from J. Krishnamurti here: http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1929-truth-is-a-pathless-land

Posted in Buddhist Practice, Human Experience, Inquiry, No self, Off the Wall, Waking Down | Tagged , , , ,

Solstice Fire


my brother belted out

  his four-year old son’s

favorite song

with great gusto

 enthusiasm for PUFF

ranged around the fire

crackling from Immanuel’s fire pit

keeping time on the djembe

moon not yet risen

fajitas not half-eaten

merlot not half finished

keeping time on the djembe

flames gently licking split dry logs

clear evening air

not bothering to stir

dry chill, banished close to the hearth

shakers, castenets, recorder, drums

keeping time on the djembe

“Was there fruitcake before solstice ?”

“Try one of these !”

“The tortoise dug a new den this year.”

“How’s  retirement going ?”

keeping time on the djembe

 snippets of conversation

 comprising life together

– community –

what I hiked so far away from

high up in the mountains

 here lies the social

talking, tears , laughter, percussion

and fruitcake


do they know

the love they are held with ?

do they sense

the love that they are ?

the song is almost over

roll to big finish

perfect flames snapping at dry logs

solstice fire of split dry wood

radiates the warmth of the personal

a deeply human glow

within the cool sea of awareness

“Why, yes, I like Sponge-Bob !”

“Arianna’s baby is due in April. “

“Have you heard from Zion and Isabella ?”

Slipping the djembe into its carrier.

“Please take something home.”

“Already done, love.”

Already done.


Fire photo courtesy of : http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/download-picture.php?adresar=20000&soubor=camp-fire-73141289452103Ada.jpg

Djembe drum courtesy of : http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/download-picture.php?adresar=10000&soubor=1269-12421857686DQc.jpg

Posted in Love, Off the Wall, Poetry, Simple Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Hafiz !

Hafiz !

Can it really be

as simple

as that ?

Just love


in every direction



do you ever

get a break


God ?


8 8 88 888   88888     88888888        8888888888888             88888888888888888888888

Pic thanks to : http://allspirit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hafiz.jpg

Something about Hafiz: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez

The actual edition of the book of Hafiz’ poems : http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Hafiz/dp/0140195815

Posted in Love, Poetry, Retreat, Simple Living, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,