Wednesday, April 29, 2009

believe in me!

believe in me, only through me is the true way. spiritual masters sometimes make this mistake. the fools teach us absent of their egos. but master’s use metaphor and simile. we don’t understand the truth of the moonlight, or its reflection in the still forest pond. take in the truth, dismiss the master, and see your own reflection in the face of the moon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Second Book of the Tao

Stephen Mitchell Compiled and adapted from the Chuang-tzu and the Chung Yung, with commentaries The Penguin Press, 2009

Chuang Tzu's commentary on dreaming of being a butterfly

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


this is from the great Daoist Master Zhuangzi.
the mind of the realized person is like a mirror.
it does not lean forward or backward
in response to phenomenon.
it responds to appearances
yet conceals nothing of its own.
therefore the sage is able
to function without injury to reality.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

bridge at shaoguan

(I came across this picutre of Mahaghosanada, Zen Master Seung Sahn and Maezumi Roshi, all of our great teachers who have left us recently. Our brother Kwong Roshi is still burining brightly, but it is a sign of the passing of the Dharma from East to West. If you click on the picture it will be full size and you can save it as I feel this is an important picture in the lineage of Zen from China, Korea, and Japan to the West. Please feel free to copy it.) walking over the bridge at shaoguan peasants camped out by the shore with their sampans floating quietly moored to stakes in the muddy earth. the younger crowd drives motorcycles and motor scooters incessantly honking their horns. most people stare at the strange looking visitor and some even point and laugh at this sandy blonde American roaming their busy streets half way around the world this too is my home thick diesel fumes invade my lungs as I begin to cough walking over the bridge at shaoguan. October 4, 1996 Shaoguan, P.R.C.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

preacher on the radio

driving in a rented car while the radio automatically scans the numerous songs and programs which crowd the busy airwaves. relieving the radio from its relentless task, a man’s voice strongly rings out a plea. “why is it that many other people leave their particular religions and come to Christ?” he asks. “it’s because Buddhists and Buddhism can’t meet their needs! it’s because Islam and Mohammed can’t meet their needs! it’s because Judaism can’t meet their needs! only the true Christ can meet their needs!” what is the true Christ? what is Buddha? what is Mohammed? red tail lights on the freeway, weave interchanging lanes. a helicopter hovers overhead, thumping it‘s constant rhythm. a single duck is black against the evening sky. the green sign with white letters points the way home. December 21, 1995 Fullerton, CA

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Memorium JW Harrington

there are moments of reality so close to the heart and so personal that we can’t really say what has happened. there are times when we meet and the meetings last a lifetime, they grow and flourish and a family seems to appear. JW Harrington was part of my family, he was always steadfast and entered into every conversation with Bodhidharma’s generosity, ‘how may I help you?’ was always the first thing off his lips. I don’t know how to express the sadness and emptiness I feel in the world devoid of his presence. He helped me at times when others had abandoned me, he was there to add sanity to a world that was completely mad. I know that a piece of me has been lost at the passing of my friend, and I mourn the loss of a man who never thought only of himself. photo of JW Harrington and Dorota Streitfield

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

kyol che into spring

quarter moon reflected in the pond as a cricket orchestra sing their evening song. a tiny frog swims through the moon causing it to waver for a time. the lonesome echo of the distant train whistle— hooowaaaah hooooowaaaaaah hooooooowaaaaaaaah suddenly silence returns again, the earth calm and still, but there it is in the distance the tinkling of the pagoda chimes. a spider crawls down the door sill and runs across the floor. chanting the great dharani a cool breeze fills the room, spring has returned. ten billion stars twinkle in the heavens making the pain in my knees and back all the more worthwhile. Diamond Hill Zen Monastery Cumberland, RI [i] kyol che: a ninety day meditation retreat usually sat during the winter months.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

chogye mountain

nestled into chogye mountain nanhuasi is the birthplace of our current practice. more than one thousand years have passed since the illiterate man built this place. many enlightened beings have tread its hallways. the energy is overwhelming to walk in the footsteps of the 6th Ancestor. to see the tradition live on, south china temple will emerge from the communist rubble like the lotus flower emerges from the mud. originally nothing om nam, om nam......... October 5, 1996 Nam Wah Sa, P.R.C.