Sunday, May 24, 2009

the door

looking for a door with the intellect– only to discover nonstop thinking. searching for a passage through hard practicing– only to connect with nonstop desire. seeking the way in through devotion– and there is only a glimpse of something sacred. putting away my thinking– ending all ideas of practice– cutting through the myth of sacredness– love completely fills the heart. bowing now in supplication, no self–no other– how may I help you, tonight? this evening the full moon illuminates the darkness, and scattered clouds have failed to hide its brilliance. December 14, 1997 Haean Sŏnwŏn

Monday, May 18, 2009


Buddha said, “one of the four causes of suffering is being separated from one you love.” that was only his idea. what I am feeling is loss and anxiety. I wonder, is this my backseat driver or compassion for a sick friend? Zen Master Sŭngsan said, “understanding can’t help you.” this is only his idea. all of this teaching, all of these ideas and not even a single drop of water to quench my thirst. her embrace was warm and reassuring. her eyes told me everything. as her car disappeared in the distance a tear falls from my cheek.
January 31, 1996 La Habra, CA

Saturday, May 16, 2009

every shining thing

“inside this box is a gold chain and pendant which says Buddha in Chinese, it is there to remind you of your true-self always and everywhere.” a cool breeze is in the air, birds begin to fly south. flowers of spring beginning to recede. a smile is on my face. what a miracle—breathing each moment. 38 years have passed before today. autumn is approaching, bodies grow old and weary, but our true self is constant and pure. the sky is grey in the morning, crickets chirping every evening. Zen Master Lin Chi once said; “gold is a very precious thing, but if gold dust gets in your eyes it clouds the vision.” October 10, 1995 Happy Birthday Kathy

Sunday, May 10, 2009

earth, wind, fire, water

the earth brings life and grounds us within her loving embrace and bears her fruit for all to share in abundance. the wind carries aloft on the breezes of spring the seeds of existence and the birds of the air. the fire of our passion and the fire of heat gives life and expression to our simple human existence. the water of this world is the universal solvent and washes away both the soiled and misguided intent. the elements of life are actually all one it is merely our thoughts that separate them into pieces that life presented whole.

endearing love

we often talk of endearing love, we may believe in an idea, or we may come to know this life void of mental constructs; yet it is within our experience that life unfolds its momentary beauty. what is it that we cannot be if we let go of opinion and thought? a life lived in thought is lost and adrift on the waves of emotion and the torrent of the never ending misgivings of truth. it is a blessing to just breathe and to know that all that is is here right now! what more could we want but to want this moment as it is manifest in each chaotic and changing perception. to depart from the awareness for even a moment is to fall into the abyss of never ending wanting and sorrow.

Monday, May 4, 2009


strength flows from this ancient culture on the surface a a slick western front. below is a deep longing to connect with a history some have abandoned the way the ancients but most accept the way that once was sacred it cannot be stricken from the heart ancient wisdom still appeals to the young wanting to be western without accepting this eastern it is like a snake wishing for legs. if we don’t perceive what we have we can never come home.
(the photo in this post is of me lounging on my own private deck of the river boat I was traveling down the Yangtze River on. This was during the SAR's epidemic and very few were in china, but I needed to see the Three Gorges before they were flooded, which happened a month after the picture was taken.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

an ancient capital

Xi'an is bathed in a glaring yellow haze, the ancient capital surrounded by farms and poverty the south gate welcomes barbarians from the west. the hyatt regency an insert for foreigners. a quiet stroll down the long boulevard this restaurant–no english no menu in sight a hot pot with water and blood fish heads float in the boiling broth with a tripe and cucumber feast. no meaningful words were ever exchanged the dinner an interesting extravaganza not knowing what to do when visiting the east you are only a guest understanding this the correct response appears in this moment.