Thursday, January 28, 2010

mouse eats cat food

original face is clear, manifest in the green pine as well as in the white rocks. if you wish to understand the meaning of, the mouse eats cat food, and the cat’s bowl is broken; you must attain that a quarter is also twenty five cents. December 21, 1974

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

golden wind

a cold wind scatters the autumn leaves. is this right, or is it wrong? there are scriptures which aren't written on paper, and upon the pages no characters exist. these blank scriptures illuminate the darkness; the mountain is none other than the mountain, the river is none other than the river. red appears—only red, white appears—only white. each thing is clear just as it is. October, 1974

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Night Rain

raining for no reason, gentle whispers of reality. lovely natural tune drop by drop by drop. listening and lounging around, no thoughts arise. no need for hearing, no need for the rain. Chińgak Hyesim 眞覺慧諶 (1178–1234)


look into the ever deepening blue and see the face of god embellished in dancing formless clouds. mount haleakalā thrives in the house of the sun— a giant lifted out of the pacific to cast its immense shadow over the rugged coast which encircles this island paradise. rising well above the clouds— floating in the eternal sea of white, to look out beyond the summit— there is only a deep penetrating blue— the blazing sun does little to warm bodies chilled in the brisk mountain breeze. it has been said by the ancients that the demigod maui and his mother conspired to capture the sun at this summit and so doing lengthened the days which brought plenty to this island of delight, yet it is the timelessness of the vast open planet that is found upon its apex— in all directions there is an unbounded clarity— for, to see all of existence in the yielding pallid clouds and the endless azure sky, this is truly peace on earth where heaven knows no equal.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

one hundred day retreat

great man attends one hundred day retreat, making many demons, many gods, many animals, and many Buddhas. one hundred days— the same as just one breath. brush off the dust— breathe in the sky and ground and find Great Faith in the palm of your hand, with Great Freedom at your feet. spring arrives, flowers blooming everywhere. May, 1974

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahista ahista - Jagjit Singh

I love this Ghazal titled 'Ahista, Ahista' which roughly translated into English is 'Slowly, Slowly.' The Ghazal is a particular form of poetry usually recited or sung in Urdu and having its roots in India. The artist on the Video is Jagjit Singh and the song was written by Ameer Minai. Jagjit Singh originally sang this on his album titled ‘Unforgettables’, which was released with his wife Chitra Singh in 1975.
The following is my attempt at an English version of this song.
revealing her beautiful features
the veil falls away, slowly, slowly
appearing over the mountains
the moon rises, slowly, slowly
when she left behind her youth,
she hid behind this veil
modesty and social ways appearing
as the youthfulness waned, slowly, slowly
this night of separation I am awake,
angels of death let me sleep now
take account of this situation tomorrow,
when you have time, slowly, slowly
so much passion for conversation
yet she is fearful and when
she replies her lips
are tightly clenched, slowly, slowly
there is just a slight difference
between our love for one another
on my side in a rush
and from you it is always slowly, slowly
she has beheaded me,
so without passion I tell her
your graciousness! slowly,
your majesty! slowly, slowly

O.C. Life

So I wanna be a member and I wanna be a name And I Wanna be a local face and play the social game Dancing through a time warp in your dinosaur trends The limit of your mind is what they're counting on all ends Listen to the media present it as a fact Fall in your orders cuz you don't know how to act Travel on estranged cuz you don't know your own way They'll get you in the end then you'll pay Cuz O.C. life is not the life for me Stupid little chicks and, egotistic boys O.C. life is not the life so free Pressures on my back and artificial joys . . . for you girls and boys Wanna be a member, wanna have some fame Fighting to stay ahead a part of the game Combat authority but don't get out of line Or they'll put you in the slammer you'll be doing some time 714 tattooed on my head I find myself labeled that I'm a victim instead I fight all the rules I don't see the way I'd rather be dead then pay the price that they say Cuz O.C. life is not the life for me Stupid little girls And egotistic boys O.C. life is not the life for free Pressures on my back and artificial joys . . . for you girls and boys Put the plastic back in the machine
(c) Rikk Agnew Back in the early 1980's I was running the operations for a small manufacturing company in Santa Ana and this rather interesting person starting working for me. His name was Rikk Agnew and he had lots of tatoo's, and although common place today, it was still unusual back then. I didn't know much about his personal life until one day I was watching a show on the Trinity Broadcast Network about Devil worshiping teenagers. I still occasionally watch Christian Broadcasting or listen on the radio to see what it is they are currently saying about society. During this show, Paul Krautch's (sp) son was going on about bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath and he started then talking about this band called 'Christian Death' that had a song titled 'God is dog spelled backwards,' and he also said that on another song they recited the Lords Prayer backwards. Then he said that on the back of the Album Cover was a picture of one of the band members holding a dead cat, when the camera zoomed in on the picture I was surprised to recognize the guy in the picture as Rikk Agnew. When I got to work on Monday I told Rikk I had seen him on television over the weekend and relayed the above story to him. He told me that they did it to get a rise out of people and shake them up a bit. After that, I loved talking to him about music, philosophy, and life in general and he would tell me about his life with a Punk band called 'The Adolescents' as well as a brief stint with the band 'Christian Death.' The song on the video was recorded by Rikk over a long weekend and is on his CD 'All By Myself' and always has a sweet spot in my heart. Orange County is a bit of a strange and yet wonderful place to live, and I think this song captures some of it quite well. With some of the recent television shows like 'The OC' and 'Real Housewives of Orange County' perhaps we all can relate to some of the angst that Rikk grew up with. Rikk is still rocking out with a band called 'Poop' and he is a practicing Nichiren Buddhist as well. Don't judge a book by its cover. This is from the soundtrack to the movie 'Orange County' and it is a bit weird that Zebrahead is singing Rikk's song, not because they are Zebrahead but because their bass guitarist Ben Osmundson was working as a Web Desingner for a Manufacturing company in La Habra where I was the Director of Materials and Distribution in the late 1990's. Small world.
A spry picture of me from the early 80's

Come On, Come On

Poetry is about capturing a moment, about reflecting back the feelings, the subtlety and the essence of our experience. It is about thinking, but clear thinking and the clarity comes through in this song by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I saw her a few years back and she talked about going to Brown University around the time Zen Master Seung Sahn was just setting up shop in Providence, Rhode Island which was very near the Brown Univeristy Campus. I always wondered if she ever met him.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

appearing and disappearing

life is appearing, death is disappearing. appearing is disappearing, disappearing is appearing. appearing— appear disappearing— disappear. in springtime flowers bloom. in autumn the leaves fall. Dōch’ŏng, JDPSN April 2002 Beijing, Peoples Republic of China

Saturday, January 16, 2010

what is Buddha

what is Buddha?
three pounds of flax?
dry shit on a stick?
not understanding
these answers,
a baby is sucking
on his toes
and cooing in delight.
May, 1974