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and so it is

I talked to a friend of mine this morning

we agreed that there is no middle place
just as there is no
“real world”
what there is
is a reprieve from suffering
I found that this morning
amidst the dirty dishes
and the guilt of leaving Luka
home alone all day
I found it
despite my runny nose
and upset stomach
and lack of a single pair of clean pants
that fit me this morning
I found it as I crossed
the Morrison Bridge
and described the yet again grey sky
to my friend so far away
I am never sure what it is that brings
this pause
this easy breathe
away from ego
I only know that I cannot chase it
I can only
recognize and be in it
when I arrive

the pendulum

the whispered prayer of a child
is never answered
the way the child wants
I know this
for a fact
and that same prayer
shouted out
to God
by that now adult child
isn’t any
more successful

i have followed every path
found truth in the significance
and sacredness
of the minutiae
with the belief that
if I infused meaning into everything
it would all mean something
no, not really
now I find meaning in nothing
I walk no path
and find not comfort
but a vacant lot

what am I do with that?


God vibrates in every cell of my body

It is not surprising that I have fallen under the weather, my thoughts have been less than healthy for most of the week.  My light at the end of the tunnel, is a corner…that same corner I keep turning, again and again.

This morning as I did yoga, I focused on my health.  I am healthy.  I am strong. I am beautiful.  I am. I am. Often I worry over tomorrow. Tomorrow comes maybe.  What is important is now.  And now can be sweet, now can be good.  And I am here now.

God vibrates in every cell of my body, so hum, so hum

some guidance from zen

  1. Do one thing at a time. This rule (and some of the others that follow) will be familiar to long-time Zen Habits readers. It’s part of my philosophy, and it’s also a part of the life of a Zen monk: single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
  2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.
  3. Do it completely. Put your mind completely on the task. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished. If, for some reason, you have no choice but to move on to something else, try to at least put away the unfinished task and clean up after yourself. If you prepare a sandwich, don’t start eating it until you’ve put away the stuff you used to prepare it, wiped down the counter, and washed the dishes used for preparation. Then you’re done with that task, and can focus more completely on the next task.
  4. Do less. A Zen monk doesn’t lead a lazy life: he wakes early and has a day filled with work. However, he doesn’t have an unending task list either — there are certain things he’s going to do today, an no more. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do.
  5. Put space between things. Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together — instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.
  6. Develop rituals. Zen monks have rituals for many things they do, from eating to cleaning to meditation. Ritual gives something a sense of importance — if it’s important enough to have a ritual, it’s important enough to be given your entire attention, and to be done slowly and correctly. You don’t have to learn the Zen monk rituals — you can create your own, for the preparation of food, for eating, for cleaning, for what you do before you start your work, for what you do when you wake up and before you go to bed, for what you do just before exercise. Anything you want, really.
  7. Designate time for certain things. There are certain times in the day of a Zen monk designated for certain activities. A time for for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly. You can designate time for your own activities, whether that be work or cleaning or exercise or quiet contemplation. If it’s important enough to do regularly, consider designating a time for it.

  • Devote time to sitting. In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. Each day, there is time designated just for sitting. This meditation is really practice for learning to be present. You can devote time for sitting meditation, or do what I do: I use running as a way to practice being in the moment. You could use any activity in the same way, as long as you do it regularly and practice being present.
  • Smile and serve others. Zen monks spend part of their day in service to others, whether that be other monks in the monastery or people on the outside world. It teaches them humility, and ensures that their lives are not just selfish, but devoted to others. If you’re a parent, it’s likely you already spend at least some time in service to others in your household, and non-parents may already do this too. Similarly, smiling and being kind to others can be a great way to improve the lives of those around you. Also consider volunteering for charity work.
  • Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Aside from the zazen mentioned above, cooking and cleaning are to of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).
  • Think about what is necessary. There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary. He doesn’t have a closet full of shoes, or the latest in trendy clothes. He doesn’t have a refrigerator and cabinets full of junk food. He doesn’t have the latest gadgets, cars, televisions, or iPod. He has basic clothing, basic shelter, basic utensils, basic tools, and the most basic food (they eat simple, vegetarian meals consisting usually of rice, miso soup, vegetables, and pickled vegetables). Now, I’m not saying you should live exactly like a Zen monk — I certainly don’t. But it does serve as a reminder that there is much in our lives that aren’t necessary, and it can be useful to give some thought about what we really need, and whether it is important to have all the stuff we have that’s not necessary.
  • Live simply. The corollary of Rule 11 is that if something isn’t necessary, you can probably live without it. And so to live simply is to rid your life of as many of the unnecessary and unessential things as you can, to make room for the essential. Now, what is essential will be different to each person. For me, my family, my writing, my running and my reading are essential. To others, yoga and spending time with close friends might be essential. For others it will be nursing and volunteering and going to church and collecting comic books. There is no law saying what should be essential for you — but you should consider what is most important to your life, and make room for that by eliminating the other less essential things in your life.
  • “Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” – Wu Li

    my epiphany

    I am the solution.

    The Epiphany

    In the Christian calendar, January 6th is the celebration of the epiphany, the visitation of the Magi to the newborn Christ.  God reveals Himself to man..

    I like the sound of the word epiphany, and today coincidentally a friend told me I would be having an epiphany of my own soon.  Will God be revealing Herself to me?  God is revealed everyday, one just has to clear the clutter of see this.

    This morning I am sitting at a table in the university’s library. I am at a window, with a view of a wall of windows, the east side of the building adjacent to me.  Every window is curtained or unlit, save for one in the upper left corner.  Two lamps hang over a row of potted plants.  It is the only light outside the window I sit at.  The light in Portland is perpetually dawn like…we’re constantly waiting for day to break…and it just never seems to.  Perhaps my epiphany will come with the sun, when the cloud cover decides to open. Who knows when that will be, a week, a month.  A month of Sundays…

    If I could choose my epiphany…I would choose to see God revealed in me.  I believe God is in each of us, truly.  I would like to really believe it for me…


    the here and now
    is lonely

    what is loneliness,
    Richard Bach said that the opposite of loneliness is not togetherness, but intimacy.
    there is so much to intimacy..


    Once, not too long ago,
    I gave up one linear progression
    for another.
    Then in a wave
    of revelation
    and relief,
    yes relief,
    I gave up the idea of time
    and tomorrows plans
    for this moment here
    for this now
    where everything is
    and what was possible
    not a place of dreaming
    but a place
    of being

    There are moments
    when I
    close my eyes
    and pretend again
    that I am
    everything I say
    or do
    or worse..
    there are moments
    when I need to be reminded
    and remembered
    when grace is needed
    that fleeting
    recognition of perfect
    the glance is enough
    it has the
    to bring me
    once again

    stop searching…

    enlightenment is here and now.


    “I don’t mind what happens”