Wake up to another cold, gray day, after a sometimes restless sleep. Some trees are bare, others not, like the holly full and a deep, waxy green outside my window. Assorted birds big and small come and go, pecking in the grass. I yawn. Everything is right here and everywhere. In The Way of Everyday [...]
Leaving before sunrise on the first ferry on the final day of retreat, someone asks me, What does it mean to be stuck in the absolute? First, I am surprised by the question, in the darkness and chill. I take a sip of tea. Then, the answer is obvious: To be stuck in the absolute [...]
Back after days and days of retreat, on an island in the North Sea off the coast of Holland. Was endlessly washed by the wind and occasional rain under magnificent skies by night and day. Like the clouds, nothing stayed for long. Here, now, nothing stays for long, either. I think of Joshu's Four Gates: [...]
Strife rages, meanwhile, on and on. What's the answer? What's the question? Then, thinking of Palestinian and Israeli, me and you, us and them, my eyes fall on a verse from Kerouac's Dharma Bums on a postcard on my wall: Equally empty Equally to be loved Equally a coming buddha.
No let-up in the cold again today, breath in the air, ice under foot. I'm reminded of case 43 of The Blue Cliff Record: A monk asked Tozan, "When cold and heat visit us, how should we avoid them?" Tozan said, "Why not go where there is neither cold nor heat?" The monk asked, "Where [...]
Everything by its very nature is subject to the process of infinite transformation, said Yasutani Roshi. Such is the undying truth of all life: We must die to live. There is no intermission in this show.
There is something somewhere in this daily record that is more and less than what I think it is and also not more not less than what I think it is. The everyness overwhelms all attempts to capture a moment. Now the night is clear and bitter cold. On my wall, a Lee Miller photo: [...]
According to our accepted and utilitarian convention, this is Day 1. I have to start somewhere. So I open at random Francis Ponge's Le parti pris des choses, a Christmas gift from my son, to page 92. It says: Le Galet (The Stone) Le galet n'est pas une chose facile à bien définir. (The stone [...]