Saturday, July 4, 2015



Just before Ninakawa passed away the Zen master Ikkyu visited him.
Shall I lead you on?” Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: “I came here alone and I go alone.
What help could you be to me?

Ikkyu answered: “If you think you really come and go, that is
your delusion.
Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going
With his words, Ikkyu had revealed the path so clearly
that Ninakawa smiled and passed away.

from Zen Flesh Zen Bones
compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki


Friday, July 3, 2015

the day we die




The day we die
the wind comes down
to take away
our footprints.

The wind makes dust
to cover up
the marks we left
while walking.
For otherwise
the thing would seem
as if we were
still living.

Therefore the wind
is he who comes
to blow away
our footprints.

–Southern Bushmen
from A Book of Luminous Things
edited by Czeslaw Milosz

Thursday, July 2, 2015

opening octave to “[96]”



It will seem strange, no more this range on range
Of opening hopes and happenings.
Strange to be
One’s name no longer.  Not caught up, not free.
Strange, not to wish one’s wishes onward.  Strange,
The looseness, slopping, time and space estrange.

Strangest, and sad as a blind child, not to see
Ever you, never to hear you, endlessly
Neither you there, nor coming  … Heavy change!—

—John Berryman
Sonnets to Chris


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

fear of vanishing


The fear of vanishing which may arise with inquiry,
is the old sensation: “I am the body.”
This is not a fear of the new, but of leaving the old.
Have no fear and plunge into your own Being.
When “you” disappear, all fear will also.

Stay quiet, be still, here you are.
Stay as presence in your Heart.
Do not fear meeting the Self,
it is what you always been.
Nothing can be lost, have no fear.

There can also be fear of “losing it.”
Only when you possess something does the fear of losing arise.
Only Self cannot be held, so only Self cannot be lost.
The only way to avoid fear is to return to the inner beauty,
the Self, the Heart on the right.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015




The Life-Energy and
Awareness arrive.
In due course,
The instrument’s purpose is fulfilled
The Life-Energy and
Awareness depart.
The cycle is completed.
Understand this thoroughly and
There is nothing else to do.

–Wu Hsin

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cutting Loose



Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path -- but that's when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.

–William Stafford


Sunday, June 28, 2015



May your soul be happy, journey joyfully.

You have escaped from the city full of fear and trembling;
If the body’s image has gone, await the image-maker; if the
body is utterly ruined, become all soul.

If your face has become saffron pale through death, become a
dweller among tulip beds and Judas trees.

If the doors of repose have been barred to you, come, depart
by way of the roof and the ladder.

If you have been secluded from water and bread, like bread
become the food of the souls, and so become!