Wednesday, December 31, 2014

At the End of This Year

Many years, decades ago, I began my search for the divine. I wanted to know, to understand, to unite with the divine. That search was too broad, not focused.

I narrowed my search. I began looking for God. I wandered from place to place looking for God. I walked many paths. Many scriptures, many groups. But, I never found God.

I slowly came to to see, to understand, to know, there is no god.

So I shifted my search. I began looking for Truth.

I soon came to realize, to understand that truth is subjective. Your truth and my truth may be different truths. They can both be true, yet different.

My search now is no longer a search. It's a Practice. It's a Practice to arrive at an understanding, a realization.

I Practice to know, to experience Reality. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014


His Holiness the Dalai Lama sometimes says that the buddhas and the bodhisattvas are the most selfish of all people because by cultivating compassion and concern for others they discover the ultimate happiness.

My Greatest Teachers

As I grow older, and look back over my life, I understand, and am grateful, to the people and events that, at the time, made life difficult for me. Most of them turned out to be my greatest teachers.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Why Meditation?

When there is realization, it's a buddha.

---Godrakpa Sonam Gyaltsen---

Always Return to Your Breath

In meditation, you have to be gentle with your mind. Don't fight it. Don't try to control it. The mind evolved to think. Just as the ears evolved to hear and the skin to feel.

When thoughts, sounds, or sensations occur during meditation don't push them away. Recognize them and return to your breath.

Always return to your breath.

Let the thoughts and feelings and sounds and sensations come and go as they will. Don't grab onto them. Don't become involved with them. Don't fight them.

Always return to your breath.

Discovering Meditation

If you don't have a meditation practice and have thought about it but were never quite sure how to start, there's something you can try.

Everyday for two weeks, everyday without fail at the same time and in the same place, sit for three minutes.

Make sure your phone is quieted. Make sure you will not be disturbed.

Use a timer. There are timer apps for your phone. You can find meditation timers online. Sit the timer for three minutes.

Do nothing else but sit.

Sit comfortably. But sit up as if at an important meeting. Sit with dignity. Don't lie down.

Sit and follow your breath. Be aware of your breath.

Be aware of your in-breath.

Be aware of your out-breath.

When you realize you have become involved in a thought or a sound, return your awareness to your breath.

Do this at the same time, in the same place for fourteen days. Don't miss a day. Three minutes.

After the fourteen days, share your adventure.


When we see ourselves, in reality; when we understand ourselves, in reality, we can change, in reality.

Two Questions

A monk asked, "The mountains, the rivers, and the great Earth; from where did all these things come?"

Zhiyi answered, "From where did this question come?"

To Glorify Ugly

Be Aware of Your Breath

When you sit for meditation, find your position and relax. Let your body breathe.

Do nothing else.

Be aware of your in-breath.

Be aware of your out-breath.

Nothing else.

When you realize you have been carried away by a thought or an emotion do not react with disappointment or frustration. All such responses are a waste of time.

When you realize you have been carried away by a thought or an emotion, return your awareness to your breath.

No thing else.

Be aware of your in-breath.

Be aware of your out-breath.

No-thing else.


I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.

---Bertrand Russell---

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What Is Morality?

The burning of a 16th-century Anabaptist, Anneken Hendriks. She was charged with heresy.

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.

---Arthur C. Clarke---

A Belated Happy Birthday

To Struggle

All the people I see
struggle over everything
one day they suddenly die
and all they get is some ground
four-feet wide
eight-feet long
if you can stop your struggling
I'll carve your name in stone

---Cold Mountain---

Acts of Having

Telegraph Poles in the Snow, by Rob Cartwright

Even our bodies and minds are regarded as 'things' we 'have.' Life is said to be the most valuable thing we possess. Consequently, body, mind, and life are all looked upon as objects that 'I' can somehow keep or lose. Here, as in all acts of having, a gull is created between the possessor and the possesses.

---Stephen Batchelor---


The more we allow ourselves to be the servant of having, the more we shall let ourselves fall prey to the gnawing anxiety which having involves.

---Gabriel Marcel---

The Avatamsaka Sutra

All things are expressions of mind. There is nothing outside of mind.

Friday, December 26, 2014

To Still

once the heart and mind are still
all work is finished inside and out

---Cold Mountain---

Examine Your Own Self

I see people chanting sutras
relying on the words of others
mouths at work without their minds
mouths and minds at odds
the mind in truth contains no tangles
it creates no walls or chains
just examine your own self
don't look for a stand-in
he who masters his own mouth
knows there's no inside or out

---Cold Mountain---

The Homely Bow-Legged God Bes

The Egyptian god Bes was not the most beautiful of the gods. He was short and bow-legged. He had a head that was part human and part lion. But this homely god was greatly loved. His images can be found everywhere throughout Egypt and the surrounding lands. Amulets dedicated to him are countless. He protected children and households and women in childbirth. He chased off the nasty and the bad. He did this not with great power, but by ridicule and laughter. This little bow-legged god teaches us sometimes the only way to deal with nastiness is with laughter. When the Westboro Baptist church arrives to protest the funeral of a child or a rock concert people with signs saying “God Hates Chocolate” or “God Hates Kitties” or “I Have a Sign” have always been the best response. Mark Twain said, “Laughter is the greatest weapon we have.

Friends of the Way

I've always loved friends of the Way
friends of the Way I've always held dear
meeting a traveler with a silent spring
or greeting a guest talking Zen
talking of the unseen on a moonlit night
searching for truth until dawn
when ten thousand reasons disappear
and we finally see who we are

---Cold Mountain---

Some Advice From an Old Poet

Here's some advice for meat-eating people
who eat without reflecting
living things were formerly seeds
the future depends on current deeds
seizing present joys
unafraid of sorrows to come
a rat gets into the rice jar
but can't get out when he's full

---Cold Mountain---

Clear Pure MInd

How many ancient sages
have taught us to turn to ourselves
but each of our roots is different
in depth and sensitivity
until we find the true buddha
we strive and suffer in vain
unaware that a clear pure mind
is mark of the King of Things

---Cold Mountain---

Something To Think About

Live justice. Don't preach it.

When we preach justice, we end up sounding much like those who stand opposed to it.

Wisdom From a Taoist/Buddhist Hermit

he'd be better off at home
discovering his inner mind

---Cold Mountain---

The Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is the Mind

Buddhas of the past and the future only talk about this mind. The mind is the buddha, and the buddha is the mind. Beyond the mind there's no buddha, and beyond the buddha there's no mind. If you think there's a buddha beyond the mind, where is he? There's no buddha beyond the mind, so why envision one? You can't know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself. As long as you're enthralled by a lifeless form, you're not free. If you don't believe me, deceiving yourself won't help. It's not the buddha's fault. People, though, are deluded. They're unaware that their own mind is the buddha. Otherwise they wouldn't look for a buddha outside the mind.


It Is A Practice

Even though you have heard the truth, if you don't practice it, it's the same as having not heard it. It's like someone who only talks about food. Such a person never feels full.

---The Buddha---

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What Good Is Knowledge If It Is Not Put Into Practice?

Talking about food won't make you full
talking about clothes won't keep you warm
only eating will make you full
only wearing clothes will keep you warm
people who don't know how to reason
just say a buddha is hard to find
look inside your mind there's the buddha
don't look around outside

---Cold Mountain---

A Compassionate Warrior

With gentleness overcome anger.
With generosity overcome meanness.
With truth overcome deceit.

---The Buddha---

Try Something Different

To get beyond irritation, try friendliness.

To get beyond annoyance, try compassion.

To get beyond hate, try joy.

To get beyond disgust, try equality.


A Free Mind

With a free mind, in no debt,
Enjoy what has been given to you.
Get rid of the tendency to judge yourself
Above, below, or equal to others.

---The Buddha---

The Kingdom of Heaven

Reality is like a priceless jewel, of which the most precious diamond is only an inadequate metaphor. Once the tar has been scraped away by meditation - layer after layer, meditation period after meditation period - then the jewel reveals itself. And we will see the freedom of this universe of pure existence just as it is - the Kingdom of Heaven.

---Zen and the Kingdom of Heaven, by Tom Chetwynd---

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

A Question

What good are prayers and hymns and tithing and proselytizing if you do not overcome greed, anger, and delusion?

To Understand Zen

If you wish to obtain an orthodox understanding of Zen, do not be deceived by others.


Japanese Proverb

Experience is an expensive school, but a fool will learn from no other.

Zen Proverb

The foolish reject what they see. The wise reject what they think.


Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

---Lao Tzu---

Words of Wisdom to America

You Are The Light You Seek

Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.