Archive for the 'Poem' Category

The Breaking of Compassion

Kannon Journal EntryRecently I took the opportunity to go on a personal retreat for a few days. I went down to, Kiama, a very lovely place. For my retreat I packed a few books, my laptop, my camera, some incense, my Zafu and Zabuton, and in a last minute dash, I picked up my Kannon, purchased from the markets in Mount Tremper, near Zen Mountain Monastery. Continue reading ‘The Breaking of Compassion’

Multi Faceted Universe, Life

Multi Faceted Universe, LifeIn some texts, there is talk of ten dimensions, immeasurable kalpas, and Indra’s net. What are all these texts talking about? These are all trying to say we are an expression of life. That we are all living. Essentially by being, we are creating. We are the creation, and the creator.

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Book Review:Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate

Gardening at the Dragon’s GateAt Work in the Wild and Cultivated World. Wonderfully written by Wendy Johnson, a 30+ year monastic and head gardener from Green Gulch Farm Zen Centre. Wendy encourages us to enter the world of our physical and mental gardens.

Thich Nhat Hanh is quoted saying “Too many people distinguish between the inner work of our mind and the world outside. But these worlds are not separate. They belong to the same reality.” This reality is a non-repeating universe, “fresh and new every day”, as Wendy says.
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I Breathe, Mountains are Mountains

Zen Mountain Monastery, Looking up Mt TremperD.T. Suzuki was quoted as saying that “before studying Zen, mountains are mountains. While studying Zen, things become confused. After studying Zen, mountains are mountains.” This was one of the first Zen sayings I heard, and it continues to resound in me.
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How To Cook Your Life

How To Cook Your LifeLife has been described like rice, and the process of cooking it. The rice needs to go into the pressure cooker, it needs to sit and process for a while. Take it out too early and you’ve got nothing usable, leave it in too long and you’ve got mush. In the middle, is rice just, sitting. How to Cook Your Life is a new Zen influenced movie, told from the perspective of the Tenzo, or head chef, Edward Brown of Tassajara Zen Center.
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Be Come Ing

To be real. To be authentic.
To not project. To not attach.
To come from the heart.
To live from the place of trust.
To not think, to not want,
to go with, to ride life.
Be Come Ing. (Written in transit from Zen Mountain Monastery)

Hearing Sound

Zen BellGreat Master Dogen in The Shobogenzo illuminates the use of sounds to see True Nature. He says “’striking unbounded space and hearing It reverberate’, which is Its continuous, wonderful voice before and after the mallet has struck the bell.”

The bell’s ring is a metaphor, to point to our True Nature of “unbounded space”. It opens into an understanding of our sitting practice and its place. It paints the picture allowing us to see what we are sitting for. Using nothing and something at the same time, transcending into non-dualism to shatter concepts about our practice is simply amazing.

(Thanks to Gregor for initially pointing me to this book. Image)

Understanding and Love

Understanding and Love are not two separate things, but just one. To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. When you understand, you cannot help but love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of people.

Thich Nhat Hanh, A beautiful reminder found at the entry to the meditation hall.