meditation, zazen, zen, Zen Poetry

States of Meditation


some days I’m swimming upstream
some days I’m going with the flow
some days I’m floating on a tranquil pond
other days the mind wanders away
like a kite untethered from the kid
who thought he was in control
and then suddenly the crow: “CAAAAW!  CAAAAAW!”
like the THWACK!  THWACK!
of the keisaku, or “wakeup stick”
purpose regained.
this moronic ox
eyes open
on this cushion

meditation, zazen, Zen Poetry

Before Meditating: A Reminder to Self (or, just what the Self always wanted)



although here a body sits
on the cushion “I” don’t exist
“My” thoughts are self-feeding
not something worth heeding
like this bird chatter that natters-
not a thing that matters

the mind holding fast
to future and past
can cease to hold sway
’til some other day
For now this body that sits.
Is not that…..  is THIS

meditation, poetry, rebirth, zazen, zen, Zen Poetry

after August rain


mushroom closeup

From the dark earth
freshly-formed mushrooms emerge
Young Red-tailed hawk squeaks:
“Feed me!”
The mockingbird answers:
“Feed yourself”, in its hawkiest voice
Old/new water now tickles
the weeds in the stream
Emerging from the musty barn zendo
what may appear humdrum
is athrum with nowness

poetry, zen, Zen Poetry

Apprehending Beauty

Trailing Arbutus

March 31

Walking the power line cut
through dormant scrub oak and sweet fern
the shaly terrain full of briars and ticks
and there you are:
Trailing Arbutus, ephemeral harbinger of the season
Your prostrate form, tiny white flowers, and simple evergreen leaves
adorning this bleak scene.
Am I the only person who will see you?
Appreciate your brave arrival in this not-yet-Spring-time?
And beauty?……
Is it a thing out There?
Mere perception?
Do other creatures feel some difference in the wind or humidity?
Do they revel in the minute changes on the mountain?
Perhaps for them beauty is just
flitting, crawling, eating, mating

Zen Poetry

Self Reliance?


Sit down and become Buddha
No prior experience necessary
No braying black-robed monk
or spiritual guide on a DVD
can fight your battle
for the freedom that’s imagined
beyond the struggle, the whining, the grasping,
and the surrender

Zen Poetry

Meditation to Find Yourself

pics from pc718

If you’re looking for transformation

go to a gym or a hair stylist or a “life coach”

because the zafu cushion is a circle of deception.

You may experience flashes,

moments that stretch out and out and out….

into a taste of timelessness without reference-

a fleeting feeling of dissolution that gels

into this temporarily aware tendril

trying to hold onto that evanescent ether.

Then the aching knees or hips or heart

reassemble into

just you.