cookies, enlightenment, meditation, zazen, zen


contemplating cookie

They say you can’t chase after enlightenment
As long as there is dualistic thinking,
an “I” seeking an “It”
or belief that there is some “thing” that can be attained
then the student will continue wandering,
condemned to a morass of delusion

Soooo, while I am just moping around waiting for enlightenment to find me,
Perhaps I should just settle for “enlightenment-lite”
a little less stress, a wee bit more carefree time to wander about….
wait, I do that already….
ok, maybe I could give some of my precious time (gasp!) to another
To achieve this somewhat-selfless ideal, I could try the incremental method:
Each time I sit down to meditate I could strive to leave one thing behind-
one care, one selfish thought, one craving.
(Notice the “I” is still present in this pared-down aspiration.)
Who knows what Wonders this may bring?
I may begin to feel a little less stretched,
some cracks may appear in my selfish armor
and perhaps, just maybe……. someday,
after countless eons sweating away my gazillions of selfish thoughts, cares and cravings,
there may come a point where there is nothing left, and I will just levitate and float away
in the ethereal bliss I so justly deserve….. just imagine……
but wait….. are there cookies in this realm?  oh Damn!, one craving left…
Thunk, down on my ass I go!
“I” might as well go eat some cookies

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

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

Useless Advice

How Long Should I Sit?: A Modern Koan

So you’ve come to Nozenmaster for sitting advice?  Well, then hold on to your wallet, grasshopper, because I have the answer you have been seeking.

First ask yourself: How many times a day do I fart?  Then, multiply the answer by the amount of un-enlightenment you currently possess. (If you’re not sure, ask a meditation teacher, your spouse, partner, sibling or dog) This should give you the appropriate number of minutes per day to sit. Then, be sure to keep score. Keeping a log of all your progress, vis-a-vis number of minutes or seconds of non-distracted thought during each sitting, will allow you to compare yourself to the less-enlightened beings who wander in ignorance just bumping into things. Also be sure to write down the level of peace and/or elation felt during or after each sitting.  If your minutes of non-distraction, peace or happiness is satisfactory, then you’re cushion time is Just Right. If it starts to slip, Sit More! When your total combined meditation score reaches one kalpa, you will be fully enlightened. Congratulations!  You have now surpassed Nozenmaster, which is Nofrikkinpossible!  How could You be better than Me?!….  In the meantime, if someone cuts you off in traffic and you find yourself just smiling or not even really noticing, you may be making “progress”… or maybe you’re just too damn tired to care, or possibly stoned.  In either case, get off the freakin’ road!  That’s my advice and I’m stickin’ to it.