Window of the Afternoon Sunlight


Window of the Afternoon Sunlight

after a restful sleep
my thoughts became free
and weightless

I awoke to the light of an overcast day
filtering through closed blinds
a soft glow filled the room


Afternoon sunlight streams through the blinds creating an outside-inner light.

Jack Kerouac – Fear of Knowing

‘Even fear crossed his brain, imaginary fevers that something was going on behind his back, before his closed eyes: unmoved, he let these doubts and disturbances, like bubbles, vanish back to their origin in the emptiness of the mental sea.’

Jack Kerouac – Wake Up! A Life of the Buddha


Fear of Knowing


eyes closed
allowing fear
to displace calm

the sensation
of fright:




The swallowing sense of fear one sometimes gets navigating the ‘mental sea‘ dissipates.

The Journey of the Sea Turtle


The Journey of the Sea Turtle


swimming through the Stream of Consciousness
it’s flippers brush back thoughts as it gently moves further
into the depths

“The sea turtle swims
through the Stream of Consciousness”

I find this guided imagery the best during the night when sleep is difficult—insomnia.

Two Inches Above the Ground


Two Inches Above the Ground 


“Enlightenment  is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground.”

D. T. Suzuki

I read an interesting guided meditation by one of my favorite writers, Paul Loughman, who also goes by the name desertcurmudgeon on the blog Two Voices In One Transmission (see link below). If ever there was a must-read blog—with topics ranging from the minuscule to the grandiose, the political to the spiritual (two most unrelated topics, in my opinion—unless you’re talking Right Wing Conservative Cristioinsanity—I’m definitely not referring to that here), this blog is it. It’s hard to describe the complexity of thought and at the same time utter common sense you will meet in his writings. So I offer the following—not so much as an example—but as a topic I found very important in my continuing quest to make sense of Zen. As brilliant and cosmos-shaking as his usual, it was originally posted on May 14, 2017:

Guess what?  You have never touched anything.  The human nervous system is akin to a power plant that provides electricity to a sprawling metropolis.  Neurons in the brain and [Central Nervous System] communicate via electrical impulses creating a wave of pulses that act upon the senses and form a literal electromagnetic field around the body’s exterior.  […]  Since the interactions between the electromagnetic field and objects of the physical world result in tactile sensations, the nature of which depend on the pressure exerted by the object’s own invisible electrical skin, we go through life unaware of this powerful but infinitesimal barrier.  Hence, we think that we are gripping a steering wheel, caressing our lover’s face, or petting our dog when, in fact, it is only our electromagnetism that is making contact. […]

An amazing insight. Molecules never touch! I knew that. But then again, I never gave it a second thought. That is, until Mr Loughman describes how this seemingly minor detail can change our viewpoint about who we are and how we fit into the scheme of Everything-Else. Paul continues: Continue reading



Liberation from the cycle of Samsara

feel pain
—life is a sea of suffering

accept this
as the natural state
before passing from Death/Rebirth
to release

  • “However much he concentrated upon his own mind to find its root and ground, he found only his own effort to concentrate. The evening before his awakening he simply “gave up,” relaxed his ascetic diet, and ate some nourishing food. Thereupon he felt at once that a profound change was coming over him. He sat beneath the tree, vowing never to rise until he had attained the supreme awakening, and—according to a tradition—sat all through the night until the first glimpse of the morning star suddenly provoked a state of perfect clarity and understanding. This was anuttara samyak sambodhi , “unexcelled, complete awakening,” liberation from maya and from the everlasting Round of birth-and-death (samsara), which goes on and on for as long as a man tries in any way whatsoever to grasp at his own life.” 

    Alan Watts – The Way of Zen 

Floating over the Stream

Floating over the Stream

“The lotus flower imagery points to this quality of the bodhisattvas. The lotus symbolizes the bodhisattva who is rooted in the earthly mud and yet flowers above the water in the open air of enlightenment.”

Gene Reeves, trans. – The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic

imagine the body
levitated in Lotus position
over the Stream of Consciousness

the chatter flows untamed
below; like fish in the current
neither reigned-in nor controlled

become Master
over the “illusion”
instead of fixed in it

“No, no, no, no, He’s outside looking in.” The Moody Blues – Legend of a Mind

Ayurveda – A Cycle of Death and Rebirth

“At Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania a researcher watched two adult male Chimpanzees separately climb to the top of a ridge at sunset. There they noticed and greeted each other, clasped hands, sat down together and watched the sun descend.”  

Carl Safina – Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel


Life Begins

in the fertile Delta
where the Krishna and Kaveri
water the jungles of India

forms new organisms

cremation releases
airborne elements; molecules
return to earth with the rain

what falls in water
becomes components of the sea
the Mother River Ganges

(Oh, to see Earth
through the eyes
of a billion life-forms, reborn)

Thanks to Abbie’s Tree House for suggesting Carl Safina’s book

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