Tag Archives: Zen

Show Me Your Original Face (II) —

Different strokes for different folks, yes — And perhaps different images to stimulate different folks’ imaginations. I chose Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror, almost against my will. It somehow spoke to me of the riddle posed by Yeats’ poem and … Continue reading

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Show Me Your Original Face —

If I make the lashes dark And the eyes more bright And the lips more scarlet, Or ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity’s displayed: I’m looking for the face I had Before the world was … Continue reading

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Natsukashii*

In the longing that starts one on the way of Zen is a kind of homesickness — — Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard (* Natsukashii: important concept in Japanese, containing feelings of nostalgia, longing, missing, wishing for, homesickness. Another important Japanese … Continue reading

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What are You Afraid of?

One of the blogs I regularly check out is John Weeren’s About Zen. A while back he posted a story that really opened my eyes wide — A zen student asked: “Can zen help you deal with fear?” The master said: … Continue reading

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From Ireland… and Stockbridge…

It’s been a long while — to be exact, since Christmas — since we heard from Berna, our Irish correspondent over in County Kildare. Here she is, walking again at Clongowes, in what’s becoming spring in Ireland, while we in … Continue reading

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Why Do You Wash the Dishes?

I only have one rule for the dishwasher: anything I REALLY LIKE doesn’t go in. Eeveryone tells me that’s weird, especially company who are helping to load said dishwasher, when I keep instructing them, No, no, not that. They usually … Continue reading

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Shoveling Snow with Buddha

Sick of shoveling shoveling shoveling snow? Here’s a real treat, and heaven knows those of us in the Northeast US deserve one.  Sit down, rest your weary bones a while, close your eyes and just listen. Like just-sitting, shikan-taza. Just sit, … Continue reading

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Reptiles of the Mind!

Whoa —-  I’ve heard of snakes in the grass, bats in the belfry, bees in the bonnet — but William Blake, prophetic 18th-century English poet, artist, and mystic, has added a new, and thought-provoking, creature to the catalog: The man … Continue reading

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Not Nobody, Not Nohow! You Can Tell It to the Bog —

The ENSO, the symbol for Zen in Japanese, means nothing. Not meaningless, no. Its meaning is NOTHING. Null. A void. Emptiness. You’ve seen the Enso here before, in Just Who Do You Think You are Anyway? Well, who are you, anyway? Are … Continue reading

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Just Who Do You Think You Are Anyway?

For all Thomas Merton’s wry words about Zen, he admired its practices, and was a meditator himself. By the end of his life he’d lost just about all illusions about himself. Zen will do that to you, cut you down … Continue reading

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