Welcome to our Blog

Feb. 11, 2010 - Posted by in: Blog - 172 Comments

It’s winter here now
Overlooking the overlook
Leafless trees against the colorless sky.
All the warmth within.
You can see your breath.

What better way to recognize emptiness and form? Hoping this blog will bring us together intimately, where we can activate the way and truth of expression (the name of our temple, btw).
– Roshi

  1. 172 Responses to “Welcome to our Blog”

  2. I listen
    to those who say,
    “confine you heart and your mind to now,
    live with a moment’s passing and dying breath,
    as the length and breadth
    of your consciousness”

    with past and future gone
    I wonder what sensations are baying for entry to my ungenerous
    if left alone, uncloistered
    would there be a sudden burst of eclipsed sounds,
    or better, silence
    what new reality is behind the stifling curtain
    of thoughts
    the trembling and fearful self
    a drop of water to enter the ocean
    if allowed

    that is the end of bondage
    bred to a captivity of lies
    my eyes are made for new daylight,
    even at night,
    the light of the moon
    remembers the sun to me

    By new moon on Mar 25, 2010

  3. This frozen palate
    Ferries frozen feet
    Safely till spring’s sun
    Melts it away
    Then, maybe I’ll learn to swim..
    Or just melt into the spring and sun!

    By ZenRai on Apr 4, 2010

  4. All thoughts of cold and ice
    Now gone, with the blossoms.
    As you say, spring and sun and
    how we are swimming
    through our lives makes sense,
    today, finally.

    I had tea with a friend the other day. She was full of the clarity and and logic of another path of Buddhism. She was so thrilled to find a system that ‘makes sense.’ And, happy as I was for her, I did again realize my delight with the Zen way of indirection, of imagery, and of the spaces between the words, the breath of intimacy.

    By Roshi on Apr 6, 2010

  5. Spring is flowing through this day,
    Warblers are arriving from the South,
    I saw a Cedar WaxWing couple this morning,
    The male feeding the female, amidst the sounds
    Of bikers whirring through the park,
    Who can say, that was then, this is now?

    By enkyoroshi on Apr 7, 2010

  6. Courted by this evening’s scented breeze
    Ping-ponged by eager peepers
    Whirred along toads trills

    A smiley crescent moon
    Outwaits early apriil’s showering
    (And first faint thunder)

    Now fresh as washday this air
    This breath

    Only this

    By ZenRai on Apr 8, 2010

  7. Blossoms falling all over the ground,
    Not a blossom fell, just our idea of ‘blossom’ and of ‘falling.’
    We seek reality, and instead cover it with our words, our sentiment,
    Our opinions and our fears.
    Always anchored in the provisional.
    Still, the streets are covered in a strange carpet
    That swells my heart and slows me to a breath.

    By enkyoroshi on Apr 9, 2010

  8. I walked in the circle
    behind a new student who truncated
    the horseshoe path of steps
    first here, then there
    and I thought as I breathed
    “he isn’t doing the whole circle…”

    and I had to laugh inwardly
    at my mind,
    that focused on the number of steps taken
    and not the path that led nowhere

    By newmoon on Apr 12, 2010

  9. the hum of the streets
    evening talk soft, loud outside my open window
    though the speakers seem sad, angry, joyful, chirping
    there is beauty here, I think

    the lights and sounds of cars, waves
    doors open shut and open on cars
    the buildings of downtown brick are full of a wonderful people
    there is beauty here, I know it

    on days such as these, let my busy mind melt
    and see beauty, to know it

    By newmoon on Apr 14, 2010

  10. the frog perched on the green mossy root,
    which bobs along a river’s course,
    thinks himself quite a king!

    “I look at this world parade itself in front of me,
    while I, so profound,
    remain entirely still.
    humble though I am, it surely seems the world knows that I,
    am truly special…”

    but the housecat basking in the sun,
    on the river’s bank
    watches a hapless frog drifting towards whitewater.

    He will jump,
    the water will break and shimmer,
    forced to give up his perch the frog will, again,
    learn to swim.

    By new moon on Apr 27, 2010

  11. . . . learn to swim.
    Do we ever learn to swim?
    Or is it remembering
    Amniotic fluid floating,
    And even before, those ancient early days?

    Dear green frog, glistening movement
    In the reeds,
    Teaching us the old way.
    Hop! Out of the cat’s paw,
    Into what flows on and on.

    By Roshi on Apr 27, 2010

  12. when my swimming becomes not-swimming
    and my falling becomes not falling
    then I’ll count myself a true follower
    and not until that moment
    which will not be a moment
    at all

    in my now, however
    my knees ache, my stomach growls
    and I’m wondering

    By new moon on Apr 29, 2010

  13. I wish I were frog
    who does not think water, land
    swimming to the shore

    By new moon on Apr 29, 2010

  14. It’s also in the jumping,
    My long tongue with its deadly aim,
    and yes, splashing,
    don’t you think?

    By Roshi on Apr 29, 2010

  15. don’t I think,
    I surely do think, it used to seem all there was,
    the world became thoughts, acid and crude

    I would ask whether my cup was half full,
    or half empty,
    or whether it runneth over,

    I ask whether the coffee is in the cup
    or is the cup in the coffee,

    By new moon on Apr 30, 2010

  16. or maybe…
    maybe this is where words end…

    the coffee is brown and rich,
    the cup catches the light of the liquor stores red sign
    and my window is open

    By new moon on Apr 30, 2010

  17. a buddha has no marks
    no marks

    By new moon on May 1, 2010

  18. ahhh the rain wipes it all away,
    again and again
    the marks, erased, revealed, erased again,
    what’s left, then?
    that red reflection, the open window.

    By Roshi on May 3, 2010

  19. and maybe this is what remains
    at the end of the day
    on a bench in the park
    the river
    reflecting the cold moon
    she leans over and licks my face
    and then barks at the biker riding by
    it’s time to go home

    By NS on May 7, 2010

  20. Today’s there’s no sun,
    misty clouds – I can touch them!
    This home, always here.

    By Roshi on May 8, 2010

  21. so true
    always here
    how good to be reminded
    of this
    and yet…

    sometimes I feel so homeless
    like a “motherless day” child

    but then suddenly this afternoon
    a strong wind swept through Chelsea
    and on the street
    in it’s strong whirl
    i felt embraced by the whole

    By NS on May 8, 2010

  22. this morning
    as i closed my door to leave for work
    i realized how
    as i leave and return
    i am always there
    in this body
    i walk to the subway
    cool spring wind on my face
    welcome home

    By Navah on May 10, 2010

  23. When I return home,
    it is a feeling, a solidness,
    a rightness flowing through me
    and everything is possible!
    And that’s why I sit in the spring,
    summer, fall, winter.

    By Roshi on May 10, 2010

  24. Two Poems


    in this dewdrop world
    teachings like blades of grass

    (The bare branches sprout leaves blossom with fragrant flowers that wilt and fade then become pregnant and heavy with fruit which then fall and rot on the ground leaving them bare vulnerable shivering in the cold they snap shake until in the warming air fill up with leaves again)

    in this field
    she sits
    steadfast, solid

    days turn into months
    the student tries to sit there with her
    but as the months turn into years
    his shoulders turn weary, eyes bleary
    legs give in
    he falls face first
    into the mud.


    I wake up
    wipe the dirt of my face
    roll over
    stretch my limbs on the ground
    I don’t know how long I’ve been sleeping
    maybe she has dozed off a bit too

    but here, right now

    I vow to lie in this field with you
    through all the seasons of the year.

    By NS on May 10, 2010

  25. and all seasons of my life.

    By NS on May 10, 2010

  26. what a goddamn relief to get to an end and find a beginning
    no beginnings, no ends…oh but they’re there…oh but aren’t they
    I say hello and pass along
    so much to do, so much to learn,
    remembering when I thought of love and hate as the only thing there was, deep down,
    I laugh and pass along
    I’ll do it till I die, in one way or another
    life I mean
    and then, who knows, my hearts spins a thousand dreams
    and nightmares about that situation, that beginning-less endless beginning
    flushing up like petals, like a burst of petals i’ve never seen
    with these eyes, maybe
    I’ll walk through, or maybe stand still
    doesn’t matter, but it does
    doesn’t it

    By new moon on May 12, 2010

  27. new moon
    rising again this evening
    that place where the practice unfolds
    somewhere where it both is
    and is not, at the same time

    i used to think that nothing mattered
    but of course it did
    when it affected me
    i became a a rebel without a cause
    and effect
    ripping through the world
    not caring much what i left behind
    now i look back at these days
    with a longing tinged with regret
    i try to act that it does not matter anymore
    the ways i felt so hurt and lonely in my own body

    oh the beginning-less endless road
    my body is not as sleek anymore
    i can feel my thickening flesh
    as i walk across the wooden floor
    but i welcome my weight too
    i feel more ancored
    to the earth
    more grounded
    in the present moment

    By NS on May 13, 2010

  28. today I left my bed, which I rarely make
    and hit the road,
    to see my family, the first stop,
    to see a dear friend
    a stranger,
    to hold hands with someone new,
    a open-heart pursuit, once contingent, still contingent (but on what, oh my…what a question)
    my viciousness spit on selfish love
    but agape?
    is now my arms and legs
    so tender, so strong this sense
    when I am dull I miss it like a mother misses her child,
    and a child misses her mother
    on a good day I might touch the sky
    with the color of my heart and mind
    damn, I’m in love with everything
    even hate
    a slow-burning energy, passionless,
    now blue, green, deepest red
    what can I say?
    what can I say

    By new moon on May 13, 2010

  29. on the train, the tracks and car shudder
    horribly, powerfully
    looking outwards, where am I
    I AM the sound, the cold air, my shirt against my skin,
    smells tastes…OH!
    no protection!
    oh help!
    where am I?!
    oh help!
    (look at the breath)
    oh help!
    (…the breath)
    I breathe into the mounting fear
    only to find I was there all along
    now shaking, pale as paper
    somewhere between
    you are a formless cutting edge
    I will hold you with respect

    By new moon on May 13, 2010

  30. oh, but it’s in that messy bed
    that you can always return to
    it’s good you rarely tighten those corners
    it leaves you more room to breath
    not everything needs to be neat
    in a row
    i miss sometimes the tibetan gompas of my youth
    colorful flags waving, pillows scattered everywhere
    thick incense and horns blaring
    and while today the stillness of zafus and zabutons is my home
    black straight lines of order feel sometimes
    that they mask the chaos in my soul.

    love hate fear calm red green life death
    i look for separation where there is none.

    there is so much beneath the surface
    hair still grays in the roots
    of the monk’s gleaming scalp
    and across those rumpled sheets
    a child returns to it’s mother
    as it’s nature
    searching for her breast
    not missing perhaps
    but seeking comfort.
    we all need a little ease
    lean back on that seat
    follow that sun
    or that moon
    or that sun in the moon
    and enjoy the ride.

    By NS on May 14, 2010

  31. tortoise-cat sits dozing
    monk-like eyes, tilted downward
    sudden thunder,


    By new moon on May 15, 2010

  32. flat, grey clouds,
    the greens and blues stand out,
    warming sun now – briefly
    spring’s such a tease.

    By Roshi on May 16, 2010

  33. words simulate understanding so well
    like a insect disguised as a leaf or a twig
    but I am a hungry blue-jay
    and I will find them out

    they are fleet like a gazelle
    beautiful, so beautiful I would hate to harm them
    but I am a hungry lion,
    and my cubs need to eat

    they are the cry of someone faced with a road a million miles long
    “i know this road is a million miles” he says, “no need to bother”
    but I am a traveler, and seated front of this computer screen
    I am walking, whether I like it or not

    By new moon on May 16, 2010

  34. I can’t do this alone,
    whatever this is
    though there is no alone, or together
    the untethered world spins around me,
    flows through me,
    is me,
    I keep looking for myself, and I find…
    is this real?
    can this be real?
    am I dreaming?
    one careless regard
    and I am suddenly afraid at the vastness of the world
    to be at peace…with this…is so hard
    I need a teacher
    but deep within is a distrust
    of teachers of all types
    of experience, my experience,
    your experience
    that is the deepest delusion thus far
    and now that I have written this
    I know what needs to be done

    By new moon on May 16, 2010

  35. yesterday
    the 23rd street crosstown
    bus lurched forward like an accordion snake
    a mother voice called out
    “kids, hold on to each other!”
    if only they knew
    how much they needed

    By NS on May 17, 2010

  36. is all relation
    the buddhakṣetra, right now!
    all is relation

    By new moo on May 17, 2010

  37. this week
    the three poisons
    threaten to overwhelm me
    i want to annihilate all those who have abandoned me
    and greedy for power, attention and recognition
    i find myself feeling deskilled
    empty and alone
    when i was a child
    i would often leave the crusts of my sandwich
    not wanting to deal with the hard parts
    and now
    nothing much has changed
    how do I practice with this

    By NS on May 18, 2010

  38. the hardest thing I’ve experienced
    and the most wonderful, perhaps
    is how the worst of it
    any sense of loss or displacement from
    “where i should be right now”
    …alive, vital, together, with it
    or even the best of feelings, the most illuminating and powerful
    those days when everyone wants to love you because you’re so goddamn fantastic!
    is a illusion,
    and is a gateway
    is reality
    it just is

    can’t find anywhere to hide in delusion, when you see what it is
    you can’t go back,
    well I guess you could try
    but that would be a very unsatisfying venture, I think
    since there is no back to which to go
    even the word “now” is irresponsible to cling to
    “lets be present!”
    “ok I’m going to be present……..now!”
    oops, missed it

    but going forward is just as lost
    kensho? is that where it was supposed to be at
    show it to me again and again!
    kensho seems as dependent as anything else
    everything is individual, kensho
    everything is relative, kensho

    “when the myriad things come out at illuminate us….”
    said Dogen

    where is my halo? where is it today?
    I experience life, pain still wracks my body, sadness still sweeps
    lonliness, regret
    through me

    and yet, there is strength? available to everything
    to every one,
    to all of us,
    that makes all this cosmic bitching we do a little more
    not to be taken to seriously,
    and like a joke
    theses pain and hurt and angry thoughts
    the more intense these absudities,
    the harder, deeper I can laugh
    and a kind of laughter rings through all of me
    and I can accept any defeat
    in my heart

    now I wish to take it easy
    and burn slow
    I’m so tired of my games
    I could cry so good, honest tears
    but I’m too tough for that
    aren’t I?

    “Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
    She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
    She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
    But I, being young and foolish, with her did not agree.

    In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
    And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
    She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
    But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.”

    W.B. Yeats

    By new moon on May 18, 2010

  39. I apologize for all those typos

    By new moon on May 18, 2010

  40. gassho, NM.

    By NS on May 19, 2010

  41. I don’t believe a word I say,
    like Myoko-Sensei said on a sunday morning,
    “each time you reach for the ocean,
    all you come back with is a handful of water,
    the ocean shines on, the handful of water shines on”

    By NM on May 21, 2010

  42. These days it is the sparrows
    that fascinate me, thrill me,
    their voices, their tiny brown and white bodies.
    And of course, the ordinary robin’s song.
    Ahhh, what is it?

    By Roshi on May 21, 2010

  43. roshi,
    like the sparrows
    get some sleep
    you must get up and sing
    early next morning!

    this is what it is i think-
    they sing their love
    or maybe out of habit
    but either way
    they are

    By NS on May 21, 2010

  44. sometimes I fear
    i have become so open
    that i will crack
    and the yolk will slither
    i will lose
    the self
    i have clung to for so long
    behind the shell
    that is slowly being chipped away
    from both inside and out.

    the intimacy of this scares me.
    i vow to be ok
    with being afraid
    i did so much to avoid fear
    i ran from all those places where i had to

    how i wish to enter those endless gates

    By NS on May 23, 2010

  45. I gave a friend something today
    that only time and long rest can return
    I hope they enjoy it
    and knows that I love them

    we knew love
    as children
    whole days in harmony walking the woods
    just dreams

    they turned into a right bastard over the years
    so did I
    hard times, misunderstanding,
    fear and ….
    whatever you want to call it
    whatever name it holds for you
    deep shit
    is hard on us all with its thousand weapons

    he took something very special from me
    one of my oldest wounds
    but today I bow and give thanks to him
    for reopening that which could not heal
    so that it can

    thank you David,
    thank you mother, father, brother
    enemy, friend, cat, dog,
    trees, street,
    potato and poblano peppers


    By new moon on May 23, 2010

  46. to Roshi:

    I want to be your student because,
    when I hear you
    there are no glancing cognitive blows
    and no reckonings
    I can trust your overstanding, I think
    and it re-son-ates,
    deep down
    so that I don’t even “hear it”
    I don’t go in for games, or ego tricks
    (but of course I do, when I’m tired or sick)
    you’ll see me around,
    I’m getting

    By new moon on May 24, 2010

  47. it sounds like
    you are a student already

    welcome home.

    By NS on May 26, 2010

  48. when i return home from my journey
    she is so excited
    and dances around the hallway carpet
    jumps up and down
    and licks my face
    how i wish i could celebrate every moment of my life
    in this way
    what buddha nature my dog has
    and how she awakens me
    to notice my own.

    By NS on Jun 1, 2010

  49. Is there time
    to watch the cormorant
    dry her wings on the stump
    in the river that
    flows both ways?

    By enkyoroshi on Jun 1, 2010

  50. the black cormorant,
    slick like oil dove below the Chelsea piers
    old blackened posts
    water light like shivering melted glass
    so fast, so slow
    up she came, and
    minutes passed
    as we we two waited,
    me and her
    where had she gone?
    she came up in the exactly same place
    that she dove

    what a strange kind of joy

    I made a thousand vows today,
    one after the other,
    I swore to lock it down,
    in these hard times of my mind,
    to figure it out,
    I’m glad I broke these thousand vows
    that I made today
    one after the other

    By nm on Jun 2, 2010

  51. When
    In the shadow of this moment
    We talk
    I find further wonder
    In how
    Nothing I know
    And how
    Everything I feel

    By shoin on Jun 4, 2010

  52. i know you secretly read this
    so i embed here a birthday wish for you
    your life is one big teaching
    of appreciating
    you were born in a time of great trauma
    but conceived with such love
    brought to safety in your mother’s womb
    this is still you legacy:
    compassion, atonement, berlin, youthful aging
    and so much more

    thank you
    for all that you notice
    with such boundless joy
    may you sit on that veranda
    for many cold moons
    the speckled bananas
    the vendors
    the change
    all those you love
    as beloved as you are
    to us all

    By Navah on Jun 5, 2010

  53. [dream in the park]

    teach students to be teachers
    students teach students
    to be students [and teachers]
    students teach teachers . to be teachers and to be

    [and all together] I’ve typed the word each so many times now, its phonemes have lost all meaning

    and guess what
    I have a sneaking suspicion
    teaching myself right now
    but what is
    [ right now} what
    is its start and its end??
    is it all about?..?

    check it out.

    By nm on Jun 7, 2010

  54. what is buddha?
    a fire god seeking fire

    can we seek the fire, buddha, alone?
    even if we have all the answers we need
    or do we need that connection
    to a sangha and teacher?

    your latest post nm, made me think about
    Roshi’s latest podcast on Intimacy.
    if you did not listen to that

    check it out.

    By NS on Jun 7, 2010

  55. I think the truly arrogant
    feel the necessity of interconnection
    with the love and support
    of other living being
    and it hurts him
    destroys him
    that he has to bow down to others, to be with them and receive their hurt and love,
    he makes the beauty of love into consumption
    an angry fix
    what a waste,
    he sets the world on fire
    his eyes burn
    his ears burn
    his mind and consciousness burn
    will destroy him and
    his precious

    people (myself included) who think they get it, need more help than anyone I know

    By wks218@nyu.edu on Jun 9, 2010

  56. ” Blessed are the meek,
    for they shall inherit the earth.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they shall obtain mercy.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they shall be called children of God. “

    By wks218@nyu.edu on Jun 9, 2010

  57. on our walk she takes in
    the entire world
    through her nose
    i watch
    her practice
    no separation

    By NS on Jun 13, 2010

  58. my heart turns inside out
    the blood
    out of my face
    when I hear your voice on the phone


    this is the koan i get wrong
    over and over again
    when i ask you to stay
    when i want you
    not to change.

    By NS on Jun 16, 2010

  59. watching a pbs documentary on the mentally ill
    in state prisons
    with demons ten thousand times the strength of mine
    lock in
    unpadded rooms
    for 30 years,
    alone with them
    jesus christ

    how can I be happy now
    how can I try to attain equanimity knowing
    this now
    hearing screams like that

    now I’m going to a yoga class
    I’ve been spared those depths of madness
    poverty, fear, abuse
    now what…

    By nm on Jun 16, 2010

  60. Years ago I read in “The heart of Understanding”
    by Thich Nhat Hanh
    something like
    “when I bow to the altar, I am
    bowing to myself”
    and I thought
    this is some feel-good nonsense

    but maybe I see now
    when I bow,
    I am bowing to myself
    I’m am bowing to what is not myself
    I am the whole world bowing
    I’m bowing
    and no part of this world bows
    without my help
    and that’s all there is
    pretty much
    from there I can
    cast off

    If the self that read that passage could see me now
    as I bow
    to “feel-good nonsense”

    By nm on Jun 20, 2010

  61. bicycle clicks from wall rack
    falls, strikes my head and I’m down
    got the grip, not the spike of the gears
    not the metal pedal claw
    I’m alive
    that was close
    be careful everyone…

    By nm on Jun 20, 2010

  62. talk talk talk, in the library
    I’m sitting right here, ladies, book in hand
    you don’t know I have an exam,
    you don’t even see me
    I appreciate my anger
    for what it is
    roots dissolve

    By nm on Jun 23, 2010

  63. dying
    moment to moment
    is a such graceful

    By nm on Jun 27, 2010

  64. my cat went to the vet today
    taken from the lap of luxury, napping on the couch
    poked and prodded
    handled by people he didn’t know
    jabbed with needles
    poor cat

    he came back looking as pretty beat up
    pretty upset with the whole deal
    of being a cat
    its ok, Ginger
    let’s have a bad day together

    By nm on Jul 8, 2010

  65. With my family
    is a good place to discover who I am
    and as my notion of family
    becomes ever more
    and my notion of self….
    I have them to ground me
    as my breath enters my lungs
    my heart opens
    and my hears hear the words of my brother
    father, and mother
    who brought me here
    to this life

    By nm on Jul 9, 2010

  66. I don’t know

    By nm on Jul 9, 2010

  67. The hand that holds the
    yoked oxen,
    unruly and strong,
    becomes tired
    and that tiredness
    fatigues the land the farmer
    the heart and mind

    in the gentlest way you know
    let it fall to your side
    let it fall

    By nm on Jul 12, 2010

  68. when I sit
    I sometimes imagine that I am alone
    In new york city
    do I imagine I am alone?
    or in our greatest possible
    opportunity for love, compassion and joy
    to just spread like beautiful static
    zapping along a vast circuit-board
    aching for
    I know I am
    flowers in season
    bloom together
    don’t Buddhas do the same?

    By nm on Jul 13, 2010

  69. To the Sangha,
    out there in the peaceful
    wide open
    thank you for existing
    and being a place of refuge
    for those willing to open themselves up
    to the possibility of
    a new kind of community
    thank you

    By nm on Jul 13, 2010

  70. to the sangha,
    somehow I don’t feel I need to send this out
    into the electronics
    but this message is from the heart
    I’m getting on a train and
    crashing your sesshin
    after all
    I still don’t know how to sit still

    By nm on Aug 2, 2010

  71. nm-

    just wanted to write a line
    it seems like you have been left hanging here
    but know
    you never are
    we just got busy
    in crazy retreat
    jukai ceremony
    sitting still
    it is all the same to me
    the practice is all of the same
    i wish i knew who you were!
    introduce yourself to me

    By Tôrei on Aug 10, 2010

  72. sometimes being alone
    is the best company
    I’m happy in the rain that’s falling all around
    so don’t feel to bad for me
    I have my life
    and so have you
    your life too

    By nm on Aug 23, 2010

  73. how true…
    maybe it just seemed lonely here to me
    after there was such aliveness
    in the communication
    between our small little
    almost hidden
    blog group
    i had such burst of creativity here
    an awakening
    and my energy is moving now to other places
    maybe i was feeling the loss
    as it seems to fades away
    into browser history
    but perhaps allowing new things to come…
    to emerge
    just like our lives.


    By Torei on Aug 24, 2010

  74. I’m glad your energy has awakened
    don’t hold it tight
    I try to give it away
    although that is sometimes uncomfortable for me
    to give away my hate and anger
    what a beautiful thing to imagine that my fear and lonliness
    can bring such happiness if I just said one word
    one solitary lonely word with all my heart
    where it could be heard
    by all the solitary lonely hearts that walk around
    waiting for someone
    to speak

    live is very hard, we all need to pull together
    because being lonely sucks
    but at least we can be lonely, together

    By nm on Aug 26, 2010

  75. some days
    in the past I read the Flower Garland Sutra
    nowadays, I read it in the sun
    but still, as Roshi said
    its not about being in dreamland
    “its how we position ourselves in the world”
    that is the most skillful teaching of all
    for me the hardest
    forget the energy of our
    wonderful pores
    and whatnot
    this Bodhisattva needs a job
    and place to live, teach and be present
    that’s a good thing too

    By nm on Aug 27, 2010

  76. cool and damp August
    wet leaves under my bare feet
    too cold for fireflies

    By nm on Aug 29, 2010

  77. what does freedom mean?
    freedom meas freedom from everything
    bad AND good
    the real dragon is a lot different than the painted ones
    he’s not cute
    he’s not beautiful
    the kind of dragon I choose to be
    is the kind of dragon who goes through hell
    so no one else has to

    when we draw our sword in anger
    we enter our living hell
    when we sheath it under the same circumstances
    well…that’s as close to heaven as there is
    who is strong enough to do that?
    if you’re not strong enough to face the real dragon,
    freedom isn’t for you
    and neither is the buddha way
    but on the other side is real love
    the kind of love that lasts forever
    and tastes like cold air

    By nm on Aug 29, 2010

  78. but then again
    “hatred is not conquered by hatred, but by fear,
    this is an eternal law”
    I like that

    By nm on Aug 30, 2010

  79. that should’ve said “love” instead of “fear”

    lighthearted I ride the bus
    to downtown new haven
    the busy churches, soup kitchens and Yale campus
    are a new home
    and I’m thankful
    on my own now
    doing my best

    By nm on Sep 3, 2010

  80. sick
    heart pounding
    times like these
    sometimes I wonder

    hands white and moist
    I play the guitar and sing
    effortless peace

    By nm on Sep 7, 2010

  81. fond memories
    angry memories
    heartbeat, crickets and passing cars

    By nm on Sep 8, 2010

  82. heard the bodhidharma talk online
    roshi sounds good
    paul sounds VERY good
    it made me feel good to hear ‘em

    wandering the library at Yale
    a collection of japanese dharani
    and a video of a man grinding ink
    its hard work
    and it took a long time
    “the process is almost complete”
    said the narrator
    then it
    goes on the paper real smooth
    like silk
    how’d he make it seem so easy?
    he probably forgot all the work it took to learn
    that’s his secret
    I’ll bet
    now his work has become his play
    I could learn a lot from the painter
    but hell
    right now I’ll wander around New Haven for a few days

    By nm on Sep 9, 2010

  83. hmmmm
    emptiness and compassion
    not only aren’t exclusive to one another
    they are each other
    if I empty
    while talking to a suffering person
    watch their expression change!
    watch that emptiness
    so austere, right?
    just create the space for their feelings to bloom

    in the park the other week
    homeless man, in from new mexico
    first pride,
    then red hot anger,
    then something white
    and calm
    “nice to meet you”

    By nm on Sep 10, 2010

  84. I find it so
    utterly painful
    when zen teachers reify zen practice
    especially in detriment to other practies
    “Christians care what you believe,
    but BUDDHISTS care what you DO”
    are you Kidding me?

    when Thich Nhat Hanh, when asked the difference between buddhism and other religions, other practices
    he said “no difference”
    and he wasn’t kidding
    I see that now
    when we all just up and do the right thing
    who needs zen?

    well, I do
    but that’s because I’m me

    By nm on Sep 10, 2010

  85. the gift that keeps on giving
    I can’t stop it, can you?
    just try not to give someone attention who needs it
    just try not to tell the truth
    just try to say something unkind
    just try to think something racist, sexist….doesn’t it hurt?
    it hurts me..
    the natural order of mind is to be free from clinging
    and whole load of other stuff too
    but full of laughter
    full of sadness
    full of caring worry!
    and forgetting
    full so full of energy that just comes from the situation
    no need to store it up
    just let it fly!
    out in the open!
    let that mothah breathe!
    who am i?
    don’t know
    and more importantly
    don’t care

    dragon fly died today
    he’s on the stoop, in the sun
    I held him as the fall cold air took his last movement
    I’m glad he was

    By nm on Sep 11, 2010

  86. remembering a dream I had
    months ago, before the summer ango
    the doors of my house could open,
    but there was no promise there was an outside
    touching the floor, the floor touched back
    left alone, each moment was aloof
    heartrendingly so
    when I felt
    so sure…
    that I was a kind caretaker
    and was cared for, kindly
    with all of my imperfections

    so much emptiness, empty of what?
    letting go of letting go

    By nm on Sep 11, 2010

  87. yesterday’s practice was
    and barroom reverie
    I sang the blues
    I get up and eat
    and enjoy the rain
    it doesn’t end
    does it?
    I wait for a time when I can
    find a way
    and that waiting
    fills me

    “not clinging to a single thing”
    sounds like a mandate
    certainly not clinging can be the hardest thing imaginable
    but right now
    where could I be other than here?

    By nm on Sep 13, 2010

  88. Dogen, I hear you brother
    “there is no practice outside of realization
    and there is no realization outside of practice”
    even if the two are years apart
    and it takes us 7 years to know what those words mean
    we think we’re practicing
    but its just thorns in the mud


    sometimes I have to give up entirely
    the hairsbreadth of ego I have left
    which is next to nothing
    not intellectually, I don’t sit
    but actually give it away to another person
    give to the world
    avoiding nothing
    then nothing
    follows quick
    “when one carries oneself forward…”

    By nm on Sep 13, 2010

  89. when the 6th ancestor asked
    his attacker if he had come for the dharma
    or the robe
    he said
    I’m already wearing a monk’s robe,
    and I guess I’m already the dharma, buddha and sangha…
    I guess I actually came to help you,

    By nm on Sep 14, 2010

  90. if I had the money
    I’d purchase tompkins square park
    and build a temple made from old and fragrant woods
    clean tatami, white paper screens
    it would be beautiful,
    very Japanese
    the only caveat is that it would have more,
    than the usual number of flowers
    in fact, it would have tons of flowers
    different varieties, raucous yellows and pinks
    clashing smells
    pine sap mixed with honeysuckle
    lavender mixed with sickly sweet orchid
    that would be the only caveat of my philanthropy
    “keep the flower sellers in business”

    the park would still function around the temple, of course
    people would mill around and pass by the silence inside
    hear the many people chanting
    and the fragrance of the city would blow in and mix with
    our incense and flowers
    we’d never pretend we were somewhere else
    not even for a moment
    our samadhi would be filled with the city
    our stilled hearts and minds
    accompanied by the yelling of children
    and old folks playing guitar and singing

    so when we walked outside, after our morning, afternoon and evening service
    from our beautiful, spacious
    flower filled dojo
    we’d flow right into the thick of things
    like the stillness of a pool
    meeting the different stillness of a rushing
    river rapid

    By nm on Sep 14, 2010

  91. Hungry ghosts

    hungry ghosts are spirits
    too weak to stand on their own, they drift
    to willow trees, graveyards
    scenes of violence
    and siphon off the energy around them
    energy vampires, as it were
    people bring out offerings, call out their names
    and leave something at the door

    no one likes a hungry ghosts, however, it is because these people are ignorant
    of their own nature
    a hungry ghost shows up and suddenly the arrogant feel just a little uneasy about how wonderful they think they are,
    or uncertain about their presumptions
    the sarcastic suddenly find their words sticking in their throat
    the forceful find it difficult to push their way around
    the sad find it difficult to indulge in their melancholy
    no one likes a hungry ghost, but
    a hungry ghost is buddha, too

    some people don’t know how much they suffer,
    even holy people walk around with their crosses
    actually increasing the suffering around them
    like tibetan gods, high up
    creating superation between the holy and unholy,
    setting themselves up for the BIG fall,
    we’ve all done it…even in Zen austerity everyone has a chip
    on his or her shoulder
    but a hungry ghost shows up, maybe makes them feel uncomfortable
    hungrily sucks off the extra
    forces them to like oryoki
    for real

    in the tibetan mandalas the buddha is surrounded by bodhisattvas
    they aren’t all human
    some are gods, some are animals
    and some are hungry ghosts
    buddha hungry ghosts!
    perhaps the least popular, but aren’t bodhisattvas hungry ghosts too?
    dancing around, unwanted, bothering all the blissful and ignorant
    samsaric devotees?
    pissing them off?
    there’s no doubt the hungry ghosts are miserable, ugly, and unpleasant
    but in the end their nature is pure

    still, its not a happy lot being one
    no solace
    alone, with no offerings
    the hungry ghost resembles a lot society
    drug addicts, cast off people in old person’s homes
    the lonely, unwanted
    all those elements of society that don’t “fit in” that make
    all the happy, well-adjusted humans and gods
    a little uncomfortable,
    too hoighty toighty to actually realize the dharma of “cause and effect”
    that they are the hungry ghost, that without their
    abuse, violent stupidity and poisonous greed
    they wouldn’t’ exist
    maybe to see where they’ll end up? or
    in fact, already are

    hungry ghosts

    By nm on Sep 15, 2010

  92. “Of course there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire jealousy. The real practitioner of Dzogchen [Zen] recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. … To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion.
    The great secret of [Zen] is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electricity manifestation of [Tathata] itself….
    …The practitioner discovers… that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used [if accepted] to deepen, embolden, invigorate and strengthen [Tathata]….

    “The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened-energy of [Mind Essence]”

    - The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

    By nm on Sep 15, 2010

  93. at the kwan um school
    in new haven
    a red-faced sensei, kind and huge
    recently sober
    a young man with pale skin, a bent back
    and a troubled mind
    a reiki practioner,
    a goofy kid from downtown
    and me

    across from me was fire
    a young man, formal student
    I forget his name
    burning up inside
    [but aren't we all]
    my cheeks burned, finally some calm came to the room
    oh my heart
    I came out unsure, unsteady, shaken
    is this what its like?
    to reach out a hand you have to stand
    right next to someone
    no matter if they’re in heaven or hell

    everyone was feeling pretty good after wards,
    except me, well
    maybe it’ll get easier

    thank you roshi

    By nm on Sep 16, 2010

  94. filter this wonderful dharma
    through their lives
    storytelling, when I really don’t know anything
    so much bullshit,
    so much tangible
    do I hear pain in someone’s voice? or my own?
    or does it matter
    if it makes me accept my
    self and others

    By Daruma on Sep 16, 2010

  95. I spent my whole life
    wishing I was a little bit….something
    my head aches, when will that stop?
    great potential
    trapped in the body of a brat
    with nothing

    By Daruma on Sep 17, 2010

  96. but a family
    a roof over his head
    and his health

    so, everything I need

    By Daruma on Sep 17, 2010

  97. sitting next to a
    mildy schizophrenic woman
    selling flowers
    someone comes up says
    “mind if I sit next to you”
    I thought he was talking to the woman

    now my stomach aches
    is this what its like to have someone
    invite himself?
    I don’t know his name…

    I keep forgetting how to meditate
    sometimes it doesn’t do anything at all
    especially alone, I don’t even care
    its really not about me anymore
    although I wish everything was a littler smoother

    I wish I could be with you all
    Roshi, Anraku, Tokuyu, Ryotan, Shinryu, Fugan, Myoko, Bokushu, Paul, Shuzen (who I haven’t met) Chodo, Koshin, Joshin
    all buddhas past future and present
    everyone else
    just looking
    at the shuso hossen pictures
    changes me entirely

    By Daruma on Sep 17, 2010

  98. and I know you’re all doing wonderfully,
    and if not
    I hope I feel it too

    By Daruma on Sep 17, 2010

  99. ahhh.
    i enjoy returning once again
    it feels like my little secret home
    where mystery friends
    leave me lots of beautiful notes
    of all that breathes through their days
    it is late
    and i am in between
    the prayers of my past coursing through my body
    i stood swaying with thousands of people
    pounding my heart with a hard fist
    but with a soft spirit
    greed anger and ignorance
    all the ways i have hurt others and myself
    i am one with it
    i have made peace with all that i am still
    fighting with
    it is ok.
    i will go tomorrow to the zazenkai
    and let it all rise
    and settle
    my knees will ache
    my stomach will grumble
    and i will know
    i am alive
    i have made it

    By Tôrei on Sep 17, 2010

  100. hell

    there are pockets of hell all over the world
    spaces and times
    where grown men once children
    don’t hesitate to kill

    in america we trivialize murder
    its amazing
    not even killing
    but straight up, balls out psychopathic murder
    Pulp Fiction for example
    I saw that when I was 13
    I thought I had gone to hell
    and, in a way I had

    people! I know we’re not supposed to preach
    but fuck!
    stop watching these shows, its not even “desensitizing” as the media claims
    Especially zen people should know
    I’m talking to YOU Eido Roshi
    in whiskey bottles, abusive fathers
    diamond mines,
    rented rooms and abandoned children
    I have friends my age
    I dunno man, makes me feel like I’m 80 years old
    even though I’m 25
    sometimes i see how close they are to the edge
    another drink, another angry thought
    “that guy is going to kill somebody”
    I don’t know what to do, since they choose it
    in this life and the next
    they’re living hell

    I guess two people choose to go to hell, the ignorant and the wise
    I have been to hell, in my ways
    my excursions doing more harm to myself than
    anyone else
    of course,
    I have fueled hell all over the earth just by living
    in a country that refuses to believe in the
    rest of the world

    tonight I had a bad dream, but maybe it was someone else’s
    and I was there for them

    By Daruma on Sep 18, 2010

  101. Torei,

    You soul is so gentle
    I don’t know what I’ve done to be surrounded by so many
    sweet people lately
    (even on the internet)
    but whatever it is,
    I’m going to keep it up

    By Daruma on Sep 18, 2010

  102. I was washing tables after the soup kitchen closed
    circles on the wet plastic
    talking to my friend
    I said the word “AIDs”
    and it came out like a swear
    I felt him not only recoil
    I winced
    he got up from the table
    wouldn’t go near me
    whole tone changed
    smiles to wariness
    I don’t even have AIDS

    I think about some people I know
    who might have to deal with it
    I mean, I understand, I’m working at a soup kitchen
    but I feel injured
    is that what that feels like?
    Should I watch what I say, or just be aware
    that people are the way they are
    certain topics

    By Daruma on Sep 18, 2010

  103. the cicadas here
    don’t rival the roaring seas
    of insect wings, on the hudson river
    with my kind of people

    By Daruma on Sep 18, 2010

  104. Love is a funny thing
    sometimes it comes out all backwards
    sometimes it lashes out
    but it means well
    it really does
    it really does

    love, compassion, joy and selflessness
    that’s all I need to practice
    the sooner forget the rest
    the better
    love is a funny funny thing

    By Daruma on Sep 19, 2010

  105. I found him
    practicing alone, struggling to keep himself “real”
    seung sahn sahim’s student
    now middle aged, yale buddhist chaplain
    beautiful singer
    glittering glass eyes
    just about floating away
    I don’t know if I helped him
    he probably thinks I’m a bad guy
    but you’ve got to come down
    after you go up

    By Daruma on Sep 19, 2010

  106. true one taste zen
    is one taste

    By Daruma on Sep 19, 2010

  107. my heart is so full of love
    love really is pink
    its pink and warm
    and its just like a valentine
    my love was there
    when the worst of it happened
    in fact
    my love was the reason that
    the worst happened at all
    my vow was this
    “I want the power to help everyone I’ve ever met,
    …and meet?”
    then my heart
    and everything else snapped open
    I nearly died
    and now I am full of love
    whoever is reading this

    By Daruma on Sep 19, 2010

  108. There’s one thing that concerns me
    “the buddha way is unattainable, I vow to attain it”
    the whole idea is that there is an anuttara samyak sambodhi
    every branch (tibetan, chan, zen) describes this
    Maezumi Roshi said
    “after this, there’s simply nothing left to do except to share your realization with others”
    and yet
    like a big contentious sore thumb
    we chant
    the buddha way is “unattainable”
    well, actually the translation is

    The buddha is attainable
    I vow to attain it, and share it with others

    By Daruma on Sep 22, 2010

  109. Let’s use the conditional: the translation ‘might be’ rather than ‘is’
    Actually, we have no idea what it ‘is’ and that’s why a lot of thought and discernment has gone into the choice of using ‘attainment.’
    Attainment echoes nicely with an appropriate koan:
    “Daitsu Chishu sat many kalpas and did not attain Buddhahood – why?”
    Let’s try a little humility when offering the teachings, eh?

    By Roshi on Sep 22, 2010

  110. I don’t know why I’m so antagonistic all the time

    I guess I get scared
    to lose control (as if I were actually in control)
    in some ways I like the feeling of being pulled
    towards an objective
    now with a little understanding
    and a little bit of stability
    I’m cocky
    I’ll do my best to be humble

    but it helps sometimes
    I hope I’m doing the right thing
    each day is different
    my practice is being here
    sitting in coffee shops
    looking for work
    listening to crazy people
    and its amazing
    how much that can do
    to heal me

    By Daruma on Sep 24, 2010

  111. I’m an antagonistic ass
    I like to roar a little bit
    pretend I’m in control

    humility will be my middle name from now on

    By Daruma on Sep 24, 2010

  112. gathering in what’s left
    to stay or go?
    the city or the country
    was it a dream?
    does it matter?

    By Daruma on Sep 24, 2010

  113. I just don’t get it sometimes
    where does all this come from
    philosophy doesn’t make me smile like it used to
    I’ll try to enjoy the sunrise
    but i find it so hard
    when I feel like I’m letting
    everyone down

    By Daruma on Sep 24, 2010

  114. suffering is suffering
    if you’re sitting with someone two steps from the big deal
    or you give a seconds peace to a crackhead
    who’s just going to take that feeling
    and smoke it
    its all the same
    picking and choosing is hard
    I’m choosing to drink some beer
    goddamnit it
    you guys give some great dharma talks
    my mind doesn’t fly that high
    not usually
    its good to have you out there

    By Daruma on Sep 25, 2010

  115. myoko’s laugh alone
    is teisho enough for me

    By Daruma on Sep 25, 2010

  116. its been a long
    long, long time

    By Ryokan on Sep 27, 2010

  117. I don’t mind the whole world
    the trick is to be like a fire-eating dragon
    and snap at the fire source
    if you catch it, you’re burned alive
    wonderful wonderful
    if you don’t
    its no problem
    you’re a fiery dragon
    burning up

    By Taizan on Sep 28, 2010

  118. I’ve run out of things to say
    the rocks and trees
    the touching of two objects
    two people
    that is
    selflessly sing among
    each other
    even hatred
    can open into the light
    when i think
    I know I am in your heart
    and you are in mine

    speak without thinking
    yell, scream, curse
    no rules just aware
    it’ll all work out
    I have faith in myself
    but I take care
    we are all Buddhas
    and we practice because
    we are buddhas
    whatever practice may be

    By Taizan on Sep 29, 2010

  119. healing others
    I learned
    how to heal myself

    By Taizan on Sep 29, 2010

  120. thank you everyone

    By Taizan on Oct 1, 2010

  121. for healing me

    By Taizan on Oct 1, 2010

  122. the funny thing about
    getting hit by the Kyosaku
    is that you ask for it
    you ask to be awakened
    but if you’re actually waiting for it
    it doesn’t work

    the best strike comes when you least expect it
    who’s doing the hitting?

    By Taizan on Oct 2, 2010

  123. it ain’t the sensei,
    that’s for sure

    By Taizan on Oct 2, 2010

  124. good work
    the ordinary
    is ok for some
    but that’s not
    for us
    is it
    fire walker

    By Taizan on Oct 3, 2010

  125. I take care though
    heat leaves the body
    to return
    or not
    I’m freezing
    we should all
    take care of ourselves and
    each other
    with all our hearts

    By Hotaru on Oct 3, 2010

  126. I met a few buddhas in my time
    some didn’t even know it
    one was a buddha of the kindest kind
    so loving
    int tune
    heart warming

    one was a madman
    who sat for a year
    and then became a warrior
    when it all “came back”
    he lived hell
    without knowing his buddha nature

    I knew a floating woman
    a mother and ghost
    who enlightened
    not to be crude
    with the most amazing sex I’ve ever had

    lowlifes walking into the zendo
    that’s a test
    don’t fuck it up

    I hope everyone is ok

    By Hotaru on Oct 3, 2010

  127. there’s a calm in the air tonight
    beautiful and cool
    that’s nothing
    my feet are throbbing from a long
    sick of the madness
    I use to stay sane
    sleep will come easy tonight

    By Hotaru on Oct 3, 2010

  128. hmmmm.
    i can’t sleep tonight
    so i thought i would come and visit
    i do feel less alone now
    although i know i never really

    i find myself sometimes wondering
    what would it really feel like
    to fully recognize
    that I have everything i need
    i am love, I don’t need to grasp
    perfect just as i am
    even as i write this
    i know
    i have a long way to go
    and it’s Ok
    it’s late
    and who really cares?
    the cold moon hangs over me
    even when the curtains are drawn.

    By Tôrei on Oct 4, 2010

  129. we really are never alone
    I hope that
    when I am fully present in my body
    I am with everyone I’ve ever met
    and will meet
    at once
    holding their hand in perfect equanimity

    I’m doing the best I know how
    I really am
    I don’t know anything really, figuring it out as I go along
    and sharing it the best way I know how
    trusting myself is nearly impossible
    I wish someone would just give me clear directions
    clear directions
    because especially in those hazy spots
    those spots in between
    between here and the next
    I can’t tell what I’m supposed to do
    I feel like I’m floating away
    or worse
    into somewhere I’m not supposed to be
    my heart hurts when that happens
    and I wish for a gentler way
    what is my place?
    is it at the top (as I might like it to be)
    or at the bottom
    or like all of us
    a jewel struck up in a web of many jewels
    that shimmer when touched with light

    am I a thief or a gift-giver
    am I a murder or a doctor
    a lover or a taker of love
    where does my aversion
    cease being productive?

    By Hotaru on Oct 4, 2010

  130. its just that
    drifting away
    I find out that I’m still at war with the world
    throwing fireballs into the night
    growling curses
    on the defensive
    how can this be?
    said Bernie Roshi
    “be consisent!”
    I don’t see any consistency inside of me
    I don’t constitute anything
    taking care of myself seems to involve
    embracing every part of me
    every part
    and trusting it
    do I relax or concentrate
    my breathing is constricted
    it would be so much better
    if I could just let it all go
    into a peaceful existence
    but was my existence meant to be peaceful

    By Hotaru on Oct 4, 2010

  131. someone wise I once knew
    said of me
    “you drink it [life] to easily
    and slander it too quickly”
    and she was right
    of course

    learning how to breath in
    and out
    yours truly

    By Hotaru on Oct 4, 2010

  132. how do I feel when my love is away?
    does it worry you to be alone,
    how do I feel at the end of the day?
    am I sad because I’m on my own
    no baby
    I get high with a little help from my friends

    By akira on Oct 5, 2010

  133. a dream

    riding the bus
    as a smallish child
    a light went on inside my head
    or perhaps
    a space
    and I thought, hearing those children around me
    “no on is thinking like I think”

    sometimes things require a little space,
    when things occur

    over the years I could feel that clearness be filled in
    with everything coming in around me
    seemed to be missing something vital
    I could feel the clearness blur
    and distort
    and I went inside myself
    all the while holding on to my space

    but when I learned to strike
    I did
    at myself
    at everything
    I found a new side of myself
    that wasn’t afraid to die
    and that was comforting for a while

    I saw things I just kept to myself
    and possibilities other people hadn’t considered
    my saving grace that my space could be used for other things
    besides driving me insane
    I could use it to write
    and to talk
    and to fall in love

    but the trouble with space is that is soaks up everything
    with no seperation
    a lot of things got in
    that I LET in
    and all my energy seemed to go into maintaining my inner world
    and my body got weak
    and my heart got weak
    but still I seemed to always be in the right place at the right time
    everyone was profiting from my acquaintance
    except me

    its weird
    to always view your life like a stack of razors
    stacked edge to edge
    that won’t fall over no matter how hard
    you try

    anyway, I came home eventually
    first I met Helen who taught me how to hate
    then I met Angie who taught me how to love
    and then I kept on meeting people
    and each one enriches me and I enrich them
    and I love it

    and when I go to sleep I really don’t know where I’m going
    I just go
    I can’t always understand my dreams
    and I go a little a few times a month
    but I always seem to come back
    someone must have my back
    even though I have to do everything myself
    and am so stubborn

    all those pieces are out there waiting to be put back together
    between students and teachers
    between family and friends
    between strangers
    between myself

    By Hotaru on Oct 5, 2010

  134. back from ecuador
    curled up on the edge, on the floor
    break open, shower of golden rain
    I cry

    sitting in the zendo
    oh, thoughts are things too!

    struggling, Shinryu yells
    “stay in your experience!”
    golden rain
    golden rain all around me

    its not for anyone to give,
    this dharma
    its a loving art
    and sharing is its method
    people have shared with me
    so much of themselves

    By Hotaru on Oct 5, 2010

  135. its all good

    By Hotaru on Oct 8, 2010

  136. just one last thing
    then I think I’ve got to move on
    the 6th patriach says it all
    I recommend that sutra
    bodhi is something you may have to work very hard to realize
    but its also something you always have
    and can never lose
    no one gives it to you
    not one person can transmit bodhi
    its not the special abilities
    or the brainwashing
    or any particular sensation
    its just you
    your life

    and if you have can’t accept that
    and go looking for something
    you’re going to come to a certain point…
    where you wish you weren’t so inquistive

    because in the really messed up
    this of realization
    kind of requires you to go all the way crazy
    so dont’ start it if you’re not going to finish it
    and certainly don’t pawn it off on others
    good lord

    By Ikkyu on Oct 11, 2010

  137. today
    i sit and witness so much suffering
    the tissue box slowly empties
    crumpled piles
    by the end of the day
    your tears tear through my heart
    i can only offer you

    By torei on Oct 12, 2010

  138. well I appreciate you
    listening to my poem
    don’t take it too seriously
    I doubt I suffer any more than anyone else
    and I certainly have caused enough suffering in my
    to know when to stop


    By Ikkyu on Oct 12, 2010

  139. I’m going to get real for a minute
    real technical
    just so no one worries about me

    each day is getting easier
    and although I don’t agree with a lot of the things
    people tell me
    in way of advice
    I appreciate the spirit in which it is offered
    but honestly
    its physically uncomfortable for me to sit next to people meditating
    rips me up inside
    I nearly passed out last time at tai chi
    I need like 10 feet at least between me and other people
    so if you don’t see me around the zendo don’t take it personally
    its just that’ I can’t handle proximity


    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 16, 2010

  140. Healing is so painful sometimes
    and why the is so Zen school is so wonderful
    is because it is the ordinariness
    of this extraordinary life
    i guess when i first began zen
    like Michael Stone said
    I was filled with the deluded kind of emptiness
    that dumb, null, zoned out
    that seemed to be sanctioned
    by all these black zabutons

    how wrong I was
    how very wrong
    I take refuge in the ordinary world
    in the places I’ve been and the
    wonderful people
    and I’m sorry
    for all the harm I’ve caused
    I’m doing so well now
    each day is something new
    and I owe it all to you

    and that’s not to say I won’t suffer
    because i will
    I know i will
    I’ll suffer more actually
    but the nature of suffering has changed for me
    maybe I’m suffering because life is such a
    such a wonderful heartbreak for all of us


    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 18, 2010

  141. Come back already Roshi

    it’s a dew drop world
    and yet

    when you are gone
    i miss you so much.

    By NS on Oct 19, 2010

  142. I miss her too
    although I don’t know when the next time is I’ll see her
    I guess its up to the circumstances
    although I’m always available
    and come when called
    although some things have happened lately
    that test my faith in myself
    I’m down to the nitty gritty
    planting the seeds of virture as it were
    compassion, calmness of mind, word and deed
    all those really obvious things
    I need a lot of work
    a lot
    before I can teach what I know
    I have to embody it entirely
    and each day is promising new rewards
    and like electric current
    I light up my world
    with me

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 20, 2010

  143. riding the bus
    the wailing of the mentally challenged
    becomes calm
    the old black ladies are my friends
    we share a similar outlook
    I love the street and the vibrations
    of the rumbling bus

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 20, 2010

  144. recommendations

    people don’t realize how valuable and
    healing this attention is
    give out hugs
    look people in the eye
    hold hands
    listen compassionately

    I don’t see why we can’t all be like this
    goto musical concerts and bear
    witness to the voices around you
    feel the energy of the room
    let it dissolve you
    watch the joy arrive
    these moments are so precious for
    people who do not know how to still their minds
    hand it out please
    don’t hold onto it

    my samadhi is a million miles
    16 feet in either direction
    everyone I’ve ever met
    the whole world
    this poem

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 22, 2010

  145. I don’t know what to say
    I’m sorry?
    I guess I’ve always looked for someone to save me
    but it looks like I’m the one who’s got to live
    I don’t like being in my own head
    let alone anyone elses
    though I rarely can tell the difference
    but I’ve learned to accept it
    because I see the good I do all around me
    no hard feelings
    why would there be
    its not anyone’s fault
    some people are meant to be happy
    and some people have a very hard time being
    I’m one of them
    and ironically
    I am capable of bringing incredible happiness to those around me
    so I’m sorry if I’ve been out of line
    and I really apologize for being
    the brat
    someday I’ll grow up
    like tomorrow maybe

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 24, 2010

  146. in the end its easy for me to feel very bleak
    but that’s not it
    life is a canvas
    there’s no real “point to it”
    there’s nothing really to hope for
    hope itself is a wonderful thing
    on this canvas how will I paint
    I could help the whole world and still be miserable
    but can I be content
    when I die?
    which is all the time
    I fill myself with water
    and the realization of interconnection
    is not “aha”
    but a feeling
    I feel anger when people yell at me when I meditate
    in my heart
    it injures me
    jealous boyfriends
    love from people
    I feel it
    I feel my life flow out of me
    day by day
    and there’s no hope
    of course
    but hope itself
    is something I love
    and it doesn’t cost anything

    I’m not entirely responsible
    I can do my best but
    its up to everyone around me as well
    how we take it
    when confronted with the truth or
    real love?
    do I cringe or rejoice?
    would I rather live in a closed off universe
    where the people in my life are
    characters in a stupid
    or can I embrace them to the fullest
    and accept them?
    even when I can’t stand them
    when they are stuck up
    and unpleasant recidivism abounds

    but in the end it doesn’t cost anything
    to be content
    and everything flows
    just right

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 26, 2010

  147. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 27, 2010

  148. the message of this song is
    a little deeper than the title
    lets have
    a laugh

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 27, 2010

  149. intense
    cells cringe
    for days
    what is going on?
    am I in the wrong?
    or is this whole place
    Longing for the old days
    when I knew the direction from where came
    my suffering
    now everything is very tender
    I don’t know

    By Houn-Jikai on Oct 28, 2010

  150. ah well
    its life
    times of intense sickness and pain
    and bad mistakes that rebound on me
    “like fine dust thrown into the wind”
    and times of health and joy
    but always acceptance
    acceptance and perseverance
    if the truth were a color
    what color would it be?
    if I could sweep away all the misunderstanding
    maybe I could swim through life
    someday I will
    or if not
    that’s ok too

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 1, 2010

  151. I’ve always loved sleeping
    that sweet drifting off
    is the best part in my humble o

    but sometimes I feel a little guilty
    because I sleep so much
    and people are out there
    getting up early
    going out and doing hard work
    so that I can sleep
    in my comfy bed
    like a lazy tomcat

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 2, 2010

  152. like a pyramid scheme
    I’m just hoping its like beatles song
    “the love you take is equal to the love you make”
    the more of it out there
    the better we all feel
    when I walk
    my body is at peace
    my mind is at peace
    but I’m just one cell
    in the body of the world
    I’ve spent most of my life
    devouring others and not letting them
    touch me at all
    and I can feel the connection grow

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 2, 2010

  153. good advice is good advice
    if it comes from me
    or others
    who cares?
    I do get a little sick of it all
    but I have today
    learned a new lesson
    one that in my erudition
    I had completely forgotten

    “the teisho of the body is the harbor and the weir”
    I have to take care of myself
    I still have a hard time with that
    today it means getting up earlier
    because although i find myself completely
    unable to cause harm to others
    I still have have a bent towards self destruction
    and that has to stop
    because hurting myself
    even if its just by pushing my limits
    only slightly
    even if I don’t really care
    hurts others
    and that I can’t abide

    its tricky
    I’m so sensitive I feel like I can’t breathe
    when the air is thick
    the world pulses and lives
    and I’m happy to be a part of it
    and to be healed by the presence
    of people and trees
    and wind

    but I’ve still got a lot of inner work to do
    and there is a sense
    of peace
    that I want to continue through day
    evening and when the sun breaks

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 4, 2010

  154. I should’ve known
    but it still happened
    a man screaming his crrazy joylove for god
    his kid in a wheelchair
    I’m sitting there
    with my guitar
    there was no intention
    I just happend to be there
    with all my heart
    but still
    I know that sometimes,,,
    I have to be aware
    I hope he’s ok
    he was crying with joy
    but still

    i sing softer now
    without moving my lips

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 4, 2010

  155. I’m feeling kind of inspired to share some stuff
    and I hope it will be taken in the true sense of
    how I mean it, the expression of what I’ve experienced
    how I see it now
    which is open to revision

    but i really think its necessary that I reiterate this for myself
    because as a person of 25 years
    I’ve already physically died more than once
    and I’ve come very close several times
    true zazen, or the 4th dhyana or whatever you want to call it
    is very close to realizing what occurs when you die
    and, like everything
    the experience of death can either be liberating
    or you can run from it forever, until, of course
    it catches up

    but it doesn’t actually have to be that bad, its actually
    kind of interesting
    and positive, and believe me
    we’re all dying all the time, but in dying we
    share out life with each other
    in such an intimate, sublte way
    call it what you will
    but when you realize your true nature
    you realize you’re dying constantly
    and that’s when I, actually
    began to live my life
    and to live with other people, intimately

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 4, 2010

  156. in meditation
    I feel like I’m just allowing my body to flower open
    and my mind becomes silent
    and my consciousness passes lightly over each thing that arises
    dispassionately, but with a positive embrace

    that’s how I try to live life to
    when I meet a person I try to embrace and let go of them
    at the same time
    if they are horrible negative howver
    as some thoughts or feelings can be
    I realize that there can be no intimacy with things or people like that
    its just destructive to us both

    it may sound a little cold, but its not
    I treat people like my mind in dhyana silence
    and include them as best I can

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 4, 2010

  157. ok that’s it
    I give up
    I admit it
    I haven’t a clue
    but I’ll tell you something
    life is one step ahead of me
    and that’s fine

    if I was a different person in a different
    time and place
    I’d be living in a monastary
    no doubt
    but I’m not
    so instead I’m going to have to start to regulate as best I can
    even though I feel like I’m being pulled in every
    fucking direction
    I won’t exaggerate
    or make claims to some kind of transcendental suffering
    I’ll just live my life, and roll with it

    I’m really digging the pali sutras nowadays
    because with all the wonderworking of yogic practice
    and the transcedence of prajnaparamita
    sometimes I need to hear, with the simplicity inherent in all things
    “do good, don’t do bad…purify yourself from moment to moment like a metalworker removing the dross from silver”
    “no one can purify yourself, oneself is purified by oneself alone”

    rule 1: no more sleeping during the day, that seems to get me in all sorts of trouble

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 5, 2010

  158. I’ve been reading ‘Wild Ivy”
    in which Hakuin gets
    as result of his recklessness
    a terrible case of “meditation sickness”
    and receives help from a venerable taoist priest
    I wonder if anyone like that is hanging around
    the New Haven suburbs?

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 5, 2010

  159. well I broke my rule
    it was sunday after all
    and took a post-swim nap
    quiet, alone
    the warmth engulfing me from within
    I’m feeling positive

    as I get stronger, and less sensitive
    I make more mistakes
    but I can apply myself a little more
    I just have to pay attention to the subtlties of existence
    they are not so glaring
    the 6 realms are all around
    and in my if I let them
    but I don’t reproach myself anymore
    even if I fall down
    I’m always ready to get up
    because I’m not afraid of anything

    I’ve got to get out of this place though
    the city is beautiful
    but there is something to be said with living
    people who practice
    one of the names of the buddha was
    “the teacher of those who can be taught”
    but I’d add he was probably
    someone who could learn from those
    from whom he could learn
    and I’m not learning anything here
    where can i go?
    new york awaits if I can
    figure some way to
    get there
    back home to the only place that made any sense to me
    that’s exaggerating
    but there’s something about walking through a sea of people
    beautiful freedom
    expensive freedom
    who knows

    in the yoga of the boundless lamp
    the small lamp that lights a thousand lamps
    can light the largest bonfire of all
    and thus is the greatest
    more beautiful and a powerful light
    in the world
    steadily it grows
    not in size, not in intensity
    but it persistence
    shedding light in a thousand corners of the world
    bringing light here and there
    and each light empowers more lamps
    and onwards
    of course
    bravely some lamps take up huge burdens
    like the city of new york
    some lamps light more than others
    sometimes their light gets obscured
    but the effects are always there

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 7, 2010

  160. don’t worry about me

    By Houn Jikai---- on Nov 9, 2010

  161. Myoko Kirin
    there’s nothing about you I don’t like
    I’m out of here
    I’ll see you all when I’m ready
    I’ve been grossly misunderstood
    but then again
    I’ve lied
    you’re all wonderful

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 11, 2010

  162. Dear Roshi,

    I am planning on going to the Upaya Zen Center for the fall practice period if I can manage it financially.

    hope to see you there,


    By Houn Jikai 123454 on Nov 16, 2010

  163. Healing in others, I mean…for me I’m not sure exactly what kind of healing I can hope for. Maybe a deeper rootedness…but definitely my focus is on others. Working with them, talking to them…its a pleasure to see them open up even if I’m undergoing some bad experiences.


    By Houn Jikai on Nov 26, 2010

  164. I just realized this morning
    that I’m going to die..
    I thought I had my head around it..

    By Houn Jikai on Nov 27, 2010

  165. if I could just say
    thank you and I’m sorry
    and just leave it at that
    then maybe explanations
    don’t really matter
    how hard it is to say
    please help!
    so much easier to hide
    in another’s assumptions
    to play the fool
    or the crazy person
    I’m ready to forgive everyone
    and atone
    at this moment
    with my whole heart
    can’t we all be on the same team?
    I’m willing
    but I know that being honest is the most important thing
    so much trouble in my life could’ve been avoided
    ah well
    I’m here now
    asking and giving forgiveness
    and saying thank you
    and I love you
    and I trust

    By ahimsika on Dec 19, 2010

  166. I’d say it crystal clear
    without malice
    I am a good person
    I don’t deserve to be hated or hurt
    I never intentionally deceived
    I don’t calculate
    I’ve suffered horribly
    for people who i don’t even know
    and then been projected on by them
    they see their own anger in me
    and it hurts me
    and when I thought I couldn’t go on
    I received help
    and I’m thankful
    but I’m not a bad person
    and I’ve done some things wrong
    but out of fear
    so how do I move on?
    I’m going to forget everything
    and cherish the life I have
    because I owe it to some
    to keep moving forward
    straight forward

    By WS on Dec 21, 2010

  167. and if I make it through
    I’ll repay them
    with love

    By WS on Dec 21, 2010

  168. I guess I’ve never been a tough person
    but I have to ask myself
    when people say “don’t be so sensitive! take it easy”
    what is tougher?
    being entirely open to the world?
    or being a tough guy
    does being tough mean not feeling?
    or does true grit
    have a heart and a mind that doesn’t
    shield itself
    at all
    on the other hand
    its not skillful to be dead or crazy
    so maybe being a bleeding heart
    isn’t a great plan
    who knows

    By Ws on Dec 23, 2010

  169. things come up
    and pass away
    everything goes and comes
    absolutely everything
    to be present and free
    while living in the world and doing good
    now that is a challenge
    count me in

    By ws on Dec 27, 2010

  170. one cold breath
    and the snow is now white, now brilliant rainbow
    I forget myself

    By ws on Dec 27, 2010

  171. I don’t want to be alone
    but here I am
    I don’t want to be sad
    but there I go
    I don’t want to live here
    but here I stand
    falling free
    falling free
    into something brand new
    I am happy for this moment
    and that’s enough

    By ws on Dec 28, 2010

  172. Yeah i feel abandoned
    but whats one more real human being
    abandoned amongst a thousand abandoned
    thousand human beings
    I ain’t special
    and life is like that

    By ws on Dec 28, 2010

  173. wks218-
    you are a beautiful soul.
    and a beautiful writer

    i love this line:
    but now the world and people are my meditation.

    thank you for being here.

    By torei on Jan 20, 2011

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