Monday, February 16, 2015

His Imperative

In response to “imperative” by Steven Schroeder.


So his practice,
shouting blessed day,
was not so
anyone would hear.

It was bitter cold.

his mouth
was frozen shut—
he could only mean
the words.

His hat, begging
for coins,
remained cold
and empty.

What was blessed
about this day?

Was it
his practice?
His intention?
His trying to share?

Did it matter
he was frozen,
yet blessed?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

In the Dark

"They are not rearranging the room. They are turning on a light to see what's there.” From The Hidden Lamp

I often think of change as altering my environment. Yesterday I quit eating meat. This morning I found a new place for my old printer so I could have a place for a new one.

The confusion I have about turning on a light is what to do if you don't like what is illuminated by the light. I saw the meat as dead stuff entering my body, and saw that my printer needed to be moved to make a place for a new (bigger) printer.

Am I missing the Zen idea of accepting the world as it is? Or maybe after illuminating the meat, I notice that its life force expired some time ago. And illuminating my room I see that there is no space for my new printer.

But what if I illuminate myself? What would I see? What would I accept? And what, now illuminated, would I want to change?

P.S. After writing this, our Zen teacher walked in and asked us why we were in the dark. I said that we were reading about illumination. She flicked on the lights—way too bright for my eyes.