Thursday, May 28, 2009

SW Air Critiques Kim's Drawing

I love SW Air. The st-
ewardess loved my
drawing and asked if
my not yet 3 grand-
son had done it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Continental Divide

I wondered if he wo-
uld miss me, not r-
ealizing how much I
would miss him.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stuck or 2 Close?

Another iphone drawing above. Generally I work on a Palm Pilot. I'm thinking of getting an iphone next month so I can combine photos and drawing, etc.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Car Wash

We took lit' J. to Lowes
and we met the mon-
ster in the car

Caught by a security camera.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Zen Lesson #4213A

The priest was concerned
that his drainpipe was le-
aking. Others tried hard to
associate the dharma with
their lives.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad Books

I chased my grand-
son to the library.
When he got there
he played on
the compu-
ter and then

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The Buddhist priest described how he saw Zen as intimacy, being close to all as the body is to the robe. He said that intimacy is listening and not judging... and not fixing.

A few minutes later I was racing to the airport in an avalanche of rain to see my new grandson in Philadelphia. I asked my daughter (Dr. Educator) how I should approach his older brother (almost 3). She said just watch what he does and do what he does. If he's playing with stamps don't teach him to spell his name.

Just be there, DAD!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Woke up at 5 am believing that two sequential ringing cell phone calls were my alarm clock. One would have been enough. But two indicated the state I was in. The phone calls would have told us that our son and daughter-in-law were on their way to the hospital to drop off (3 pushes) their new baby (just named Dashiell Grey Zwerling Mosley). Rushing out the door to the Zen center, I told my wife I'd be home at 9. A few blocks from home I realized that I'd be there longer than that, so I called and left her a message to call me if she wanted to leave that day.

It turned out that our kids wanted us right away, so my wife arranged for us to leave that morning, expecting me home at 9... and not listening to her phone messages. When I called her at 11, she was angry, even when I told her what the priest had said in his dharma talk about Norman Fisher who spoke about not judging because you can't ever know the whole story. I went home, made reservations for a 1:15 plane flight, and we arrived in Philadelphia via Houston and Nashville that evening.

I'm ready call me
Where is he?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Doll, not a Baby

Waiting to board the plane, I watched a mother with her two daughters. One of the daughters was swinging her doll by the leg. I said to my wife, "why is she swinging her baby by the leg." My wife said, "it is not a baby, it is a doll." I remembered an hour earlier how the priest said that we won't treat things with respect when we see them as separate from ourselves. Later, on the plane, I asked my wife if our daughter swung her doll by its leg. "No," she said, "it was her baby."

Why did she

Help me


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mu From the Dog's Mouth

Q: Does a dog have Buddha nature?
A: Mu

I asked my son whether he had a name for his new son, born today (5/16/09, 6:45 am). "No," he said. "How about the Japanese name for 'no,' 'mu,'? I asked. "No," he said.

The Mu koan is as follows: A monk asked Zhaozhou, a Chinese Zen master (known as Jōshū in Japanese): "Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?", Zhaozhou answered: "Wú" (in Japanese, Mu).

For less explanation see:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discovering Emptiness in a Spinning Top

When I looked at th-
e spinning top the w-
ords became concent-
ric circles.

The Wednesday night reading group has been reading Nagarjuna's "The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way" for a while now. We are just getting into the best part. And it is no more difficult than figuring out a child's top that you spin with your forefinger and thumb. Here's why:

Last night we talked about how emptiness is not the same as believing in nothing (nihilism). And that emptiness means "no abiding self," or in the case of a child's top (which wasn't mentioned), no essence.

Barbara was quick to say that hearing these ideas and practicing with them are very different. So today I went to the Blanton Art Museum and the Ramsen center to practice (shirking my volunteer duties to AZC).

First I ate in the Blanton's new cafeteria. I don't like to see art with my stomach growling. Then to the museum store where I found a child's top. It had words printed on a flat round disk. I spun it and voila, the words turned into concentric circles. That proved it, I though. In one spin I saw how foolish both Nagarjuna and Barbara were. It was obvious that the essence was the top standing still (with words), and when moving, is just appeared different (with concentric circles). I was satisfied that my mission was accomplished, and left the store (I though it was too expensive to buy the top that had disproved emptiness at $3.26).

Walking out to the street, I started thinking about a hypothetical top that is attached to an electric motor. The normal state (essence) of that top would be the concentric circles, and seeing the words would be just an abnormal view of the top. But suppose that one day the motor dies and the top comes to a stop. Then has its essence changed (a contradiction for if essence changes then it is not essence)? Then my mind went to the earth, which spins and rotates as if there was no tomorrow. What is the essence of that (a spherical object in motion?). I started to doubt the validity of my "there is an essence" argument.

A minute later, as I went outside, I saw an old truck with scratches, dents and faded paint. So what was this truck's essence, it if had one? Was it the way it was yesterday, the way it is now, or the way it will be tomorrow? Suddenly essence disappeared and Nagarjuna (and Barbara) made more sense.

Nagarjuna wrote,

For him to whom emptiness is clear,
Everything becomes clear.
For him to whom emptiness is not clear,
Nothing becomes clear.

Please come and help us sort out the thinking of this 2nd century Buddhist saint. Find out why he is thought of by some to be the next (2nd or 8th?) Buddha.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Holding Paper

So today I tried
to hold the
paper without
touching it.

of the
time I was
too relaxed or ^stressed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Faceless from Afar

We are faceless from
afar, but powerful neve-
rtheless as we con-

A friend sent this picture from China today:
That and the Buddhist concept of sangha inspired my drawing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Anatomy Lesson and Love