Category Archives: Teachings

Writing is for:

1 painted desk

Writing is for:
dredging up
Eternal ‘not knowing’

There are people we meet in life who help bring about a profound change. A change in ones life  direction, thinking and most especially take one deeper than ones own mind. Just so. My first writing at my now transformed writing desk was about just such a profound meeting which came through the medium of television.

At age fourteen I witnessed, I was to discover later, my teacher Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett being interviewed for British TV soon after she arrived in Japan to study with Zen Master Koho Zenji. She was standing with shaven head and flowing robes, resolute, in a garden in the grounds of Soji-ji Temple, Yokohama Japan. As the interview concluded up into my mind came, If she can do it, I can do it too. That’s all it takes. A thought unbidden, seemingly out of nowhere which in my case lead me towards  ordination as a Buddhist monastic. At the time I was not in the least bit interested in religion. Far from it.

Anyway, my first piece of writing at my transformed desk was for the OBC Journal, and I will publish the short paragraph after the Journal is published.

For all the people who have come into our lives, for all the twists and turns they have brought about which have us here now. We are alive, breathing. For that, and much more, we can be grateful. But who’s counting?

Is, Was and Will be Enlightened

bud and blossom1

And the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took
to blossom.

Anais Nin

I love what I read on Listening Ear. This article Asking for Help, Risk and Reward was in the monthly newsletter, where I picked up on the above quote. Thanks Megan. You are a blossom one and no mistake. As are all the budding blossoms in the world. That would be all beings. Note I wrote budding blossoms pointing out our lives are not bound by time. Shakyamuni Buddha is, was and will be Enlightened TOGETHER WITH all living things. And with the historic Buddha in mind……

We are coming up for the time of the celebration of the Buddha’s birth and enlightenment, known as Wesak. This Sunday I’ll be at Throssel  to celebrate. If the snow isn’t too deep!

Unbounded Living

Bird in the sky

Oh Holy Buddha I pray
I may continue to
fly in the clear blue sky.

Falling to the ground I pray
I will land on both feet
rising again on joy filled wings.

Rising, falling
1000 times down
1001 times up.

Near or far high or low
up or gasping
for life itself.

Within and beyond
is the boundless sky.
We are as that.

This post, the merit of this post, is for those who are struggling with life itself.
The gist of the above writing comes from a piece I recited at the end of my Chief Junior ceremony. Which I did in 1982. The ceremony marks a major step in ones novice training. Thank you to Mark for this amazing photograph. He was not to know how special the image is for me. As it is for him.

Going on Beyond

1Gorse on Farleton Fell

High is the clear blue sky.
Prickly is the gorse and yellow.
Farleton Fell, on the way up
bitter wind, Sky Larks

Less on my Sunday walking and more of Sitting Buddha Hermitage where Rev. Alicia is introducing The Scripture of Great Wisdom. Very useful background to this most chanted of scriptures. Let there be more, line by line, contemplations on this scripture. Which touches my heart. Bows to you Rev. Alicia, keep going on. Please.

Pulling up through the Gorse on Farleton Fell I was thinking ‘Nothing is achieved without a struggle’. And when one is walking a steep and prickly path that certainly is the case. Struggle, onwards and upwards. But I’m not going to use that thought as my mantra for life.

The Irreparable Hour

River Bela - in full spate
River Bela – in full spate
Tempus fugit: Time is fleeting. Where tempus fugit appears as fugit inreparabile tempus it is: it escapes, irretrievable time.

Ah the flying time!
Fast flies
irreparable hour.

In Zen we have a verse:

Time flies
As an Arrow
Flies from a bow.

To the teacher then:

I wish to sit
beside you
And learn from you.

The verses are a commitment, a deep one. Yes, time passes and deeper still there is never a time when one does not learn from ‘the teacher’.

This post is for all those who are caught in the irreparable hour. The space from diagnosis and a date for surgery. The space from date of surgery to surgery. Time does not fly then. Time wears heavy boots then. And still we can sit beside/in our heavy boots, the interminable hour. And learn. For ever.

Sounds trite perhaps but what else is there?