2 – Reading the Record of Eihei Dogen by Ryokan

My hand reached behind me for the Record of Eihei Dogen.
Beneath the open window at my desk,
I offered incense, lit a lamp, and quietly read.

1 – Reading the Record of Eihei Dogen by Ryokan

On a somber spring evening around midnight,
rain mixed with snow sprinkled on the bamboos in the garden.
I wanted to ease my loneliness but it was quite impossible.

Just Sitting – With Zen Master Dogen

This photograph was taken last October/November at the Westmoreland Service Station on the M6 Motorway, southbound. It has absolutley nothing to do with the text that follows! I just like the picture.

I was up late last night preparing the postings for the coming two weeks. Reviewing them this morning I realized that some of the photographs connect with the text. In some cases that is intentional and others it was pure accident. Where the connection seems a bit strange please know, there isn’t one! There is always a danger when words and photographs are used together and my hope is the pictures and text together convey, contemplation, joy, gratitude, humility and all those qualities that come of themselves when one just sits. In fact, just use your visit as an opportunity to just sit. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next little while.

I’ll study Dogen’s works while on retreat. This is something I’ve not done in great depth because I’ve tended to feel, likes so many, that he is too difficult to understand. As you will see as the poem by Zen Master Ryokan develops, Dogen was neglected for centuries and only relatively recently been recognized widely. That’s as a great innovative thinker and a radical in his approach to Mahayana Buddhism. I’m with him already!