Meaningless Or Not

The following is the first of twelve verses of a poem titled Meaningless or Not. The poem was ably translated into English by Ven. Kongzhu a Chan nun who I am so glad to say is an acquaintance.

Originally life itself has no meaning
Because of human needs
Meaning is added to it
Originally life itself has no purpose
Because of human wants
Purpose is established

Master Chi Chern
Read the rest of the poem and then sit still for awhile and then read it again. Return frequently. That’s what I’m doing.


Greyhound Bus

They call it the grey dog. Its Americas endurance test on wheels. Now coming into the eighth hour running fast and smooth towards Arcata on the north California coast. Plenty of time to contemplate the death of My Luminous Friend. To sit still with him as he goes on.

This post is for a chap on the bus in medical trouble.

Being over Doing

Little library for little people. And big people too.
Little library for little people. And big people too.
The following was copied from an old post made back in June 2008. Yep, as I said in a response to a comment from Gay. It’s worth going back through old posts. This quote from Thomas Merton fits right in with thoughts of recognition for what one does. Interesting to contemplate how one values others for what they are.

We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men (and women) are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.
Thomas Merton


Yes, who ever you are and what ever you do having some overt recognition isn’t nothing. It’s not like one does things in order to receive applause, far from it. So when recognition comes the appropriate response is to bow (inwardly) and accept with grace and gratitude. Then move on.

Before I move on here is a link to a site where Jade was listed as one of 20 top religious blogs of 2014. Thank you Theology Degrees. Jade was one of two Buddhist blogs in the whole world to be listed. How kind of you to look kindly on this internet space.

And then there is Zen College Life which lists the 50 best Buddhism Blogs. There are some brilliant Buddhist blogs listed there and I’m suitable honoured to be part of the list.

Thank you one and all. I’ll not let this go to my head!

Between Quiet and Solitude

Pegasus Books, Berkeley.
Pegasus Books, Berkeley.

This photograph has been deliberately fuzzed. That’s how my mind was and generally is when in a bookshop of any size. I’m an admirer of book covers, the design and fonts used, the colours and lately the plastic covers. Shining paper is giving way to mat flexible plastic. Feels good in the hand. But, I rarely look inside. I’m not there to buy I’m there because the door’s generally open and I’m irresistibly drawn into the cavern of yet to be explored delights. But, I don’t get past the covers, often.

I know a genuine writer who writes real books, which have been published. The most recent one Every Blade of Grass as a Kindle edition. At Pegasus I made a half-hearted attempt to find him on a shelf, his books, but not having my glasses cut the project short. He says that writers are readers and more importantly, for me, that readers are writers. Aspiring to be a genuine writer I guess I’ll have to get past the covers sooner rather than later. In the mean time books covers are lovely.

But that wasn’t what I had intended to write about tonight. I was sent a link to the most incredible story which I’ve been READING, on and off, for most of the day. The title of the news article is The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. It is an amazing story of a twenty year old chap who camped out in the woods in Central Maine…for 27 years. He survived by stealing food and supplies as well as books and magazines. It is a gripping tale. I was anticipating a sad ending but no. He went to jail, got a seven months sentence and let out on the understanding he wouldn’t return to the woods. He went back home to live with his mother.

When asked what insight he had into life truths while he was alone in the woods he eventually said, Get enough sleep! Then…

He set his jaw in a way that conveyed he wouldn’t be saying more. This is what he’d learned. I accepted it as truth.

“What I miss most,” he eventually continued, “is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness.”

Thanks to Julius for the link.