The Practice of Zen

Zen can offer something very simple, very direct and readily accessible to anyone seeking inner peace, seeking healing in some form, or seeking answers to questions such as ‘Who am I?’ ‘How can I find meaning in my life?’ ‘How can I live in a most authentic way?’

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Poetry Scroll I

Where

When I am There,
I’d rather be Somewhere,
But not There.

Why not stay Here?

Because I came
Here from There.

Besides, Here is
The Somewhere I
Wanted to be.

Be after I
Was There.

How can I just be Here
& not There
Or Somewhere.

With each breath
I choose where I am.

Through the breath
I will come to realize:
Here is There.
Here is Somewhere.
Here is Everywhere.
Where?

This breath.

Untitled

Past memories
Future dreams
Present’s baggage.
This moment.

Reflections

Noise, telephones, meetings.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Anxieties, perceptions, delusions.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Words, empty words, false promises.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Fame, money, prestige.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Up the ladder, down the ladder.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Past, baggage, anger.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Future, delusions, bitterness.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Who, what, where.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Young, old, dead.
Silence, breath, Mu.

Past, present, future
, Present, present, present.

! ? .

This is it!

This is it?

This is it.

Untitled

Dew on the morning grass.
Sparkling diamonds.
A fortune spent before noon.

–Joe Camperson

Haiku

Hey, Basho! Han-Shan!
A cricket lives in my yard.
So why do you wander?

Receding hairline!
Layman becoming a monk.
And I’m half way there!

Bottom of the ninth
The score tied–bases loaded.
The bat connects–crack!

On a round cushion,
Growing in age and wisdom,
Tasting the warm wind.

Living is kinhin!
In a straight line step by step.
Circling all the time.

Fresh ball of moist clay
In the mater potter’s hands.
What shape will you be.
A tetherless kite,
Moves to the will of the wind
And gracefully soars.

Gently listen to
The echo of birds chanting
The praises of Now.

The autumn silence
Shattered by crisp spinning leaves,
Turning somersaults.

Hey! Mr. Mockingbird?
Are you really what you say–
An imitation?

Crow! Stop that noise!
You are not permitting me
to wallow in my thoughts.

You say, “God is love.
And we are held in God’s hands.”
Then why do you squirm?

–Christian Gohl

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