Monthly Archives: July 2019

prognostication? you guessed it…

Just a brief thought that arose in answer to an inner question I’ve had off and on for many years.

So, I like to look at Chinese Feng-shui, Lunar Calendar, Birth Charts and their implication. I am a Fire-Pig (I know:), and enjoy seeing that personal aspects assigned to that birth sign are very much in line with my own estimation of my basic character. No, it ain’t all good, but comports and fits. So, obviously that can be a real rabbit-hole one can go down and therein get lost, especially if intending to see about others, or to get “clues”, (re; vis-a-vis, etc:) in relation too.

Now, all of that kind of stuff, no matter what its origin, is not considered as relevant or worth pursuing from a Buddhist training perspective; nevertheless, it does crop up in some cultural and religious practices. Not especially as a part of the general practice, but more a personal adjunct activity.

So, I’ve been musing with that a bit lately and I realized this, almost classically, while doing the dishes. It’s not deep insight, just a good view from Zen as I know it.

I do not need to know what other’s proclivities, shortcomings or strengths may or may not be. If I’m aware of my own motives, follow the basic Precepts and compassionately look within, then chances are pretty good that, in any given situation it is just daily life. Things open, close, drift or stay and they always change.

Something always needs close attention, awareness and more than a tad of control and willingness to be willing, and that Some Thing is me.

The rest of the world will always be what it is.

My response is the only thing I have any degree of control over. If I’m aware of my tendencies and see them as teachers I can learn and then things don’t happen so much, as appear. Not magic, viewpoint and preparation.

If I’m aware of my part in all the stuff that ever supposedly “happened” to me, I can learn.

I’m learning right now. Will I use what I’ve learned, effectively and compassionately?

I have to try. What if I fail, or my attempts aren’t perfect?

Try again! Dang, is it that easy?

Again and again, try.

What if I go SPLAT? One

More time. Again. Stand

Up and Step forward and

Look Up and ask only for

What is good to know?

What is good to do?

Please help.

Vivid colors and grey…

Where Buddhist training and the regular world meet is right here because there is no difference.

It takes a regular world to have room for a “spiritual” life, it also has to have room for the variations of, un, anti, quasi, semi, and faux;  affixations to that word.

It takes the development of a time-tested spiritual outlook, and practice to realize that it needs to be firmly rooted in the “regular” world. Because without the mundane, there is nothing to sanctify and nobody to do it and then no need for any of it. But there is a need, it seems.

Much of the last five years I’ve been uncomfortable, seven addresses during that time is a sound indicator of something; However with the discomfort there has also been fair amount of facing, and bare looking at, those discomforts. All in all, a vital time.

The other day, all I did was take a walk with someone that became friend during the walk and the talk. Some ideas and ways of looking at things were brought down from some shelf and let out for a little air.

Why store stuff if you ain’t gonna use it again? I think we all know that one pretty well.

It was a good thing to do and I didn’t plan it. Some other small coincidences have started cropping up in my life and there’s a small sense of freshness in outlook and karmic unfolding. Very curious. Also curious is an opening up and something taking root more firmly in an understanding of some basic everyday verses and teachings that we use in Zen.

The Kesa Verse:

“How great and wondrous are the clothes of enlightenment, formless and embracing every treasure. I wish to unfold the Buddha’s teaching that I may help all living things”

The Three Pure Precepts:

“Cease from evil

Do only good

Do good for others.”



Ahhh, did you catch that…

I can remember Summers as a kid in New York, people sitting outside in the warm Summer nights, us kids running around sometimes stopped in mid-career by the wonder of lightning-bugs=blinking; and sometimes an adult might say to another. “Ahhhhh! Did you catch that little breeze that just came through?”

Enjoying respite or mild change in current condition and not complaining.

And that brought me to this.

Prediction of super-hot-life-threatening weather covering most of the country. 

Various species are dying off and the ecological balance has shifted away from being rectified, ever. Extinction can’t be undone.

We have poured poisons into and onto the Earth in such quantities that the destruction set into motion cannot be undone. Cannot be undone! 

The science is solid and provable, although open to theoretical/religious quibbles. 

Sadly, it’s real hard to find evidence pictorially on mainstream media, not because it doesn’t exist, but because making people uncomfortable is not the way they earn their money. 

We have created the beginning of a new darkness and are being enjoined by the perpetrators (that includes us all at the levels of greed and an insistence on comfort and ease), to just kind of trust them and science to get us out of the mess, we’ve created.

If we took out all the stuff under our kitchen sinks, and out of our garages and workshops, and add all the pesticide and herbicide stored by all the various means and poured them onto the earth next week all at once, within a year America would begin to turn visibly into a vast wasteland. Since we’ve already poured that much, X50, or more in the last 70 years, the processes are happening a tad slower because when we started our chemical warfare, life was still cyclical.

That former cycle has transformed into downward spiral.

All the kids entering Elementary School this year will be adults in an un-sustainable world more like a Hell than what we can all remember of nice Summer evenings.

What prompted the above was a series of FB posts I saw from folks that live in rural communities, stating how grateful they were that those communities poisoned the air and environment around sufficiently (City truck spraying), so that they won’t be bothered by a few mosquito bites while they enjoy a Summer’s eve in comfort. 

Sadly their grandchildren won’t have that same joy, because the delicate balance that we exist within requires and has a “use” for all living things and in twenty years we will have killed off 25% (give or take) of life on the whole Earth because we insisted on being comfortable and efficient. 


Cheerfully apprehensive that

Things Will Work Out

Eventually; we stagger about

Delirious from our insistence

That things will work out. As

They say in advice circles,

Good luck with That…

Walla Walla, Red Pine…

Had a great treat yesterday, I went to the Walla Walla Saturday Farmer’s Market to get a few veggies and baked goods and visit with some friends who have a booth set up. 

As I was walking out of the market area, I saw four or five people sitting on the grass and chatting, and one of them looked somehow familiar to me, and I stopped and asked the gentleman if his name was Bill Porter. He said yes. 

Bill Porter is well known in the Buddhist world that I’m familiar with, as a dedicated and talented translator of Buddhist writing from the Chinese. He has also authored a couple of books having to do with his experiences traveling in China and doing research in venerable temples, with Venerable teachers, Buddhist hermits dead and alive; and great masters of Zen and Buddhism in general.

I laughed at myself a bit later because I acted like a starstruck fan, which I was; still a fan though. 

My favorite heroes are those who labor quietly and attempt to shed light on our humanity by living meaningful lives. Red Pine, which is the name Bill Porter translates under, seems to be like that. Then again he may be a terrible person, but I suspect that he is the former. 

What makes him important to many who read him is that he brings an experiential quality to his work. Certainly there is scholarship involved and apparent but he ain’t just supposin’ a lot of stuff that he thinks the author meant. While, also doing just that; because that’s what translation kind of has to be. He seems to come at it from some understanding (actualized), of the practice.

Anyway, it made my day and expect I’ll go visit him at some point. His friends who had to listen to me gush for a few minutes may not have been aware that this guy was a sort of rock star for some old-coot students of the Way in a smallish corner of the large Buddhist Universe, but he is.

The few dozen of you who (perhaps on a good day the number is that large), read this bloggy-babbling, (bobbly-blagging) check him out.

I’ve seen some of his poetry and I suspect he’s the real thing; I can’t judge it because I do Schmoetry, my personalized delusion-natter, so I may know what is not poetry, then again who am I to say.

If you are a student of Buddhism, other cultures and ways of being and are not familiar with him, use The Google.


The No Where

Is Here. No Now

Too. Not Two.

Nary a One.

Quatch Kopf!



Here and now and how…

Interesting couple of weeks for me, I’ve been going into the State Prison a bit more recently because of special events; a Buddha Day, Asian Pacific Islander Celebration Day, and two days ago a visit from a monk associated with International Bodhisattva Sangha, which is sort of Western based but has strong international support, especially from Taiwan, and does a lot of out-reach to Prisons and homeless.

They refer to themselves as practicing “Humanistic Buddhism’ on their website. Sadly, the prisoners were not apprised of the change of timing with regard to this visit and there were just a few that showed up. Although the offerings made to the prisoners is not to be judged by numbers, if at all; I felt bad that more hadn’t shown up because this monk, Venerable Xianzhong-shi, is a very good, clear and direct teacher. I learned a lot from him, especially how to stay clear and on-topic when discussing the Dharma. Perhaps “learned” was not the right word, I saw, again, how one can be an effective teacher if one stick to basics, knows the basics from personal experience and can stay ‘within’ oneself.

I’ve always had a problem staying within myself, but I was encouraged by his example.

Then just a few minutes ago, I was reminded of two little teachings, in that they are partial lines from two differentSoto Zen scriptures (Sutras/chants), that like all ‘little’ teachings, go quite far and change as time goes on.

One of them is    ”and- should you lost become, there will arise obstructing mountains and great rivers…” 

and the other “—May we in the temple of our own hearts dwell—amidst the myriad mountains…”

There’s a lot there to look at,

Quietly, over period of time.

How much time does one have?

Yeah, it comes and goes so

Fast, I really need to be

Here to see it come and go.