Tuesday, May 5, 2009


"Guanyin" number 38 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

In this miniature, Aitken reminisces about museum statue that struck him in his youth. Guanyin (Chinese), Kanzeon or Kannon (Japanese). Probably not the one pictured. The one pictured is my favorite depiction of this Buddhist icon.

Today is a good day.

Walking this path, I have a sense of what the early American explorers, Lewis and Clark, must have experienced. (Maybe a bit too dramatic, but I'm going with it for now.)

As a Zen explorer, from time to time I cross paths with other Zen explorers. I can go long periods without meeting someone interesting. It seems that the some of those I meet along the way are not so friendly in their primitive ways. Primitive is not meant to disparage them. Their circle of vision is just closer to them. Just like you wouldn't disparage a child for being a child, we can not disparage people who live their delusion for being what they are.

I have crossed paths with a Zen explorer who has had vast experience as an explorer. Things about the terrain and conditions can be learned here.

Fellow explorer, Dosho Port is the author of "Keep me in your heart a while", a new book about his teacher Dainin Katagiri. Dosho says he intends the book to not idealize nor disparage Katagiri and he secedes. Dosho presents himself honestly and sometimes not in the best light. In the end both men are portrayed as explorers, making the adventure with as much joy and honesty as they can muster.

The path I'm traveling is filled with joy. It also has the usual layperson stuff of everyday life. These are not different things. In the very muck of my life, of my job, of my relationships, is the opportunity for joy. The opportunity for equanimity. To be what it means to be honest. All I have to do is reach out an touch it. It is all up to me, my clarity and my effort.

It is such a wonderful time to get out and explore.

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