Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"Love" number 105 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Not so sure I agree with Aitken Roshi on this one. He states clearly that words have power. Words and bring people together as well as drive them apart. I've seen this myself.

He's confused by the notion that the particular word, "love", should be reserved for only sanctioned conversations.

At first I was going to go along with him, but realized that for me personally, I don't see the word "love" much, particularly in Zen. I don't use it enough. In a way, not using the word is a form of stinginess. Holding back from expressing love in whatever form is a type of greed or maybe a manifestation of a fear.

From WoodenZen
May all beings feel loved.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.


  1. The problem with the word "Love" is that it is so often confused with desire, greed, and attachment. Most of the time I hear the word spoken it does not convey a feeling of acceptance, compassion or empathy. So I suppose the word has become rather... misused and therefor confused in my opinion.

    I stole a phrase from Ajan Bram and use it regularly; "The door of my heart is always open to you." That is (for me) a more meaningful expression.

  2. The problem with the word "love" is that what love is, is not expressed enough. Love is a constellation of sense/feeling/thought that occur together, if we are present to the moment. Love is a huge thank you to the universe and that don't get express enough. We can do better.

    Like when I read "The door of my heart is always open to you" and I thought of you and your family. There is that love constellation. Thank you.

    I don't hear the love word being bandied around carelessly. Just my situation. With young kids, it probably a lot different at your house.

    Robert Aitken lobbies for the rehabilitation of the word love. I'm all for that but don't feel like we have to abstain from its use till then. He suggests that we "limit its use and thus keep it alive."

    It would be more helpful to use love in a way that is an example of right speech rather than silence.