Monthly Archives: April 2012

Publication in Haiku News

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Today I received an email from the editors at Haiku News telling me that they had chosen one of my submissions for publication.

Read the haiku by clicking here.

For those of you unfamiliar with this journal here is what they have published on their website and I can hardly improve upon it.

Haiku News is a weekly poetry journal which publishes socially engaged poetry, pairing each poem with a news article to forge links between the poetic, the personal and the political.

I want to especially thank Dick Whyte for his attention to my haiku and working with me through the editing process.

Here is the link to the article that moved me to write the haiku.

Please take a moment to visit their site and read the other poets work too.

http://www.wayfarergallery.net/haikunews/?p=3594

Lost dog?

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happy dog
visiting the temple-
traveling Buddha

Today while my daughter, Ava, and I were at temple a dog wandered up to us and sat down for a bit. Just quiet and gentle then he stood up and wandered off.
This was a perfect example of non-attachment and I thank him for that lesson.

Chicago Haiku Fest

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Today I had the wonderful opportunity to hear some great haiku read. The Haiku Society of America held a festival in celebration of National Poetry Month. The organizer Charlotte Digregorio did a fantastic job on organizing the event and the Skokie Library graciously allowed use of one of their conference rooms.
The event kicked off with Charlotte giving a short lecture on haiku and a discussion on 10 haiku that members of the Haiku Society had written. Next we had members of the Midwest chapter do a live reading of some of their work that had been published in the past year. The names of those who read is as follows: Amelia Cotter, Lidia Rozmus, Mac Greene, John Han, Tom Chockley, Alicia Hilton, Joanne Crofton, Tomoko Hata, Heather Jagman, and Dan Schwerin.
Finally we ended with a haiku contest where nonmembers got to compete for prizes.

I truly enjoyed myself and look forward to more events in the future. The gallery below is from the event.

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Wistful thinking

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Wistful thinking

incense smoke
brings back the dead-
will-o-wisp

Inspired by a Hangon-kon story which is as follows: (My interpretation)

Many years ago during the Han dynasty the Chinese Emperor Wu lost his wife, Lady Li. The Emperor loved her so much that her death consumed him. No matter what he did he could not distract himself. So one day he told his servants to obtain some of the Spirit-Recalling-Incense so that he might call her back from the dead. His advisors tried to dissuade him as they felt doing so would only feed his obsession. But being the Emperor he refused to listen to their advice and proceeded with the ritual burning.

When the time was auspicious the Emperor lite the incense and kept his mind focused on the memory of his beloved Lady Li. After some time passed the Emperor saw the form of his wife forming within the blue smoke of the incense. At first it was quite faint but slowly the apparition started to assume human form and become a living person. The Emperor watched his wife grow more beautiful and alive with each passing moment. At first the Emperor whispered to the image afraid that it would fade, but quickly grew more bold and soon was calling, pleading with the image to speak to him. Finally unable to control himself he reached out to touch the image but as soon as he touched the smoke the Lady Li vanished forever.

Sources:
Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn
I lost the link to image but is was Japan wiki

Spiritual materialism

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Originally posted on 40 Oz of Bad Karma:

The controversial Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa called this “spiritual materialism”. In his book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism he stated that:

“Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which lead to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism.”

Now, I have already talked a bit on the relationship between Buddhism and other faiths. It is also well known that the Buddha taught everyone, regardless of caste, race, gender, etc. The Dharma places a higher value on a person’s ethic and virtue rather than what family or caste one was born into. Buddha stated in the Vasala Sutta that, “not by birth is one an outcast; not…

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All guests welcome

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fiercebuddhist:

Excellent advice on mindfulness

Originally posted on Inspire 'til You Expire:

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house,

empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

Because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi, The Guest House 

Our minds are like a complex compound occupied with transient guests coming and going. All guests have varying intentions with various triggers with which they unpack into our psyche. As they come and go, shifting through the halls of our mind weaving feelings of love and fear, it is our choice if we are vacant or…

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Living in the Present Moment

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Living in the Present Moment

When one is attempting to live the Dharma it is important to remember to live in the moment and be mindful. Most people, me included, find this difficult. My wife and I were discussing the below quote from Lao Tzu and she said that until now it she had never really felt it. I understand what she meant. It is easy to look at the words and have enough intelligence and education to intellectually comprehend what they mean. But, actually understanding the words and taking them to heart is another matter. I challenge you my dear reader to contemplate these words and to try and live them this weekend. I will be using them as my focus during meditation as well as trying to live by them. I look forward to hearing how you did and any thoughts you may have on this exercise.

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Buddhist stages of awakening

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fiercebuddhist:

Buddhist stages of awakening.

Originally posted on 40 Oz of Bad Karma:

Bodhi, buddhi, and Buddha all come from the verbal root of buddh which literally means to be awake, become aware, to notice, to know or understand, etc. Buddhi refers to intelligence or the intellect, and bodhi is awakening, knowing, or enlightenment. Bodhi is attained when the Four Noble Truths are fully grasped, and all karma has reached cessation. According to Mahayana sutras, if a person does not aim for bodhi, one lives one’s life like a preoccupied child playing with toys in a house that is burning to the ground. With bodhi, one may realize Nirvana.

In order to “wake up”, we have to stay mindful. It is with this mindfulness that we keep the mind grounded in the present moment for the purpose of awakening. The desire for awakening is not such a bad thing, because it is a desire which brings about the cessation of dukkha (stress…

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