Tag Archives: Children

Monkey Mind


clock ticking
as they race by-
monkey mind

New growth


new trees growing
from old stump-
summer camp

The Stick of Buddhism


the stick of Buddhism
teaches a hard lesson-
mental myopia

Today at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago Rev Nakai gave a talk and during this talk she said a phrase. The phrase was “stick of Buddhism” and it hit me, well like a stick.
It reminded of a discussion with my wife about how the path of a Buddhist is not an easy one and it is easy to just settle into complacency and not delve into your own psyche and short comings. I remember reading stories where the Zen Master would hit students with a stick, not to punish them but to jolt them into a new awareness.
So the next time you are stuck try and find a way to jolt yourself out of your mental myopia.

New arrival


family prepares
for new arrival-
first date

Today we are preparing for our daughter Mia’s first date. One requirement we had is that before she date anyone they must meet us. As you can imagine in this day and age this requirement has weeded out many who may have less than honorable intentions.

Last breath


last breath
cicada sings-
present moment

As I approach my surgery date I plan on living each day as mindful as I can up until the anesthesia alters my awareness.
During past surgeries I have memories of talking during the surgery, hearing conversations and even smelling things in the OR. I hope that this time, since I have been meditating more perhaps I can be more lucid and experience new things while my body is repaired. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Shinran’s Pine


butterfly departs–
even Shinran’s pine
seems to know

choo yuku ya shinran matsu mo shitta kao

by Issa, 1818

Shinran founded the Jo^doshinshu^ (True Teaching Pure Land) Buddhist
sect to which Issa belonged. This haiku has the prescript, “Zenko^ji”
(Zenko Temple), the major Pure Land temple in Issa’s home province. At
that temple, Shinran left a gift of a pine tree in a great pot,
centuries ago. Shinji Ogawa notes that Issa is punning in this haiku.
Shinran matsu (“Shinran’s pine”) is close to shiran matsu
(“not-knowing pine”), which contrasts with shitta kao: the “knowing
face” of the butterfly. Thus, Shinji writes, the haiku might be
translated: “butterfly departs/ Shinran’s pine/ acknowledges.” Or:
“butterfly departs/ even the not-knowing pine/ [has a] knowing face.”

Tr, David Lanoue

More about the pine and Saint Shinran

Old friend


old friend
among new ones-
small world

Today while at the International Buddhist festival I ran into my first dharma teacher Dr. Siruban Boonshoo from the Wat Dharam. It was a pleasure and a surprise the see him again.


Smiling faces


smiling faces in
the cars as they pass-
funeral procession

How do we get there?


street vendors
hawk their faux labels-
caveat emptor

When the Siddhartha was born he was simply human. When he reached enlightenment he was STILL human. The title Buddha is a descriptor of a state of being. It contains two aspects: “accomplished one” and “awakened one” they mean that he removed all defilements and attained knowledge.

We all have this “state” within. The question is…

How do we get to that state?

Inner Lighthouse


through the storm
shines the lighthouse-
buddha nature

Ponder for a moment how a sailor lost in a storm feels when they catch a glimpse of the lighthouse beacon shining through the storm guiding them to safety…

Now try and realize that your own Buddha nature is like that beacon within yourself. This too can guide you through your own storms.