A Note to my Friends

Sometimes it seems to me that what we call "Zen" is like a headstrong child, a bit rough & severe with the littler children, striking proud attitudes of total independence & freedom, but still living like a beggar in his mother's house. The Mother is the all-embracing Tao. She smiles when she sees him misbehaving; he resembles his father.

Truly, it makes little sense to argue about Buddhism or anything else. Arguing a point or debating an interpretation adds nothing to the experience. Put a tea bowl on your head & balance it there all day. Go out into the burning sunlight & try to leap over your own shadow. There are plenty of harmless & amusing games to try out in life.

"Bamboo of the South, Wood of the North." Playing the reed wrapped flute in barbarian lands, knee-deep in fresh snow. A bullfrog leaps into the dark pond -- plop! The ripples spread out in circles but soon the pond is smooth again, reflecting the cloudy moon. 

I find that when I think, plan, scheme, resolve, strategize, & struggle, I experience mental (sometimes physical) pain. The suffering is intense. The remorse is deep as an abyss under the ocean, the longing vast as Asia. But when I enter the enlightened state, the pain magically eases. The stiffness leaves my shoulders. Sweat drops are pleasantly cold. (Welcome! Everybody is welcome.)

Once upon a time I jumped into Satori like a bullfrog -- splash! (Mizu No Oto.) The sky opened. The god & demon masks were torn from the walls. The sword flashed like a sun. These days I slip into it without a sound, & drift around aimlessly like a clump of rotting weeds in an autumn marsh, or like cherry blossoms on the spring breeze. (Take your pick!) Why not join me?

You can help me to build the Shibumi Tea Room by buying one or more of my books. (To the right.)

"This whole universe is the hair of a horse." (Master Han Shan) Well, then! Get up on that horse, take the wild bristling mane in your hands, & ride! Ride like the motherfucking wind!

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