Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Three Zen Tuesday

Zen and Your Enemies (Pg. 34)

It’s easy to find zen in a beautiful place.
As I’ve mentioned before, it's all around us.
On the beach, high in the mountains, down in the valley along the majestic river.
Within us and without us, as they say.

Zen is everywhere!

On that we all agree, yes?
But how easy is it to see zen in the face of your enemy?
Or someone who has done you wrong?
Or rather someone who you believe has done you wrong?
(Because you can never be sure
When you’re about to hurl a stone
From the porch of your glass house.)

Guess what?
They’ve got zen too.

Yes, even your enemies.
For as mortals they walk the earth and breathe the air,
Like you do.
And one day,
(Perhaps in this life,
Perhaps in another)
They will achieve understanding.
Like you will.
Until that time, they must endure confusion 
And suffer the pangs of living.
Like you must.

You see?
You have more in common with your enemy than you thought.

Maybe somewhere
At this very minute,
Your enemy is thinking the exact same thing.

Uh oh.
That’s zen at work.

My Zen is Strong But I’m Not Perfect (Pg.35)

My zen is strong but I’m not perfect.
I hope I never said I was.

That sounds pretty stupid.
To brag that you’re perfect
When anybody can tell at a glance that you are not.

Yes, I make mistakes.
So do you I’ll bet.
Everybody does.

That’s why they put erasers on the ends of pencils.

It seems to me that pencils are very zen.
One end marks,
The other erases.
Perfect in their simplicity!

Yes, pencils are very zen.

But erasers are even more so!

The more I erase the better it gets.
Why is that I wonder?
Surely the more the better when it comes to me?
I’m a genius, ain’t I?

But still the more I erase the better it gets.

That is zen at work!

Looks like
I’m going to need a bigger eraser. 

Right-Sized Zen (Pg.37)

I saw a cardinal
Sitting on a fence in the rain
This afternoon as I sipped my tea.

A cardinal, for those of you not from around here,
(And let’s face it,
We’re each of us not from around here in some way)
Is a type of bird that is very very red.
The males are red. 
The females are duller,
They're more of a brown color.
There is a reason for that,
But I can’t remember now what it was.

The cardinal on the fence.
His zen was small, like he was.
It wasn’t big.
But then, it didn’t need to be big,
Because it wasn’t raining very hard.

Zen is like that.
Not too big, not too small.
It’s only as big as it needs to be.
It's just right. 

Have you ever seen it rain in Florida, by the way?
It can really come down in buckets!

How lucky for me
That the cardinal chose that moment to be seen
Sitting on the fence,
When it wasn’t raining very hard.
It was only sprinkling lightly,
Like diamonds falling from the sky.

Zen is like that also.
It is the bird and the raindrop that fell upon the bird.
It is I who stood witness to this miracle.
It is you who hear of it now.

But there is a lesson to be learned here.
And it is this.
Although there is an endless supply of zen in the universe,
You’d better catch it when you can.
Because now it’s pissing down
And the cardinal has flown away.

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