Aquarius Dawning

On this day in 1967 the Summer of Love began with a Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park.

I was just throwing myself into serious Zen practice, somewhere in the neighborhood of this date moving into a house across from the Berkeley Zendo, but still two years from joining with Jiyu Kennett and ordaining.

Such hopes for the transformation of the world.

As it turns out things didn’t go the way I thought they might.

For some addiction. Others early death. We were in a war. We’re now in wars. There is a chance the world is dying.

Such hurt and sadness.

And, then, also, moments of such wonder.




All in all, I feel, worth the price of admission.

And, closer to the end than to the beginning, mostly it is gratitude that fills my heart…

Here’s to every generation’s dawning,

every heart’s longing,

And that moment of hope

We each find

In new beginnings…

  • Bob

    “Except for deserted wilderness what is there to protect?”


    The war is over — nobody survived. No time to mourn the dead, sunrise over the settling dust was too captivating for any lament.

    Crimson trails of mind’s lingering exhaust scar-streaked dawn’s early sky, as if the dream of night itself exploded, as if from now on there would be flooding daylight only, though even that wild wonder will fall in time from the eyes, till what remains is not of time, not of mind, yet even in its flash of vanishing — true balm for wounded hearts.

    We wake and rise and fall breathless into this luminosity, this sky meadow vibrant with vernal signs, hues, and vivid budding wonders — the ordinary evidence of everything changing, even as we ourselves are changed beyond all expectation.

    Something unspeakable, unimaginable, falls deeper into the serene still presence of itself, no longer fixed in desperate conflict with itself, just drifting aimlessly over a killing floor where nobody survives, nobody lingers to tell brave tales of some imagined victory.

    Yes, fight on Arjuna! Do your best!

    We’ll be down in Krishna’s Kitchen, cooking everybody lunch.

    Today’s ala carte menu will be hand-lettered in a spicy calligraphy of love’s rocket-red glare, with combustible garnish: heads flaming in air.

    Each crispy ash-head will eventually reincarnate as a kind of moon, orbiting its own promised world, drifting in a space we all once hoped would be the case when peace ruled every planet, and love outshone the stars.

  • Robert

    As someone who was a teenager and then in my early 20′s in the 90s and early 2000s it’s hard to imagine what it was like in that time. I don’t think I was ever as hopeful or idealistic as so many seem to have been then. We protested our war, but we never believed we’d win, that we could win. We certainly never thought we could change history, or humanity.

  • Cushing

    The idealism of that time was wonderful, but it needs to be acknowledged that it was also mixed in with a great deal of narcissism and just plain selfishness.
    And regarding the possibility that the world may be dying, while we must hasten to do whatever we can to avert or at least minimize the suffering and the damage that humans are causing in the world right now, I think it’s important as a matter of truth and of perspective to keep in mind that “the world” is going to be okay no matter what we do – as good or as bad as we humans may cause things to become, the Anthropocene Epoch will pass in a geological flash, and the earth with its amazing capacity for self-renewal will then proceed in relatively short order to devour and obliterate all but a few random scraps of our brief tenure. So we are free in the present to do all that we possibly can do to address the current pickle we are in, simply because that’s what we want to do, liberated from both the distracting delusions of ultimate victory and the immobilizing fears of ultimate failure.