The Blessing

Poetry week continues with some old favorites. These aren't overtly "dharma" poems but lovely and haunting verses by a gnarly local poet, James Wright, pictured above. Pine Island is very near where I grew up. I have lived the moment Wright describes. Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the … [Read more...]


It's dharma poetry week at the wild fox blog. Here's one from Jane Hirschfield(who has quite a wonderful blog, "My Inner Edge," that I've been enjoying tonight):Think of those Chinese monks' tales:years of strugglingin the zendo, then the clink,while sweeping up, of stone on stone . . .It's Emily's wisdom: Truth in Circuit lies.Or see Grant's Common Birds and How To Know Them(New York: Scribner's, 1901)"The approach must be by detour,advantage taken of rock, tree, mound, and brush,but if without … [Read more...]

How and Why You Should Be Circumspect about Your Inner Life

Try notto look like you're on a path to somewhere.That waynobody will ask youwhere you are going.- David Budbill fromMoment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse … [Read more...]

Bob Dylan : Highlands (live 1999) … [Read more...]

Form is Form

Windows were shakin’All night in my dreamEverything was exactlyThe way that it seemed.- Bob Dylan, “Highlands”Question: The other day I was reading Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind … in it Suzuki-roshi says: (I’ll condense it & paraphrase) form is emptiness and emptiness is form…. Then further down he says…”fortunately” our teaching goes on to say form is form and emptiness is emptiness: Here there is no dualism.Most people talk about form is emptiness…emptiness is form…but, I have never heard anyone … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Comments: What is the Self?

This post continues working with the fire boy koan that’s been hot these past several days around Transforming Through Play.  This koan is long and rich so that it collapses the whole spiritual journey into a moment – setting out on the road, an unrequited opportunity, years spent wandering that turn out to have been the straightest path, and finally, resolution. Dogen uses this koan to make three points: 1. Getting stuck in an idea of the buddhadharma (like “mind itself is Buddha” or the contemp … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Seeks Fire

This post continues the thread from the previous post with a reflection on the fire boy koan. See below for the koan although I'll be first offering you Dogen's set up for this koan from his Extensive Record, #15.Let's get right into the old boy's words (in italics) and mine (in plain font):The seed of buddhas arises from conditions, buddha dharma arises from the outset.  Buddhas too immersed and leaping in the muck of life - kids to drive around, a job to do, bills to pay. The conditions are no … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Seeks Fire

My twelve-year old son, dog Bodhi, and I just got back from sledding at the big hill in the woods. Incredible almost-full moon lit the hill, the path back, and the tracks of a wild fox that had passed through very recently. Sledding with my son and dog is a contact sport with the three of us usually winding up in a pile somewhere in the weeds along the hillside. At one point my son flew off his sled and his head was so completely buried in the snow that he appeared to have lost it. A wonderful … [Read more...]

The Sun in Drag

Here's a poem by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master.You are the Sun in drag.You are God hiding from yourself.Remove all the ‘mine’ – that is the veil.Why ever worry about anything?Listen to what your friend HafizKnows for certain:The appearance of this worldIs a Magi’s brilliant trick, though its affairs areNothing into nothing.You are a divine elephant with amnesiaTrying to live in an antHole.Sweetheart, O sweetheartYou are God in Drag!-- Hafiz … [Read more...]