no name nown…

From the 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz…

Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says
To the Earth,
“You Owe Me.”
Look
What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the
Whole
Sky.

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tundra trudging

Winds and snow and bitter chill outside
pull the hood tight, find a shelter and light a twig

Peeking out, the wind squalls, inhale deep
change course and double back, wind behind

Duck into another doorway, this one says Come In
finish another drag, discard before entry

Turn the knob, creaky door blows open
enter, turn, push it closed behind.

A room full of souls gather round
a fire warming faces talking, shouting, singing

Approached once, left side touched
offers of service, food or drink all declined

Saying warmth is needed, wonder of hearth
sitting huddled a cup appears, warm tidings within

Smile appreciation and acceptance of freely given
now heated inside and out, settle a moment more

Rising, looking round, smile and nod
exit door in the wall and proceed to arctic again

Wind and snow and bitted chill outside
pull the hood tight, find a shelter and light a twig…

the monkey and the engineer

Breath…

Inhale, Release, Exhale, Don’t Pause

Inhale…slowly…wait for it.  Do not consciously start to exhale…just observe.

Chances are you are exhaling before you notice that your are…OK…now you are exhaling…go with it…slowly…don’t force it, let it happen…exhale…concentrate
…wait…now, watch for the inhale…continue, breath…just breath…that is all.

We breath every day but 99.9% of the time we are unaware of this action.  The object of meditation or Zen, or mindfulness for that matter, is to be aware.  Don’t let the autopilot take over, don’t let the Monkey Mind drown it out, be there. It’s amazing how something so easy and common, that happens all of the time, can be so hard.

Don’t think so?  Go ahead and try it, even just for a short time.  I bet you have trouble.  Breath naturally, don’t control the breaths, count them; ‘1’…’2’…’3’…  If you can get to 10 without your mind focusing on some thought other than your breath, you get a gold star.  There are times I cannot make it to breath number 2.

Now, imagine being totally focused on your breath for 1 minute, which is about 30 breaths or so.  In the context of not making it to the count of 2, this is an achievement.  How about a real challenge, try 5 minutes (150 breaths) now.  Maybe eventually move on to 20 minutes (600 breaths) or an hour (1800 breaths).  How out of reach does that goal seem in the presence of not being able to reach breath number 3? 

I doubt even the Zen masters can go 1800 breaths without their minds wandering, but they never do lose their focus.  The Monkey may distract and jump around, but as long as he is acknowledge and released, without focus, the breath remains.  Maintaining focus for an hour, oh what clarity that could be.

The ability to focus on an object for 1 hour…I can only imagine