Sunday, February 3, 2013

One Continuous Mistake

First, so sorry about my polarizing posts, like the one below, where I speak from emotion and not generosity, tranquility, or anything nice. Katagiri Roshi said you have to say something, but did I have to say it like that? Sometimes I'm rabid. Shitsurei Itashimasu!

Second, I haven't felt like keeping up this blog. How much has been useful, timely, beneficial, true, and an improvement on the silence or the blank page? I don't know. But it's been a couple of years, and I don't feel like quitting, dare I risk the title of dilettante, again.

Third, the fucking honeymoon is over for me and my zen practice. Hard questions have arisen. Kosho and I have parted ways and my ordination is suspended, sort of, in that there is no one who has agreed to ordain me at the moment. Kosho and I parted ways on very satisfactory, very grateful terms, and I miss him very much; I just don't think I'll be going back to the south any time soon. He gave his blessings and said, "see it through." We will keep in touch.

Meanwhile, the farm comes alive. Little cotyledons poke through soil in the green house, cover crop grows tall in the field. We built a low tunnel and tried to get a jump on the season with some lettuce. The skies are clear, the clouds feathered from mountain to sea. You can hear the waves late at night half a mile away (that's no hyperbole!).

Meanwhile, I'm curious, walking with this lack of faith, staying close to my questions, believing no answer. The schedule of the January intensive ground my bones to dust, and I find myself under the weather, morose with enthusiasm for work and Zazen. I've been reading a lot, feeling creative. Lauren, my wife, is amazingly gentle and supportive. She's doing quite well in the kitchen and is only 9 days away from Jukai, a huge step for her.

So with a beginner's mind, with a is-that-so-mind, with an-only-don't-know-mind, I proceed. Sometimes sunfaced, sometimes moonfaced.


  1. It's all very curious, this life, this practice.

  2. Farmer monk -- What advice would you give to someone who came to you with the same concerns you have? I don't mean this in some touchy-feely, yummy-spiritual way ... I mean literally and personally.

    I've had a number of cage-rattling times in practice (you might even say suck-y). And I have not intention of putting some happy-ending period on the sentence. But one thing I have noticed is that each cage-rattling brought with it a more honest and credible grounding ... a kind of cut-the-spiritual-bullshit tenor. Not always pleasant or easy ... and yet lightening some unnoticed load.

    Wishing you the best.


    1. Genkaku,

      I don't give advice.

      Thank you for your wishes.



  3. I shamelessly envy your greenhouse....plunging my fingers into the soil, the dark dead soft loam that is the very womb of somehow steadies me. On my knees, the chaotic spinning slows.

    The world is frozen here, trapped in the ice, I ache for spring.

    One foot, then the other.

  4. I so wish you would had a "gadget" to this page that would let me subscribe by e-mail. Then I wouldn't miss posts. I wonder if my bipolar is a very clear case of alternating sunfaced-moonfaced? Bright, dark.