Category Archives: traveling

No strings attached

Life, as far as we understand it, is the exception in the universe that we know. Last Sesshin this was probably the most crucial sentence for me I got to hear from the teachers mouth. Taking the generally excepted definition for ‘life’, most of the universe we know is empty and otherwise it is dead. Continue reading


What is time?

SunsetWithout being aware of time many of the walks I make with my dog are longer than an hour. It just happens. Just this evening I was going for a short round when daylight disappeared. Almost 2 hours after leaving home, we returned. Walking way over 100km a week, no wonder I’m losing weight.

Yesterday evening I saw a badger, much to my surprise. Today I saw an adder. Saw that earlier too. Small deer and rabbits are everywhere as are many beetles and other insects. With that abundance of life around me and in me, how could I know time passing from being?

After all, what is time?

 
煩惱無盡誓願斷
Bonno mu jin sei gan dan
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to put an end to them.

Feet going where?

Fooling myself. I’m fooling myself if I keep saying that I’m not angry, not disappointed, that I don’t feel grief, don’t feel sadness, not feel deeply hurt and am in a lot of pain and lost a lot of my self confidence.

Fooling myself. I’m fooling myself if I don’t acknowledge the feeling of being misled, abused, maltreated.

 

There is only one thing I want in life for myself at this moment: a thorough Zen training in a Zen Monastery. I want to be an 雲水 ?.
I gave up all I had. A house, a job, a pension plan, three cats I madly loved, most of my stuff, a way of living. All my safety and security for the moment and the future. All gone.

And I left home and I set myself up in a new and strange environment to start my training.

I left home.

 

And since then I’m lost. I find myself in a world that doesn’t work for me anymore and I don’t know how to fit in. Never got to be an 雲水. Didn’t even come close. There is no flowing, no drifting. Just being lost. I don’t know where my feet are supposed to carry me anymore.

I’d rather have blisters.

佛道無上誓願成
Butsu do mu jo sei gan do
The Buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to attain it.

Zen light

In between houses. In between jobs. Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands support my talk.

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Meeting a Bodhisattva – Haiku #2-3

Yesterday evening I traveled from Eindhoven to Steenwijk by train. It’s a trip of about two and a half hours. As soon as the train passed Amersfoort, it became more quiet. Both inside the train and outside.

In the train a young woman was watching something on her laptop. Her ears covered in headphones. We were sitting in the part of the train where people work and read in silence. All you hear is rustling papers and the tickatytock of laptop keyboards.

And then she laughs. First a giggle. Then she erupts in laughter and fills the peoples hearts and minds.

At that very moment I look outside tot the West and see what there is.

The horizon blazes
Reveals all the grand colors
Between light and nothing*)

Most people smile with the laughing girl. The sunset paints the whole of the train and the travelers pink and purple.

Young moonThe purple deepens and in the East it is dark. The girl again laughs and giggles.

It takes a while to reach Zwolle. Both East and West have turned dark now. The girl gets off the train.

Form vanishes into nothing
The moon puts up its horns
Another freed ox**)


*)Originally:
De horizon vlamt
Onthult groots alle kleuren
Tussen licht en niets

**)Original:
Vorm verdwijnt in niets
De maan steekt haar horens op
Weer een os bevrijd