Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Present Moment, Horrible Moment: When Mindfulness Becomes Idolatry

There was an opinion piece in last Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment.” Its author, Ruth Whippman, is critical of the modern mindfulness movement and suspicious of the fact that the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment is being promoted as some sort of miraculous cure-all, a remedy for all suffering, and that four billion dollars is said to be spent each year on “mindfulness products.” She’s not the first to regard the phenomenon with suspicion, and she rightly notes that mindfulness as it’s often presented is “a philosophy likely more rewarding for those whose lives contain more privileged moments than grinding, humiliating, or exhausting ones.” I take her point.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Poetry

When grief wakes me up in the morning
I vow with all beings
Not to look away from this painful awakening
And to wish for it to become a seed of kindness.

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Poetry, September 2016

Song of Zazen
In thinking-not-thinking it’s
Suddenly revealed: all the 
heartbreak of the world.
Followed by the arising
Of the urgent need to
Recall to myself the
Names of all the
Thin Man movies,
In chronological 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recent Poetry, July 2106

The Next-Best Thing
Upon seeing through
To your unkindness,
Despair only modestly,
For that seeing-through
Happens to be
The next best thing
To kindness itself.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Burnin' Down the House

A while back I posted a reflection on sex, using as a jumping-off point for the discussion the well-known  Zen koan about  a widow who burns down a monk’s hut.1 The story, basically, goes like this: 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Poetry May 2016

Secrets of Kindness

It’s the light
Of eternity
Shining through
The ephemera
Other acts.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Poetry, February 2016

I Was Stupid
To all who’ve been so good to me
While I so ignorantly sat,
Who offered love so selflessly:
At last I thank you for all that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recent Poetry, January 2016

A Wish for 2016

Happy New Year, one and all!
May your genoise never fall,
May your kitties never cower,
May your bamboo never flower
(When it does, you know, it dies),
And may you fully realize
The insubstantiality
Of the line ‘tween you and me,
And may compassion thus result
Quite naturally, so you’ll exult
In every other being’s love.
And may you never lose a glove.