Aug 29, 2008

I only observe

Omou koto
nakute mimashiya
to bakari ni
nochi no koyohi zo
tsuki ni nakinuru

Without a thought,
for a while, I only
but later this evening
I will shed tears under
the moon.

Rai Shizuko , or Baishi (1760-1842)

print by Terukata Gyokudo

Poem and image taken from one of my favorite blogs, precious Japonisme.

Aug 26, 2008

working meditation

Laundry anguish:
I cannot wash
off the suffering
Our hearts

(A dirty linen
I cannot wash
your heart
so I'll try mine)

Aug 23, 2008

before i go out again

Now that i have entered
this holy place
i must use the sacred medicine
to enlighten my spirit
before i go out again.

taken from Fragrance of Tea Flower, by Sr. Dang Nghiem (December 12, 2005). If you'd like to read more, please refer to:

Photo ©Deer Park Monastery

Aug 18, 2008


Petals drop
thoughts and tears

(Plum Village, Summer 2008)

Aug 17, 2008

no trace

When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

Shunryu Suzuki

Photo: paper lanterns, Plum Village, Summer retreat 2006 ©Denise Kato

Aug 8, 2008

quietly there

PWM: "You will be 80 this year. Do you plan to retire as a spiritual teacher at any point?”

TNH: In Buddhism we see that teaching is done not only by talking, but also by living your own life. Your life is the teaching, is the message. And since I continue to sit, to walk, to eat, to interact with the Sangha and the people, I continue to teach, even if I have already encouraged my senior students to begin to replace me in giving Dharma talks. In the last two years, I have asked Dharma teachers, not only in the monastic circle but also in the lay circle, to come up and give Dharma talks. Many of them have given wonderful Dharma talks. Some Dharma talks have been better than mine. I see myself in my continuation, and I will not retire. I’ll continue to teach, if not by Dharma talks then in my way of sitting, eating, smiling, and interacting with the Sangha. I like to be with the Sangha. Even if I don’t give a Dharma talk, I like to join walking meditation, sitting meditation, eating in mindfulness and so on. So don’t worry. When people are exposed to the practice, they are inspired. You don’t need to talk in order to teach. You need to live your life mindfully and deeply. Thank you.

An answer of Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh to Questions from Publishers Weekly Magazine, 2006

if you'd like to learn more about zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (pictured above), please refer to:

Aug 6, 2008


The leaf tips bend
under the weight of dew.
Fruits are ripening
in Earth's early morning.
Daffodils light up in the sun.
The curtain of cloud at the gateway
of the garden path begins to shift:
have pity for childhood,
the way of illusion.

Late at night,
the candle gutters.
In some distant desert,
a flower opens.
And somewhere else,
a cold aster
that never knew a cassava patch
or gardens of areca palms,
never knew the joy of life,
at that instant disappears-
man's eternal yearning.

Thich Nhat Hanh

to read more poems by Thich Nhat Hanh please refer to: