Gasan instructed his adherents one day: “Those who speak against killing and who desire to spare the lives of all conscious beings are right. It is good to protect even animals and insects. But what about those persons who kill time, what about those who are destroying wealth, and those who destroy political economy? We should not overlook them. Furthermore, what of the one who preaches without enlightenment? He is killing Zen.”


random thoughts from Art~

zen is like electricity, you can’t see it but it can light your way. All you have to do is switch it on, and if you choose to turn it off, it is still available to you. What’s even better… you don’t have to pay for it.

Walking down a street at night, above is a light bulb that illuminates and shines, enlightening your path. You are the bulb and zen is the electricity. With-out the electricity, the bulb still exists, but it is not enlightened.

Then there is the television, (my father use to call it the idiot box). On our vacation, the trip was a five hour drive so the kids got a little restless and they blabbered what was basically ‘in their minds’ with nervous energy. I was amazed, that ‘lil sunshine’ sang so many songs that she had gotten from commercials on television. The fact that she sang was a good sign that her soul was at peace, rather than mumble sarcasm and bitter unhappiness.

The mind is like a sponge, and it absorbs what you put into it. Literally, you are what you surround yourself with. With this thought, I pledge to spend more time than I already do, searching for enlightenment, embracing zen and allowing my ‘mind/life’ to be balanced with peace, harmony and energy with activities. For what I allow to be put into my life will become…  my life.

One of the things I have always done to ‘reset’ my mind is; I stop what ever I am doing, look out the window (I live on the river) absorb nature and the sense of reality. My thoughts often reflect on the fact we all live on a planet (like fleas on a dog) and out there in space is the reminder of how small we are and how our time in this universe is like that of a fly. (not very long)

A friend once told me this; Take a softball and toss it in the air, watch it spin and when it comes down, catch it. Imagine that the softball is the planet, when you tossed it, the world began and when you caught it the world end. Now imagine the time you lived on the planet during this time, it is not very long, make the most of it…

I have a garden, and I water it every other day because if I do not the plants will wither and die. The same goes for zen and enlightenment, I must water it every day to keep it healthy and alive. Do not forget to water your zen today!

…have a zen-filled day!



There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all. But there was one exception to this rule. Every ten years, the monks were permitted to speak just two words. After spending his first ten years at the monastery, one monk went to the head monk. “It has been ten years,” said the head monk. “What are the two words you would like to speak?”

“Bed… hard…” said the monk.

“I see,” replied the head monk.

Ten years later, the monk returned to the head monk’s office. “It has been ten more years,” said the head monk. “What are the two words you would like to speak?”

“Food… stinks…” said the monk.

“I see,” replied the head monk.

Yet another ten years passed and the monk once again met with the head monk who asked, “What are your two words now, after these ten years?”

“I… quit!” said the monk.

“Well, I can see why,” replied the head monk. “All you ever do is complain.”



may your day be zen-tastic