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Life is like, watching trees grow

you can never see yourself rise

dancing in the wind at the moment

 results bloom when years die

Art (2013)


I had been playing with the thought, “Watching trees grow” after I was sitting in contemplation on the river, doing nothing at all. When I realized, I am doing something, even if it is just sitting, or watching trees grow.


Art (2011)

on so
a Grasshopper goes
to leap from where it stands

there is no guarantee
where it will be
when it finally lands

it knows not
that death exists
yet jumps to be safe

and rides the wind
to destiny’s whim
in a leap of faith

(I have been very busy lately, but as you see, I never stop seeking zen in life)


a tree limb lay

like thoughts fallen yesterday

art (2009)


have a zen filled day


One of my favorite / used quotes is… “It is what it is.” Expectations lead to disapointments, I have a house full of kids who are always wishing it was a certain way other than what it is. The little story below fits with what would happen if things were the way we wished they were.


An old poem describes a woman walking through a meadow, meditating on nature. While strolling about, she came upon a field of golden pumpkins. In the corner of the field stood a majestic, huge oak tree. She sat under the oak tree musing on the strange twists in nature which put tiny acorns on huge branches and huge pumpkins on tiny vines. She thought to herself, “God blundered with Creation! He should have put the small acorns on the tiny vines and the large pumpkins on the huge branches.” Nodding off, the woman stretched out under the oak tree for a nap. A few minutes after falling asleep she was awakened by a tiny acorn bouncing off her nose. Chuckling to herself, she rubbed her nose and thought, “Maybe God was right after all!”


have a zen filled day


A great sculptor was out and about searching for a stone that he could work on for his next sculpture. When he found one suitable to his liking he dragged it home and began working on it. Chipping away at it, sanding it smoothly and after several months he was finished.

Any and everyone who gazed upon this sculpting would say, “You have created a masterpiece.”

The sculptor would merely say, “I simply chipped away the pieces, the sculpture was already there.


Sculpting the mind

by Art~


All my life

I have chipped away pieces of me

like days

never to retrieve them again


sanding the rough edges

smoothing out a soothing feel

to that which I am liking


The pedestal I place my self upon is short

for “the farther a man’s feet are from the earth

the farther he is from himself”


chiseling perfection

only to hide the scars

where I have been hammered wrongfully

either by my own ignorance or from another’s


I marvel at marble memories

and the constant change in me,

daily I am chipping away at the pieces of me while

Sculpting my mind


food for thought

Perhaps the most famous statue in the world is the statue of David by Michelangelo.

In 1501 Michelangelo was commissioned to create the statue of David. He broke away from the traditional carvings of David who had slain Goliath, that was generally depicted with a severed head or wielding a sword with intense expressions. Instead, Michelangelo created a simple and elegant statue that empowers the idea of a youth with stature and grace.

I see it as a symbol, that the smallest of men can over come the greatest of obstacles. The infamous story of David and Goliath alone tells the tale of what a man can accomplish with courage. I see David as one whom remained humble after his name became famous across the land after his victory.

(a situation I was recently faced with, two goliaths… I think I know how David felt)


life is not about finding yourself

life is about creating (sculpting) yourself 

Once upon a time, there was a seed and because it was only a seed, nobody cared to notice it. Thus, gripped by a sense of inferiority, the seed gave no importance to its existence.

Then one day, a wind picked him up – randomly or otherwise it didn’t know – and threw it mercilessly on an open field under the sweltering sun. He was confused. Why would anything do such a thing? But instead of any copasetic answers, it was provided with rain (in addition to sunlight); sometimes in drizzles and sometimes in torrents.

Meanwhile time flew and years later it saw a traveler sitting by his side. “Thank you God for this. I really needed some rest,” he heard the traveler say.

“What are you talking about?” The seed promptly asked. He thought the man was making fun of him. Sure, he had witnessed many people sitting by his side – more so in recent years – but no one ever spoke to him like that.

“Who is this?” The man was startled.

“This is me. The seed.”

“The seed?” The man looked at the giant tree. “Are you kidding me? You are no seed. You are a tree. A goliath of a tree!”


“Yes! Why else do you think people come here?”

“What do they come here for anyways?” Asked the seed.

“To feel your shade! Don’t tell me you didn’t know you had grown over time.”

A moment passed before the traveler’s words struck the chord of realization within him.

The seed, now a prolix tree, thought and smiled for the first time in his life. The years of relentless tortures by the sun and the rain finally made sense to him.

Author: Novoneel Chakraborty


moral: sometimes we never see what we have grown into. Time does fly and we think of ourselves as we have always been while others are able to see what we have grown to become, sometimes this is good and sometimes not.


Sawing thoughts …by Art~

to build with timber
one must cut wood
sawing for moments
while one stood

a thought see-saw
across my mind
of yesterdays
tasteful as aged wine

to read the grain
predicting the bow
for cutting the wood
releases tension grown

the push and pull
that life casts
like the surf
that comes in laps

To push a blade
with firm hand
minutes of labor
in working strands

Images of you
basking on a bed
sensually wanting
me in my head

a driving force
of pulling hard
back and forth
boards are scar’s

like our salty life
on sweet sugar days
the memories
linger then they fade

standing firm
a strong footed stance
just man and wood
doing a saw dust dance

soft moments
come flooding back
embedded in the grain
of our lives and tracks

hard wood or soft
it makes a difference
sandpaper smooth
becomes entranced

we shared our lives
back and forth
perhaps that’s why
I still carry the torch

drawing a line
placing the saw
cutting wood
that’s all

by Art~


may you build a better day, today



I am almost certain that this is not a statue of Jabba The Hut, though the resemblance is uncanny. I am almost certain that it is a statue of Daruma, the Japanese name given to the Bodhidharma, known as the founder of Zen.

Bodhidharma is believed to have been an Indian monk who took new Buddhist teaching to China where it became known as Ch’an. When Japan appropriated Ch’an they called it Zen.


Daruma dolls are found all over Japan. They have no arms or legs as the Bodhidarma spent so many years in ascetic meditation that his limbs dropped off through lack of use.

Daruma dolls are usually sold without eyes. They are used to help achieve your goals. After purchasing one a single eye is painted in as you set your self a goal. When you achieve your goal you paint in the second eye.

this story and other interesting information on Japan

More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan



Here is a poem I wrote about turtles that I should have pasted with yesterdays post but here is the link…

Turtle Time

may all your wishes come true


Zen’s dying…

A famous zen master was lying on his death bed. A line of people trailed out the door and across the zen garden of those who had come to pay their respects to the master before he passed. They had come from all over to see the great zen master one last time.

The zen master’s student, Ryon, was also in this long line to see his master for what was permited, ten minutes for each patron to allow time for every one to visit with the zen master.

As Ryon entered the zen master’s room, the master graciously welcomed his student. The student stood next to the zen master’s bed, silent. Tears rolled down his cheek as he could see that the life was evaporating from his beloved teacher.

“I know not what to say master. You will no longer be with this world and I can not seem to find any words worthy.” The student sniffled.

“You need not say anything,” the zen master mumbled. “Your being here is enough. I however have a request.”

“Anything master,” the student stated. “Your wish is my command.”

“I will soon die…” the master began. “Do not let zen die.”

“I shall see that your teachings grow like the flowers in a field.” The student said. With this the zen master smiled.

“Of all the words I have heard spoken today, those were the most comforting.” The zen master stated. The abbott ushered the next visitor into the room as the student bowed to his teacher who lay withering and yet smiling.

by Art~ 2012            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you had ten minutes to spend with a loved one who was dying, what would you do or say?

This story evolved from the task I had on my friday at work!

Don’t wait until it is too late to tell some one how much you love them and how much you care. For when they are gone, no matter how loud you shout and cry they won’t hear you anymore!


…as one Zen master laughed on his death-bed: “All this time I’ve been selling water by the river!”

This famous Zen saying says it all about the quandary of the spiritual dilemma. What we seek… is what is seeking, our own self. And since what is seeking is already here, in other words, you are already here, then what we are seeking is already here as well!  But, alas, many of us don’t realize this, don’t know this. And therefore we seek, we search.

The Zen Master says, “but, but… the River, your own self, is already always here!”

“Free Water really…. religion is like, selling water by the river!”


A contemporary zen master lay dying on his death bed. His monks had all gathered around his bed, from the most senior to the most novice monk. The senior monk leaned over to ask the dying master if he had any final words of advice for his monks.

The old master slowly opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered. “Tell them Truth is like a river.” The senior monk passed this bit of wisdom in turn to the monk next to him, and it circulated around the room. When the words reached the youngest monk he asked, “What does he mean.’Truth is like a river’?”

The question was passed back around the room to the senior monk who leaned over the bed and asked, “Master, what do you mean, ‘Truth is like a river’?”

Slowly the master opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered, “O.K., truth is not like a river.”


Traditionally a Zen Master would write a poem when about to die. The poem served as a summation of life and a gift to inspire his disciples.

Coming and going, life and death;
A thousand hamlets, a million houses.
Dont you get the point?
Moon is the water, blossom in the sky….

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going –
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

Senryu, died June 2, 1827

Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish.

Shinsui, died September 9, 1769, at 49

Now it reveals its hidden side
and now the other—thus it falls,
an autumn leaf

Ryokan 1758-1831

One Zen master, Takuan, was on his deathbed.
He asked for some paper and his calligraphic
brush. It has been a long-standing tradition in the
world of Zen that masters when departing from
life give their last statement, written. Takuan
wrote on the paper a Japanese word which
means dream. He laughed, closed his eyes, the
brush dropped from his hand…

During his last moment, Shisui’s followers requested that he write a death poem. He grasped his brush, painted a circle, cast the brush aside, and died. The circle is one of the most important symbols of Zen Buddhism. It indicates void — the essence of all things — and enlightenment.

 (When I first started posting on this blog I placed a lot of what I would call the best of my collection and yet back then not very many read these stories. SO, I will post some of these stories as they become relative.)

another zendictive post (related story)

Butter and Stones

death is a journey we all must experience at the end of our travels through life!


 may you live as if there were no tomorrow


Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
When you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say “hi”?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before the song is over.

You Better Slow Down … Author: Unknown


I loved this line…

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

and to the readers….

have a day in the present


The Hug!

It’s wonderous what a hug can do.

A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.

A hug can say, “I love you so,”

Or, “Gee, I hate to see you go.”

A hug is, “Welcome back again.”

And, “Great to see you! Where’ve you been?”

A hug can soothe a small childs pain,

and bring a rainbow after rain.

The hug! There’s just no doubt about it-

we scarcely could survive without it!

A hug delights and warms and charms.

It must be why God gave us arms.

A hug can break the language barrier,

and make your travels so much merrier.

No need to fret about your store of ’em,

the more you give, the more there’s more of ’em.

So stretch those arms without delay

and give someone a hug today!

-Author Unknown-


with the holiday season in full swing, I thought this poem was great because the one thing that seems to be given out a lot during this time of year is… hugs.


The strength of a man isn’t seen in the width of his shoulders.
It’s seen in the width of his arms that circle you.

The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice.
It’s in the gentle words he whispers.

The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has.
It’s how good a buddy he is with his kids.

The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work.
It’s in how respected he is at home.

The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits.
It’s in how tender he touches.

The strength of a man isn’t in the hair on his chest.
It’s in his Heart…that lies within his chest.

The strength of a man isn’t how many women he’s loved.
It’s in how he can be true to one woman.

The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift.
It’s in the burdens he can carry

The Strength of a Man

Author: Unknown


the strength of the heart

is the measurement that sets men apart

may you find the strength to make it through your day happily


I have in my hands two boxes which God gave me to hold
He said, “Put all your sorrows in the black, And all your joys in the gold.”

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I stored
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before
With curiosity, I opened the black I wanted to find out why
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
“I wonder where my sorrows could be.”
He smiled a gentle smile at me.”
“My child, they’re all here with me.”

I asked, “God, why give me the boxes,
Why the gold, and the black with the hole?”
“My child, the gold is for you to count your
blessings, The black is for you to let go.”

Two Boxes
Author: Unknown


releasing of sorrows

brings the feeling of joy

have a joyous day


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Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day