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one should flow through life like a river

being like the sun that warms others

soft as water and yet hard as a stone

poised as a mountain, and yet

fast as the wind that moans


a storm of emotions

delivering our words like a potion

we are all delicate flowers in a field

here merely for the season

absorbed in what we feel


our bodies bound to this earth like a tree

while our minds fly like a bird that is free

and above us all our the stars

the universe’s mystery

of who we really are


…a life…


A Campbell 2014 (~_~)







On one occasion the Master told the story of an old ceramic pot of inestimable price for which he had paid a fortune at a public auction.  The pot had been used for many years by a beggar who ended up his life in misery, totally ignorant of the value of that object with which he had begged.

When the disciple asked the Master what that vessel represented, the Master told him: “Yourself”.

The disciple asked him for an explanation, and the Master proceeded: “You center all your attention in the insignificant knowledge that you acquire through books and from the masters.  It would be better that you focus your attention on the vessel in which you keep it.”


Temple of the mind by Art~2005

A temple is a structure
that houses prayer,
words built from thought
and heart beats shared.

Sweeping spider webs
from the temple’s rooms
inside the mind lays
the tools to broom.

For their is no light
within the skull
only enlightenment,
let no mind dull.

Train the body
sharpen the mind
enrich the spirit,
strong temple signs.

Dust to dust or
an idea is sown
for rust may preceed us
watching new temples grown.

Humble when shaking
the hand of another
your opening the door
of someones sacred temple.


The irony of this post is that I had to put my vessel/temple in the hospital yesterday with 104.5 fever. I am home now but may need a few days to recoup. I had this post in my drafts and it seemed fitting. They said I have pneumonia, don’t know how that happened, they are telling me that I just won’t slow down long enough to heal, guess I’ll have to now~

Strenghten the body, sharpen the mind and enrich the spirit


I was feeling big, and rather strong

in my car and driving home.

When I saw the full moon

peeking through the tall timbered pines

above the road that twist and whined.


It made me feel small and rather meek

a spec on this earth, where I squeak

I bowed to the moon’s ancient smile

like a zen master, it taught me

I am but at the mercy of time.


By Art~


The blissful state reveals itself as a shining light, as a luminescence permeating the still field of the mind. There is a sense of light from an undefined “above,” silence, a fullness of vitality, and deep rest.

In sacred poetry, particularly in Zen poetry, this is often expressed as the full moon in the night sky.

The moon is the individual consciousness that shines only by reflecting the constant light of the sun, which is unbounded awareness. Individual consciousness, like the moon, waxes and wanes, sometimes bright and clear, sometimes dark.

When the moon, consciousness, is full, it is round, whole, complete, perfectly reflecting the light of divine awareness. The full moon is enlightenment. It is Buddha-mind. It is the soft light that illumines the land below when all is at rest.

In yogic poetry, the crescent moon is often associated with the brow chakra or opened “third eye” of spiritual vision. This is why some poetry and Hindu iconography depict gods and saints with a moon on the forehead.

Some Taoist and Buddhist poetry speaks enigmatically of the sun shining within the moon. These poems are referring to the state of full enlightenment when pure awareness (the sun) shines unhindered through the enlightened individual consciousness (the moon).

The full moon reminds us of the ultimate in awareness and spiritual presence. The new moon, in its darkness, can represent the “death” of complete egolessness or encountering the unknowable nature of the Mystery…

Moon (a list of poems with the moon theme)


There is an old zen saying; The finger pointing at the moon, is not the moon.


may your smile be as bright as a full moon


Shania Twain

We live in a greedy little world, 
that teaches every little boy and girl,
to earn as much as they can possibly,
then turn around and spend it foolishly.

We’ve created us a credit card mess.
We spend the money that we don’t possess.
Our religion is to go and blow it all.
So it’s shoppin’ every Sunday at the mall.

All we ever want is more.
A lot more than we had before.
So take me to the nearest store.
Can you hear it ring.
It makes you wanna sing.
It’s such a beautiful thing – Ka-ching! 
Lots of diamond rings.
The happiness it brings.
You’ll live like a king,
with lots of money and things.

When you’re broke go and get a loan.
Take out another mortgage on your home.
Consolidate so you can afford,
to go and spend some more when you get bored.

All we ever want is more.
A lot more than we had before.
So take me to the nearest store  

Let’s swing!
Dig deeper in your pocket.
Oh, yeah, Come on I know you’ve got it.
Dig deeper in your wallet.

Oh, All we ever want is more.
A lot more than we had before.
So take me to the nearest store  

Can you hear it ring.
It makes you wanna sing.
You’ll live like a king,
with lots of money and things.



poetry source: path to enlightenment (sung by: Shania Twain)


The simple life (a zendictive comment)… I remember when rice and beans with tortillas was the main meal. Saving pennies in a jar was a daily enjoyment. I sat the other day waiting on my brother who was in the doctors office and I spotted a penny on the ground.

 At first I thought to pick it up but the hall-way was filled with traffic, people walking. I saw a lady who also saw the penny on the ground and half bent over to pick it up but then decided not to. I then reached into my pocket and pulled out a nickle and waited for the right time and then rolled it towards the penny.

It wasn’t but a few minutes and a man walking by reached down and picked up the nickle. I walked over and picked up the penny. I just paid 4 cents for a valuble lesson. (people are attracted to things that shine)

Art~ (~_~)


may you shine this day


A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.

At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why?

Because deep down we know this one thing. What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

Diane Berke


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Author Unknown
may you preserver this day

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



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



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Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day