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coping with loneliness

Since as far as I can remember I have been feeling lonely. I was so lonely that for long periods of my life it was tempting to believe I was an alien…

the contrast of nine years

A couple of days ago I had a day surgery for an infected skin cyst. It was minor but very painful. I couldn’t help but think about another previous skin cyst surgery…

Zen discipline is not a staircase or a means of getting somewhere

Zen discipline is not a staircase or a means of getting somewhere; it is rather about the successive moments of life—of existence itself. It means being fully aware in body and spirit of the fact of your life, and continuing to cultivate and practice the best way to live as a human being. This is the meaning of Dogen’s words, “Dignity is itself the Dharma. Propriety is itself the essence of the house.”

contemplating on how to respond

Trying to publish regularly is a commitment. I used to write every sunday, rain or shine, whether I felt like it or not. Nowadays I’m trying to be easier with myself so…

experiencing life with a bicycle

I bought my first bicycle when I first moved to SF. Everyone there seemed to cycle, and I had grand visions of commuting to work with a bicycle. In the 2-3 years…

a realization of the wonder and sheer beauty of existence

“When before the beauty of a sunset or of a mountain you pause and exclaim, ‘Ah,’ you are participating in divinity.” Such a moment of participation involves a realization of the wonder and sheer beauty of existence. People living in the world of nature experience such moments every day. They live in the recognition of something there that is much greater than the human dimension.

Movement is time, but stillness is eternity.

Movement is time, but stillness is eternity. Realizing how this moment of your life is actually a moment of eternity, and experiencing the eternal aspect of what you’re doing in the temporal experience—this is the mythological experience.

Fear is the first experience of the fetus in the womb

Fear is the first experience of the fetus in the womb. There’s a Czechoslovakian psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, now living in California, who for years treated people with LSD. And he found that some of them re-experienced birth and, in the re-experiencing of birth, the first stage is that of the fetus in the womb, without any sense of “I” or of being. Then shortly before birth the rhythm of the uterus begins, and there’s terror! Fear is the first thing, the thing that says “I.” Then comes the horrific stage of getting born, the difficult passage through the birth canal, and then—my God, light! Can you imagine! Isn’t it amazing that this repeats just what the myth says—that Self said, “I am,” and immediately felt fear? And then when it realized it was alone, it felt desire for another and became two. That is the breaking into the world of light and the pairs of opposites.

Often he discovers that he exists only in response to the demands of others

He discovers how much of his life is guided by what he thinks he should be, not by what he is. Often he discovers that he exists only in response to the demands of others, that he seems to have no self of his own, that he is only trying to think, and feel, and behave in the way that others believe he ought to think, and feel and behave.