Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hide and seek

Today’s lessons:

In this divine game of hide-and-seek
stop pretending
there is any place to hide.


Don’t say
that the deepest meaning
comes only from one’s mouth

Day and night
eighty thousand poems
arise one after the other
and in fact
not a single word
has ever been spoken

—Muso Soseki (1275 – 1351)

Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.

Chief Dan George

“To give your sheep and cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control them,” writes Shunryū Suzuki. I’d been looking for his exact wording as I faced my habitual compulsion of wanting to control the ways in which others act and think. And never mind others; as daily meditation reminds me, even my own mind defies control.

And still I try and come up short. Instead of making people (and opinions) small enough to fit my tidy box of preferences, Suzuki tells us to make the enclosure larger and larger. With boundaries expanded, the thing has room to move, to stretch, to grow, and be itself. In the process, O Miracle, the compulsion to control diminishes. “The best way to control people,” Suzuki writes, “is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in the wider sense.”

source: Suzuki, S. (2006, new edition). Zen mind, beginner’s mind. Boston, Shambhala, p. 19.

Today's Lessons

Get up and do something first thing in the day.

Be active.

Be motivated by love.

Don’t be silent anymore.

Simplify life — remove whatever and whoever does not inspire, inform, add personal value and friendship, or provide a needed service

Clean it up, and make it easy to keep clean.

There will always be more things to learn and do as the day progresses, but you have to start somewhere.