Friday, May 13, 2005

Zen - see what

Suppose I cover my head with my robe and raise my hands in the air. If you see only my hands, you are likely to think there are just two objects. But if I uncover myself, you see that I am also a person, not merely two hands. In the same way, you must realize that to view objects as separated entities is only half the truth. . .

Again, take a circle with a nucleus. Without the nucleus there is no circle, without the circle, no nucleus. You are the nucleus, the circle is the universe. If you exist, the universe exists, and if you disappear, the universe likewise disappears. Everything is related and interdependent. This box on the table has no independent existence. It exists in reference to my eyes, which see it differently from yours and differently again from the next person's. Accordingly, if I were blind, the box would cease to exist for me. . . .

All existence is relative, yet each of us creates his own world, each perceives according to the state of his own mind.


stuck in place

The plastic bottle has spun in place for four days at least. It is trapped in the swirl of water right where it comes out of the pipe that takes it under the road. One would think a slight variation in the volume of flow would be all that is required to send it along on its way. But the surface circle whirlpool keeps holding it in place. Is this our life, everything around us changes and we stay the same in relatively the same place and spin.

Low batteries turns bright pink flowers into low contrast reds and the green leaves go almost yellow. i like the abstract

In a perfect circle in the dirt surrounding a blooming fruit tree, the pink petals form a textured carpet. The gray pale ground fills the spaces between to make the whole thing look like a pink island .

At the school the students have painted a blank concrete wall with themes of nature. Here a ladybug is covering a protruding stone and lifting it from the backdrop blue sky.

The regal bird was haloed in deep perple with a lighter shade surrounding the head. The colours are very pastel and they don't seem to photograph well.

Hidden behind dry dead bushes the bright yellow circle discovers a way to be seen, always like eyes peering out from blackness.

Edged in white a blue eye red with fatigue stands as the last guardian where the wall ends and the world continues on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Zen - blindness

We must not simply be aware but beware, through constant vigilance, of falling in love with conventional conceptions and mundane appearances. Even the exalted terms that point directly, such as Soto Zen or Great Way, can become mere convention, mere stipulation. This is adding gold chains to iron chains. The common terms male and female, for instance, are conventional designations, unrelated to the basic fact of awareness. Self and other, sentient and non-sentient - such correlative terms indicate divisions that do not exist at all for Original Awakeness. If one becomes obsessed with cultural and personal routines of thought and perception, all forms can become blindness, including the beautiful golden Buddha . . . .


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

where do hearts come from

Bleeding hearts I believe she called them. Well that makes sense. Odd these little flowers makes one wonder whether this is where the original symbol for a heart might have come from.

A strange tulip indeed. Not only did it have these neon colours but the edges were fuzzy or something with all these strange white hairs or something.

I went to the wall again but this time I brought Ryder and let hime choose the spots to shoot. For this one he wanted blue and he was most concerned after I took the shot that I didn't get the blue.

I really like this choice of a spot to shoot. The colours are awesome and he really knows what to look for as far as where they were closely joined together so they fit into the frame.

Like alien faces appearing out of blue denim space the arc of the design like a moon rising through the sky.

Like mystery lips remind the purveyor of fine flower forms why balance is an integral part of design.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Zen - student/teacher

Teacher and student are like the bell and its resonance. Student and teacher are like intersecting cords in a fishing net - nodes, not separate strands. When the teacher is ready, the student will appear.


muted tones

They remind me of turkeys or peacocks or some such strutting animal. Unfortunately they are called Pansies, poor things, they do sort of look like limp wrists don't they.

This, according to Ms Official Gardener is an Anemone. Just a different kind, she assures me. It is quite different than those little blue ones I shot before.

See all the round blue circles. Again with the lawnchair discarded by the garbage can we get these straight lines that detract from the actual round objects inside. Yellow threads and blue circles make this a green chair.

I've tried to photograph this sticker on a car window a couple of times. Again I missed it but got an awesome self portrait. My, I'm a good looking camera.

Later I went back and tried again. This time I was able to get the face of the guy. Now I can't remember what his name is. Broomhead?

Very strange. When I was here earlier this connector thingy wasn't there but when I came back it was. It had three colours blue, green and purple and the camera managed to differentiate between them, however, this is the first evidence of weak batteries again, damn

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Zen - Mu

Throughout his long career Chao-chou [778-897] taught in a simple manner with just a few quiet words. It is said that a light seemed to play about his mouth as he spoke. Dagen Kigen, who freely criticized many of his ancestors in the Dharma, could only murmur with awe, "Joshu, the Old Buddha." Forty generations of Zen students and more since his time, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and now people everywhere, have breathed his one word "Mu," evoking the living presence of the Old Buddha himself.

Thus Mu is an arcanum - an ancient word or phrase that successive seekers down through the centuries have focused upon and found to be an opening into spiritual understanding. When you join that stream you have joined hands with countless pilgrims, past, present, future.

In everyday usage the word "Mu" means "does not have" but if that were Chao-chou's entire meaning, there wouldn't be any Zen.


spring colours

Blue ring circles a black hole on a concrete landscape of pockmarked sky. The round and the colour.

Like pastels the pink and orange form an arrow on a concrete girder to direct traffic.

The swirls of red within the yellow flower reveal mother nature to have a sweet candy tooth.

My favourite amongst flowers for the ease with which they can be drawn.

Like a white butterfly against a yellow sky the peeling paint harbors hidden images

Where the yellow rainbow drips from the sky and tiny fairy hides a pot of gold.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Zen - a dam that bursts

When we practice we're cutting deep into our life as we've known it, and the way this process unfolds varies from person to person. For some people, depending on their personal conditioning and history, this process may go smoothly, and the release is slow. For others it comes in waves, enormous emotional waves. It's like a dam that bursts. We fear being flooded and overwhelmed. It's as though we've walled off part of the ocean, and when the dam breaks the water just rejoins that which it truly is; and it's relieved because now it can flow with the currents and the vastness of the ocean.


welcome mat to nowhere

It's like a vortex into forever, the hole in the random stone wall, and at just the right angle, light will shine through. A rather gray and flat scene led to circles and colour.

Shot from above the fill within the frame is a glancing reflection like light off an orange ball slighty textured by wind.

Like a blue wash of paint the brass plate starts to emit the impurities in colour, poised and pure in whatever language the symbol is interpreted something round exists within.

Caught in the pale yellow eye of a spirit creature designated to be the keeper of the fire alive in the oral traditions combined with this symbolic reference.

Looking close within the bubble protrusion on the playground a child crosses the background giggling in red.

Green fluorescent arrows point in the opposite direction of the wheel spin and make glow in the dark hub lights for driving at night.

Marked in stone the mountain leaves us a reminder that colour and purpose is not always evident and it takes years of sediment to build up one line.

Toes touching blue frame of grid patterned squares and rectangles trapping rocks and discarded somewhere in the middle of the street. A welcome mat to nowhere.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Zen - the stink

People who cling to the experience of sprituality are said to have 'the stink of enlightenment'. It's necessary to come back and work in the world.


changing tires in mid flat

Getting around was difficult today with one shoe constantly flopping but I walked tothe Safeway. They are tearing up the street by the school and the traffic is all screwed up and I had to walk around to get to the store. I found the bar laying in the shade there and I knew it would shift with the strange morning light.

The tree has a whole bunch of strange colours. The orange and purple and the lime green with the eerie shapes made by the white fungus. Under shadow too the colours were a nice surprise.

Strange how the silver lock seems to jump out from the background colours in a three dimensional way. The lock is non functional. They tried to keep the back bridge door locked for awhile but the traffic was too much and a vandal continually damaged it until finally they took all the guts out but still haven't painted or fixed the door.

Two red lines, a round red circle and a yellow line. Formed on purpose as some kind of art piece with colour and shapes the final attempt becomes a scrawled punctuation of sunlight.

This is a strange colour and of course the typical maple leaf so indicative of Canada. I love the way it glistens in the sunlight and looks like it is wet. The colour is a very odd brown and nicely skin like.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Zen - Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra, for all the Mahayana traditions, is the "pearl" of literature and wisdom. It is beautifully written - the source of many of the metaphors, similes, and stories that you hear most often in Buddhism. One of the most popular, for example, tells the story of a man who went out drinking with his best friend until quite late one night. His friend, a very rich man, sewed a priceless jewel into the hem of his robe. But the man traveled over the world in poverty because he did not know he had it, just as we have a priceless jewel but are never aware of it.


eyes open

We found this ball on the walk to school. Deflated and useless beside the garbage can, instead of chucking it away we kicked it down the road and chased it together for most of the trip. At one point I dragged the toe of my boot across the ground trying to kick the ball and my shoe ripped apart. Separated sole like a dead shoe still clings to a foot and clops with the thwop of leather and rubber. Too bad, I liked those shoes.

Here where the creek passes under the road and comes out the other side is of course where Ryder likes to sit to listen to the roar. It's a twenty foot drop down to rocks though and it makes me nervous when he sits there. Yesterday we threw in a thick willow stick and it was still there trapped against the side by the power of the whirlpool the water creates when it pours out of there that fast.

On the outside of my home, my shell, a snail slugs along a vertical wall attached by the goo it exudes as it worms along. Circles and colour although the framing leaves a little to be desired it is what it is. It's headed out of frame by the way, that's his ass showing and it's probably leaking shit as we speak!

One finger about to press the round button to reveal the mystery landscape caught in an angled reflection through a car window.

Clouds swirl above and below Pulpit, timeless it drew spirit to this flat vantage point on the corner of a hill on the top of a trunk like a bump on an elephant's nose. Ever wrapped in the changing texture of rising and dissipating cloud this protrusion has a way of break large fog banks into small little puffs of smoke floating along the water and into the little creeks and streams.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Zen - Bhagavad Gita

Ego is really a conceptual structure of some sort, and if your mind is thinking about the same thing all the time, what happened to the ego? Because the ego is really based on part of those seventeen trillion mind moments being filled with redefining the game - over and over again. "Well, really I'm Ram Dass, really I'm Ram Dass and I'm doing this and I'm somebody who gets hungry and I'm . . . and there's the world out there and I'm here. . . I'm just. . !' We're using all of our senses and our associative stuff to keep the game together - to keep our conceptual framework of the universe in order. The minute you bring your mind in to one point, what in effect you're doing is over-riding the existing program in the computer. And when you do that, there is an incredible amount, of course, of the computer trying to re-assert itself, so that the thoughts get more insistent, more demanding - suddenly you've got to go to the bathroom in the worst way, even though you just went ten minutes ago. There is a book called the Bhagavad Gita in India which is a book that is concerned with a battle - supposedly a battle out in the battlefield. But one way of understanding that book is it's this inner battle about who's going to run the game. Are your thoughts going to be your master or are you going to be master of your thoughts? I would like to have programs available, one of which is the Ram Dass Program, but I would like not to have it run my life. Because it turns out that isn't who I am. That's who I thought I was.

Vivekananda talks about a coach going down the road with a coachman and the man inside the coach. For years, the man inside has just been sitting in there, or the woman inside has been sitting there, and the coachman has been running the coach. The coachman has gotten the feeling that the coachman owns the coach and is making all the decisions. Finally the person inside taps on the glass and says, "Say, would you pull over here?" Imagine what happens in the coachman's mind. He never even knew there was anybody back there in the first place, and he is under the impression it's his coach and his horses and he's running the show. And then suddenly this person says, "Would you pull over, here's. . ." "Who the hell do you think you are? It's my coach!" "What do you mean it's your coach?" "Ever since I can remember, ever since I can remember," says the coachman, "I've been running this coach." "Well, I understand that, but now - you know you were going in the right direction - now it's time for a change, and would you mind pulling over?" What do you imagine happens then? I mean the coachman doesn't just say, "Oh, Master, I'm sorry, I give up," and pull over. Then starts the struggle which is outlined in the Bhagavad Gita. The struggle of these different forces inside which could be characterized - although it's treading on very thin ice because of the way in which we use words like this - but it could be talked about as the ego, or the conceptual framework of separate identity versus consciousness. I know that some of you use the term ego in different ways.


days on end

Determined not to look at the little camera I keep thrusting in his face, I have to estimate the focus and sort of move back and wait for him to turn. He did eventually and I love the strength of the gaze and the power of the shadow hiding the eyes. Nice close-up!

With a new horn on his bicycle he's as proud as any kid would be to have it. The colours are bright and go well together but somehow I'm sure the bike is red not orange. It's like dipping in the salad bowl with your hands and throwing back the ones you don't like, ya know?

Whereas here, here is the real orange. This is the strangest plant I have seen lately. All the flowers point down, around in a circle, and the top is all these long green fronds sticking up to the sun. Like a palm tree or a weird hairdo some friend might have had once. Even the gardener didn't know the name of the plant which is rather disappointing. Names, research, characters based on flowers.

See here is one that Nancy the gardener knew the name of. It's a Lentin Rose, awesome, they bloom in early February but this one was still around. She plants them beside Christmas Roses which bloom, of course, at Christmas. It would seem she has devised the plan to keep things blooming, always adapting to cycles like any good gardener does.

Well back to perception and staying on the toes, in order to remain open to as many possibilities as one can, leaving no turn unstoned and all joints properly oiled to avoid squeaking, where did the fantasy rainbow colour spill come from and the straight in the eye of the beholder, beauty eh?

Back to the orange rock, this is like the fourth time I've tried it and come up with pretty much the same colour every time except it's not the colour it appears, not even close really. Everything that could be construed as yellow within the image is definitely an orange hue under the sun.

The Hyacinth, in Jenn's garden, I love the colour and again this is about the fourth time I have tried to capture them and never does the focus seem right. I will try again and get it eventually, for now deal with the colour, it's very cool!

Now back to the circles and colour. This wheel was the inside of a machine that the guy was climbing in to drive as I took the shot. I think he might have wondered what I was sticking in the wheel well of his vehicle but I might have got away before he saw me. It was a hurried up shot that actually came out with pretty good focus. The bolts again catch different reflections of colours I don't see.

There was another board in this shot. I will go back again and get a different angle. This however worked out really well with the circle theme as the concrete ended up framed perfectly. The board is green and the other missing board a different shade of green so it will be interesting to see how the next one looks.

And finally an almost exact colour rendition of the scene the boards however are a little more brown than orange but sunlight does make them very bright. Made in Canada, noted on an oblique angle for reading but there nonetheless.

Do red and white lines constitute a circle? I loved the colours of this discarded stroller and now the tight weave of the square material becomes tiny little circles of red and white and black disguised by straight lines.

Again the straight lines try to hide the meaning in the foreign language graffiti scrawl across a postal box with a lock round and ample opportunity to get blue words of unknown origin to communicate a silent message with their angry form.