Jesus and a cocktail


Chimayo is a holy place in New Mexico.  It hosts many sites for religious observance from Zen to Christian to Hindu.  It is a place of pilgrimage on Good Friday to a church well-known for cures.   But I like its cocktail.   Served in a frosted glass – its...

teardrop


Of the thousands of pots I have thrown on my potter’s wheel, this recent simple tea bowl is one of my favorites.  The opal glaze catches the New Mexican sunlight in ways which stop me in my tracks.   I wanted a deep wall to this bowl and I wanted this...

canal or reservoir?


“In the Church at present day, we have many canals, few reservoirs.”   Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153 Sermon on the Song of Songs, Sermon 18 My niece is a stream ecologist.  She once told me that the water leaving New York City after processing sewage in treatment plants, is caffeinated....

letting go; and snacks


Being busy unlearning things takes time and snacks. One of the things I am learning about in my dotage is the tremendous importance of the occasional snack.  Some tea in one of my tea bowls, some chocolate covered almonds, some macadamia nuts and a few slices of candied orange.  Thinking...

busy-ness : hell’s levels and a teapot’s holes


This teapot is one of my favorites.  I pulled it from the kiln recently to find the glaze had done exactly what I had hoped it would do. It flowed such that its lighter side at top was full of blues and violets while the bottom half was gathered in...

The monk and the CEO


This Zen circle in the middle of a thought-page is a good starting point for the work preceding and following meditation (sitting).  Zen meditation holds the space behind the apex which forms over the dualities with which we Westerners struggle. This paper-work I do when on a break for tea...

risk


Here at Shambhala, mule deer are the indigenous beings and humans are the guests.  Herds as large as 40 will frequently be hanging out by my window, checking me out as I go about my business.  They seem to have no fear of humans, perhaps because this is a Buddhist...

The Solitary


The Cairn is an old Scottish Gaelic term for a pile of rocks.  This one, not far from my retreat house was formed by some Buddhist monks for whom the pile has a slightly different meaning, and yet the use of piled stones in so many different cultures interests me....

wonder and ego: the battle of the soul-longing


Silence. This is the great medicine. To sit in silence and wait, watching one’s breath and mindful of thoughts is the great work of the soul’s freshness. The ego is like a locked room.  Everything in my room is just so.  The right womb, the right family, the right culture,...

elephants and coconuts


The Great Stupa of Shambhaha Mountain Center in Colorado sits nestled in the hills like its own Buddha, sitting, almost cross-legged.  A majestic, colorful sight.  My Zen master told me today that “nothing of the Stupa is casually done - everything is of a design for peace and joy.”   ...