Friday, 2 March 2018

和歌 March 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

Friday March 02, 2018
This less isn’t more.
Your so-called attention is
a half-opened door,
swinging very carelessly.
Open up or shut this down.

Saturday March 03, 2018 (012)
Sitting and saying:
you can't stain what's not sustained.
Saying and showing
the wisdom that is not taught.
Knowing beyond the Buddha.

Sunday March 04, 2018 (013)
Swallow Touzi’s moon.
Spring, summer, fall, and winter,
it’s never too soon
to spit these old numbers out:
three and four, seven and eight.

Sunday March 04, 2018 (014)
Sagan’s billions and billions
continue to dance.
This should not be our concern.
Gassho and be done with it.

Monday March 05, 2018 (015)
The pearl of great price.
Repeating repetition
is a demon’s vice.
Repeating repetition
as Jesus and Xuansha nod.

Friday March 09, 2018 (016)
For the time-being
Heidegger’s Being And Time
asks about beings.
Both Germany and Japan
answer with myriad things.

Saturday March 10, 2018 (017)
How was it? It was.
Be Zen being Zen without
explaining the cause.
As a hermit monastic
I sit beside Xiangyan’s grave.

Saturday March 17, 2018 (018)
The land deity.
The bowl of rice offering.
This intimacy.
Practice coming and going
tracelessly right on the spot.

Saturday March 17, 2018 (019)
Ordinary mind
full of present emptiness.
There’s nothing to find
here, so stop describing it
by remaining nostril deep.

Monday March 19, 2018 (020)
Sit still all day long
and chop the earthworm in two.
Sing the dragon song
and stop the buddha in you.
Du should not have responded.

Wednesday March 21, 2018 (021)
Be intimacy.
Wisdom wisely seeks wisdom
beyond secrecy.
Beneath, between, and behind,
nothing gained nor lost is found.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

現代俳句 February 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

February 2018

Thursday February 01, 2018
Chip away
Stone cold.
Cork screw

Friday February 02, 2018
Up early
Enough now.
Next hour

Saturday February 03, 2018
Private practice
Reclusivity me. 
Settling down

Sunday February 04, 2018
Driving daisies 
Blooming fully. 
The women

Monday February 05, 2018
Day after
Loss love. 
Family man

Tuesday February 06, 2018
Not ready
Steady going.
Version won

Wednesday February 07, 2018
New start
Up side. 
Down time

Thursday February 08, 2018
Brother son
Sister moon.
Being guides

Friday February 09, 2018
Clear work
Day time.
Thin line

Saturday February 10, 2018
Scratch small
Itch irritation. 
Skin aflame

Sunday February 11, 2018
Dull transcribing
Science research.
Privileged problem

Monday February 12, 2018
Sub version
One access.
Files flowing

Tuesday February 13, 2018
Disciplined work
Embodies practice.
Physical persistence

Wednesday February 14, 2018
Probably me
Giving up.
Last end

Thursday February 15, 2018
New bear
Like sky.
Old bye

Friday February 16, 2018
Document hack
Her memories.
Coming back

Saturday February 17, 2018
Physical distance
Delayed gratification.
Tolerantly tentative

Sunday February 18, 2018
Pushing politics
Away already.
Only drudergy 

Monday February 19, 2018
Good pop
Tunes time.
Condo coffee

Tuesday February 20, 2018
The greater
Good end. 
Start again

Wednesday February 21, 2018
Still feeling
Fragile smile.
Under state

Thursday February 22, 2018
Settled in
Side show.
One month

Friday February 23, 2018
Queen’s key
Sushi meal.
Every week

Saturday February 24, 2018
Week end
Rest days.
More words

Sunday February 25, 2018
Confusing word
Rhyming man. 
Not necessarily
Monday February 26, 2018
Daily processing
Processes pro. 
Getting there

Tuesday February 27, 2018
Royal touring
Around grounds.
Queen Victoria

Wednesday February 28, 2018
Living beyond
Means well. 
Morning after

Thursday, 1 February 2018

和歌 February 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

February 01, 2018
Befriending great death.
Because of her life, I am
in her fateful debt.
The three-fold vow led us here:
from above, now so below.

February 03, 2018
It's probably me.
I also hate to say it,
but it's true. You see
clearly, I am still loving
desperately beyond my reach.

February 08, 2018
I gaze at your face.
The whole night through, you help me
embrace this cool place.
I would go out of my mind,
but for your yeshé cholwa.

February 10, 2018
Intimate Merton.
The story's in the Storey?
I'm not so certain.
The damaged glory is found
in the posthumous journals.

February 17, 2018
Profound treasury.
The no-man in no-man's-land:
writing irony.
Riding the three vehicles
simultaneously free.

February 19, 2018 (010)
It is just like this:
Bodhidharma is always
coming to his bliss.
Don't try to keep this in mind.
Qingyuan brings all this out.

February 24, 2018 (011)
This is a confusing word.
The Third Ancestor?
He is a confusing man.
Sit down. Stand up. Disappear.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

現代俳句 January 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

January 2018

Monday January 01, 2018
Wisdom hint
On mission.
Climbing up

Tuesday January 02, 2018
Cold coffee
Grounds me.
Useless fan

Wednesday January 03, 2018
New role
Play game.
Same old

Thursday January 04, 2018
Silent friends
Reference me. 
Triple checking

Friday January 05, 2018
Cold without
Heat within. 
Head feet

Saturday January 06, 2018
Dim scorpio
Horns blow.
Frozen snow

Sunday January 07, 2018
The messenger
Returns response.
Enlightened trick

Monday January 08, 2018
Moving forward
Taking risks.
Life itself

Tuesday January 09, 2018
Two boys
Lie down. 
Die phone

Wednesday January 10, 2018
Marathon man
Surviving transit.
Lounge acting

Thursday January 11, 2018
Violently sick
Sounds scary.
No privacy

Friday January 12, 2018
Aching body
Resting still.
Comedy coffee

Saturday January 13, 2018
Movie going
Showing magic.
Crowd sourcing

Sunday January 14, 2018
Mumbling woman
Beside myself.
Temporary guest

Monday January 15, 2018
Back to
Fact act.
One week

Tuesday January 16, 2018
Transcribing words
Recorded reports.
Honest employment

Wednesday January 17, 2018
Very least
Lines lost.
Keep on

Thursday January 18, 2018
Next two
Last call.
The girls

Friday January 19, 2018
Late night
Walk her.
Last man

Saturday January 20, 2018
Hard work
Pays off. 
So proud

Sunday January 21, 2018
Old hermit
Age well. 
Less less

Monday January 22, 2018
Remote working
Independently me.
Another company

Tuesday January 23, 2018
Seasoned pro
Vision revision.
Network work

Wednesday January 24, 2018
Chilly climate
Control charm.
Change course

Thursday January 25, 2018
Mourning rage
Against her.
Soon gone

Friday January 26, 2018
First week
One done.
Beer cheer

Saturday January 27, 2018
Corn flakes
Falling down.
Break fast

Sunday January 28, 2018
Forgotten dreams
Haunting nightly. 
Instantly appear

Monday January 29, 2018
Process ease
Into applications.
Learning curves

Tuesday January 30, 2018
One little
Big change.
So grateful

Wednesday January 31, 2018
Purposely processing
Processes process.
Personal patience

Monday, 1 January 2018

和歌 January 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

January 01, 2018 (001)
Holding Buddha's whisk,
Dōgen Zenji swats at flies.
He never misses
killing words that buzz over
shit producing dharma-talk.

January 02, 2018 (002)
Sitting in silence
is all that is required.
Speaking is nonsense.
The true person spins the wheel,
alone in the abbot’s room.

January 03, 2018 (003)
Water bag of bones
always breathing on its own.
The mountain doner
grows fresh grass by the window.
Buffalo eats by moonlight.

January 04, 2018 (004)
Mazu’s “Lecturer!”
teaches the flipped sleeves Sutra.
Lecturer Liang
was never heard from again.
No such thing as heart and mind.

January 05, 2018 (005)
Shut the layman up
underneath the Xi River.
Pangyun's single gulp
eliminates everything.
Nothing left to write about.

January 06, 2018 (006)
Breath after breath breathes
Original Purity.
Breath after breath breathes
Original Purity.
Original Purity.

January 07, 2018 (007)
Mihu’s monastic
gets dragged into Yangshan’s shit,
without getting sick.
What is his enlightened trick?
He returns and then reports.

January 08, 2018 (008)
This old body sits
alone for the time being.
The cold clock strikes six.
Thirty minutes later on,
the singing bowl tolls for thee.

January 17, 2018
When the levee broke,
this man fled to the mountain.
Years later he spoke
up, higher and lighter now.
What he said doesn't matter.

January 23, 2018
No end in the end.
Truly, only love remains.
No time to pretend
that anything else matters.
All philosophy ends here.

January 28, 2018 (009)
Leave things as they are.
What kind of seeing is that?
Why search near and far
to answer questions like these?
Huangbo joined the workers.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

現代俳句 December 2017

By Rory A.A. Hinton

" color more Tibetan than Zen..."

December 2017

Friday December 01, 2017
Like father
Love son. 
So proud

Saturday December 02, 2017
Doc code
Hack her.
New view

Sunday December 03, 2017
Roar seventy
Four score. 
True blue

Monday December 04, 2017
First mount
Ton done. 
Last fast

Tuesday December 05, 2017
Old journal
Entry man.
Exit again

Wednesday December 06, 2017
Nose grind
Stone ground.
Many words

Thursday December 07, 2017
Cool monk
Man handle.
Aka hermit

Friday December 08, 2017
No documents
Slide showing.
Staying away

Saturday December 09, 2017
Very last
Day away.
Know way

Sunday December 10, 2017
Faithful fifty
Three vows.
Semper fidelis

Monday December 11, 2017
Northern Mountain
Order schedule.
Daily diligence

Tuesday December 12, 2017
Breathing thoughts
Without thinking.
Not unaware

Wednesday December 13, 2017
Trickster tries
Sitting schedule.
Physical humility

Thursday December 14, 2017
Office move
Pro exiting.
Next step

Friday December 15, 2017
All desires
Turn concrete.
Too slow

Saturday December 16, 2017
Transcribe words
Recorded reports.
Reluctant scribe

Sunday December 17, 2017
Let sleeping
Hermits lie.
Down here

Monday December 18, 2017
Relent less
Safety now.
Despite me

Tuesday December 19, 2017
Talking politically
Correct publically.
Private protection

Wednesday December 20, 2017
Phone call
Waiting back.
Never mind

Thursday December 21, 2017
Always kind
Behind view.
No matter

Friday December 22, 2017
Binge watch
Glitch fix.
All day

Saturday December 23, 2017
Cold gin
Time again.
Always win

Sunday December 24, 2017
Go lightly
Write her.
Of course

Monday December 25, 2017
Merton second
Vatican council.
Oriental theology

Tuesday December 26, 2017
Dog man
Best friend.
Holly dear

Wednesday December 27, 2017
Holed up
Side down.
Frosted flakes

Thursday December 28, 2017
Dried skin
Bone cold.
More heat

Friday December 29, 2017
Two minds
Think apart.
Old debate

Saturday December 30, 2017
Subject gate
Closed shut.
Man’s end

Sunday December 31, 2017
Merton magnificent
Maleficent matters.
Monastic mensch

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Why Do We Do This?

By Rory A.A. Hinton

I was raised as an agnostic. "No mind? No matter. No matter? Never mind." This sums up my attitude at the time. The only religious conversation I had with my father was at the dinner table one evening when I was a young boy. My mother had taught me a simple prayer that I was told to pray before each meal: "God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for this food. Amen." I did what I was told. It eventually became more of a poem than a prayer for me. I liked the cadence of it, but that did not prevent me from wondering why I had to recite it.
     After I prayed this prayer before dinner this one evening, I asked my father, incredulously: "Why do we do this?" Only now (forty years later) do I understand the wisdom not only of his response to my question, but of my parent's decision to have me continually pray (meal after meal) in the first place. He looked at me and said, insightfully: "Fine. We won't pray anymore."
     I lived as a spiritual materialist from my late youth to my early adulthood. This was a form of rebellion against my agnostic upbringing (Curious George was my spirit animal growing up, so my monkey mind was in high gear). An interviewer once asked C.G. Jung near the end of his life whether he now believed in God. Jung answered: "Now? Difficult to answer. I know. I don't need to believe. I know." I wanted to know like Jung.
     After ten years of living as a Gnostic Christian, my early agnostic roots got the very best of what I thought was me. Curiously enough, it was Jung's Forward to D.T. Suzuki's Introduction To Zen Buddhism that woke me up out of my Gnostic slumber. From here, it was only a small step from realizing the illusion of God to realizing the illusion of Ego. These illusions long contained in the thought-cluttered bucket named 'Rory' kept me from all that we need and from all that we love.
     I took this best of steps at the worst of times in my life. I had finished a Ph.D and started an academic career. However, I could not find full-time academic work. All I could do was teach courses on a part-time basis for a fraction of a tenured salary. The struggle to make a living in the career of my choice, coupled with my maddening confusion over just what this "I" was, drove me to literally sit and do nothing. The bottom of the bucket was on the verge of bursting.
     During this time I read Philip Kapleau's The Three Pillars Of Zen. This introduced me to the practice of shikantaza. I sat shikantaza on my own until I started sitting at a local Zen Center. This experience was instructive, but not long lived. My wife at the time was resentful toward me practicing Zen at the center, and did not want me to practice there any longer. I had to make a choice. I was married with three children. Loving them was my top priority. I wrote the Roshi at the Zen Center and said that I would not be sitting with the sangha any longer because of my situation at home. He wrote me back a very short letter. It was to the point. He wrote: "You are obviously not ready." He knew.
     Not long after this my marriage ended in a very difficult divorce. The experience left me bankrupt (in every way). I was without hope. As I sat in this hopelessness I read Chögyam Trungpa's Crazy Wisdom and felt a hint of freedom for the first time in my life. The insight that to have no hope is to have no fear, and to have no fear is to be free, eventually led me to practice at a local Shambhala Center. However, as I sat at the center, I started to feel like I was missing something. What is there to miss? This gave me serious pause. It was something that I was somehow not unaware of, but at the time I did not know what it was.
     As I sat in the foyer of the Shambhala Center one evening before a scheduled sitting, an older and seasoned member of the sangha noticed that I was wearing mala beads. He looked at me and asked: "Do you wear those for fashion or for practice?" This felt like a fatal blow from a Zen master's stick. For one brief shining moment time stopped. My answer was as impetuous as his question. Without thinking I answered: "Both." I did not know who or what was speaking, but at that moment I realized what I was missing (and why): the sitting style of cool boredom found within the Zen tradition. His use of 'fashion' made me think of 'style.' At that moment style and practice became one. I had to experience another style of practice in order to figure out what was best for me.



     What do I mean by "best"? The best answer I can give is to say that zazen (single-minded sitting) in the Zen tradition grounds me in basic goodness, enjoyment, and ease. This is a commentary on my history, of course. It is what it is. And part of this history consists in my discovery of Dōgen Zenji in the midst of my various life experiences (briefly described above). This feeling is therefore not fleeting, but founded on and informed by Dōgen's demonstration of the dharma. His Soto Zen is the threadless red thread that threads through the fabric of my life, providing wise guidance as the endless ensō of it is so continues on, to the point of death and beyond (history indicates that Dōgen died in the zazen posture).
   "On the great road of buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continuous and sustained. It forms the circle of the way and is never cut off. Between aspiration, practice, enlightenment, and nirvana, there is not a moment’s gap; continuous practice is the circle of the way. This being so, continuous practice is unstained, not forced by you or others. The power of this continuous practice confirms you as well as others. It means your practice affects the entire earth and the entire sky in the ten directions. Although not noticed by others or by yourself, it is so."
     These words of Dōgen remind me of the wisdom behind my parent's decision to have me experience the continual practice of praying. There was a method to my parent's madness here (whether noticed on their part or not): it was only through this experience that I was ready and able to ask my father about its significance, and willing to hear the answer he gave me. And it is only now, after experiencing all of the methodological madness of my life up to this point, that I lovingly approach (day after day) the gateless gate of the Great Matter and ask, ironically: Why do we do this?