62

“High, high from the summit of the peak,

Whatever way I look, no limit in sight!

No one knows I am sitting here alone.

A solitary moon shines in the cold spring.

Here in the spring—-this is not the moon.

The moon is where it always is—-in the sky above.

And though I sing this one little song,

In the song there is no Zen.”

—Cold Mountain 🏔 aka Hanshan

The Path of Love

One day a bird came and sat with me on the top of a mountain, it whispered in my ear and I could understand it

It told me, the birds have a secret and I will tell you if you give me some water

That seemed a good bargain and I offered it some water and it laughed at me, no no, living water is what I need

So I felt a poem rise in my heart and I sang it to the little bird and it was filled with love and it began to sing

This is what it sang

Anger is moving between human hearts the way love once did, we need your help to sing the song of love in the world

I’m going to teach you a new green language, the language of the birds, the language of love the gods taught us and we teach those who can hear it

You will love the world and help heal it and show others how to love and stop the anger rising in human hearts

You must seek the passageway to the green world and seek the help of the ancients

When you start to see symbols around you and strange movements, you may be close to it

When your heart bubbles with love and verse, you may be close to it

When what you saw as ugly, seems strangely beautiful, you may be close to it

If you come close to death, you may be close to it

When you live breath to breath, you may be close to it

Am I dreaming I asked the bird, and it laughed, we are all dreaming this silly man, remember my song and sing it clear and true

You are close now, close as your breath

Fear Falling, Courage Rising

“Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it, you cannot consistently perform the others.”

—Aristotle

Courage is not dead in me yet. I am thankful for that. It lives in individuals. Like a Lion waiting to move. But one can’t really know if courage will be there when needed until they are tested. Truly, we fear our own weakness most. Nothing and I mean nothing can replace experience. Courage is one of the 4 Stoic virtues. Courage is the ability to exert one’s will in the face of risk. Aristotle said that the highest risk was death and that the most courageous man was the one that acted fearlessly in the face of death.

I recently faced my own death, twice in a month. I can’t say I was fearless. But something arose inside me. Something I haven’t known very well, my will. I pushed myself forward beyond my fear and it was a catalyzing experience. Do what is necessary when it is necessary. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. One day, it won’t.

Why not give all you have to what you do? In your relationships. In your work. In your play. What are you saving your fear for? Fear is a corrective and it can be a poison. Honestly, I didn’t know I had much courage left in me. I have been reckless with my life and opportunities at times. But I have cultivated my focus and it paid off when I needed it to. The feeling of possible death feels like falling off a ladder from a 1000 feet up. You are totally alone and feel powerless. It is humbling, but necessary to know how life is like balancing on a pin. One day I will fall off and that’s how it will be. The one thing we can know for sure in life.

Don’t go looking for trouble, but when it comes, be ready. Until death and I meet again, I’ll smile like I mean my life. Every second of it. Success is just the next breath, the rest is gravy. Yum.

Empty Cup

Nothing compares to the song of love sung with all your heart

It brings down stone walls

It moves the birds from their perch

It makes holes in space

It stops evil in its tracks

This song of love is a healing balm

We who steal hearts know it well

We have been seduced ourselves by it

We move to its flow and we feel its movement through us

A feeling we rarely know in our small lives

To feel it flow through you, removes all doubt, all sadness and suffering

One would feel ashamed to bring their suffering before love

But love beckons, come

Bring it to me

Bring me your deep sadness and I will fill your cup

Pour yourself out again and I shall fill you up

And one day, the water will begin to flow and never stop

Golden

“I do not teach a definite Philosophy—I have no cocked and primed system—but I outline, suggest, hint—tell what I see—then each may make up the rest for himself. He who goes to my book expecting a cocked and primed philosophy, will depart utterly disappointed—and deserves to! I find anyhow that a great many of my readers credit my writings with things that do not attach to the writings themselves but to the persons that read them—things they supply, bring with them.

Epictetus says: “Do not let yourself be wrapt by phantasms”—and we must not: that is very profound: it often comes back to me.

Epictetus is the one of all my old cronies who has lasted to this day without cutting a diminished figure in my perspective. He belongs with the best—the best of the great teachers—is a universe in himself. He sets me free in a flood of light—of life, of vista.

My contention is for the whole man—the whole corpus not one member—not a leg, an arm, a belly alone, but the entire corpus, nothing left out of the account. I know it will be argued that the present is the time of specialization, but that don’t answer it.”

—Walt Whitman from “Walt Whitman Speaks”

There is a reason Marcus Aurelius sat at the feet of a crippled ex slave to learn what a human being looks like.

He saw gold and I see it in Walt and I see it in others and I see it in myself and I love it.

Best Results

Don’t go off half cocked, before you are ready
Pack your powder, well
Cock the hammer, fully
Don’t aim, rest into position
Squeeze just enough, don’t pull
FIRE 🔥

You will hit something, the bullseye 🎯

Cold Mountain – 50

“If you’re looking for a place to rest,

Cold Mountain is good for a long stay.

The breeze blowing through the dark pines

Sounds better the closer you come.

And under the trees a white haired man

Mumbles over his Taoist texts.

Ten years now he hasn’t gone home;

He’s even forgotten the road he came by.”

8-28-21 Smelly News and Weather Report

“Life is not an accident.” —Morpheus 

Today’s Weather…

– The Northern California air is heavy with smoke today. It’s 82F with sun and haze. Today will be partly sunny, high of 100F, low of 64F. I’ve seen better days. But this one is fine.

In Smelly News…

– Northern California is burning 

🔥

 It is a cleansing fire. Dream homes have burned is all. Wood 🪵  fuel has burned is all. I burn, slow burn. Smell of smoke is in the air. 

– There is more corruption popping up everywhere now in our fallen politics, out of our delusional fear. Corruption abounds. Yet, as all that is temporary falls away, what we are, remains. Castoffs, a mote in God’s eye. This process of living has altered consciousness. 

– I work with electric self driving cars in the dream. I’m here to do the work and I’m doing it. I help train deep learning algorithms to recognize objects and respond. I move massive amounts of data around. Humans are very clever. My approach is a minimal one to support the work, just enough planning. What I am good it is making progress in chaos. Emotions overwhelm logic and reason. How would you program this? Do we want thinking machines with new emotions? If cars had emotion, would they be depressed? Kaizen, continuous improvement, is my way through this. Improve anything I touch and I do. I have a team now I have been building over last 4 months. This has been a new chapter in my own small life and I give joyfully and freely to my team and they respond with their best. AI needs conditioning and training. As do people. It takes practice to be good. To be great? It takes heart. Show me the algorithm for this. I dare you. Ironic while the world burns, I am doing my best work. 

“I know this because I just know, it is my purpose.” —The Keymaster

Today’s poetry…

“I dreamed a dream . . . but now that dream is gone from me.” 

—Daniel 2:3

The Gates Are Open No. 2

In the deepest dark of the Abyss, I sought my escape. 

I heard someone say, “There is no way back unless you find your light.”

No way back unless I find my light?

💡


Hmmmm.

Sounded like some New Age bullshit to me. 

I heard someone say, “If you want to come and see me, you can do so from any and every direction, all the gates are open, there is no concealment. In fact it is ‘All Gate’ and nothing else!”

What a strange thing to say in the middle of the dark. 

When the dark is all around you, what direction should you go?

There is no direction in the dark.

The separation had existed in my mind only. 

I was already that which I had sought.

I was the prison and I was the free bird.

And then I was home again, just like that.

There was a great celebration. 

Everyone came to greet me and we all laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt. Like when you have had too much sweet candy.

And I thought to myself…what a strange dream 😴 😴 😴

Writing in Blood

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

—Ernest Hemingway

I’ll read anyone who leaves blood on the page.

The way of the individual is not a lonely path, it is an intimate experience with everything.