Next week, somewhere,
something will happen.
Several people will say
they foresaw it,
others will be equally
certain it was
entirely unpredictable.
The truth, of course,
will be elusive
allowing everyone
the certainty of uncertainty.
It would be so much
easier if nothing happened
but things never happen
according to anyone’s
overly simple plans.


We assume our seats, listen for the bell and then do nothing. Doing nothing is far more difficult that doing something. Doing nothing is something that takes great practice. You can practice doing something, but eventually, with sufficient practice, you may master that something. You never master doing nothing, for nothing is infinitely broad, something definably narrow. When the bell next rings we arise slowly, bow one to all of the others, and try and figure out something to do. Nothing usually comes to mind.

I will, or may
see something today
that may surprise me.
It may reveal itself
in aquiet moment,
it may be nothing more
than a fleeting thought
or an image, I am certain.
It won’t be brought by Magi
nor even magic, though
on reflection, it may
seem somehow magical.
I suspect
most will miss
its occurrence.

So I will sit
and stare into the wall,
into my heart,
into the universe,
trying to find
something which
is nothing, which
is the center,
which is everything.


It is a burden he does
not want to bear any longer,
one he would shed in a moment,
but there is no place to put it
and you cannot just leave it anywhere.
And so he continues to bear it
dragging it here, carrying it there,
always attached to it, and it to him.
He knows there are others
who bear far heavier burdens,
some with a smile, others begrudgingly.
He would gladly take up
their burdens, if he could only
be relieved of his, but he
cannot find anyone to take his,
and so he smiles and goes on,
for everyone wants something
and he has only nothing to offer
although that is the greatest gift,
for it is the gift of Buddha.

A reflection on Shūmon kattōshū Case 6 – Zhaozhou’s “Drop It”