The wisest of men, when asked at what time it is best to pursue the Way, will answer when a thousand stars have made their presence known. The wisest student will say when cleaning myself by bathing in the mud. This will become clear when the frog consumes the dragon.
A reflection on Case 35 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
When you come into this town we know you are coming, when you enter this room we know you will arrive. It is only when we cannot discern your presence that your spirit has truly arrived. Contemplate this over a bowl of rice shared with mountain and wind.
A reflection on Case 18 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
We sat on our lanai last night in our twin rockers, the cat curled close by but carefully removed from the rockers and stared into the sky hoping meteors would grace us with their fleeting presence.
The moon did appear, shrouded in thin clouds, spectral ghost waxing slowly in hiding, but the stars had fled this night, fearing the rain that the cloud mantle promised.
We never did see a meteor but we know they will return next year and the cat says it is hardly worth interrupting a good nap for a momentary flash of light, and we just touched hands and retreated to bed.
Even a cat knows when the screen is on Zoom, you sit and wait. Or stick your head in the picture so all can acknowledge your presence. Either works, and you know patience is not a virtue, but at times a necessity. You are a cat, after all. Patience is for dogs, poor beasts, having to be walked regularly. There is no freedom being a dog, and when they call you bad, that day is shot for you and you slink off. But cats must sometimes be patient when they are on Zoom, but it gives you time to plot your revenge, which the humans will never expect, but always soon enough forgive.
The first one felt right, there was nothing deeper considered, just that feeling that now, I know, anyone might have provided but then, it was something in a world of nothing.
The second, really, was certainly right, for life this time, the wisdom of a single failure enough to ensure success, and when it came apart thirty years later, it was apparent it was never right, just more than nothing.
This one is right, for it does not require feeling so, merely being in her presence, a completeness I never knew, which explains why this time nothing can get in the way of the ultimate everything.
All too soon, I will return as a ghost and how you and others deal with that has yet to be seen, although know that ghosts are reflective, and your thoughts will determine both my presence and mood during such visits as I choose to make to you.
You may not believe in ghosts, I did not for years, but as you approach that state of post-being you realize that ghosts arrive in dreams and you are helpless to control them, so lie back, enjoy me when I visit, for I have an eternity of options too soon at my disposal.
The cat ignored him totally this morning. She wouldn’t give him the time of day if she could have told time. It was surprising, and for him it was painful. He loved the cat, and he thought the cat loved him. Once he thought he saw her sneer but he knew cats did not do that. But she looked away, if she had even looked at him in that moment. But to not even acknowledge his presence, to thank him for the food, that hurt. The cat hid her smile, knowing even Pavlov would be pleased with how well her training of the human was going. He would be wrapped around her paw before he knew it at this pace