This student gallery is a changing collection of Sangha members’ artistic compositions and reflections as they travel the Bodhisattva Path, dedicated to the compassionate and dynamic actualization of the truth that we are not separate.
ZAZEN WITH A TROWEL
By Wesley Burnett
While reading Dogan about meditating, it occurred to me that zazen is a lot like doing archaeology . By doing archaeology I don’t mean the old kind, a mad hunt for museum quality artifacts done with bulldozers, but the new kind done with a trowel, a concerted attempt to understand everything about how people lived from every scrap they left behind. You sit in an excavation square scraping out dirt and everything else, centimeter by centimeter. It takes skill but very little, and a lot of concentration and focus. And attention: to what your hand feels through the trowel and what you hear, as you will often feel or hear before you see. You must not let the mind wander or brood about what might have been, like “were I banker I wouldn’t be sitting in this hole in this silly position.” Beginners and amateurs often ask, “what are you looking for,” or “what have you found?” Answers: I’ve no idea what I’m looking for, and if I’ve found anything, it probably wouldn’t be much. Nor would I be likely to know if it’s anything important. That will be determined by other experts far, far away laboring in laboratories, possible many years hence. In fact I’ve found nothing so often I’ve come to expect it now. Day by day, scratching at the earth and there is nothing. An entire season of nothing. But guess what? Nothing is useful too. Ah, Zazen with a trowel.
by Karen Burnett
Yesterday in my window a paper wasp
Built her nursery.
Today I sprayed her with poison.
She writhed and died.
I knocked down the nursery.
Thinking of Syria.
by Toni Scribner