Things will be quiet, probably for the remainder of at least this week, if not well into next week, during which time I will be struggling with setting up a new apartment and setting up my home network. For those that have emailed me and wondered why I haven't responded while posts have been popping up on this site regularly, I've been off the network for about two weeks now, with a lot of pre-packaged posts set up in the hopes that I could transition to the new location without interruption.
For those that need to reach me, mark your emails with "URGENT" or, if you have my cell phone number, attempt to contact me in that fashion.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with my favorite Zen meditation, as transcribed by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki. It's the one that I take with me everywhere.
SOYEN SHAKU, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: 'My heart burns like fire but my eyes are cold as dead ashes.' He made the following rules which he practiced every day of his life.
In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.
Retire at a regular hour. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction.
Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.
Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.
When an opportunity comes do not let it pass by, yet always think twice before acting.
Do not regret the past. Look to the future.
Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away an old pair of shoes.
Soyen Shaku, quoted in Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, 43 (Tuttle 1998).
It's worth checking out Soyen Shaku's Zen For Americans, which can be found here and was originally published, in 1906, as Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot. Shaku was the Abbot of Great Britain and, in 1893, was the first Abbot of Zen Practice to speak on the belief in the United States.