Saturday, July 15, 2017

When I was a child I loved and craved bacon and I could never get enough. There was always a father, mother, brother and two sisters to share it with, and I thought, “When I’m old like my parents, I’ll have all the bacon I want, and then I’ll be happy.” Then I could have as much bacon as I wanted and I did. I remember going out shopping for food and buying a package of bacon and cooking the whole package of bacon during my first week of living in an apartment in Long Beach, California. Initially, this was very satisfying, but my happiness didn’t last very long and I quit doing it.  So then I decide that since this doesn’t make me happy I’ll get a car, a house, a television, a wife and then I’ll be happy. So now I have everything, but there are more problems: The car is a problem, the house is a problem, the wife is a problem, the children are a problem. I realized, Oh, this is not satisfaction. This is not happiness.
Then I started reading more about the subject of happiness and attended some lectures by Buddhist teachers on happiness. What I learned was that I only had to know what I am, how I exist; that’s all. Kind of like developing self awareness in the 12 step program where I learned about self examination. With the simple goal of just looking at my own mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where my emotions were coming from, what my part in things was. It became sufficient to know just these things. My life changed completely. Everything got turned upside down. What I’d interpreted as bad became good. So now I just try and watch my mind; see how it perceives or interprets things right now: how I feel and what that feeling is—comfortable or uncomfortable. When I find a level of dissatisfaction I try and immediately identify the source of it. This points me in the direction of next right actions. I couple this with right views, right speech and right intentions along with an ever developing level of right awareness. Most simply put what I’m doing is checking my mind, which is my greatest asset and can be my biggest adversary. 
I still like bacon, but the craving has diminished. 
                                        LPC 7-12-17

Friday, July 7, 2017

They have no final essence
Like butterflies
darting here and there
Like piercing eyes
and a clenched fist
They can be a source of
great joy or harm.
Vessels of love.
Bullets of hurt.
They hold no ultimate power
or meaning.
Yet, if allowed,
do both.
They can be remembered
as something real or
   forgotten as they are not.
They infect and affect my mind.   
Are illusionary
in delusional
and illusionary ways.
Ultimately, not to be trusted
      For their ability to be

Friday, June 30, 2017

I am...

                                                                       Self Portrait 6/17
  The best wisdom is to make no identification of 
“I am” with anything.                      

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Screwball

My latest piece of art is entitled 
The Screwball—an odd or eccentric person.
There can never be enough people like
this in my life. I find them interesting 
and for the most part highly entertaining. 
Some people might think they have a
few screws loose, but the alternative 
would be to have them tightened down.
Creativity abounds in them, which is the 
right brain stuff, depicted here in
green as opposed to the dark side 
where analytics and boredom reign.
Leaning towards the unpredictable is
what this character is doing. We just 
never know and that is always better 
than thinking we do. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Coming and Going

The Realm of Absolute Truth does not exist
in the understanding of reality. There is no 
path to this understanding, no realization, no
awakening. There is no goal, no achievement.
All matter in the universe (if there is matter in
the universe and if there is a universe) does not
exist. For these are merely names and thoughts
and are part of what has been non-existent from
the start. There is no coming and there is no 
going, no being. Things are just as they are, etc. 
And, we call these by name. We label these. 
We venture from the absolute truth of everything
to the ignorance of everything; thinking that
everything exits, has a name, a purpose. In our
more delusional states we even want to hold on
to these in the vain hope that they are ours, 
possess some stability, can be counted on to exist
for us. We even have labels for birth and death. 
We call them birth and death. 
On our best days we say things are coming and going, 
we may claim to understand impermanence and 
embrace it. On our very best days we
do let go, accept what is, struggle 
against the habit of labeling, believing in
the existence of things which can be named.
I think, therefore I am as a conclusion
drawn from the great gift of a mind; 
a gift which is the source of so much ignorance and pain. 
There is no Truth, no Innate-Born Wisdom, no Karma, 
and no effect therefrom. Who are we now? When we die?
A current manifestation of what is, subject to change, never perishing.  

Monday, August 1, 2016


The air is pure silk this morning. Last night’s storm left in it’s wake a gentle breeze, clarity of sight and sound, sharp relief. I can hear the most minute sounds; see the edges and contrasts of every existence. The leaves in the trees are barely whispering as they sway with the grass. The birdsong is content and happy. There is a definite celebration taking place here in this sanctuary. Where did the people go? The humidity? The anxious feelings? Grateful to be sitting here amidst this quietude alone, but hardly so.
 --Villa des Amis/August 1, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


              Villa des Amis

Taking a walk in the garden can be a revelatory act. 
Or not. 
It depends on my state of mind, awareness, openness, curiosity. It saddens me to see how incurious I can be, moving through a space lost in my own story, thoughts, the next sentence, eager to add something while all around is being lost: the church bells, birdsong, the dying rose bloom, an aunt colony, my own breath, how that arbor is shading the hostas now that the winter months are gone, or that the leaves will fall like ripe fruit as the warmth of the days retreat in favor of another season, the wonderment of how many more seasons I have to appreciate the impermanence that surrounds me, while having a desire that this day last in the face of so much evidence it won’t. Look, there’s a blade of grass leaning in the opposite direction from its neighbors.