Category Archives: influences

contemplation while walking in stanley park…today’s theme…


i think today is a perfect day for a walk in the park…it’s like you have the park to yourself…i am starting to realize and understand more and more why thoreau liked walking so much…
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil–to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.
It is true, we are but faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, nowadays, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return– prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again–if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man–then you are ready for a walk.
http://www.transcendentalists.com/walking.htm
so off I went on my walk into the very quiet and wet woods…through the trails I wandered…watching, listening, feeling…I came across a though about beginner’s mind…and that is you can’t be looking or searching for anything, you just have to recognize and look at that which is already inside you and around you…but there is a great balance in the journey, it must be both inward and outward…too inward and you lose touch with physical reality…too outward and you lose touch with yourself and the ethereal world…
i have been reading a great deal of alan watts again lately…especially “become what you are”…the essays are sitting there below the surface percolating…subtext to the daily script…on my walk today two thoughts kept recurring…
don’t confuse what you want for who you are…
nobody can take you to exactly where they have been, but they may help take you to where you are going..
and so it goes…that will sit under the surface and as I go about life the meaning will become more clear to me…one other thing that I really get now is the concept of zen or nirvana or what be it…I now see what they mean when they say it matters not if you achieve it…that is because if you do achieve it you will realize it was there all along and you have merely awaken to it…if you never achieve it you will unaware of what you were missing anyway…it is the kind of place you are better for having visited, but none the worse if you never find it…keep enjoying the peace…
we may have lived in the past and we may yet live in the future, but we do live in the present..
some alan watts I have been contemplating:
The Buddha, who lived some 600 years BCE, taught that life, as we live it, is necessarily unharmonious because of the selfish, possessive attitude we adopt towards it. In Sanskrit this attitude is called trishna (often mistranslated desire), and though there is no one word for it in English, it may be understood as the craving to resist change, to “save our own skins”, at all costs, to possess those whom we love; in fact to hold onto life “like grim death.” And that particular phrase has its moral. If anything that lives and moves is held, it dies just like a plucked flower. Egotism is a fierce holding on to oneself; it is building oneself up in a haughty stronghold, refusing to join in the play of life, refusing to accept the eternal laws of change of movement to which all are subject. But that refusal can only be an illusion. Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Buddhism perceives the beauty of change, for life is like music in this: if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost. Thus Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!” Drop the craving for self, for permanence , for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life.

Starry, starry nights…


“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” ~ Mary Oliver

You always think you will know those experiences or moments that will change your life.  The thing is for most of us we don’t realize what they were until long after they have happened to us.  So you can never remember who you were before that.  I had such an experience recently that has irrevocably changed my life.  I am a much different person today than I was a mere two months ago.  The thing is I realized that I was going through a significant change in my life and I was fortunate enough to live that moment.  Those who have known me for some years have noticed that there is something very different about me of late.  Well they aren’t wrong, there most certainly is.  My life took a very big shift in direction lately, and it’s a very positive one for sure.  People can feel the difference in my character, and to be frank it feels great.  Whenever I discuss this time people say I am glowing, more than one person has made that comment.  The thing is I can feel the peacefulness permeate my entire being.  For hours after talking or thinking about this time I am so peaceful.  It started not so long ago, in a place not so very far away.  At my favourite coffee shop on Davie Street, somewhere around the start of October.  I ran into someone I have always had a very strong connection to who I had not seen in at least 6 or 7 years.  First though let’s lay some context.

Continue reading Starry, starry nights…

You Are Always on my Mind…


Another book I have encountered lately that has had a huge influence on my life is “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki.  This book has completely changed my life and has put me on a completely different path for my life.  It came to me right at the exact moment I was ready for it.  My life had kind of been going in that direction naturally or at least so it seemed.  Though I should state I have no desire to identify as Buddhist per se.  I am just apt to borrow from any philosophies, religions, writings and even fiction to add to my life philosophy.  As to where the book came from that’s a story for another day.  It was one of the greatest gifts and influences on my life thus far.

One of the hugest lessons I have learned from this book is to ensure you are just being yourself at every moment.  If you can do this you will be your best, although there is always room for improvement.

“Each of you is perfect the way you are … and you can use a little improvement.”
Shunryu Suzuki

Continue reading You Are Always on my Mind…

Book of Love


There are a few books out there that have really  shaped or changed my life.  I will be discussing them from time to time here.  One of the books that had such an impact on me was “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera.  I would highly recommend reading this book.  I love the philosophy of it.  Two of my favourite passages or quotes from the book are as follows:

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, “sketch” is not quite a word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.”
― Milan Kundera,  The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Continue reading Book of Love