Category Archives: reflections on life

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.

I am a rock, I am an island…


It all started with a muted sunset and the sand.  It really got me to thinking, though where it will take me I never really know.  It is funny in life how you have flashes of different ways of looking at the world from time to time.  Eventually they can become an entire new way of looking at the world and you never really perceive the tipping point, you know you viewed the world differently before but it is not always evident exactly what the change was.  In time you entirely lose the way you used to think or be.  The main thing I got out of tonight was about how our perception limited to whatever exists right around us.  We simply can’t perceive something out of that immediate sphere.  Anything outside of that is merely a representation in our minds.  It doesn’t really exist for us, we just have faith that it does.  We don’t have any empirical proof of it though.  If you took a picture of something occurring right now it would just show something that existed in the past, only the picture would exist at this moment.  It is incredible how most of our experience instantly flows right through us.  It is like we are a rock in the fast moving current.  Some thoughts, ideas, and memories may cling to us for a brief second or even be held there for a time by a current, but a tiny shift in the current and they are swept away and gone forever.  When the river runs slowly more stuff clings to us or it clings to us for a moment longer.  Once the current increases again some of that will wash away.

Continue reading I am a rock, I am an island…


You leave me mute,

Though my tongue is never unsure…

You elevate me

When my feet are fused to the ground;

If you I should touch

I would instantly combust,

Into ash and into dust….

Your smile electrifies every inch of my skin,

And turns my nerve ending to cinders;

Your eyes see right through this thunderous din…

And my dissolved resolve is the tinder…

And descend

And descend

And descend

I float on the most peaceful of bliss…

To never forget a night such as this…

The playwrights sat in upon my dreams;

And the performers aced all of the scenes…

Not a detail was missed,

Nor a line dropped;

Mysterious dewy mist,

Can never be topped.

Simply nirvana…

And now for something completely different…


Boy it’s really a Vancouver winters day.  It has been coming down heavy for the last couple of days.  The grey is pushing in and insulating the city, but I decided to go for a nice walk along English Bay today.  The rain is great for nice quiet, slow, contemplative walks.  I noticed how wonderfully peaceful it was and I got soaked to the skin, but I feel so great.  It’s very much like I’ve been meditating.  I noticed today that it’s strange in that I sometimes feel like i live in two different cities, one of the rain and one of the sun.  They appear to be opposites, but they share a great deal of similarities.  They both have their own beauty, one far more subtle and less celebrated than the other but no less significant.  The rain is so cleansing, it refreshes and revitalizes.  It also led me to realize that soon my favourite rite of spring will happen, the blossoming of the cherry trees.  I just love that time of year and will certainly take some pics for my blog.  They are so fragrant and delicate and warm and soft and they are a reminder that the cycle of life continues afresh, that which seemed desolate will be teaming with life.  I far more appreciate the beauty of winter now, for without it we wouldn’t have the spring to enjoy.  Now i am off to enjoy the luxury of a hot bath with some cinnamon and ylang ylang bath salts, if only I had a chai tea life would be blissful.

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