Monday, April 27, 2009

Movie Review: Zen Buddhism: In Search Of Self; Gong Jae Sung, dir; 2007

This is one of the better films about Zen and for a very simple reason. It doesn't preach and therefore doesn't get bogged down in philosophy and metaphysics. It teaches only by pointing the camera at its subject, the 90-day winter retreat of the nuns of Korea's Baek Hung temple. If you ever wanted to know what a mediation retreat is like, this film will give you a nice taste.

What you see is that the nuns spend a lot of time inside sitting quietly. This is followed by periods of walking in circles in the courtyard. Once in a while they go out for a hike in the surrounding mountains, or collect wood from the forest. They cook meals. On New Year's they do a lot of cleaning and praying and visiting of nearby temples. And that's about it.

Boy, but does that look like a tasty spread!

Of course if you know nothing or very little about Buddhism or Zen then you might be a bit confused about just what's going on. The Korean film makers, who produced this for Korean television, could assume their audience had the background to understand what they were being shown. And so they simply pointed the camera. There are one or two brief interviews with the head nuns, and a couple of scenes of the nuns chatting together, but for most of the film's 65 minutes all you hear are bells and wind and rain.

The film ends with the nuns leaving the temple:

Where did I come from?
Where am I going to?

Came with the cloud,
Going with the wind.

Then, what is this
that is coming and going?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Movie Review: Stephen en Martine Batchelor; Gude & Verhoeven, dir; 2008

Over on my henro blog this week I linked to a new Dutch film about the Shikoku pilgrimage produced by Holland's Boeddhistische Omroep Stichtung, otherwise known as the BOS, the Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation, which according to its website is "the first independent Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation in the west to produce and broadcast buddhist programs within a country’s Public Broadcasting System."

Established in 1999, the Foundation began broadcasting in 2001 and has a wonderful catalog of film and radio productions available for online viewing and listening. I ran into them again this week in a short film on perhaps my favorite contemporary Buddhist writer, Stephen Batchelor. In 30-minutes we follow Stephen and his wife Martine as they trundle through the quaint French village they call home, relating the stories of how they came to be monastics and how a Scottish Tibetan monk who left his order fell in love with a nun studying Zen in a Korean monastery. Stephen also briefly discusses a new book project slated to be released in the fall of 2009, a novelization of the life of the Buddha.

You can watch the film (in English with Dutch subtitles) on Batchelor's site, here, or at the BOS, here.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Movie Review: The Century of the Self; Adam Curtis, dir; 2002

Retracing the history of the 20th century through the lens of psychology, British documentarian Adam Curtis leads the viewer in The Century of the Self on a journey into the methods developed to manipulate public opinion. Make no mistake. Curtis is not spinning a conspiracy theory. There are no aliens, no Jewish cabal, no Templars. Only doctors, scientists, businessmen and politicians who thought Sigmund Freud's ideas about the hidden urges of the subconscious might be used to control large groups of people and thereby make a better world.

The story begins with Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who launched his American career selling Woodrow Wilson to the Europeans before setting himself up in the business of what he called Public Relations, the world's first professional marketing agent. Until his arrival, advertising was based on rational appeal, to the utility of the product being sold. But in an economy where industry was already meeting the basic needs of the people, how were businesses to continue to increase profits if consumers didn't buy more (of what they didn't need)? Bernays' genius was to help his clients create demand through advertising appealing to the consumer's unconscious desires.

The need to plumb these appetites and redirect them became urgent in the threatening shadows of Fascist and Communist ideologies. But with greater control came a greater degree of awareness of the methods of manipulation by the public. The push-back came in the 1960's in the form of political dissent and open challenges to established authority. After episodes of these were forcibly suppressed (as at the Chicago Democratic Convention and at Kent State), resistance turned inward, to a philosophy of liberating the self from state control through experiments with drugs, eastern religions, and new forms of psychotherapy.

Corporations were for a time unable to reach this segment of the population until surveys revealed their hidden desire - to be different, to stand out from the crowd, to express their individuality. And so the corporations learned to adjust manufacturing methods to produce a wider variety of the same type of goods.

By late century techniques for mining the unconscious had moved into the electoral process with campaign managers noticing and responding to the same underlying desire of the consumer to express his individuality. The successful candidates – Reagan, Thatcher, Clinton, Blair – were the ones who responded to this need most skillfully. In the years since politics has become less rational and more emotional, politicians less philosophical statesmen and more opportunistic businessmen.

Curtis brings a number of strengths to this project, including a sharp eye for detail, evident in the breadth of archival footage employed, and the ability to connect the dots thematically and visually. His collage technique builds meaning out of relationship and weaves a compelling narrative from disparate threads of seemingly unrelated events, all narrated in his own voice of reassuring authority. Of course he wouldn't be much of a filmmaker if he didn't apply a bit of his own subconscious manipulation, most clumsily telegraphed in his overuse of dark and forbidding background music. Otherwise, there's not much in these four hours with which to find fault.

Watch it yourself and see if you don't see some part of your own ideas or behavior reflected back at you. The complete series is available as of this writing at Google Video.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Book Review: Pain and It's Ending: The Four Noble Truths in the Theravada Buddhist Canon; Carol S. Anderson, 1999

In this exhaustive survey of canonical iterations of and scholastic research on Buddhism's central philosophical tenet, American scholar Carol S. Anderson concludes that the value of the Four Noble Truths lies not in being the subject of the Buddha's first teaching (which it most probably wasn't), nor in being a catalyst to stream entry or nibbana (which seems in the first case to have happened only to those who were taught directly by the Buddha, and the second to be a late addition to the canon). Its value, she claims, lies in the fact that the Theravada compilers in fact remember it in these two ways. In this sense the Four Noble Truths is more revealing of the compilers than of the Buddha himself.

As early as the 1930's Western scholars were questioning the historical accuracy of the Four Noble Truths as the subject of the Buddha's first discourse. One noted that the language appeared to be a gloss written for the monastic community, another that versions of the Four Noble Truths exist in other Indian religious texts that predate the Buddha (Yogabhasya and Nyayabhasya), still another that there may have been a mistaken conflation between the Four Worthy True Things (as one scholar translated the Four Noble Truths) and the Four Paths (magga) or the Four Stages of Mindfulness (sattipatthana). More modern linguistic analyses have revealed no single fixed grammatical form for the various iterations of Four Noble Truths. In fact the four propositions were in their earliest expression probably not known as “noble” nor as “truths,” and were most likely inserted into the Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta at some later date, but still prior to the final redactions of the Theravada cannon. To account for the similarity of redacted versions, one scholar has offered a principle of leveling, that where all known versions of a passage agree, this is probably the result of harmonizing of earlier traditions.

As logical propositions, Anderson finds the Four Noble Truths functioning in the Abhidhamma as denaturalized discourse, an abstraction in a net of abstractions and of no particular importance in and of itself. Within the structure of the Path, as found in the Vinaya and Sutta pitakas, she finds the proposition takes on two distinct transformative powers. In the Mahavagga's conversion stories of the first one thousand members of the sangha, the Four Noble Truths, as part of a graduated discourse by the Buddha, opens the dhamma eye and enables the practitioner to realize stream entry. In the Diga and Majjhima Nikayas, comprehension of the Four Noble Truths is the last step in a graduated practice leading to the destruction of the corruptions (desire, becoming, ignorance) and arahatship. Anderson cites research to suggest the placement of the Four Noble Truths at the end of the path, as found in the Sutta Pitakas, is probably a late addition by the Theravada compilers, and notes that the ability of the Four Noble Truths to open the dhamma eye is never related in an episode where the stream enterer was taught by someone other than the Buddha. Since his passing, the Four Noble Truths then have functioned within the path as a symbol of the enlightenment experience.

As the Four Noble Truths has no historical or propositional value, being perhaps not even the words of the Buddha himself and merely one proposition in a web of logical discourse, of what particular value is it? Anderson's conclusion is that its value lies in its uniqueness, in serving both symbolic and propositional functions, and in the fact that the Theravadan community regards it highly. Despite this rather weak conclusion, this is a commendable research effort, offering students of Buddhism in clear writing a concise summary of scholarship on the Four Noble Truths. Perhaps someday soon someone will pursue the questions that Anderson has left unconsidered. Why did the Theravada compilers need to put words into the mouth of the Buddha (when there were so many to begin with)? Are there not other propositions that could have served equally well as symbols of the enlightenment experience? What does this need to create symbols and to simplify the Buddha's message tell us about early Buddhist communities?

Buddhist scholar LS Cousins offers a more critical review on the book here, arguing that Anderson may have misinterpreted some of the research she reviews.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Are Buddhists violent?

Lawrence Osborne, author of The Naked Tourist and a new book about Bangkok to be published next month, writes in Forbes about the incongruity of Western perceptions of Buddhism and the reality of modern Thailand:

Buddhist violence--or violence committed by Buddhists, more properly speaking--is a strained concept for us, to put it mildly. I can easily imagine being assaulted by an infuriated Christian or by a hysterically outraged jihadist, by a Zionist even, at a pinch--but by a Buddhist? What would you have to say to get him mad? Deny transmigration?

I confess that I rather like the idea of an ax-wielding Buddhist thug. It would prove, at least, that stereotypes are stereotypes. Ever since America switched on to Zen, that exceedingly odd variant of Buddhism propagated by the tireless and slightly loopy Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki, among others, we have thought of Buddhism as being inseparable from an exemplary nonviolence.

In some senses, the question is self-answering. If I had entitled this column "Are Baptists Violent?" I would receive 20,000 incoherently enraged rebuttals threatening to enslave my children and rearrange my anatomy within 10 minutes. But Buddhists, if they disagree with you, are more likely to write in with respect, manners and a sense of humor. Rage is not their thing.

The full essay is available here.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Movie Review: The Trials of Ted Haggard, 2009; Alexandra Pelosi, dir

Having watched Alexandra Pelosi's other two films over the past week, we finished Wednesday night with her profile of exiled evangelical leader Ted Haggard, a name by now synonymous with deceit and hypocrisy, a textbook definition of someone hoist on his own petar. Mutsumi and I were, I suppose, looking forward to a few laughs at Mr Haggard's expense. When the film ended 50-minutes later, Mutsumi said, “Ted-san gambatte hoshii.” Don't give up, Ted.

This morning I've been doing a bit of reading of opinion about the film and it seems many think it was part of a cynical plan by Haggard to rehabilitate and relaunch a public career. Some have suggested that if he were sincere in his repentance, he would forever lead a quiet life of service.

Motivation is worth considering. Many of us would simply be too ashamed to have our personal failings broadcast across the world, which is perhaps why its difficult to see Haggard's decision as anything but manipulative. But for someone who for so much of his life worked in front of large numbers of people, whose identity was in part or in whole built on the affirmation offered by others, it must be an immense struggle (in addition to the others) to have yourself affirmed only by yourself, to live with the acclaim only of your immediate family. Perhaps he did the film because he needs to be forgiven by a larger community. Perhaps he believes that by sharing his struggles, he can encourage others facing similar difficulties, that from his disgrace something good may come.

In the course of his career, Haggard has caused hurt and harm to others, none of which I am ignoring or attempting to minimize. Some might feel that sympathy for him is misplaced, that he deserves every thing that has happened to him. I think Haggard would agree. And from the film it appears he is genuinely struggling, as he knows how, to understand what happened, to understand himself. He doesn't seem smug. On the contrary, he appears confused, unsure, like someone who for once doesn't have all the answers.

It seems a significant change for Haggard to accept the healing potential of secular psychology, to accept that Christianity and homosexuality may not be incompatible, to admit that the community he built did not practice the virtues of acceptance and forgiveness he spent his career teaching. How many of us could as easily accept our own shortcomings – and then lay them out for all to see?

By the end of the film I was thinking Haggard's a brave guy to allow Pelosi to expose him. Like Mutsumi, I was wishing I could wish him the best.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Of Tibet and Maple

This afternoon we made the short trip to Dazaifu to take in the exhibit of Tibetan Treasures now at the Kyushu National Museum. Perhaps because I've just returned from a world where these kind of artifacts are part of daily life it wasn't as impressive as it might be to those encountering them for the first time or after some period of absence. But as many of the items in the exhibit are show pieces, some of the best of the best, what was most stirking for someone like myself was the difference in workmanship between these pieces and the everyday items I saw in homes and businesses and temples in Kathmandu. The stuff in Dazaifu is gorgeous. Regrettably, photography was prohibited.

The exhibit is quite small and won't take you more than an 40 minutes to walk through, perhaps even less. For the 1000 yen ticket price, that's not such a great bargain, especially when you include transportation costs.

On the way back to the train station we stopped at Komyozenji, Fukuoka's most beautiful temple garden, today awash in the vibrant green of spring maple.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Butsuzo Girl

As we share an interest in Buddhist art, I've sent an email to Ikumi Hirose. I first learned about the 29-year old graduate of Tokyo's Sophia University last week in the English edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun. As a young woman working in a field commonly tended by balding, bespectacled scholars, she's something of a curiosity, and by coining a name for herself she helped the media sell her to the public. As a result she has become something of a minor celebrity, the Butsuzo Girl. The Buddhist Statue Girl.

Hirose's written a book about some of her favorite statues and while on her travels to learn more about Japan's art legacy gives talks or lectures discussing some of her interests. The media dutifully turn up to these events not so much because everyone is suddenly interested in Buddhist statuary as they are in catching a glimpse of the Butsuzo Girl.

I'd care not so much for a glimpse as for a chance to talk and maybe visit some temples or a museum together. I hope my message wasn't filtered into her spam folder.

For those that might be interested, you can check out Ms Hirose's website here. The Yomiuri article is linked above.


The war proved one thing

In his 1932 essay, "In Praise of Idleness," Bertrand Russell argues that the Great War, WWI, provided valuable evidence about meeting the material needs of society.

Modern technique has made it possible to diminish enormously the amount of labor required to secure the necessaries of life for everyone. This was made obvious during the war. At that time all the men in the armed forces, and all the men and women engaged in the production of munitions, all the men and women engaged in spying, war propaganda, or Government offices connected with the war, were withdrawn from productive occupations. In spite of this, the general level of well-being among unskilled wage-earners on the side of the Allies was higher than before or since. The significance of this fact was concealed by finance: borrowing made it appear as if the future was nourishing the present. But that, of course, would have been impossible; a man cannot eat a loaf of bread that does not yet exist. The war showed conclusively that, by the scientific organization of production, it is possible to keep modern populations in fair comfort on a small part of the working capacity of the modern world. If, at the end of the war, the scientific organization, which had been created in order to liberate men for fighting and munition work, had been preserved, and the hours of the week had been cut down to four, all would have been well. Instead of that the old chaos was restored, those whose work was demanded were made to work long hours, and the rest were left to starve as unemployed. Why? Because work is a duty, and a man should not receive wages in proportion to what he has produced, but in proportion to his virtue as exemplified by his industry.

Imagine, then, this excess potential utilized not for the profit of one company or country, but given instead to meet the material needs of the world.

Thanks to M for pointing me to this essay.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Gospel of Consumption

A few weeks ago I was writing about some of the changes that had taken place in my life over the last few years, including learning to live with less, to step off the merry-go-round of consumerism.

The management and workers at Kellogg, the American cereal maker known most commonly for Corn Flakes, decided to do the same themselves many years ago, adopting less pay for shorter working hours.

It was an attractive vision, and it worked. Not only did Kellogg prosper, but journalists from magazines such as Forbes and BusinessWeek reported that the great majority of company employees embraced the shorter workday. One reporter described “a lot of gardening and community beautification, athletics and hobbies . . . libraries well patronized and the mental background of these fortunate workers . . . becoming richer.”

A U.S. Department of Labor survey taken at the time, as well as interviews [writer Benjamin] Hunnicutt conducted with former workers, confirm this picture. The government interviewers noted that “little dissatisfaction with lower earnings resulting from the decrease in hours was expressed, although in the majority of cases very real decreases had resulted.” One man spoke of “more time at home with the family.” Another remembered: “I could go home and have time to work in my garden.” A woman noted that the six-hour shift allowed her husband to “be with 4 boys at ages it was important.”

Kellogg's system hasn't survived into the present day, but Jeffrey Kaplan argues in his essay, The Gospel of Consumption and the better future we left behind
that the model, or at least its imperative, may be worth reconsideration. If only we were willing to live with less.

By 1991 the amount of goods and services produced for each hour of labor [in the US] was double what it had been in 1948. By 2006 that figure had risen another 30 percent. In other words, if as a society we made a collective decision to get by on the amount we produced and consumed seventeen years ago, we could cut back from the standard forty-hour week to 5.3 hours per day—or 2.7 hours if we were willing to return to the 1948 level. We were already the richest country on the planet in 1948 and most of the world has not yet caught up to where we were then.

How badly do you need an iPhone?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Buddha's Birthday at Full Henro


08 April 2008 I set out from Koya-san to walk around the island of Shikoku. That day also happened to be Ohana Matsuri, the Buddha's birthday.

Yesterday, on the one year anniversary of that event, I did a one-day bicycle pilgrimage to the town of Sasaguri. I've written about it at Full Henro, which I've spruced up just a bit with a new header.

Lots of pictures to see. Go there by clicking here.


Monday, April 6, 2009

When Less is More

While checking the news yesterday morning I came across a USA Today article marveling over Japan's underpaid CEOs, in particular Japan Airline President Haruka Nishimatsu, who after taking over the company following a series of accidents and scandals, cut his own salary to US$98,000, rode the bus to work, and ate in the company cafeteria.

The $98k figure probably represents Nishimatsu's base pay, which is substantially padded by numerous perks. Still, "according to the consultancy Towers Perrin, CEOs of big Japanese companies earned an average $809,000 in 2003 — chump change compared with the $11.4 million raked in by their average U.S. counterpart," notes USA Today.

The smirking tone of the article suggests that the Japanese are out of step, that society here undervalues corporate leadership. It seems though, Japan has a far healthier attitude toward compensation and social cohesion than the USA, where the underlying operating principle in business seems to be to get as much as you can as quick as you can by whatever means necessary and damn those around you who aren't strong enough or shrewd enough to compete.

Except for young executives with a foot already on the career ladder, or those making a living off investing, I can't see that the average American could take issue with executives making less and sharing more with those further down the chain of command. But somewhere along the way citizens have been trained to believe the economy and the entire world free enterprise structure would collapse if CEOs were offered less.

Perhaps they imagine these guys (and its still mostly guys) indignant at offers of 10million instead of 100million, leaving in an insulted huff to go fishing rather than squandering their talent for so little reward. But really, what else would they do? If the salary bar were lowered, most would go on doing the same and be happy because they would still be making more than anyone else, which is what the outrageous compensation packages seem to be all about.

Quite unintentionally, I found in the same day's news an essay first written in 1966
(recycled through a blog via Google News) positing a more rational approach to economics, specifically in our underlying assumptions of value.

[The modern economist] is used to measuring the "standard of living" by the amount of annual consumption, assuming all the time that a man who consumes more is "better off" than a man who consumes less. A Buddhist economist would consider this approach excessively irrational: since consumption is merely a means to human well-being, the aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.

The optimal pattern of consumption, producing a high degree of human satisfaction by means of a relatively low rate of consumption, allows people to live without great pressure and strain and to fulfill the primary injunction of Buddhist teaching: “Cease to do evil; try to do good.” As physical resources are everywhere limited, people satisfying their needs by means of a modest use of resources are obviously less likely to be at each other’s throats than people depending upon a high rate of use.

Buddhist Economics
By E. F. Schumacher

What if those CEOs did leave and go fishing? We might miss out on a few innovations, but we'd survive just fine and perhaps in the process create a saner, healthier, happier living environment. And after a generation or two, no one would imagine that things could or should be any different.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Movie Review: Earthlings (2005); Shaun Monson, dir

Earthlings shows things no sane human wants to watch, things that make you wince, that make your heart shrivel, that leave you feeling drained and stupefied at the horrors perpetrated on a daily basis for nothing more than satisfying the interests and tastes of individual homo sapiens. Many may describe this as a film about animal rights, but the subject is not so much animals as it is humans, not so much about rights as it is the struggle to live compassionately.

Earthlings opens by laying out its assumptions, beginning with the premise of specieism, a variation on the human habit of assigning heightened moral value to isolated features of our own species, such as race, nationality, or sex. In asserting special rights, humans justify the treatment of animals – as they have done with women or certain ethnic groups – as creatures of less value, less worthy of respect, as in fact not creatures at all but property.

The filmmakers proceed to look at five ways in which animals serve humans: as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and research subjects. There is a narrative of sorts, but the of images of cruelty and horror tell the real story, a story of suffering on a scale so unimaginable it is overwhelming. Even more disheartening is that much of this suffering is caused not because people are starving, or naked, or without other means of enriching their lives, but because we like the taste of flesh, we like the feel of leather, we like the thrill of the hunt. This is suffering caused for nothing more than fulfillment of sensual desire.

I have been a vegetarian for nearly two years, dating back to my first six-month visit to Nepal, a country with low sanitation and health standards. I stopped eating meat for health reasons. I was not and have not been an animal rights activist, though I do have a great fondness for and interest in animals. I came to this film with an open mind and heart; I now feel traumatized. I don't blame the filmmakers for this. They have simply shown me what is and made me aware of things I ignored. As the filmmakers point out, it's not so much that these truths are hidden. Most of us prefer not to see them.

Consider this. Earthlings officially premiered in 2005, which means it has been in circulation for at least three years. But if you if google a search string of [earthlings review] you will find most returns are from sites about vegetarianism or animal protection. No reviews from major media or major critics, despite the fact that the producers (without the help of a distributor) put the film in a number of theaters in order for it to be considered for an Academy Award nomination. At the internet's two largest movie databases, IMBD and Rotten Tomatoes, the latter has no listing at all, the former no links to external reviews.

If you are prepared for an emotional and intellectual challenge and can withstand the pain of seeing animals, while still alive, having their throats slits, being burnt, beaten, electrocuted, shot, or gassed, then you might like to view or purchase a copy of the film here. A streaming version good for one week is available for US$2.99.

Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Waking up to paradox

On 09 March 09 I wrote in a post called Fukuoka ghost:

It feels strange to be back here in Fukuoka. It's like visiting my old self, the self that used to have a life here but which seems to have vanished somewhere along the way in Nepal and India. I don't want to find that person. I'm happy to let him go.

A couple of readers picked up on this and asked to know more. I was curious myself. Over a couple of weeks I produced notes to fill up five pages of A4 paper in single-spaced, 12 point text, about 2500 words, perhaps 2000 more than anyone would ever want to read.

So I set myself the task of boiling it down, finding some way to describe the fundamental difference out of which all the other changes emanate. And I think I found it.

Here it is. Let me know if you need more. I have a lot left over. ;-)


When you sit quietly and watch, something paradoxical results. The world begins expanding, while at the same time contracting.

Right in your own body you observe the changes happening at the physical level, as itching comes and goes, pain comes and goes, numbness comes and goes, tingling comes and goes. You observe changes at the mental level, as emotions rise and fade, as ideas emerge and subside. You begin to see that not only is the physical world out there always in motion, always changing. It's not just the movement of cars and planes and buses and cars. It's not just that an old building was torn down and a new one put in its place. Its not just that yesterday's clothes are now out of fashion, or that certain foods are now in style, or a sports team is now on top while another is down. You are changing, too. Never the same from moment to moment, nothing but a stream of processes - of sensations, emotions, and thoughts - each leading to the next, a stream in which today, tomorrow, and yesterday, a stream in which inside and outside, you and me, physical and mental are arbitrary demarcations, where everything runs together as part of the process of life, the infinite expanse of being. Within the context of this infinitude our lives are exceedingly brief, even briefer than we might imagine since most of us go about our day without ever stopping to consider that today may be it. If you knew there were no more tomorrows, no more next weeks, no more next months, its unlikely you would get up in the morning and shuffle off to work as you normally would. You'd be raving mad to fill yourself up with the universe.

That's me now. The old interests and engagements seem like things intended for nothing but filling up time, occupying the mind and keeping it from the terror of standing on the edge of being, where today, now, this moment, is all that is.

It's not about having a new lifestyle. It's about having life.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Good morning

Coffee grounds in the tea,
knife cut on my thumb,
melon on the floor.
Even after she said “no, thank you,”
granola in her bowl.
Practicing mindfulness in the kitchen.