Monday, November 10, 2008


What a day fellow co-arisers!!!  I worked a good twelve hours today.  Tuckered me out a good deal.  Struggled with some bad attitudes.  But!!!  I had the hope of dependently co-arising with all of you!  That hope gave my heart and soul the spark it required to make the most of this glorious evening!

Jan and I ventured to Welles Park, breathing in the crisp, cool air, catching up with one another after long, tiresome days.  Jan had the inspired idea to kneel in the playground area of the park.  We made our way across the field, past the late-night man-dog frisbee team, into the darkened realm of cold slides and swings.  I'd have to say this activity was not immediately meditative or reflective for me.  It was, however, incredibly lighthearted and playful.  And I desperately needed some play this evening!

After our late-night recess in the park we made our way to the Bad Dog Tavern & Grill to share a sandwich over some sweet brews.  We ate and drank slowly, thankful for some time together, time to talk and laugh, time to be in one another's presence without distraction, time to unload some of the day's weight and breathe easier.  It was very good and altogether necessary!  We ended our date/co-arising by kneeling in the midst of the tavern's clientele, our waiter Chad kindly taking a photo of us and our full tummies.

It is a good thing, friends.  A good thing indeed.  To fill our days with positive intention!  With mindful purpose!  To bridge the artificial gap between one another and arrive in the lichtung, or clearing, where our true being can present itself, unencumbered, free to be with all others as one.  I'm thankful for this opportunity to nourish awareness with all of you!

Goodnight and happy dependent co-arising!


We sat on our knees on Humboldt Boulevard, near the Bloomingdale Line. We discussed how sitting on our knees really forces you to stop and consider. There was a stillness in the air. After that, we walked around for a little bit while our dinner cooked in the oven.

In the moving train.

In the train, in the train,
sat on my knees

difficult and painful.

i am unable to sit on my knees.

i am unable to sit on my knees.

Together under the bright bright moon thinking we saw a rabbit, watching our breath in the air, keeping warm and keeping company.

Under the Oak Tree

I went to Waters Community Garden tonight to my favorite spot. Under a big oak tree. I knelt down and felt a cushion of leaves about 6 inches deep. They crunched under my weight, and I remembered my old days of raking leaves all afternoon for the sole purpose of hurling myself into them. I breathed and smelled the brisk fall night. 

It was pretty quiet until I noticed the series of jets flying above me. I was directly beneath the flight path of a major airport. I thought about the people up in the airplanes and wondered where they were going. They were just on the ground minutes before and now they are cruising the lower atmosphere. Is Matt in one of those planes? I resolved yes! He must be in that one! I had just driven him and the members of Anathallo to the airport where they were headed to Europe. I gave him a big smile from under the oak tree. We are always connected.
I live behind a blanket door.

World As Teacher (Day 1 Post)

I had once sat cross-legged on the sidewalk of a benchless bus stop and had peanut butter cheese crackers thrown at me, so of all the possible tasks, this was one i looked the lease forward to. But I was determined to get this task completed, so just before 7 PM, I knelt in the seiza position I had used in karate classes. It was dark out, but I made sure I was far enough on the sidewalk and under the street light so I wouldn't scare the bejesus out of anyone who happened by. Of all of the people who biked or drove by, none noticed me. I think two walking people saw me, but they were on the other side of the street and didn't say anything. I thought I felt a gaze out of one of the apartment building windows across the street. But that was about it as far as human interaction. I sat there and kept thinking about the fact that I was in seiza position. It seemed only natural to mediate. In the opening of every karate class we had a ritual that went like this: Seiza (kneeling position), Mokuso (Meditate), Shomenei Rei (bow to floor and show respect to the ancestors, to all who have come before, to each other, by saying thank you (domo arigato gozaimasu), then sensei ne rei, (bow to the sensei/teacher and say thank you). I sat there and listened to all of the sounds. There is a church across the street and I heard the most wonderful voice of an older black man singing with all of his heart. I knew who it was because I once saw him come out of the church still singing in that magnificent tenor. The leaves rustled around me. I could hear the cars on the main road. I thought about the shootings that happened on Saturday here in my neighborhood. I thought about the changing of seasons. I bowed, putting my hands on the ground, fingers pointed towards each other, lowered my head thank you, rose up put my hands back in the same spot, lowered my head, thank you.
At the airport in Chicago waiting for a flight to Frankfurt.  My main reaction throughout the day was embarrassment when thinking about the idea of sitting on my knees in a public place.  For some reason it occurred to me that I should do it in a major walkway when we arrived at the airport.  I got a little freaked out, but decided that counting backward from 60 would be a good idea.  I closed my eyes and thought about you all, everyone passing me, everyone everywhere and the thought made me feel safe, so I didn't count.