My Monk wears New Balance:


I can’t really claim him as my monk guessing I have to share him.

Chuang Yen Monastery, Carmel NY

While visiting the Chuang Yen Monastery yesterday, as we were leaving the Great Buddha Hall, we visited with a wonderful monk, Ven. Ji Xing, who greeted us with a smile that would have filled each square inch of that hall.

Great Buddha Hall, Vairocana Buddha is called the supreme Buddha and represents the wisdom of shunyata, “emptiness. He is white, representing all colors and his symbol is the Dharma wheel. He is associated with the first skandha, form. Meditation on Vairocana vanquishes ignorance

He spoke of the importance of the earth and our place grounded, close to the earth, “All things come from the earth!  Does the earth get mad when you toss down trash? No” he said.  “The earth is forgiving.”

Buddha has a sense of humor…..I hope.

He pointed a sharp finger to my chest. “Do you get mad when I point at you?”

“No, I said.”

“That is good.” he smiled and laughed.

“When someone is pointing one finger at you in a menacing way. They point three fingers back at themselves.”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, you get one finger they get three. Ha, ha, ha, ha. There is no reason to get


The teachings continued until he had to leave for other pressing monk-like duties.  I’m gong to miss my monk in the running shoes.

Zen Snow Shoveling:

Zen Snow Shoveling 

 If we believe that enlightenment is a product of meditation and intuition rather than faith.   We must then believe that the art of shoveling snow is just a way of creating a path for future travels. 

When the depth of our opponent is that of  just a few inches we need to remember that “Speed Creates Power”.  A firm but flexible grip on the shovel handle is important  for transferring power from our hips once  in a relaxed horse stance. 

Sometimes while attacking greater depths of snow, as in life, one must take two steps backward before initiating the attack with a forward thrust. Do this with “snap and power” This can be a power move keeping your center low. 

The question that one should ask is:  “How good do you want to be?” 

Broken twig and bird tracks find their future among snow flakes.