Sweeping aside dead thoughts

Image result for yellow october leaves


October, 1968:

Swept leaves all morning,
racing after each with bamboo broom,
sweeping aside dead thoughts.

Who’s trying to sleep on zendo floor?
Who opens door, slips out, pissing
by light of autumn’s slender moon.

Who wonders: Are those shooting stars,
or police shotguns in Berkeley?

Joel Weishaus (October 1968), from Five Panels from The Monastery of The Pond Dragon: In Memory of Soen Nakagawa Roshi


In the Quiet Zendo
some of the flying maple leaves
are dancing.

Soen Nakagawa Roshi (1907-1984)


Around and around the house the leaves fall thick—but never fast, for they come circling down with a dead lightness that is sombre and slow. Let the gardener sweep and sweep the turf as he will, and press the leaves into full barrows, and wheel them off, still they lie ankle-deep.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Bleak House

Swept leaves all morning,

racing after each with bamboo broom,

sweeping aside dead thoughts.

–Joel Weishaus, October 1968


When you find that your original mind is pure mind, you awaken.

You cannot wash a lump of clay in water, but if you keep the water quiet and calm, all the impure stuff in it will sink. You will find the water clear. When you keep your mind quiet in meditation, all impurities settle. The things that come into your mind from the outside and your original quality of mind will be clearly separated, and your mind will become clear as crystal. At that moment, this clear mind connects your individual consciousness to universal consciousness. You become a being with universal consciousness, a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is a sentient being who has a universal, awakened mind. Awakened beings possess unified, harmonious minds. Your mind will become unified, harmonious with all others. Our minds have become different and separative, but they are not originally separate and different. Originally, they are all unified, harmonious. When you realize this attainment of universal, unified mind, it is called awakening.

Sokei-an Roshi (1882-1945)

Image result for yellow october leaves

I have been younger in October

than in all the months of spring…
the day is yet one more yellow leaf…

W.S. Merwin (b.1927), “The Love of October”


The thing with October is, I think, it somehow gets in your very blood. Unapologetically. Almost ruthlessly.

–Anne Sexton (1928-1974)


October is a hallelujah! reverberating in my body year-round….

John Nichols (b.1940), The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn

))))))  ***** (((((


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