I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to consider, don’t want to think of mentors in my life. There is a wall of resistance, a feisty child stomping her foot in protest – you will not tell me what to do! You will not tell me what to do. No teacher ever had. There weren’t all that many of them, maybe that’s why, maybe I never wanted any. My first Zen teacher – I stayed with her only because she opened the door wide and said: stay or leave, it’s all the same to me. I stayed. [click to continue…]

The fourth life of Pausha

December 28, 2011

It was a joke at first, you see. Or I thought it was. My yearning for magic could be nothing else after all. Chasing elven tracks in forests, looking under bushes, searching among the flower petals for fluttering fairies – I knew they were there, even as I knew they weren’t. They couldn’t be, everyone knows there is no such thing as magic. I knew that. But I didn’t want to know it. I didn’t want the gray, cold, lonely world where every step brought danger, where one false move meant disaster. I wanted elven pointed ears and fairy’s light step. And so when you said that there is a wizard living nearby, one that will turn me into an elf, I knew it was a joke. But I took the number anyway. And I made the phone call. I drove to see the wizard few days later. It was cold and misty up in the mountains, fog swirled in the canyon where the wizard lived shrouding the rushing river, the ancient oaks, the lofty pines. It was as it should be, I thought, climbing up a narrow path, up the mountain slope to a little cabin. It was just right for the master to live up on top of the mountain and for the disciples to climb up and claim the teachings. Claim the magic for themselves. [click to continue…]

My World

August 17, 2011

  The rocks were warm. Sunned for hours, they soaked up the heat and stored it within their glowing hearts. It radiated softly through their porous skin. “It feels so pleasant”, I thought, as I run up, jumping from rock to rock, from shelf to shelf, hardly touching the surface in my light slippers. “Like an elf”, I thought. It felt so pleasant to climb lightly and recklessly, higher and higher, up and onward and away from the road, away from the valley, away from the cabins and the coking fires. What looked like a wall broken into shelves, formed into steps by fallen boulders, climbing steadily upwards, turned out to be an entire world, a landscape of deep valleys and sharp peaks, of smooth-floored meadows overgrown by silvery grass, and forests of brush with their sharp, pointy branches and small shiny leaves. There were rocks as large as a head of a giant lying where they feel, with deep crevices left where they split on impact. It was quiet there, alien, the human world was only a story and I felt uneasy. I begun to walk slowly, climb cautiously, choosing the gentlest slopes and surest assents. No more running and jumping recklessly. I did not belong there. One false step, and the mountain would shake me off with hardly a flicker of it’s rocky fingers. [click to continue…]
How did I learn what I know? What teachers did I work with? What books have I read? What workshops have I attended? I can tell you all this, I can tell you the stories of my life but they will give you nothing at all. How did I learn what I know… I learned by choosing to look, by choosing to question, by choosing to consider. I learned by listening to others and then looking within myself for my response to their words, for my opinion, for my way of seeing what they see. I learned by looking inside to see my way of being me. [click to continue…]


May 1, 2011

Stories, series of stories told by people who know how to live, who know the rules, who follow the rules. I read about the rules as I stretch my arm … “No, this is not how you stretch your arm!”, says the rule “this is wrong, you have to do it like that!”… I move, flex my fingers … “No, not like this! This is the rule for how you flex your fingers, like this…” I turn … “No, this is wrong, this is the wrong way to turn, the sinful way, it will have you damned, it is how you fall! Here, this is how you turn, this is how you stretch, this is how you roll, this is how you move, this is how you live, this is how you think!” I move and stop … arrested, corrected, fixed, righted. My body grows tense, rigid … I move just a little … “wrong!” … I freeze …. I try again, slowly, maybe this way … “no! wrong!” snaps the rule. I stop. Shocked, terrified, blank. [click to continue…]