HOW I COUNT TO ZEN – 43*

“With Ch’an, I better understand myself, my mission in time and space. No drama and dharma are what I seek; decent and solid is my true face.

When change is where we live, from dyana to zazen I count, at least to five; breath to body to kindness, twelve links and paramount.

The flower tells me no fixed formula to finding a peaceful moon. Observer and observed, no mind; full, half, Burmese, or kneeling rune.

Lying down or walking; all are healing. Breathing from belly my half-smile arises. I hear One Love in every sone. Zazen, kinhin, and chanting surprises:

plan, do, check, act through all my days, kaizen by point or by the whole. I ask why at least five times to comfort any painful earhole.

To love thee with smiles and tears and breath, I fondly count till my counting ends and love Thee better through birth and death.”

*With a nod to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43

NATURAL BEAUTY AND OTHER POEMS, p.53

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