Today’s senryu: A Sane Life
A Cadillac won’t,
maybe enlightenment will,
and dogs can teach us.
Charlotte Joko Beck b.1917 – d.2011 (Photo © Michael Lange)
American Zen teacher, Charlotte Joko Beck, co-founded the Ordinary Mind Zen School and wrote three books:
- Beck, Charlotte Joko (2021). Ordinary Wonder. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1-61180-877-3.
- Beck, Joko; Smith, Steve (1989). Everyday Zen: Love and Work. ISBN 0-06-060734-3.
- Beck, Joko (1993). Nothing Special: Living Zen. ISBN 0-06-251117-3.
Beck also authored a keen article for Lions Roar magazine in August 2011 called A Sane Life; see https://www.lionsroar.com/a-sane-life/. I love her opening paragraph:
“My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn’t get her breakfast, but she doesn’t sit around worrying about whether she will get fulfilled or liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine. But we human beings are not like dogs. We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall.“
Lions Roar logo
If you’re interested in the relationship between Zen and modern psychology, check out her books, the article mentioned above, or even this < 2-minute video: