The Suffering of Water

When I lived on Old Stage road, on morning walks I picked up the heaviest rock I could carry. I took a few steps then dropped it. Pick it up. Hold. Let go. Repeat. Sage, an Australian Shepard mix, had his version of the same game. ~ In 1993 at Jikoji Zen Center I...

Eclipse

The cicadas are going round in trees of our neighborhood. They stop when the rain comes. And stay silent after rain. Then crickets. A birdcall. A woman across the alley yells, Hey! Stop it! to her dog. ~ At the red light on Lashley and 119 a woman with an uneven gait...

Passing the Baton

In 2001 I drove an Indian Brahmin teacher I call Acharya to Lesley’s house in Boulder where Japanese Zen master, Kobun Chino was staying. Kobun and Acharya immediately challenged each other and laughed together as if they been long time friends. Kobun said, I make...

Two Birds

I lie on my back in backyard looking at the blue. Two black specks move along with my right eye. Floaters. Tiny blind spots. It seems friendlier to call my blind spots, two birds. “There’s my two birds,” I say, when I catch myself jealous of a friend’s summer villa...

here and gone

I am walking with poet, Lisa Jarnot down Arapahoe swinging a basket of dandelions, morning glories, blue flax, sage, clover, rocks, twigs, and things for an offering to the visiting writers. Week One. We pass trees we touched yesterday, and touch again. This gesture...

How to Find Enlightenment (at the Periodontist’s)

There is another world and it is inside this one. * ~ Paul Eluard                                         I arrive with headphones and IPod, open mouth, and through an enormous amount of injections, am numbed to the bone. Should I try this sans music, lie back and be...

This Land

In April of 1944 between excursions for the Merchant Marines, Woody Guthrie found himself in a recording studio.* He was tired of hearing God Bless America all the time on the radio (imagine!). When he sang the words, this land is your land, he didn’t mean that we can...

HOLDING SPACE

I sit in the family section, off to the side, in a folding chair, front row. When the officiant mentions the wife and grown children he turns left, where we sit. Those in pews also turn and look at us, the bereaved. I didn’t earn my seat. I married into this row. A...

retreat

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy—to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. ~ Kierkegaard  Snow falls in the early morning at Hokoji. First bells ring at 5:25. Warm inside. Quiet is palpable. Dim light in Zendo, and snow...

Katharine Kaufman

She is a priest ordained in the Soto Zen Lineage and teaches meditation and Yoga in Boulder County and the Shambhala Centers. She is an adjunct professor at Naropa where she teaches Movement Arts. She holds MFAs in Dance and Writing/Poetics.