June 2nd, 2014

egg stone

"Cover the ground where you stand."

I am reading the book Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden by Karen Moezen Miller.

She quotes Maezumi Roshi, who said, "Cover the ground where you stand."  She says he meant "the bare and unblemished ground of your life. To see it, you'll have to uncover what's blinding you: the rampant rambling of your mind."

She continues, "When something bad happens, when you step into the quicksand of your anxiety and doom, when your thoughts begin to race, when fear strangles your breath, despair wrenches your heart, and doubt suffocates the light right out of your day, pick up a rock and hold it in your hand. Yes, any old rock will do. Any rock will bring you back to the here and now. Faith in the here and now is faith that never leaves you.  Besides, what else do you have to go on?"

I sit what that.  I love to hold rocks.  I believe they do bring me home, home to a stability that moves back and forth, that, yes, rocks.  We think of rocks as still, and yet again I post this poem by Charles Simic.  It's one I love, an anchor to honor and swirl.


Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger's tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

- Charles Simic