returning to silence…

quite a feat–
in utter silence
the plum tree blooms
~Issa (cited:

Returning to silence begins with an awareness of our in-breath and our out-breath. The uniting of body and mind opens a door to noble silence. We become available to life and life becomes available to us with just three seconds of mindfulness of the breath…releasing the past and the future.

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/100s 300mm 400 ISO/neutral density filter edited: Capture One 20

Around my home are the river rock I’ve picked up during nature walks so I’ve especially enjoyed the video, “Matter and Memory” by Katayama Yoshiyuki. As an introduction to this video, she noted:

“I like so-called ordinary stones, and I often bring them home as a souvenir if there are stones that I like when I go somewhere far away.

Ordinary stones are generally worthless, but I sometimes feel that they are more valuable to me than expensive goods that are mass production.

Stones are like containers with nothing inside. That is why I feel I can pack a lot of memories or scenery of the land into the stones and bring them home.

“‘That which I could never find without going to that place’
It is probably an important factor, I think.”

this is because that is

Stay at Home Order … day 30 plus 14 seclusion retreat days


everything is connected by causality … and if nothing else, Covid-19 is waking us up to the fact that we are all connected

Brian Boucher, CNN These ancient images of the Buddha are more timely than you think

if one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned.  Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.

~ The Buddha


Life is short; it must not be spend in endless metaphysical speculations which will not be able to bring us the Truth.

Andres Hedman, Consciousness from a Broad Perspective
sunset april 23, 2020

“The Buddha’s teachings can be read on many levels … at a fundamental level, all the storytelling was a way of conveying ethical values. One of them is the peaceful coexistence of all life forms, which is very germane today. We’ve wandered dangerously far from that principle in the era of climate change. Referring to the seated Buddha sculpture in San Francisco, which is inscribed with the message that all things are connected by causality (in contrast with the deterministic belief that our fate is out of our hands)… What [the Awakened One] saw when he woke up is that things don’t happen by chance, that everything is connected by causality … and if nothing else, Covid-19 is waking us up to the fact that we are all connected.”

Brian Boucher, CNN These ancient images of the Buddha are more timely than you think

All images created with a Nikon D750

sunset april 23, 2020: f/5.6 1/500 42mm 400 ISO

basketball court: f/5.8 1/800 100mm 400 ISO

spring blossoms: f/5.6 1/160s 300mm 400 ISO

lens-artists photo challenge: morning

Stay at Home Order … day 25 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

O for a friend–that we might see and listen together! 
O the beautiful dawn in the mountain village!– 
The repeated sound of cuckoos near and far away.

~The Sarashina Diary (cited: Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/125s 25.7mm 80 ISO

in the silver dew
one sleeve cold…
morning sun

~Issa (cited:

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/1600s 35m 100 ISO

A nightingale’s song
Brings me out of a dream:
The morning glows


Sony RX 1003 f/2.8 1/250s 19.48mm 80 ISO

at dawn
not a soul in sight…
lotus blossoms

~Issa (cited:

Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/126s 22.38mm 80 ISO

In the Autumn night 
The pale morning moon was setting 
When I turned away from the shut door.

~The Diary of Izumi Shikibu (cited: Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

The pale morning moon* … camping with my family in the “Snowies”

This week Ann-Christine invites us to look at our morning – or Any morning -maybe there is a special morning that we will never forget.

*The waning moon is called the morning moon because it can be seen after dawn

this is because that is

Stay at Home Order … day 14 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

leaving the town

breathing easier…

firefly ~Issa (cited:

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000 35mm 200 ISO

“The rapid increase of carbon dioxide concentration in Earth’s modern atmosphere is a matter of major concern. But for the atmosphere of roughly two-and-half billion years ago, interest centres on a different gas: free oxygen (O2) spawned by early biological production. The initial increase of O2 in the atmosphere, its delayed build-up in the ocean, its increase to near-modern levels in the sea and air two billion years later, and its cause-and-effect relationship with life are among the most compelling stories in Earth’s history.”

(cited: Lyons, Timothy W.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Planavsky, Noah J. The rise of oxygen in Earth’s early ocean and atmosphere: Nature, Volume 506, Issue 7488, pp. 307-315 (2014).

“The oxygen holocaust was a worldwide pollution crisis that occurred about 2,000 million years ago. Before this time there was almost no oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Earth’s original biosphere was as different from ours as that of an alien planet. But purple and green photosynthetic microbes, frantic for hydrogen, discovered the ultimate toxic waste, oxygen. Our precious oxygen was originally a gaseous poison dumped into the atmosphere. … (The atmospheres of Mars and Venus today are still more than 95 percent carbon dioxide; the Earth’s is only 0.03 percent.)…”

(cited: Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution

how many nights…

Stay at Home Order … day 11 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

“The sight of the leaves ever reminds me strangely of my own sadness. I cannot go within, but lie on the veranda; mayhap my end is not far off. I feel a vague anger that others are in comfortable sleep and cannot sympathize with me. Just now I hear the faint cry of a wild goose.* Others will not be touched by it, but I cannot endure the sound.

How many nights, alas!-


Only the calls of the wild geese-

~The Diary of Izumi Shikibu (cited: Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)


*Footnote within the Diary of Court Ladies of Old Japan notes that the “wild geese visit Japan in Autumn and fly away northwards in the early spring. They are never alone, and their cries calling to each other make the solitary woman feel loneliness more keenly.”

May you be well. May you be safe. May you find solace.

lens-artists photo challenge: simplicity

Across concealed blue skies – drifting signs

Imaginary birds and dragons – aimless shifting stories

Gathering and dispersing – water droplets and star dust

In flight – clouds empty of clouds

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/800 35mm 200 ISO

This week Patti (P.A. Moed) invites us to “get back to the basics” and to share how we understand simplicity.

As I was re-reading the basic rules for the board game Go, I came to understand that while the game builds upon 6 simple rules it is an incredibly complex game with more possible configurations for pieces than atoms in the observable universe.

The true origin of Go is unknown. One of the legends tells us that it first emerge in China during the reign of the legendary Emperor Yao (2356 BC- 2255 BC) who created the game for one of his children.

Kano Yoshinori (Graded Go Problems for Beginners) outlines the 6 general rules as:

1) Go is played by two people (I enjoy playing alone as it feels more strategic than competitive) taking turns playing their moves, one stone at a time.

2) One side plays with black stones, the other white.

3) A move consisted of placing a stone on an intersection of the board. Stones can also be placed on the borders of the grid.

4) Once a stone is placed on an intersection, it cannot be moved to another point.

5) When one player has more knowledge and skill, the “weaker” player places more stones on the board to compensate for the difference in strength.

6) In an even game, the side holding the black stone always goes first. In a handicap game, it is the white who plays first.

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/3200 35mm 200 ISO

At first glance, nature appears simple. The seasons flow from one into another. Clouds move across the sky creating amazing characters and awakening imaginary stories. Yet, when one become more intimate with Mother Earth’s dynamics there are multiple configurations that are beyond my imagination.

Please be safe…