look at why I practice

September 13th, 2010

An acknowledgment of all those who joined me yesterday at the Beginner’s Mind Meditation Retreat at the Hazy Moon Zen Center. You know who you are. More importantly, you are beginning to really know who you are.

When wisdom is a concept, look how ignorant I am in the name of wisdom.
When love is a concept, look how hateful I am in the name of love.
When charity is a concept, look how greedy I am in the name of charity.
When kindness is a concept, look how mean I am in the name of kindness.
When beauty is a concept, look at what I defile in the name of beauty.
When freedom is a concept, look who I imprison in the name of freedom.
When truth is a concept, look who I deceive in the name of truth.
When faith is a concept, look how fearful I am in the name of faith.
When peace is a concept, look how much chaos I create in the name of peace.
When life and death are concepts, look what I destroy in the name of life.

To overcome my own ignorance, hate, greed, meanness, defilement, imprisonment, deception, fear, chaos and death. This is why I practice.

If you’re on the other coast, there’s still time to join me this Sat., Sept. 18 at the Mother’s Plunge in Boston. I’ll be looking for you!


  1. This is magnificent. I want to say more, but I just can’t find the words. My first thought was that concepts don’t bleed or breathe. But, this is really magnificent, Karen.

    Since Hallmark hasn’t gotten it’s claws into Bodhi Day (have they?), I’m not aware of any greeting card lingo for the occasion. Perhaps, that is best.

    Comment by Mama Zen — December 9, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  2. mmm…thank you. beautiful.

    Comment by Phyllis Sommer — December 10, 2007 @ 3:50 am

  3. Much needed words given all that this world is doing in the name of peace, truth, freedom.
    Is your practice that which is primarily about overcoming these things -hate, greed, deception, ect. .- or it it also to celebrate/enjoy that which does not need to be overcome?
    I appreciate you refusing to dress things up for the sake of making them “pretty”. You are rescue from sentimentality. And I love you for this.

    Comment by bella — December 10, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

  4. Bella, my practice is to overcome all dualistic concepts. That takes care of everything.

    MZ, back at cha.

    Comment by Karen — December 10, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

  5. What a perfect reason to practice.

    Comment by Mika — December 10, 2007 @ 3:32 pm

  6. Yes Mika, the only one, and it’s quite unreasonable.

    Comment by Karen — December 10, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  7. Beautiful. Let’s send the list to Washington, D.C., shall we? 🙂

    The one line that struck me as odd is the pairing of faith and fear. Not odd that it’s mentioned but odd that we would approach faith with fear instead of comfort, or something similar.

    Comment by Moanna — December 10, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  8. nodding my head yes.

    Comment by benjhutchison — September 13, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  9. And you’ll be seeing me. Maybe for the first time.

    Comment by Jena — September 14, 2010 @ 4:54 am

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