zen moments of the senior kind

Happy Hermit


The continuation of the spiritual journey really depends on how crazy we’re willing to be.
– Reggie Ray

I had no idea I’d end up this crazy. Or this contented. Or this fulfilled. Don’t ask me about happiness – it’s a sub-category these days. Imagine being happy to be unhappy? Imagine being contented to feel like shit? Imagine being at peace with pain and weariness? Imagine being ok with depression, flatness, confusion? If this isn’t your version of liberation I totally understand. (We all start out on this journey imagining ‘waking up’ will magically erase all discomfort from our experience.)

But this absurd liberation lives here, and this is what the crazy cow offers tonight: five three-liners of the slightly nonsensical variety. They like to think they are haiku, but would duck and hide in the presence of ‘real’ haiku. Apologies for my warping of noble zen aphorisms, koans and haiku. I mean no disrespect; after all these years they are deeply embroidered in the fabric of this brain and have a life of their own.

My sanity does too. Where the hell did I put it?

old flesh, old bones

on the zafu, aches come and go

just like I used to


weary old mind

data flows in, data drops out



music to my ears…

the sound of someone else



puddle on zafu

old cow’s melted-down stories



relentless koan:

what is the sound of my neighbor’s dog





About the image.  This delightful brush drawing comes from the cover of an exhibition catalogue: L’Au-delà dans l’art japonaise. Paris 1963. Nowhere in the book does it mention the name of the artist whose work is featured on the cover. My instincts tend towards Sengai… what do you think?


28 thoughts on “zen moments of the senior kind

    1. Gosh – you’re such a youngster dear Dominic. Never mind, you are welcome at this old empty house any time. We can howl and scream in tandem!
      Love to you, too. _/|\_

  1. I love your description of how you experience liberation; it’s what I imagine it could be like — still experiencing all of these things, but caught by none of them. I don’t think we can aspire to more while still cloaked in flesh.

    1. Dearest Cate – even the getting “caught” is ok! How cool is that?

      Your last sentence touches me deeply. I’m just feeling so blessed and thankful that the flesh survived long enough to fall into this foolishness… and that the spirit was willing.

      Love to you 🙂

  2. what glorious sitting-in-the-middle and not getting snagged by the slings and arrows, the barbs and the shards of outrageous indifference to my tiny, needy, ageing sel__________ _ _ … – !;

    this is the first piece of work that has moved me (shifted me) enough to want to include it in my own ‘others’ page in-a-lonng-time; there is always space to shift and aside, but the still-movement doesn’t happen very often that it’s always a surprise to find it … around here, somewhere, nowheredidIputit?

    you can find it here: https://mlewisredford.wordpress.com/others/ , but then you, especially, knew where it was all along

  3. “Don’t ask me about happiness . . .” Ha Dear Miriam, no need to ask about what shines plainly through your words. No, this kind of recognition is not at all what we were expecting and projecting when we first sat down on the zafu. I left mine back a few moves ago, don’t even miss it now. Imagine, all those hours spent trying to become myself! ❤

    1. Thank you dear Bob! It’s so true. We sign up for something so serious, and this is what befalls us…

      Where are the gurus peddling craziness? Hard to find (well, maybe dear old Trungpa.) It seems that the whole spiritual scene is populated with purveyors of ‘The Ultimate FIX’.

      I abandoned my zafu for a couple of decades. Now I’m in love with it again – it’s become a spaceship. Wheeeee!

      I love your company in deep space… ❤

  4. “I had no idea I’d end up this crazy. Or this contented. Or this fulfilled. Don’t ask me about happiness – it’s a sub-category these days.” I love this! My blog are MY crazy stories about both getting old AND my days growing up in NYC and how I got this crazy!

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