A MEDITATION (Oct., 2000)


The rain had washed clean the air, and the sky was now filled with fluffy

clouds. Walking along the gravel road I watched three deer, two big ones and

a little one, gracefully climb the sunlit hill and disappear over the top. I

thought about meditation. I remembered how, before Alzheimer’s, I used to

think about meditation from time to time. Zen buddhism pointed out that the

mind was like a chattering monkey swinging from branch to branch, from

greedy thought to anxious thought. How much quality of experience could

one have with a mind like that? The path of meditation offered to silence the

mind, making it like a still mountain pool reflecting the moonlight. With such

a mind one could savor the ecstasy of Now. That was an interesting idea.


My monkey mind went south three years ago. This would perhaps be a great

advantage for meditation, except that my ability to concentrate has gone as

well. I can no longer hope to cultivate mindfulness until, with lightning

discernment, I can instantly perceive the Illusion at the core of grasping

thoughts and, like a samurai laser swordsman, vaporize them into Emptiness.

In a couple of years I’ll be lucky to have enough mindfulness to cook a frozen

dinner in the microwave.


So when I looked at the deer, I thought, “I’ll never see them any better.” But,

strangely, this thought was not depressing. I sensed that images of the silent

mind had ceased to grasp me, and having abandoned hope of the ecstasy of

Now, I understood what the Zen Masters were trying to get at. Zen mind is

Ordinary mind.



Write me: MorrisFF@aol.com