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Nothing Works... Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-12-2012 03:29 PM
James Sawers

This poem and others are available in my books, Nothing Works: Meditations on Aikido, Buddhism, the Tao, Zen, and other inconsequential things....and, Nothing Special, and Nothing Matters..., available thru Amazon.com, in print and Kindle editions and Barnes & Noble websites.....Also available as an e-book via Smashwords.com. Try this link: www.nothing-works.com for the full array of options.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 360
Comments: 68
Views: 657,734

In General TRANSCENDENCE Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #360 New 06-27-2023 02:50 PM

Transcendence does not
Require the hero's quest
It does not require climbing
Vast, distant mountains
It does not even require
Achieving godhood

It merely means the
Transcendence of self
Overcoming the person you are
To a level beyond
A quantum jump in personal evolution
You don't need a god for that

Views: 1638

In General PITY Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #359 New 05-19-2023 08:56 PM

No matter how compelling or beautiful
they may be, words appeal in the main to
the linear, thinking mind that thinks in words.

~ Dōgen

Master, when asked a question
by devoted disciples, why do some
masters-of-old strike their students?

In answer, the master struck
His inquisitive student violently
On his head and shoulders.

Ah, cried the student, bewildered.
Still, not understanding.

In pity, the master struck him again.

Views: 1070

In General WE BOW A LOT Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #358 New 10-13-2022 03:47 PM

The bell rang out
Piercing and clear
We all bowed
Sensei turned and faced us
Sitting in a line facing him
We all bowed again
We bow a lot in the dojo
We warmed up, then
Picked a partner, and
You guessed it, bowed
Practice, practice, practice....

The dojo is a timeless place
Gi and hakama
Sweat and no-time
All become one
Conscious breathing itself stops
But the flow is always there
Deep inside, I bow to the flow
Sometimes, I think
It bows back...
In the dojo
We bow a lot

Views: 1827

In General FULL WHEN EMPTY Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #357 New 07-19-2022 05:04 PM

I saw a sign on a dumpster once
It said: Empty When Full
I must have seen this sign
A thousand times
But this time what I saw was:
Full When Empty
It has turned into my koan

Views: 1665

In General WOKE Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #356 New 01-04-2022 04:13 PM

As the story goes:
Sitting under a Bohdi tree
The Buddha was approached
And asked who he was:
I am he who woke up
Responded the Buddha

Today, would he be accused
Of being woke? That is:
Well informed, up-to-date
Alert to racial or social
Discrimination and injustice
To being aware…
Or, as William Melvin Kelly
So succinctly put it
Way back in 1962:
If you're woke, you dig it

Do you think Buddha
Was aware?
Was he digging it?

Views: 1946

In General Now Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #355 New 02-03-2021 01:15 AM

Do it now!
Don't delay
Oh, too late….
Now, damn it!
Again, now slips on by
Now, a slippery concept
A slippery artifact
Now is always moving
As is consciousness, too
We are slow to keep up
Always lagging behind
The now of non-thought is
The only way to experience it
Now, now, now, now….
No past, no future

Views: 2301

In General Shape of My Heart Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #354 New 11-06-2020 11:33 AM
Shape of My Heart

Patton and Rommel
Machiavelli and Sun Tzu
Think they know the shape of my heart
Much better than you

I'm a lost warrior poet
Caught up in a febrile dream
Dancing with Musashi and Beowulf
Faraway on an errant moonbeam

But it is Tu Fu and Basho
Lord Byron and Poe
Firing madrigals and haiku
That will bring me back to Glasgow

Dickinson and Angelou
Whitman and Hughes
Providing inspiring stanza
That never fail to amuse

Armed with rhyme and meter
Along with blade and gun
I have Kipling and Frost
Wordsworth and Donne

But you know the shape of my heart
Longs for refuge and care
Far from desolate battlefields
Away from constant bloody warfare

How I long to just sit with you
Sharing Twain and Alighieri
Nestled securely under a shade tree
Distant from any mindless savagery

Patton and Rommel
Machiavelli and Sun Tzu
Musashi and Beowulf
Don't really know my heart like you

Views: 5371

In General Merely Human Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #353 New 10-17-2020 05:14 PM
Merely Human

The monumental prospect
Of being merely human
To praise existence itself
Though our own death is preordained
To see the small beauties of ordinary life
The small evils of ordinary life

The Stoic would speak of
Right Perception, Right Action,
And Right Will
Buddhists, of the Eightfold Path
Me, I'm not so disciplined
I just sip my coffee
Writing checks for things
I can't afford

Views: 2219

In General A Place For Everything Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #352 New 09-23-2020 05:04 PM
A Place For Everything

A place for everything
And everything in its place
Such easy, simple, and sound advice

Shoes all lined up
Paired as they should be
Books listed by alphabet and subject
Easy, simple, sound
Life as contained as a Bible verse

What's that shoe doing over there
In that dusty corner?
Is that a book I see
Nestled in with the fire logs?

Does the sun remain locked in place?
The moon stationary in the night sky?
The rain only wet you once?

Sitting on the green hillside
Overlooking the flowing river
Clouds playing with the rising sun
An ant crosses over my bare foot

Views: 1323

In General Valhalla Station Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #351 New 08-26-2020 05:48 PM
Valhalla Station

Approaching via a halo orbit
From Valhalla Station is relatively easy
Still, taking off and landing
Are always the worst times
Fortunately, it's mostly automated

Alba Station will be a fun change
The running joke is that their hakama
Should be tartan instead of black
But, no one underestimates their
Aikido and weapons work

Especially since they have added
A Claymore to their weapons practice
Interesting, but no worse as when the
New America Station added baseball bats
(Wooden, of course) to their weapons practice

Purists think aikido should not be changed
From the way of the Founder's practice
But what is that, anyway? Others think
That arbitrarily freezing a tradition at any
Particular stage stifles and smothers it

It can become a dead thing and have the
Insidious power to deaden its practitioners
What is more innovative than aikido in space!
The Mutuality of the L-5 and L-4
Republics are nothing if not innovative

Views: 1149

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