View Full Version : A Silly Poem

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Sharon Seymour
11-18-2003, 05:35 PM
Quietly training,

hammering heart, shaky legs,

steam on cold windows.

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 06:18 PM
Old bones!

Rattling in symphony,

With so many others.

Fred Calef III
11-18-2003, 06:29 PM
neither fight nor flight

the lightly worn middle path

with white ai-ki blocks

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 06:34 PM
Begging priets,

Following the Middle Path,

Becoming Buddhas.

Note: The Middle Path is one of the great doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism. In addition, in Japan, priests go out in a long line into the city for begging food to teach humility and poverty. They must always walk down the middle of the road so as not to show any preference to one house over the over.

Sharon Seymour
11-18-2003, 06:57 PM
Becoming Buddhas,

tugging our pendant earlobes --

whence this big belly?

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 07:12 PM

Laughing and chuckling,

At Musashi's fighting cocks.

Note: The popularly known image often called the "happy Buddha" or the "Buddha of good luck" is actually Hotei who was an intinerent priest in Tang China, not really (technically) a Buddha. He was very popularly regarded as a guardian of children and included as one of the seven gods of good fortune. Very popular in China, his image arrived in Japan in the mid 8th cent. Hotei's image became a very popular subject in Zen painting. This poem refers to Miyamoto Musashi's famous ink painting of Hotei watching two roosters fighting. Even the god of happiness cannot stop a fight once it begins. We don't really know what Musashi meant when he drew this. Many thanks for the nice poem!

11-18-2003, 07:34 PM


Oh, my!


Hotei. Happy Monk.

Buddhist Santa with a sack

Collecting pennies.

(see No. 12 at http://www.quangduc.net/English/story/01zenstory1-20.html)


Hotei has so much to give,

He even tries to balance Daruma on his head.

Will he stay? Or fall?

Let's have a good look!

(Reikai, 1877-1946). http://www.shambhala.com/zenart/html/gallery/detail/z13.cfm

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 12:09 AM
Cyber friends

Weaving threads in space,

This unbreakable rope!

11-19-2003, 07:57 AM
Sensei tells me

send me your


and lightens my


that i may take

just one

more step

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 09:03 AM
Who is sensei?

Who walks ahead,

Who guides,

Who teaches,

Who worries,

Who cares.

Who wonders

What it is all about?

And who keeps going,

With students, friends,

All by himself. . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 01:00 PM
We can be frank about rank,

We can drink 'till we stink,

Whatever I say will not make your day.

So keep your fears with what you hold dear,

And let's stop here and have beer!

(Sorry, I just kidding about the beer but how about some tea? Hahaha!)

11-19-2003, 03:01 PM
I can be Frank about anything, haha!

How can I not be Frank?

But with too much beer I may become

Frank in stein.


Please throw your tea at me now!

(this is indeed a silly poem!)

John Boswell
11-19-2003, 03:09 PM
:::throws tea at Frank:::

er... hmm. Did you mean that literally? or were you just being poetic and stuff? :p



/throws some more tea

/hides some more :D

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 03:40 PM
I hope Frank is not the Frank I see,

Throwing all about this tea,

One too many beers or three,

Or one too many hard ukemi?

Someone find the true-blue Frank,

Someone check the smelly drunk tank,

Where is that friend of mine?

He must be this Frankenstein!

11-19-2003, 05:18 PM
This beer monster talk

brings Shoki to mind (Boy's Day);

Slice all my demons!

(Actually, I never drank very much at all; since I was a boy and saw how "Okame turns to Hannya" after too much sake. Restraint in use of intoxicants is is a common Buddhist precept as well as Western monastic--"We read that monks should not drink wine at all, but since the monks of our day [600 AD!] cannot be convinced of this, let us at least agree to drink moderately, and not to the point of excess, for 'wine makes even wise men go astray'" (Rule of Benedict, 40:6-7)

Sensei, please forgive my silliness!

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 06:13 PM
Zen priests do not drink, they ask for "the tea of wisdom" which means alcohol. Haha!

From when I was very young, my first teacher told me about Yukawa Sensei, one of O'Sensei's early students and how he died, so I promised myself never to drink. I still do not drink to this day. In many very old temples in Japan, drinking alcohol is absolutely forbidden.

Japanese have a custom of drinking a lot at festivals. Sake, rice wine, is one of the sacred offerings to the gods. The custom is that the gods are happy only if they look down and see humans being happy - so everyone drinks and celebrates! The formal verb "asobasu" or "asobu" means to play (like children) but also means "to move like the gods." This shows, from ancient times, the idea of celebration of the gods and having a good time or being at play. . . . . .

Talking about alcohol on an "Aikido" website, please go to confession! Hahahah!

11-19-2003, 07:36 PM
Our play turns sober;

Ponder mindful consumption,

Fifth precept, again.


Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 09:00 PM
Another "fifth?"

Can't get away from alcohol can you?


Let's eventually make our way back to Aikido,

Before we lose everyone we know!


11-19-2003, 09:18 PM
At one point of time I smoke

In another I drink

My lungs choke

My brain can't think

Start to see tabaco and alcohol as taboo

No longer these I will do


I've completely stopped smoking for almost a year now. I never was a heavy smoker, but I did smoke nonetheless. I've stopped this bad habit.

As for alcohol, I've actually started to avoid the stuff. Didn't think much of it in the past. But, I'm avoiding it for a couple of reasons, one is for the very same reason that Furuya-sensei said, the other is for religious reason.

Kensho Furuya
11-19-2003, 09:26 PM
Thanks - I don't like to drink because of my training and also for the precepts which I observe as a priest. But drinking is not all bad. I know that they say one glass of red wine a day is very good for the circulation and gives the body lotsa of iron. . . . and is good for the heart. I have seen too many people in Aikido drink too much so this is another reason why I don't encourage it among my students. . . . . . I see a lot of priests drink too. It's not to judge if that is the way they go. . . . .

My father got bad lungs from tobaccco. The wife of a famous Taiji teacher I know died from inhaling too much cigarette smoke while in China where they smoke a lot. . . . she developed a little cough and was gone in six months. Such a big shame and so very sad! I think we take in enough drugs and chemicals and bad air as it is in our daily lives - no use adding to it, I imagine!

A famous teacher of swords I know had a pen name, "Drunk on Swords." Maybe we should be happy to be drunk on Aikido! Best wishes!

11-19-2003, 09:56 PM
Dear Furuya Sensei,

Wow. When I read your first line, Another "fifth?", I thought the subject was a musical interval! I have not heard that word used as a volumetric measure for a long time. Maybe I've spent too much time with monks and studying chants!

I'm very happy that you as a Sensei and priest show a good example. I remember very clearly how, when I was a teenager, I was bothered by two "human" role models. Of course, teenagers might expect their heroes to be perfect! One was a priest who shocked me when he pulled his cigarettes out from under his robes and lit up while we were talking. The other was at a very nice aikido dojo where after class many students went to the bar next door; I felt very uncomfortable (also, I was a good deal below "legal age"!). Now I look back and realize we are all just humans; but at the time I was disappointed by these leaders.

"The Path is exceedingly vast.

From ancient times to the present day, even the greatest sages were unable to perceive and comprehend the entire truth;

the explanation and teachings of masters and saints express only part of the whole.

It is not possible for anyone to speak of such things in their entirety.

Just head for the light and heat, learn from the gods, and through the virtue of devoted practice of the Art of Peace, become one with the Divine." (Art of Peace, 113)

Pointing to the South,

I hope to be to others,

A stone on the Path.

11-19-2003, 10:01 PM
There's a line form a Japanese animation, "Gensoumaden Saiyuuki", that I like in reference of alcohol:

In order for its taste

Sake has to be matured

In order to enjoy it

One also needs to be matured

11-20-2003, 08:22 AM
Goose cry fills dawn fog.

They cannot see each other.

So we walk the Way.

Kensho Furuya
11-20-2003, 11:16 AM
So many faceless friends,

Chatting on this internet together,

When does this morning fog will lift?

Mr. Frank Hale: Many thanks for your kind message. I don't consider myself such a great example. Perhaps I am too afraid of all my many vices that I try to watch them too carefully. I don't have the courage or priviledge to break so many rules as many more enlightened people! Hahaha!

Like yourself and everyone else in such an art as this, I have had occasion to be so disappointed in instructors and others that I have come to respect and hold up as a model for myself. We all go through this at one time or another in our training. I see this subject discussed often here on the internet. . . . . .

When I was first ordained as a priest, my Zen master told me this, "Everything in this temple and what you do is unfair and unjust. If you are not prepared to accept this, you will have a lot of trouble! I myself am totally selfish and only think of myself and no one else. Don't expect anything from me because I don't care about anything but myself!"

When he said this to me, I was totally shocked but thought that this is all a part of the normal "dialogue" and "chit-chat" that we always hear about. But in the first several years, I really suffered because there was so much I didn't understand and "people" can always be or appear to be a big disappointment, especially all of the seniors around me. . . . . . My teacher's words always stuck to me and that is what carried me through everything. Later, I realized that it was not really so "unjust" or "unfair" it is just people being people and that is the way it is wherever you go, even in a temple or dojo.

At the beginning, it is easy to set up ideals (which might be a little too unrealistic) and high expectations about Aikido and teachers and organizations and such as we see here in the internet all of the time. I think there is a "probation time" which allows us, through correct training, to settle back to earth and look at the art in a more "natural" way. I don't say, "reasonable" or "logical!"

Once, a soldier asked the world conquerer, Alexander, the Great: "You are like a god!"

Alexander replied, "Ask the person who empties my chamber pot each morning!"

As I recall old memories here, I would like to relate one more episode in my temple training mayn years ago. Once a monk came for training to our temple from Japan. I was not under the local temple which my teacher was head of but the North American Headquarters and it was a center for training for many monks. I happened to be there when he had his first interview with my teacher.

My teacher looked at him and said, "You are here for a while. I think your father must have given you a great deal of money for your stay. Hand it all over to me!"

We were both surprised at that moment and later this priest confessed to me, "I thought he was some kind of thief at first who was going to steal all me money!"

Then my teacher told him: "You come here to my temple thinking that you are going to have a good time and that we are going to give you everything! You think you are here to take, take, take and then leave. That is a big mistake! When you come to this temple, you come to give, give, give. You must give of yourself in order to train yourself, it is not a matter of thinking about all you can get. I expect you to work hard and do your best. You must give, not take away! I will keep your money and return it to you when you are ready to return to Japan!"

We were both so shocked when we heard these words but later, I was so impressed with my teacher. I see this all of the time in the dojo and in Aikido. Most people come into practice and into the dojo thinking only about what they are going to get. So many people nowadays have this attitude of take, take, take. . . . . and "me, me, me." These students either change their mental perspective or never do well in Aikido, I think. Over all these years, I know these this to be true in many cases. . . . .

11-20-2003, 11:29 AM
Dear Furuya Sensei,

There is a new thread on AikiWeb this morning, under Training, "What does aikido cost?" I tried to make a meager answer. Could you please share with us what you "paid," and still "pay" for aikido? Dozo...

Kensho Furuya
11-20-2003, 02:55 PM
Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching!

What waves of joy that sound can bring!

How much is this and how much is that?

Is this where everyone's head is at?

It is the question, the most I dread,

Because now I know that . . . . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-20-2003, 06:29 PM
Aikido all is about your heart,

We often forget this about our art,

Stick to the Path, look not left nor right,

Collect all your courage with all your might,

Bow you head low, and lose your sight,

Lose your hearing and lose your speech,

Just reach the highest limb you can reach,

It is the quiet one who protects the meek,

Embraces humility and treasures the weak,

True strength comes from within heart,

And this is all about our art.

Kensho Furuya
11-21-2003, 12:52 PM
I just saw a funny depiction of "three men having tea," unfotunately this is the wrong title - it is actually "three sages tasting vinegar" and each is making a funny face for the sour taste. It is most probably not true but it is a story about the Buddha, Confucius and Lao-tze all tasting vinegar from a large jar and each expressing an opinion and impression different from the other. . . . . . Even great and wise men can easily differ in their remarks about something so blatant as the taste of vinegar. . . . . . so much more us humans beings! I thought this a nice story for all of us. Many thanks!

Taste the vinegar and make a sour face,

It is not the taste or even time or place,

But only our different impressions,

Which you can see by our expressions!

11-21-2003, 06:58 PM
Sweet little birdies

Faithfully roost on no eggs

Very serious.

Story: When I was a boy about seven, I learned a joke that my grandmother used to tell at family gatherings. I understood every word and could repeat it faithfully. But when reflecting upon it, I did not quite understand where the punch line came from. In my thrities, grandma passed away and I remembered that joke again. But still the relationship of the punch line and what came before did not quite make sense. In my forties, my own mother passed away, and flying back home after her death (a turning point?), I thought again about grandma's joke. There on the plane I had an enlightenment. I finally understood the relationship of all the joke to the punchline; all these thirty some years I could repeat grandma's joke, but only then did I realize that all those years I misunderstood one word that had multiple meanings.

How often my practice is just like me telling grandma's joke; I may have the complete form, all the words, but I don't really see how it all fits together. Of course I still practice. But I may be like my birds sitting on invisible eggs. Very serious. Very clueless. Until one day...smack!...I understand my misunderstanding.



11-21-2003, 07:07 PM
Care to share that joke?

11-21-2003, 07:11 PM
Only if we are sharing a cup of tea! Great Zen tradition of face-to-face transmission, you know.! (Haha!)

11-21-2003, 07:19 PM
But I'll give you another example of something similar, only my being an ox did not last quite so long. I grew up with much exposure to warfare machinery, artillery, guns, etc. In a mechanical context, "shell" meant something you load into a gun, big or small. Of course at the beach on in a fish tank, "shell" was something else. But it took years (how embarrassing), probably into my 20's, before I understood that mysterious flowery thing on the signs of Shell gas stations. Afterall, Chevron was also a military logo, right? Why didn't Shell use a nice artillery round? Doh! (As Homer Simpson says.) Maybe ox is not as unenlightened as me!



11-21-2003, 08:08 PM
ox sees the light

shell which glows in the night sky

shines to take us home

Kensho Furuya
11-21-2003, 08:25 PM
Oxen, shells, so many things,

And soon we will come to,

Cabbages and kings!

Kensho Furuya
11-21-2003, 10:37 PM
Don't tell the secrets,

Let secrets be,

They are not for you and me.

We think that no one knows these things,

And we wonder what joy they bring.

But secrets are just secrets be,

Nothing to do with you and me!

Kensho Furuya
11-22-2003, 08:54 AM
Morning practice,

Waking up before,

Waking up!

11-22-2003, 10:23 AM
Day in one

Night in the other

Greet the morning sun

The moon is getting higher

Good night

Sleep tight

Kensho Furuya
11-22-2003, 12:51 PM
We practice day and night,

But seldom do we see the light.

It's all to practice with all our might,

And rise above the will to fight!

11-22-2003, 08:22 PM
Children dream of fights;

Grandparents fight for more life;

Blackbird's cry won't change.

No use fighting it.

Kensho Furuya
11-23-2003, 07:29 AM
The Sword of Life, the Sword of Death,

Not the mind of the Sword itself,

But only the Life we give to it.

Aikido of Peace, Aikido of War,

Not of Aikido itself,

But only the spirit we give to it.

Our Life of doom, our Life of Happiness,

Not of Life itself,

But only the love we give to it.

11-23-2003, 10:18 AM
The Sword of Life, the Sword of Death, / Aikido of Peace, Aikido of War.

Old poem: One and the same breeze passes / Over the pines on the mountain and the oak trees in the valley; / And why do they give different notes? (Shinkage-ryu waka).

Poster from World War II, found in men's room of Saul's Deli in Berkeley. Foreground: dinner plate with well picked chicken bone. Background: darks scenes of modern warfare. Caption: "Food is a weapon. Use it wisely."

Chicken of Life, Chicken of Death,

in the modern world of "dual-use."

So many ways to bring peace,

so many ways to bring war.

So many ways of life and death.

All our actions have effects.

Today food is a sword;

many "dual use" things

controlled by arms treaties.

Every thing a weapon of Death.

Every thing a weapon of Life.

What spirit, what "note," do I give?

How to train? Tenchijin. Aikido.

Zhuang-zi: "A man seeking revenge does not go so far as to smash the sword of his enemy; a man, no matter how hot-tempered, does not rail at the tile that happened to fall on him. To know that all things in the world are equal and the same--this is the only way to eliminate the chaos of attack and battle and the harshness of punsishment and execution! Do not try to develop what is natural to man; develop what is natural to Heaven. He who develops Heaven benefits life; he who develops man injures life. Do not reject what is of Heaven; do not neglect what is of man, and the people will be close to the attainment of Truth."

Kensho Furuya
11-23-2003, 07:03 PM
With the Holiday Season,

And students go away.

Only the moon and cold winter breeze,

Will come so regularly to visit me.

Still, like the cherry blossoms of Spring,

Students will surely return.

And once again, the tatami will cheer,

With their footsteps and ukemi!

11-23-2003, 09:10 PM
lonely Sensei

in the cyber dojo

we are home already

no need to come

or need to go

scroll up!

your students are

right here

11-24-2003, 09:50 AM
Once I knew nothing

Then I knew everything

Now I know that my everything...

...still amounts to nothing

Kensho Furuya
11-24-2003, 10:20 AM
Qatana: That is soooo nice. Thank you so much. Thalib: Haha! That's great, I like it. There is a Zen saying: An apple is just an apple but when you train, it becomes something very special. When you are enlightened, it becomes just an apple again. . . . .

So many friends in cyber-space!

If only I could see your face!

And then I would know

That this is my place.

We have a precept of a solitary life but around the holidays, I always begin to miss my family. Someone was asking about the "cost" of Aikido. I spent so much time in Aikido and trying to keep the dojo going when I was young, I decided to forget about having a family. Many years later, I have come to realize what a sacrifice that was. It was ok at the time because I had a calling to the priesthood since I was just a child before I even knew what being a priest would be like and i was very determined about my training. However, as you get older, you begin to miss having a family. Seeing people having Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together at home or in the restaurants is always tough for me. But I am fine! No biggie! Probably you will see me here a lot over the Holidays! Btw, Happy Holidays, everyone! And, of course, Peace On Earth!

Holidays Season bring holiday cheer,

And for that, I am always here!

11-24-2003, 11:43 AM
Old goose with no mate

sits happily through winter,

beloved friend of ducks.

11-24-2003, 11:49 AM
geese mate for life

lucky goose to have been a partner

i sit among the ducks


11-24-2003, 12:18 PM
Honk! (adjust your stance!)

Quack! (yes sensei!)

Hoonk! (like this!)

Quack! (yes sensei!)

Honk! Honk! (don't you understand me?)

Quack! (yes sensei!)

Honk! Quack! Honk! Quack!

(Sorry...couldn't resist. There is a Chinese proverb: ji1 tong2 ya1 jiang3, "Chicken and duck talking" about difficulties of communication. Also the name of a Chinese comedy from 1988.)

Kensho Furuya
11-24-2003, 12:22 PM
In martial arts, we do a lot of "ducking," but I have never been "goosed!"

During the Holidays, ducks and geese are so nice, but I am a turkey fan. . . . . . .

Hahahaha! Oops, sorry about that, but I couldn't resist it.

Sharon Seymour
11-24-2003, 01:01 PM
Duck, duck, goose

Turkey on the loose

It doesnít matter to me

My opinion is quite free


For whatís important of course

Is pie & cranberry sauce

Worrying about the bird

Is really quite absurd


But everyone has their view

This is nothing new

So grab the drumstick with glee

And leave lots of pie for me

Kensho Furuya
11-24-2003, 05:22 PM
I will be fine over the Holidays, I have so much work to do here on various writing projects, so please not to worry. But there are many people who are out there and very lonely during this season - be a good friend over the Holidays!

Btw, there will be a special on the Samurai on the History Channel on Dec. 8th or around this date. Please check your local listings, I will post more detailed information as I find out. Yours truly will have a short interview on this program. I am very shy and just mention it here in this thread for a few of my friends here. Much later in the month, there will be another special on A&E in which I am also featured. Many thanks!

Kensho Furuya
11-24-2003, 05:58 PM
I accidentally posted this in Haiku so I hope it is okay to post it again here:

Not as warm as the sounds of training,

Not as warm as the students' smiles,

Not as warm as their nightly goodbyes,

This old heater in my cold office!

11-24-2003, 06:35 PM
History Channel...A&E...hmmm, are these television things?...can you get them on a DVD that I can put into my computer? Or a transcript of the interview by email?

Sorry, but we don't have television, cable TV, satellite, VHS, microwave oven or even cell phone or cordless phone at our house. We do have radio (three stations--NPR, news and classical) and a computer with a telephone modem that plays DVD's and CD's, but that is about the extent of our home electronics. Keeps home life fairly quiet and simple.

(There is a VHS player at that dojo that I can use for martial arts tapes...)

We don't know what we're missing. We don't miss it.


Little birdie chirps

On my shoulder while I type:

"Where is my dinner?"

Kensho Furuya
11-24-2003, 08:58 PM
I just mention these programs in passing because a few people are interested to see them but they are not really important or very informative - and geared for the more uninformed general public. You won't be missing anything. . . . . thanks.

Kensho Furuya
11-25-2003, 01:39 AM
Just want to say, "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone and all my friends here in cyberspace. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday because it was when my mother would always cooked up a storm with roast turkey and all of the trimmings. Since she passed away, all that is gone and nowadays I only spend a quiet, early brunch with one or two of my uchi-deshi before they take off to their own family and friends. Enjoy it now while you can have your family all around you and make of the most of it, by all means! Best wishes!

Only one Mom,

Only one Dad,

Only one Life,

Only one moment,

Too precious to waste!

11-25-2003, 09:20 AM
For all we have

For each new day

For all our friends

We meet on the Way

For happiness and health

For the family we love

For a moment of peace

We thank Gd above

Happy Thanksgiving to all..............

11-25-2003, 12:49 PM
Soaring in stillness

Wings fold, brown pelican dives:

Irimi fishing.

Kensho Furuya
11-25-2003, 03:14 PM
Just to be tough,

Is not enough.

Just to be weak,

Is not what you seek,

Just have a good day,

Just enter the Way.

11-25-2003, 04:50 PM
Once there was a saying

The pen is mightier than the sword

But now I know

The keyboard is mightier than both of them

Kensho Furuya
11-25-2003, 06:40 PM
MIghtier than the pen?

Mightier than the sword?

This mighty keyboard?

11-25-2003, 09:45 PM
How mighty is this keyboard?

A few weeks of typing about aikido

fans my love of the art of peace,

my first love of martial arts.

Again I try to find a dojo near home

(commuting is a barrier for me).

Google, the modern Delphi, gives me a clue.

An email of inquiry (an act of faith?)

and I find a small,

new (7 months), Aikikai club

just down the street from my home,

training at an elementary school

in the dark, quiet hills.

Tomorrow night we will visit.

How mighty is this keyboard?

Kensho Furuya
11-26-2003, 12:39 AM
Hello, Furuya Sensei,

Happy holidays. Hope you are well and in good spirits. I just thought I would send you this little poem since your message the other day inspired it.


Who knows which way the path will go?

What determines how the vine will grow?

Just follow your heart where your mind won't go.

No such thing as foe or friend,

No spirit to break no will to bend

Just stay the path from beginning to end,

Oh look! The apple is just an apple again!

Hope you enjoyed it. Happy Thanksgiving.

Jason (Perma)

Kensho Furuya
11-26-2003, 10:31 PM
Weak or strong is all the same,

Tall or short is all the same,

Old or strong is all the same,

It only a problem when we give it a name!

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

11-26-2003, 11:05 PM
Pigeons dance on eaves,

Tonight my wife danced ikkyo

With me for first time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

11-27-2003, 07:41 AM
Broken mind

Everything skips

Like a dream

of endless sleep

Kensho Furuya
11-27-2003, 07:50 AM
Let it flow and let it be,

And discover the very real me.

This is the Path to be free.

Just let it go and you will see!

Kensho Furuya
11-27-2003, 09:13 PM
To bow one's head,

Fills some with dread,

No need to be afraid,

It is nothing to degrade,

It is only to be polite,

So no need to take flight.

Just bring your head low,

And in your heart know,

That everything is good,

Just as everything should,

So when you bow,

Just be in the now,

And give a nice smile,

That will go a long mile,

So don't worry alot,

It is what it is not!

11-28-2003, 01:58 AM
Fear of losing balance

The mind is trapped in one place

The mind should be set free

Another new beginning

Kensho Furuya
11-28-2003, 08:51 AM
This is a very nice poem. It reminds me of a story about Bodhidharma, the patriarch of Zen Buddhism. The 27th patriarch travelled to China in 520ad and became its 1st patriarch of Zen Buddhism. It is said that he sat in meditation for nine years facing a wall. One student came to him but was repeatedly refused instruction. Finally, in desperation and as a show of his sincerity, he cut off his left hand and offered it to the monk.

Bodhidharma (Daruma) asked, "What are you seeking?

"My mind is in turmoil," said the monk.

"Bring it to me and I was pacify it."

"When I search for it, I cannot find it," replied the monk.

"There! It is pacified!" replied Bodhidharma.

This is a well known story in Zen and is what started the Zen tradition in China which eventually came to Japan. Best wishes!

11-28-2003, 10:51 AM
After more practice,

Apple just apple, and me?

Also not special.

Kensho Furuya
11-28-2003, 05:43 PM
The toy Daruma,

No fear of losing balance,

"Nana-korobi, ya-oki."

Note: "Nana-korobi, ya-oki" is a popular Japanese saying associated with Daruma. It means, "falling seven times, but getting back up on the eighth." Even though we may fail numerous times, like the toy Daruma, we keep bouncing back up.

11-28-2003, 09:22 PM
The toy Daruma,

was it there with the Fathers

in Egypt's desert?

"A brother asked Abba Sisoes, 'What shall I do, abba, for I have fallen?' The old man said to him, 'Get up again.' The brother said, 'I have got up again, but I have fallen again.' The old man said, 'Get up again and again.' So then the brother said, 'How many times?' The old man said, 'Until you are taken up either in virtue or in sin. For a man presents himself to judgement in the state in which he is found.'"

Abba Sisoes lived in the Egyptian desert south of Alexandria during the late 4th century.

Kensho Furuya
11-29-2003, 12:50 AM
So many paths it seems,

But there is only one.

So many questions it seems,

But one word answers all.

Take one step,

And one thousand miles are covered.

Where are you going?

One thought,

And we are already home.

11-29-2003, 08:26 AM
preparing this morning

to go

once again into


clowns shall assault me

jesters will taunt me

lovers laughing in the face

of my lonliness

tides of strangers

demanding of my blood

and time

how shall i survive

this war i chose to

enter with



and yielding

and tenkan dancing

through my day.


...in honor of opening day at the San Francisco Dickens Fair, where i am exhibiting and performing for the next month-Bay Area folks, please come by!( just opening day jitters here!)

Kensho Furuya
11-29-2003, 09:22 AM
The greatest battle is within the heart,

From this fight, we can never depart.

They ridicule, laugh and and make it hell,

I know this path, I travelled well.

Let them scorn and let them laugh,

You play nice in their behalf,

And if they have no word of thanks,

Blast them all with army tanks!

Just kidding! Good luck on your performance today! My Best,

Kensho Furuya
11-30-2003, 07:09 AM
Smaller classes during happy holidays,

Everyone busy during such a sacred time,

Can dojos become so empty?

As we seek such a happy spirit?

Where is our real, true home?

In the heart and on the tatami!

11-30-2003, 09:42 AM
Open heart

Free mind

Light body

Flowing Ki

Kensho Furuya
11-30-2003, 02:44 PM
Mind so free and light,

Yet trapped here in this old body,

Where can I fly so quickly and so far?

Like a bright light in a diamond,

Which can never go beyond its own abode.

You never find me far from the dojo,

My home and Universe!

11-30-2003, 04:02 PM
Heaven as my roof

Earth as my floor

The dojo where I practice

is not bound by any wall

11-30-2003, 05:23 PM
Following post #319 by Kensho Furuya, Nov 28. Waka poem by an old Zen Master:

The snow of Shorin is stained crimson,

Let us dye our heart with it

Humble though it may be.


A few of my own words--

I must make my own crimson snow;

another's, even Eka's, will not do.

My own search, training,

blood and tears fall

upon heavy, cold, heavenly snow.

In the Spring they are all gone.

Nothing can be lost.

Kensho Furuya
11-30-2003, 07:52 PM
Some practice in the great dojo of heaven and earth before all,

Some even spill the their blood on freshly fallen snow.

A younger heart would gladly follow you.

Yet, in this dojo on these cold winter nights,

My older, wiser bones gladly make this old warm blanket and tiny heater its comfy heaven and paradise!

Younger folk run on ahead of me!

I take this Path of no-step-forward, no-step back. . . . .

Going is only another arrival, arriving is yet another journey on!

12-01-2003, 11:39 AM
a rose of


with a heart

of glass

nestled in a basket

a wickerwork sphere

bound round with brambles

thorny and sharp

stay away!

inward as well

thorns imprison

the heart in

the rose

so fragile

a touch threatens

to shatter

a heart into


which in turn become


stay inside

your thorny prison

it is safe in here

in the silent dark

bleeding, weeping

fiery tears

of self-imposed


no coming

no going

no growing

the brambles

around, entwining the heart in

the rose

in the basket

touched by one

small drop

of love

more roses bloom


of a sudden

love is lost

somehow within

the tears of loss

another flower


tiny roses struggle

to open in the

spaces in the wicker

where the light

may shine

with eash new blossom

the colors of sunset

the colors of flame

a thorn

may drop


until some day

the light shines through

the wicker sphere

of velvet roses

shines and softens and


my heart of glass

to softness

come close

come near

and gently hold

and see within

from my safe canter

in the heart

of the rose

can we see

each other

can we see in each other



this one is for Wendy Palmer, Sensei, for helping me find my canter.

12-01-2003, 03:25 PM
Stormy autumn day, low tide,

Gulls sit in fourth winter pride,

Ocean treasures at my feet,

Mussels crack, the birds will eat.

Gulls no sign of interest show,

No look back as on I go,

Yet after a little while,

Happy gull calls make me smile.

Kensho Furuya
12-02-2003, 06:51 PM
Cold winds and chilly nights,

Christmas come soon,

To warm our hearts!

Kensho Furuya
12-02-2003, 10:55 PM
Flashy swords dancing this way and that,

Twirling in the air like pretty dancing girls,

Who can know its True Form?

If the sword is in one's mind?

No one sees its coming, no one sees its going,

Like the lonely traveller in the deep mountain,

The old Path covered in fallen leaves,

Blown by the cold, winter wind,

It is only for the true seeker of knowledge.

12-03-2003, 03:41 PM
Shorin's red rose snow, / Sleeping tiger that draws us, / Tests of mind and heart.

When on tiger's back, / We can't see his claws that flash, / Less look at our belt.

What's in it for me / if I ride that old tiger? / Nothing. No thing. No.

Tigers of old school, / Show their teeth and growl, and yet / Right hearts make them purr.

Kensho Furuya
12-03-2003, 06:55 PM
Drawing this fine, old blade,

Still it's edge so keen and fine,

The true warrior spirit!

Anders Bjonback
12-03-2003, 07:27 PM
The blue flower weeps

It's youthful stem is twisted

Old hands let it go


The soft murmer of the tea cettle

Brings my mind into a soft repose

As my criticalness dissolves

My heart is at one with my bowl of tea.

Kensho Furuya
12-03-2003, 07:35 PM
Thru the evergreen pine,

A gentle breeze whisks away

The fallen leaves and my cares.

Do you study Sado? Very nice poem, the first one reminds me of a well known haiku by Chiyo

Anders Bjonback
12-03-2003, 07:49 PM
I study sado, although I could be a better student.

Kensho Furuya
12-03-2003, 07:55 PM
Yes, we can ALL be better students. . . . .

My tea teacher has a student teaching in your area. What school are you and who is your teacher? I am in the Urasenke.

Anders Bjonback
12-03-2003, 09:04 PM
I'm urasenke, too. My previous teachers were Kathy Lyons and Austin Babcock, who have now moved away. My current teacher is Hobart Bell.

Did the student of your teacher, in my area, go to Midorikai (the scholarship-run program for foriegners to learn urasenke tea in Kyoto)? Two of my fellow students went to Midorikai, and I know that one of them teaches. One of their friends who also went to Midorikai also lives in the area, and she might teach as well (I don't know).

What I meant by being a better student (I was going to edit the post but forgot) was that I get so caught up in school work, etc, that I forgot the importance of my spiritual path. I do not keep my prioritices straight, and because of neglected homework assignments, I have ended up not going to tea or aikido for the last month and a half.

Kensho Furuya
12-03-2003, 09:36 PM
Thank you. What I meant is that, in everything we do, especially Aikido and tea, we can always improve. . . .

My teacher is Matsumoto Sosei in Los Angeles and she has been teaching in the area over 40 or 50 years. Her school is called Urasenke Kon-nichi An. She taught my grandmother when she was very young. . . . I haven't practiced tea for several years because my teaching schedule in the dojo has been so hectic. Best wishes!

Anders Bjonback
12-03-2003, 09:37 PM
Pippin was a puppy

he pranced around like a yuppie

because he was happy

then he needed a nappie

he was a cute little puffball

and sometimes a cute little gruffpall

when he needs to protect his mommy

Anders Bjonback
12-03-2003, 09:43 PM

I guess we are where we are in life. Where I currently am, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life, only having a sense of what I love. Best of wishes with teaching.

Kensho Furuya
12-03-2003, 09:52 PM
One of my Zen teachers used to say, "We think we are in control of our lives and are doing what we want to do, but more often than not, we are pulled about this way and that, back and forth, completely beyond our control . . . . . The late Kisaburo Ohsawa Sensei of Aikikai often said, "Practice Aikido joyously." I am sure he meant this about Life as well. Best wishes!

Kensho Furuya
12-04-2003, 06:26 AM
Stuffy nose and sore throat,

Sensei caught a cold,

A student's early X'mas gift!

12-04-2003, 09:41 AM
As I lay on the grass

I listen to the whisper of the ground

echo in the movement of the trees

to the infinity of the sky

and I know

that I'm part of it all.

Get well soon, Furuya Sensei.

Sharon Seymour
12-04-2003, 09:46 AM
head cold brings

the gift of rest,

napping in the sun


the little things

often left undone

pet the cat

fragrant hot tea

plant shadows dancing

heart dreaming free

Kensho Furuya
12-04-2003, 06:54 PM
Lotsa tea and rest,

And hiding under this blanket

With my cold!

Kensho Furuya
12-05-2003, 06:52 AM
Nasty cold!

Thrown down and pinned so hard,

By a cough and sneeze!

12-05-2003, 09:25 AM
When someone says to me,

"I want to learn self-defense,"

I always ask them,

"Did you get a flu shot?"

(Let's start with basics.)

Then on to advanced techniques:

"Do you go to bed at a reasonable time

and get enough rest?"

Chris Linneman
12-05-2003, 11:20 AM
martial arts from childhood on



and now aikido

a year ago a son was born

and now Iím best at tickle-fu (and gotch-u-do)

Kensho Furuya
12-05-2003, 11:31 AM
gotch-u-do or gotch-u-doo?

I hope this is not about cleaning poo!


Many congratulations on your baby!

One of my black belts just had his #7 last year. . . . . - a few more and it is almost a branch dojo! Just kidding. Best wishes!

Chris Linneman
12-05-2003, 12:00 PM
I've tried to pass that of to mommy - saying that her diaper-waza needs work... It didn't go over as I planned.

Children are a great source of inspiration..

...and prespiration...

...and sometimes deperation.

Kensho Furuya
12-05-2003, 12:11 PM
Just as there is a lot to teach them, there is more to learn from them. Children absorb much more than adults. All my black belts are required to begin their teaching experiences in our Children's Class. . . . Children are easy to teach as long as you are completely honest and open. Of course, adults are easy to teach too, once you get passed all the crap! Oops! I am confused, are we talking about diapers again???? Haha!

Just teasing you, folks, no angry letters, please!

Kensho Furuya
12-05-2003, 04:21 PM
Taking care of a nasty cold,

Hearing about a new-born child,

Ain't Life strange?

Ain't Life Wonderful!

Kensho Furuya
12-07-2003, 10:07 AM
A bow is not simply a bow,

It brings our spirit into the now.

Clearing the air like a cool spring breeze,

Like a pure mountain stream, our soul, it frees

12-07-2003, 04:39 PM
Here is a bow story,

of 800 miles in California,

three steps and a bow.

Rev. Hung Sure is in my neighborhood.


Just bow.

12-08-2003, 07:01 AM
Dear Furuya Sensei,

I hope you are getting plenty of peacful rest and your health is being restored. I also hope that the bowing discussion does not make you sneeze (or weep)!

I have noticed over the last 30-some years that many people would like to pull aikido out of its Japanese cultural and spiritual roots. Of course, a plant can be carefully uprooted and transplanted, growing deep roots in a new place. The risk, however, is that if the gardener does not provide a deep and rich environment, the transplant will wither and die. (Is it the plant's fault that it "doesn't work"?)

In life, we may be involved with various "transplantings": children often transplant themselves into environments different from their parents', and marriage is also often a transplanting experience. Religions, in order to spread to new places, must also be transplanted. Also, the Japanese martial arts are increasingly stripped of their Japanese and broader Asian cultural and spiritual roots. Sometimes they are planted again in deep soil in another cultural setting. Sometimes not.

This is starting to sound like the parable of the sower in the Gospels. Without these roots, we can easily be crushed by whatever passes by in our daily life, or we wither under a harsh environment, or we are choked by internal anxieties and concerns. The crucial factor is the heart, the attitude.

Peace to you, and I you are getting over your cold.

Kensho Furuya
12-08-2003, 08:56 AM
Do you think the leaf at the top of the tree is different from its roots deep in the ground?

A rose by any other name is still a rose. Please do not be confused by appearances. Please practice what you preach - "heart."

Spring breeze,

Eternally old, yet so fresh,

When will you ever return again?

12-08-2003, 10:21 AM
Paper gardenias

please the eye but not the nose.

No root, no heart here.

02-24-2004, 08:07 AM
In a world of interconnectivity

One lives in the dense forest of uniformity

Protected by the shades of the trees

Yet, suffocating in their denseness

Need to breathe, need the protection

Addicted to the group but crave individuality

Such is the stand alone complex

07-28-2004, 10:53 PM
:do: A blank map in hand

So easy to find things with

Places untraveled

Luis Orozco
08-18-2004, 07:12 AM
Sunshine, sleet
rain and clouds
Could I fit
them in my hands?

Maybe they are not enough
maybe there's another way
but it is sometimes very tough
to keep on happy every day

It is within you
the inner light
that through all plight
will make you do

Alone you are
And you are not

Feel free in both

Sorry if this is too cheesy, my native language is Spanish and I can produce much better stuff than that using it.

08-19-2004, 05:38 AM
City of Gardens
I have roamed them in the past
A beautiful site

My last day's Today
Now I may see them again
In memories end

08-26-2004, 09:15 PM
The poem reminded me of Bilbo Baggins taunting the spiders in The Hobbit. :D



Too true!! LOL! I'd forgotten about that... Only remembered now, when I read your post... LOL :D

08-27-2004, 08:13 AM
It can only be seen,

Running to and fro

But in stillness. . . .

Where did the wind go?

Kensho - san.. Where do you get such pretty ideas for your writing? I mean... Where do you go for insperation?????

09-05-2004, 04:45 AM
With Heaven in my hand I go to and from
Not knowing what I may become
Destiny reveals all things in time
The future holds what fate is mine.
For these things I am not concerened
through the way the soul's returned.

09-06-2004, 07:19 PM
Here's a random poem I read in a book once....not very nice though

Rawhead close behind you treads
3 looks back and youll be dead
But Close your eyes and count to 10
And Rawhead will be gone again.

really Random dont ya think....another one from the same book...

All these years I've built up a wall
Now its crumbling, Soon it will fall.
It geta harder and harder to keep a straight face
Its Harder and harder to keep up the pace ....

lol he he he

09-06-2004, 07:22 PM
Heres 1 my sister found...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, i do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond that glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
i am the gentle autumns rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet birds incircled flight,
I am the soft starts that shine at night.
Do not stand at my Grave and cry,
I am not there...I did not die.

i luv this one!!!

09-24-2004, 05:43 AM
Early on morning, late one night.
2 dead boys got up to fight,
back to back they face each other
drew there swords and shot one another.
The deaf police mean heard the noise,
Came and got those two dead boys.
If you dont believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man, he saw it too!!!

he he he

12-14-2004, 11:29 PM

I figured if it worked for O'Sensei it'd work for anything...


01-26-2008, 10:45 AM
I just found out today that Reverend Kensho Furuya passed away last year 06 March 2007...

... then I remember the poems that we used to trade back and forth in this thread...

... may you rest in peace, Sensei...