I have started a new site dedicated to information and discussion around the Empty Field Dharma. The concept of an Empty Field is derived from Zen Master Hongzhi from the book “Cultivating the Empty Field” and the Soto Zen school of Buddhism.
I have read many books, different views, and different schools of thought. Everything I study now is focused on Japanese and Tibetan Buddhism, which have slightly varied paths, for lack of a better word. When I read and think about each, the Japanese makes more sense and resonates deeper within.
- Tibetan Buddhism Mahayana – Always working and reaching for enlightenment, as an end-goal of sorts.
- Japanese Buddhism Soto Zen – You are already enlightened, and the work is becoming more aware of this, and how to exist within this space (or field).
As part of my studies, I have chosen these works:
- “Cultivating the Empty Field”, The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi
- “The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma: Volume 1″, The Path of Individual Liberation
- “The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra”
- “Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dogen and the Lotus Sutra”
As I become more aware of this, I will be writing about my understanding and how this pattern of thought/no-thought works for me in my daily life. The empty field has become an important aspect of how I see things, my role individually, and how going within and re-emerging into the world/universe brings forth a more peaceful and calm person.
Artist Announcement for Tricia Knoll
Exciting news about a Stone Path Review artist
We are happy to announce that Tricia Knoll has a new book coming out from Finishing Line Press. It is titled Urban Wild. More information can be found here.
We published Tricia’s poems “Driftwood” and “Patterns on the Shore” in the Summer 2013 issue.
Stone Path Review is now accepting advertisements for the website and quarterly magazine. We are limiting this to artists we have previously published or featured and only for books or related items that they have or will publish.
Please contact us for more information.
We are always accepting, reading, and responding to submissions. We accept poetry, short stories, prose, and visual arts. We are especially looking for photography, both for the cover and inside, drawings, original artwork, photos of artwork, etc.
- If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
- We now have a store at Cafe Press.
- Please follow our blog or like us on Facebook for more information and announcements.
Thank you for your patience and to our readers and artists who have trusted their work with us. We would not be here without you.Sincerely,
Snowshoeing on 03/02/14
I follow the packed trail others before me have taken. Winding through pine, poplar, and birch, it hugs the rocky shoreline. Up and down over boulders and outcroppings, the trial heads deep into the woods before I stop. An abandoned building overlooks the lake. Trees tower over the skewed roof and poke through glassless windows. Floorboards long ago rotted and disappeared, leaving nothing to prevent the forest from overtaking the cabin on the woods.
I continue north along the same trail which dips into a small frozen valley. In warmer months, a creek would fill this space and empty into Lake Superior. Now it is ice beneath 3 feet of snow. Trees bow in half ellipticals from each side and I pass beneath, careful not to break tree limbs, catch my backpack, or otherwise disturb what is here, and continue up the other side.
With empty and open mind I hear the voiceless tree and gently place my hand on its trunk. Eyes closed. When opened I see the light drawn from before this projections and boundaries existed. I see the nothing that gave birth.
This was written by Hanakia Zedek, a great friend, brother, and being with no place.
To me, the idea of god is no mystery. We simply project our egocentric ideas of self onto a universal model and blam: you have gods relative to belief and culture. The real mystery is all of that space out there and in here — Outer and Inner Space — and us as space ships navigating it.
The problem is that we are trained to think from the perspective of existence, yet, most of this universe is non-existence. This fact riddles the mind and we simply can’t wrap it around the notion that we came out of Nothing.
To me, it makes perfect sense — from a microcosmic perspective relative to the relationship between the parts of an atom or from a macrocosmic perspective relative to the relationship between the parts of a system; in a word, functionality. If a system doesn’t have an inherent design of function, it simply doesn’t work. There is an unspoken universal awareness that is not mind or entity based.
Through training, a human is convinced that there is a supreme entity, yet, when we look at anything closely we see that there isn’t anything “in control” and that its functionality is inherent. Without the human consciousness and belief, the universe goes on its merry way — although we’d like to think that it was all about us. That is as silly as the belief that the Earth is the center of the Universe. Our self-importance is astounding.
The Great Mystery is not about how or why it is more of an experience that we are lucky enough to be having and aware of. Belief is cross-cultural misconception to personify something that is not just relative to us and the projections thereof. What we see in space — inner and outer — is expansion beyond human egocentric explanation.
1. Take responsibility for your actions, feelings, thoughts, and experiences.
2. Do what you really want to do without adding anyone else to the equation.
3. Realize that you are either allowing or creating what you are going through.
4. Understand that your reality is governed by how you perceive things and the actions that you take relative to that perception.
You get what you believe, yet, this does not make it real or true — just part of your program. People run around believing that what they think is true, when what they see is only for them because they or someone else convinced them it was the truth; it’s in their heads, nowhere else.
Here is the Great Mystery of World Peace: Deal with yourself and stop worrying about everyone else. We make things more complicated than they need to be, based on what we believe. Release and let it go, like everything else does on this planet.
Things are mysterious when we lack the awareness to simply see and listen to them. Anything after that is the mere articulation of the experience we have had or the silence therein having the experience itself. What is ever really happening — other than our minds chattering? The unknown becomes known when we stop trying to rationalize it with our own puny, little minds.
As we access who we really are, we realize we are not what we can identify, so deeper down the Rabbit Hole we go into the unknown. Whatever we experience becomes part of us and us of it. Identification is a human character flaw at times, when it gets in the way of the experience that we are having called life. Even the idea of life gets in the way, because we exist beyond the illusions of both life and death — and yet, we fear them both. There isn’t any mystery beyond what we are not prepared to see.
What if this universe is self-organized, self-inspired, self-generated? And I am not talking from a perspective that we are all or it all is god. What if it simply is and there is no reason? From the smallest to the largest thing, everything functions and has an inherent knowledge or instinct of what is necessary — and so, too, do all of the parts thereof.
The mind wonders — the universe does not; it simply functions effectively. Not too mysterious, eh? “How” or “why” is a human thing. If we stop assigning meaning, purpose or cause, we can go deeper into the experiencing of things as they are.
Maybe that’s just it. Ask a tree or a bird or the sun how all of this has come and you won’t get an answer. Not one. We just make up some.
If there is something that you don’t understand, stand in awe and wonder and allow the experiential mysteries to unfold within and before you. See if this moves you towards or away, then go or stay.
Copyright © 2014 Hanakia Zedek. All Rights Reserved.
This is a documentary about India’s Holy Men, titled Beyond. They are part of a spiritual sect called Aghori who practice asceticism: forsaking all of one’s earthly possessions and living excluded from society. From a distance I respect the dedication and devotion to one’s beliefs. I only question what does this bring to a community and how is it part of a greater good and bringing about positive energy as everything shifts?
Sometimes word just get in the way of the image. The image speaks everything we want to say and everything we are afraid to say, and everything we are unable to say.
Daily observations from Lutsen, MN
Rocky shoreline, we walked
with Leroy following closely
behind, grows when the sun
sets and the superior water
becomes frozen and black.
Across the blackness there
is space, inhabited,
desolate, empty – except
today when I see each
stone and each snowflake.
Starlight from galaxies
is ancient, yet strong, flickers
across black ice, across
my child’s eye.
Away from the city we
revel in stars and constellations
we only see in textbooks and
through other’s eyes.
A video by Twisted Root Studios of fog racing across Lake Superior where it is -20 with spring-like sun.
Before I became involved with the film “Around Here“, I had been listening to the music of Startle the Heavens. This is a project of musician and composer Ben Leopard. While researching films on Indiegogo, I found that Ben was involved with the film by producing the soundtrack and providing an unreleased track. Music is vital to our understanding of ourselves, the world and other cultures. This meant a lot to me and cemented my desire to be involved with the movie in anyway possible.
My Review of “Glowing in the Living Light
For more information on Startle the Heavens and Ben Leopard:
Glowing in the Living Light – 2012
All that is Wild & Alive – 2010
Lull – 2010
Always Transcending – 2009
Find Yourself Here – 2008
The stronghold strengthens
the winter depth deepens.
The hill overlooks treetops
holding pockets of snow
to the empty blue sky
quietly becoming black.
With no fanfare
just cold desending from heaven.
From comfort of the sunroom
I see yellow squares
scattered in the blackness
behind naked tress losing
ground to the snowpacks assault
a battle we continue to lose.
This scene I have seen before.
These fingers have scraped
cold snow and squeezed until
nothing but liquid remains.