The stillness of the Kyokochi Pond at Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple) - Kyoto

It's been a while, hasn't it? Why, I can't say.

At times, I seem full of ideas and thoughts; I'm bursting at the seams and anxious to share it all with someone, anyone (which is the main reason I started a blog in the first place). But then there are times, when I have nothing to say.

Not that I've lost interest in budo, or that I'm sick, or being held hostage in a far-off country with no internet capabilities (although I've succumbed to all but one of those scenarios in the past). Rather, my mind is quiet, still. My eyes are open, as are my ears. My mouth, however, is shut.

This morning, I had a hard time getting out of bed and dragging myself to judo (it's been hard for a couple of weeks actually). When I got to the dojo, two other yudansha were already there and suited up. For some odd reason, I decided not to even put my gi on, but instead just sat on the bench and watched. Toward the end, I ended up throwing out a few comments into the conversation, (it's hard to resist opening your trap sometimes) but for the most part, I tried to keep my own thoughts out of it and listen to two very skilled budoka, to simply absorb. I believe the Japanese term for this is midori geiko, or (loosely) to train by observing.

There are plenty of discussions bubbling and brewing on the KUBK forum, but for some reason, it overwhelms me right now. I can't weigh in, because I don't have an opinion. Mostly, I feel as if I don't have enough information on a subject. In fact, I feel like I don't know anything about anything.

Every once in a while, I pass through such a phase. I feel stupid, like a beginner. I stand in utter awe of the amount of sheer knowledge possessed by my sensei on budo, or on politics, or anything. The last thing I feel like I should be doing is teaching anyone!

All I feel like doing is being still. The image above takes my breath away for a number of reasons. But I place it here because I feel very much like the water. Still, placid, saying nothing, but reflecting what is around me. Light passes through me, and a single stone could send ripples through me. I feel fragile, as if a single small stone could disturb me and send ripples through me existence. I don't feel solid enough to bare any burdens. I'm neither cold, nor hot; I'm here, but not completely present. I'm neither advancing nor digressing. You could attack me and I would probably allow it.

I don't know if that's good, bad, or ugly. It just is.

Already, I feel I've said too much.

Perhaps soon I will return to talking about matters of budo, things much more interesting!


  1. There are times where I still feel like a complete newbie too. It's interesting. If you look at what we know now, as compared to when we started, we know volumes. Yet, little details continue to crop up that I hadn't noticed before. That's one thing that makes it fun to keep training after all these years.

    Perhaps one day we can achieve E.F. Hutton-like status, like the guys we hang around with. You can't help but listen because their knowledge of subjects is so deep, their points made so eloquently, and their logic so easy to follow.

  2. this is one of the reasons a little daily zazen is so useful--the impusle to stillness and silence is deep and powerful-- allow its sway, give yourself that time and space, and what follows is suprising and wonderful-- many parts of the great work of life and death, of studying the self to forget the self, cannot be finished until there is sufficent silence.
    --So I encourge you --stillness and silence are prerequisites to waking up to your own intimate amazing depths.


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