Moonlight Shaken from a Crane’s Bill

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Time for a Zen poem by Dogen about the art of living in the Now.


First Stanza

To what shall
       I liken the world?

First Archetypal Animation

To what shall I liken the world? | Music: Distant Worlds | Purrple Cat | Lunar Eclipse

Second Stanza

Moonlight, reflected
       In dewdrops.

Second Archetypal Animation

Moonlight reflected in dewdrops… | Music: Dew Drops On Spider Webs | Verne Langdon

Third Stanza

       Shaken from a crane’s bill.

Third Archetypal Animation

Shaken from a crane’s bill… | Music: Twisted & Shaken | Oscar Hollis

                    –    Dogen, 1200 – 1253
The Zen Poetry of Dogen
                         Translated by Steven Heine


The Eternal Now

Alan Watts refers to Dogen quite often in his lectures. I know so very little about Zen or Dogen, but I want to learn more.

A synchronicity as I was thinking about this blog, a Watts lecture, the book I am writing, and this poem t occurred on Wednesday, February 17, on 1A: Going back to the ’90s with Chuck Klosterman who says:

“What I mean by that is that it’s the last ten-year calendar span that seems to have immutable values, and immutable old fashions, and immutable ideas that make it seem separate from the period that it came previously. I think we are now more in a period of perpetual now where the difference between 2009 and 2019 seems almost impossible to perceive outside of discussions about politics.”

Watts talks about the eternal Now, which Dogen taught about as well centuries earlier, and yet today living and acting in the Now is harder than ever before. To describe how to do this to anyone tethered to modern Western man’s linear view of time and progress, teachings that have made us compulsive creatures ever seeking the big reward and perfection we were taught we should obtain, if we work hard enough for it, only to get towards the end of life and it never ever quite showing up.


Space-Time Isn’t Straight

And another fantastic synchronicity to the theme of this blog is from The Takeaway (NPR) and the interview with Physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein Expands How We Look at the Cosmos and her new book Black.Queer.Rising that talks about the work she’s done to rethink our understanding of the cosmos and make space for more Black, queer people in STEM!

In the interview she talks about how amazing it is that we are even here since most of the universe is made out of something invisible, light goes right through it, scientists call it Dark Matter, which has taken on an entirely different sphere of meaning for many black people. She also says, “Space-time isn’t straight…” and so does Watts in many of his leturces from the 1960s. He too echoes how amazing it is that we are here. My book also explores these ideas.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Meditation Man Meditate Quiet Yoga Moonlight Moon | Myriams-Fotos | Deutsch  •  Member since Nov. 10, 2015

Dragonfly Dew Spider Web Cobweb Web Dewdrops | AdinaVoicu | Adina Voicu  •  Age 42  •  Oltenita/Romania  •  Member since Oct. 4, 2014

 Dandelion Seed Dew Dewdrops Droplets Wildflower | iemlee | myungho lee  •  Age 60  •  seoul/korea  •  Member since June 25, 2017

 Earth Moon Space Planet World Blue Planet | qimono | Arek Socha  •  Stockholm/Sweden  •  Member since Jan. 27, 2016

 Migratory Birds Cranes Moon Flock Of Birds Birds | Lolame | Melanie  •  Age 45  •  Niedersachsen/Deutschland  •  Member since June 2, 2013  •  #274

Music: [15] Chants of Native Earth    3:11 | Shamanic Moon – Native American Drums for RelaxationNative Classical Sounds


First Archetypal Animation

Just Assumption Summer Solstice Just Flower | Ri_Ya | Ri Butov  •  Israel  •  Member since June 29, 2019

Water Lily Flower Botany Aquatic Plant Bloom | Couleur | IlonaF❤️🍀❤️🍀  •  🇩🇪Deutsch🇩🇪Land🇩🇪  •  Member since July 11, 2015

Fractal Digital Art Computer Graphics Abstract | Inactive account – ID 189748

 Earth Planet Space World Blue Planet Outer Space | WikiImages | Deutsch  •  Member since Dec. 13, 2011

Music: Distant Worlds | Purrple Cat | Lunar Eclipse


Second Archetypal Animation

Hot Air Balloon Lake Balloon Sky Clouds Night | Bessi | Besi  •  Age 36  •  Podujevë/Kosovo  •  Member since April 4, 2015

Night Moon Night Sky Moonlight Blue Trees Dusk | susan-lu4esm | Susan Cipriano  •  Buenos Aires/Argentina ♥  •  Member since Nov. 11, 2017  •  #65

 Flower White Flower Dew Dewdrops Petals Bloom | Myriams-Fotos | Deutsch  •  Member since Nov. 10, 2015

 Leaf Droplets Reflection Grass Water Drops | ju1959jjj | ju Irun  •  Age 62  •  Irun/Guipuzcoa  •  Member since April 5, 2017

Music: Dew Drops On Spider Webs | Verne Langdon


Third Archetypal Animation

Crane Bird Animal Zoo Wilderness Feather Plumage | KRiemer | Kerstin Riemer  •  Greifswald/Deutschland  •  Member since April 13, 2015  •  #246

Crowned Cranes Birds Animals Cranes | strh | Kassel/Deutschland  •  Member since Feb. 2, 2021

Peacock Feather Dewdrop Dew Colorful Water Liquid | michaelcalumross | Michael Ross  •  Age 44  •  Forres/United Kingdom  •  Member since April 11, 2021

Music: Twisted & Shaken | Oscar Hollis


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