When the quiet compassion
Of the way is abandoned,
Overt righteousness arises,
Hypocrisy close behind.

People only speak brotherly love
In the midst of family strife.
People only speak patriotism,
When the land is in chaos.



The worst leader is despised,
The next-worst, feared.
Better leaders, loved.
The best, hardly noticed.

Prizing words,
They use them sparingly.
Trusting the people,
Their trust is merited.

Accomplishments quietly earned,
So the people may claim them
As their own.

zen stream

Quick announcement: a regular Twitch stream every wednesday at 8pm, UK time. Expect nice sounds and visuals, plus some relaxing natter. Starting out, expect AV-rich video games (Tetris Effect, most likely, for the first few streams). As the library of koan study AV material grows, I might branch out into some shows and mixes rather than games streams – we’ll see. First one was last night – and it felt like a nice thing. Bonus streams might pop up now and again too. Not sure where to announce those, if at all. Look out on Instagram, maybe?

So that’s every Wednesday, 8pm UK time on Twitch. here’s the link:


All of fourteen, narrow as pipe cleaner, that first taste. The cousin getting married thrusts a bottle of old speckled my way. Tentatively, rim to lip, a sip. This is interesting. I drink. Still interesting. Another. yes – this merits further investigation. A band begins, and enlivened Jehovah’s Witnesses take the floor, leaving semi-consumed glasses of red at their tables. Careless, but it’s essential raw material. Science ensues. The beginning.

the constant


The systems of the world,
Observed, origins pondered.
All returns to the source –
The constant – tranquility.
The constant known – wisdom.
The constant ignored – ill deeds.

Know the constant, know acceptance.
Know acceptance, know impartiality.
Know impartiality, fear nothing,
Treading the path.

ice water


Courteous like a house guest,
Whole as uncarved wood,
Open as a valley.
Careful, alert,
Fluid like running ice-water.

Murky – the disturbed puddle,
Remaining still, settling.
The water clears all by itself.
Still, until the right action, happens
With no thought.

The old sages:
Profound, wise beyond understanding,
They knew subtlety and discernment,
Not seeking fulfilment.
What is full is not useful.
Being empty, they felt complete.