Skip to content →

Category: Buddhism

haiku: 11 December 2020

warm December day;
a puff of white ash
as I seal the incense jar

/ / /

Jason Crane
11 December 2020
State College PA

One Comment

POEM: the dharma according to Norman

the dharma according to Norman

4:14 a.m.
he jumps on my ribs as
I sleep on my side
I get up to pee, then
lie on my back
he settles on my chest

5:30 a.m.
this time he meows &
gently bumps my nose
we get up, trying not to wake Owen
I put on shorts & a t-shirt
beside the kitchen table, then
feed Norman

6:10 a.m.
three bells ring
I bow as I finish zazen
turn to find him sleeping
on the recliner behind me
he yowls softly as I scratch his tummy

/ / /

Jason Crane
5 August 2020
Tucson, AZ

One Comment

POEM: Prayer

Prayer

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva,
I’m putting you in this poem
to sound more like Allen Ginsberg.

Kannon Bodhisattva,
I just cleaned the toilet
then looked at myself in the mirror.

Jizo Bodhisattva,
protector of travelers & children,
I am a wandering boy putting distance
between himself & his past.

I worry less about the
ten thousand things
than I used to,
but let’s not kid ourselves.

/ / /

Jason Crane
30 May 2020
Tucson, AZ

Leave a Comment

POEM: The still small voice

The still small voice
(for Fr. Edgar Holden)

A lotus tattoo & a statue of the Buddha;
I turn halfway to look down the road behind me.
Flinching from the name of God like a slapped child,
I yearn for the gentle mysticism of Merton,
for a life among flagstones & evensong.
There are burrs on my clothing & scratches on my skin
from running through fields to evade my pursuers.
At night I hear the still small voice:
“How’re you going to make your way in the world
when you weren’t cut out for working?”
Twenty years ago I took a monk to a quiet spot
in the Sonoran Desert, left him there with his brothers
to bathe in the sunset & silence. I drove back to town
wondering whether I should have stayed there with them.

/ / /

Jason Crane
2 April 2020
Tucson, AZ

Note: The two lines in quotation marks are from Warren Zevon’s song “The French Inhaler.”

Leave a Comment

BOOK REVIEW: Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind by Maura Soshin O’Halloran

I came across this book at Bookmans in Tucson during our apartment-hunting trip a couple weeks ago. I’d never heard of the book or of Soshin O’Halloran, but I’m an admirer of books about the lives of Buddhist monastics and other practitioners. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind is a collection of diary entries and letters published after O’Halloran’s death in a car accident at the age of 27. She was on a tour of Asia following three years as a Buddhist nun in Japan. It’s a lovely book; honest and forthright and brimming with zeal for her newfound Buddhist practice. At times the focus on kensho (englightenment) was a little much for me, but that’s because the flavor of Buddhism I practice doesn’t emphasize that aspect of Zen to the extent that Soshin’s did. It’s a worthwhile book, made bittersweet in the knowledge that she died just weeks after receiving transmission and being given permission to teach.

Leave a Comment