Are you a robot?

More and more I receive calls that seem to be from humans.  They sound like humans,  laugh and answer questions.  However,  I am pretty sure they are robots.

Today I answered the phone and, as usual, there was a pause.  Normally I hang up.  But now my curiosity has got the best of me.  It used to be people on the other line and because I would always say “no thanks” to whatever their cause, I felt bad and stopped answering.  The majority of my incoming calls are these solicitors.  Kind of a sad thing to think they always get hung up on or negative response so I have decided to answer only to discover these are not people.  Of course they are people voices and now even more refined because of the amazing technology we have, they sound like humans.  This last guy even laughed just before being disconnected.

Social security disability is what he was all about so I had a ready ear.  Then he asked me, “can you hear me alright?”  I said yes and asked him if he was a robot.  Sounding very human like, he asked, “why, is the connection bad?”  And then there was silence.  I never found out about Social Security disability and wonder why he disconnected with a laugh.  Wow.  He seemed real.

Then the thought crossed my mind, “does this work?” Do other people think they are real? Is it getting them the information about whatever the solicitor is selling?  And I can’t help but laugh at myself at the thought that we have become so automatic that we would not know the difference between a robot or a human.  It is quite sad that we have lost the ability to communicate with one another and yet we call our use of artificial intelligent devices communication.

Everything is transient.

I Was Once a Radio

In Zen the term duality is commonly used.  The idea is that we are not separate from anything and yet we have allowed ourselves to become so isolated and separate that we don’t even know robots are calling us.  Sophisticated robots. We already have a huge amount of duality within our lives, our selves.  The ego and the Self are constantly in a battle which appears to be natural in this world.  Rather than understanding Oneness we are growing the gap of duality from inside to outside and beyond.  Competition, opinions, capitalism, selling and forcing things upon us, turning education and healthcare into industries where we are the commodity, are all examples of the tools used to create duality and separation.

It is all consciousness and truly cannot be separate.  However, the illusion is as real as the robot that called me today.  Maybe we are all robots.

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Empty Mind?

Now that the elections, “the games“, are over we can settle down to our “zen -in- flesh”.  Be here now.  We all seem to be looking outside for some kind of peace.  We all want more and we are not really sure what that means.  Empty the mind?  Let’s explore.

Nov, 14 2016

The end of another year is fast approaching.  Or one might see it as another beginning.  It is blustery and the leaves are almost off all the trees.  The gardens are put to bed and the only weeding will be in my mind.

I find myself often in my mind creating or thinking about all that has been or is or is about to be.  Perhaps a bit of what could be is an impossibility and yet our existence has unlimited possibilities.

Although I sometimes see myself as alone with no one relating to the perspective of which I have come to live by, I also realize it is also my own doing.  People do show up who are searching for answers and they are wanting peace in this world of angst.  I share with them the Four Noble Truths.

“We’ll see that it’s because we are clinging to our various likes and dislikes.  We come to know that we are suffering because of our own actions.  We suffer because we ascribe to things.  So we say, know suffering, know the cause of suffering, know the freedom from suffering and know the way to this freedom.”   -Ajahn Chah

dukka, samudaya, nirodha, magga – four noble truths

The Path

The path is Magga: the way      KNOW FREEDOM from SUFFERING and KNOW THE WAY

Right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.


One path – Four levels of refinement:


Stay with the breath until you are aware of in-breath and out-breath.

“If the mind is at ease, if it’s at peace, it will be naturally aware.”   – Ajahn Chah

Do Not Take Up Anything at all, or think about gaining things.  Worldlings take up everything, every little experience is processed in their brains, through their senses, stimulating emotions, creating mental phenomenon. Use right mindfulness to watch the drama dhamma.  Each individual has a unique mental experience seeing what is there by relating from memories (incomplete experiences), grasping at emotional ownership.

To watch with an empty mind one will have a clearer understanding.



  Original 16×20 Acrylic painting with foil by artist, Pamela Van Kirk.  $400   Contact:   PayPal available.  Free Shipping

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Zen Communication

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Zen Communication

2017-05-18 16.23.49Master Fenyang said, “when you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are still not enough.”

Who  isn’t deluded?  Constant mind chatter.  We are so conditioned to watch the movie, we see nothing in its true being.  Wrapped up in illusions, resentments and desires of our imaginings we are unavailable to see what is actually happening unfold.

“When you have realized understanding, even one word is already too much “.  Now I have said too much.

“Zen is communicated personally, through mental recognition.  It is not handed in directly by written word”.

Am I my mind? Ask this question with every thought. You may discover that the I appears to be completely solid and real. “Appears” is the key; if the I is the mind, there is no sense in saying ” my mind”.   “When you suddenly realize the source of the mind, you open a box of jewels”.






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Who Is The Fool?

via Who Is The Fool?

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Who Is The Fool?

In the Tarot the fool is zero or the missing number……or Nothing.  Johannes Fiebig says “the zero point defines your personal starting point, your place of unity with yourself, and the very core of your being.  It is the beginning and the end.  In Zen it is emptiness or the space between where the subjective and objective reside together.

As we start to understand consciousness more we realize that we are not [conscious].  Everything comes from the mind which is filled with imprints and memories, which I refer to as incomplete experiences.  Humans spend more time in their minds than in the present moment in consciousness and so the whole manifestation is a mosaic of incomplete experiences void of awareness. We live in a giant memory bank of things that are from our minds while the actual reality slips past unseen, unknown.

So, who is the fool?  One might think that it is the masses living in their incomplete memories.  But in truth the fool is the one who stops the mind and finds that place of unity within their very core.  In Zen this is referred to as NO MIND.


Upon observation of the painting, “Residual Impression”, one might think they see  a crow.  This is the mind at work searching for relationship and making up stories.  Yet, this is a painting that merely happened.  There was no plan, no idea, no reference. Many people only see what they can relate to from memories and so they miss the simple energy of the art.  People need to validate and share their interpretations of just about everything.  This is not foolish.  It is an artificial world view of mental formations.

Become the fool and you will be free.  There will be no reason to share your opinion and start wars, no reason to disagree or choose sides.  Each moment will be the experience and in that you will discover awareness.  As Johannes Fiebig says, “you are free not to know the answer or to change your point of view at will” when you are the fool.



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No Time

No Time

The book at the link above is filled with beautiful photos and words of wisdom from a Zen poem. It is a guide to being more present through each timeless picture. As you look at the photos with their stories, colors and light, I suggest you move your focus out of separation and duality, and become the captured moment. I call this love.

015 (2)Full pdf file

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American Collapse

We are experiencing an epidemic, a social virus, rippling out into the masses.  The American way has become so habitual that we actually think we have to live this.  But when I see information about the Worst Counties to live in or read how Costa Rica’s Lifespan has risen above ours because they have healthcare, I wonder what is really the issue?

So we Americans argue about the government and our health care situation, meanwhile we are starting to die young.  If you read the article above by Umair Haque he will fill you in with some amazing truths that we Americans seem to be in denial about, so busy in our worlds, all seeming separate, like no one world touches the other and thence: business as usual.  In the second link one starts to think about statistics and poverty and an unbelievable amount of reality right here in our America. We have terrible poverty but it isn’t necessarily of money.  There is a huge poverty of empathy, of knowing we will be cared for. One friend comments that we are the Greatest Nation.  I think, “great at what?”, deceiving people?  Great at separating us more and more, a little revolution amongst the population.  For Zen students the most important thing is NOT to be dualistic.

Now I noticed that there have been some serious earthquakes.  A sort of “Butterfly Effect” happening on the planet from the shakiness right here in America.  A distraught teenager has a random shoot out and we Americans call him a “killer” while we argue amongst each other about guns.  We argue about everything.  We point the finger and take no responsibility.  Those with guns are ready to shoot the “bad guy” but who is the bad guy?  We argue about more security, more police, more army to ‘what?’, protect us?  But if we are more connected than we believe, not separate, not different, then it appears we are fighting with ourselves when we could be the protectors.

Food for thought.

Sri Nisargadatta says: “All is because you are.”

So, what about this American Collapse.  What is your piece in the puzzle?

2018-02-17 10.59.24


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