Category Archives: Buddhism


The best of the poems, photos, and meditations to appear on UPICTURE have now been collected in a book,  KILLERS IN TUTUS, available at Amazon.  Click here.  The cover photo appeared on November 2, 2012 in an essay on Fasching … Continue reading

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I get held up on a walk

. What happens when we go for a walk? A kind of floating in the world, you might say a “stream” of being, only nothing we meet is a metaphor. Just opposite – we say we “clear our heads.” Things … Continue reading

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Wash ’em, stack ‘ em

. Wash ’em, stack ’em file ‘ em, fold ’em Just get it done. This is February: snow to shovel, taxes to file. Your fingers are blue, so take out the garbage. Plan ahead, carry a window scraper and put … Continue reading

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Waiting in line is like waiting in line

Someone once said there was a Zen to waiting in line. Maybe it was me. The trick is to empty the mind, become one with humanity around you. What is life, after all, but waiting? Why do we live, except … Continue reading

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Life is maintenance

. Sweep it out, Prune it back, Wash it well, Change the oil, Replace it now, Go for a run, Scrape it down, Buy a spare, Throw it out, Sharpen it up, Life is maintenance.

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What is enligthenment?

. According to Kant, enlightenment ‘is man’s emergence from his self -imposed nonage,’ and ‘nonage is the inability to use one’s own ‘understanding without someone else’s guidance.’ In Zen they say,…. just go about your daily practices mindfully. Ryoan-ji, from … Continue reading

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The Power of the Light

. After an arduous day — wallpaper scraping for me, many meetings for my wife — we stopped into a nearby church as we were walking back home from the city. We stopped because there were cute children running in … Continue reading

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New initiates at the Shinto Temple, Kyoto, Japan

. Somewhat harder to get close to Shinto, when you live in Japan, than to get close to Buddhism, although getting close to the practice of Zen Buddhism is not easy either. But Shinto remains very active in the lives … Continue reading

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Borobudur, hidden buddhas

This is the view from the top of Borobudur, a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument looks like a giant inverted bell from a distance, but actually consists of six square platforms, ringed by seated … Continue reading

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Be useful

Be useful to others, be not only a pot but also a table. Contain multitudes, Support with your eyes, your ears and hands. Worry not about what is useful to you or about being ‘used’ by others. Be gladly of … Continue reading

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