Song Of The Grass Roof Hermitage
I’ve built a grass hut where there’s nothing of value.
After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap.
When it was completed, fresh weeds appeared.
Now it’s been lived in – covered by weeds.
The person in the hut lives here calmly,
Not stuck to inside, outside, or in between.
Places worldly people live, he doesn’t live.
Realms worldly people love, he doesn’t love.
Though the hut is small, it includes the entire world.
In ten square feet, an old man illumines forms and their nature.
A Great Vehicle bodhisattva trusts without doubt.
The middling or lowly can’t help wondering;
Will this hut perish or not?
Perishable or not, the original master is present,
not dwelling south or north, east or west.
Firmly based on steadiness, it can’t be surpassed.
A shining window below the green pines —
Jade palaces or vermilion towers can’t compare with it.
Just sitting with head covered, all things are at rest.
Thus, this mountain monk doesn’t understand at all.
Living here he no longer works to get free.
Who would proudly arrange seats, trying to entice guests?z
Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.
The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned away from.
Meet the ancestral teachers, be familiar with their instruction,
Bind grasses to build a hut, and don’t give up.
Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely.
Open your hands and walk, innocent.
Thousands of words, myriad interpretations,
Are only to free you from obstructions.
If you want to know the undying person in the hut,
Don’t separate from this skin bag here and now.
–By Shitou Xiqian
Sundays are for running, and blogging about running. Fortunately for me, unfortunately for my blog, I didn’t run into much excitement this week – no mountain lion sightings to be had. Which is totally fine by me. But it I don’t have a lot to talk about.
I thought that this would be a good time, then, to talk about some of the things I am finding helpful at the moment.
- Runkeeper. I have a love/hate relationship with this app. I have used it off and on for years. I am currently in a “love” state with it, but that could change at any given moment. They keep updating it and adding really cool new features. The last update came with a feature that shows you how fast your mile was during particular songs in your playlist. So you can see what song made you run the fastest. The big reason why I love it right now, though, is that I can create my own workouts with intervals. I am currently into the Galloway method (more on that in a moment) and so I can create an interval that repeats where I run 4 minutes/walk 45 seconds.
- The Galloway Method. This is a method where you run and walk at varying intervals. The walking interval is very short, like only a few seconds. The idea is that you recover in those seconds for the next interval so you can stay strong for the duration of the run and prevent injury later. I am loving it. I have been running longer distances and feeling great, not super tired afterwards.
- Handheld water bottle. I have this one and it is awesome. Seriously. for years I just carried around a regular water bottle on my longer runs but I got one of these and, wow. I love it. Your hand wraps around it naturally and it feels lightweight and natural. Not like there is a giant water bottle grasped in your hand.
- Running Light. I have an Amphipod Vizlet Flashing light. And no more excuses for not running in the early morning, predawn, hours.
So there you go. Just a few things that I have found helpful. I’m always finding new things so I might post more on this as I run across other things that work well for me.
“The truth of the line overwhelms all other considerations.”
-Leonard Cohen, The Book Of Longing.
I have been reading The Book Of Longing and have been very inspired by it. I really want to learn more about Cohen. He wrote some of it while staying at Mt Baldy Zen Center as a Buddhist Monk in seclusion. There is something about that fact that makes the poetry more touching to me, partly because I am also Buddhist but also because the poetry really displays his human side, even as he was seeking spirituality.
This particular quote caught my attention because it was hand written alongside a self portrait he drew in ink. I am interested in this idea of the line being truth, as in when you draw something, the line that is laid down with your hands is pure truth. If that makes sense.
I have a series of large format pinhole photographs that I took last summer up on Mt Hood that I am going to post over the next few weeks. (I am hoping it will inspire me to dust of the Zero 4×5 and get outside with it!)
This was taken up on Mt. Hood near Hood River at a place called Kingsley Reservoir. Last Summer Raf ran his first 50k race, the Post Canyon 50k, and it started here. A month before the race we decided to drive up there to scope out the place. I, of course, brought my pinhole camera!
Camera: Zero 4×5 (25mm configuration)
Film: Illford Delta 100
Exposure Time: 10 minutes
Continuing with the Polaroid Week, theme: I learned through the Twitters that this past Saturday was World Toy Camera Day. I remembered that I had an instant back for my Holga and there was film in it! Yay! I could kill two birds with one stone! So I carried it with me to work to see what I could snap. I found my favorite fire hydrant and took a picture of it. And then immediately learned that this was the last shot of the pack. I carried it with me to work and peeled it apart and found that I was shooting the sought-after Fuji FP-3000. And that was it. My last shot ever with this film. It kind of sums up my experience with it. It was a frustrating and disappointing ride. I gave my last pack away to my buddy Marisa and I am glad I did because I know it is much more capable hands. 🙂