let the lover be crazy


A certain

young man was asking

around.  “I need to find a wise person.

I have a problem.” A bystander said, “There’s

no one with intelligence in our town except that man

over there playing with the children, the one riding

the stick-horse. He has keen, fiery insight and

vast dignity like the night sky, but he

conceals it in the madness of

child’s play.” 


The young

seeker approached the

children. “Dear father, you who

have become as a child,

tell me a secret.”


“Go away.

This is not a day for

secrets.” “But please! Ride your

horse this way, just for a minute.” The sheikh

play-galloped over. “Speak quickly. I can’t hold this one

still for long. Whoops. Don’t let him kick you. This is a wild

one!” The young man felt he couldn’t ask his serious

question in the crazy atmosphere, so he

joked, “I need to get married. Is

there someone suitable on

this street?”


“There are

three kinds of women

in the world. Two are griefs, and

one is a treasure in the world. The first,

when you marry her, is all yours. The second

is half-yours, and the third is not yours at all. Now get

out of here, before this horse kicks you in the head!

Easy now!” The sheikh rode off among the

children. The young man shouted,

“Tell me more about

the kinds of



The sheikh,

on his cane horsey,

came closer, “The virgin of

your first love is all yours. She will

make you feel happy and free. A childless widow

is the second, she will be half yours. The third, who is

nothing to you, is a married woman with a child. By her first

husband she had a child, and all her love goes into that child.

She will have no connection with you. Now watch out.

Back away. I’m going to turn this rascal around!”

He gave a loud whoop and rode back,

calling the children

around him.



more question, Master!”

The sheikh circled, “What is it? Quickly!

That rider over there needs me. I think I’m

in love.” “What is this playing that

you do? Why do you hide

your intelligence



“The people

here want to put me

in charge. They want me to be

judge, magistrate, and interpreter of all the texts.

The knowing I have doesn’t want that. It wants to enjoy

itself. I am a plantation of sugarcane, and at the same time

I’m eating the sweetness.” Knowledge that is acquired is not like

this. Those who have it worry if audiences like it or not. It’s a

bait for popularity. Disputational knowing wants customers.

It has no soul. Robust and energetic before a responsive

crowd, it slumps when no one is there. The only

real customer is God. Chew quietly your

sweet sugarcane God-love, and stay

playfully childish. Your face  will

turn rosy with illumination

like the red bud



Let the lover

be disgraceful, crazy,

absent minded. Someone sober

will worry about things going

badly. Let the lover



All day

and night, music,

a quiet, bright reed song.

If it fades, we



Jalal al-din Rumi

translated by coleman barks


everything has the same value

the shaggy dog


There is no distinction

between heaven and earth, man and woman,

teacher and disciple. Sometimes a man bows to a woman;

sometimes a woman bows to a man. Sometimes the disciple bows

to the master; sometimes the master bows to the disciple. A master

who cannot bow to his disciple cannot bow to Buddha.

Sometimes the master and disciple bow together

to Buddha. Sometimes we may bow

to cats and dogs.


In your big mind,

everything has the same value.

Everything is Buddha himself. You see something

or hear a sound, and there you have everything just as it is.

In your practice you should accept everything as it is, giving to

each thing the same respect given to a Buddha. Here there

is Buddhahood. Then Buddha bows to Buddha,

and you bow to yourself. This is

the true bow.


Shunryu Suzuki

zen mind, beginner’s mind


your spiritual light

joel belmont



spiritual light 

can be compressed into 

pinpoint, or it can flood and

wash the known and unknown universe.

The principal task of a master is to respect 

the oneness of her spiritual light with

all spiritual light and to care for

 it accordingly.


Where is 

the best place to do this? 

In quiet simplicity. 


Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 33

Paperback / Kindle here




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utilize the I Ching as a lantern

marcel van luit


Even the foolish

can attain wisdom by

modestly following the Sage.


Folly is a characteristic of youth: those who have had little experience generally exhibit little wisdom. This is true of us in a spiritual way as well; in comparison to the Sage we are “babes in the woods.” The hexagram Mêng counsels us to utilize the I Ching as a lantern so that we may survive our youthful folly and travel safely through the woods of life.

There is no shame in seeking guidance in life. A child is eager to be shown the way by his parents and teachers, and we are wise to recognize that in spiritual terms we are akin to children. Our success will come quicker if we find and follow a wise teacher. The Sage is available to serve in this way for those who approach the I Ching with a sincere desire to learn and grow.

To study the I Ching is to gain the perspective of the Deity, to learn the cosmic lesson inherent in every situation that faces us. If we truly look for and strive to comprehend these larger lessons, we gain mastery over fear, doubt, and anxiety. We can learn from study of the I Ching to live in a state of understanding, contentment, and acceptance, but several things are required of us.

The first is that we suspend our mistrust of the Unknown and allow the Sage to lead us. It is tempting to think that the I Ching might be just a book, merely words on paper, but there is more to it that this. To accept this is to recognize the Sage and become receptive to his assistance.

The second thing required of us is that we quiet the demands of our egos for comprehensive answers to our questions about life. The I Ching teaches us not how to get from A to Z but how to get from A to B, then from B to C, then from C to D. The sage travels step by step, dealing always with what is immediately at hand and bringing complete focus and concentration to the moment. By doing the same we fall into step with, and receive the help of, the Creative power of the universe.

Lastly, we are required to unstructure our attitude. By abandoning strategies about people and situations, we let the past and future go and meet the present with an open mind. To be unstructured and open is to allow the Sage to guide us safely and joyfully through life.

The image of Mêng is that of a stream beginning to flow down a mountainside, filing each ravine and hollow place as it goes. If we persevere in following the Sage, seeking the counsel of the I Ching and filling in the gaps in our character as they are revealed, we will be led to lasting success in life.


The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 4, Mêng / Youthful Folly



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the path is perfect

Those who have not reached the source think that the Path is extremely abstruse and mysterious. They think that the ultimate reality of the Path lies before the empty aeon, before the differentiation of the primeval chaos, before heaven and earth were formed. They think it is something silent and dark and vague, something impossible to fully fathom or investigate or probe, and that only the sages can experience or know it. Thus they know the words of the sages, but they do not know their meaning. How can we talk to them about this matter?

People who think like this are far from realizing that the Path is perfect and complete right under everyone’s feet, that it is pure and naked in the midst of everyday activities. It encompasses all mental moments and is omnipresent in all places. There is no dark place it does not illuminate and no time it is not in operation.

It is just that people have been running off in the opposite direction for a long time, branching off in aberrant ways, unwilling to believe in their own buddha nature, always seeking externally — that is why the more they seek, the further away they get from the Path. 

This is why Bodhidharma came from the West and and just pointed directly to the human mind. This mind is the unconcerned mind in its normal equilibrium. Its natural potential spontaneously extends forth, without constraints and without clinging, without abiding anywhere or getting attached to anything. It shares in the powers of heaven and earth and merges with the light of the sun and moon.

There is no room here to set up arbitrary opinions. You flood out into great comprehension and merge into a state free from conditioned mind and its contrived actions and obsessive concerns. If you set up the slightest trace of dualism between subject and object and self and others, then you are blocked off and obstructed, and you will never penetrate through to it.

As the saying goes: “The real nature of ignorance is buddha nature, and the empty body of illusory transformation is the buddha’s body of reality.” If you can witness real nature within the shell of ignorance, then instantaneously the essence underlying ignorance is brought into play. If you can see the body of reality within the shell of the physical body, then instantaneously the essence underlying the empty body is wholly illuminated…

Once you have penetrated through to this true essence, and you have discovered that the empty body of ignorance is not separate from it, then none of the myriad forms of being is outside it. When your state is genuine and true, then it is totally inclusive at all times, leaving nothing outside of it, and you can put down your body and mind anywhere. Haven’t you seen the ancients say that along with sensory afflictions come the seeds of enlightenment?

When you reach this level, observing the reality of physical existence is the same as observing buddha. Then worldly phenomena and the buddhadharma are fused into one single whole. You are completely free and at ease as you eat food and put on clothes…

When you arrive at these ultimately simple, ultimately easy wonders of the Path that are right under your feet, the infinite gates to reality open up and appear before you all at once. You penetrate through birth and death to liberation, and you attain the supremely wondrous fruit of enlightenment. How could this be hard?