“The Wizard of BIT”


by Stephanie Nash



(Steph’s take on a Shinzen Young retreat, Jan 2003)




            “I’m off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of BIT”

Whoa!  Hold on!  Slow down – Wait Just One Minute.

Where am I?   What is happening.   Do I know this place?

Oh yeah, I was here last year.  A lot’s happened in that space.


Let’s see…

I separated from my husband, am getting a divorce.

Got hit by a car.  (Mine was totalled, of course.)

Had no place to live, for 4 months or so.

My family has dramas – I’ll spare you that woe.


But my ex-husband and I are still pretty good friends.

Got a new, better car, and my body mends.

I love special friends and my new apartment nest.

I’ve been working a lot, and of course, need some rest.


But though it all, Shinzen’s been one phone call away.

I’ve learned a lot from him, but I’m not going to say

It – cause I’ve said it before --  IT’S ALL ON THE CD… SOOOOO

LET’S GOSSIP.  Come closer.  Ok, Now, did you know….


That he Inhaled in the 60’s and his primo stash he gave

To his outlaw biker friends, and never more did he crave.


He likes Homer Simpson and St. Francis’s poem, AND

The one by Rilke that greets the Buddha first-hand.


He got offered a contract to write a book

From some very big publishers – in New York.

But Procrastination is for him a big issue

So he finally had to use his own product – it’s true.


And he’s still working on the posture after 30 years

And was driven by Pleasure Fantasy, Sadness & Fears

Until he teased them apart & let them come together as a wave

And they no longer rule him or how he’ll behave.


And his response to our violent world that seems to be forsaken

Is, to quote 007,  – be “Stirred but not Shaken.”


I had my own challenges at this retreat

Working with emotions & trying not to overeat.


I got to guide a metta (but it was while I was working with much sadness)

So I focused on the message I was giving (not the madness.)


But there was another issue for me the first few days or so,

That caused me much frustration I want you to know.


                        (Sing to “Somewhere over the Rainbow”)


Somewhere deep into BIT space – Is Peace….with luck.

But I can’t make it happen – my concentration sucks.


I cannot focus for more than

10 seconds on my feet or hand



When others talk of deepened states

I want to cry GIVE ME A BREAK


Where did my mind go?


Somewhere deep into BIT SPACE

I used to go.

But my sucky concentration

Leaves me on this dull plateau.


If God means us to go inside

Of Perfect Oneness

Why oh why can’t I?



Oh, I know, to find the Oneness – get rid of what separates you.

And “I’m the worst meditator” – is something we all construe.


I tried to sit more to which my knees say “WE KNOW”

But the body’s natural response to pain is to “go with the flow”.

See, there are 3 Basic elements to any experience of Pain:

Local, Global & Talk/Image/Feel Reaction (as he did explain.)


And when noting Feeling States – Expect the Unexpected

& you may discover joy within the sadness you’d selected.

And then something happened.  There was a shift.

I did what the said and I got a gift.


                        (sing to “If I only Had a Heart”)


At first I was frustrated

But Now I am Elated

My Mind’s come back to me….


I can see now with clarity

My Feelings, Thoughts all due to the

LABELING you see…


Yep.  And Pacing of the Labels is important for penetration.

Soak in and savor & merge with the sensation.


You’ll know you’re approaching a complete experience when

You’re talking gobble-dee-goop – or so says Shinzen.


I wouldn’t know, my experiences are not all yet complete

Although I’ve had some tastes – enough to know it’s sweet.


Did you get the point of the 10 Ox herding Pictures?  -- or all the points, I should say

That it all leads to the final USE of this – like that dude Hotei.


Yeah, Sadhana & Seva – you need both of these guys.

So, get your butt on the cushion & then help others to be wise.


The lion leaps to understand and the elephant plods along

These are the two sides of the practice – no, you’re not doing it wrong.


Each movement of the eye is a birth & death of the world, and

It happens over 100,000 times a day, I want you to understand.


And when we see the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads…

We’ll allocate our time better – cause it’s hanging by a thread.


This is Industrial strength spirituality & like Shiva eat poison as nutrition.

Then transform it into nectar of loving-kindness, there’s a mission.


The same forces that mold the galaxies – mold our sensations.

And if you can – watch the RHYTHM of the Talk-Feel conversations.


I did the 1st yaza and yes the cheesecake was good.

But later as I fought of consciousness, I could have sworn I understood:


                        (Sings to “Lollipop Kids”)


I represent your Subconscious Mind

Of Image & Talk – Just Follow Behind


And if you watch me with Focus you’ll Find

A fascinating Janic State of mine.


Whoa.   Now, I know I’m not in Kansas any more.

(I’ve actually never been to Kansas – but you get the metaphor.)


Yeah, you can Re-engineer sleepiness into a janic state

But don’t try to get ‘states’ it’s really about getting ’traits’.


I missed Nicola this time, a functioning Bodhisattva, who

Stopped her meal to mourn her son’s loss, with elastic feelings, true.


She’s into laughing meditation and of Philip’s Metta – would be proud

A metta meditation where the zendo laughed out loud…!


And to Shirley Fenton, my god, what can I say.

There is no one in my life who plays the role you now play.

You know so much and share it with such graciousness &I heart.

I feel so lucky to be finally knowing you, my gratitude I impart.


And to Shinzen for whom ‘thank you’ is just not enough

& thus I do service and all this other stuff

like writing these poems and offering to tape.

You’re the coach who keeps me spiritually in shape.


Ok, I’m off now, on my yellow-BIT road quest

To find that Paradoxical Emptiness & Impermanence


                        (Sing to “The wonderful Wizard of Oz”)


I’m off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of BIT.

He starts with the Core, and then adds some more CERF themes that are his favorites.


Of his Feeling States, ah, Noting locates

The Anger, Fear, Sadness, or Joy that Vibrates

Expands, Contracts, Vibrates & Undulates


Yeah, that’s how I want to see all my Sense Gates.

I’m off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of BIT…..That’s it!


2011 Stephanie Nash – All Rights Reserved