"30 Days of THIS??"


By Stephanie Nash

(Steph's take on the 30-day Millenial Retreat led by Shinzen Young, Dec 1999-Jan 2000)


So, after 30 days of Mind Games – is your brain fried?

Can you track Touch, Talk, Feel – with your eyes open wide?

Do you creak when you rise?  Do you limp when you walk?

Do you live in Samadhi?  Can you sit like a rock?


Do you always have a strategy (!) when you sit down to sit?

Free floating, even coverage, inventory—bit by bit?

Does the stone Buddha dance?  Does the barbarian have a beard?

Was it all that youÕd hoped for and all that you feared?


Have you observed noble silence or were you subject to talk?

Can you observe the sensations when you chant, eat or walk?

Ah, I see youÕve learned to be a GREAT fool and love the "donÕt know" mind?

Are Expansion and Contraction all you ever find?


Well, thereÕs no Guinness Book of Dharma Records (for those who look those things up.)

ThereÕs just the lesson of the Bodhidharma – 7 times down, 8 times up.

You must now know that Equanimity is the lubricant to the soul.

And a Complete Experience, or Merging, or Purification is the goal.


Have you been subject to or distracted by the coughing and the wheezing?

You know this is Toothpaste Dharma—there may be some squirting around the squeezing.


Have you asked WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?!  (If so, to you IÕll confide)

Because of Past, Present, Future, Outside and Inside.

Form is Emptiness, and Emptiness is Form

At the joining of Expansion and Contraction we are Born.


If all this confuses you – youÕve been at the wrong retreat.

Welcome to ShinzenÕs Brain Dump – tap your toe and have a seat:


First thereÕs paramixus, aptomictic, dyads, triads & the space bell,

Endolectic & endocusis (about internal talk) and, well,

ThereÕs blissies, yuckies & the crazies (like from "Observe the despiration")

And the grudgies—wait is that Yogi Mind? (I think we all know that sensation.)


Now, in Proto-Indo-European – No, itÕs PaliÉ.  Sanskrit?  No—Hebrew!

There are 3 little letters  that, believe me, really  do

Contain the entire spiritual path – and theyÕre all inside "Shalom"

(which is where IÕd like to be, please God, before I get home.)


Now our Shinzen is surely blessed with an Einsteinian mind

And the patience of a 1st grade teacher – God, what a find!

But when Shinzen takes a tangent, itÕs not the normal kind

ItÕs technical and medical and you just sit back & watch his mind

Dance with glee at the possibilities & scientific correlation

To the spiritual/Buddhist understanding of Universal Vibration.


ThereÕs vibrating super strings & parts of the brain –No, donÕt go there!

DonÕt get him started on anatomy or language origins where

An hour can pass and youÕve heard a lotta of syllables which

IÕm sure are in no normal dictionary (and can provoke a twitch.)


ThereÕs a Nobel Prize (or two) for him when he gets his research done

But you know that heÕs doing it as a Bodhisattva – (and for fun.)


Two days ago was the very first time IÕd ever led a sit.

(I had thought to qualify one must be meditationally fit.)

I used to think that meditation was just sitting with the eyes closed.

Here IÕve learned with fascination that itÕs not what IÕd supposed.


IÕve learned to make my images –a wiggly Van Gogh,

And to open all my sense gates – to allow and watch the flow.

By trying far mountain gazing I learned a lot about urge.

And when the pendulum becomes a wave—with the flower you will merge.


IÕve learned that Rhythm can drive you into a transcendent state.

It goes "carrot, carrot, carrot, stick, weaker, stronger, energy, peace."

Or itÕs the Resonant Frequency –see, you push at the right time

And learn your own sequences & then beat them to the line.


But IÕve not yet learned that easing up can teach like bearing down.

IÕve been driven for a Direct Connection (if one can be found.)


Some things I find IÕm good at, others I discover IÕve done before.

The newer and more difficult ones – I do until IÕm sore.

If he says juggle 3 – IÕll juggle 7 till IÕm numb.

Is that vibratory impermanence?  Or have I just strained my thumb?


And in my last on-line when I cried at my frustration

At wanting to get in a month—what takes 10 years of meditation.


He said, "DonÕt worry, be happy!  If I got hit by a truck

YouÕve got access to enough technique to get you through the muck.

Most donÕt have that, and if you keep working like this,

Trust me, youÕll have more than you can imagine of bliss."


So, IÕll pay attention to everything and hold onto nothing, --or

Add up all the integers – to make zero (and nothing more.)

But, see, zero isnÕt zero – itÕs Nothing with a capital "N"

And then something comes from nothing –thatÕs briah yesh mi-ayn.


And as IÕll explain to others who just canÕt quite see,

This is what IÕll now do instead of drinking or TV

To get rid of that waxy build-up  at the end of the day

& let that SamskŠra go the Alka-Seltzer way


Into Anicca, Impermanence, the Spirit or Qi,

The peristalsis of formless womb that gives birth to the world in which we

Moment by moment are created and create

This presence, this Truth, this Godness – our Fate.


One of the images I like most is this:

"The present is born in the infinite and infinitesimal kiss."



So, what do we do next Shinzen –now that weÕre in shape?

"Just keep doing it" he said, (I know cause IÕve got it on tape.)

"No self, no problem, and when the self rises just know

There are 8 possibilities for tracking the 3 sense gates, and Lo!


When you look to the East – the West is behind you!

And with no craving or aversion – Nirvana will find you.

Recycle the Reaction, of course you know why--

It all comes down to:  "Why not be smaller than the fly?!


Ride the Ox Backwards!  Your Awareness – Aim & Hurl

And what youÕll find at the end of this Noble Quest is a Pearl."

And as he turned to do more Seva in this world of wavy foam

This sage we call Shinzen said, "Oseh Shalom."


(And as he walked away with mudita on this insightful morn

There was a soundÉsome music?  Yes, a song began to form:)


    (sung)       Tiny BubblesÉÉ.In the MindÉ..

            Make Life HappyÉ..All the Time.  J

2011 Stephanie Nash - All Rights Reserved