The Zen of Life Itself is a compilation of interior language, written after I got back from India, after enjoying the presence and the awareness of H.W.L. Poonja, who was a teacher I didn’t seek but found. In his presence, I saw another human being speak what I knew to be true. In his presence, I witnessed doubt, that I didn’t know I carried, disappear. I’m not a disciple of his, and he’d be happy to know that, because he sought no disciples. His teaching, called Advaita, is the practice of no practices. These writings are as close to the kind of language that would exist if there were no religion, as far I am able to make them. Papaji said to me, ‘Nobody has ever been able to describe this, but don’t stop trying. You are a writer. Write from the source.’ He meant that I write as one who was not separate from the source, as the source speaking. I saw him speak, not as one speaking about being to others, but as being speaking to being. In his presence, I saw love pouring out toward itself. I’ve never seen that as clearly, in any other human being, before or since, but I believe it is the natural state of our existence and not confined to the people we hold up as teachers, gurus, and masters. If it’s true for anyone, it’s true for everyone.
The Zen of Life Itself
Borderwalker is a novella, from 1990, about a poet who becomes lost to himself and discovers a deeper reality.
“He lay in an unhealed heap, drawing his only nourishment from the sun, like a decrepit house plant that hasn’t had light or water for a long time, root-bound and dried out, then moved, palest green, to the sun, and the sun beats down like a tidal wave on a parched and thirsty man, drowned by what he needs, unable to receive it.”
The Lonely Lion & All the Animals from A to Z is a collection of alliterative children’s stories for adults and the children who love them. I began these tales, one day, with a casual remark to a friend about the similarity between the words juggler and jugular. He suggested I write a story about it, so I did. It was called ‘The Juggler in the Jungle.’ After that, it was only a matter of time before I began to write stories using all the letters of the alphabet. An artist friend, Christine Schibly, was visiting, not long after these stories were written, and I thought she might be a good one to illustrate them. She has a narrative style in painting that I could not match. She agreed to do the wonderful work you see below, and this book came into being. Her original watercolors are 11×14. Christine lives in San Francisco. The second section of animal paintings are my own, later, less complex versions of The Lonely Lion. The paintings in that section are 5×7 watercolors.
Lonely Lion Introduction
The Lonely Lion