Zen Cloud Sanctuary

7.5 x 10.5" (19 x 27cm)
$1200 US

On the other shore of this sky-river, all doubt evaporates in the singularity of Being....


One afternoon at a wetlands sanctuary near the mouth of the Russian River, I watched this very "formal"--almost architectural--cloud, skirt the horizon and pay a rich chromatic homage to the sea; then retreat overland to reflect the warm colors of the shoreline, hang motionless for awhile, then evaporate and re-coalesce; flirt with the afternoon sun, dissipate into a golden-magenta glow, and finally dissolve into the approaching fog bank from the west.

I decided that it understood more about what its purpose was, and what the cloud-joy-game of existence (for it) was all about, than most of the supposedly highly evolved humans (including myself) watching it from the shore. And yet, ironically, "it" wasn't even an entity as we perceive them to be--just a simple cloud, doing its job admirably; a mere ephemeral, atmospheric phenomenon that has no independent consciousness as far as we can perceive, a "no-mind," as Buddhists would say (implying a greater capacity to simply BE), and I realized something that has haunted me ever since: if a supposedly inanimate, animated vapor can respond to, and interact with its environment with such magnificent presence , why can't we, as humans--the self-anointed avatars of this planet--develop some of the same awareness and joy of "being/non-being" in our lives?

"Yeah, right," she sighed, as I tried later to explain what I had witnessed. "What makes you think it wasn't just some grandiose projection on your part?"

Yep. That must be it. We're all here for a very short time, and we simply project the rest. . . .

But what about this cloud? Where did "it" go?

Gauguin titled one of his paintings, "What are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?"


I just want to get a better grasp of "It". . .

(And of course the question still remains, as far as this painting is concerned, and that long-lost cloud-among-clouds that it pays tribute to: is it a Zen "Cloud Sanctuary"? or is it a "Zen Cloud" sanctuary?)


. . . And still, ultimately,

what is "It"?


(Please don't send an e-mail message if you just want to relate your answer; but please respond if you're intrigued by the possibilities of the question)

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