Middle Pane

absurdism, philosophy, science, music



Words have no meaning, this post means nothing

Spinning into infinity

Losing control

External forces are not forces at all

Ripples extending outward

Coloring the surface of the pond

It is all water

Even the ripple is part of the surface

The deep calm beneath

Drops losing individuality in a whole

Show me a drop of water in a lake

It is there, but it isn’t

Words pointing in endless directions

Around and through my being

There is nothing

A wave through nothing

An existence shattered

And reformed

Identify lost

And found

And then thrown away

Why won’t it go away?

What am I clinging to?

I renounce a thousand worlds

This one holds nothing

And everything

My head throbs

As much as it is my head

Can consciousness leap from one plane to another, and remain intact?

Can the journey be experienced?

Or do we simply wake up in a new life

With the expectations of the old one?

How do I let go, realize the change, and move on?



Words have no meaning

This post means nothing

Move on

Let it go

Whatever I am thinking, it is gone

My current thoughts are your vision into my past

What is it like to ride in a time machine?

Continue reading “Words have no meaning, this post means nothing”


There is no Rush, Center First

It starts at home

Develop your talents

There is no rush

Center first

Make mistakes

Get up

Do it again until you get it right

Stop hanging onto possibilities

Images of people in the past

Projected into the future

When you don’t know what to do….



Continue reading “There is no Rush, Center First”

Fishing for Patience

I sometimes struggle with how much information to give someone vs. letting them figure it out on their own.  This is both at work and at home with my kids.  I guess it goes back to the whole “If you give a man a fish…” dealie.  Continuing to give out free fish is putting me in a situation of being the fisherman.  Not a bad occupation by any means, but it does get a little smelly and I have my eyes set on dry land.

Fisherman fishing in the ocean
The Fisherman Half Moon Bay, CA Photographed by:

It is most definitely a practice in patience.  I get torn between wanting to get the task done and wanting to allow the person to learn (and ultimately leave me alone 🙂 ).   I also don’t want the other person to think that I am dragging them along.  If they get frustrated then it is of no use.  They will dismiss everything that they are doing as busy work.  The goal is that at the end they either know how to do it or have enough information to figure out how to do it on their own.  It is a balancing act.

The master Bob Ross at work
“Dark is what makes white, or any light color show. It doesn’t have to be white, it can be any color that’s light. But you need that dark contrast to make it jump out and, and sing for you. Otherwise, it’ll just sort of go away and leave you standing there by yourself.” –Bob Ross, 1994

It is frustrating to me while doing this.  I want to shake the person and say “Why don’t you know how to do this?  Why am I the only one paying attention?”.  I don’t.  Luckily today everything has been through instant message, so it has allowed me to think more about my reaction.  At some point the giving of information and letting people struggle becomes natural and I take over when needed.  Or at least when I feel it is needed.  This is all just an extension of my practice.  Today I learn about patience and acceptance.

Patience is the settled reality that we are not in control
True dat

Of course, now the parallels come into play.  If I am teaching others like this, how am I being taught?  How much information am I being given vs. banging my head on the wall to find out on my own?  And if I have that sort of abandoned feeling, is that just me being left to figure it out myself.  The end result being that it is something that is more rewarding and more meaningful to me and my experience.  Maybe I don’t get the exact correct answer or maybe I go about it a different way than is initially prescribed.  The end result is the same.  Eventually, the lesson is forgotten and we are left with our instincts on how to return.

Continue reading “Fishing for Patience”

Right Concentration

This morning I went with my friend to the lake to try out his new whitewater kayak.  We wanted to try it in a more controlled environment before attempting the river.  It was very deja vu-ish since we did the same thing when he got a flatwater yak.  He was the first to get a yak and we tried it at the same spot on the lake

A whitewater kayak handles differently than a recreational kayak.  It moves with your body.  you literally ratchet yourself into the cockpit and get a tight fit so that your knees are against the sides of the hull.  When you turn your hips, the kayak turns.  With a rec kayak, you sometimes paddle backwards to steer, but with a WW yak it is always forward. So steering can be troublesome at first because you want to do it all with the paddle, but you must make subtle hip adjustments or be able to completely keep your back straight.

Liquid Logic Remix XP9 (The kayak I want)
Liquid Logic Remix XP9 (The kayak I want)

He tried it first and just kept close ot the shore.  When I got in, I had to tighten it, so I don’t think he was in as much as he should have been.  I made a tight fit and after getting used to it with a few paddles and turns, I picked a spot on the other shore and started paddling.  When I thought about the paddling or my waist, then I spun around.  When I kept my concentration on the tree on the other shore, I tracked straight for it.  When my mind drifted or I started to think about the movements I needed to make then I spun around.  I tried to correct, but it was like once that concentration was lost, I was better to go with the flow and let things reset.  Spin around and pick the spot again and go for it with my whole intention.

«Sumeru» by Nick Pedersen
«Sumeru» by Nick Pedersen

So I have found kayaking to be very zen.  Lessons here apply to other areas in our life.  Every moment is a teaching moment and if in a moment we feel that we have messed up then we can spin around and reset our intentions and concentration.  We can pick up and achieve our goal.  And what will be remembered?  The faltering, the mistakes?  Maybe.  They did help us get to where we are, but the thing that should be treasured is the actual achievement of the goal.  The middle stuff is all whibbly wobbly timey whimy stuff.  The illusion of doing something in a dream.

It doesn’t matter what you do.  It doesn’t matter what choice you make.  What matters is that you do it with full intention, concentration and right mind.  I guess what I am saying is that maybe there is something to the eightfold path.

A handy mnemonic to remember the eigthfold path:

Until Thoughts Stop Acting Like Excited Monkeys, Confusion

  • Right Understanding
  • Right Thoughts
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration

Continue reading “Right Concentration”


“The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity… The real foundations of his enquiry do not strike a man at all.”

— Wittgenstein

More realization of things are he way things are.  A lifting of the veil to see that what we want is really what we have.  We have grown accustomed to the miracles around us.

There is no beginning to the question and no end, like a fractal repeating on forever in multiple dimensions. Eventually it will form its own seed.  Eventually it will form all seeds.


English: Photo of jacket Polski: Zdjęcie marynarki

We went to a baby christening this weekend.  My wife dressed in a new outfit she got a few months ago, but has never worn, and I wore a dress shirt, slacks, and sports jacket from my collection of work attire from over the years.  Recently at work I have just been wearing jeans and dress shirts to be more casual, so the jacket was about 10 years old.  My wife had tried to nudge me to wear a different shirt, but I couldn’t find it.  She had made a comment about a different jacket, but I ignored it.  At the party after the christening, and more so in reflection, I felt out of place and shabby with the way I dressed.

I didn’t really think about it until last night, but one of the memories I have of my dad is him wearing the same suit to every semi-formal function like a wedding or a funeral.  It struck me that I have turned into my dad, or at least that aspect of him.  Not the suit wearing aspect, but the “I see that everything is OK, and we don’t need to spend money or time or thought on anything that I deem to be OK” aspect.  Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a great guy.  He is very smart and he provided well for my family, but I guess growing up we either want to be exactly like our dad or not.

Every man is trying to live up to his father’s expectation or make up for his father’s mistakes.

Barak Obama

Seeing myself wearing that same jacket that I have had for the past 10 years, and probably wore to the past couple semi-formal functions, really hit me.  I don’t want to be the guy whose suits and ideas never change.  I am not saying that I don’t want to be my father because there are a number of qualities that he has that I wish I had.  However, I want to be more dynamic.  My dad is selfless in many regards.  He often gives his time and money to help people out with their plumbing needs, even now in that he is in his 70s.  Growing up he was a workaholic, but he didn’t really spend a lot of close time with me.  He wasn’t able to say “I love you” and he would kid with me instead of talking to me.  He did what he could, and I don’t blame him for it.  He is a product of his father, just like I am a product of him.  We walk the karmic cycle generation after generation.

The realization of the jacket made me realize that I am clinging on to more than just a piece of clothing.  I am clinging on to an image of myself (and perhaps an image of my father).  Holding on to clothes, possessions, and ideas about the world and about myself.  I hate to throw away the jacket, but maybe it is time for something new.  Maybe it is time to get rid of all the old clothes and ideas that I have about myself and others.  All the ones that are worn, need replacing, or just don’t fit anymore.  There are plenty of things lying around that just need to be picked up and given to someone else or thrown away.  But yeah, maybe I’ll keep the jacket.  I’ll also listen to my wife more.  🙂

Pattern of Change

A fractal is infinitely complex, but each piece contains enough information to recreate the whole.  Each level is different than the original.  A cosmic spiral.  The creation and interpretation creates time and the illusion of solidity.

We are a part of the pattern.  If we see negative patterns as part of our life, we can accept them or we can change them.  Either way, we are part of the change.  Our patterns and actions at a small level influence and make ripples throughout the universe.  We can make our change positive even when at first it may seem negative.  There are no problems, there is only the situation.


English: Dog Poop Bin, Western Lawns The sea f...

What is Enlightenment?

My mentor, turning and pointing slightly inward beyond the edge of the park lawn behind us, replied, “Dog poop turns white in the sun.”

Sure enough it seemed a dog had left his calling card on the grass, but, having enough of the Zen answers I asked, “How can I be Enlightened?”

He said, “The grass grows in a circle much taller and darker green than the surrounding grass.”

Very simply, Buddha is dried dung because Buddha is everything.

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