Monday, October 31, 2016

What Matters Else but Kindness?

I've been wrestling for months with a blog post that I finally decided not to finish.

It had the grandiose title Oh God (or Whoever You Are), and was going to cover the waterfront, posing (but not answering) questions like, "How can an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving being permit terrible suffering everywhere in the world?"

I was going to take an intellectual dive into the realms of pantheism (everything is God) and panentheism (God is in everything) - this from someone who has studiously not studied philosophy - and somehow end up at nonduality and perhaps even take a brief tour of the Gateless Gate or a little dip into the meaning of meaning.

The goal was not to linger there too long (see, e.g. Gazing at the Ox - Solipsism: Trapped in Tozan's First Rank) but to end up in the world of compassion.

Realizing Knowing all along that I was stupefyingly unqualified to pontificate about the foregoing, ditching the post was the only conceivable outcome.

So, now being without a blog post and still really wanting to say something about compassion, I'm just going to dust off this little poem and re-post it.

A field of swans and ducks and geese,
A twilight picnic meeting,
Together wade and feed in peace,
No thought of time as fleeting

How precious, life, how hard to know,
Yet time I’m prone to squander,
My home is here and now, although
My mind is prone to wander

Let’s open up our guarded heart,
No matter if it’s breaking
And all we cherish falls apart,
We’re from a dream awaking

The lonely wave, it laughed aloud
Then wept with such emotion,
Cried, "Oh my God, I see it now -
I've always been the ocean!"

Compassion is a burning flame
That sears away our blindness,
Though we may never be the same,
What matters else but kindness?


  1. I loved this poem first time round, and so enjoyed reading it again. Thank you!

  2. Sorry David. I removed that comment above because somehow I put a ? at the end of a sentence that showed how Canadian I was but made the comment seem snarky.
    I will try it again. What a wonderful treat to wake up to this!! Thanks David.

  3. Aloha David, I am a Doctor of Humanistic Psychology and a Zen Teacher and Counselor in the Soto Zen practice tradition of Suzuki Roshi.

    I am writing to share a 30 second introductory video to my new book entitled "Boundless Intimacy." To view my video, just click this YouTube link:

    You can also look inside the book at

    If my video and book resonates with your heart and the still wisdoming of your body core, I would appreciate you mentioning the availability of the book and my Wordpress author page at ZenIntimacy.Com.

    with blessings and gassho,

    Dr. Bonnici


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