Journal on Nancy James's Green Gulch photos

Here's a start to my journal. It's not typical, which is typical of the journal. It is a vast, varied, and mostly hard-to-read mess. But full of buried treasures.

The journal is mostly by me, but these photos by Nancy Ann James are a must. In the spring, 1994, Nancy and I went to a retreat at Green Gulch farm north of SF in California. That is a Zen place. The name of the retreat was "Hiking and Haiku" and that's what we did, besides eating, breathing, and living Zen. The first hike was through the dark of night to the ocean at Muir beach. We knew we were on a path by how it felt underfoot. We found the ocean edge from its sound.

After every hike we'd talk, write, and share our poems. It was wonderful. When the whole journal is exposed, er published, you'll see all the haikus we wrote. You'll hear why we held a ceremony outside the gate on the hill where Alan Watts and Christopher Pirsig lent their ashes, marked with stones.

The Zen haiku teacher was Tenshin Reb Anderson, a priest with an important position at the place. (Now a Senior Dharma Teacher.) The wilderness hiking teacher was Steve Harper, an Esalen associate. They both taught and enjoyed hiking and haiku.

S and W looking*

Reb looks south, Steve west
Han Shan and Shih Te hiku
Steve looks east, Reb north

E and N looking *

Steve wears a backpack
Up? Down? Left? Right? Who chooses?
Reb holds a warm wrap

Haiku poem for a present

On March 9, 1996 I received a present from Nancy. It was a Zen book by Reb, named Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains. A haiku came to me too.
Long hard spring rains, wind
Reb book from Nancy, thoughtful
Memories, smiling

Credits: * photo © Nancy Ann James 1994. All rights reserved. {Back to top of page}

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