Contemplations: Zen humility


About 8 years ago I put this stool together from scrap wood taken from the cabinet shop near where I lived in East Texas. It is my most prized possession for a couple reasons.

It bears me up while I bend my knees to sit in Zen style meditation. It is an on-my-knees listening device, listening being more important spiritually (and socially). The ego doesn’t like this so much — shutting up, bending the knees.

Zazen stool by Kannon McAfee

I left it in Texas in my sudden move to Oregon 5 years ago. Mom sent it to me this past winter. The same mother who taught me to sit quietly with my hands in my lap when I was a child. Now I do it willingly because I’ve learned it for my own reasons. There is little purpose in a life lived without disciplining the ego. I slipped from that the last few years and I’m glad I — the Real Me — is back in charge.

This simple piece I fashioned
to mark a discipline:
the humbling of the ego silently.
I sit and I’m inclined
to feel the penciled scrawl contact me
my little brother wrote in grief
upon this bench
the day I left for Oregon;
It fashioned for me
responsibility
to all my loved ones
and to humanity.
The prayer I’ve put upon it,
“make me a channel of blessing”
comes back from bottom up
which is where this soul begins
each time anew as human.

~ Kannon McAfee, 7 PM, 22 May 2014, St. Johns

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About Kannon McAfee

Poet, healer, professional astrologer. I'm dedicated to advancing the science and art of astrology. My specialty is birth chart interpretation and rectification (for those with questionable charts or missing birth times). My focus is on helping people meet their purpose in life while understanding their options within that.
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