Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Another Day

At 10:10 a.m. I sat on my meditation cushion, took out a new stick of incense, lit a candle in the shape of a chrysanthemum, and tapped my Japanese meditation bowl three times with a padded stick. As I chanted the Heart Sutra

ma ka han nya ha ra mi ta sin gyo
kan ji zai bo satsu .......

I began to feel that I was inside a cocoon of peace—memories of walking in  the cedar forests of Ohara, monks chanting at Sanzen-in, their breaths visible in the cold morning air, fields of pink cosmos swaying in the wind, the sound of an invisible stream. And I wondered why all my memories of tranquility were set in the past and in another country?

Returning to my body sitting on the cushion, I came to the realization that this moment 10-10-10-10-10 would never come again. What if we lived our lives this way? Cherishing each moment or even each day?

After chanting and meditation, I opened Daniel Skach-Mills’ book The Tao of Now to a random page. Here’s the poem that came to me today.


Can you tend a garden
without turning deer and insects
into enemies?

Can you drive a vehicle in winter
without making a menace
of snow?

Can you plan a gathering
without planning on others
to execute and follow your plans?

Practice what’s easy first.
Then, when illness comes,
and finally death,
you’ll be ready
to let go of plans;
drive straight ahead;
attend to what’s being eaten away
without bitterness.

When life moving in
and out of itself
is all you can see,
then you are at peace
with everything.

Copyright Daniel Skach-Mills

The Dao of Now is available at and at the Lan Su Chinese Garden gift shop in Portland.  


  1. Happy belated birthday! I had just read about the Ohio baby who was born at 10:10 am on 10/10/10 and then I read about your birthday meditation at that time and the combination of the two events in the cosmos just makes me feel content, for some reason.

    somewhere a new child
    a candle in the shape
    of a chrysanthemum

  2. Beautiful entry! Happy belated Birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday Margaret...My birthday is also 10/10/10 and I have always loved an October 10th b-day. I don't believe I know you but I am a member of the So Cal Haiku Group and know Debbie Kolodji....Happy birthday to a fellow Libra!
    Christine Moore

  4. Thank you for all your birthday wishes. I felt an intense energy in the 10/10/10/10/10 numerology sequence and, yes, also contentment as Debbie mentioned. This was the first time I had sat on my cushion in many months and now I find myself looking forward to that quiet time each morning, especially when I wake to Oregon fog.