Wednesday, April 18, 2007


One of my favorite musical groups is Jethro Tull. I have managed to see them three or four times over the years. I have always liked one of their more obscure songs entitled “Inside”, especially the following lyrics. The song is on an early album entitled “Benefit”.

I'm sitting on the corner feeling glad.
Got no money coming in but I can't be sad.
That was the best cup of coffee I ever had.
And I won't worry about a thing
because we've got it made,
here on the inside, outside so far away.

At various times in my life I have found myself singing these words and then last night as I was hauling some tree limbs and other yard waste to the curb, a storm seemed to be blowing up as the darkness began to cover the land. It reminded me of other lyrics from the same song.

Take a walk in the park,
does the wind in the dark
sound like music to you?
Well I'm thinking it does to me.

People like me live much of their intellectual and emotional life on the “Inside”. On the outside we can appear to be unemotional or even in a daze. However, I can assure you that there’s much more going on than appears. All of our senses are going strong and are observing and taking in everything around us. There is little that we do not notice and we are always processing all we take in. No, we are not aliens. We are introverts.

People have occasionally asked me how they can be like me. Well, we are all unique so you can’t be exactly like me. To be honest I am not entirely sure how I became like me! You can learn to be more observant and aware. Pay attention to the moment. Drink the coffee, taste the coffee, enjoy the coffee! Notice the wind. Feel the wind. Hear the wind singing! Experience the poetry of life! Zen is life lived in awareness.

Here’s a Zen poem.

Outwardly go along
With the flow,
while inwardly keeping
your true nature.
Then your eyes and ears
will not be dazzled,
your thoughts will not
be confused,
while the spirit within you
will expand greatly to roam
in the realm of absolute purity.
- Huai-nan-tzu

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