Sitting in the garden listening to the rain.

There may be no more to be said than that. Call it a koan if you will, or a haiku perhaps. But do not be entangled by words or definitions.

If you must subscribe to any line of thinking, let it be Eastern. I am Zen. Doing nothing.

I am the Tao. I am the Hsin Hsin Ming.

And so are we all, did we but know it.

In the quiet, I have seen my origins. I have witnessed my past and my future. In me as in all of us, there are a million, million years of history.

In meditation, it is not too fanciful to speak to your long deceased father. Or mother. Or any of the millions of things you have been in the past, or will become in the future.

I sense a life in the woods, way back in time. I witnessed my consciousness emerge from all those eons of experienced time. And somewhere a monastery, in more modern times. Always a monastery.

And I saw the way it must end. Or rather, not end. Continue.

As I sense my father in me, my son, if he cared to think about it, would sense me in him. And his mother.

A seeker eventually finds. I have found. The truth, the way, reality – call it what you will.

It is devastatingly simple and of incredible complexity.

The simple part is to be. To feel the waters and flow of time around you and to go, to drift with the gentle current.

There is no more to it than that. If you seek contentment and meaning, then accept the river, the flow and do not try to go against the stream.

If you seek complexity, you will certainly find it, but it will avail you little.

Complexity is to be found in your body and the millions of working parts which make you what you are.

Complexity is to be found in the society and economy we have created.

Let it all pass. It will do so of its own accord in time. All is change, there are no constants.

Being, that is all there is to it. Sitting in the garden and listening to the rain.


  1. This reading reminds me of Darwin’s concept of complexity built upon simplicity. It seems clear today that the universe itself is far more complex than our ancient ancestors supposed, and Darwin showed that the many winding branches of evolution are actually built upon incremental steps; life begins in simplicity, and is composed of simple aspects which combine to create the complexity we recognize now as our understanding grows. All life begins small and eventually builds upon small beginnings that result in complex systems and processes that we observe today.

    At the heart of it all, however, is your very fine expression of simply being. Whatever may be true to the analytical mind and to the scientific sensibility, when we sit quietly and listen to the rain, or when we step off the treadmill of modern life to embrace stillness or contemplation, we can determine more clearly what truly matters, as you so clearly have done recently.

    The voice and tenor of your podcast is emblematic of your words and ideas; the simplicity of the presentation belies a much more complex thought process. It strips away pretense and touches upon the core ideas which are foundational to your sense of contentment. It might be enhanced marginally with one of your choral recordings in the background, but the message is clear as ever.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you John, for your kind words. I often have the cellular automata in mind when I think of Darwinism, or indeed Wolfram’s more complex version of that. I had the very strong sense when meditating recently of memories somehow being embedded in our DNA. Ancestor memories dating back …well forever I suppose. In more recent history I got a strong sense of my father’s memories imprinted upon myself somehow. I also seemed to live that evolution – had the feeling I could see back into the distance as life, or my life formed. My “ancestors’ ” life in the primeval soup or the early forests. I seemed to sense consciousness, my consciousness evolve over the eons. Fanciful of course and no doubt a figment of what I have read and thought over the years.

      “Being” was in a sense a genuine revelation. That at heart that is all we have to do. In a sense the veil dropped from my eyes and I recognized that while our universe is indeed complex, our part in it need not be. That we are to simply grow and evolve like everything around us.

      In any event, peace comes from such thoughts. Mr Trump, the coronavirus and much else are put into clear perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your beautifully expressed experiences are very gratifying to witness. Your voice’s interpretation and communication are perfect for me. Quite an experience.

    If the Hsin Hsin Ming (mind) referred to is consciousness it echoes one of the last experiences I had in MER when I was mystified by observing the back of the body of Keith Hancock from a distance as it stood before an endless void of greyness as if about to make a final movement into it.

    I identified totally with the invisible observer of this scene and often wondered what the observer was in which the ‘I’ was so absorbed, separated from Keith Hancock. I came to recognise this observer as mind despite that conflicting with my experience the human mind as I understood it then does not exist after human death. Now I know it as consciousness. I am beginning to realise this consciousness is what exists in Reality for ever. It becomes clearer to me that consciousness is what the human journey is all about. It never ‘dies’.

    Kindest regards,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am astounded by the similarities between what you describe and what I felt the other day. Although I did not express it, I too felt that day that death was illusory. I too witnessed my own body, not from a physical distance as such but as separate from my mind and, in a sense, irrelevant. I recognized that it was not “me”, that I was different and in a sense, immortal. I seemed also to sense the end of my body, its death. Some sort of premonition perhaps, or maybe a realization that the body is irrelevant.

      And my consciousness seemed to extend back endlessly in time; I seemed to witness it’s past ands its constituents. Almost a past life (lives) experience. I am not sure where my “beliefs” now lie. What I do know is that I feel a very different person.

      Thank you for sharing that with me Keith. It is gratifying to know that others have experienced similar and equally strange visions of what is or what may be.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was some mention in a Sufi work I once read that the experience of Reality is repeatable – as demanded wanting it to be taken seriously by Science. This idea skidded over my mind as irrelevant at the time but there is no doubt such experiences are repeatable in the sense they are essentially identical throughout human history, even when differently expressed in the cultural circumstances of their times.

        Does our present personal example of synchronicity support that Sufi work’s suggestion the universal experience of Reality is in fact a science? After all, we’re told lots of physical scientfic discovery is similarly spontanious …

        Kind regards,


        Liked by 2 people

      2. An interesting thought…yes indeed, I wonder also. Most scientists will write the experience off as they do with near death experiences. Merely some chemical reaction in the brain they will say. But then of course all of our experiences are “simulations” or indirect anyway. Electrical or chemical impulses. To those who have had them, such experiences seem incontrovertibly real.

        Those who have NOT had such experiences probably need to have them. Scientist or otherwise. Then and only then might they be taken seriously by mainstream scientists. But of course such experiences may not come spontaneously to many. And many will not be bothered to tread the necessary path to seek out such experiences.

        But yes, I agree with you.



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