Living with two zen masters

L to R - Bob, Bert

I live with two zen masters, both of them chooks.

They dwell constantly in the here and now.  Watching them doing anything is a gift; they teach me to be myself, to come into the now of the moment.

If I were to say they teach me spiritual lessons and you laughed, I would, too, but it’s true.

They peck joyfully.  You want to see a simple peck for what it is, just that, then my Bob and Bertadina are your girls. They peck, totally in the moment.

And walk with style?  These zen masters have perfected it.  Walk like a funny clown?  Same.  Walk like all there is, is now?

Well, on the walking side of things, if you wish to walk well in your day you can do no better than call to mind your chook’s walk.

Funny thing just came to mind here.

I watched a movie with a friend last week, High Noon, where at the end, having defended a town whose citizens had refused to help him defend them, Gary Cooper, turns away from them, throws his badge down and leaves.

My friend wrote me later saying, “I think Gary Cooper has it; there’s a point where you just throw your badge in the dust & walk away…”.  And now, recalling how he moved in that scene, I reckon Gary must have watched a chook or two in his time, he moves so well in it.  (It’s a terrific movie; the photography is a constant delight – and it’s in black and white.)

Your chook novice (me) will say, that Bob, well, she’s a mindless creature.  And it’s true, but in the full meaning of the way those seeking zen (me – a novice there, too) wish for themselves.

When seeking my attention outside the kitchen window Bob will do a flurried fly-by, a cacophony of hurried wings briefly at window height ’til gravity brings her below the sill out of my sight.  Yes, Bob seeks tucker from me and sometimes is frustrated by my inattention at that moment, but, having released her surplus energy she regathers her feathers and gets back to pecking, to that very moment.

Bob and Bert, my zen masters, do not have minds that keep the past alive unnecessarily, nor the future.  I watch them and learn.  (I hope.)

May your zen masters be with you, Michael

Bert in the moment

Bob in the moment with worms and dirt

2 Responses to “Living with two zen masters”
  1. Kerry McNeill says:

    I loved reading about your chooks. We’re building our own straw-bale-as-sustainable-as-we-can-make-it home in Toodyay WA. We’re dying for the day we can get our chooks. Nothing like fresh eggs and the by-products of manure and giving them scraps, it’s wonderful.

  2. Robyn says:

    Love your comments and your connection to these beautiful and very generous creatures. It is encouraging that more and more of us are rediscovering the beauty of chooks in the back yard.

    I too have 6 beautiful girls, 2 who are in retirement and spend most of their days in quiet meditation. They start talking immediately they hear my footsteps every morning, tell me when they have laid a egg, and continually converse as they peck in the garden beside me, while I make quilts for homeless women, we are both in our own very special space as we commune with the Higher Power and are one with each other.

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  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

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