"Step'um" number 112 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

From WoodenZen

One action always leads to another action. Sometimes the relationship is clear and sometimes not.

In this miniature, Robert Aitken explores how our actions are learned and perpetuated throughout the generations. Decisive yet small interactions occur while we are often distracted by seemingly 'important' stuff.

We do things because our mothers told us to do them. Our mothers tell us to do things because their mothers told them to do them. On and on back in time without any examination.

Today we wonder why we act the way we do. As if it was a big mystery.

Till now I've spoke only as the collective "we". Now I must atone for all my bad actions.

Gatha of Atonement
All evil karma ever committed by me since of old,
On account of my beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,
Born of my body, mouth and thought—
I now make confess fully and openly.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.