The Illegal Annexation

"The Illegal Annexation" number 109 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

The title of this miniature refers to the United States annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1898. Yet another indigenous culture subverted and co-opted.

The US government with the help of the US Marines, Navy and a few individuals on the islands conspired to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. They tried twice before 1898. Then the Spanish-American War was used as an excuse to unilaterally annex the Hawaiian Islands in order to utilize the Hawaiian Islands as a military base to fight the Spanish in Guam and the Philippines. There still is a independent state of the Hawaiian Kingdom and native Hawaiians still feel that they are living under occupation.

The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. ~ Albert Einstein

My world is so small and privileged. I didn't see the pain of the Hawaiian Kingdom. All of this is sad. Both that it happened and my ignorance of it. How much of existence is like this? I don't have to look so far away to see my ignorance.

Open letter to the neighbourhood coyotes.

The morning is a cool and quite time here. July has brought some welcome rains. The fields are ripening and harvesting will start soon. We moved here to this canyon many years ago. There were less people here then. We soon discovered that this canyon was the migratory pathway for many animals. It is the least populated pathway from the summer high country of Moscow Mountain and the warm winter fields along the Clearwater River.

We hear you and your clan most evenings as you broadcast your locations and signal each other. Your life is so hard and we humans have complicated it. We move into your territory and bring with us our domesticated dogs. When you defend your domain we shot you and curse your name. Then we turn around and wonder why there are so many porcupines eating our planted trees.

Walking our usual trails, we see your scat and wonder about you. Are you safe, are you happy, are you getting enough to eat? It looks like it!

Please watch out. Some of our neighbours are not to keen on your being in the neighbourhood and they have guns. Please watch out. Wolves have been reintroduced to our area and sighting have been reported as close as fifty miles east of here. This canyon being an elk migratory path, it is only a matter of time till the wolves move in. Please watch out. Harvest is about to start. Big combines and lots of truck traffic. Look both ways before crossing the roads.

You have adapted will to our presence. So far you have not been able to catch our cats or the rabbits that live down by the shop. We are thankful for your presence. My heart is open.

Your neighbour,

I came across this great poem this morning. Really warm and encouraging. It is by Adam Genkaku Fisher and is posted on his great blog, which can be found at

Don't interrupt.

Blue sky.
Don't interrupt.
Warm or chilling thoughts.
Don't interrupt.
Talking to a friend.
Don't interrupt.
Blissful or confusing times.
Don't interrupt.
Looking both ways before crossing the street.
Don't interrupt.
Thinking profound thoughts, believing or finding meaning.
Don't interrupt.
Walking the dog or preparing the taxes.
Don't interrupt.
Making an effort not to interrupt.
Don't interrupt.
Don't interrupt.

To this I'll add somewhere in the middle -

Coyotes singing in the still evening
Don't interrupt

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.