I am not sorry.

I did not get promoted.
I don’t always communicate my intentions clearly.
I often seem aloof.
Sometimes I sound like Yoda.
I go to bed early.
I wake up early.
I took vacation and you had to work.
I sometimes yell or shout spontaneously.
I often break out laughing spontaneously.
I have witnessed some frightening things.
I have witnessed some wondrous things.
I have above average intelligence.
I have below average expectations.
I appreciate quality.
I have preferences’ and aversions.
I am horrendous at math.
I have illegible handwriting.
My vehicles are paid for.
I got more money back in income tax than I paid in.
I still have a negative $ net worth.
I own a Wii.
I spend a lot of time on a computer behind a desk in an air conditioned office.
I killed a mosquito this morning.
I enjoy spoiling my girls rotten.
I love.
I am loved.

I am not sorry about circumstances, cause or effect.

All the evil actions born by me from ancient greed, anger and ignorance, I now make full confession of them.

Now, go be well and happy, or else!


Carol Spooner said...

Oh, Jordan, this moved me. I'm not sorry, either.

Thank you.


SlowZen said...

Thank you for your kind words.


Yamakoa said...

Hello Jordan,
Very inspiring. In the spirit of your post, I hope you don't mind me also posting in this format. Gain is delusion. Enlightenment is loss. I hope to shed the chains of ignorance that shackle me by being completely honest and open in this vain.

I have taken life which visits me.
I have given life which I am humbled by.
I feel shame from actions in the past.
I am learning to drop the chains which bind.
I hide behind masks.
I feel scared at times and this upsets me.
I grasp more than I should, but less than before.
I work long tedious hours and my feet often hurt.
I am want to become the pain that sears my mind.
I long to run off into the mountains with one robe
I love my family so much I become Layman Pang
I have been a wild old fox
I look in the mirror and I have seen Baizhang
I have given
I have taken

Jordan, at this time I can not help but recall
Chu-Chih's one fingered zen. In this light I have copied your finger to sever this mind.

With deepest Bows,

SlowZen said...

That was really nice!
Thanks for sharing it here.

Bowing in deference,

Carol said...

What a wonderful post, Jordan!

Very inspiring and so simple!

A lesson for us all!



SlowZen said...

I like simple, glad you were inspired!


Mike Cross said...

One reason that over- or under-achieving children turn into over- or under-achieving adults is an immature asymmetrical tonic neck reflex. You might ask your Alexander teacher about it. If she doesn’t know about it, you might point her in my direction. I am a bit of an expert on the ATNR, in more ways than one.

I would bet my bottom dollar that an immature ATNR is the root cause of your bad handwriting and rubbish spelling -- and maybe other symptoms also that caused you to get overlooked for promotion.

Suck it up, soldier, and spit it out! And while you are at it, look into the ATNR!

All the best,


SlowZen said...

Thanks for dropping in. At this time further lessons with my teacher are a bit out of reach. $40.00 a lesson is not in the budget at this time. Also, and I know this may sound irrational, I have only ever talked about music with my music teacher, and I think I will keep it that way. I may seek out another teacher to address the ATNR more directly.

From wikipidia I found this: The asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) is a primitive reflex found in newborn humans, but normally vanishes by the child's first birthday.
It is also known as the "fencing reflex" because of the characteristic position of the infant's arms and head, which resembles that of a classically trained fencer. When the face is turned to one side, the arm and leg on the side to which the face is turned extend and the arm and leg on the opposite side bend.
The presence of the ATNR, as well as other primitive reflexes, such as the tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR), beyond the first months of life may indicate that the child has developmental delays, at which point the reflex is atypical or abnormal. For example, in children with cerebral palsy, the reflexes may persist and even be more pronounced. As abnormal reflexes, both the ATNR and the TLR can cause problems for the growing child. The ATNR and TLR both hinder functional activities such as rolling, bringing the hands together, or even bringing the hands to the mouth. Over time, both the ATNR and TLR can cause serious damage to the growing child's joints and bones. The ATNR can cause the spine to curve (scoliosis). Both the ATNR and TLR can cause the head of the thighbone to partially slip out (subluxation) or completely move out of the hip socket (dislocation). When abnormal reflexes persist in a child, early intervention involving extensive physical therapy can be beneficial.

This seems reasonable to me due to some pain I have had in the hip socket when running longer distances. I will certainly look into it deeper when I have the opportunity. Right now I have to put the air conditioner in the window to silence the tribe’s complaining about the heat.

Before I go though; bad play mistaking a soldier and a Marine. That could get your guts stomped on.

Take care

Mike Cross said...

Hi Jordan,

Sorry about getting the soldier and Marine thing the wrong way round. But getting things the wrong way round is symptomatic of... guess what... an aberrant ATNR. So, once again, I claim the vestibular amendment.

The connection with bad handwriting is not difficult to work out, once you know what the ATNR is, as you have described it. If you are right handed, you look towards the right hand that you are going to write with, and the reflex wants your right arm to shoot off to the right. So in order to be able to write, you have to fight against the reflex.

Children we see with an aberrant ATNR are often very bright (maybe the brightness develops as a compenstory mechanism) but tend to under-perform in the classroom, because the underlying physical problem gets in the way.

In other cases, they may over-perform academically, but various forms of immaturity will tend to be retained in the system. The story of my life, I am afraid.

The swaying left and right at the beginning of sitting-zen, I believe, can help to retrain the ATNR and other vestibular reflexes. But you are wise not to raise your expectations too high. Keeping expectations realistic, I continue to find, is a difficult one.

All the best,


SlowZen said...

"Children we see with an aberrant ATNR are often very bright (maybe the brightness develops as a compenstory mechanism) but tend to under-perform in the classroom, because the underlying physical problem gets in the way. "

That is a spot on description of my own grade-school experience. I was actually put in a special eduction class in 2nd or third grade because they thought I was slow, testing showed an iq 0f 134, not supra genius but is considered "Very superior". So they decided I was just board and lazy and pretty much left t at that.

I am curious since you brought it up, you say fight against the reflex, could you describe that further?


Mike Cross said...

If you consciously want your arm to do one thing, but the unconscious reflex wants your arm to do another thing, that sets up a conflict within the self. So whereas Master Dogen is pointing us towards "spontaneously becoming one piece" our own clumsy efforts in life tend to take us in not in the direction we originally intended to go in -- Q.E.D.

Michael Thaler's sibling asked me at the end of my Fukan-zazen-gi blog how I knew Michael. I answered to the effect that I knew him to the extent that I know myself -- which is not all that well, to be honest.

Still, Michael and I seemed to see something in each other.

I feel the same in regard to another fellow chickenhawk like yourself, Jordan, frightened warrior that you seem to be. The likes of you, me, and Michael may be drawn to the way of the warrior because we want to impose some control on self/others in spite of our immature Moro reflex. To that extent, the ATNR is our friend - it too is trying to break the Moro reflex.

You might recognize something of yourself on this blog post:


All the best,


SlowZen said...


Thanks for the tip. I think it is a rare person who is honest enough to admit that they do not know themselves that well.

Do I seem frightened? That is strange. I don’t know if I am or not. That could be why I have been dragging my feet on getting back to school though. I have an enrolment form filled out. Maybe after a few more years of education I will feel more competent with the Moro reflex.

I did like the post you referenced. I know the qualities of the Asura all to well. I have spent the last four years trying to soften those qualities in myself; sitting has seemed to be helpful in that respect.

Thanks again,

Thanks for looking!