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when suddenly a light goes on …

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… and, for a couple of seconds, clarity reigns. And so it was during last night’s meditation. As I told fellow-sitters afterwards, my blogging days are coming to an end. If not an end, then to a drastic slow-down. In a couple of weeks it’ll be the 1,500th posts since I began — almost one per day for four years.

The time has come for me to walk more quietly. “He who knows does not speak”, it says in the Tao te Ching, and “he who speaks does not know.” There’s a fair amount of ego involved in keeping a blog: thinking that what I have to say is of interest and even benefit to others.

What brought this on? The mind likes to figure things out, label it, put a neat bow on it. In reality, as with an avalanche, many tiny events contributed to the shift. For one, the question of what matters bubbled up on my 68th birthday. So did Steve’s decision to toss his TV and disconnect from the Internet. Also the facts that, in my family at least, the previous generation has died out … and that an offer to father a child has come too late. My days are numbered (statistically) and I notice the hours spent at the keyboard.

All these are just thoughts, of course.

Looking back on life we see
that nothing remained the same.
things came
and went
without permission or control.
The future will unfold in the same manner.
What is there to do
but sit in mindful appreciation
and watch it come
and go.

source: Martin, W. (2010). The sage’s Tao te Ching: ancient advice for the second half of life. New York: The Experiment, p. 114. image:


10 responses »

  1. There is this Peter. I too feel the ego tug of blogging responsibility where I am absolutely positive none exists. Like jugglers, we throw our balls of words and images into the air attracting a small crowd of onlookers – some of whom will share in the act as the flaming sticks are tossed. In the end we bow. There is loud clapping of appreciation interspersed with shuffling feet as people move onto the next show. Just down the way a young man is creating a chalk portrait of a little girl as she fidgets on a chair beside her smiling parents. Then rains drops begin to fall on the artist’s powdery resemblances while the father’s iphone flashes and a fuzzy still captures the dancing chalk dust. The crowd rushes down the rain-soaked street seeking shelter at a nearby coffee shops and gift stores, already having distanced from the jugglers who rehearse their act so carefully and with such dedication.

    In the process of connecting with you over the years Peter I have reflected with you, I have mused with you, I have learned from you and I have enjoyed your company. If and when your notices of new posts stop arriving in my email inbox, I will miss you but only for awhile. Then, I shall savory a memory or think of a Sunday poem you would have liked. I will smile as I remember the last time I saw you sitting silently on your cushion. For it is not the length of our connection I shall miss but the depth of its meeting.

    I am appreciative for your years of openness and of sharing. I am honoured to have been at the right place at the right time to have been able to share this time with you. When you post your last post, know that I shall lovingly release my connection and acknowledge the possibility of whatever might be next —-> moment by moment. With gratitude. Terrill

  2. Your blog will be missed but trying to spend less time in front of a computer is a good thing!

  3. I couldn’t have said it more beautifully than Terrill did, Peter…..I have enjoyed reading your blog and learning from it…but I recognize that you must move on to whatever your heart tells you.
    Thank you for your dedication

  4. ah so, the wheel turns. getting away from the hub-bub, getting closer to the hub, eh bub?

  5. Yes, Terrill did do a great job in summing up. I won’t try to redo that but just say ditto. And it makes me think of the good Buddhist principle (is it a mark of existence, I’m not good with these lists) impermanence.

    And yes, to contemplating and choosing what it is good to do now. A vote for the examined life.

  6. “The future will unfold in the same manner.
    What is there to do
    but sit in mindful appreciation.”

    What lovely lines to ponder – Your blog gives us much to think about – thank you for so many posts…

  7. nancy on galiano

    i think you have mentioned here on this blog the poem by john o’donohue ‘i would love to live as a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.’ it sounds to me like you are indeed unfoldingl – congratulations! i love being here with you on this blog and treasure the moments you have shared with me and i with you and your other followers. its like i have made new friends… i look forward to the occaisional post before the river runs into the ocean to become part of the wild waves! best to you dear p…

  8. Catherine Davey

    Dear Peter

    Your words have given me comfort. I know I am not alone in thoughts, feelings and experiences and have felt less disconnected in the world thanks in part to your words and the replies of others. Thank you Peter.

    ……….may your life go well.


  9. Well! Everyone is so kind and supportive in their letting go of your blog / you, Peter – as one would hope it would be. But I, your reader from far away in Nova Scotia, responded with a deep, selfish – “Oh No!!!”. I too understand “the why of” / “the way of” your decision – and accept and support it, of course. And I too have valued your words, thoughts, despair, challenges, and changes. But I don’t let go of you easily. (And I acknowledge that is my own “clinging” and something to work on!)

    I will miss your blog because it was through it that I felt a significant connection to a wise and compassionate person and a teacher without the trappings of a “Teacher”. And, although all of this was mediated by what I call “the infernal machine”, it allowed me first to find you (and Steve, and the others who post; as well as shortcuts to the Great Vow Monastery, and the Fernwood Zendo), and then to “sit” with you from afar – my “virtual zendo”.

    I wish to express my deep appreciation for the time you have spent connecting with others through your blog and my gratitude that you did at some point chose to share yourself in this way. And I send my deepest regards for the next phase of your journey.

    Thank you, Peter.


  10. I am grateful for all the days you have blogged. Your thoughts touched me very deeply and now another lesson in letting go…

    All good wishes,



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