The Wandering Monk

Brewmaster Rysu – New Posts On Tuesdays

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Where We Stand

It has been a long time since I’ve posted. 11 months, to be exact. In that time, so much has changed that I’ve honestly forgotten where I was when last I posted here. All I know is … things have changed.

Or have they?

I took this picture of a Sunrise over Philadelphia. I’m visiting for some training, you see, and haven’t seen a Pennsylvania sunrise in some time.

Here’s a recent picture of the sunset in Alaska, only a week or so before the above picture.

If we were to compare the two scenes, we can see some interesting parallels and some stark contrasts. The golden-amber sun of both pictures casts radiant beams of light towards us in both pictures. It seems to touch all that we see, physically, like little fingers of warmth offering the softest reassurances.

In the first picture, it’s industrial, isn’t it? Buildings, cars, few trees, clear skies. Yet still a beautiful sight to behold and one that can easily beacon a smile if you let it.

In the second picture, it’s wild, isn’t it? Grassy, rolling hills giving way to a sleeping forest, tumbling mountains standing sentinel in the distance. The clouds are full and swelling, and capture the sunlight in a myriad of ways.

Isn’t it interesting how different things are between those two pictures, when all that has changed is where we are standing, when we are looking, and how we are seeing.

Consider what this lesson can lead to in our own lives.

What would you say if I said that everything you see, experience, love, and fear will all be gone — and no one knows when? What would you say if I said that you’re living in a dream world that you created — that it is changing. And what if I said that no matter how much everything changes — and it is always changing! — that you have the power to see it through whichever lens you decide?

You have the power to see the beauty in all that is around you, even if you’re seeing from a different place than you had been before.

So, here’s to taking a step back, maybe even two, and maybe even one to the right or left. Here’s to smiling at something that you’ve seen a thousand times, just because this time you’re seeing it in a different light, from a different place, or in a different frame of mind.


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Green Barley Whisper

Today I made this wonderful batch of tea that I’ve decided to call Green Barley Whisper.  It’s a marvelous blend of Roasted Barley, Greek Green Mountain, and Dried Cuban Green.  I’ve also added a dash of Mint for a delightful aroma and enjoyable after flavor.

There’s something serene in making something like this, I think.  I’ve spent hours trying to come up with the right mixture.  Some times I feel like a mad scientist, or a crazy alchemist, but now, even as I type this, I am sipping the results as the sky drips on the rooftop of my small apartment.

Breathing in the steaming scents, tasting the layered flavors, I can only smile at the experience.  I am thankful for such perspective.

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Last night I dreamed that I was a creature made of light and energy and I hovered in space before a blue planet of creatures I’d never seen before.


They appeared to be young but somehow, had deviated from the natural world. All worlds I recalled seeing before this one were that where natural ecosystems existed in harmony. Perhaps there were those that consumed others, but their consumption ultimately fueled the ecosystem they were part of. Their every waste product enabled the positive production of their world.

But this new world on this new planet was different.

They seemed to be intelligent, emotional, capable, driven, explorative, curious creatures that regularly ventured to press themselves further and further into the fabric of understanding.  It was easy to see their intellectual potential.  It was obvious that they thirsted for knowledge like no other. 

Yet for all that they understood, which was impressive for the short time span they had grown, they were so blind to the things that they were doing to their surroundings. Their waste products destroyed their local ecosystem. Their consumption of those around them did not cycle back into the system in such a manner that it ultimately necessitated the circle. They were outside of the cycle.  Some of them knew this and tried desperately to tell others, but their progress steadily drove them farther and farther towards inevitable destruction.

As I hovered there, learning about who these creatures were intimately, what they were doing and how they were doing it, it became more and more clear to me that their future was destined to always consume with great disregard. How could anyone welcome them to a greater universe when all they know is consumption?  When they behaved like the most advanced virus the galaxy could ever have seen.  The kind that is intelligent and is utterly unaware at the destruction they cause.  I observed their past and saw they had always been this way from the moment they could.

I turned to the stars behind me and began to drift away from the world. After a moment I paused and glanced back and I said, “I will return some day to see what will have become of you. I pray that you learn from what you’re doing before its too late.”

I woke up.

What have we done?