The Song of Birds

“The song of birds, the voices of insects, are all means of conveying truth to the mind;  in flowers and grasses we see messages of the Way.  The scholar pure and clear of mind, serene and open of heart, should find in everything what nourishes him.”  Kojisei (translated by R.H. Blyth)

 Life is wonderful. It affords us so many opportunities to see the truth.  Pick up a flower and it is there.  Look at a sunset and it is there.  Understand your true nature and it is also there.

We just have to be ready to accept the truth.  And we have to accept that there is more than one right path.  Every path is the correct one to follow.  There is no wrong path.  The only path that is false is the one we do not follow with an open mind.

Pick up an ordinary object and start to describe it.  Make your description as complete as possible.  After you have completely examined it in the normal way of looking at things, turn it over and describe it in an abnormal way.  Look at it as if you didn’t know its exact use.  If you are examining a watch, for instance, put it in your mouth or on your head.  You are not looking for different uses, you are experimenting with the act of exploration.

There is an old improvisation called, “A pencil is not a pencil.”  Take a group of objects and place them in front of three or four actors.  Their job is to use each object in a new and different way.  Not the way it was designed for.  A pencil could become a flute, or a telescope, or a arrow.  The exercise is timed, and the actors have to come up with as many possibilities as they can.  This can be played like a competition between two or more groups of actors.

The point is to open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities.  You need to live your life with your eyes open like a child.  See the wonder in every moment.  See the possibilities. Never deny the validity of another’s or your own creativity.  Always follow your heart.  And most of all, do not waste a precious second of your time on this earth because time always runs out.


About oxrider

Mr. Winter has written novels, books of poetry and short stories, and books on acting. He has written over three dozen plays, winning the S.C. Playwright’s Festival. His inventive theatrical work has been seen in the US and Europe. A.F. Winter has been acting, teaching, and directing, for over 30 years. He created a theatre which worked with at-risk youth giving them positive alternatives in their lives. Please visit his website at View all posts by oxrider

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