Zen Koan

Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Zen Koan

Post Series: Conversations with Dead People

Zen Koan
Pen to Paper, 20 Minute Writing

“Albert, wake up.” I know he had been lying awake for the past couple of hours, but now he is snoring full out. He didn’t sleep well, except after the sun rose, and it is now 7:30 a.m.

“Why?” he sputters as he rolls over now, his back facing me. “I’m not getting out of this bed until we cuddle. Spoon me.”

“Albert you know I have a full day ahead.”

“Spoon me. Don’t argue with a dead man.”

I inch over, wrapping my body along his, my toes wrapping around the bottom of his feet, my knees tucked in behind his, my hips resting along his skinny buttocks, my belly in his back, lifting my arms to wrap around the front of his belly, and finally putting my attention to nesting my face fully in his neck.

“Hmmm,” he hums. “Skin to skin is very underrated. Now tell me, before we rush into this reportedly busy day of yours, how did it go last night at the meeting on death and dying?”

I nuzzle closer, looking for expression from my body; my mind wanted to talk separation, loneliness; my body knew something deeper.

“There were two women at my table, both of whom are dying of cancer.”

“Yes, this dying thing?” He looks deeply into my eyes.

“The cup is already broken. We are already dead. Time is all time,” I say.

“What cup?” Albert inquires. 

“It’s a Zen koan,” I reply.

“Hmmm the cup is already broken,” he repeated, pulling himself out of my snuggle and rolling over, looking into my eyes.

“Ah ha! The laws of the Universe! I knew it.” He sat straight up, startling me, throwing the covers off our naked bodies.


Zen Koan: paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment. 



Conversations with Dead People is a series of stories which show up in my meditative practice, Contemplative Writing. With this practice I sit with pen and paper, twenty minutes, and write to a prompt from a meditative space. I share these stories with minimal edits to share the depth, the directness, the deep body sense, I experience with my teachers.

Albert Einstein pops into my writing often, we hang out, giving us both a direct chance to explore the illusion of time. Albert feeds me tremendous encouragement to trust the irresistible urge I have to grieve, and heal, through death.

We also meet Thomas Merton, Georgia O’Keeffe, Carl Jung, and more through this weekly blog, Conversations with Dead People: A Series. Please join us each week.

~Kristina Amelong



This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. This is the sequence the blogs were chronologically posted. There is no specific sequence to the content of each blog post, they explore individual ideas with a rotation of teachers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *