Welcome to Wrenzai Insight Journal!

Wrenzai Insight Journal was founded in 2014 after a great deal of thought and deliberation, the brainchild of years of communing, observation, reading, writing, reflection, and travels along the path of enlightenment.

Wrenzai is a wordplay combining “wren’s eye” and “Rinzai,” the latter being a major sect of Zen Buddhism whose practice involves “seeing one’s own nature.” Wrenzai suggests birds (singing and flying), point of view and perspective (relative), seeing (insight), nature (nature of), mind (a house of smoke and mirrors), and freedom (many claim to value it).

Because they fly and sing, birds, at least symbolically, embody freedom. Wrens are small, have sharp eyes, and look at the world from every angle. They’re courageous lone explorers and tenacious hunters. Nothing escapes their sharp little beaks. Many sing beautifully.

The eye is a much taken-for-granted organ, with phenomenal powers. Assuming it’s strong, sharp, and in good working order, the eye can see the close and the faraway, the vast and the minute, the multitudinous and the singular, the complex and the simple. The eye captures images that then become fodder for remembering, understanding, self-expression, and dreams.

From the eye we derive “mind’s eye,” that within us that sees even when the eyes are closed or go blind. What the mind’s eye sees includes not only what the physical eyes see but also what it can imagine—other worlds, other possibilities, other ways of feeling and being. In other words, the mind’s eye can add two ideas or images together to create a third.

As for nature, if there is no supernatural, nothing above, beyond, outside of, higher than, underlying, or within nature, then there remains only nature. According to this view, we humans are of nature and only in our minds do we see ourselves as separate from nature. We’re responsible for creating the world in our own best image—to create, or at least strive to create, paradise on Earth (my thesis). This is a truly heroic approach, since we can depend only on ourselves. It is our responsibility to see—and to own up to—how and why we’re causing problems on Earth in order to solve them.

Insight implies that beneath the surface can be seen what the physical eyes cannot, that through observation, intuition, analysis, and study we can see, make sense of, and adjust our ways of thinking and behaving.

Journal has as its root the root for journey. A journal is a writing journey, and, as they say, the journey is home. I hope you feel at home journeying along with this blog.

Wrenzai Insight Journal will start out with my own thoughts, stories, poems, and photographs, either produced in the past or as they occur from day to day. Although I’m not interested in arguing about the foundational tenets of the naturist point of view and approach to life, I welcome all other comments as they contribute positively and constructively to our experience of birds, flying, and singing; seeing, point of view, and insight; and nature, mind, and freedom. Once I establish the tenor of the blog, I may accept articles for inclusion in an online Wrenzai magazine.

To seeing!
Rick Clark
Writer, editor, guide

About the Author

Rick Clark has been a student, sailor, bartender, musician, house painter, ESL teacher in Japan, college English instructor, house builder, yoga practitioner, freelance writer, filmmaker, editor, and writing coach (more or less in that order) but prefers to think of himself as a poet. His most recent metamorphosis is as publisher, as he recently set out to found a small press with a poetry emphasis. Rick and his wife Fran split their time between Seattle and the Washington coast.

Photo by Fran

Photo by Fran


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Rick, I was in the middle of reading the syllabus from our” Intro to Poetry” class (Winter qtr. 2013) when your email came in for “Wrenzai”,coincidence? Love what you’re doing, man. Rock on. Gerard

  2. Rick,

    First of all I think the blog is fantastic! The about really gives me context to your writing–and is a refreshing outlook, I don’t get to hear very many people in my circle who think like that. I can relate particularly with the birds eye view metaphor. I strive to spend more time there each day so I can make self improvements and keep myself centered. Great work and look forward to reading more!

    • Exactly as I remember you in class: forthright, on the path, learning every inch of the way. I’ve traveled far, but I’m so glad there are miles and miles to go (Frost)! See you beyond the snows.

  3. Hey Rick, I finally have time to go through wrenzai after finishing up this spring quarter. I’ve matured a lot through my last two years at Seattle Central. As a young man, I’m daring to make my own opportunities rather than racking up credentials to show off on a linked-in account (the rat race isn’t my thing). I know my path will be difficult but you’ll always be an inspiration for me when I look at my future with my “own” eyes.

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