© 2018 Monica Lynn Manoski photos courtesy Ashley L. Wood, Suje Garcia, Linda Pagani, Samara Pearlstein


i am you

& you are me



new moon ceremony



abhyanga / subtle love



preparation / sleepless night
rising 4:00 AM no one awake but boats

robe tied, oil steeped

moving slowly to shore

crisp air like cool breath on wrists

first light 4:44 AM

screaming cry of seagulls
low tide, slipping stones & itching legs


burning retinas / missing sun


sitting like a rock

waiting for light to break

clouds / oil to crown 5:05 AM

sunrise 5:16 AM
oil to sole 5:17 AM

rain / the Divine 5:18 AM

submerge 58° ocean

sprinting heart, breaking waves
emerge / day

axis mundi

(or learning from trees)









+ be prepared

+ ask permission

+ protect yourself

+ approach with respect

+ pray for guidance

ᐧ failed attempt at fire 5:20 PM

ᐧ black charcoal

ᐧ unlit copal

ᐧ co-conspirator 5:29 PM

ᐧ candle / sticks / matches

ᐧ fingers, flame & smoke

ᐧ spiraling sweet aroma 5:34 PM

ᐧ clearing air

ᐧ a different state of mind

ᐧ a deeper presence of body

ᐧ awakened 11th sense 5:50 PM

       the distinction between

                                 past and present

                     gone 6:47 PM

            the difference between

  physical and nonphysical

                                vanished 8:52 PM

Night Vision


a dream recitation, 2018

The Reading Dress


A well-known teacher forbade his students to write down what he said because he thought people were recording his comments as a substitute for the more necessary and dangerous task of letting them work on the mind. One man adapted by wearing paper clothing to lectures, and the notes he jotted down secretly on his sleeves were passed around. These koans, in turn, became the core of one of the great koan collections, The Blue Cliff Record. 

- John Tarrant

Inspired by this passage from “Bring Me the Rhinoceros” Manoski made her own paper dress. The poems transcribed on it are a distillation of the koans shared in the book.


secret acts

duration: 12 years, 2001 - 2013



phase transition /

         of a substance

directly from

a solid         to  a                                g     a     s

      / defense mechanism

                  in which

        socially                           unacceptable

                 impulses or idealizations are

                                unconsciously          transformed into socially

    acceptable actions

                                                       or behavior