Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In Zen Buddhism, there is an encouragement to "make no distinctions." No distinctions between this and that. No distinctions between beautiful and ugly. No distinctions between happy and sad.

It's a good encouragement, but I think it is useful to the serious student not to jump the gun: The fact is that we do make distinctions and that it is only through such distinctions that we come to some actualized sense of what it means to "make no distinctions."

So, with our distinctions well in hand, we make our choices. Chocolate is good. Anchovies suck. Zen Buddhism is for me. Christianity is a false god. Little and large, we make our distinctions.

But with some investigation and a little luck, pointing out what was bad about something tends to wane. Having made my choice, well, isn't that enough? Isn't it time to act? Of course, the gossip potential of distinctions may cloy and clutch, but really doesn't there come a point where what others do and think is not so much what counts? Sure, I can go on picking my nose about anchovies or Christianity and point out a lot of reasons they are seriously wrong. But now comes the time when I might be better advised to point out what is right about what I do ... and then prove it.

Setting aside my observations of others, I have a lot more energy to devote to investigating my own terrain, to tilling my own field, to growing what I hope will be some half-decent crops.

A little at a time, when the fruit begins to ripen, distinctions lose their sex appeal. It's enough to care for the fruit and watch out for the weeds.

Distinctions aren't that bad when you don't make distinctions.


  1. not-jumping the gun is probably important for learning the elements of the distinction to begin. Work with it, clarify the lines, do more testing to see if it's really for you.

    Then I suspect that it's a better use of your time and energy to focus on football instead of baseball and "just do it". Unless you're Bo. Or maybe Deion.


  2. hi adam
    just to let you know iam back.

    not quite on form yet