Tuesday, August 17, 2010

good times and bad

Funny how, in the midst of dissecting and analyzing the malfeasance of a particular spiritual persuasion or point man (and I am thinking here of the sandstorm around Eido Tai Shimano) we can forget how much the persuasion or discipline really means to us. We really do love it in one way or another.

But I suppose that negative dissecting and analyzing is no different from the unquestioning blind-eye we can bring to our spiritual persuasions. We claim and claim and claim again to love it ... and haven't got the patience or nerve to see the sand on which our most vaunted castle is built. It's all good ... hallelujah!

I feel pretty lucky to have found a persuasion that, in good times and bad, offers a concrete way (a way not relying on belief or hope) to check things out and be assured of something more than airy-fairy answers.


  1. it's a strange thing. i can be here speaking to my spiritual 'father', and i miss my spiritual 'mother' like shit. she'd say to me before, i'm woman you know.

    i dont want to learn anything anymore, i just want to talk about the people i loved the most.


  2. Sorry sir,

    Lost it. Won't happen again. :)


  3. how come i cannot hide things from you???


  4. You raise the issue of dissection and analysis of malfeasance vs. unquestioned belief.

    Then you speak of feeling lucky about your persuasion i. e. Zen Practice.

    Personally I am tending to believe more and more that we need to rely less on luck (but serendipity should not be discounted in the discovery phase) and to rely more on clear and fair analysis of the practice as well the teacher and the sangha, and we should be listening to our guts, heart and intuition.

    In spiritual practice, I think, we often get confused by the gear shifting or emphasis of an aspect of the teachings, or the point of view of the book or the talk.

    A good, well developed spiritual practice should have some substance to it even as it points to a "greater reality" than makes our "lesser reality" seem in some respects "like a dream" or as you write like "sand."

    For example, In Zen quite often some of the rest of the Eightfold Path is ignored or thought to be implied. Further, the strictness and austere beauty of Japanese Zen sometimes seems to ignore the practicality of Chinese Chan, the practicality of Chinese Chan sometimes seems to ignores the fuller philosophy of the original teaching which include the Dhyana practice as but one important part of the practice: the early Indian underpinnings deserves much more respect than it often gets.

    Yet Americanized Zen practice is developing. Lay Zen practice is developing. As these approaches develop less not forget the 2,500 year history as well as the history of the last 100 and last 50 years.

    As for the airy-fairie, each of us probably needs to come to terms with was are the essential elements of the practice. Then, I think, we will get a little less lost in the clouds.

    Or not....

    Anyway thanks for the inspiration to my musings here in the mountains of Vermont.

  5. "You raise the issue of dissection and analysis of malfeasance vs. unquestioned belief."

    Hi Anonymous 1:05 p.m.

    I probably didn't write that well. It's not the "versus" I was so interested in ... not one thing against another, but rather the ability or willingness to set aside what we find good and useful in what we argue is bad and useless ... or vice versa. War, for example, is a horrific mistake and yet there are instances of goodness that arise from it. Spiritual life can have some wondrously positive aspects and yet contain the seeds -- and sometimes flowers -- of horror.

  6. "that negative dissecting and analyzing is no different from the unquestioning blind-eye we can bring to our spiritual persuasions."

    That's right. You are blind. I am blind. Eido Shimano is blind. The same blindness.

    It is not the sand, nor is it the sand castle, which is destroyed and rebuilt and destroyed and rebuilt.

    It is the idea that there is such a thing as a spiritual persuasion that inevitably trips over itself and falls apart.

  7. Genkaku and Anon 3:45 pm -

    Interesting responses to my comment at 1:05pm today.

    You thoughts have added to my continued musing and Mu-ing.


  8. it's amazing how i am on a totally different page as everybody on this blog, and yet we are communicating as if there is perfect harmony.

    whatever sent me here to get this dialogue started, let's hope he finds for me a career path which is frankly all i need in sunny island singapore.

    this is getting weird.

    my previous job was with an american company and they retrenched me one fine day at 5.30pm and asked me to go at 6pm. well, not that my problem is any less unimportant...

    but i respect what is on the table.


  9. ever realised the only way to verify what's good and bad is to eat the sweet first, purify one's breath, then say good day.


  10. i was hoping that genkaku could do the same as my american boss.