Monday, December 30, 2013

being at home anyway

"Mommy -- what's a book?"
Perhaps because I stayed up too late watching the Eagles/Cowboys football game ...

Perhaps because I only slept four hours ...

Perhaps because I needed to get the accumulated Christmas detritus out to the curb for the garbage man this morning ...

Whatever the cause, my mind came up as a torrent of blank today. Blank in the sense that I generally like to write something of my own and not be resting my elbows on the table of someone else's thoughts. The line, "I've got nothing" came to mind.

But the email inbox and the friends who filled it helped to put me back on a more ordinary course ... and I was grateful.

There was a rewrite of an essay on D.T. Suzuki's contribution to an unquestioned or unquestioning militaristic cast in western Zen Buddhism... which led me to think that there is no such thing as a man-made endeavor or effort or belief system that lacks a soft underbelly of corruption and unkindness ... and that if this is so, then the best anyone can do is come clean, fess up ... and possibly stand a chance of doing LESS harm.

There was an array of street art photos -- wonderfully flummoxing creations.

And there was a video clip of a minister who lost his family and many friends when he discovered through visiting a tribe he had once wanted to 'convert' that he himself had been resoundingly converted. How courageous are the people who examine their own most-dearly-beloved stuff and then ... the scene changes! Further and further and further out on a one-(wo)man limb until at last the branch breaks. Talk about balls. Or at any rate, I deeply admire that courage.

Yesterday, Nick, one of the recent regulars during Sunday zazen or Zen meditation, brought along a friend, Carl. Judging by his sitting and shifting, I thought Carl was probably brand new to the sport of zazen. But he did it ... was as quiet and respectful as he could be, walked when it was time to walk, sat down again when that was the order of the moment. Imagine that! Taking yourself in hand and then doing something you had no real clue about. I've practiced for over 40 years and yet yesterday, Carl made me feel right at home.

Right at home, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Dreams of Love, Peace & HappinessDecember 31, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Not being a regular follower of Japanese politics unless someone does something akin to throwing a rock at my head, it just hit me that the Suzuki essay may in fact be relevant and not just historical "clarification":

    See

    "Angry protesters took to the streets Sunday [11/24/13] in Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district, home to many Korean shops and restaurants, describing the Korean residents there as “cockroaches” and calling for their immediate “extermination.”

    "It was only the latest in a series of anti-Korean rallies in the neighborhood that have grown more intense in the past few months."
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/23/national/nationalism-rearing-ugly-head-with-greater-frequency/#.UsJWgmRDuxs

    "The escalating standoff in the Pacific is seen by Beijing and Seoul as proof that Japan is reviving its military mindset"

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/27/japan-new-nationalism-imperialism-shinzo-abe

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