Thursday, 17 May 2018

Used-To-Do Zen

I often meet people who "used to do" Zen.

Many were deeply engaged, once; some were students of famous teachers. It's an inherent weakness of institutionalised practice. Where Zen is a social act it becomes a lifestyle, and like all lifestyles it demands a weighty sacrifice of time, money, and freedom. Your whole existence becomes Zen Centre. And Zen Centre always wants more: more time, more money, more obedience.

That wears people down, uses them up. And when they reach the end, they don't just drop the kowtowing and the koo-koo-ka-choo. They drop Zen.

Hence the risk of the ordained path. It can displace real Zen, at the cost of old suffering unhealed and new suffering inflicted.

It doesn't always end that way, of course; many find a healthful home in the zendo.

But wherever my hermit path leads, it guarantees one thing: I will never used-to-do Zen.

There's nothing for me to stop doing.


(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson. Bodhidharma painting courtesy of Sojiji Temple and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

WW: Righteous cluster of oyster mushrooms


(Pleurotus ostreatus.)

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Koan: Shame

Beatus Escorial - 18 Adam and Eve






Who told you that you were naked?

Genesis 3:11











(Plate from the Escorial Beatus courtesy of Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

WW: We have spring. Repeat...


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Attitude Adjustment

Check and mate


How do you know you're a decent person? Because you're afraid you're not.

People who aren't decent never fear they're indecent.

If they were capable of that... they'd be decent.





(Artwork courtesy of Erik Pevernagie and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

WW: Antenna launcher

(Been refining this fundamental design, which is fairly universal in ham radio, for a few years now. This latest iteration works incredibly well. It'll shoot a line a hundred feet into a tree, accurately and usually on the first attempt. Afterward you use that line to raise a heavier one, and then that one to raise a wire antenna.

And that's not all it does. Any time you need to link two inaccessible locales [ship-to-ship transport on the high seas, suspension bridge construction, rescue operations, telephone and electric wiring, installing zungas and zip lines...], this is the tool for the job.)
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