Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Love My Poison and Have it Too?

I think the sages erred in naming the three buddhist poisons, my friends greed anger/hatred and ignorance. The moment the bad is mentioned, it is my tendency to want to prove I have the good. I become obsessed with needing to show I am not poisoned; I don't get angry; I am studying to overcome ignorance; I am giving up my things to show I have no greed.

And, perhaps more importantly, I am quick to fault others for their anger; I tisk-tisk their offensive, or naive, or stupid statements as a symptom of their ignorance, I whisper in the zen do hallways that if their greed didn't bind them so much, they wouldn't mind sitting on the buckwheat zafu.

I was moaning to a friend the other day about how difficult zazen can be. He said he has come to embrace his imperfections. That got me wondering if that [statement about it being an imperfection] wasn't just one step too far. The first step, I think, is to embrace my anger, or sadness, or envy, or shame (whatever the heck was is at work) in the first place, before I nicely nod and package the situation as an imperfection.

I need to carefully keep my pet poisons in a pen. Care for them.accept them. I get angry...that's okay. I am ignorant...that's okay. I want to have what I don't and keep what I do...that's cool.

I've heard Suzuki said I am exactly where and who I need to be. These three guests I would often rather not be seen with, I better invite into my house for dinner. When I can sup with them, I will not be starring out the window afraid they will be seen lurking around my house.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not One True Word

It was a heart attack.
Walking into the kitchen and briefly mis-reading the message on my iPhone.
It was a heart attack. My wife's mother.
Driving too fast to the hospital.
We talk with father in law and get the story.
Pain in the back and shoulders all week. bad indigestion. Major, uneasy, discomfort a couple times. Then Friday night in the wee hours confusion, pain, can't get up.
Father in law had to piss her off to get her moving. He couldn't lift her. Not sure what this was. Maybe just some bad stomach problem.
He drives her to the local hospital, not local for them, living out in the boonies. They can't keep her. She's had having a heart attack. She needs a hospital with the right equipment. Now she splits from him. She gets the flashing lights. He drives on his own.
At hospital two he can't find her. The emergency room staff checks. She's already in. The procedure has begun. A stent to restore blood flow to her ventricle muscle. 90% blockage.
We see her in ICU. A tube on every limb. Even ankle cuffs to keep circulation in her calves. She is tired, so dreadfully tired.
More diagnosis. It's not just the heart, it's cholesterol. It's diabetes. It's kidney infection.
By twos and threes, according to ICU policy, the local relatives stream in.
The story is told and retold. Father in law can't quite make sense of the medical information.
Mother in law, never trusting of physicians, is scared about her condition, scared about her care. Each visitor sets off a new wave of questions, and stories, and worries.
The day passes. Mother in law gets no sleep. She's so uncomfortable. The bed is wrong. The tubes are wrong. The indigestion is torturous. Each sip of water launches a wave of gas that booms out of her frail body as a painful belch.
She can't sit up. Has to stay flat as a board to make sure the wound at her femoral artery, where they went in with the stent heals up.
Visitors trickle in and out. She still can't sleep. When will they give her something that works for her tummy?
The nurses try med after med. Slowly, the way nurses do. It's not a rush. You are okay.
It's now 2am the next day. My wife and I have had rest but not Mother in law. My wife has taken the night shift in ICU. To stay and help and comfort. I'm up with the cell phone charger and favorite pillow for my wife.
Mother in law can sit up now. A small mercy. She is still so tired, and worried. The doctors and nurses gave voice, gave words, to so many suspicions she had about her body. Whispers guessed herself over the last year hinting at big changes. Important changes. Life defining changes.
Maybe the latest med with stop the stomach pain.
My wife leaves the room. I'm with mother in law. What can I say? With all the worry of the day hanging over her like the reaper, with all the pain she's in, what can I say? With all the hopeful, well-intentioned words and silly banter of the day's visitors hanging halfway in the air like tired helium ballons, what can I say?
I decide to say nothing. I hear the sages exposing the impossibility of one true word in temples a thousand years ago. I relax into the now. Into the beeps. Into the chaos an fear hanging into the room. And in a moment those things seem gone. I'm standing by mother in law and I reach out to touch her arm. She's laying on her side half hugging a pillow. I touch her arm and collect myself. And breath deep. And relax. And we spend that moment together in silence. Hanging from a branch in the cliff. A tiger above, a tiger below. Mice nibbling through the brach. We will soon be falling again, but now the Strawberry is so sweet. A few more gentle breaths and she is asleep. Heart rate down. Half mumbling, but asleep.
There are no true words. No true concepts. But even in the thick of the worst of it, even then, there can be peace.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Meaning of Pyramids in Aggregate

"They were able to construct something that we still cannot construct today..." is a line from a Face Book re-post by a friend about how the great pyramid in Egypt must have been done by aliens because of the undeniable alignment in the architecture with many very Earthly concepts such as Pi, and meridians of longitude and latitude.

The quoted observation seems to say modern things, modern constructions, are so understandable, so conceivable, that when one gets even slightly away from conceivable, one must leave the planet and look to aliens for the source.

This teases for me at the Buddhist concept of aggregation. Which I summarize as the fact that any thing is composed of bits that have come together, and which constantly, or suddenly, or a bit of both, will fall apart.

I sometimes imagine the physical world as a complex intertwining wave front of domino falls. This bumping that, bumping that, bumping this in ways so complex it quickly falls into mystery.

Some of you may remember the Apple Newton, one of the first personal data assistants (PDA) from 20 years or more ago. I have a drawer full of them. Could they be made today? I doubt it. At first glance some brave soul might hazard "yes", just get that circuit board, and those integrated circuits, and that case, and that firmware and put it all together. But when forced to think of even just the next layer, how would that case be made, how would the dies for the case plastic be shaped, when writing the code would that pixel transition in that way when the screen transitions from calendar to note taking? It all becomes impossibly complex to reproduce EXACTLY that old Newton on my desk.

Nothing but the very broadest strokes can be designed. The rest is loosely guided "accident".

Try to plan walking across a room with a moderate level of detail, and then walk it and see if it all goes exactly as planned. Any phone calls come in? Did you glance out the window exactly as planned? Can you sense the waves of changing aggregation sweep around you?

Try sitting still with no thought for a few minutes. An easy concept, but it will not happen. The biochemical storm between your ears represents an astounding amount of aggregation and dis-aggregation. It will not stop until you die and then the billions of bacteria in and on you will instantly win the "battle" and begin to dis-aggregate your body in the next millisecond.

That no one can convincingly explain how the great pyramid came to be is not evidence to me of aliens. I cannot convincingly explain how "I" came to be, or this sentence, or this period.

Friday, November 9, 2012

There's No Escaping Hypocrasy

Reading back over my few last blogs I am afraid there is no escaping it. I am a hypocrite. Or is it Ignorant. I certainly do the things I espouse should not be done, or are harmful, or not beneficial when done.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Story You Heard

From a BBC news story "Dozens of people died in the Middle East in protests over the film."

This seems to be a dangerous trend in messaging these days. Semantically it is innocent of fraud, nonetheless the message is clearly the deaths were the film's, and thereby the film maker's fault.

Actually the deaths were caused by ignorant people who think they should kill because they are upset about a story they heard. I doubt any of them actually saw the movie, or heard about it directly from someone who saw the movie.

How much crap goes down in this world because of people reacting to a story they heard? A key point of Buddhism in my cosmology is to be very careful about taking actions based on a story, rather than the facts in front you at the time.

I don't miss the irony that I have this philosophy because of stories I've heard, and that I'm currently angry because of a BBC story I heard.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trimming The Garden, Killing Racoons

A few months ago I saw a notice of Zen center calling for volunteers to come in on Saturday to remove weeds from the lawn. I had trouble with the apparent picking and choosing in that, and asked the author if he also saw trouble in his invitation.

I received the response that he was celebrating the life that the weather has brought us, and he was looking for help to extinguish some forms of the life he was celebrating. He explained he was holding two opposing views at the same time, and that's OK. Also, he did not consider the plants that are in certain places to be "bad" plants, nor did he consider certain types of plants "bad" plants. He just had a preference for both the location and types of plants in the landscape, and so he was planning to take out some plants to enjoy others. He felt preferences are not bad per se. It's his relationship to his preferences that can cause suffering, not the preferences themselves.

I felt a bit like he was not seriously addressing the question of whether this weeding was really right action. But I also thought I was possibly being a bit immature in my concepts of picking and choosing and the related Buddhist sin.

Time passes and I am watching a PBS documentary called "Raccoon Nation". I learn that in Japan, an anime inspired the import of thousands of baby Raccoons, that, once, grown, fell from favor with their owners who released them in the woods to fend for themselves. Having no natural predators in Japan, their range and numbers have increased to large populations in and around very old Buddhist temples. They climb and scrape and ravage the temple wood looking for shelter and food and just being raccoony.

Then the really disturbing factoid came. Temples have adopted a "zero tolerance" for raccoons. They are trapped and killed at a rate of about 10,000 each year. I think this is behavior contrary to right action. How can a temple even call itself Buddhist if it has a policy to actively destroy such a higher, or any, life form.

I'm all for relative judgement, and I understand that precepts are guidelines and not rules, but still. Where is the graceful acceptance that temples are aggregates that will break down and fall away? Where is the graceful acceptance of the life of the raccoons. I'd wager there is a greater irony occurring, in that the Monks will not even eat the meat of the raccoons they have killed because of their, now hypocritical, stance on vegetarian meals.

Removing weeds because they are inconvenient, justified away with some Buddhist babble. Removing raccoons because they are inconvenient, and no doubt this is justified away with more Buddhist babble. There are times when even people have been removed by Buddhists because they are inconvenient, and this is, no doubt, justified away with even more Buddhist babble.

The point of this rant is that I need to constantly allow myself to wrestle with the precepts and watch out for the sins I may commit and strive to justify with Buddhist babble.

Monday, October 29, 2012


A new sculpture Made primarily from the differential of a BMW.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Button Up

I think Buddhists should look to Quakers for a lesson in simplicity.

I was, and I guess I still am a Convinced Quaker. I joined a meeting many years ago in College, and in many ways I still identify with the religion, and I have never been 'excommunicated' to my knowledge. When I was learning some Quaker history, I heard an interesting story about buttons, and simple dress in general.

Like Buddhists, Quakers understood the value of simplicity. They encouraged members to dress simply. Quakers would avoid bright, showy color. Their clothes lost fancy things like decoration and pockets. Even buttons had to go, as they were then a bit rare and seen as differentiating signs of wealth and station. Eventually, however, this simplicity became a de facto uniform. Quaker's stood out because of all their black and simplicity. And perhaps a few started standing *above* because of all that simplicity.

Eventually some observant Quakers noticed what was happening and suggested a different approach. Just dress "normally". I'm not sure what precepts may exist in the Quaker liturgy on this point now, but it seems off the rack from Goodwill is probably a fair test of current "normal" dress.

I think Buddhists could learn from this. I understand the value of simplicity in all things. It helps avoid exciting the mind to spin off in a myriad of thoughts that are not here and not now. Lack of simplicity can excite envy, jealously, self loathing, etc.... But when simplicity becomes a uniform, these same problems arise.

I recall reading the rules for visiting one retreat center that said one should not shave their head unless they had a certain type of ordination. This is a very clear sign that that retreat center was using level of simplicity as a judgement structure (picking an choosing) rather than using simplicity as a means of avoiding judgements.

Buddhists should look carefully not only at their rules of dress and who can have a rakusu, and what color can it be, and who is allowed to shave their head, or have longer hair, but also at the hallway whispers and weighty concerned committee meetings about this or that member's inappropriate dress. It may reveal a sickness of simplicity in their house.

Appearance is empty. Let it be empty.

As the great bard said in The Tragedy of The King Dali Lama, "When simplicity becomes the show, then simplicity has got to go"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ignorant and Delusional about Ignorance and Delusion

Identifying someone as ignorant or delusional does not free them from ignorance and delusion. If I insist they would not have been confused or angered or upset by what I just said if they were free from ignorance and delusion, it may be true, but it is not really effective. Why argue over responsibility in such situations. Who's keeping the responsibility score anyways? Buddha?

If I want to effectively do whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing with other people (saving them and the other sentient beings, I guess), I darn well better face the the fact that they and I will always be tangled up with some sort of ignorance or delusion. While I am human, this cannot be escaped.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fish Bowl

An old Buddhist story about the semantics of naming things, but also the limits of our perception goes something like this....

The wind was flapping a temple flag, and two monks started an argument. One said the flag moved, the other said the wind moved; they argued back and forth but could not reach a conclusion. The Sixth Ancestor, Hui-neng, said, “It is not the wind that moves, it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves.” The two monks were dumb-struck.

For me the take-away is that what we think we are seeing/experiencing is not what is really "out there", or perhaps more correctly, what we think we are experiencing is highly, or completely, colored by the mind. Colored by our past experiences, our karma. Colored by what has happened to us before. Colored by our ignorance.

We are like fish in a bowl who can only see things through the distortions imposed by the bowl and water, not aware that we are in the bowl and water.

This is not my own idea, but one that comes from 'standing on the shoulders of giants' whom I can't recall who introduced the idea to me, and to the world.

This is a very liberating and perhaps also disturbing idea. We give so much credence to our perception of things, but it is an inherently false perception.

 I find the book "Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior" by Leonard Mlodinow, to be a very lucid and convincing demonstration and discussion of this fact.

We structure stories about ourselves and our surroundings, and our place in them, based on our fishbowl view. We cannot see this ignorance in operation. There is no meter that tells us how much 'gap-filling' we are bringing into an experience. It seems real, but we must always appreciate that it is not.

We can use some off the practical exercises in Mr. Mlodinow's book to see it is going on for various sense organs (eyes, ears, etc...). But it also plays out in what we call 'feelings' in the West, arising from how past experiences have impressed the subconscious circuits of our brains.

Zazen can help us be more present, and therefore more liberated from some of this subconscious influence. But even in moments of apparently perfect here-and-now living, perfect 'mindfulness', we cannot escape our fish bowls.

Embrace this not-knowing. There is no other way.

Embrace this subconscious karmic ox and the tenth picture may arise.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

一顆明珠、豚の前に === One Bright Pearl Before Swine

A post from Harry - LINK

When you see a "master" accepting the adoration and control over followers, you see animalistic nature at work (the evolution success factor of aligning with the powerful), you are not seeing 'truth' (except in that that is how we animals tend to behave). It is not the dharma. As Brian tried so hard to encourage (link), "you are all individuals. You've got to work it out for yourselves." Perhaps it is not possible for anyone, perhaps it is not possible for me, to avoid adoration of another person that brings comfort, calm, but we must know that adoration is dangerously empty. Or perhaps just simply empty.

When the harm of a master's actions is brought, repeatedly to their attention, and they do not crack the glass of their own glory, they are acting not as 'Buddhas', but as 'Butas' (J - pig).

This "one bright pearl" should not be cast before swine.

Kannon, not Cannon Ball

The great Kannon of compassion. Sees the way it is, and gently serves it out. In a thousand different ways. Lending the correct hand in the correct situation. Not a cannon ball of fact in the pool of a person's understanding, but with gentleness, according to the situation at hand. Each time different. Each time tailored to the case.

This seems the meaning of Dogen's hand reaching back in the night for the pillow. Not for his own comfort, but to gently give rest to another person's head as they sleep in their darkness...their ignorance. A little comfort so subtle they do not even notice it.

Or is this my own clever ignorance?

Dissolving Agregates

Why won't she simple say it...."There is no 'you' after death"? Like a clod of mud dissolving in a stream, the aggregate I experience as me will dis-aggregate upon death. Some people will remember me. And the impressions I've made as I rolled into the stream may remain, a semi-permanent reminder of what type of clod I was, but "I" will be gone forever. Is there any object proof to the contrary that grown from the empty field of human thought?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Let the Wasp Fly By

In the course of a day, someone says something critical to me that stings a bit. Whether it is something true or not, it stings. I catch myself at the end of the day rerunning the comment over and over. Puzzling over why it was said, what it might mean, what a jerk the speaker is.

Then I realize the speaker said it once, but who is it that has been repeating it all day long? Who is it that is actually insulting me over and over as I ruminate? What am I gaining my putting myself through the hurt again and again? Silly me!

The original words were like a wasp buzzing by my ear. They made me shiver in the moment, but now they are gone. Don't call the wasp back. It's gone. It's over. Whatever gave rise to it are conditions long changed. Drop it. It is not here, now. The next step is in front of my toes, not between my ears.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Few Steps Into Noble Truths

This came out over coffee this morning. It is unfinished, but why not post? 

The self is a bio-chemical event that arises in its various colors because of the structure in which neurons are connected, and the soup of chemicals (neural transmitters) in which they lay. considered in the instant, the reaction of the system is entirely predetermined. in this sense you cannot help but have the emotions you do. But the system is also plastic, so with training/teaching/programming it will come to behave differently. 

The Buddha's first truth is that there is suffering. How does a neural system experience suffering? Fundamentally it is my guess is that it is the translation of an imbalance into the conscious. 

The ant's neural system identifies a lack food in its belly and sends it scurrying of in a evolutionarily successful pattern to find food. This is an imbalance that is seeking resolution. If an ant had the grey matter (or is our cortex white?) to have consciousness, I think it could be suffering as it scurries. 

But all bio-chemical systems are dynamic. Therefore there is the constant presence of cycles. This means that even stasus in ideal conditions, that originally did not produce suffering, can become suffering. In a sense, there is a clock on everything. Change is the only constant.

But the cortex is, I think, a wonderful thing. It is the source of feeling. To put it crudely, other, older (evolutionarily speaking) parts of the brain fire off and chatter about things, and start physiological reactions to stimulus, but it is the cortex (or more properly the new, or neo, cortex) that causes the feeling to arise in the same field as consciousness.

The neocortex can't be taught to not experience unbalance in a manner of suffering. It can be taught to cause the experience to be experienced more objectively. To accept the as is.

To repeat, the Buddha's first law is that there is suffering. I have no doubt of this. I think it is fair to simplify this as "there is change." The next law is that there is suffering because there is desire. Based on the thoughts above, translating this into a more objective, state referenced vocabulary, I would say desire is the current static state of the system - I refer here to the static state of some configuration of the brain (which means both the 'physical' layout of neuronal connections, and the quality of the soup in which they lay) - faced with the new dynamic that is always arising in the more external world (I.e., the world/environment outside the brain pan).

The Buddha's laws are logically reversed. That is, he says as the second point that suffering arises from desire.

I need to check in on something here. Is it correct to think of contentment falling into suffering, or suffering falling into contentment?

In physics, when the delta is small there is little activity. When there is balance there is peace. In chemistry too, then "both sides of the equation" are in equilibrium, there can be some constant back and forth, there is no absolute in-action, but it is far lower than when there is imbalance. 

So I think it is fair to say that contentment is balance. Suffering arises from imbalance. Suffering arises from experiencing imbalance as negative. Suffering is the desire for stasis, once we have arrived in a sweet spot. Suffering is the desire for change when we are not in a sweet spot.

Time gives rise to desire. The anticipation that things can change to be different in the next moment (good to bad or bad to good). This is why the study of now gives rise to content.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Survival of The Fitest - Existing of the Existant

I don't believe in any agency in creation. I don't know exactly where things 'came from', but the rough sketch currently available (the big bang) resonates as true even though it is quite un-reasonable (I cannot get my head around it's far too big). I think the theory of evolution is a very good road as I contemplate existence and mind and self. It is proving particularly clarifying for me these days regarding mind and self. All theories of mind and psychology should have an evolutionary background explanation to be trusted. For example, Freud, to my characterization, assumed some sort of uber agency at play allowing this and repressing that, but he never got to explaining why from an evolutionary point of view. Some modern researchers appear to be riff off of evolution with great success.

But, I think it is very important to wrestle the grand cliche' of evolution, "survival of the fittest" in a manner that excludes agency. To perhaps translate this to Buddhism, the argument must be constructed without picking and choosing (p&c). One can see p&c at play in the catch phrase in 'the fittest.' This, of course, carries implications of decision. Of two things compared and the fittest one gets to move on to the next square. In my understanding of cause/effect there is no room for this. One set of factors collapses into the next set of factors. There is no 'deciding' in the collapse. It happens that way because that is the only way for it to happen (even that reeks too much of p&c).

It is freaking astounding to me that the universe if full of stuff that aggregates. Under the right conditions it aggregates into creatures that make and watch flat-screen, LED backlit, high definition, 3D, wifi connected, internet surfing televisions. Under other conditions it aggregates into blue giant suns, black holes and quasars. But in either case it is one long tumble of cause/effect. There are no decisions of 'fittest' driving this thing. Rather less poetically it is simply that the things that exist, do, and those that don't, don't. There is no right and wrong in this. Things do exist because the conditions and past flow (karma) have lead to them.

This helps me frame my concept of "why" I exist, and what is my "purpose", and I do experience some sorrow in that agency is removed from my view. There is, in fact, no "why" to my existence other than the seemingly sterile fact of cause/effect. And, there is no "purpose" I can look up in some agents book of purposes in heaven. But this does not leave me nihilistic and absent joy, wonder, and compassion.

I still experience joy, wonder and compassion, because I must do. They exist as concrete, real feelings, with underpinnings in specific, physically definable, brain activities, that are one outcome of a great avalanche of cause/effect that probably involved the super-nova of a blue-giant star several million years ago. And on the other hand, there is only breathing in and breathing out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Envy Chaos Peace and a Rat's Ass.

Brad Warner's latest post on goalless practice is really good. I really dislike his blog comments area. It's too scary, mean. Not welcoming. The regulars seem to pretty much shred newbies.
What do I want? To reach out and ping, and say hey, and exchange ideas, and see if anyone gives a rat's ass. That's really it.
Brad's video comes from When I was looking at that I stumbled on the Dogen group in Belgium. I've traveled to Brussels a lot in the past on business and so felt a kinship for the near-Brussels location. The leader is an older woman. The pic's show her so calm and cool and collected and together, it just sent me into a tizzy. If I were to drop in, or email, or say, 'Hey, you look really cool', well first, how lame, and second, would she give a rats ass?
I think every Buddhist blogger I follow has 'it' together. None ramble or complain irrationally. At first I'd say you can't, but maybe you're very open to your humanness and can imagine how hard it is to blog what's really bouncing around in my head.
One of my blogger friends - I guess, I don't know for sure, could all be naivete on my part - often says "persevere brightly." I really like that. I try, but I don't always achieve it. I think he would probably dislike me if he ever met me. In truth I am not always bright. Though I think ultimately, even after every push and shove I have an innate optimism that still embraces the concept.
I want to know what it would be in Japanese. Though it is close to 'gambaremasu' it also makes me think of a scene in the Seven Samurai when one pore sod was near dead and the Mifune character encouraged him to 'brace up!' (or at least that was the English subtitle). We used that for years in an Aikido school I helped run to get people off complaining streaks. 'Persevere Brightly.' 'Brace Up!' These are good ideas.
I just want someone with Buddhist authority to tell me I'm doing okay. I am really a pretty piss poor Buddhist by the common yard sticks. I don't do zazen every day. Sometimes not for weeks. When I do, its never for 30 minutes. I don't have a teacher. There's one about 30 minutes away, but I can't get visiting that zen center into my routine.
I got into Zen because of Warner's first book. But he doesn't want 'remote' students. Which feels like he doesn't give a rats ass.
So why do I stay on this Buddhist bent and give such a half a rats ass towards my practice? I guess its that iron ball thing. I can't swallow it, and I can't spit it out. I completely accept the thesis of delusion, and that all I perceive is mind, and mind is wrong, and if I could drop mind, suffering would drop with it, and that there is no true individuation of anything, just a varying density in fabric of the universe that I choose (was taught) to understand as 'me' and 'not me.'
So maybe you are a bit like me. Your mind occasionally gets hyper tangled in intellectual discernment. Your mammalian herd instincts long for some alpha Buddhist creature to throw you a bone and give a rat's ass so you can have a few moments of peace. You have moments of complete at-easeness  interspersed with feelings of fear, loneliness, isolation and confusion.
If so, then I hope it gets better for you. I hope you learn to just accept what you feel in any moment and take comfort in knowing it is 'just' your brain doing what brains do. Your thoughts are not you. You are a part of the great mystery. All the buddhist sages were no different from you. Any ideas of good and bad, better and worse, famous and insignificant, are empy constructs. Breath in, breath out. That is the whole universe. That is Buddha. Sit and stare at a wall for as long as you can. Enjoy the infinite no-time that might pop up in the experience. Do one thing and then do the next thing. Pay some acceptance forward. Remember all people are ignorant of 'it' in some way, even you (and me). When it seems like it might help, find the compassion to give a rat's ass to your self and to someone else.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Show and Tell*

I have an video on YouTube that shows me cutting a rolled tatami with a live blade katana. I manage to cut nicely through the mat on the forward stroke, and then cut the falling part in half again with a reversed stroke. You can search on "Lauren cuts twice" to see it. Since then I have the equipment, but I have not practiced, or attempted an encore.

I posted it, to show what I could do. I have not tried again because it might tell me too much about what I cannot.

I think now I must accept that I am both succeeding in what I do and not.

I am able and unable. I am 'you.'

'Able' and 'unable' becomes 'not able' and 'not unable.'

*'tell' is meant as the 'tell' spoken of in poker.