Posts

Showing posts from September, 2011

The Profits Lament.

Image
The Profit's Lament.

How sad to look at every situation only in terms of it's profit. To mentally reduce the people we meet everyday to their capacity to add value to our bottom line. To further our 'interests.'


Greed is the mode of the land, and isolation and suffering are its harvest, for there can be no profit without loss.

And how bitter the loss is...

How we fight its arising.  And fortify our position in the attempt. And fortifications are costly, they require profit to pay for.

Much profit...

And so off we go, parsing our world into the profitable and the not profitable, taking our turn spinning in the hamster wheel of pleasure and pain.

But what if we were not so filled to the gills with the myth of profit?  How would it be to see this moment just as this moment, and this person just as this person?  To see ourselves as ourselves?

For me when I inhabit such a place, I find myself naturally curious.  What is this?  Who is this?  What mysteries are here?  And so…

The Hermit of Lotus Peak: A New Drinking Gourd Podcast

Image

The Beginning Tree

Image
From The Beginning

From the beginning
   the crooked tree
       was no good for a lordly dwelling
how could anyone
     expect the nobles
          to use it for their gates
Now it's been thrown out
     onto the shore
          of this harbor village
handy for fishermen
     to sit on
          while they're fishing

   - Muso Soseki (1275-1351)


For talks that I give I tend to draw on sources in a collection titled "The Roaring Stream - A New Zen Reader" edited  by Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker, and of late I have been working with the teachings of Muso Soseki as the basis of things.

I find in him a kind of kindred spirit from another time and place which is at once alien and then again oddly familiar.  At least the fantasy I tell myself about his world is that it is familiar...

In particular he had to deal with alot of political and social upheaval, and in a real way he navigated it well.   It's refreshing and nice for me to see that this can be done, particularly in th…

9/11 Blues...

Image
In the martial arts we deal with violence and aggression as a matter of course.   They are born of war and struggle, of the need to fight to survive and to protect ones family.

I started martial arts training in 1977 because somehow my father had the idea that it would be good for me to know how to fight.  Perhaps this thought was with my dad as his father was a German immigrant with a very German accent and a very German name that both he and my father shared in a moment in time when things were not so cozy between the Germans and the Americans.

And at the same moment, things were equally uneasy with the Japanese and the Americans.

Difficult times to be sure.

And yet for me, the German American conflict has been the stuff of history class, and my encounter with Japanese culture has been a commonly pulled thread in the tapestry of life as I weave it, so much so that I barely think of Aikido or Soto Zen as being particularly Japanese.

And yet, they are.

Or were.

What they are now is u…

Furry Buddha Shoes.

Image
So many things have transpired this last week it's hard to know where to begin, other than to say that life is going on and I'm so grateful for the full meal.  Moring Aikido classes, a week of university teaching and music.  The launch of our new class series on Sunday afternoons.  Immense processing around the rejection of the hoped for temple site.  I'm loosing abit of heft around the mid section at long last...

But the matter of the Buddha shoes stands out above all.

You see, our daughter is now 11, and has been absolutely loving her 6th grade experience so far at the Toledo School for the Arts.  This is a very new chapter for all of us as we have homeschooled since the 2nd grade.  I'm a big fan of homeschooling, and equally a fan of this Arts based charter school in the center of downtown Toledo.

A large part of lifes texture for us has been our daughters health as she suffers a chronic condition we'd all rather not have to deal with.  But as it is, with the he…