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genkaku Veteran

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Username
genkaku
Location
Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
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Comments

  • what can I do for work (for now) that would not be harmful to anyone, @Diana3407 -- Shoulder your responsibilities. There is no such thing as an occupation or deed that does not reach out of even the most-purified precincts and touch or ming…
  • My fave on the "honoring veterans" front is, as it has been, "if you really want to honor veterans, stop making them."
  • When it comes to meditation, a line I always liked is: "There is a difference between doing nothing and doing nothing."
  • I favor noting all the holidays, including birthdays. Of course at my age you tend to get forgetful. PS. Will someone please tell me who, exactly, calls human birth "precious."
  • Doing things "on your own" carries great power with it. The downside is a thinly-veiled pride. Doing things espoused by others carries much support. The downside is the potential for laziness. My own feeling is that whichever trap you choose to …
  • Pay attention and take responsibility. Stop imagining any such thing as "good karma." That will just provoke bad karma. Remember, just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean the universe needs your help. As a Zen teacher o…
  • When it came to Buddhist practice, my Zen teacher once suggested to me: "Take care of your family."
  • So basically since the 1970’s you’ve put in a lot of effort and have no definitive answer @Kerome -- Did I say that?... definitive answers tend to peter out, don't you think? If they didn't, how "definitive" could they be?
  • There was a pedal-to-the-metal phase for me -- maybe ten or 20 years -- but credulous adulation (even that which made common-sensical sense) -- took a hit with my retirement. The Dharma is not a joke, but there's no escaping the laughter. Trying to …
  • @paulyso -- The George Carlin Sutra is invaluable: Shitpisscockcuntcocksuckermotherfuckertits .... sowa ka.
    in Pain Comment by genkaku October 1
  • My wife has to remind me to charge the cell phone I own: It seems that the thing runs out of juice even if I don't use it except to contact either immediate family or the AAA towing service. That means almost never: There's a land line if I want to …
  • One of my Zen teacher's teachers was once asked about the practice of charging impecunious-but-sincere newcomers so much for Zen retreats. He laughed and said, "Oh yes -- charge them a lot. That way they will think Dharma is worth something."
  • As someone once observed, "Without ego, nothing gets done." To which I am inclined to add, "With ego, what is accomplished turns out to be flawed."
    in The Ego Comment by genkaku September 1
  • The Hindu Vedantist Swami Vivekananda got it right: "The mind [he was referring to intellect] is a good servant and a poor master." Yes, it's scary. But that doesn't mean it's not true.
  • Besides missing the mark, too many no's is every bit as flummoxed as the yes's that preceded them. Ask any daisy or sneeze.
  • Wherever there is something "else," there will be a problem. Wherever there is nothing else, there will be a problem. What's the problem? Exercise patience and courage and watch. Or, as a teacher once instructed me, "Forgetaboutit."
  • @Carameltail -- And your feeling about all this is??? Buddhism laced in philosophy strikes me as being a bit like sex using a condom: It's kinda-sorta like unprotected sex but not much comes of it. On the other hand, safe-sex philosophy is a lot …
  • Welcome @LadyEmmaE -- hope you find something useful here. Here (https://zmm.org/teachings-and-training/meditation-instructions/) is a pretty good site for the basics ... and it has photos. The fact that it comes from a Zen Buddhist source needn…
  • "Joining the majority" is something my Zen teacher's teacher used to reference. Imagine -- instead of working so long and so hard to stand out as the individual called "me," there is a welcome change from potatoes. Talk about a party!
  • As with Buddhism -- just speak your piece and let the other fellow find out for him- or her-self.
  • The first phrase that comes to mind is, "very inside-the-box."
  • Is anyone else curious how a group of boys, trapped in a cave for two weeks, should manage to dominate a news cycle filled with people who are homeless, hungry, dying and ravaged in a variety of other ways and have been that way for a lot more than …
  • A lot of years ago, here in the U.S., a young woman climbed over a zoo's two restraining railings and stuck her arm into a cage inhabited by a polar bear. The bear bit down on the arm that was extended in an imagined friendship. The woman screamed. …
  • It's amazing how many Buddhists turn up when I stop trying to call them "Buddhists."
  • if people around you are displaying unquestioning devotion rather than great freedom and creativity, then your cult is probably heading in the wrong direction. @kerome -- Just sitting here this morning thinking about the search for some deep…
    in Cults Comment by genkaku July 1
  • Have those 'words out of his mouth' hit you on the raw as many times as they have done to me? @kando -- Someplace or other there is a verse that goes Wishing to entice the blind The Buddha has playfully let words escape his golden m…
  • @ScottPen A couple of thoughts: 1. If you want a laugh, stick with the Hindus. They are the eldest of the religious flock and as such have a maturity that such new kids as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. have not yet attained. That is my un-…
  • if enlightenment could happen at any moment, then why practise at all? Once upon a time there was a little bird who refused to fly south for the winter. His friends tried every argument they could think of, but the little bird was adamant: H…
  • ... or, as the French might have it, "Jamais deux sans trois."
  • What would it actually take to stop this guy? I mean, apart from the obvious..... @federica -- I hesitate (almost) to say, The Second Amendment.
  • In those awful moments... Look over the hoard or three or four. Quiver in your boots. Now look closely ... how well-dressed they are; how supple their rejoinders; how kool their clothes; how smart and casual they are ... and what a tongue-tied klut…
  • For the story-prone and Zen-inclined, a good list is: http://www.101zenstories.com/
  • What happens when no "thank you" is expected or demanded? My mother used to say, "Don't get too holy by next Thursday." As long as you think there is some sort of brass ring or gold star for involving yourself in Zen or Buddhism, for exactly that…
  • @Kundo -- Tnx for the tale. When I once complained to my Zen teacher (abbot of a Japanese monastery) about leg pain when sitting in meditation (zazen), he said he knew what I was talking about: "For the first seventeen years, it was pretty painfu…
  • One that sticks in my craw: "It is what it is."
    in Platitudes Comment by genkaku May 24
  • Synopsis, please...? @federica -- @person pretty much nailed it. PS. As an addendum, I am one of what I hope is a growing number of people who bridle every time they hear the phrase, "drugs and alcohol." Let's get this straight: Alcohol I…
  • In Zen, sometimes "the four propositions" are employed for study: It exists. It does not exist. It both exists and does not exist. It neither exists nor does not exist. And the teacher the Zen teacher Ummon once observed approximately, "Whe…
  • When I flunked out of a Zen monastery, it depressed the hell out of me. My sky-high aspirations were more full of poop than a Christmas turkey. I was a lousy student. Looking back now, I see the adventure as one of the most important and affirmin…
  • During my first nine years of formal Zen practice, it was rare -- I mean really rare -- that anyone mentioned either "enlightenment" or "the precepts." At first, I was miffed that such heavy-duty Buddhist constituents were apparently set aside. B…
    in Inquiry Comment by genkaku May 18
  • I think that anyone who consents to actually practice what Buddhism preaches will have to admit it: Buddhism is a pain, both literally and metaphorically, in the ass. Why? Because no one can out-think it, as torrents of caring 'scientists' continue …
  • At the risk of repetition and the ever-present self promotion, here is a one-page cheat sheet I once wrote for a young Christian woman who visited the small temple here as a means of learning what she called "tolerance." Whether she ever learned tol…
    in Initiation? Comment by genkaku May 11