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genkaku Veteran


Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
Last Active
Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
  • Re: How long have you tacitly supported terrorism? Hypocrite?

    I kind of like the quote from the movie, "Fury" [] that goes, "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent." A living koan: What will a (wo)man do when violence is not enough and what is called peace is not enough?

  • Re: To All The Young Members ( and lurkers)

    My teacher's teacher was hell on "waste." There were endless tales of his visiting the kitchen in the monastery and retrieving bits of greens the cooks had thrown away rather than adding to the pot.

    With age, however, I find there is a whispering in my mind ... a voice saying, "nature throws away so much without a backward glance -- people, flowers, trees, clouds, etc. etc. Doesn't the question need to be asked, "Who is the one proclaiming waste? Is it really wasteful or is it simply not what the proclaimer proclaims?"

    Human life is precious? Certainly ... just like dandelions?

    Just curious.

  • Re: Zen koan's understanding

    a new country, a new culture, a new phase of my life

    The past is ungraspable.
    The future is ungraspable.
    And when you get down to it, the present is ungraspable as well.

    Enjoy the kangaroos. :)

  • Re: Zen koan's understanding

    A little bit of personal experience.

    As a Zen student, I was once given Joshu's "mu" as a koan to munch on. [A monk asked Joshu, "Does a dog have Buddha Nature or not?" Joshu replied, "Mu" ("no" or "not")"] As a new and dutiful student, I munched. After a year or so, I realized that "mu" might be a very good koan indeed, but two things stood in my way: 1. I didn't like it because it seemed fabricated 2. and as a result, I was deeply reluctant to let the koan in -- to swallow it down to my toes.

    So I stopped. And waited. And one day -- because life is like that -- another koan or intellectually-insoluble riddle popped up on my radar. I can't remember what it was, but I remember letting it in and loving it. Perhaps it was -- let's say it was -- "I love you."

    Switching to a mathematical assessment, the question probably arose, "How do you 'solve for X' when there is no X?" and with it, "who says there is no X?" This appealed to me. I felt as if I were on friendly, if impenetrable soil. I stuck with it.

    And came to the conclusion that koans are naturally-occurring substances. No need to crack a book. As my teacher, Kyudo Nakagawa, once observed, "The Buddha didn't study 1,700 koans [the formal number of koans in the Zen lexicon]."

    My take: There is no need to chase koans when koans are eternally buzzing around like a flock of damned May flies.

  • Re: Mindful consumption of television

    As hard as anyone might try, there is no escaping the world of so-called samsara. It is probably more sensible to stick with Thaddeus Golas' ("The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment") observation that "when you learn to love hell, you will be in heaven."

    Can anyone improve the wetness of water? I doubt it. Better is to pay attention and take responsibility. Not easy, perhaps, but more in tune... or anyway, that's my thought.