Zen and the Japanese Culture book review, thoughts on Death and Martyrdom

Zen and the Japanese Culture
book authored by: Daisetz T. Suzuki first published  1970
Newer editions contain an added chapter on ‘the sword’

This most excellent and informative book is well worth a read by anyone interested in Zen,  as the title implies. But Oh, there is So much more to be gleaned from this treasure trove of written lore. It takes us through the ages, and lets us wander through the kingdoms of China as well as Japan, to meet the great Zen masters of old. To follow the tendrils of Buddhism, and see why and how they develop, spreading their influence amongst the peoples of the realm. Rather than a dry and boring text-book, this tome introduces us to the many expressions of art and culture which Buddhism and more particularly; Zen helped to foster. Here we are even visited briefly by the schools of Daoism, and look in on the great song dynasty as well.

But enough of that! My intent today is not so much to write a book review, but rather, to express some thoughts and impressions which this book has prompted in me. It’s quite the thought-provoking book. Heres the excerpt which got my mind a whirling: Continue reading

Innocence, Friendship and the Entertaining of Angels

Today, I took a leisurely kayak trip along the edge of a slow lake. Slow, that is, except for when a motor boat passed by. I love those moments, when the kayak is set to rocking and rolling upon the surge of waves each boat produces. It’s a gentle swoosh of up and down motion. Next thing I knew, that motion had rocked me right down to memory lane. Though it was not a wave for which I reminisced, rather, the swaying of the boat, reminded me a great deal of the swaying of a certain Maple tree within which I used to nap as a girl, 20 or so feet up in the air. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As a youth, I had the great fortune (or misfortune, depending upon how you look at it) to be one who traveled often. Like a military child, only more so than they. On this particular year my mother and I had moved to a new home at the very start of school vacation. New home, new town. consequently I knew not a soul, but not to worry, I set out right away to find what children I could and to make my friends where I could find them. It was perhaps my 9th or 10th year.

I expected it would be an easy thing, to find groups of children playing stick-ball in the street, or at least a few children in their backyards. But alas, this new neighborhood had very slim pickins. It all worked out in the end, proving to be one of the best years of my youth, but at this time in the very beginning? Very slim indeed. Continue reading

Hawk song for Guitar parts 2 and 3 Snake, Heron

Hawk Song Part 2

SNAKE

(A-, E-, D-)
Then the bird looked right at me
and this is what he said
“Pay attention to my words
then you’l be wise, not dead”

In the pond, there’s such a one
and low, his only view
He slithers there upon the ground
on belly to and fro

He weaves a trap around his prey
His evil eye to flow.
Dont take advise from him my friend
or you might soon be food. Continue reading

Zen drumming and The Drummer

Here we strive to drum without drumming.


That video was from the actual drum group which participated in the making of the movie called, The Drummer. Watch it in full screen.

The Drummer is an excellent story about the Zen path and choices. A bored, spoiled son of a small-time crime boss looks to stir up excitement by touching the forbidden fruit. In this case; it’s the kept woman of a bigger crime lord. In payment for this insult, the Big boss demands the hands of the offending person. That’s right, he wanted them cut off.

Of course the boy’s father could not comply with this, so he sends the boy, together with his right hand man off to the country to lay low. Here is where the story really begins. A tale of choices, paradoxes, and irony. Continue reading