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

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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