Patterns on virtual reality blankets created from the repetition of photos of my shado.
Speaking of then, or not speaking of zen less often than I am. In India Daopi was in the line of the transmission of the light…
When I came to California, pre-computer, I started my design business by renting a space in a typehouse in Fremont, $35 per month and Bill was the owner. It was an interesting period, Bill was a local boy, intelligent, interested in political issues tending towards conservative positions and genuinely interested in knowing people who were different resulting in a a cacaphony of employees with various typographic and graphic reproduction skills related to the business.
Through my duration the typehouse employees ran the gamut of society including a communist and a smoker who had been fitted with an electrolarynx and continued to smoke. The long term employees were skilled in typesetting, graphic production, and proof reading, — a seemingly lost skill—and there were additional employees who were there for some other reason, often they were alone facing a personal struggle in their life and Bill seeing some good in them tried to provide a base for to find themselves. In the late 1980s there were a few young gay men, dying from aids, with no other place to go and Bill gave them work and a place to stay.
As computers advanced typehouses increasingly went out of business, we went our own ways and I met Bill at a shopping center near my house, about 33 years later, not knowing his health was soon to rapidly deteriorate. He was on dialysis a couple of times a week, and for some reason he was paying about 20% what I was paying for the same medical insurance.
A couple of years later I learned he had passed, and attended his funeral. At the time of this image I did not know he was as lonely as I later found out he was—he did not deserve to be lonely at the end of his life. He was a good person.
Many people from the typehouse attended his funeral, it was fun to see them and Bill would have appreciated that. Still it was interesting people’s remembrances were of “silly clown” type pranks, no one (except me) mentioned that Bill’s compassionate heart and financial help reached out to people in need when no one else could see good in them.
Sometimes , in the 1970s, I would get in my van and drive around New England, I found myself attracted to the geometry of the rural architecture
The story of the Sixth Patriarch of Chan—he could not read was the lowest of the low at the biggest Chan Temple in China. The aging Fifth Patriarch looking for his successor but saw no one sight, threw out a challenge to the monks to express Chan in a poem. One monk was considered the high achiever destined for the position of successor patriarch and he wrote the first poem. The to-be Sixth Patriarch, the lowest of the kitchen workers, could not read or write and asked his friend to read it to him and then to write his response, the second poem. Don’t think about the difference between the two poems.
Later there was some shaking of rice, a secret meeting, passing on of he Dharma, the robe and the bowl and an escape. The transmission was completed but not acceptedly by the sangha.
The image above is of the Sixth Patriarch tearing up the words that get in the way of enlightenment. Reminds of Shaka Buddha on Mount Grdhrakuta who when he holds up the flower Mahakasyapa smiles, and says, “Without relying on words and letters, beyond all teaching as a special transmission I pass this all on to Mahakasyapa.”
When I was young I had a vision that Adam and Eve were happy in Eden then one day they had a disagreement, stepped outside the Garden to invent language to share their positions, started talking and found they did not agree on the meanings of words and while busy arguing about the meanings, never could return to the arguments and are still arguing about the meanings, OUTSIDE Eden.