Know place phore zen

“All questioning is a way of avoiding the real answer, which as Zen tells us, is already known.  Every person is enlightened but wishes he or she was not.” 
R. H. Blythe

I do not know what others think about the Zen related publications by Blythe. He also did a series of books on haiku; I do not know what others think about those either.

A monk asked Gensha, “The Supreme Doctrine—is there any explanation of it recently?’ Gensha said, “We don’t hear such a thing often.”

I am fortunate to live near Alameda Creek where I can often walk along the levee, This was last week; one thing I like  about where I live is the weather.


Mumon wrote:
If you understand the first word of Zen
You understand the last;
But these two words 
Are not one word.
Mumonkan    CaseXIII   The Verse (Blyth translation0


Blyth’s Mumonkan was the third complete translation into English, but the first one which was accompanied by extensive interpretive commentaries on each case.


They can be enjoyed for their place in time . . .every year it is different.

alamedaCreek0827_24%ppi100D800.jpgEveryday I walk, it seems my own commitments are all I ever have, Do they have any meaning,? Why get up in the morning, “These songs of freedom , they’re all I ever have,  Redemption Songs.” (Bob Marley).


When I take myself too _________________ (insert word), I remember that one reason I am here is because my neighbor does not kill me, and I do not kill my neighbor.


I will go unbounded standing outside at your door.
(words taken from a song by Eric Anderson)


This belonged in the series in the previous post but I did not know it when I made it. You will see what I mean if when you get to the end of this post you continue to scroll to the previous one.


On the wall in the Shibuya station there were eight continuous digital screens, each 10 feet wide, maybe 8 ft high.  In this image you see two screens with four vertical images, total twenty feet long.


sometimes a single image would appear across all on eight screens, about 80 feet . . .this probably shows almost three screens of a building against the sky, a single image  which extended across ten screens.


Different 8 foot screens would have different images. Perhaps as in the first example two vertical images per screen, or any combination as you like it, even to make a story  unfold to someone as they are  walking  past. What an interesting medium to work in!


Margaret Tafoya used bear paws, the kiva step, mountain, clear sky and buffalo horns as designs on her pottery. While many “great artists” get exhibitions in museums, you have to go there, pay, stand up, and you look at something and try to figure  out what it means— I find it  kind of a bother. But design of our everyday functional things, its just a part of our life. In Japan “good design”  is part of the everyday life people.

What you do, who you are, in your working life makes a difference in this world. Integrity and ethics matter.


In the western world there is fashion, not that Japanese  do not have fashion, but its within design.  In the west  fashion is or may be, outside of design and success is not about the meaning  of design but generated by money—purchases in the market  by people with little sense of design and too often find their “design appreciation” in the publicly exposed  label.

For most people the daily stuff they interact with often lacks meaning, whether it costs a lot or a little, whether its high fashion or common fashion.


A block from Yasukuni Shrine, surrounded by tall buildings . . .


Torii at entrance to Yasukuni Shrine. Torii, the gate people walk under at the entrance of a Shinto shrine, and smaller torii at entrances to smaller shrines within the grounds. They are generally red or concrete.


Yasukuni Shrine is politically controversial, however it is more of an international political issue than a domestic one.  Shinto and even more so this shrine, are connected to traditional feelings of national unity and sovereignty.


Last week there was an article in the newspaper on “to who does art belong,” my gut response was What is Art?  First you have to know what Art is before you can determine to who it beings.

. . . Then I remembered my thought on this question from about eight years ago . . .


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