Knowing that which can never no

Would you recognize buddha when you saw him on the street? When Shaka Buddha sat for seven weeks meditating what do you think he did when he had to pee or poop?

What would a person look and smell like who does not eat and sits in the same place for seven weeks?


Could we  recognize buddha if we encountered him on the street? or would he just slip past our senses?  . . .

. . . here are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.
Heart Sutra


or like me, look into the scrambles of my brain??  The ordinary world—the banality of it less, the diversity of it all.


Individuals are known by their career and their consumption. Does your job and the things you own define who you are to you? to others? on a resume?

Below people are standing, and other people who are not there are making money off their photograph being there.


Even on gray sky days being in a group sharing a similar experience . . .In Japan temples and shrines are not like churches, they are integrated into the daily experiences of the residents, but then again the very experience  of temples and shrines is different from churches.


The architecture is open and people walking about their daily business pass through them  often just taking  a short cut through the grounds going to to work, the experience is not separated from their lives but a part of it.

Churches are places where people worship God and if I say,  sarcastically, separated from life, which is a place where you do not worship God.


Maybe  I am just missing out here, and there are other things to worship in spite of God?


Hagi, (萩焼, Hagi-yaki),  a traditional Japanese kiln: kiln can refer to  the structure  the potter uses to fire  or to a geographical area in which a style of pottery developed among potters using the same clay, a shared set of similar potting techniques, and similar kiln construction and firing techniques. Not every potter is the same, there is individual expression but when you see Hagi,  without thinking you feel  “Hagi!” . . .

Below are father and son Hagi chawan ((茶碗 tea bowl for matcha),


The father, Yamato Shoroku (the 11th Rinchinan) established the Shoroku kiln in 1895, which gives some idea of the history. Hagi is known for changing color with use over time.


When you see “oribe” you feel “Oribe!” Oribe is practiced in the Seto-Mino area  and named after the late 16th century tea master Furuta Oribe. One quality that visually  distinguishes oribe from other Old Kilns in Japan is its freedom of expression.

You can see some  common elements of oribe in three examples  below all done by different potters at different times in history who may not have  known each other.

The chawan was a gift from my sister, it was hand formed, not thrown on a wheel and the potter was known for this practice . The tokkuri  I got in a Japanese antique store located west of Franklin up Sutter, since closed or moved, and the basket —oribe is known for clay baskets— was new from Shiki in Japan Center.


I regularly walk  four miles on the levee along Alameda Creek.  I enjoy walking more than riding a bike, there are deer, blue herons, geese, ducks, red wing blackbirds, eagles, hawks, turkey vultures, kites, raccoons, skunks, fox, snakes and even goats and sheep.


In Kyoto there is a path along a canal called  “Philosopher’s Walk”  (哲学の道Tetsugaku-no-michi), named after a a philosophy professor who was known for his meditative walks along the path. There are temples and restaurants off the path along the way.

Nanzenji (Nanzen Temple) associated with Rinzai Zen in Kyoto along the “Philosopher’s Walk.” Typical zen, things just don’t lineup perfectly.


“Typography extended its character to the regulation and fixation of languages.”
M. McLuhan   The Gutenberg Galaxy

McLuhan argues that preprint and print media create very different types of society. My impression of McLuhan’s theory is,  metaphorically speaking,  that preprint era is similar to Durkheim’s theory of mechanistic solidarity, while  print era is similar to his organic solidarity,

Many  critics suggest that McLuhan said that electronic media would make a “utopian  world  in peace”  but I think McLuhan was not predicting the future but changes in the mechanism of social solidarity (the process of culture) arguing the structural mechanism of an electronic society would be similar to that of  a preprint society—a Global Village. But the characteristics of a village are authoritarianism,  minimal tolerance for differences, maximum penalties for breaking rules and rigidity to change—great places for members who always obey the rules of the road.


We know through our senses, McLuhan argues in preprint societies people used a balance of senses for knowing,  different from print societies in which people use more of the visual sense and less of the other five to know, resulting in an imbalance. Electronic media will rebalance senses used to know similar to preprint.

The  sensory imbalance has resulted in a distortion in what “we know.”


My mother suffered a stroke resulting in severe memory loss and lived with expressive aphasia. We often went out for walks, she was different after her stroke, often I thought she did not know who I was, just someone who regularly came and went on a regular basis.  Then again it was a matter of  least importance.


Right after she had her stroke, and still in ICU,  I stayed at to her residence, a photograph of my father —they were married for 65 years and he passed about two years before— was hanging over the toilet.

For some reason I made an image of a photograph which had a very special meaning for her. I don’t know maybe  the only thing important for me was seeing  it and thoughts about their relationship, or did I only want to have a photograph of a photograph which was more important to my mother than any photograph I ever made.


Street Photography?

The  “Top of the T” in the  word STOP painted on the street.

The word “STOP” is painted all over  the streets of this country, in villages, small towns,  cities, generally quite similar, appearing with mass produced stencils  and everywhere the quality of paint, the weather, and the traffic work to create a constantly changing image.


When I think about a life I wish I would have had, or the ones I could have had, or the one I should have had . . .


Look at your own life and compare it to mine, you don’t know me so your standard will be what you think about me, perhaps from my blog,  compared to your intimate standard of yourself, hardly the same standard,

Its easier to express my thoughts in pictures than it is to express my pictures in thoughts.  Sometimes when I look at them they make know sense.


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