Zen know shelter-do

The spring flower,
Dancing in the wind. Parting,
I remember, its beauty
Lasts the whole year.

painting by Janney


The shelter-at-home on your own terms is in force in Fremont, The first few days there were many families walking on the levee along Alameda  Creek, many who did not know I walk  there every day, like a tree along the way, and they ignored my hello.


Often in my photographs the viewer is not asked  to be concerned about identifying specific people or things . You do not have to know them, you do not even have to ask yourself the question Who  or what are they?

alamedaCreek6796_24%ppi100B800.jpgThere is no vicarious experience to have from these images, and perhaps no important information about some thing.


Once when I was young, a woman said to me,  “I would like to be with you when are taking photographs.” My images would never be in a travel publication, a marketing brochure for a traveler’s paradise, Architectural Digest or even on an advertising postcard for a real estate agent . . .


nor  the image, and probably not a desire-to-be-with-me prompted by seeing the image. People see my photographs differently than they see me, well after they get to no me anyway.


Maybe when you see the image you think its a waste of your time, a waste of my time, a waste of a camera that could be in hands of a good photographer.

Even if I figure out what it is there is nothing for me to no . . 


“The art of making pictorial statements in a precise and repeatable form is one we have long taken for granted in the West. But it is forgotten that without prints and blueprints, without maps and geometry, the world of modern sciences and technologies would hardly exist.”
 Understanding Media   Marshal McLuhan

We commonly use the word “graphic” to mean an image, and more so to the specific information in a specific image but actually the word means an image that can be reproduced  consistency in a media. The word means the process —silkscreen, woodblock, offset, digital print to computer screen and without regard to the information in the image.


The image is printed consistently enough that people see it the same . . .and according to McLuan that creates a qualitative difference in the structure of human relationships.


in the case of a brand graphic such as logo, people share the same visual meaning of the image—Company A— while their thinking and/or emotional experiences maybe different.


For McLuhan the importance is that the same image is consistently printed everywhere it is printed. Consider what happened to Penny’s when they changed their logo, it was an unprofessional job, for technical reasons it could not be printed consistently ——ads, website, mailers, plastic bags, badges, were not just dissimilar to the common eye, but the differences were visual technical difficulties in quality control when printing on various media resulting in a common visual experience of lack of control and general  sloppiness.  A logo must look and feel the same everywhere it is printed, no matter the capabilities or lack of capabilities of different printing process.


Along Alameda Creek, between 880  and Isherwood is not a wealthy, or a poor area,  yet for me, and many others, having immediate  access to this experience, funded by Regional Parks taxpayer fees as part of  county property taxes, is a greatly appreciated   valuable asset.


Somewhere in or around Skytree, could even be the MacDonald’s, it feels like spying on someone and yet you do not get any “valuable” personal information, as a photograph  its a “waste of time” so to speak,


Or could it be over responsive when seeing  photograph where instead of the eye feeling it, the mind classifies and categorizes until it has identified everything and given it a name— “knowing” the image becomes more a thinking experience than a visual one.

Yasukuni Jinja (Yasakuni Shrine), one rainy morning—shrines, jinja,  are Shinto, temples, ji,  are Buddhist.


A shrine built  to summon the souls of those who gave their lives fighting for Japan  in the Boshin War of 1868–1869 through the First Indochina War of 1946–1954.


Later I walked to  Zojoji or Zojo-ji—English translations include “Temple” but “ji” means temple, its redundant— where President Grant and Vice-President Bush planted trees on the grounds . . . It features one of the most serene Buddhas I have ever seen.

Perhaps the visual image many have of Buddha is a person sitting zazen, but don’t you think Buddhas do other things too. Certainly if Buddhas are as great as people say, then shouldn’t they  be able to multi-task, do mulitple things are one time? Should God allow  them to only do one thing?

Why not a statute of a Buddha eating? pissing? working at the post office? maybe you think Buddhas don’t work—Daruma said “Buddhas don’t do good, Buddhas don’t do bad.”


Buddhas do other things too and just how many hours can you sit zazen? Ummon said “Siting blankly in Zen practice is the condition of the devil.” Well, Daruma sat nine years wall-gazing.

The Heart Sutra says,
In emptiness there is no form,
no sensations, no perception, n mental patterns, and no consciousness;
no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, . . .

Behind  Zojoji  is Tokyo Tower. . .  a young Eve plucking the apple of knowledge!  
Cuidado! God does not like curious women . . .


Why do you think there are differences between men and women?  What does it mean for survival in a society ? Other than being able to  “find/produce food, shelter,” there must be some reason for the differences, or is it just a random event like everything else in the universe. Why do these atoms keep coming together to produce men and women?


Does defending  against other people who are trying to kill you and steal your food and shelter count as survival?

Perhaps not really, human survival is not dependent upon whether the good people or the bad people win, but rather do both or either one survive and nature could care less. which one. It does not matter whether its you, or me, or them, except to you or me or them.  World Peace. who could imagine it would be so difficult.


During this Covad-19 Corona virus crisis many people are going to their jobs to provide others, like me, with essentials we need to survive, we cannot make our own food, we cannot dispose of our garbage, working at food stores, in medical and elder care jobs  and many people at these jobs are there, placing their lives at greater risk, not out of the  goodness of their hearts, but because society defines their jobs as low paying (unessential??) jobs and they cannot afford not be there,

Maybe this needs to  be reconsidered .

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