No know Noh fore shame

Seal script is an older style of Chinese writing, Early writing everywhere was probably made with a finger.   a stick or a bone  in sand or mud or scraping something onto or off a surface such as a hard stone on a soft boulder and  writing was  taking something away from a surface or adding something to it.

Brush by Janney


Many Chinese characters were created during stick or stone period and later the brush enabled more artistic variation. During this time there was also a geographical/political  consolidation of character meanings to create a common written language alongside different spoken languages.

The phonetic visual experience is more like a minimal artist’s preliminary sketch compared to the visual experience of the Chinese character being more like a painting containing more complex information but less specific detail than a phonetic sentence.  A reader must on their own interpret the contextual relationship meanings of the characters through the expression of the calligrapher.

Brush by Janney


 Most people think of science as a “bunch of facts about the universe that you memorize, and its such a pain that many would rather be dong something else. 


Instead think of science as A Way of Knowing, as opposed to a bunch of facts and what we call scientific knowledge, or facts, change through time because improvements in the way science knows things changes (improves?).


For hundreds of  thousands of years air was considered nothing, we called it air,  people looked across the land and saw a mountain and we could see it because there was nothing in between, and then it turns out there are a bunch of small particles the human eye cannot see;  science and technology developed  by science enabled us to “see” them , i.e. to “know” them. 


The one thing that separates scientific “knowing”  from all others is  every human being (almost) has the same natural sensual capabilites to experience  the universe through our five senses—seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting  and touching.


Scientific methodology is based on using the common  human  senses—human tools— for experiencing the universe, a common subject-object  relationship.


I see, touch, smell , taste and hear and you  see, touch, smell, taste and hear and that experience is similar enough for all humans to constitute a reality.


This is different than having a dream or a religious experience. While we all have faith and feelings and we all have dreams, those  experiences are unique to the individual while the sense experiences among humans are common.

By setting rules for methodological commonality science increases its own ability to experience the universe and remake itself while  faith and belief only  require the same  “commitment ” over and over,   through time, never growing, never learning,


Scientific methodology uses only information from empirical experiences which anyone can have. I tell you I see a red car and you look over and see a red car and even if  you do not look you will accept that I saw a red car.  It works.


I have a (sleeping) dream that a dog is going to bite me, You cannot have that dream. I may “believe” that a dog will bite me  but if you are driving us to work and my fear wants you to drive 30 minutes out of our way, you will not do it.  It would be a waste of  your time because you do not “know” i.e. do not  believe,  that a dream  is an acceptable method of knowing,  at least not good enough on which to waste 30 minutes of your  life.


Scientists agree that they will only use sensual data using the five senses and technological tools which are extensions of those senses.

Furthermore, they agree to accurately  and in enough detail to report the conditions under which the sensual experience occurred so that another scientist can duplicate the experience and see if they had the same experience or at least so another scientist can evaluate their methodology.


The scientific method is a common and specific set of behavioral standards as well as a commitment to a common and specific set of behavioral standards be used in “knowing.” And anyone using the scientific methodology can check anyone else.


The “How science knows” capabilities  are  increased by the“ what science knows” through developing  technological  innovations which increases the ability of science  to critic itself, to experience inmate detail and results n unending updating of scientific knowledge, When science “disproves” its own  knowledge  the result is increased knowledge, not destruction of knowledge.


Still many questions cannot be answered  by science, The future is unknown, there may be some people somewhere who “guess”  it correctly but science is the most practical and consistently correct  methodology for prediction.


Still somehow for many it does not seem to matter how accurately the future can be predicted, some just do not care what it is.


gate gate paragate
bodhi svaha

Less, or then, zen

“We usually had a book apple orchard. Such a variety of apples that w had apples until the spring of the year.  After one variety would be gone  , the folks seems to know what the next varies you’d start using. 

And Dad, he’d  bury those [apples] in the oats bin, lard cans—50 pound cans. There might be as many as 15 cans buried down in the oats bin, and they be just like out of the refrigerator now, when you’d take them out.”

Mary Works , 84       Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers    published 1983

Do  you think there wold be no war?,   or crime?, or mistakes?,   if only world was populated by Buddhas . Or do you think these Buddhas would  sit around all day in deep prajna paramita? who would cook and clean and raise the children  or earn living?

The last lines of The Heart Sutra,    brush by Janney


Here in the US people are blessed with many diverse understandings of what is Buddhism and what is tofu. US farmers sell soy beans to countries in Asia and many think tofu is “weird food” while in the US “the zen of” something  is the basic essence of  it, without all the unimportant trappings, the nitty-gritty, the skinny, the pragmatic or the unimportant.


What is it that could be unimportant?  I guess non-Zen behavour  is doing a bunch of unimportant things such as cleaning your house or having a bowel movement? Drinking water? Feeling self pity?

Zen behavour is not doing those things? Or doing no-thing? Maybe the differences between the two, Buddhism and tofu, gets a  little confusing  for me.


Like tai chi along the Alameda Creek levee, its easier done without thinking, or planning, just a little repetition everyday and after awhile you stop worrying about whether it makes any sense.


Or whether being alone is really being or does being start  when you get there.


Having a purpose, a mindful destination  or even if mindful is the purpose what purpose  is there? What purpose did God have when creating the Universe?

alamedaCreek4487Det30%ppi100B900It sure was not very  perfect, otherwise God would never have kicked  Adam and Eve out of Eden How could God be so incompetent as to create so much imperfection, something which was so easily destroyed just by eating an apple?


Which is more important, the fore ground or the background when the back is  the foreground.


Why not birds in the sky or bananas in a  tree, neither one should be allowed to get in the way of enlightenment, so why  would  we let them?

Painting by Janney

janneyPnt6737_800One afternoon fifty years ago. Where are these people now and Morris the cat, after 50 years  is “likely”  no longer in this world. More than other cat I have ever known, Morris loved to be touched,  you could pick up  Morris, throw him in the air, catch him and he loved it and wanted more.


Then there is  my sister’s cat,  when visiting in 2018 I entered the house while my sister was not home, the cat  was alone, I was not properly introduced and during this visit this was the friendliest it ever got. In 2019 a dog had joined the household and the cat was very pleased and happy.


I am allergic to cats, being around them in rooms where the live  or touching them makes eyes itch and affects my breathing, my nose and mouth dry u.  Not every cat affects it the same, some less, some more and sometimes  its so bad I have leave.


Before the Covad-19 I used to go to Trader Joe’s and the bookstore on Saturday afternoons, after my  four miles exercise along Alameda Creek levee. The bookstore first as I purchased perishable food.  And before that there is a small Cancer Society second hand shop, the kind where the stuff is interesting to see and in good enough shape to enjoy seeing it.

At the bookstore I often get in a conversation with someone, seeing someone looking at a book  I may inquire about it  which often starts a conversation. This gentleman, being very proud of his daughter, spent about 20 minutes talking about her accomplishments.


I like to use quotes from books, perhaps as out of context flashes, these images are like quotes from the book  The Journey is the Destination  The Journals of Dan Eldon.


I can enjoy like  Finnegans Wake or The Gutenberg Galaxy or Mummokan—just open it up anywhere, anytime, any way, and start reading or in this case looking, and whenI decide I am  finished,  close it and put it down.  The experience of a book does not have be a linear-logic experience such as you might have with a book written  AI or living next to a forest  and upon walking enter it from different places.


Two people, Toledo, Ohio, late 1960s,


And one person,  me drinking tea from a SetoGuro chawan.



Heart here her zen

The Heart Sutra by Janney


The Heart Sutra begins:

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita
perceives that all five skandhas are empty
and is saved from all suffering and distress.


I wonder what Janney felt as she wrote this sutra, Chinese characters are different than English phonetic alphabet and words, each character is a visual representation of a meaning while in English letters combine to make a sound which represents a meaning—contrast visual experience  to a sound experience.  Its a big artistic and design effort to  think this whole project out, get everything designed right  and then do  all of those brush strokes so nicely.  Maybe Chinese characters are more inclined to the experience of enlightenment.

The calligrapher may have

Early morning at Sensoji. Before 6 am people may gather to get in line to hear the chanting of The Heart Sutra.



Bodhisattva is a term referring to a person who is “one step” away from becoming a Buddha and chooses to delay “Buddhahood” to help others.

The priest may arrive a little early, stand at the door, talk, and at 6am open the  big door and people can take a seat.


Avalokitesvara is a specific Bodhisattva who represents the Compassion of All Buddhas, the Mercy Goddess, and also you may know her as Guanyin, Kannon, or Kuan Yin.

I wonder are not all Buddhas the same compassion?  or maybe no compassion and no  noncompassion.


Kannon is the Goddess of Sensoji.

The Prajna Paramita,  the Perfection of Wisdom, may refer to a state of being and/or the sacred literature.

People may wear kimono, even come in the rain .  .  .  there are stores near-by which rent kimono by the hour .  .  .


And then you could just say that people come there, everyone with their own personal, perhaps unique reason. 


People enjoy being there, you do not see this kind of happiness, the happiness of just being people, at western churches.

In western churches “happy gatherings” are people celebrating things they share that differentiate them from others, not things everyone shares as human beings. 


The  five skandhas are your five senses—our empirical senses, see, hear, touch, smell and taste, the common tools for human learning—NOTE:  having a dream,  God talking-to you  or knowing your gut are not included.

These terms are much more complex than I have defined them but my simplification enables you to get a feel for their relationships in the passage.

Walking at Coyote Hills  . . .


“Arriving in Kan-tung early in 1948 after three thousand miles of travel, the Master went to Nan-hua Monastery and bowed before the Venerable Master Hsu-yun, the 44th Patriarch from Sakyumuni Buddha At that first meeting the Venerable Master Yun, who was then 109 yeas, recognized the Master to be a vessel worthy of the Dharma and capable of its propagation. He sealed and certified the Mater’s spiritual skill and transmitted to him the wonderful mind-to-mind seal of all Buddhas. . . . 


. . . Thus the Master because the 45th generation in a line descending from Sakyamuni Buddha, the nineteenth generation in China from Bodhidharma, and the ninth generation  of the Wei-yang lineage.”
Records of the Life of Ch’an Master Hsuan Hua  Part II


“The Heart Sutra is a summation, not an introduction  . . .  it is nothing less than a summation of the wisdom of the Buddha . . . It is the heart in the heart within the heart.”
The Heart Sutra and Commentary  by Master Hua


If The Heart Sutra is a summation, than why need any of this other Buddha stuff,—temples, bels, books, chanting, drums, enlightenment, masters, meditating, scrolls, statues, sutras—all free from God—that’s why I watch TV, just to get away from it all.

Tofu with bits of anchovies and seaweed, carrots and beans for lunch.


On leaving we saw “. . . In green area there’s a red dot. . .


“Don’t use a Buddha to worship a Buddha.”

“To find a Buddha all you have to do is to see your own nature.”

attributed to Daruma

I guess it means do not let  your own nature worship a Buddha or maybe do not let a buddha worship your own nature,

Painting by Janney


Here we are in this constantly increasing evolution of the division of labor as we produce new things requiring new education, new skills, new tools, new businesses, new jobs,  and the  old ones fall  by the way side  or just slowly  fade away . . .

How to care for those whose job fades away before they can retire And, How to educate  those for the new jobs that emerge before we even know what they will be until after they are needed.

its like making a painting, and its like Durkeim‘s anomie.

“ I remember my father went to town, real early in the morning, and got the mea for dinner, ’cause we didn’t have any way of keeping it. We didn’t have ice or refrigeration  to keep the meet, so he’d go to town and get the groceries and what we needed real early in the morning,”
Sadie Davis, 79, Decatur County,    from Feeding Our FamiliesMemories of Hoosier Homemakers   1983


One thing I noticed in my life, when I am with people I like to engage them in conversations about things they have done in the past, their opinions,  Who is this person? How do they describe themselves, are their words different than how they act,


Brett Ponsett (“The Six Gun”) said.   “There is often a difference ’tween the doin’ an’ the tellin’,” and I wonder if,  or when,  or why,   I’m doin’ or I’m tellin’.


Zen, know weighting

He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them needs religion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The nice thing about starting with a famous quote rather  than an illustration is that, generally, in popular communication, words are more ambiguous, not as precise and definitive, as a photograph although I am the exception in that generally  I want my photographs to be visually ambiguous, though I am not sure that really makes any  difference, it just  makes me feel better, so selfish and willful of me.

painting by Janney


Generally people consider a photograph (also video or film) to be more visually factual than a painting, drawing or other forms of visual representation.

What’s real here? A young man more enthralled with his phone than seeing four beautiful girls? Or  “girl is wearing blue jeans, light blue hoodie, white slip-on shoes . . . ”

The latter is more visually accurate than the former but the former is more interesting.


A feeling of a single duck, then and again is a single duck really a feeing? I feel like a single duck . . . out of water. . .


Along Alameda Creek, There is a path above the wall, and a tall  fence   so to get theirs concrete roof you have to walk around  the side,  Teenagers like to be there in groups or by themselves. For awhile before the virus  a couple  of young men were sporadically pitching a tent on the right  bottom side.


“Now my mother just took the chickene and wrung it around in her hand like this (demonstrates) and cut it up in no time and got it ready, but I couldn’t do it. I had to step on the head and pull it off if my husband wasn’t there to kill it.”
Feeding Our Families     Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

In the area  I live people expect the vegetables they buy in the supermarket to be  washed, when I was young  it was SOP to buy vegetables with dirt on them, and it was common  to wash them yourself.

I have walked along Alameda Creek levee for many years meeting a lot of people.   Everyone has a life,  a story or two to tell—there is always a difference “’tween the doin’ and the tellin’.”


“The biggest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution that has to start with each one of us.”
Dorothy Day     Co-founder of Catholic Worker Movement

Is this what you do on a date? Or perhaps its mother and son, either one  . . .  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? What is it that is intrusive perhaps that you would be uncomfortable if someone —a stranger?  your spouse? a professional situation at photo shot?


“When I was a child, I remember butchering was quite a day. The neighbors were great to help people out and the women always came along.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

The path takes a turn, a stem  or a stope  and follows the water to down a  ways,  then turns right, goes behind the buildings  you see at the corner of Alverado-Niles Road and Decoto—there’s a Shell station with car wash on the corner,  an Indian grocery store and I do not remember what else.

In much of the world people ride bikes for transportation and use them for transport of goods, in my neighborhood they ride them for exercise and enjoyment.


“We thought it was a great thing when we got far enough along that she would buy a butter mold. I remember ours had a carving  on the mold part, of a pineapple.  She would mold it and put it out on a plate, cover it up, and take it to the cellar until it was needed.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers


A mother  with her baby in the rain making a selfie with the baby facing her so the photograph will not show the baby’s face. This is why people are so interesting.


When I was young I used to think, “Why do people do the things they do?”  Is there a cause,  some kind of a reason why?  Having done things in my life that I cannot understand why I did them, how can I be so presumptuous . . . to think I could understand things I know less about than my own experiences which I know more about and fail to understand . . .

painting by Janney


. . . or maybe I did not know more about my own experiences and that is why I failed to understand.

Around and behind the west side of Sensoji is a little store,  Does it make a difference whether you see it close . . .


or from a distance.  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? Is there an “independent objective” standard for personal space? Is it how the other person feels?. . .

and how do you know how the other person feels?—because your “conscience”  is a common shared sense for empathy, compassion and remorse.

What happens when this “common sense” is abused?  Can it be abused for good as well as bad? or just for fun.

For me it was simply framing the woman’s face between the shelves through the front glass, nothing about who she is, how she feels or any wisdom she might have learned in her life.


I wonder what it would be like to live next to a railroad  track, at least when the trains are on time there is a schedule  to your disruptions but I would not like be planning  my behavour around the schedule of a train.


Houses amid hi-rises, wires, vending machines, and a temple  in Honjo, there are a lot of people Tokyo, land is valuable and expensive, What happens when temples or shrines need to sell their land to pay the bills?

Daily people walk by and walk through temples and shrines, daily they experience what it feels  to be Japanese. When many Japanese daily walk by a local temple they do not feel  the  differences  between the different “sects,”  its just being  Japanese.

 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

Houses in Tokyo.


 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

These things used to be more important in my life, or  I liked to pretend they were more important in my life, as you can see smoking was important my in life THEN,

It was probably shortly after this that I quit,


In that sense, without much sense,  or in sense  too often its only me, with my hands in my pockets and my camera in the shadows, standing on the side of the road  watching the parade go by.




Zen i 4 pie

In the sun, still,
like a rock, the turtle,
passes me by.

Walking, along the creek were turtles, a symbol of  longevity and later Janney made this painting. 


Along Alameda Creek, seeing Coyote Hills in the shorter distance, fortunately it runs right by my door like Highway 62 ran right by another door.


I could like ordinary things, whether they happened or not, I can make them up in my  mind or I can remember them however  I want or at least while I am sleeping, listen to podcasts where random pieces of the broadcasts infiltrate my dreams.


Would that be a violation of copyright law? Or appropriate misculturalization? Maybe just general disinformation.

Often I dream I am leaving somewhere by plane to return home, I am late, madly driving down streets I partially remember and sometimes just barely making  it to the plane—Only once did the plane actually land.


Or I am late for my final exam, while walking up the street to the junior high I get lost, even though I remember clearly there were only two streets with one turn to navigate and if I do make it  to the school  I can not find the class room . . .


Or I am on time but I do not know the answers because I did not attend a single class or read a single book.

Someone keeps reminding me that in a photograph the details are important, Who is it? What is it? why is it? When is it? and Where will the end begin? Without answers there is no reason for questions.


And without questions there is no reason for answers—because Eve did not learn this basic lesson  or maybe she willfully refused to do as she was ordered, unable to control her personal desire for knowledge, we all have to suffer life?

Maybe the “suffering part” is just for the “True Believers.” The rest of us are thankful to for Eve getting us out of that place.


“Did you ever buy “boughten” bread or was it always baked your own?”
“Yes, on Saturday. We baked bread everyday because there was six of us. Six children,  Mother and Dad made eight, and the hired man made nine.  . . .


. . . But on Saturday Mother made butter to take to town and she always went with butter and she had customers that she delivered around to in different places.

And she’s say “Now we won’t make bread today, because I might not have time to get it all done before I had to leave.”

So she’d go to Gross’ Bakery, and at that time you could get six loaves all backed together. They weren’t separated: it was a one portion. It was a nickel a loaf  if you took just one loaf , but if you took all six of them they’d let you have them six loaves for a quarter.””

Feeding Our Families     Memories  of Hoosier Homemakers    from Hoosier Homemakers Through the Years , an oral history


Transamerica building  in morning sunlight reflected off the Maritime Building windows.


One of the problems with the abstract quality of words is when people stumble across  a group of words which create they confuse them as a reality.


And while  words are the best we have for interpersonal practical communication,  Art is the best we have for  intrapersonal communication.


Walking in my neighborhood  neither one seeks me out ..


“The first three years we lived with my husband’s mother. She baked three pies every morning before breakfast. Just as regular as the morning came, she baked three pies. One for breakfast, one for dinner and one for supper, I threw out more pie when she was living than I baked after she was gone.”

Feeding Our Families     Memories  of Hoosier Homemakers    from Hoosier Homemakers Through the Years , an oral history


“And you will marry a gunner good
And a proud gunner I’m sure he’ll be.
And the very first shot that e’er he’ll shoot
Will kill both my young son and me.”
The Great Selchie of Sule Skerry