Too daze in Arrow

Words to sea

Before electric lighting became common in the early 20th century, people used candles, gas lights, oil lamps, and fires. Home sapiens have been around for over 300,000 years, and . . . people have been using electric lighting for 0,0043% of that time.

Usually October, and this year into November, persimmons from the tree on the west side of the house.are ripe. Humans have been around for over 300,000 years, imagine what it was like just 50 years ago or beyond, anywhere in the last 299,999,700 years pas.Is always seeing others as your competition and seeing your neighbors as your enemy part of what holds a society together?

“ …at a Way of Tea gathering after the frothy bitter beverage is downed, a guest will invariably turn over the chawan to inspect the kodai. What’s all the fuss? And what is to be found on the kodai anyway
Robert Yellin

The bottom of a bowl potted by Warren MacKenzie, Stillwater, Minnesota. HIs mark is in the bottom center. I have used it for a tea bowl. What is the work expected of a foot (kodai in Japanese) on a tea bowl?

For many of us having your own fruit trees or using pottery are old ways of doing things. Jobs using your hands to earn your living are decreasing as machines and division of labour keep lowering their value, until it becomes so scarce in society it becomes Art—even in a history museum, look at all the Art created to enhance the meaning of the exhibits.

If everyone had a job, would they be satisfied enough not to use illegal or unethical means such as stealing, or killing people or making substandard products to get the things necessary for their living? Might they never be satisfied? Or is there a balance to be found when people are never quite satisfied but satisfied enough to enable a peaceful society which benefits everyone while doing those things which enable the society to survive .


Alameda Creek

In this 300,00,000 years of human beings the development of spoken and written language were major developments in the history” How long did it take to evolve the desire to speak and write? not just in human beings, but it has to to be happening somewhere inside of generations of the various species that evolved into human beings, each species adding a little something to the boiling pot of humanity to be expressed in our human biology and chemistry.


Once when the World-Honoured One, in ancient times, was upon Mt. Grdhrakuta, he held up a flower before the congregation of monks. At this time they were all silent, but the Venerable Kasyapa only smiled. The World-Honoured One said, “I have the eye of the True Law, The Secret Essence of Nirvana, the Formless Form, the Mysterious Law-Gate. Without relying upon words and letters, beyond all teaching as a special transmission, I pass this all onto Mahakasyapa.”

Mumonkan, Case 6, Blyth translation

How` can Buddha pass on the Buddha Mind to Kasyapa without saying words? How` can we even think without words? Its not that we cannot understand the experience of our senses without words— If you get up from your seat and you feel the floor starts to give collapse, zap! your body responds before your mind defines what is happening.

Mumonkan was written in 12th century, a time when China had 500 years of printing behind them while the west still had three more centuries until Gutenberg.

Even though today there are hundreds of books written on Zen, the message of Case 6 is words are not necessary to pass on the Buddha-Mind.

I am not sure whether it is says that written words cannot pass-on the Buddha Mind from one person to another, but it is clear that written words are not necessary.

Hui-neng, the sixth Patriarch of Chan to-be (Chan became Zen in Japan) could not read or write. He worked in the kitchen of a large temple under the Fifth Patriarch of Chan.

The elderly Fifth Patriarch was seeking his successor and announced a poetry contest to all the monks in hope of seeing if there was one who would qualify.

At midnight the “head monk, Shen-hsiu,“ holding a candle wrote a verse on the wall of the south corridor, without anyone knowing about it.”
The body is the Bodhi tree,
The mind is like a clear mirror .
At all times we must strive to polish it,
And must not let the dust collect

When the other monks saw it they were amazed, or so the story goes, but while the Fifth Patriarch was not impressed enough, he thought it best to leave the verse there and have the deluded ones —the monks— recite it. If they practice in accordance with it they will not fall into the three evil ways. Those who practice by it will gain great benefit.” (but not the Buddha mind I guess.

When the Fifth Patriarch asked Shen-hsiu if he had written it, he denied it

When Hui-neng saw the writing on the wall he had to ask a friend to read it to him. And then again he had to ask his friend to write his verse on the wall:

Bodhi originally has no tree,
The mirror has no stand .
Buddha nature is always clean and pure;
Where is there room for dust?

Burton Watson translation

Later when the Fifth Patriarch saw this written on the wall he recognized his successor.·there was some communication through the shaking of rice in pots; Hui-ko visited the Partriarch in his room; received the Dharma, the robe and bowl—to be passed on for the last time—and left with encouragement from the Patriarch to go somewhere else as the other monks will be angry, maybe jealous, because it went to the lowest at the temple.

I don’t want you to look at the words in my photographs,—do not differentiate one “thing” from another “thing,” give it a name or think this photograph is about the relationship between these “things in this one moment of time.”—
Just go on with your day.


Not everyone on Earth has the opportunity to learn a skill when they are young.

Hui-ko: “My mind has no peace and I pray to your reverence to have my mind pacified.”
Bodhidharma; “Where is your mind? Bring it out before me and I shall have it pacified.”
Hui-ko: “The very reason of my trouble is that I am unable to find the mind.”
Whereupon Bodhidharma exclaimed: “I have pacified your mind”
And Hui-ko at once attained supreme enlightenment.”

Dhyana Buddism in China Its History and Teaching Dr. Chu Hsiang-Kuang

My mother suffered a stroke in September, 2008 , lost her memory, developed Expressive Aphasia, Before she had been spending time on sorting, thinning out and assembling personal photographs. After her stroke sometimes we would look at these albums. My parents were “nakado” (marriage go-betweens) for this couple., all their life, they had a close relationship with this couple . My parents were married for 60+ years, usually she did not seem to remember any specifics often she did not know me, but she had feelings,, she felt something Really Important and when we came to this photograph she would hold her hand in this spot for a long time.

Gautama Buddha sought to escape the suffering of the continual cycle of birth and death, but with all the sad times in my life, I ask myself would I not do it again.

Gate gate, paragate, parsamgate bodhi svaha

Seeing is be leaving

Noing, one seas

When we sense things there are two considerations: 1.) Are we limited to what we can experience because of the biology of 0ur senses?.; and 2) What effect does the brain’s “interpretation” on the experience of the senses?

San Francisco looking towards Berkeley

Look at my photographs is if they were printed words in a foreign language, not able to reading the meaning but visually experiencing the design of letters, or symbols, characters ,independent from any translated meaning. Can you feel the meaning of writing which you cannot read the meaning?

You know its a photograph, its not a “ real record of any moment in time”, rather a design of line, color, shape, texture, showing the capabilities of of a photograph and, if you should so choose, to make up your mind what you are seeing.

Alameda Creek

Our senses work well to navigate living on Earth. We have “identified” Gazillions of things— big , medium small; liquid, gas or solid; living or non-living; etc. We took aim at a big rock out in space, shot men there and brought them back —we know the moon is really there. Before we went to the moon, we had figured out that the moon was a big rock, \ not because we had been there to empirically experience it, but because our minds had developed Science which gave us tools to extend our sensual capabilities and “know” the moon. was a real thing, or at least in our experience of the Universe.

Two perspectives discussed a few hundreds years ago in western philosophy: 1) Are our biological sense organs capable of experiencing the “Real Universe,” or only what they can experience in the Universe or simply putswe do not know what we cannot sense or experience.

2) How different is the “original “unadulterated”visual experience” from how our mind tells us what it is..

Our senses experience the Universe and our mind “makes sense” of that experience —when people learn a language they also learn to see the Universe within the confines of the language. The process of culture through which people learn language enables individuals to evolutionary benefits—individuals do not have to learn everything about survival only through their personal experience.

Just the very process of learning language , a wonderful and important tool for the evolutionary development of human beings—through learning a language we come to accept the meaning of the words as ‘real things.”

People do not have to learn everything about life through their own experiences, human culture has been going on for over 300,000 years, we should appreciate it more. Its the glue that keeps society sane from the onslaught of the craziness of individual who view the cause of their short comings and failures as false jpustification for a culture war

In these images ignore any “ real meaning,” don’t spend time trying to figure out what some thing is. Let your eyes feel the image and define your visual experience,, leave the thinking for solving math problems.


It was a long light in Waltham , this is a reflection on a store window while stopped at a red light, intersection about 1972. When I exercise walk , 2-3 miles, for the past three weeks I have used a cane for my right side. At 77 years old, this image reminds me of all the things I did not understand about my father in his old age and when I remember him being the age I am now, I wish I would have asked him more questions. .

Our minds can put us into our own prison, or be a tool to find ourselves..

Morning after snowfall towards the end of Magazine Street, Central Square, Cambridge. “Magazine” refers to where ordinance was stored in New England colonial days, Interesting how the colonists came to see themselves as the victimized inhabitants of the land they stole from the people living there..

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Ten, fifteen, twenty-twenty-two, hike

“If you do not know what writing is, you may think it is not especially difficult . . . Let me tell you that it is an arduous task: it destroys your eyesight, bends your spine, squeezes your stomach and your sides, pinches your lower back , and makes your whole body ache . . . Like the sailor arriving at the port, so the writer rejoices on arriving at the last line.”

Colophon of a 12th century Beautus manuscript from Silox….. from Writing, The Story of Alaphabets and Scripts

What is thinking? We use the words “I am thinking about it” to generally mean, ”I have not decided yet.” Does your mind do thinking?

De people think in words? Make a list of “pros and cons” How did humans think before there were no words, in images perhaps, but how did they know how to differentiate one thing from another thing, which has to be done to give it a name so you can think—simple to do: night sky,; tall buildings,; neon signs; people in the streets, and what is their relationship to each other? A city scene.

Or is the process of thinking , differentiating and defining a part of out biological hardwire?

Early evening at Nakamise Street, Sensoji

We use the experiences of our five senses; the mind defines the things and the relationship(s) between the things and then we know what ’s happening.

Alameda Creek

I might make references to the subject of religion, often a controversial subject which through hjstory has been responsible for lives lost unnecessarily, as well as benchmarks for behavior. outside of human capabilities.

Religion is knowing by True Faith. A True Believer, regardless of any contradictory information knows their faith to be True. We learn by true faith from culture that a photograph is a visual “record of reality.” Or perhaps its just another graphic print technique .Every computer screen is not calibrated to one standard display of color and the artist has no control over that like th eoffset printer or the wood block printer.

Science is knowing by the scientific method, which includes restricting input information to what can be experienced by common human empirical senses—see, hear, taste, smell and touch; an accurate description of the methods and procedures used; a conclusion clearly stated in a common and correct form of communication, such as grammatically correct writing, appropriate for the community of scientists, and peer review of findings.

Science is a democratic approach to knowing. Scientists agree to the standard for knowing, they use the scientific method to conduct experiments and present both the findings and methodology so peers can judge for themselves on the basis of a common scientific standard. Faith is autocratic in nature, people can never know as specifically as tp what words describe about what another thinks or feels

Scientists are human, Its not that they do not do things perfectly, rather they do things, when there are problems they work to resolve them and then redo until they get it right, a process which some times includes multiple scientists over decades. .

This does not mean that scientists might not disagree with the finding(s), it does mean that they will accept it as “scientific knowledge” even when they disagree. They may also conduct future experiments to disprove a previous experiment. This may often happen after new information, not previously known, becomes accepted—this is one way science both checks itself and advances. Science has a a common agreed upon, independent standard for what it accepts as knowledge and there are no rules about what you can choose to investigate, just rules about how you do

Political democracies using voting may have a common and specified procedure for voting, but often the quality of the information and quantity of mis-information individuals use to make voting decisions may be very desparate or perhaps desperate.

Religion knows by Faith, every person determines their own faith, inside of themselves, to their own standard. Even when you talk with “members,” of a “same faith,” they often have different opinions about matters of faith, generally considered “acceptable minor differences” among like minded peoples. Science defines what is a “fact” and then accepts as knowledge that what meets the definition which is independent of personal opinions.

If the human set of knowledge included all the facts—if each of us knew every “thing” in the Universe — it would be easy to find a common definition of knowledge, but humans have no answers for many things, often we disagree on the very words used to describe things and meanwhile science works at finding more new “things.”

Still, sometimes we have to make important decisions about things which we know little or nothing. Faith provides a basis for such decision making. It seems to me a person’s faith should be about how that person behaves, and not about using political power to force the behavior of your faith on others. separate and independent from political matters—Politics and religion need to be completely separated. Joining them always results in violence. One’s faith is not about using the violence of law, police & order, to force your religious beliefs on others.



A monk asked Jõshû, “Has a dog the Buddha Nature?”
Jõshû answered, “Mu.”

This is a famous Zen story (koan) from the 12th century, .Each person has their own Buddha-Nature inside of them, except when there is no inside or outside.

Mumon’s Verse 頌曰
(Mumon was the author/collector of Mumonkan around the 12th century and he wrote this about the koan)

狗子佛性      The dog, the Buddha Nature,
全提正令      The pronouncement, perfect and final.
纔渉有無      Before you say it has or has not,
喪身失命      You are a dead man on the spot.

Downtown Boston 1971: In the background looking across Tremont Street you can see the trees of The Commons.. He has an old D-28 Martin his tight hand fingers are stubs and he uses a flat pick held between thumb and finger stubbs while singing old hymns. Would dog know if someone put in a $1 and took out a $5?


) Dogen is said to have traveled to China during the 13th century and brought Chan Buddhism (Zen) to Japan, 2) Dog is rumored to be “man”s best friend.” Perhaps the problem is believing if there is a question there must be an answer when having the question makes the problem of having an answer in the first place.
On his return to Japan, Dogen founded Eiheji, (Eihei Temple). its a beautiful old temple on the west side of th e country

There was a series of Japanese films around the title character Tora-san, it was very popular, there were 48 films with the same actor as Tora-san, 1969-1995, and with . . .

the same story.: Tora retuning “home” from the last time he left, Tora creating a problem and Tora leaving again, until the next film, with an unrequited romance usually thrown in. It was based along a street in Shibamata where Tora’s aunt and uncle lived at and ran a sit-down-and-eat or take-out dumpling shop.

I remember the 1950s when we looked forward to a big box of pop corn and a new “Francis the Talking Mule.” movie.

Walk up the street to the temple, which has a presence in every film, and walking along the outside of the inside walls of the temple— on a wood floor with your shoes off— are these beautiful old carvings scenes of buddha’s life—Why are scenes from Gautama’s life important when his mission was to teach Dharma of ending the cycle of life & death or is his image proof of ending the cycle.

Question your Faith when ever you can, so when you need your faith, all your questions are answered and your faith is strong. Its a long way to the recycle redemption place with a bike and two shopping carts.

Gate, gate ,paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha

Who’s peak hear, there, or wear?

Confucian scholars often specialized in a single classic, passing on to their disciples their understanding of each sentence in the work. Two separate sets of texts of the classics gained currency—the “new texts”, recorded in Han period script from the oral recitation of elderly scholars who had memorized the classic before the Qin destroyed all copies, and the “old texts”, based on books in the Zhou-period script discovered hidden in a wall in the home of descendants of Confucius.

China  Cambridge Illustrated History      by Patricia Buckley Ebrey

Get in the car, leave home, drive to a restaurant, park the car, enter, get a table and order food, eat and go home.

We don’t use the dining room room much any more . . . A bizen container with rose arrangement, Noguchi style lamp and “corn candles” from Old Town in Albuquerque. I was just passing by and saw the shadow of the flower. I should set it up and redo it, but for now . . .


Often people say Art is supposed to say something, Perhaps even say something about the meaning of life? What is it that you would hang on your wall to see every day? Might there be a different piece for different rooms? or maybe rooms have different themes, like a “trophy room.

Alameda Creek

A “thing ,” or the “concept ” of a thing is about as close as we get to the infinite flexibility of the human mind—I guess one would not see if looking at the political interaction here, but those “disagreements” only represent a small portion of all “things” we share in common with no questioning, no wondering, just blank acceptance as we go on with our lives. That is what keeps us, human beings, surviving.

Having the capability of language qualitatively differentiates human beings from other life forms. Its not a matter of if only some species had a little more of “this or that” they could also do it .

Are we the them who evolved to us?

The contemporary knowledge of science is that life evolved. Somewhere in this evolution process a qualitative step happened or as perhaps as previously thought, there is a “missing link.” Do quantitative changes become qualitative changes. And . . . how do you measure qualities as opposed to quantities and compare them?

Other life forms have various kinds of communication, most of which we may not (yet?) understand, but it is the difference in the quality, not the quantity, of this language biological capability which separates human beings from other life forms.

Theoretically all human beings can talk to each other. Even when people do not speak the same language, history shows that people can learn other languages as an adult than the one they learned as a child, and talk to each other.

And most of the words we use, we agree on their meaning. Words represent things, when people grow up they learn the words they hear in many different social situations, and find a place in society.

The language with the largest vocabulary in the world is English with 1,025,109.8 words.(—not quite sure what to do with a 0.8 of a word, I guess that’s the difference between language and math.

In theory, if there is a finite number of “things” in Universe , a language would be complete when it had a word for each thing, if a language had more words than another it would mean the former had discovered more things about Universe before the latter.

Different peoples may experience same things as different, different things as same. How can words be translated—Literal or meaning? As Earth becomes one culture, just in ordinary everyday human interaction words be will spoken. increasingly people will be speaking a more common body of words which is increasingly being effected by different languages.

A global culture will emerge seeking a global sense of order, perhaps through violence, perhaps diplomacy, more likely some of this and some of that, but if anything like periods of historical cultural growth, there will be a lot of violence, deaths and property destruction.

Whatever that means? Cannot tell from here! Putin attacking Ukraine is being watched in real time news videos all over a world which sees the West calling out “War Crimes, ” but there is no police force to enforce the “breaking of the International Law.” What is a law without the ability to enforce it?

For 300,000 years homo sapiens when confronted with survival problems have packed up and immigrated. Geopolitical sovereign nation states have been around for about 600 years (Thirty Years War?)? compared to 300,00 years—which is the “normal behavour?” Which is the “abnormal behavour?”


Personal visual moments

Decades ago I used to visit the Fogg Museum, once they were showing three head portraits by Rembrandt, all about the same size, small, same layout , images of Christ, Rembrandt, and his father.

Here and there I see hint of myself for a moment and wonder— At 76 years old its more about what has passed than what is to come, this moment will never again be, these particles in the Universe will never again be in this relationship to each other . I guess it all just mirrors and reflections. Maybe this image is latently zapping around the Universe at the speed of light until it finally meets a medium on which to reflect.

Just the everyday instability of being a part of an constantly changing Universe.

Gate gate parapgate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha

Pho to know

Know time fore lorne

In the morning, when the sky is clear, the sun shines from the east reflecting off the TransAm building north-eastward only to to be reflected the windows of the Maritime Building. Maybe that image embeded in the light, searching fora medium, will miss being reflected again, going right out of our atmosphere to journey through space and time to the edge of the Universe.

TransAmerica Building reflection at One Maritime Plaza

I used to like to stop in Truckee on the way to Reno, but the last time I pulled off 80 there were parking meters everywhere. Often there was a different painting on this wall. I first came to California in 1979, I had finished art school, spent a year working at a quality printer—computers for graphic design, i.e. the Mac, had still not appeared,

Brick wall in Truckee

My mother’s name was Rosamonde, but she went by Lynn. Lynn is a city up the coast from Boston.

Union Square, Somerville, 1970

Looking towards Berkeley down California Street,

Waiting at a stop light on the way home from early morning lab tests, I imagined my age, 77, living on the street, everything I owned in a shopping cart . . . I wonder what she thinks about as she walks around Fremont, perhaps taking care of her possessions requires her to focus and gets her mind off her problems.

in Japan pottery is an Art form. Department stores will feature exhibitions of artists or a family kiln, or maybe styles, such as Oribe, Shino or Bizen, or forms such as guinomi ( sake one gulp cup), tokkuri (sake container for drinking) and chawan ( tea ceremony cup).

Ki-seto tokkuri and Kuro-oribe guinomi

A Japanese dinner plate, so simply pleasing.

Alameda Creek

One “natural condition ” of life is the ability to differentiate one “thing” from another “thing, ” for example things you can and cannot eat. An additional “natural condition ” of human life is once you have differentiated a “thing” is to define it, i.e. give it a name, an identity, a sound and a mark to represent it. Unconsciously this process takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence.

When people look at a photograph they visually differentiate one “thing” from another until they come to a place where mind unconsciously feels the things and how they fit together fit together into a meta level One thing—completing the picture, so to speak. Unconsciously this takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence I got it!

A unique quality of a photograph as it has developed is that it the image is expected to resemble what humans see, to be a recognizable object. The process is look at a photograph, identify the parts, relate them to each other . . .

Once that is accomplished, the person “understands” the photograph. Usually that means finding a word for it, such as accident, politician, war, Grand Opening, wedding, selfie, etc.

In my photographs you can feel the different things, and how they come together, but ignoring the usual “capturing a moment in time” record-keeping function which is not relevant and unconsciously the viewer works that out . . .

to discover that while the image feel like a photograph, it emphasize the visual aspects of the lines, shapes, colors, gestures, etc. and less about being a recognizable record of a moment.

The photograph, as a graphic medium, has its own qualities. Traditionally “graphic” refers to the process of reproducing the same image multiple times, such as offset, screen, wood block or etching.

Each of the graphic reproduction techniques has its own unique visual feel to it, people unconsciously put together the things in the image by understanding the feel—if it feels like a photograph then the viewer will assume its a photograph and ascribe certain qualities to it.

In my case those qualities are not there but still the image feels like a photograph.


How can you know your self through your photographs?

Images are like throwing I Ching! There is a message in they’re sumwhare.

There are a great many ways of seeing myself, or for you to see yourself, for me to see you, or you to see me.

And there are just as many ways we can avoid seeing each other as there are to avoid seeing ourselves.

Gate gate paragate, parasangate Bodhi svaha