Too of us

A monk asked [Sei]jo of Koyo and said,
“Daitsu Chisho Buddha did zazen for ten kalpas in a Meditation Hall
and could neither manifest the truth, nor enter the Buddha Way.
Why was this?”
Seijo said. “Your question is a very appropriate one.”
The monk persisted, “Why did he not attain Buddhahood by doing zazen in the Meditation Hall?”
Seijo replied, “Because he didn’t.”

Mumonkan Case IX Daitsu Chisho Blyth translation

Human beings are magical . What if all things are sentient.?

I liked the contrasts of the profile of a face to the front of a face and the gestures of one man determined to go somewhere while the other man feels “Why bother.”

When there are two people is the tendency to contrast them or seem them as united. Do these two people share a destiny, a gesture, arthritis?

Sometimes they seem to be just passing in the wind, but that could be mistaken, the REAL photograph may be what is left out of the image—in this case its a little before 6:am and these people are waiting for the free breakfast to open. I made this image in the late 1980s, my mother was still alive, and I was thinking about what it wold be like for her to be this age and waiting for a free breakfast at 6:am, And if she were homeless, what would she do with the rest of her day.

A scene from a Toledo daycare center in 1969 from a series of images for Toledo Model Cities programs. Was there any hope in their eyes? This was an after school day care center , these two would about 70 years old now.

We do not need to see her face, its reflected in his. or maybe they are both a team watching out for any danger approaching from the other way.

Alameda Creek

My meal finished, one short nap,
then get up for two bowls of tea.
I raise my head, look at the sun,
already declining in the southwest.
The happy man regrets the swiftness of the days,
The sad man hates the year for dragging.

But the man neither happy or sad
accepts the life given him, long or short.

Selected Poem Po Chu-I , translated by Burton Watson.

I don’t usually go places, but still I like being at a new place seeing things I heard about from the words of others .

I don”t know if I see them differently or the same .What is a “same thing” anyway, even when we are at the “same place” your eyes are not experiencing exactly what my eyes are experiencing, even if you are standing next to me and there is only 8 inches difference between our eyes. How much difference between our minds?

Maybe I am taller and you are shorter . . . I might be 77 years old and you are 62 years old. We have a difference

Maybe we are friends standing together watching our children compete against each other in a high school football game, or a National Spelling Contest . . .

Or we both make a photograph of a same tree, you send yours to your parents on your iPhone and I manipulate mine in photoshop and post it on my blog .

Letters have meanings,— there is a visual experience, I don’t know what these letters mean, –IFO” or WTO??? Does a graffiti writer want to communicate with me or someone else? or maybe communicate one thing to me and something different to someone else —two messages for the price of one— at the same time with the same marks on the wall….is it gang vandalism of public property or creative expression on a public (cement) medium.

There are many people to meet walking along Alameda ‘Creek, though not everyone wants to meet me , even people I know. Often, like 3 or 4 times a week, a catholic priest passed me by,. If I am walking with one of his catholic church members he warmly greets that person, not looking at me, but if I am alone, if I say hello, he kind of lifts the palm of his hand, maybe he is busy doing a rosary or whatever. But I usually wait to put my line from Heart Sutra at the end of my blog so that it does not get between my efforts to communicate with others.

I have known her for many years, though all of our meetings have taken place on the Alameda Creek Levee. She is a very warm person with a good heart . She is a about 5 years older than me and has lots of stories to tell, over and over again. and I never tire of them. On this day it was her scarf and smile that caught my eye.

Are words are like true feelings or know words are still the same.


I can think of no other culture that manages to be so up-to-date and so traditional at the same time. I believe that has a lot to do with how the Japanese modulate the boundaries of their spaces, notably in their homes . The fuse the subjective landscape of feeling and sensation with the objective landscape of material fact in uniquely effective ways.

Barrie B.Greenbie Space and Spirit in Modern Japan

Do two words become one when there is no space between them or does an uppercase create its own space?

Toll gatekeeper at a Japanese temple.

A pop up banzai store set up on a sidewalk.

I always like the visual tension in the position of the pedal in this image, I wondered would pedaling this bike through the streets of Tokyo make me a more curious person or would curiosity just get me into more trouble? ‘Fortunately I am not a cat.

A visit to a Japanese grocery store in San Jose—Welcome cats,, paper dolls,, oribe tokkuri and guinomi, my favorite sake , a frowning daruma waiting for someone to draw in an eye and make a wish,and some uni,

A computer produced image of the entrance to a Japanese house.

On KQED forum there was a discussion of expensive weddings .People called in with stories of spending lots of money, and often resulting in debt, Some were angry their parents were not willing to contribute more to their special event.
Someone called in and said she hoped that people might think their marriage was more important than the wedding .

Our wedding—my father and mother, my wife and I, and Buddhist Priest Murakami. I donated some money and bought flowers which are always welcome at a Buddhist Temple. I have only had one suit in my adult life. I don’t think I have worn it ten times, the last time at my father”s funeral in 2006. A classic three button with vest, it still looks like new , it still fits and I still don”t like to wear it. My wife and my mother look beautiful in there special dresses. In Japan its unusual to be married in a buddhist Temple, the event usually takes place at a Shinto shrine and in Japan its also popular to have a wedding in a christian church because Japanese like the exotic ceremony., its a popular fashion.

When I first came meet with Reverend Murakami about having the ceremony at the temple he had very outspoken criticism of my motivation saying he was not comfortable with Buddhism being a pop fashion for Americans. It took a few discussions to convince him of my sincerity.

I did not know then that Shin Buddhism does not use Heart Sutra.. My wife’s family temple is associated with Eiheiji (永平寺), a Soto Zen temple founded by Eihei Dogen who visited China in the 13th century and brought Chinese Chan back to Japan.

Gata gate paragate parasangate bodhi svaha


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