Sounds know words can no

Red, Yellow, Butterfly, Flower,
Last effort of Summer to Autumn
A memory to linger for a year.

Brush painting by Janney

For me, its difficult to see this image too close, it feels like these lyrics from an Eric Anderson song:

Yes, I would only like to show you
That is all and nothing more
But I will go unbounded
Looking outside of your door

I Shall Go Unbounded Eric Anderson

I was involved in my mom’s care for a few years, sometimes i wold visit her and while she did not know who I was, she was real glad to see me, I wondered if it was because I showed up everyday. During the period of this image sometimes I would arrive and stand in front of her and she did not acknowledge me. Often I had a small click-and-shoot camera in my hand which minimized the intrusiveness of the camera as well as always enabled me to have one hand free.

Early morning tobacco-drying barns in Amherst Mass.

Alameda Creek

We understand empirical information comes to each individual person using their five biological senses.While not every human being has five senses.perhaps for some related to genetic conditions and others from outside events later in life . . .

But all people don’t just hear or not hear—or see, touch, taste or smell—the “quality of hearing” is also distributed differently among everyone, each individual has different life experiences, associated with and because of their senses and Each experience is human.

This has an important affect regarding language which probably originated from, and is continually transmitted by, spoken words and human interaction. While individuals encounter ”Sounds&Words” uniquely most of the differences are very minor, you could say ”nano-differences.

In order to survive society (such as we might think of a “culture), i.e. has stability, even though each individual is unique, there has to be enough “close to common experiences” to produce a language, a common shared view of the world. Still there are those who think these human differences are worth killing over.

Words are not real in themselves. House? We all know what is a house, I say “Go to the green house on the left!” and even though that house is a unique house in this Universe, you know what I mean and can find it. We use the concept “house” in the conversation as a tool to see the individual unique house .

Human behavior in a society—which we are by nature—creates a shared common meaning to an individual sound creating common sounds representing general concepts which individuals use to apply to specific situations. The sound (word) is more than just a shared meaning for communication, its a human tool for knowing.

One human quality is the ability to differentiate a “thing” from other“ things.”People differentiate “things” from each other, create a unique sound , i.e. a word for the thing and by using it make it a common shared meaning..How long were people building this foundational human database of can eat this /can’t eat that; safe here not safe there; and so on and so forth. The same wall is different for everyone.

A phonetic alphabet enables people to creatively use letters to create new words and then pronounce a new sound. never before spoken. Over the past 40 years marketing has done this especially in corporate and drug names _though I personally enjoy when Joyce did it in Finnegans Wake.

What ever communication animals have it is not the same quality as human language which not only communicates as animals can do, but creates common meanings among people.

Its fascinating that this quality is a uniqueness of human beings. For other animals sounds are specifically used for communication, For people sounds have common meanings and individuals who share that common meaning may not have had the experience. Animals have common meanings when each of the individuals has the common experience g to be associated with a sound, such as “danger” or “food.” Unlike animals humans can “walk in each other’s shoes”—when we try.

Even though we are all unique, the natural process of be1ing a human being creates a commonness of the uniqueness —if it does not then the “society,” i.e. the individuals, does not survive.
We have survived, we are here ,we all have it, just some use it for their personal benefit at the expense of all.

Senses are how we know. Without sensual input we cannot interact with the Universe, we cannot know the universe. Language is a human created tool to successfully (survive) interact with the universe .

Marshall McLuhan argued that print had resulted in people disproportionately using more sight with less use of other senses, the implication being that print created a society in which people do not use their senses in balance. Specifically McLuhan suggested that the emphasis on “visual sense” ”resulted in only knowing the universe as a bunch of linear causal relationships.

I listened to a report on NPR by an anthropologist working in the Australian outback who was discovered by a group of people who had never encountered a “different people” before .On inquiry how did they discover them? The people answered that, from about a mile away., they could smell them. they know it was other people by the smell and they were curious. (Note: this explanation is over simplifed and over generalized but the important parts are as reported).


i like zen because of the stories.
Monks were arguing over the possession of a cat. Nan-ch’uan appeared, took hold of the cat and asked, “If any of you can say something to the point he will save the life of this creature; if nobody can, it will be killed.”
No one could so the cat was killed. Later when Chao-chuo returned Nan-ch’uan told him what happened. Chao-chuo took off a sandal .put it on top of his head and went away.
Nan-ch’uan said, “Had you been here a moment ago , you would have saved the animal’s life.”

Original Teachings of Ch’an Buddhism Chang Chung-Yuan

When you first read the story you cannot understand it. When you think about it a while you come to understand it and as time goes by you forget it—the story does its job and then goes away.

That’s why I wonder if I meet a buddha, or a bodhisattva, would I know it? Maybe it makes no difference to the buddha, but the bodhisattva who is delaying their “buddha hood” to help me, or someone like me—maybe someone not like me— become a buddha. Why waste their time?

The fashions in the 1960s, 50 plus years ago, three young fashionably dressed urban men on a small bicycle . . .

Three young men in blue jeans riding down the country road in the back of a pick up, the two on the ends look like brothers, maybe all three are, but I cannot know from this angle, maybe you can.

Sharing something common with myself, I could not do it without the camera as I am too selfie-ish.

After a day walking around Tokyo, just before closing I pickup some discounted sushi in the department basement store, some beer at the Ozeki Asakusa Kaminarimon store and transfer images to the hard drive before going to sleep.

The first time I stayed in a Tokyo Hotel my sister made the reservation. It was a big hotel in Shinjuku and it was the tiniest room I have been in. When I asked the english speaking-clerk he said that if I wanted a cheaper room there were two more smaller sizes for less less money.

from Heart Sutra, Seal style calligraphy by Janney

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is heartsutrazhuancalligraphy0319_800-1.jpg


Mooncake forewon

Last week was Moon Festival, Walking along Alameda Creek I met people who were celebrating, though I did not hear anyone mention the Stanley Brothers performing Blue Moon Over Kentucky bu† the local Sheng Kee Bakery had plenty of moon cakes and plenty of people were making lines to buy.

Moon-gazing, painting by Janney

Its special to sit with someone, enjoy gazing the moon and tasting the mooncake where the character on the top indicates the filling inside . Its ok if you are by yourself, but while these taste good they are best eaten in moderation and with others, maybe four people eat two different moon cakes and each person gets two different tastes, or two people eat two quarters each. Or you are like me, one person enjoying cake and moon-gazing, but mooncakes are best eaten in moderation, so leave two quarters for another day—but best eaten with someone who, with you also enjoys it too.

Does a dog have Buddha-Nature?

Have you ever been bored, maybe on a cold December morning while looking for your mind and the snow reached up to your knees, and you wondered, Does a dog have Buddha-Nature? The answer is in the last character on the right—“Wu” in Chinese and “Mu” in Japanese.


You would not be alone if you did. Someone asked Joshu, who responded, “Mu.”

Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

Ummon’s comment. from Mumonkan

”Mu“ has cearned its own place. This is the “mu” my sister used in her short film Corporate Warrior as a resolving connection between a Japanese country mother-in-law, who after her son dies from karoshi, comes to Tokyo to bring her American-career-minded-soon to be a mother, daughter in law, back to the family country home to birth her future grandchild.

Alameda Creek

Walden Pond is a large pond where on a hot day there will be many people swimming, rowing a rental boats around the pond or maybe spending an afternoon with friends drinking beer, singing and eating fast food,

It 150 years since Henry David Thoreau wrote about about Walden Pond, its no longer a long days ride from Boston, about 20 minutes drive from Cambridge .

Its been 46 years since I was there last one late summers day, Returning to Boston determined to enroll in art school to study graphic design, 30 years old, with my dog (the first dog pictured above) , we stopped one last time for a taste of freedom before entering the city.

I had no idea what I was going to do tomorrow, What was I doing? I knew somewhere in my heart I always wanted to be involved with art.

Yet here I was, college graduate just kind of wandering around seemlessly working my way towards death with no progress, no direction. All I decided was returning to Boston was going to be an end to that.

I was almost broke, I did some day jobs, spent some nights in my van, got some cash in the hand, got into art school , found an apartment and got regular work for 3-4 nights-a-week cab driver in Cambridge—Brattle Cab up in East Cambridge.

Even then I did not understand the commitment I was making, I just went day by day,—school, home work , cab driving and Saturday afternoons .walking with my dog along the Charles..

One year later after three apartment moves and once my dog was stolen, but I got her back, I placed my dog with a family on a farm in Vermont, I thought it would be better for her, I am not sure it worked out or not, Its a piece of sadness in heart that never goes away.

I graduated from art school, worked at a major printer in Boston for a year learning about the relationship between design, production of camera ready art and what the printed piece looks like when it comes off the press.

I learned a lot there at the printer and in 1979 I drove across country arriving in SiliconValley where fortunately I had some friends who let stay in their apartment for a couple of months until I was settled—Thank you!!

My car blew up , cost all my money to fix it and manage an apartment deposit, so I took the first job I could get, working in a small ad agency and a year later I rented an office in Fremont at $35 month, but no clients but I had a phone and back then you could cold call and connect with people—make 100 phone calls, get five appointments and one job. Along the way I received help from some other kind people. and the business footer 35 years designing marketing communications materials enabled me to marry, and have a family.


Memorial Day,, Marshall, Minnesota, 1971: Not sure what to say , what you see in the photograph is what it felt like living there for one year.while teaching Sociology at the local college.

Street Klansman

Head-to-head discussion on the open street

How often it seems an answer is busy in search of a question—In the case of Nansen’s cat Joshu came too late.

Brother and sister selling lemonade on the sidewalk, Central Square, Cambridge, on the lowerr part of Magazine Street— the street which in late 1700s was the road from Central Square to the Magazine Depot (where they stored the ordinance ) at Cambridge Port along the Charles River..Since I moved to California its become an historical (gentrified) area.

After all that I still feel like I am on the outside looking in at a world that doesn’t want me; then I remember I never would have experienced my life if I would have been in that world

Ending lines in The Heart Sutra, calligraphy by Janney


I like the stories

I never had  questions that would lead me to wonder about God—actually its not that I never had those questions, when I thought or felt about it there seemed no reason to pursue it. I was interested in Philosophy and religion is often considered in the same category so I have been exposed to it intellectually.

Buddhism is classified as a religion but there is no God—not some, or one. The faith is to awaken the Buddha inside of you. Is this the same Buddha for everyone or does each of us have our own personal unique Buddha different from everyone else.

I never understood why we should have to “awaken the Buddha inside,” why is My Buddha sleeping in the first place? (I am sure there is an answer in the old books somewhere). At least in Christianity the separation from the perfect life is clearly explained— Eve using her women’s ways influenced Adam to break God’s order for which they and all of us to follow were condemned to a life and then a death, I guess we only get one. I enjoy the stories in Zen much more .

So in Buddhism the purpose of awakening the Buddha inside of you is to end the process of “alienation by reincarnation,” compared to Christians who seek to end the process of one life-one death by being allowed into Heaven.

A gift from a friend, a hand carved Buddha from a vendor located at the Mahabodhi Temple, site of the Bodhi tree— where Shakamuni mediated and rediscovered enlightenment.

When I was 12 years old my father returned from a San Francisco business trip with a little book of Zen sayings and little by little my interest has grown. I think Zen has the best stories, not just in the category of religion, but in the category of stories. One of my favorite is the Sixth Patriarch of Chan.

A molded or shaped piece of soft metal attached to a piece of wood, bought at the Berkeley Flea Market early 1990s from a Korean vendor.

Shaka Buddha born and raised in India, established Buddhism in the 6th Century BCE.. It was popular for awhile and for centuries it spread from Greece to China all along the Silk Road. Bodhidharma (aka Daruma) brought Dhyana to China around the end of the Sixth Century where it grew for a few centuries, and later, about 1200 CE, it came to Japan as Soto and Rinzai Zen.

The Fifth Patriarch, being old, was seeking someone to pass on Daruma’s robe and bowl as the next patriarch. At the temple Shen-hsiu was considered to be outstanding in his qualifications; Shen-hsui, still uncertain of himself, snuck out in the night and wrote this on the wall:

translation by D.T.Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism

The Fifth Patriarch was not moved by Shen-hsiu’s poem.. Hui-neng , an illiterate country boy who worked at an entry level job in the kitchen preparing rice. saw the writing on the wall, asked his friend to read it and then asked him to write his response, on the wall :

translation by D.T.Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism –

Upon reading this the Fifth Patriarch immediately recognized Hui-neng as his successor, transmitted the Dharma, gave him the bowl and the robe and sent him on his way —with a warning that the other monks might be angry at this succession and seek to do him harm, and that is another story.

In the west the common media sense of “Zen” is that it refers to “getting down to the basics” of something— Many books have titles such as The Zen of This or The Zen ot That implying the reader will learn some basic elemental secret to the subject separated from the BS to become more focused on only the essentials.

To others is something more simple

Alameda Creek

In a sense reincarnation is materially possible,

Each of us is a specific set of particles, the Universe is six billion years old, and it made1of a bunch of particles which spend their time making thing s by constantly joining and separating with each other.

One could figure out how many particles are in the universe . . .

track their movements and calculate the odds of a set of specific particles once again coming together?

Still, the particles that makeup a person are not static, throughout our lives they are continually changing, a person is not one set of small particles but a set of constantly changing particles.

and the only chance for a person to be (materially) reincarnated is for every particle to be exactly the same and be in the exact same place again, which might require every particle in the universe to be exactly the same exact place again.—Is that in contraction or expansion mode?

At this time we cannot know where a particle is and what is it’s the velocity at same time , at any specific moment we only can know one. of these.

Can you remember before you were born.? Matter is conserved and energy is neither created nor destroyed . . .

kPerhaps you could say the energy is there but the matter is knot or the matter is there but the energy is not.


Where do you start? What is beginning of this road?

One could stand around looking good, hoping it comes by . . .

Brush drawing by Janney

or seek a window of opportunity . .

But you knead to be prepared . . .

One person’s opportunity is another’s prison

tBut one day you wake up in the morning and its clear as can be . . .

ready to be found . ..

Two Brush drawings by Janney

and sometime I may need a little push .

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Know options please

We ourselves are among the objects formed in this way. A group of particularly fine atoms comes together to make a body and a mind in the form of a single entity, a human being, whose eventual dispersal is inevitable.
The Story of Philosophy • partial summation of Epicurus’s philosophy • Bryan McGee

One moment in time, 1/125 of a second when light is good and a photograph is made, One moment when these small particles came together to make this scene, the universe experiences itself simultaneously as subject and object!

This couple had just arrived from Appalachia in an old car with a back seat full of unpacked clothes, and a few personal belongings . . . and no money.. I was there at the moment taking photographs of the “bureaucrat at his desk.” Think of moments in your life when you felt deep in heart t you had no options; not did not have a good option, but no options looked better than the sadness you were in.

We often imagine childhood to be a time of “innocence”— a time when we were not aware of feeling there were no options in life, .a time we associate with the Garden of Eden.

Its one part of the human condition, Enabled, or condemned, to have the quality of learning/knowledge. In order to survive we have to do things, we have to behave. When we do things that are successful behavior we survive and then we do them again, and again, and again.They become bahaviour patterns and create a social structure of behavior. This is the process of culture.

Culture is always in process. As we behave we survive by changing/creating the material world we live in which prompts new behavours from individuals and the cycle keeps never-endingly repeating itself.—which it will do until human beings are extinct— culture is a property of human beings, it does not exist without them.

Some kind of a “ 1960s campus Be-In”, students and teachers taking time out of their lives to do this behaviour. Wil lit be successful?

Alameda Creek

Almost everyday I walk along Alameda Creek, along with doing such other things as waking up, eating, pooping and peeing, talking, lifting my hand up or down, watching tv while eating, turning on the computer, brushing my teeth, driving to LA, and on and on . Even sleeping is doing something.

We have words we speak and write to communicate with each other. Language is a great creation of human beings, and every peoples that have survived has a language. Often people confuse having a word for “something” with “knowing the something.

We have words for the things we do, but they all have their own meanings .. . . and sometimes the meanings are overlapping— driving to LA can be one thing, eating at a restaurant another thing, but sometimes the eating at a restaurant is included in driving to LA.. This becomes clear when you drive to LA with someone, no-one discussed eating but everyone expects to stop and eat on the way—its , an assumed part of the trip, no one mentions it before, and somewhere along the way someone says, “Lets eat?” and no one is against it.

Words are a human creation, and graphic representations of those words —writing— is also a human creation—spoken and written language are tools which facilitate success for human survival . . .

. . . as a society.

The universe has unleashed this phenomenon which we call “Us;” Humanity; people. Its our tool for successful survival, and its our greatest challenge, perhaps even our greatest enemy..

The thing that enabled us to successfully survive is also our negative.

We are all different, all individuals have a unique experience, it makes each us different. not different enough to destroy society but different. Our successfully survival comes with increased population, more people, having unique experiences making more differences . . .. . . Who is lost in the crowd? . . .Who finds themselves in the crowd?

Outside of our own experience we do not have anything else, its sad when we think someone else’s experience is better than ours—and even sadder when “those people” believe their experiences are better than ours. Flying first class feels good, but over 1000 people die from starvation every hour, Buy a car for $300,000, or a Van Gogh for millions??

End paper

Celebrating Mother’s day , painting by Janney

Who dresses the female mannequins in this store where the employees (I saw) were all male? This guy looks like he is admiring his own work tothe delight of the customer.

Walking to church Sunday morning in East Boston passing the Purity Cheese Company, circa 1970,

Artist Momo-Cha using a liquid chalk to paint the sidewalk to celebrate Asian/Pacific Heritage Month inferno of the e San Jose Buddhist temple.

Chant the Heart Sutra each time you click the shutter, you are the mirror of the Universe.

Gate Gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha

Image a nation

Thousand Character Poem

Two eight character poems from the Thousand Character Poem brushed in Seal Janney.From bottom top:

How rain is made,
How frost is formed.

Gold was produced from the Lishui River,
Jade was mined from Kungang

The characters from the above image top two lines were also written on the the veranda of this building late 1800s

金生麗水, 玉出昆岡
Gold was produced from the Lishui River, and jade was mined from Kungang (Kunlun Mountain)

Here are all the eight character two line poems reading top to bottom then left to right that make up the Thousand Character Classic. Are there cultural differences between writing read left to right, right to left, or across or up and down?

A contemporary Heart Sutra by Janney…”

..Heart Sutra in Siddham, a Sanscrit related script, used in old India and traditionally used in Buddhist sutra copying. The following two examples are from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens

Heart Sutra in Seal Script. One question with copying sutras is who does the original translation? There are likely many different translations? Maybe the scribe makes a mistake or makes an intentional change?

Alameda Creek

Having a word for some “thing” makes a difference not just in how people see that “thing” but whether they see it all.

People created sounds for communication which evolved into language, a set of shared sounds with common meanings.

The shared or commoness develops from the common behaviours of individuals that make up the society. It was this common behaviour being expressed as a social structures in a functioning society which enabled individuals to successfully survive.

Still, people are individuals, and as the society is successful, increases in population reflect the interconnectness of the individual behaviors and how the behaviour of individuals fits together as a unified social structure and less of Is it the “exact same” behavior..” Society is the unified integrate, more or less, relationships.. We may agree about the meanng of the words, but we do it using the same words which is the glue, like a “ higgs boson” of society.

Take care ! the society which enables social survival also demands compromise of individual expression. Freud would diagnosis it as psychological repression of the natural self.

It pops up in many different forms,. this idea that there is a “natural self” and human suffering—individual or social— is the result of the success of survival of the society needing the individual to repress his/her natural desires and wants to conform to society.

What solution is possible? Society enables individuals to survive while it destroys the natural spirit of individuals.

In modern society the natural spirit of the individual is both repressed and unexpressed, and both society and individual can never realize their potential. Or society which enables individuals to survive, rewards those who, free from social restraints break the bonds of “societal . repression” and show their true selves, some as cultural icons while others as criminals.

End Papers

“By God’s sword, if all abandoned the king, do you know what I would do? I would carry him on my shoulders step bested, from island to island, from country to country, and Wold not fail him not even if it meant begging mu bread.”
Wiliam Marshal, guardian and protector of the young Henry III, (c. 1226)

William the Marshal, in his 70s years old then , was a long time enforcer for various members of the Plantagenet family. When King John died of food poisoning his son Henry II was very young, and his claim to the throne was threatened was usurper waiting to grab his chance. Rather than returning to the official place to recognize the young Henry as king, William Marshal had the young Henry immediately recognized as king on the spot denying Stephen.

But why I remember Marshal is— King John had, under duress, signed the Magna Charta, and later reneged and re-signed and reneged ac couple more times and one of the first things William did as regent for the young Thousand character classicing Henry was had him sign the Magna Charta to make it the law of the land.

The personal computer—the smart phone is a personal computer—is a person’s direct individual connection to the world.. On public transportation oe afternoon this man was having a personal conversation with a personal therapist concerning the death of his mother that morning. Everyone in the car could hear him and the response over the diner the train. Many people felt their personal space had been invaded by this man bringing his intimate problems to a public place, and perhaps as some time passed, people felt empathy for the man . . . until he started crying about his own problem— soon he would die from cancer—which continued for two more stops at which place I departed..

If there is an “absolute human nature” than do the compromises of the individuals living in the society deny their natural expression of being human? or do they enable it.

Or perhaps the “natural state” of being human is plastic, adaptable & adoptable, “go with the flow” so to speak. Do people make the changes in society or does society make people change. Perhaps too often words we commonly use to describe what happened become words that we use to assert casual understanding where is no cause at all, we just believe there to one.

Does any of this give a clue as to why people do the things they do? Does having a word for a thing, being able to speak that word, being able to write that word, mean you, I or anyone understands that word. Maybe too often having language which enables people to communicate—i.e. successful survival—also enables the combination of other things like ignorance and political power.

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, bodhisvaha