Last&first mu

First full moon of the New Year

Visit to Quanyin at Wat Buddhanuso in Niles. Quanyin, as Avalokiteshvara, spoke Heat Sutra to Shariputra.

Four face Buddha at Wat Buddhanusornto is the Thai Phra Phrom  representation of Brahama and is often a part of Theravida Buddhism. The front face represents career and life, clockwise, the second is symbolic of relationship and family, the third is for wealth, and the last for wisdom and health

Thich Nhat Hanh passed last week, he touched many people all over this Earth. I heard him talk in Berkeley over 35 years ago.

White Buddha

And if you are seeking a more aggressive deity, Guan Yu 关羽 Buddha Chinese military general served under the famous military leader Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China.. And a hero of The Three Kingdoms. He was known as the general who defeats bandits.. He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular in  ConfucianismTaoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are often found in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants.

Nakamise Main Street Madonna taking shelter, maybe from the ran or the unending work keeping the modern consumer. economy going g by being a worker spending days making a product and a second job of consumer,, buying the product.

Then using it, while later packaging, and used products go to the garbage dump OR perhaps are recycled, The product, has to be made from other “stuff, and from some meta-level, stuff is really just pieces of Earth. The Earth is our stuff , this is al we have to play with, do we us eit for $500,000 yachts or housing for poor people? At some point do we run out of pieces of Earth to make stuff? or do we learn to recycle everything.

Alameda Creek

I imagined someone doing back flips across the field.

Like Fujin and Raijin at Sensoji, the powering bare tree stands guard for the woods.

Momental records of a camera-computer visual cacaphony

Along Alameda Creek people do not always walk in a line, maybe they are walking three abreast—three -deep,and staggered— they feel like they share a disciplined purpose.

The bicyclist is in the “correct” lane.

One hesitant, the other rarin’ to go.

Looking for what do people do, Is this the way we really are?

Can we leave it on the ground like nature does in the name of entropy?

Reminds me of a line from the song by Michael Peter Smith . . .

The Dutchman’s not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in,

EndPages

Light misconverswaytions with my celph..

When I got interested in string theory, read about more dimensions than the ”ones we know,” I thought the “ones we know” are not even real. One dimension? Its a concept, no “thing’ except a mental concept is one dimensional ;

Two dimensions? Same thing, its a concept we all use, even those no good at math understand that when you buy a rug for a 9′ x 9′ room, you do not bring back a 12′ x 12′ rug..

shado shado

Three dimensions? Basically the same thing, a three dimensional thing is always changing, even if the only force of change is Entropy & Time, which means changing.

A shadow is two dimensional—to the best of our knowledge—even a photographic print on paper of a shadow has some dimension, no matter how small, but the real shadow has none.

A shadow is not a “thing,” its an absence of some real thing— Light. Its having Light misconverswaytions with my celph.

The left is a shadow on an Acoma bowl, the right on a balloon.

Its a universal emptiness which at times is a worrysum . . .

yet is also a reason to reach out . . .

She picked up the book and asked him the meaning of certain words.
“I am illiterate,” he replied, “But if you wish to know the purport of this text, please ask.” “How can you grasp the meaning of the text when you do not even know the words.?” To this he replied, “The profundity of the teaching of the various Buddhas has nothing to do with the written language.”

From a conversation between the Sixth Patriarch and Bhikkhuni Wu Chung Chong.
(I enjoy the translator’s choice of words.)

Gate Gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svhava

Four tell the past

“Little birdie, little birdie,
What makes your head so red.
You’ve a short time for to be here,
And a long time to be dead.”

traditional Appalachian song

Fifty years ago seems like along time ago:

Strong Maine , 1970

Leonard, Cambridge MA 1971

Japan Center, San Francisco, early 1990s

I have reached my definition of dementia —When I go to doctor with a problem, and the doctor tells me its because of my, age, it will not get better, and probable get worse as I age.

Arthritis

Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are part of the everyday life of of Tokyo residents, where people encounter them face to face as they go about their business. Here is one sandwiched in between office buildings with a grande view of an apartment building for their backyard landscape.Temples and shrines are designed for on-demand personal use.

Small among large, land ‘in Tokyo is very expensive and the zoning is very different,

The lush of San Francisco.

Alameda Creek

Individual people have five senses which enable a person to function in the universe. Living things, unlike rocks for example, are required to behave, to do something, to enable survival. Our senses give us information which enables survival.

We interact with the universe and differentiate one thing from another, Some things help us survive,, some do not and some things are dangerous. We use our senses to know and we can only know what we can sense.

We also have the ability to create tools to extend our senses,

While this does enable us to see things beyond the biological capabilities of our human senses, it does not enable us to know the things which might be “sensed” or “known” by other kinds of senses, not just smell, sight, sound, smell or taste. We cannot know what we don’t know.

We also have “mind” or “reason.” Through the process of human knowing we have knowledge—we know a bunch of “things” and we can use the mind/reason to relate them to each other using language.People use their senses to differentiate one thing from another and mind to give it a unique identity—a name.

In one sense the history of people is a history of always ”discovering new things, ” a history which brought a new meaning with the creation and development of writing, printing, and now digital, which makes information instantly accessible and enables a qualitatively new level of comparative analysis.

Sometimes new discoveries shed light —a thing is actually not a thing , but a bunch of different things. Air for the example, the (no) thing we used to differentiate things like a mountain from a tree, actually a bunch of small particles.

Things can have both a general and particular quality to them . We scan peak of horses in general,, a concept, yet each specific horse will never be the exact of the concept and it works well for communication and survival but there no such real horse as the concept of horse.

The camera is a tool to enable people to use light to record a moment of the past.

Still when people see the same photograph often they do not see the same thing

A photograph is a specific record, a particular situation of a thing, and not a general. yet people may still disagree on what they see when viewing the same photograph.

Sometimes its easier for people to agree on what is the general, an ”imaginary concept” of a thing; than on what is the particular, a specific ”Real” thing.

EndPapers

a) People are naturally good; or,
b) People are naturally bad; or,
c) People are naturally good and bad.

”Naturally” refers to a quality of human life which by default is unchangeable, immutable. We all have it, its human nature, in our biology.

Consider even if each of us has the quality, can there be quantitative differences of that quality among individuals . . .

Such as compassion, cruelty, a mechanical sense, a talent, a way with people, an instinct, an intuition.

a) People are naturally good; or.
b) People are naturally bad; or.
c) People are naturally good and bad.

Choose one of a), b), or c) from above: —How might the societies be different?.

Marshall McLuhan tells the story of two women meeting on a sidewalk.One is pushing a baby in a carriage and the other says ,“What a beautiful baby,” and the other responds , “Oh, you should see the photograph.”

I don’t care if my photographs are fake or real, they are just about trying to forget my problems to make myself feel happy enough to get through the day.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate, bodhi svaha

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).

EndPapers

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

Mistadzentures

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.

狗子還有佛性也無

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.

EndPapers

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

Whenning my past

Demontia

At 86 years Mom suffered stroke, severe memory loss and expressive aphasia, I was here and there for the next few months, this is her out of ICU with regular bed in rehab, She was telling me family stories from her childhood, It was a new situation for both of us.

Alone is her apartment,: a japanese lantern they brought back from Japan with a photo of them sitting together, smiling, in front of ofJapanese prints.

For the next three years she lived in a nearby memory care facility. In “memory care” the door to the outside world is locked.

After her operation she had the mental will, and developed the physical capability needed, I lived only ten minutes away, though at lunch time it could be difficult to find a place to park.

I never felt like she did, —she always wanted to be number 1!! Sometimes I felt that way, but she felt that way all the time—put a benchmark in front of her and she is off the races.

Being human we rarely know what is around the corner, except death, and still we rarely know which corner..

Alameda Creek

Of all the planets in all the solar systems in all the galaxies in all the Universe, we (scientifically) know of “intelligent life” only on one—and the “intelligent life form” on that one, Earth, is busy killing each other and has made killing each other a profession and a business in the name of their religion and politics. Who is the enemy?

We may veiw a camera as a machine which when adjusted correctly is used to make an image of “reality”— a photograph, which is a print of the “reality ” as the human eye sees . . .

except when its “photoshopped,” or perhaps is “incorrectly ” exposed, or maybe there was just not enough light for the human eye to see.

Or we make a photographic image from light sources not visible to the humane , such as x-ray, infra red and convert it to an image humans can see.,

The feelings people have about the photograph are in the present, as they see it. Different responses to the event in the image. will not influence the image but may influence interpretations of the image—i.e. how people respond to the image.

Its like the classic sci-fi story of the dinosaur hunting trip and the stepped-on-butterfly—only those people back from the past would know the difference in the present.

Earth quakes, hurricanes and landslides, often we accept the deaths because its a natural disaster—the word itself seems to absolve us of any personal responsibility.

I may get up at night, enter the bathroom, turn on the light and see a bug walking across the floor, I’ll pick it up and squash it—I cannot tell the good bugs from the termites and the house is an investment!!!. Though, when I see a spider in the tub, probably crawled up through the drain, I will pick it up and put it outside, Spider, or spider webs keep the wasps away..

EndPaper

Some say religion is an answer looking for a question.

Some say those who can”t do, teach. yet many of those I have known who can do, cannot teach.

Some say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely which in the end only serves to motivate those seeking absolute power.

f,

Some say people are naturally good, or naturally bad, or born tabla rosa and their personality is a result of their experiences.—nature or nurture.

Here we are, to the best of our knowledge, the only “intelligent life” in the Universe and we are busy killing each other today while being even more busy making bigger and better weapons for the future of human relationships.

Gate Gate,paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha

calligraphy of Heart Sutra verse by Janney