- Shunryu Suzuki Index  - WHAT'S NEW - table of contents - DC Home page - DC Writing Index

dc misc four

DC Misc Index

See the recent (2015 and beyond) cuke blogspot dchad misc (some of which repeated herein)

3-26-17 - My eldest son Kelly was with some friends and called What's App or something - I don't know, put me on speaker phone. I connected the excellent wireless Bluetooth earplugs he gave me for Xmas.

He wanted to know if I remembered when he ran away. Oh yes I did and do. We talked about it for a while and what we remembered. I'd call it the time he walked away.

Spring of 1978. He was five years old. I used to drag him around with me to meetings and all sorts of stuff. Sometimes he'd get bored. I took him with me to a meeting with the head of a neighborhood center in Potrero Hill in San Francisco. There was a whole building. Maybe a youth center. I was representing the California Conservation Corps. There was an outdoor recreation area that was good for Kelly next to the room where the man and I were meeting. After a while Kelly came in and said he wanted to leave. I told him to wait, that we weren't finished. He said either I take him now or he'll walk home. I told him again we'd be through in a while. When we were finished I couldn't find Kelly. Went out, looked around on the street.

Called the City Center and they got people out immediately looking for him. Zen Center was tight communally back then so a number of people dropped what they were doing and went on in cars. His mother Dianne (Daya now) was the buyer for the City Center and had use of a vehicle but people told her to wait there for when Kelly comes back. She says she mainly remembers sitting on the steps and being angry with me for not keeping an eye on him. Some walked toward Potrero Hill from Page and Laguna. I drove around looking keenly side to side trying to cover the likely routes he'd take in that confusing maze of streets in the two miles or so between where he'd left from and the City Center at Page and Laguna. I stopped and called after fifteen minutes. No news. At about thirty minutes decided I should call again and then a thought struck me -  Hey - Kelly's my son. I should go right to him now.

And I did. I drove with conviction, made a few turns and within a couple of minutes drove right up to him. He was crossing the street, a man holding his hand as they walked. I stopped the car in the street, got out, thanked the man for helping him, said, "Kelly! I've been looking all over for you. A lot of people at Zen Center are out look for you."

Kelly responded, "I don't know why. I wasn't lost."

We drove up to the City Center where about twenty people were on the steps and in front. They all started cheering to see him.

He'd almost gotten back. He was at Guerrero and Market when I found him, across the street from Gaylords ice creamery he still remembers. That's where Laguna comes out to Market. He just had three blocks to go to get to Page. He said what he did was correctly walk downhill from where we were and when he got to a busy street, wait for someone else to cross and walk with them.

3-25-17 - Thoughts on seeing David Padwa's photos of him in India and the chorten in Santa Fe

Those photos are great. Will be adding to your page. Appreciate taking it back to then and forward to the chorten finished. When I lived in Santa Fe for a year summer 92 to summer 93 with Elin and baby Clay, Jonathan Altman took me to the chorten for a visit. I talked to Russell Smith and took on a day a week - Monday - for being there for late day meditation. Elin and I would do thirty minutes each with whoever else showed up and the other would hang out with Clay in the mini park there. Made friends with a young woman with her kid who confided in us she supported herself through stripping and escorting. Not everyone was comfortable with that so she was one of our friends that year. I remember being there with you and Richard Baker for some ceremony where you spoke most eloquently. Liked visiting Joan Halifax too at the next door home where we'd met and dined years ago then Richard and Philip Whalen et al. Took my 19 year old son Kelly to meet her and when he got up to pee she asked if I minded if she hit up on him and I said be my guest - but there was no time for hanky panky and she knew it - just playing. And when I've gone back there passing through I've always tried to drop by the Chorten to say hi. So good on you for doing that.

5-05-16 - Daydreaming myself in a spotlight

Hillary Clinton will be 69 this year. I'm two years older. She'll be asked obscure questions like how we should relate to the president of Turkey and she'll say that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a good friend and so on. I imagine if I had to answer all those questions all the time like her that I'd go, "Uh... uh... his name's on the tip of my tongue..." and so on like that - and I mean even if he was a good friend. So I guess a requirement for running for office in the US is not to have that nominal aphasia problem or to have a press that will help you along like Reagan had - or a receiving box on your back and earpiece for help from Rove et al like the Shrub.

4-28-16 - Bali Vipassana Retreat Report April 2016

3-14-16 - Is and Isn't

3-12-16 - Another Discovery

3-11-16 - Offerings (Persembahan Persembahan) - a song in Indonesian and English and a video

3-04-16 - Was watching a ridiculous film the night before last and stopped in the middle to go to bed. Yesterday I finished a ridiculous piece started a few days earlier and posted it - Jealousy. In it, [spoiler alert] a couple blinds themselves. Later last night finished the ridiculous movie in which [spoiler alert], with no hint of this in what I'd seen the night before, by the end the couple had blinded themselves. Posted at blog here with image.

3-03-16 - Jealousy

2-29-16 - A Broken Promise

"May we meet again?" he asked her clutching her hand.

"Can you wait?" she replied.

"I can wait forever for you," he said with tears forming.

"Very well," she said, "Can you be here on this day next year. Can you wait that long?"

"I can. For you I can," he answered in a trembling voice.

"Very good," she said. "If you are here, I will be too. Goodbye for now."


She did not break her promise. He broke his which broke his heart - though nothing else was pressing. He was attracted to the unlikely and then the impossible.

2-24-16 - Not only the humble. We are all anonymous. - Kabumkan

2-15-16 - Everything is If. Katrinka said this the day before yesterday and I keep mulling it over like someone on acid who hears some simple statement and sees the whole universe and everything through that matrix. - dc -- post today on cuke blog

2-12-16 - Habits Self Destruct, or Maybe Katrinka's a Witch

Today makes 11 years since I had any coffee.

The 9th, my birthday 11 since a puff of pot.

The last hour of last year 11 since any alcohol.

July 1st of last year since any tobacco.

Unlike previous times, it was all effortless,
The results of requests I'd fairly forgotten.

Also unlike previous times, have had no related, leftover urges.

I wonder if I'll ever stop bragging.


1-07-16 - Another World

11-28-15 - One and Another Incarcerated

11-06-15 - Thinking of You - a song for Katrinka with video

9-11-15 - Afterwords - the last chapter of Freedom Songs

8-08-15 - Article on Alan Watts at 100

5-01-15 - Posted on cuke blog as Eleven Years Ago Today


Eleven years ago today, I walked into the Pelican Inn with Clay and some friends. It was a busy Sunday. A familiar face inside the door greeting customers - Katrinka. Knew her from the Sand Dollar in Stinson Beach. Now she was manager of this most English pub and Inn. At the beach told Clay and his buds to find their way back to Green Gulch, walked back to the Pelican Inn, and now we're looking out across a bay toward the Malay mainland.

4-23-15 - Posted on cuke blog as A Card Reading Gone Wrong.


Clay and I were visiting with Mike Gilmore in Desert Springs a few years back. Mike was an old Zennie who was the worst drunk we ever had at ZC that I can remember. He sobered up in the early eighties and became a rather successful artist and Tarot reader to folks in that area. 

He used a standard deck of cards. Had a different sort of system than what I'm used to seeing. Needed a birthday before he started. Stuff like that is fun and it's hard not to pay rapt attention, but I've always preferred winging it with intuition rather than getting too into interpretive systems. So Clay's birthday is April 19th - just a few days ago - and Mike took that in and looked at the cards and began saying things which I don't recall except that I kept saying to him, "No, no, no, that's not him at all." And Mike said, "The cards are never wrong," and I said yeah he'd been more on before but this was not on - it was off. Then he did a double take and went, "Oh no - I made a mistake - I was reading for April 20th." "Well that's Hitler, not my sweet Clay," I said. So Mike started giving another reading and then I had to say he'd nailed Clay. Yep yep yep. That's him. That was an interesting little accidental test. Mike Passed on a few years back.


3-22-15 - Posted on cuke blog as Two Statues from the Island of Milo.

with this note: Sent this idea to Nathan Strait and he zipped this out. Met him at Taigen's Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. Check out Nathan's website. He's been a graphic artist for the Field Museum there. - DC







3-20-15 - Cherry Wood

3-15-15 - Posted on cuke blog as That Last Trip

I remember on my last acid trip in 1967 February on a hillside above Muir Woods,

Tamara Robertson my quiet guide or guardian - she walked down to talk to a ranger who was passing in the early morning - the only person in our 20 or so hours there. Had fasted and meditated beforehand. I had sat full lotus for many hours. Felt no pain. Coming down from celestial highs of the night, I saw my life and the habit of thinking of spiritual practice as something in the future when it was always right here. I had an urge to communicate that to Tammy, the only words I remember speaking - raising my right hand, index finger protruding to make a point, saying the first few of the sentence I wished to utter which was to start something like, "I was living under the notion that..."  but I only got as far as "I was living..." and an explosion of miraculous light literally blew me back on the ground. As it subsided I righted myself to a vision of a ring of beings above calling me onward, beyond them Suzuki and Katagiri in their brown robes standing. The word "angfanger" appeared and took on various forms and continued to be there. That's the last I remember, the word anfanger which seemed to hold great meaning though I neither knew what it meant or cared. It's German for "beginner."

3-03-15 - Posted on cuke blog as A Neat Story from Ramblin' Jack

Remembering the Panama Hotel and Restaurant in San Rafael. My mate Katrinka worked there for six years or so up to a couple of months before we left for Asia. She booked people into the hotel, hosted, and was in charge of the music which was great. Mainly jazz but some folk and mixed. One person I enjoyed seeing there was Ramblin' Jack Elliot.


Ramblin' Jack lives in Marshall over on the coast in Marin County. He came in every few months to hear a band and usually played something with them at the end of the night. I think the lead singer is his girlfriend. He used to hang out in the bar at Marshall and had a reputation as a heavy drinker. Think he got over that because he was always clear and fun to talk with at the Panama. We talked about legendary producer Bob Johnston whom I've known and who helped me out with music and Jack said he'd done an album with Bob. I told him Bob and I had had dinner there not long before. Bob was an early producer of Dylan and Jack was a mentor to Dylan and a protégé of Woody Guthrie. I asked him if he read much and he said he read a lot. Another sign of not drinking. He gave me his address so I could send him a copy of Crooked Cucumber, a PO Box with RJE for the name. I don't do that much cause I have to buy them. He said he didn't know much about Zen but that Woody Guthrie had taken him to a home in Topanga Canyon in about 1956 where they met a guy who was into Zen.


I said I'd heard a story about him and Mic Jagger and wondered if it was true. I told him the way I'd heard it and he said that was close and told it this way. He had been bumming around Europe for five years or so with his mate, being a busker and getting by, and one evening late in London he was standing on a platform waiting for a train and there were some boys on the other side waiting for their train. Just them and the waiting. He said he took out his guitar from the case and played them a half dozen cowboy songs and then waved and rode off. Twenty years later he met Mick Jagger who told him he'd been one of those boys and that the next day he'd gone out and bought his first guitar.

2-15-15 - Valentines Day Poem 2015 (for Katrinka)

1-08-15 - As for the tooth found in McDonald's fries in Japan, I'd say that was the healthiest part of it.


12-29-14 - One way to look at the body with its nervous system and brain is as a filter of awareness assisting us in our pretending. - Kabumpkan

12-27-14 - Further comment on yesterday's post on The Science Delusion by Robert Sheldrake (see below). Again, it might be that every example he gives is flawed, but that's not the point. See Steve Stark's comment of March 8th on the Ted Talk Conversations on this subject. When I look at news I tend to glance at the headlines and sometimes read into one, but am eager to read the science reports. To me the more science the better but I can't help but notice if they get into claiming too much or criticizing areas they don't understand - as Neil de Grasse Tyson did when he rightly praised an historic precise scientific prediction and then compared it with obvious disdain to the predictions of profits and mystics, seeming to dismiss them en masse and anyone who follows them as pre-scientific fools. The word prophet has come to be understood as someone who tells the future but that's not the key meaning. Here's an Orthodox view. His inclusion of mystics seems to enlarge the scope of the put down. To me, prophets and mystics are (or should be) those who are aware of big reality, emptiness, god, dao, etc. I'm into prophets and mystics but if one of them predicts the future I wouldn't bet on it. To me the fascinating world of science is reporting on the vast and marvelous small reality, the appearance or seeming reality, the convincing illusion (Einstein's term). I don't see it as unimportant, quite the opposite, when viewed in the light of what Ramana and Suzuki call reality, the phenomenal takes on greater meaning. Einstein ridiculed both literalist religion and atheistic materialism, saying he preferred the former to the latter since at least there was a sense of transcendence. Atheism is not inconsistent with the big picture, just atheistic materialism which holds there is this and nothing more. To me it's all a mystery and all these words only hints handed down to us from the empirical evidence personally realized and referred to by countless wise and awakened ones with vastly varying approaches.

12-26-14 - Heard a Ted Talk about The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake and thought it's about time. Then I discovered that it was yanked from the Ted Talk list. Didn't surprised me. Read that as a Ted Talk it got 35,000 views and as a banned Ted Talk it's now been viewed by over half a million. It's the sort of stuff I think when I watch the great science shows I have linked to. Love em but to me they really buy into the material realm as all there is unless there's more material realm. Not saying I agree with anything in particular that Sheldrake says either. - DC -  

See it on Rupert Sheldrakes site with relevant links and follow-up

On YouTube

Ted Talk Conversations on this - really interesting

12-13-14 - Have been looking forward to writing this date. - dc

12-08-14 - Happy Buddha's Enlightenment Day - in  the Japanese tradition anyway.

Who da buddha you da buddha da who da buddha. - Kabumpkan

12-01-14 - When we finally get what we've longed for, we enjoy it best if we simultaneously let it go. - Kambumpkan

11-23-14 - I've got the weirdest problem with my antique Front Page 2002 (which is what I use to make cuke) giving me an System Exception Access Violation message ever since the last MS update. So far I have figured out how to get around it but it's definitely in the way. Pray for me.

11-21-14 - A footnote on Einstein's ideas on religion. I remember his writings on this being criticized as naive and suggestions that he should stick to science. I think they hold up quite well when matched with the Perennial Philosophy as opposed to superstitious literalism. As with his science, his instincts on religion are impressive. He also had a sense of humility and the limits of our ability to comprehend such matters. He believed in a cosmos of laws and knew the laws of science were not in accord with common sense and surely knew that the laws of spirit were also beyond figuring out with our normal thinking or imagination. He said he didn't get his science that way or with math even as I understand it. Don't know how he did it. Maybe inspiration as with Tesla who said that the idea for the motor just occurred to him all at once, not as a result of logical process. But it all had to check out however it came to him. And really Buddhism is that way to. As Buddha said, Don't take my word for it. Inquire for yourself. - or something like that. Here's more from Stanford (not easy): Einstein's Philosophy of Science

11-20-14 - Einstein's religous ideas - Wikipedia - great stuff - thanks Gene Whitman for reminding me. I remember reading Einsteins's Ideas and Opinions when I was a teenager. Quite resonant with how I was raised - body and mind are one, no personal god, transcendental. We didn't have the science stuff down like him and were basically into a mind only approach, but I've always thought, like he says, there's no possible conflict between scientific and spiritual truth. "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Of course he was no fan of organized religion as he'd known it but he found plenty to praise in the Torah, Bible, New Testament, and even mentioned Buddhism. - dc

While we're on the subject of body and mind as one, I'll link to a past post that includes an experience from the catacombs of my past called Mind And? Body?

That's the tail end of a real equation in the photo - something that applies only to the speed of light.

11-18-14 - See today's post in Harm Reduction.

11-10-04 - Watched the first episode of the new Cosmos: a Space-time Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson and loved it. It was great. I loved how he started it with the basic scientific approach of questioning and testing and continuing without sticking to anything - don't remember how he said it but seemed to me it was a good rule of how to approach spiritual pursuits too. Look at our assumptions. Then naturally I watched his show with a critical eye while eating up all the great stuff he was saying. I remembered how when he came out of the film Gravity he tweeted some scientific errors in the film before saying that he enjoyed it and got some heat for that. So - hey Niel - your space ship makes a sound in space when it travels. No biggie. I'd say he should be careful about assuming what people on earth have known and not known and how they've seen things. I've heard him say before for instance that before a certain date everyone thought the earth was flat and I doubt that. Also he made it seem like only one person other than Copernicus challenged the idea that the earth was the center of the universe (though there was another exception included in  a ten minute cartoon about that one person). Here are three links to rather interesting rebuttals to that presentation. Patheos with a Catholic historical perspective, Discover Mag, and Wired. I'm too ignorant to do more than say, wait a minute - you're just talking about European history and missing a bunch of folks in that. He also assumes that Guido came by chance, by a lucky guess, to see the earth as revolving around the sun and the stars as more suns. Sounded to me like Guido had some sort of deep visionary spiritual experience that was the source. I love how Tyson expands our picture of the immensity, complexity of the physical universe and natural selection but he doesn't know anything about any other levels like say, Hua Yen Buddhism or so many examples from so many traditions. Oh well. I can't wait to watch the next one.

11-06-14 - Fascinating research (thanks Gregory) on how magic mushrooms affect the brain. As with the 10-28-14 link to the Tricycle interview with Even Thompson, there's stuff on where consciousness is located. He said in the body and not just the brain but this research is looking at networks and networks of networks within the brain. I think a few things when I read this. One is wow how good it is they're doing this research and how if the human race survives we'll keep learning more and more about how things work. And I think about how it's just evil bad wrong that it's illegal to eat these mushrooms and that people are persecuted for it. And I think how neat it is how the various sciences keep showing both he interconnections and all that there is to be interconnected. I think about how along the way there will surely be new discoveries and inventions leading to more than mere weapons and consumer products. I look at my own naive, dualistic ideas of what consciousness is and how it ultimately has no location or substance, that it's one of the five skandas marked as empty and toss it all away marveling at how mysterious everything is.

11-05-14 - Kids and babies do so many things the same though they're from very different cultures - especially notice the sounds - laughing, crying, complaining, urging, enjoying and think, 'That could be a kid anywhere.' And same with adults but less. Essentially we're all the same it seems. Mooji says that all beings have the same basic thought: I am. That's ancient wisdom and like the perennial core wisdom from the ancients to us, it's not derived from speculation, rumination, cogitation, or objective observation, but from alonely empirical inquiry deep into the root of being and non being. Also - can't be proven except by tapping that core. Can't prove that either.  - dc


Only that which involves what isn't fundamentally real can be proven by the scientific method. - Kabumpkan


 - also posted in today's Saunters

10-14-14 - A tennis story.

10-06-14 - Chris Pirsig was a student at the San Francisco Zen Center who was murdered in a random killing while he was walking down the Laguna Street in 1979. I wrote a song after his funeral. Here's a page on Defuser Music for that song with the words and a link to a recording I made at the time. It's called And We'll Miss You. - DC

10-02-14 - Thinking about ISIS or IS or ISIL in light of having just read Brian Victoria's War on Zen --- (Brian Victoria cuke page).

I have noticed certain unwholesome thoughts arising that I don't think are helpful. So I'm making an effort to replace them with the visualization of all the weapons disappearing. That won't be much help to people who are being massacred but that's the best I can do now. When I was in high school I'd say I'd let someone kill me before I'd fight back. I never have been in a fight. I hit a kid once in the sixth grade just to see what it was like and I still feel bad about it. A dear friend of mine who shared my thoughts that Pres Reagan was causing a lot of suffering said she wished he were dead and I said I don't think that's a good thing to wish for anyone. So I have a history of pacifist leanings but also of thoughts of extinction which I give in to at times but which once again I'm wishing to extinguish. I do think that there is a general world-wide tendency to use violence to solve problems. That seems to keep proving that violence leads to violence. I also think that Gandhi's methods would not have worked so well with ISIS or Sadam Husein or Hitler. We never know what we're going to do until a moment arrives but we do take aim with intentions and thought habits. There have been pilots who reported they tried to shoot down a UFO and that their controls wouldn't work - so see - there's proof positive that such technology can be developed here. That's what I'm visualizing. - also posted in Engaged Buddhism/Current Events

9-30-14 -  Think of the following quote a lot from Hamlet, ‘There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

9-22-14 - Looking at a kids book with maps of the provinces and islands of Indonesia. So many islands. Can't see all 1300 in the book but it still is dizzying to contemplate it all, all the towns and roads and imagining all the little places along the side, the jungles, the undiscovered places, the animals, plants, the swirling life in the seas around. It's a seeming eternity. And focusing on any spot zooms in on another seeming eternity of detail all the way to the elusive insides of particles.. Then there's the rest of the world, another seeming eternity of eternities. Looking up at the sky which I know that way and through science shows - seeming eternities within others beyond counting. We perceive and discuss some slices of a seemingly limitless pie with what number of unknown eternities, eternities of all types, forgotten eternities. Endless thoughts, feelings, fears, visions. Countless mind opening into mind, multiplicities and singularities. Any aspect of it all fractally unfolding. All of this fathomlessness contained within any tiniest seeming part, seeming slice, seeming individual. Looking down down, listening deep deep. An eternity of final frontiers. Turn the page. 

9-13-14 - A good article on global warming from the Houston Chron - posted in Climate Change

Incidentally, my 2nd cousin is about to become governor there. - DC

9-08-14 - New Galaxy Map Relocates The Milky Way To A Ginormous Supercluster Called Laniakea - Huff Post


DC Posted this comment there: Don't agree this is "A Reminder That We Are Small And Insignificant (the Huff Post text on home page link to this)," Maybe our idea of what we are is that, but I see everything as interconnected, the parts containing the whole, the whole a convincing space-time illusion to use Einstein's term, a hint at our shared greatness.


The post before mine was:


So we are already in Heaven. [Laniakea is Hawaiian for "immeasurable heaven"] I swear- the observable reality of our universe is so much more awesome than the drivel in bibles and Korans and Talmuds.


DC replied to that: They're not comparable. That old stuff is myth not intended to be taken literally and the new stuff is today's best measurement of matter and space. But the Abrahamic myths and legends didn't impress Joseph Campbell much either


Another reply to the post before mine: But what about the unobservable? Isn't it possible that spirituality is the admission that we are fallible, and that there are things in the universe that we cannot possibly comprehend? I find the thought that we've figured everything out - whether scientific or spiritual - to take just as much unmitigated hubris as the thought that observable reality is all there is.


DC hit "like" on that one. [I rarely leave comments anywhere but cuke. - dc]

8-27-14 - Reading about the upcoming UN report on climate change, I worried about the fate of beings on planet earth, considered how I'm not worried about anything now or in the short term and not worried about anything in the big picture in which space and time float or do whatever it does. So:

Short term OK
Mid term worry
Long term OK

Realized have to do some work on attitude toward the mid term which obviously is included in the long thus it's OK too. Just doesn't seem that way.

8-19-14 - Lizard People sending messages via film.

8-10-14 - Fifty Billion Dollars - a very short story

8-05-14 - Today's vocabulary: Umbra, penumbra and antumbra

7-30-14 - Wondered what happened to Werner Erhard. Used to see him now and then in the Bay Area at Greens, when he'd meet with Richard Baker, he graciously invited my mother into his personal box at the SF Opera. He let SFZC Zen students do EST training for free. I never did and all this stuff is over my head but it's impressive from my pea-brained distance. Thought he'd been discredited but that's all been dealt with. Thought he'd disappeared - but that's cause I'm out of touch - it was only into academia. His work on leadership and personal growth has influenced millions, he's highly regarded as a brilliant, effective, original thinker in academia and business. His recent associations include Harvard Business School.. Read Wikipedia on Erhard. Here's his website. The Hunger Project which he co-founded continues to do good work around the world and has high ratings from independent charity watchers.

7-28-14 - Emptiness doesn't suggest nothing matters but shows that everything matters infinitely in a new way. - Kabumpkan

7-24-14 - Thinking about the Four Difficulties or something like that read in Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. They are the answer as to why it's so hard to wake up to reality if that's all there is and there's no obstacle and so forth. As I recall it's so difficult because of what we can't imagine:

It's so close.


It's so subtle.


It's so profound.


It's so wonderful.

7-23-14 - The road to hell is paved with trite phrases. - Kabumpkan

7-20-14 - No need to make any profound observations. - Kabumpkan


7-16-14 - Really don't think it's my role to make comments about film and video media, but we do at times relax at the end of a grueling day with a movie or TV series or documentary - as in I drink tea at times in the morning. I notice little movieisms as do many people. There have been books and many articles written about them - like not closing doors and hanging up on phone calls without saying goodbye. I've been aware of a particular phrase recently and since then I've noticed it in every movie and TV series, sometimes being used up to four times. That phrase is, "Are you OK?" or sometimes "Are you alright?" Yesterday I heard "Everything OK?" which is the same thing. I don't see it listed in a couple of lists of most used phrases in film. Nor did I see the ubiquitous "Yes!" in triumph or the irritated, "What?" I know the last two single word phrases are somewhat recent, but don't have an idea how far back Are you OK? goes.

7-11-14 - See today's comment in Death and Dying


7-10-14 - For Women Who Saw Combat, a Place to Find Inner Peace - NY Times article on Tassajara retreat


Some thoughts on this.


The name of this retreat is Honoring the Path of the Warrior. When I saw that name on a notice in the SFZC Sangha News, I wondered about the wording and intent. I sent a link to the notice to Kaz Tanahashi and Alan Senauka asking them what they thought. We all trusted Lee Klinger and Chris Fortin who've been working with veterans for years. I also sent one to Brian Victoria who surprised me by assuming that the underlying intent was good. There are many Buddhist and other groups extending themselves to veterans. There are many veterans who are Buddhists and so forth. My thought was that I honor the people, care about the people, but I don't know about the warrior's path except that I've stayed away from being part of it but not stayed away from those who were part of it. I certainly have friends and acquaintances who are veterans and who would say they honored the path of the warrior and of course many scenarios where defense is compelling can be pointed out. None to me in recent history as far as the US is concerned. Zen especially has a long association with warriors and the sword and Buddhism and Hinduism with the sword as a symbol.


I guess it's because I've been spending time in Japan and with Brian Victoria who recently showed Katrinka and me the film Zen and War [see Victoria link], and I've just linked to some writings of Brian, that I'm more aware than usual of times when Zen institutions and people have enthusiastically supported military conquest and provided propaganda and soldiers for the Japanese military. I liked Harada Shodo's point in that film that is something along the lines of war can seem quite justified so before that happens let us state now that we will not be involved no matter how justified it seems. He of course didn't mean not honoring soldiers as people and being there for them. It's so much more a bigger deal in Japan with it's recent history and culture of going along and not questioning. I can remember a Japanese school teacher saying to me, "We have to be careful not to take the first step. For us it's a slippery slope."


To me America has been down its own slippery slope for a long time, but in America the military isn't  the problem - nor is the intelligence community. It's the politicians. Or, as Eisenhower saw it, the military, industrial, congressional complex - the congress part was edited out of his famous farewell talk. But the military in America follows orders. They don't give them. In Japan they took over.


Extreme examples can be sited to justify anything. Like the torture arguments. There is so much violence, violence is used as a solution so quickly. Revenge is a virtue in many cultures. Still I read that violence of all kinds keeps going down word-wide and has for centuries. May that trend continue. And may Lee and Chris continue their good work of honoring veterans.


 - also linked to from Engaged Buddhism


7-09-10 - Can't control, can't figure out, can't make sense of. What a relief. - Kabumpkan


7-06-14 - Phlosophy is Not a Luxury PODCAST EPISODE 3: ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE - thanks Loring

In almost all fields of knowledge I just sit back and admire how much other people know. Many don't realize that this book was not about Zen as we think of it, but Pirsig's thoughts on and a review of Western philosophy. Enjoyed this podcast on Pirsig on classical and romantic philosophy and the difficulty of reconciling  the two. Maybe I take an ignorant, easy way out of this dilemma. I don't latch on to any philosophy and tend not to completely reject any either. I think, oh that's interesting. To me things and non things can be looked at from different points of view and the reconciliation is mind which includes all contradictions. I think the same about the unified field theory. What's the solution to the incongruity between relativity and quantum mechanics? Mind. I could also just say I don't know.

7-04-14 - Happy Birthday USA - read the NYTimes obit on former Marine and hippy commune founder Steve Gaskin linked to yesterday to get his comments on the USA constitution and so forth.


Two old time Zennies remember Steve Gaskin - looking for more


7-01-14 - Today makes ten years without one puff or anything of the dread demon nicotine. - DC

6-25-14 - Yesterday in note below Shunryu Suzuki Wind Bell lecture post, had a note where mentioned am always finding mistakes in posts here and fixing them. One mistake didn't mention is misspellings. Thanks to spell-check can usually tell when have misspelled because the word is underlined as I write. Sometimes have to go to internet to check. Just write it on the URL line and can see correct spelling quickly. Used to be needed reference books, even a library to check proper nouns. Not now. Right now connection so bad don't do that. Anyway, what I notice is that I have a poor learning curve in spelling, misspell the same words over and over for decades. Sometimes I learn a word like altar not alter for the religious thing - spell-check of course doesn't help if the misspelling is correct for another use as in homonyms. What I've noticed is that some people spell and some don't so well. There are reasons. I don't care much. I usually know if I don't know so that's when I check. I check definitions too - in a sec - often for words whose meaning I've checked before. Have a poor learning curve on some word meanings. Like jejune. I just can't remember it. I guess I just don't care about it. I don't want to use it. I remember Richard Baker using it at a dinner table and I said oh that's a word we used to impress girls with in high school. Now that wasn't nice of me. I don't learn right and left or east west easily either. I may have mentioned that before. I may have read more bridge (card game) columns than anything and I don't get confused on which hands are north and south but I have to stop and think about east an west - even more than once in the same reading. And right left a little bit. We're doing yoga every day now and we go up and down off the floor a lot and have to turn around. I try to alternate getting up and turning around left and right. If it was forwards and backwards, no problem, but I have to think for a second before going left or right and sometimes I get confused. It might be that I could reprogram myself if I worked on this stuff but maybe not. I don't care enough anyway. It seems sort of normal and lovable to me.

Note from yesterday: Opps - Every issue of the Wind Bell in volume 3 was 1964, not 1963 as was indicated till it was just fixed. I find mistakes on cuke everyday. After uploading I try to check all the links and quickly read what was written and no matter how simple what was posted I always find something to fix, sometimes many fixes - wrong dates among the most common. But since I hold to the "Everything we are taught is false" doctrine. More on that later.

I could have mentioned typos too.

Oh - that "Everything we are taught is false," comes from Rimbaud. I verified that on the Internet and found Karl Shapiro also attributing it to Whitman and Rilke, maybe in other words. Rimbaud's use of it is quoted all over. Shapiro said that Henry Miller wanted it on his tombstone. I've found it to be true since my late teens. Or almost true. Google it and you'll find some neat lists of things that aren't true. Like blood isn't blue it just looks blue. Same for the sky. But water is blue. And so forth.

6-14-14 - Broke my USB modem. Am uploading via Katrinka's computer. Bit of a hassle. Not in big city now. May be able to replace or might have to wait a week. Love, dc

6-04-14 - We can look at time as space being constantly born. - Kabumpkan

5-29-14 - Kelly Chadwick's photo of Andrew Atkeison's iron face sculpture that we had in John Tarrant's field marking boxer Lola's grave. When Kelly trimmed some trees there last fall, I asked him to take it home to Spokane with him. Thanks Andrew.

5-20-14 - See DC opinion on Privacy  - in Engaged Buddhism/Current Events for this date.

5-19-14 - It is so weird to receive so many emails offering me fortunes, more this year than ever before. Sometimes a dozen in a day. - Millions, sometimes hundreds of millions just waiting for me to respond. Loan offers, businesses mine. Attachments to open, forms to fill out with bank account #s and soc. sec. # so they can wire the $ to me. From former princes and government officials and institutions saying my name has been selected. I guess they must be able to send a zillion of these out all over the world for very little cost looking for that new to email person who might bite. I'm tempted to get an email address and computer just for responding to them and see what happens. There are people who've done that, even gone to Nigeria to call them on it. I think I posted about that years ago. Still amazed after all these years. But here's an article that explained Why 'Nigerian scammers' say they're from Nigeria - and more.-

5-14-14 - See today's post in Saunters for more comment related to Tyson's Inexplicable Universe - observed while riding on a train to Nara.

5-12-14 - Surely the last comment on Tyson's Inexplicable Universe. Why this mixing of spiritual stuff with science seems off limits? Science is about observed phenomena that can be tested confirmed and so forth and spiritual stuff is about waking up to the fundamental nature of mind/body/self/other/phenomena/relative/absolute/one/many/blah-blah. Aren't they incompatible systems? Tyson gets into a lot of speculative science like string theory that can't be tested. Seems that all scientific results are suspect forever so there could be room for other suspects. And relativity and quantum mechanics aren't compatible and scientists accept both of them as part of the mix. For one thing, Buddhism and what I'd call reality based religion cannot be in conflict with science so it can't get in the way of finding out more about the big and the small. Buddha wouldn't get into metaphysical or science type questions saying we should focus on pulling the arrow out and not in asking how much it weighs and what direction it came from etc. Science in the past used to ascribe what it couldn't explain to a super-being called God. To me that's not reality based religion, it's just literalist superstition. I'm not sure how the experience of mystics and masters, Nagarjuna and Hua Yen, the Upanishads and shamans could be of help. I just think it's funny that it seems almost taboo to bring any of that up in a science discussion. It's also funny that in my type of religion - how I see it - Prajna Paramita and Advaita Vedanta - everything is a subset of awareness and in modern science, awareness is seen as an accident not worth including in the formulas.

5-11-14 - More mere speculation on Inexplicable Universe. Tyson mentions human and chimp only 1% DNA difference and yet their smartest are about at our toddler level. He then wonders if we met life that was 1% beyond us what would it be like. Would their toddlers be as smart as Stephen Hawking, would they be doing calculus. I thought, wow, his idea of greater intelligence is someone who's ahead in his field. To me, greater intelligence would mean working together better to bring about a peaceful, more equitable world, greater awareness, not so self-destructive, not so destructive of fellow creatures and the environment, happier, cooperative, and so forth. In other words - my hippie paradise.

5-10-14 - More Inexplicable Universe comment. Love the way Tyson is into what physicists don't understand and how great what they don't understand is. His approach is scientifically humble. He says some day long from now there will be no stars or galaxies visible from earth and if people or intelligent life were to look into the sky there would be no hint of what the universe was like and he wonders what other information might be missing that would open up a whole new world to him. I immediately thought, how about mind, like big mind, buddha mind, the dao, god, emptiness, the wisdom of the ages, the perennial philosophy. It's amazing that what has been central to every culture's understanding of the cosmos up to a couple hundred years ago, plays no part in the view of so many great scientists and famous thinkers or at least in what I hear and read from them. Maybe it's because superstitious literalism has so dominated the idea of what all that is about that it's discounted. That and institutional religions' role in supporting mass murder and so forth. That and all the power trips and bad conduct of priests of all sorts. Scientists are not blameless though. Science, while flying the banner of the scientific method, of rational empirical thinking, of no truth being too holy to question, has done what religious fanatics have not been able to - bring us to the brink of extinction. But on a more positive note, what science seems to lack in what I hear these days, is a deep experience of the wonder of creation and the uncreated beyond thinking about it. As Meister Eckhart wrote (in German), "The eye with which I see god, is the same eye with which god sees me." That's a hint into the nature of the cosmos.

5-09-14 - Here more thoughts on the why just one beginning of life riff from yesterday. Maybe life is beginning all the time everywhere and isn't killed off instantly but assimilated instantly in some way we haven't noticed. I'm in the everything's alive in some way school of thought as intimated yesterday. More conjecture from this school: And all this aliveness and dying including consciousness empty as Avolokiteshivara says to Shariputra in an imaginary conversation. This empty being full, not born or dieable, aware. The form in the empty otherwise known as the known has endless beginnings. I think Buddha said something like 80,000 times in the snap of a finger. The big bang just another day on the job.

Spent two days just fixing link on this site. Now for some other housekeeping - backups and more too tedious to mention. - dc

5-08-14 - Due to the wonders of Hide My Ass, have been able to watch Neil deGrasse Tyson's Inexplicable Universe from Japan. Love this science stuff though most of it I can't really comprehend. Had some thoughts.

One thing he brought up that I'd never heard before or thought of is that life began on earth about as soon as it could have, within 200 million years of the planet getting cool enough to support life as we know it. And yet it seems to have begun only once -  all life we know of is in the same DNA tree. Why didn't it keep beginning with other DNA trees? He said there's no evidence of any other beginning. This seems to me like fodder for the fundamentalist creationists, but that aside, he mentioned that it might have come from Mars because extreme (something) life can survive in space and it looks like there at least used to be life on Mars and asteroid impacts have sent Mars rocks to earth. Or it could have come in with an asteroid which he didn't mention. I wondered if maybe life is beginning in other ways on earth and just gets killed right away by our DNA type life on a molecular level before it's detectable. More cool stuff in this Wikipedia article. But whatever life came from, I have this simplistic, naive view of life and the whole cosmos as always arising in awareness dreamlike, awareness within which life and seemingly lifeless lies, and that it can all be seen from other and various points of view and that infinite almost realities co-exist and co-disappear like a reflection in the unnameable.

5-06-14 - Got an answer from a member of Bozeman Dharma Center concerning looking for Buddhist's in Bozeman. It's under the guidance of Anam Thubten whom Katrinka and I went to hear talk several times before leaving the Bay Area. He would be one of the best reasons to return.


In response to a letter complaining that the SFZC charges for zazen, let me assure you that it does not. Maybe they have a sign that suggests a donation but anyone can sit zazen at the SF Zen Center or any of its affiliates or any Zen Center or other Buddhist center that I know of for free. Checked with the treasurer and the secretary to make sure. - dc

Jordan Thorn assured me that zazen in the three centers was free and added:

This is the web page for city center zazen periods, note that there is no reference to any fees. If we have an all day sitting or a workshop that includes meals, there can be a fee. But even then anyone can come into the zendo and sit zazen, for free. I'm the treasurer, and I know what I say is the way things are.

5-05-14 - Another Creation Myth - Dreamed I went to a meeting of a group that says that our reality was created by a Japanese amateur scientist, Hitoshi Nakaguma, six years ago. All our memories and history and the whole universe that we know came with it. I asked how did he create it if it wasn't here for him to be in to create it. Where would his desk and laboratory go and so forth? I learned that he exists in another reality and that his desk and laboratory was there though he does have that here too. He's the only one in both realities. I asked if they worshiped him and was told, no, it's just good to know where we came from.

5-04-14 - Relatively, what we've all got in common is we're born and we die. Everything in between varies. - Kabumpkan

5-01-14 - Others - various contributions by others - as of 12/07

Was showing someone some of the places to go on cuke and realized that the Others section like so much that is here would be vary hard for someone to know it is there. Added it to Places to Go. This site really lacks good organization. It's a big mess. - feel free to make a better map. - dc posting this in dc misc 4

4-24-14 - Quote attributed to the Dalai Lama on Facebook and elsewhere obviously not from him.

Here's one discussion of it with the quote.

He'd never say something so complicated, slick, and organized. Why would someone do this, put his name on this? This isn't this first time this has been done with other quotes too - and other people. It's fairly rampant.

Just looked at a Dalai Lama Quotes page on Facebook to which I posted:

Some of these quotes are surely not the Dalai Lama. Is anyone fact checking these? I think this page should be called Quotes with the Dalai Lama's Name Put Under Them.

4-21-14 - Didn't put up the happy Easter post till later in the day yesterday. Also forgot to note the 4-20 significance for pot smokers and neo Nazis but we can't keep up with everything.

4-20-14 - Happy Easter which I see as Christian enlightenment day, death of the small self day. - dc


4-19-14 - balloonsHappy birthday, Clay Chadwick - 23, born in Okayama, Japan on this day.




4-17-14 - At first we do meditation. Then we undo meditation. - Kabumpkan

4-16-14 - Tom Lehrer post and song

4-14-14 - Cool - today is 41414.

4-01-14 - There is hope for us all

Sorry to miss another St. Stupid's Day Parade in SF.

3-29-14 The key point to understand about karma is that it is not an outside power. - Kambumpkan


3-22-14 - Not the sort of article I'd normally link to, but it's just what Elin and I did in Osaka after our wedding there in 1988. It's also not the sort of thing we normally did in Japan. Tell about this in Thank You and OK: an American Zen Failure in Japan.


3-16-14 - Hal Douglas, 89, Superstar of Movie Trailer Narrators, Dies - NY Times, March 13, 2014

Hal Douglas - the voice of thousands of movie trailers, commercials and TV promos - reflects on his body of work, his technique and the current state of his instrument.

Hal was a close friend of my old friend and cuke contributor Gregory Johnson. Hal was a generous donor to the Cuke Archives and once hosted Gregory and me on a three day vacation from Osmosis to Harbin Hot Springs. Farewell Hal. - dc

I met Hal 33 years ago while working at a health retreat in Arizona where I was working as a Holistic therapist.  We developed a friendship over the years, even sharing an apartment in New York City in the West Village where we both worked, spending time together with both our families, traveling, exploring our common spiritual quests, attending meditation retreats and endless hours discussing anything that came to mind - we were pals in the best sense of the word.  Hal became a very successful voice "actor", for truly he used his voice as a real art form, was acknowledged as one of the best in the industry, his voice being heard by nearly everyone in modern America, even if they didn’t know his name.  He used his success to create a wonderful life for his family and he was incredibly generous.  He supported many causes that he felt strongly about and was always sympathetic to those who needed a hand.  He will be missed but his voice lives on in all his many accomplishments and his spirit will continue to be felt by those who knew him.  - Gregory Johnson

3-14-14 - Yesterday's "drop belief and forget teachings" was a quote stolen from Kabumpkan.


3-13-14 - Added to DC bio page today:

Even though the core of all this is preserving the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki, I don't think about him much or about practicing his way and so forth. To me the essential step of spiritual practice is to drop belief and forget teachings. Just taking the next step, the next breath, and doing my duty.  - dc, 3-13-14

3-07-14 - On the Floor of Greens - 4 - Mr Johnson

3-05-14 - On the Floor of Greens - 3 - Greens Blues

3-03-14 - On the Floor of Greens - 2 - Hard Work, Low Pay

2-27-14 - RIP Ward Ruscoe, like a brother

2-25-14 - On the Floor of Greens --- 1 - Would You Hold Please? - Something written twelve years ago about my experience of being host at Greens, the SFZC's restaurant, for the first two years.

2-24-14 - I went to this page on Einstein researching the authenticity of a quote I liked a lot and which I've repeated. The way I repeated it was, "The universe is an illusion, just a very convincing one." I should have checked earlier. It's not that far off, essentially the same meaning, but it's different. But aside from that, the stuff on this page is so profound I can't believe it. I don't spend a lot of time with this sort of heavy material but when I do I'm impressed with what people can come to with another type of meditation. Einstein said he got it all without math. And the site is full of material like this. Over my head but like how I see things and don't ask me what that is.

2-22-14 - "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

Isn't this a nice quote? Read about its source here. I get stuff sent to me all the time that people don't check out. And I'm sure cuke is full of stuff I didn't check out.

2-17-14 - A Train of Memories ---- in DC Writings Index

2-16-14 - Hope we don't get in trouble here. Check out this example of Bali justice. - posted in Saunters

And added to yesterday's Saunters post below which I'd thrown up quick so we could watch Dallas Buyers Club. The star incidentally did grow up in the oil biz in Texas. Also incidentally since this is where I come from, I knew guys who went out at night sometimes to beat up men with inclinations like many of those in this film. It has change there so much it's hard to believe. - dc

2-13-14 - At Steve Stucky's funeral on February 9th, Edward Brown left the following message from Katrinka and me on the Green Gulch altar with other messages.

Farewell Steve. we will miss your friendship, support, humor, and
teaching in everything you did. Gone way too soon. Too soon but well
done. Gratitude.

Steve Stucky memorial page

I'd asked Edward to read it if it was appropriate. He said that he'd heard there were only invited speakers. I responded thanks, that I was supportive of that policy because SFZC funerals tended to go on for too long and the main reason was so many people making statements. I was at a funeral there some years ago for a friend who'd been in a couple of men's groups and he knew people at GG and elsewhere and so many people had something to say I finally left, went into the Wheelwright Center and helped myself to the bountiful spread before driving back to Sonoma County. - DC

2-10-14 - Our Great Friend and Teacher Kobun Chino

2-09-14 - Sixty-nine years ago today at 2:15am I was born at Harris Hospital, Fort Worth, in Tarrant County Texas. Last year in January my mother and I were back in that same building - the old wing - for some days. I wrote about it in Ahdel - that's the entry for 1-19 at Harris. Here's an entry for February 9th of last year

2-08-14 - More on the science vs faith thing. I have an image of a debate between science and religion where the audience is ready and the curtain comes up, the moderator introduces the scientist and the religionist. Like the scientist, the religionist doesn't represent any particular institution, just the core of all religious inquiry or wondering what it's all about that is found world wide throughout history that Aldous Huxley and others have called the Perennial Philosophy. The curtain opens and both persons are standing on the same side. The moderator has to force the religionist to get to the other side, turns toward the audience, asks the first question and then both are on the same side again. That kept happening. The scientist had a lot to say about observable phenomena, reproducible test results, current and evolving theories, and the religionist kept saying, "Wow, that's really interesting." The religionist answered "I don't know," to every question. The whole evening turned out to be disappointing for those who came for a fight until a hoard of true believing religion people who thought they knew everything arrived after the show was over and got into it with each other in front of the theater. The scientist and the religionist from the debate went to a cafe and had some tea and cookies.

2-07 - 14 - Tech problem solved. Zenbook had had weak, poor wireless reception for months. It finally lost it. Got a USB wireless adaptor today and why didn't I do that long ago? - dc

To continue the creation evolution topic of yesterday, Pat Robertson has a few words for Ken Ham. Here I find myself applauding one literalist who's opposing another. That's a Salon dot com link. Here's one Salon writer's take on the Ham Nye debate where she takes Nye's side. Here's a Daily Beast report that poo poos the whole thing. - thanks again Gregory

2-06-14 - I'm a creationist and an evolutionary. I see everything as in a perpetual state of evolving creation, creative evolving, an intelligent heck brilliant artistic selfless goodness gracious dreaming the uncountable dream. The media must have their black and white simplistic antagonisms such as the recent nonsense between Bill Nye and the Ken Ham who loved the PR as if science or faith was a meaningful choice. Huston Smith told me he and some other dignitaries signed a paper affirming evolution and creation from a more nuanced view of point. Nobody would publish it. I said I would but he couldn't find it. I'll write his daughter and try again - a third time. The idea that science excludes a feel for the divine is smallsville. The idea that faith means believing in particular historical events and scientific notions is nonsense. Kabumpkan says faith is leaping over belief and fear into the unknown. That's enough for now. Back to the party.

Search for the Bill Nye Ken Ham science vs faith debate thing. I can't go online now and have to upload from another computer so fewer links till this gets fixed. thanks Gregory for the tip. - dc

1-30-14 - Look down a little bit for another "1-30-14" for More pithy comments on yesterday's article on the aging brain.

1-29-14 - Farewell Peter Seeger, one of my early influences.

Discover Magazine - Brutal Truths About the Aging Brain - and here some comments on the subject by - let's see, what's my moniker? - oh yes, DC.. - and thanks Gregory

I have noticed my brain shrinking progressively and so forth for decades and find that going with it, not fighting it, adapting to it works for me. I learn languages much slower and forget what I learn so noticeably I don't even attempt to learn things I don't need or want to know. I've had to look up the same words over and over all my life but I used to try to remember them. Now I smile. When I was in my teens and twenties I could improvise songs endlessly amazing myself at the complicated chord progressions and rhyme schemes. I have always said I stopped doing that and started writing songs down when I was 27 because I was tired of not remembering what I'd done. But maybe the reason was I was getting older and needed a slower paced way to express all that. Now I am trying to write a book but I'm not going to try to anything like Thank You or Crooked Cucumber. Simpler, easier, bring in as much pre-existing material as possible. - more tomorrow.

1-30-14 - Back for more. As for the work I like to do, mainly it's busy work making available the thoughts, memories, contribution of others, or jotting thoughts down quickly like this. I'd like to get to the Notes on Crooked Cucumber section of cuke so there were some notes. And I'd like to do the same for all of Suzuki Roshi's lectures. Those tasks would be pretty easy. Just adding stuff to cuke every day like I do is easy and fun, good work for a declining brain. But I'll try to do a another book that's not too declined.

I've noticed that many artists seem to do their best work in their younger years. They might keep going but often don't reach the heights they did. Joe Galewsky pointed this out with Suzuki's lectures saying that the early Los Altos lectures used for Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind seemed to him to be the best. [See this page]. Bob Dylan and I agree that his best work was when he was younger - the early rock albums. When Robert Frost's last book of poetry came out I noted how simple the poems were. Of course there are always exceptions like Cervantes. Talking about our withering brain function after zazen in Bend, OR, a gentleman said to me that this is so we can be wise, sit back in a rocking chair, and make general suggestions and the younger people can take care of the details. I've repeated that many times.

I'm going to be 69 in 11 days. Suzuki Roshi died when he was 67 and talked about himself as an old man for years before that. But he didn't act old, seemed to be having a good time. A young woman at the beach asked me what's it like being this old. I said I didn't know I wouldn't feel old at all, that I'd feel so good. I have come to appreciate something Suzuki Roshi said once. "We practice zazen so we can enjoy our old age." And he reminded us that nothing's permanent.

1-28-14 - Sweeping Zen article and discussion of Brian Victoria's articles on DT Suzuki and the Nazis (see below)

DC comment from the above discussion

1-27-14 - Today posted: Zen Students remember Alan Chadwick from Alan Chadwick dot com. Here are the notes I sent to Greg Haynes.

I see almost nothing to change. Just:


"One of his first acts as the new Roshi was to purchase the 85 acre former cattle ranch in Marin County called Green Gulch Farm."

Better to say: Was to persuade the board that the SFZC should purchase GG

Not Zen monks as on the first page , Zen students as on the other page

I'd change Mark Harris' "Bull pens" to bull corral as Kathy cook uses (she says horse and they were for that later too I think because both prize bulls flown from England had drowned in the ponds, too heavy to get out). The bull pens were the substantial structures that Ken Sawyer and I turned into homes for our pregnant wives and us - starting after Alan left.


Wonderful reading it. Linking to this today.


Add this to mine please and edit if I've got something wrong in it:


Loved the peacocks. They roamed freely but had a pen for the night to spare their chicks from the raccoons. I remember how sad we were the raccoons got them by sitting by the fence and waiting for them to get near it.


I appreciated reading Mark's picture of how Baker related to Alan. That's the attitude I remember. Dick was often not bothered by contradictions and difficulties like those presented by having Alan there. He loved Alan.


Paul Lee is one of Baker's oldest friends. Do you have anything from him on Alan and GG?


Of course there's tons by Paul on Alan such as this book:


There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California - Amazon link

Ukiah Blog on Paul on Alan


There's more - just search the web


1-24-14 - Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki - part one, JAPAN 1904–1959 - Chapter Six-- Wartime - 1940-1945 - with a column for notes and links to come on the right

I want to get cuke organized so that the above ZC meeting notes in 66 are linked to from the appropriate place in the note section to the right of the text of Crooked Cucumber. Maybe someone else will do it. - dc

1-17-14 - All on 0 byte problem with ISP on This Page ( no longer on another server).

1-10-14 - RIP Dianne Aigaki, dear friend who passed away January 6th.

Caring Bridge page for Dianne. Details here about the January 18th celebration of Dianne’s extraordinary life on Saturday, January 18th, at Sausalito Portuguese Hall in Sausalito, CA.

Dianne's blog

Thumbnail of my friend Diane Aigaki took this of us when I was visiting her in Dharamsala in 2003.


April 2011 piece on the 2003 Dharamsala with a lot about Dianne which begins here.

June 2010 ad on cuke for Dianne's The Dream of the Turquoise Bee slideshow and presentation.

1-09-14 - [WAS] Having a technical problem. Won't upload till I can figure it out. Some files are coming up zero bytes when I upload with Filezilla onto's server. Hope this one doesn't. Till it's fixed - look around. Tons here. Thanks. - DC - Later it's fixed. Used the FireFTP that's an add-on to Firefox. But not sure what the problem was. It might not have been Filezilla because it's uploading okay now but the byte count is weird so gonna stick with the new program. My policy is once a problem is fixed, stop trying to understand it. Called Sonic tech support on Katrinka's iPhone using Skype - my first call on the trip - except we just got cell phones and have used them a few times to communicate with each other. They were cheap, the Sim Cards were cheap. The time is cheap. A zillion times better than India or the US (for different reasons). - DC

1-03-14 - Don't waste your time not believing in things that can't be comprehended. - Kabumpkan

1-02-14 - Today posted ZC meeting notes from 65-07-03 and commented that a professor from Japan to speak on Zen and science. Thinking about that. Contrary to media assumptions, as I see it there is not only no conflict between Zen and science, there is no possible conflict between religion and science. This is because I do not consider how others see what religion is. To me it has nothing to do with believing absolutes. The word comes from a Latin root which means "to bind." To me it means rebinding, relinking, waking up to complete reality. But I'd think something like that whatever the root meant. Science seems to be about the rules and laws of phenomena, how things work, happen, measurements, facts, observations, experiments that can be repeated. Science also is not tied to belief. Whatever scientists are coming up with, we can go "Wow" or "Alright." Whatever religious people come up with we can go, "Maybe" or "That's one way to look at it. And then we see for ourselves."

12-23-13 - On yesterday's posting of the film Tassajara 68 go to the cuke video page for more.

9-23-14 - Check out the hi res or NEW LOW RES at this link or at the site's video page.

12-21-13 - Yasutani Hakuun said if you don't believe in reincarnation you're not Buddhist. Suzuki Shunryu dodged the subject so that believers and non could claim him on their side. The way I see it, he wanted people to wake up. It didn't matter what they think about life after death. It's all incomprehensible anyway.

12-20-13 - More on the near death and life after death thoughts from yesterday from Andrew Main. (Full disclosure: Andrew and I are into Advaita Vedanta)

To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful, which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor not-living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time. Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I Am That"


Questioner: When an ordinary man dies, what happens to him?
Maharaj: According to his belief it happens. As life before death is but imagination, so is life after. The dream continues.

12-19-13 - Received this link with the Subject: Materialists Not Giving Up. - thanks Andrew Main - It sometimes seems to me that most people's views on stuff like this are fixed, maybe from birth - or early childhood. The article has typical narrow assumptions about what life after death means, like that it includes the concept of soul which Buddhism doesn't. But lots of Buddhists don't believe in life after death - like, when I last checked, Stephen Batchelor and Richard Baker. I told Baker I couldn't conceive of not believing in reincarnation - my mother was into it. He said, "Oh, that's the best reason." - dc

12-13-13 - Looking forward to a month from today when I can write 13-13-13. - dc

12-05-13 - It's all too vast for strongly held opinions. - Kabumpkan