dc misc four
This page now takes off from DC Misc 3 (DC Misc 1 --- DC Misc 2)
Keep up with DC and Katrinka by going to Saunters
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Sonic.net 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.
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 Sonic.net'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, I first became aware of that film a few months ago. I'd just had the film in the SFZC safe redigitized. I didn't know what some of it was. Reviewing the results I was surprised to see and read in the report from the technician what poor condition it was in. A lot of color loss. I was also pleased to see footage I'd never seen before - outtakes from the Sunseed film and the four and a half minute film that I figured had been made in 1968 - looking at the people and work that was going on. I was getting ready to go to Asia so I decided to deal with it from there after Katrinka and I had gotten settled. How surprised I was to get an email from Larry Cooper saying he'd been looking at my blog (cuke.com I guess), telling me about the film, and offering to send it. I wrote back How serendipitous. More later about him and his version of the film which is what is posted.
Here's yesterday's post:
A NEW film release -
Tassajara 68 - A 4.5 minute film by Larry Cooper made in the spring of 1968 at Tassajara with Suzuki Roshi, students working, bells, han, and creek. So far just a big file: almost half a Gigabyte. More on this film tomorrow. - dc
To see the film go to shunryusuzuki.com.
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"
When an ordinary man dies, what happens to him?
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. - Kabumkan