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Hi Barry, You have touched on the area of ZMSS's teaching that I just flat-out don't get. Care to do a little more pointing at the moon? Mark
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2013 on An Unusual Mind at Ox Herding
Two weeks ago, I came out of a Zen group at a medium security prison here in Mass. The group has become an oasis for people desperate for some quiet, some respite from the daily pain of life behind the wall. As I walked out into the deserted parking lot, from off in the trees I heard the familiar "who-who-WHOO!"
Toggle Commented Mar 4, 2013 on 100-Day Solo Retreat: Beauty at Ox Herding
Thanks, Barry--very interesting. The whole thing goes nicely on the Kindle. More words and speech, my favorite delusion!
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2012 on The Collected Works of Korean Buddhism at Ox Herding
Ah, function of tree. Thank you.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2012 on Tree at Ox Herding
Compared to the South and midwest, you won't find very much ardent (not to say "strident") Christianity in New England, unless you go to rural places, especially north or west of Boston. Although, you'll find a lot more if you can get by in Spanish or Portuguese. But that brand of fire-baptized religion has gone way down in popularity in this part of the world, especially since the last world war. Or was it the death of the Mathers? As for the Tibetan/Christian comparison, there is none. While superficially it appears that both are making a public show of their religiosity, the Tibetan is not terribly interested in whether you do likewise. The Christian, on the other hand, insists that you MUST believe as he does or face eternal damnation. It is in fact a cardinal rule of his faith that he spread his message--ironically dubbed the "good news"--to you and all the rest of the benighted world. However fervent the Tibetan, he would not consign you to the flames of hell for being...oh, let's say a Hindu. Or even a Christian.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2012 on Religion at Ox Herding
Fallingwater was a popular field trip destination when I was in school. (OK, not popular with the KIDS, but never mind.) I always thought they should rename it "Leakingwater." Thanks for the pics, Barry reminds me of the childhood I didn't have.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2012 on Inside Beauty at Ox Herding
I think the Thomas comment is about karma. See your karma and you can use it; don't see it, and it will consume you, and you won't even realize what's doing it. As for your "frost on snow" question, I say perfect should not be the enemy of good.
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2012 on Bring It Forth at Ox Herding
That sounds like a great teaching for the start of a YMJJ.
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2012 on Only A Buddha and A Buddha at Ox Herding
Yes, very nice, but who ARE you?
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2012 on Who IS That Guy? at Ox Herding
Someone (I think it was John Daido Loori) used to do Zen-style calligraphy in English with phrases like this. Just an idea.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2012 on Don't **** Around at Ox Herding
Hilarious! I met Mu Sang Sunim a couple of years ago when he visited Cambridge. I hope he sees this--he'll get a good laugh out of it. (Actually, he strikes me as more of a Ho Tei type.)
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2011 on Not Separated At Birth, 3 at Ox Herding
I'd say there are two answers: 1) The pianist and tennis player practice to develop dexterity and muscle memory before thinking. We are practicing consciousness of that which we normally do unconsciously, with the intent of attaining consciousness of that which we normally do unconsciously--before thinking! 2) Many people read dharma books and get a warm feeling from the. This is Theory. "Practice" is distinct from "theory," that is, words and speech and THINKING about the Dharma. Practice is DOING the Dharma. Practice is actually helping to end the suffering of all beings. Thus we not only do sitting, chanting, walking or bowing practice, but also practice of mindful speech (a very hard practice), driving practice (which I contend will either make me a bodhisattva or a psychotic), standing-in-line-at-CVS practice...the list goes on. And that's what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2011 on Meditation, 1 at Ox Herding
What do you do during the hour of midnight practice? Zazen? Bows? Chanting? Or some combination?
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2011 on Solo Retreat, 2 at Ox Herding
I have an opportunity to do something similar in December. I'll be interested to see the rest of the posts in this series, to help me decide if that's how I want to spend that time.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2011 on Solo Retreat, 1 at Ox Herding
Oops--what happened to the video?
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2011 on Korea, 10: 90-Day Winter Retreat at Ox Herding
No need to "disprove" reincarnation. The null hypothesis is the default. The actual requirement is to provide unambiguous evidence (not "proof") of reincarnation, and no one has ever managed this (though many people believe they have). I find the "cause-and-effect necessitate rebirth" idea annoying, a sort of Buddhist "god of the gaps."
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2011 on Dalai Lama Announcement at Ox Herding
Mmm...I don't know. They say they want to ascertain the truth, but then in Step 2 they seem to have already decided what it is. This is either an imprecisely-worded goal or a case of question-begging.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2011 on Canki Sutta at Ox Herding
Hi Barry, I am sitting in Logan Airport with Mark Houghton and crew, waiting to get on the plane to take us to La Guardia and (eventually) Barcelona, the first stop on Mark's teaching tour. I have been enjoying your blog very much since subscribing this past winter. My own efforts are much humbler, but you might enjoy checking out the blog I'm writing about the tour with Mark. You can check it out at Thanks! Hapchang, Mark O'Leary
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2011 on Zen Master Ko Bong, 3 at Ox Herding
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Jun 1, 2011