Friday, April 26, 2013

Favorite Child (More) and Art Saved by Prayer

Here are a couple more messages from Jesus today.

In ancient times, God would appear by placing a cloud over a tent. In Austin, he produces a little clump of snow.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who Is My Favorite Child?

Where Am I?

Here's a workshop I took with Kokyo Henkel last weekend on mirror awareness in case you didn't know this was about a Zen teaching:

Or, if you don't want to spend three hours, then read this:

Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness

The Dharma of thusness
Is intimately conveyed by Buddha Ancestors.
Now you have it, Keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow,
Hiding a heron in the moonlight.
They are similar though not the same.
Side by side you can see the differences.
The meaning is not in the words,
Yet one pivotal instant can reveal it.
Move and you are trapped;
Miss and you fall into confusion and doubt.
Turning away and touching are both wrong,
For it is like a massive fire.
To depict it with complex words
Is to defile it.
In the darkest night,
It is perfectly clear.
In the brilliance of dawn,
It remains hidden.
It acts as a guide for beings.
Its use removes all suffering.
Although it is not created,
It is not beyond words.
It is like facing a jewel mirror;
Form and image behold each other.
You are not it; Yet it is you.
Like a newborn child,
It is endowed with five aspects.
No coming, no going,
no arising no abiding.
“Baba wawa” is there anything said or not?
In truth, this has no meaning,
For the words are not yet clear.
Like the six lines of the double split hexagram,
The relative and absolute integrate.
Piled up, they make three;
The complete transformation makes five.
It is like the taste of the five-flavored herb,
Like the diamond thunderbolt.
Wondrously embraced within the absolute,
drumming and singing go together.
Penetrating the source and traveling the way;
You cover the territory and embrace the road.
Complications are auspicious;
Do not resist them.
What is natural and inconceivable,
Belongs neither to delusion nor enlightenment.
Causes and conditions at this moment
Shine completely in the silence.
So fine, it enters nowhere,
So vast it exceeds all bounds.
A hairsbreadth deviation
And you are out of harmony.
Through the teachings of sudden and gradual,
Different methods have arisen.
Even though you master such teachings,
The truth keeps on escaping.
Sitting still, yet inwardly moving,
Like a tethered colt, a trapped rat.
The Ancestors pitied them,
And offered them the teachings.
According to their delusions,
they called black as white.
When delusions disappear,
The natural mind reveals itself.
If you want to follow the ancient path,
Please observe the Ancients of former times.
Some try to attain the Buddha Way
By gazing at a tree for ten eons
They are like a tiger with tattered ears
Or a hobbled horse.
With low aspirations,
You will see jewel pedestals, fine clothing.
And with a sense of wonder,
You will see black badgers and white bulls.
Yi, with his archer's skill,
Could hit the mark from a hundred paces.
But when arrow points meet head on,
How could it be a matter of skill?
When the wooden man begins to sing,
The stone woman gets up to dance.
This does not come by knowing,
Nor does it involve ideas.
Ministers serve their lords
Children obey their guardians.
Not obeying is not filial,
Failure to serve is of no help.
Practice invisibly, work intimately,
Be the fool with no voice.
For realizing true continuation
Is called ∞ the host within ∞ the host.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Going to San Antonio and the Myth of Sisyphus

First attempt at making a you-tube, after a full day traveling with mostly sweet women (Mark came too and he was the exception."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Privacy, Secrecy, and Transparency

Two strangers look at my artworks at the AMOA (click to enlarge)

When I hear everyone agreeing about something, I like to take the other side. Many of my neighbors are bemoaning the fact that Google is coming to Austin to connect the city (only the second in the country) with high speed fiber for Internet and TV. They fear a breach of their privacy.

I've been thinking about secrecy, which is what privacy may be about. We protect our secrets mightily. And yet, in the end, we all have the same secrets.

Here are mine (I told my wife that I was going to tell my secrets on my blog and that she could look at it. She said, "I just have a few minutes to finish what I'm doing before Charlie wakes up." I guess she knows.):
  1. I've been greedy.
  2. I cheated.
  3. I robbed.
  4. I hurt people.
  5. I hurt animals.
  6. I hurt plants.
  7. I polluted.
  8. I wished harm to others.
I could go on and on. Don't we all have these secrets? I heard of a therapist whose first question was, "what's your biggest secret." What a relief it must be to get that off one's chest. Yet, we all know everyone's secrets. They are on the list. And if you deny any of the above, you are to be congratulated (or you are "in denial").

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who lived 2000 years ago, said that we should live each day as if it will be the one by which we are judged. I'm supposed to be writing what I've been doing for fifty years for my upcoming high school reunion. I thought yesterday that what I did yesterday was enough to write about. It was my greatest accomplishment. I'd like to say I did something grandiose. But, unfortunately, I don't think I did. I just did some little things that were possible because of the stuff I've done over the years. So insignificant were those actions that today all I remember is that they felt good. The details escape me.

I'm imagining a world that we may in fact live in, where there is nothing but transparency. My psychoanalyst sister would probably say that we need boundaries. Yet the reality is that we are moving toward a world without boundaries. I can see where you live, how much you earn (if you are a professor at a public institution), how much your house is worth, and much more. Suppose we live our lives as if everything we do is broadcast? Would we live a better life?

Sometimes when I taught I'd have an interpretor for a deaf student in my class. I found that I had to watch my diversions because the interpretor would get worn out. I tried to keep my explanations short. The interpretor acted as mirror/recorder to my actions. A video camera recording my reality would do the same (aka reality TV).

I asked my palates teacher today if she'd rather have a magazine with advertisements showing the products that she's interested in ... or an assortment of ads as they do now. She didn't answer, knowing better than to answer any of my questions. Instead we had a great session. 

So here's a plea for complete transparency, which, if we don't have now, we'll have tomorrow. Object if you want. I'm not sure it will make any difference. As they used to say in Chicago, "you can't fight city hall." 

Joshua, 1980