EppsNet Archive: Zen

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself. — Zen Proverb

Japan, Day 2: Kinkakuji Temple, Nishijin Textile Center, Tea Ceremony, Bullet Train, Atami

Kinkakuji Temple Kinkaku-ji (lit. “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (lit. “Deer Garden Temple”), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai, belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji’s history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes. During the Onin war, all of the buildings in the complex aside from the pavilion were burned down. On July 2, 1950, at 2:30 am, the pavilion was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. He survived, and was subsequently taken into custody. The monk was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was… Read more →

Tom Knight and the Lisp Machine

A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.” Knight turned the machine off and on. The machine worked. Read more →

Aside

You can’t tell which way the train went just by looking at the track.

You Don’t Count, You’re Not on TV

There’s this primary America of freeways and jet flights and TV and movie spectaculars. And people caught up in this primary America seem to go through huge portions of their lives without much consciousness of what’s immediately around them. The media have convinced them that what’s right around them is unimportant. And that’s why they’re lonely. You see it in their faces. First the little flicker of searching, and then when they look at you, you’re just a kind of an object. You don’t count. You’re not what they’re looking for. You’re not on TV. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

The Serenity at the Center of It All

So the thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one’s self from one’s surroundings. When that is done successfully then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

This Instant Right Now

The past cannot remember the past. The future can’t generate the future. The cutting edge of this instant right here and now is always nothing less than the totality of everything there is. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

What We Are and What We Do

In that strange separation of what man is from what man does we may have some clue as to what the hell has gone wrong in this twentieth century. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

We’re in Such a Hurry

What I would like to do is use the time that is coming now to talk about some things that have come to mind. We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

Truth Knocks

The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Read more →

One Eye on the Path

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master: “If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen?” The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.” The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?” Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.” “But, if I really, really work at it. How long then?” asked the student. “Thirty years,” replied the Master. “But I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?” Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.” Read more →

Twitter: 2010-07-03

Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. — Zen proverb # Read more →

I Don’t Want to Die

When Zen masters die we like to think they will say something very inspiring as they are about to bite the Big Emptiness, something like “Hi-ho Silver!” or “Remember to wake up” or “Life is everlasting.” Right before Suzuki Roshi’s death, Katagiri Roshi, an old friend, visited him. Katagiri stood by the bedside; Suzuki looked up and said, “I don’t want to die.” — Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones Read more →

Everything at EppsNet is the Best

When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer. “Give me the best piece of meat you have,” said the customer. “Everything in my shop is the best,” replied the butcher. “You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best.” At these words Banzan became enlightened. — Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones Read more →