The origin of the beliefs that lie behind the Judaeo-Christian world-view and the political systems based on them are not well known. Jon Norris has done some important detective work to shed light on western traditions that are rarely questioned and sacred truths that are little more than superstition. Buddhadharma offers the West a path back to sanity, but time is of the essence.
As fuming smoke whirls around their faces, it takes on the flickering shapes of a myriad of demons who brush against them leaving slimy traces of spit and mucus. Black demons with crows’ heads, human bodies and iron wings fly nearby past, carrying naked writhing corpses in their iron beaks. Phosphorescent green owls with the faces of old women and talons of bronze hoot as they rip brains out of skulls. Vultures red as embers with bloody claws at the end of their muscular human arms pull the entrails from screaming people not yet dead.
As my meditations and contemplations deepened, I noticed a shift in my writing. I began to experience what felt like direct transmissions from the Source. Wisdom, uncluttered and unfiltered by my ego, began pouring out of me and onto the page. I imagine that all Gnostics or mystics throughout time have written from these deep meditative states.
Better to buy a book than to buy weed! Sit, and do your meditation. Go, go, to the cemetery, practice there!’ So I did, for many, many years, night and day. Even though I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder aged twenty-five after many hospital admissions, only my practice kept me well. My faith grew exponentially as a result of this. Even though people mocked me, laughed at me and called me a madman, I continued practicing.
In 1991 in Beijing, one of my Chinese colleagues at the Beijing Airbase English Academy asked me: “do you know what teacher, laoshi, 老师, means?” I knew that yes was the wrong answer. I said no. He said it means father. From this ancient word, morphed in meaning as roshi in Japan, I began to understand the nature of my connection to Kobun.
The world smells worse in some places than others but everyone’s going to get at least a little bit of stank while living here. We also get exposed to vast reservoirs of knowledge and kindness, but that’s not the subject of this page or two. The subject at hand is the other side of that coin, the lower aspect of humanity that everyone runs into.
Many people are too tired, misinformed, lazy, or heavily stressed to access their own psychospiritual experience. Others are convinced that their personal spiritual maintenance and growth is a job beyond their ability.
Basic freedom from psychic dry rot isn’t basic for everyone. Some folks get warped and stay bent, ignoring great opportunities to reinvent themselves. Choosing wiser ways up can prevent a fall down, keeping head in the sky, but feet on the ground. It is always our choice to wear horns or the crown.
A brotherhood of gulls rises from the shore, pushing off from the wet sand; their footprint hieroglyphs tell me everything, then not, as a sliding pool of clear seawater gently washes over them, dissolving their messages. They travel east on the last of the breeze, just above the breaking waves, paralleling the shoreline, silhouetting themselves against the last glimmers of sun.
The Japanese themselves – despite the fact that most of them “feel” wabi-sabi and can indicate examples of it – find it hard to provide an exact definition.