Thursday, June 05, 2008

WORDS

If my records and memory are correct, the first of my Zen talks appeared online in December 2005. Before that I had given live discourses and lectures for at least seventeen years, but none was published.

Now, shortly after I present a teisho, I post it on Zen Reflections. I am humbled to realize that zentalks.blogspot.com is visited frequently by individuals all over the world.

One of the principal messages of Zen—usually attributed to Bodhidharma—is no dependence on words and letters. However, it recently occurred to me that this blog site could possibly be enlivened by a few casual words. Just don’t depend on them.

That is to say, before a posting of a talk, if I offered some introductory lines that might veer off in other but related directions, they could be thought provoking. Maybe an occasional note on how a talk was conceived, presented, and received in the sangha.

The last time the sangha met, I spoke about snow, quoting Layman Pang who once said, “These are good snowflakes. They don’t fall anywhere else.”

Pang was in the world of his time, but not of it. And he treasured nature.

Wallace Stevens was an American poet, who lived from 1879 to 1955. Like Pang, he was interested in an individual’s interaction with the outside world, contrasting the monotony of everyday life with the ever-changing vitality of nature.

I don’t know if Stevens was a Zen Buddhist, but much of his writings exhibit a sense of awakened Zen shown by no other Westerner.

See, especially Stevens’ “The Snowman,” and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

So this is the first posting of a more-personal sort. Comments will be appreciated.

-- Kan-za

3 Comments:

Blogger Wade M | The Middle Way said...

Hi Kan-za,

I often have the same problem on my blog. I continue to hope/think that as long as there's more people enjoying it, and it's being of more help than not, to keep going.

I really enjoy your blog and it's content. It's great to be reading about the linage and their stories, added with your interpretation.

Keep up the good work.

Gassho,

Wade

Thursday, June 05, 2008 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

Finally, I'm subscribing to your blog, and it will be a delight to hear your stories and feel the thread of ancient and present wisdom woven through your voice and experience.

Thank you.

Monday, June 09, 2008 7:32:00 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Thank you much for the words! I know you are a frequent traveler and avid photographer. Another way to enliven your posts would be to add an occasional photograph from your travels. We won't depend on them! =)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:18:00 PM  

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