August 23, 2004

Ginevra de Benci

Paul Graham has inspired me. In honor of the epiphany I experienced whilst reading his book:

Leonardo Da Vinci's Ginevra de Benci, c. 1475

Isn't she beautiful? Now I just need to decide if I'm going to put her in my room or in my office.

In The Zen

Posted at 12:00 AM | Permanent link

June 09, 2004

If You Love, Love Openly

TWENTY MONKS, and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.

Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.

Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written her, she said: "If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now."

In The Zen

Posted at 11:41 PM | Permanent link

December 14, 2003

The struggle

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.." - George Orwell

In The Zen

Posted at 09:35 AM | Permanent link

December 13, 2003

Some things don't change much

Some things don't change much in a year, others feel like the whole world is different.

In The Zen

Posted at 01:27 AM | Permanent link

October 04, 2003

The Zen Roshi and the Ice Cream

A Zen roshi and his buddy from India (who was himself, of course, a yogi) are taking a walk along the beach. In the distance, they see an island, and on that island is an ice cream stand. Now, it's a hot day, and the venerable masters agree to go to the island and cool off with a nice lime sherbet.

The yogi says, "For thirty years, I secluded myself in a monastary, high in the hills of Nepal. Every day I would walk on hot coals, hang myself from the ceiling with fish-hooks, and eat feathers. After my thirty-year seclusion was over, I had the ability to walk on water."

The roshi says, "Why the fuck would you do all that? The ferry only costs ten bucks. I could've gone to that island and back a million times on the ferry, in the time it took you to learn how to cross the water at all. You must be some kind of retard."

In The Zen

Posted at 04:18 PM | Permanent link

August 26, 2003

Two Monks

Two monks were walking down the street after a heavy rain that left the streets quite muddy. They came upon a a lady of very easy virtue vainly attempting to find a dry path across the road without soiling her kimono.

One monk, more compassionate than the other, picked up the woman and carried her across the street, setting her down on the other side of the road. He returned to his companion and they continued down the road for some minutes until the second monk chided the first with the remark, "You really shouldn't have done that."

"Done what?"

"Why, you contaminated yourself by touching that impure woman."

"Oh, are you still carrying her? I put her down on the other side of the street."

In The Zen

Posted at 08:00 PM | Permanent link

The parable of Ernie and Bert

The parable of Ernie and Bert and the painting of the cow eating grass

8. Ernie and Bert were at home. Ernie was standing before a blank canvas wearing a smock and a beret and holding a palette and a paintbrush, as though painting. 9. Bert approached Ernie and asked Ernie what he was doing. 10. "I am finishing a painting," he replied. 11. "But what have you painted? I see nothing," said Bert. 12. Said Ernie: "It is a picture of a cow eating grass." 13. "Where is the grass?" asked Bert, pointing at the blank white canvas, 14. to which replied Ernie, "The cow ate it." 15. "And where is the cow?" asked Bert. To which Ernie replied 16. "Why would the cow hang around if there is no more grass?"

Sesame 6:8-16

In The Zen

Posted at 03:49 PM | Permanent link

July 20, 2003

Meeting god

A quote from the last chapter of Fight Club (the novel):

I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?"


I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash, either.
We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.

And God says, "No, that's not right."

Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything.

In The Zen

Posted at 09:56 PM | Permanent link

June 15, 2003

Einstein and Buddhism

I have begun suspecting that Einstien had either studdied Buddhism, or independantly arrived at many Buddhist conclusions on his own, or most probably both (like me).

The following quotes of his tend to lead me to believe this:

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

This is almost exactly the foundation of Buddhist thought.

And of course:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which is based on experience, which refuses dogmatism. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism…

In The Zen

Posted at 10:35 PM | Permanent link

Einstein, causation, and the future

This evening, I was reading some of Albert Einstein's essays from the book, Ideas and Opinions.

For some reason the following quote from the essay, The Religious Spirit of Science really struck me:

"...the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past."

Though I have thought about this idea intuitively many times before, I don't believe that I have ever seen the future compared to the past as directly as in this case.

For me, this evokes an image of a steady stream of states of the universe - the past states being no different from the future states, except for they are separated by a single point on this line that we call this moment.

This is a very Zen idea when I think about it, though I never really made the connection until I thought about the past and present in this context.

In The Zen

Posted at 10:32 PM | Permanent link