Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Two basic schools in Japanese Zen Buddhism: Soto and Rinzai.

Soto zen approaches enlightenment slowly, like catching a cotton wood seed on the wind. If you rush at it, you bring more wind for it to fly. If you sit, (and sit and sit and sit) the seed will land on you. When we continue sitting ("zazen" means sitting meditation), cotton wood trees grow on us, and birds and insects bring their various diseases. Vile.

Rinzai teachers make us sit in the cold courtyard wearing a koan of many colors. This is known as "original face waterboarding". The teacher yells at us when we doze off, or beats us with sticks. Very like Catholic grammer school. You get enlightenment pretty damn quick under these conditions. And kidney stones.

Satori can only be sought. If you achieve it, you have to give it back, because sharing is caring. Satori is also just like when you are "out" in Musical Chairs - you get to carry a chair to the side and watch until the game is over.

There are many people who have awakened to Satori, and they are usually willing to talk to anyone who will listen. The problem is that when they talk to us, they really talk to us, and we miss the enlightenment, because we are listening.

Irish setters have awakened to Satori. Apparently, camels are theoretical mathematicians. I don't know what the deal is with squirrels.