Zen This, Zen That

Yesterday the work began in earnest, and the months and years of reading about Zen helped to prepare for interviews.  These began at 830 AM with an older Zen master who had studied Kant, and turned then to Zen Buddhism.

After a vegetarian breakfast beside a garden and pond of koi, we spoke about zazen, principles, applications, satori, letting go, acceptance.

He had a lively sense of humor, big ears, a long face, shaved head, thin smile, and still posture except for blinking eyes.  A crane landed as we concluded, to eat koi, and then the monk gave me a book by a deceased friend of his who taught philosophy at Columbia University.

In the afternoon, I returned to a large temple compound in northern Kyoto, where I’d cycled to a few years ago with S, and met there a younger monk.  As we spoke, chants, bells, drums, and cawing crows served as backdrop.  We discussed the differences between mindfulness and zazen, how one is pathology driven and one is a way of life.  Many other topics.

Noodles at Omen across the bridge from Gion with K and T.  Seasonal udon with turnips and grated yam.

That night a sushi restaurant downtown.  Eight seats.  Unlike NYC and Tokyo, sushi in Kyoto is served grilled, fried, and steamed.  Maybe best dish was fugu collar.



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