HyC Adventures
The Poetics of Perception
Zen: Missouri Style

 

 

 

Zen:

Missouri Style

 

Playing with words —

 

The Japanese word satori, “enlightenment,” can actually be read, according to context, as a translation of either of three Chinese characters, which have these nuances of meaning:

 

 kaku () “awakening”

 go () “realization”

 sho () “verification”

 

The Japanese word shu (), meaning “practice,” when combined with sho () is an abbreviation of the fourfold Zen precept: mon shi shu sho (聞思修証).

 

Mon () is “to hear,” shi () is “to think,” shu () is “practice,” and sho () is “verification.”

 

Consider how often we use this fourfold precept:

 

We hear a lecture, for example, think about it and turn the ideas over in our minds, try the ideas out by putting them into practice, and then verify, or come to know whether or not they are true, by direct experience. This, by the way, is also a good description of the Scientific Method.

 

Now, we’re almost to the punch line . . .

 

The central practice of Zen is zazen (坐禪) or “seated meditation” whereby the practitioner enters into a state of consciousness that verifies the true or ultimate nature of reality.

 

Zazen is thus —

 

 The Sho-Me State!

 

 

*       *       *

 

I come from a state

that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats,

and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me.

I am from Missouri.

You have got to show me.

 

Willard D. Vandiver (1854-1932)

 

 

 

 

 

My Interview with René Magritte
Zen: Missouri Style
Butterfly Dream
T. S. Eliot and Stilton Cheese
Antic Ode
The Goddamn Particle
Hauntology or Ontology?
Quaddity
Tetragasms
Why Can't a Repub Be More Like a Dem?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Sublimity of Structure: The Bombardier Beetle
G.B. Shaw's Play Misalliance
Who Came First?
Wittgenstein's Dust of Snow
Chaim Yankel
Jocoserious Joyce
Jewish Wry
The Bunt
Down and Out with Millionaires
Magritte
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