Monday, April 29, 2019

Still Here, Just Lazy

Life on Steinstrasse has settled into walks around the town, coffees at Fontana (or, occasionally, Piccoli or Extra Blatt) and more walks around the town.  Just Sitting (Shikantaza, Zazen) is great for the mind, but leaves a lot for the hips and legs of an old fogie  to desire (meaning exercise).  I am round, like a Buddha, but not nearly as cool.  I still think about things that may not be useful on the path to enlightenment, and there are days when I can't remember where I left that path.  The mind has always been the object of my reflection, and as the time to leave this water bag that's housed it since the middle of the last century, gets closer, the more I try to reflect on the inner light that occasionally illuminates the outer world and occasionally takes me through the looking glass or down a rabbit hole.

To anyone seeking a spiritual path, I recommend Zen.  It is not cluttered with gods and saints, but with art and nature and calm and joy.  Once you find your rhythm, you'll fall out of fear and guilt and start enjoy life for what it is without trying to make it what it is not.  Sit quietly for twenty minutes in the morning and again in the evening.  Let your mind rest.  Any thoughts that wander in will wander out (IF you don't attach to them and start running scenarios).  Breathe slowly, and just follow your breath. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Half past June

The Hoeker Fest has come and gone. It was a winner this year by virtue of weather. The Sun shone. The people came. They ate. They drank. At the end of it all, the vendors quietly packed their wagons and drove off into the might to count their money.

Usually, that's it until fall for the Goose Market, but the city's renovating the Market Hall, so we have an open-air market twice a week until they're done. My favorite butcher (Kuhn, out of Enger) is there with his wondersome Bolognese sauce and some one wicked salami. I'll take some photos this week.

Other than that, it's quiet on Steinstrasse. Mona Lisa's gone, but I still see Giovanni from time to time in my wanderings.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hello Again, and Merry Christmas

For those of you who enjoy my meanderings, sorry for the memory lapse. I've so busy being , I've forgotten to massage my ego...

Here I am again, still wandering the backroads of the universe with a backpack and a camera.

The sacral 

and the festive

During the day, and into the night, the music plays, the bells ring and all the children are especially good.

They live in Wonderland!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Temporary Inconvenience...

 They , are replacing the water pipes in my section of the building today, I don't know what the Buddha of Our Time would say, but I say, oh well...

My apartment door is wide open so there's a draft on my back as I write this, and I can hear the neighbor ladies grousing it about from their entry-ways. It's a day in the life, no different than sitting in a cafe or a Zendo. I just have to remember to breathe!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

KFC Comes to Bielefeld

The Colonel has arrived. Now we've got it all. BK, MC D, Pizza Hut, KFC. Maybe there's room for Windsor Hot Wings! It's not my fault, folks. I'm a big fan of German and Polish food and when I feel like a burger, my own are still the best.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday as a Metaphor for.... Something

 I love Sundays. Church bells, families going to Grandma's house, taking walks together; afternoon coffee and conversation. Oh, yeah, the Sunday comics. We don't have them here, but back in the USA, I never missed a Sunday. I did, however miss a Sunday Mass or two.

Back then, Sundays were for wandering around the countryside looking for fishing holes, or watering holes. When no one else had the desire or the time, I would just go as far upriver as I could and still find a trout or a small-mouth bass. Early Summer and Early Fall were the best. The Weather today reminds me of those days. l sometimes miss the trout (and the family) but 'life is good, and so are the Universe and Everything. Sunday is a metaphor for 42.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Is Enlightenment Nirvana?

 I suppose this is the sort of question that drives many people mad. If you're one of them, apologies before the ramble. The question occurred to me the other day when talking to an acquaintance about mental models that make people physically ill and how "magic moments" change the mental model causing the physical problems to evaporate.

I have always believed that heaven and hell are ma to physical locations, but psychological conditions that follow the consciousness from one plane of existence (alternative reality, dimension, etc.) to the next. Enlightenment is a state of no-suffering resulting from practice. A Buddha is a perfectly enlightened being no longer subject to the cycle of births and deaths (or quantum leaps'). In this stateI (perfect) Enlightenment is Nirvana. Satori, or the fleeting glimpses of Nirvana which occur during meditation or after getting whacked in the head by an Roshi's stick is an indication that you're on the right path. Noticing a bird in a bush, a whale in a cloud, joy in another human can all have the effect of turning on the sensors. Keeping them on is a topic for another day.