Skip to main content

Zen Pastiche

A recipe for delicious Zen Pastiche:  

Nobody will tell you it isn’t Not-Hard, but Anybody can do it, it’s Not-Easy. Take one part Whole World, one part Authentic Self, one part Loving-Kindness, and one part Letting Go (you may use Letting Be as a substitute if needed.) Buy a big, brand-new Mu Mixing Bowl from the Annihilated Ego Store, grease it with some Original Face Oil; and add powdered Interbeing, a generous dollop of Spiritual Transformation, some ground Sensitivity, and don’t forget the special spice blend of Receptive Focus. Mix everything together with the Holistic Wooden Spoon. Turn out the Zen Dough onto your Hand Crafted Koan Cutting Board and knead it with your One Clapping Hand. Rinse out your Mu Bowl and warm it with the Hot Water of Attainment, dry it with a clean Mirror-Polishing Cloth, and grease it once more with the Original Face Oil. Place your Zen Dough ball back into the Mu Bowl and put it in a warm place to rise for No Time. When No Time has passed, punch the Dough down with your Fist of Detachment, turn it over and let it rise again, this time for Half of No Time. Form your Zen Dough into Dharma Loaves and bake in your Samsara Oven until it forms a nicely browned Dukkha Crust. Test it with the blade of your Satori Knife, and when the blade comes out clean, it’s Not-Done. Take it out of the Samsara Oven, let it cool for Eternity, and slice it with your Satori Knife into slices thinner than the thickness of a hair. Arrange it neatly on your Plate of Impermanence, take it outside into the Void, and feed it to the Birds of Appetite, while the Solid Iron Flute Band (whom you did not invite, but who just showed up) stands on their heads and plays a wistful Wabi-Sabi Tune. 

Cool! I started to write this as a scoffing sort of commentary on what I call "Self-Help Zen" but it turned around on itself as I wrote it, and it became quite apt. Apter? Inept? Aptless? Hah! I like it!

Popular posts from this blog

Which Way The Wind Blows

Lectionaries are funny things— weird, abstruse little lists of biblical passages by number, sort of like tide tables or bus schedules. Today’s Lectionary passages (for 3-9-2018, the week of the third Sunday in Lent) are: Psalm 88; Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; and Mark 6:47-56
About a month ago I posted a reflection in response to Abbess Jane’s Lectionary Musings blog on the same passage from Corinthians as the one listed for today in the Daily Office Readings Lectionary (BCP). That was supposed to be the reading for the 6th Sunday of Epiphany, according to +Jane, but I just can’t find it anywhere. I looked up Epiphany 6 in both the Daily Office Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary—not there. It’s not the reading from the Lindisfarne Community’s A Way of Living Lectionary for either Year 1 or 2 either. Oh well.
I was never the sort of autist who is fascinated by such things as bus schedules. I am much more inclined to be enthralled by maps. I wonder if I could make a L…

That'll Do

On Sunday the Psalm was the famous 23rd.  I’ve heard it so many times that I never expected anything new to come wandering across the border from that hinterland, but there ya go. So, the liminal phrase is this: “Your rod and your staff they comfort me,” or as the CJB says, “your rod and staff reassure me.”
I got to thinking, “Well, just exactly how does a shepherd use a staff and a rod?” The staff is used to guide the sheep and to catch them. Traditional staffs used in the UK have horn crooks with a sharp curled tip, which I suspect is designed to catch in the fleece. The rod was essentially a club used to defend against predators, but also as a goad to correct the sheep.
I’ve never really identified with the sheep; I mean they are really not very smart and don’t have much of a survival instinct. I also have misgivings about identifying myself as the shepherd of the sheep. So, I asked myself, “What other role might I fill in the whole sheep-shepherd metaphor?” and it came to me: Shee…

The Next Dance

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful,
not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth.
Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.



I’ve read this over about five times now, and it keeps on growing in my mind. The above is only a part of the verse cited, but it’s the part that kept reaching out and poking me. It’s the part that I felt was reading me; the part that was peering into my heart to see what is going on in there. It’s the part that sat down in front of me with a questioning look on its face, put its chin in its hand, and looked at me without saying anything. And kept on looking.
Eventually I started noticing specific things; I started trying to see what the verse was looking at in me. I noticed that it started out by talking about what love is; then what it isn’t; then back …