Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Dharma

"The Dharma" number 39 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

We've heard it many times that the symbol or graph for dharma and law are the same in Japanese. Many have hinted that this must have some special significance. I'm skeptical.

I'm no linguist. My native language is confusing enough for me. There are some words in American English that use the same symbols (letters) and the meanings are not related. I'm thinking of the example through as in finished and through as in penetrated. You might be able to make some special connection but because I'm through with my soup doesn't mean I've penetrated it nor if a my carving knife goes through my finger and I finished with the consequences. Another example would be orange as in the fruit and orange as in the color. Same or different?

Make it special if you want, I'm just not buying it.

The translation we chant says 'singing and dancing are the voice of the law'. Makes no sense to me. 'Singing and dancing are the voice of the dharma', ah! - that feels comfortable. Not that Zen is at all concerned with my personal comfort.

Twitter is an amazing thing. Between it and my RSS reader, I'm able to follow people who are of interest to me. People I'd like to know more about. People I'd love to meet in real life. This is the best of the internet and a forward leaning activity enabled by the web. In contrast, Facebook is a way to keep tract of people we already know. A connection with the past. Not completely off but defiantly not as exciting.

Let's remember that the past is dead. The future is not yet born. Out of nothingness comes the present moment. Out of Twitter comes the pointer to the following youtube clip. Fascinating to see the man after listening to his audio presentations for years. I'm starting to work my way through what is available. Good stuff indeed.

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