Does A Muffin Have Buddha Nature?

A Zen practitioner asked her teacher, “does a muffin have Buddha nature?”  Without hesitation the teacher replied “Only if they are from the original Zen Bakery, now available in over 25 locations.” The student shook her head picked up her mat and walked out to the highway with her thumb held high, not a trace of sudden enlightenment was visible on her face, her mind though was holding nothing.

Sometimes it all comes together and stands in front of us toe to toe, eye to eye. But because we aren’t looking it just passes us by without so much as a salute or a errant tear. Opportunities may be unlimited but the same opportunity is not. Think of opportunity like the flow of the river moving past your feet while you stand on its bank looking across to the other shore. What is it you see and what is it you don’t see?

As the river flows by there may be thousands of pink opportunities zooming buy but there is no guarantee that when you finally focus your gaze at the flow and not the other shore one of those pink opportunities will be within reach. Just eat one of those enlightened muffins and dive right into the rivers flow, everything will be ok. What else could it possibly be?

Discipline Myth Crashes & Breaks?

This morning I found a post talking about the Myth of Discipline. Hmmmm I said to myself, could it be that it really is a myth? As I read the article It seems like the author was doing more then a little reaching in his thinking or maybe he is just interested in selling his course interestingly titled The Habit Course. Could it be this venerable blog with a reported 200.000 readers has become just another device to feed the craving impulses of its readers? I looked and looked and could not find any way to leave a comment on the post, strange. I was struck by his insistence on helping us to master creation of motivation, I could be mistaken but it sounded exactly opposite of any Zen teaching I have ever received.

Zen constantly and some would say cruelly admonishes us to sit in Zazen with “no gain idea”  (motivation). My understanding is that Zen is all about ” no gaining idea.”  Oh sure, the author of this well known blog is not saying he is an avid practitioner of Zen, I’m just curious, and will say no more.

While combing the online media I came across this, “Zen-like disgust”    someone is thinking something I thought. What could it possibly mean? A Zen monk walked up to a cart selling hot dogs and politely placed his order, “make me one with everything.”

Kobun Chino Barks on iPad, From the Dead?

Kobun Chino is barking out from the either to sell an app on iPad -  He may be dead but it appears he is lending his Zen to a meditation app for the iPad. I’m pretty sure Buddha would have a couple of apps on the iPad if he was around for this technology festival though I don’t know what if anything it would cost. I can imagine Kobun Chino laughing out loud at the utter lick of importance to the question I am raising here, still I have to ask it.

I never met Kobun Chino during his life nor knew much about him other then some stories I have come across that mentioned a few things about his teachings and life. I’m not expressing doubt here as much as wonderment to see a Zen teacher (a dead one ) show up in a 21st century meditation/relaxation (lite) app on an iPad. You decide for yourself the value of a a series of three minute electronic meditations fronted by a dead Zen teacher.  Remember Fred Astaire recently resurrected and now dancing up and down the stairs with a vacuum cleaner?  You can check out the app on the Zen Out website.

Off The Floor With Urban Zen

I fell over a chair yesterday landing with a thud, my face smushed on a bare hardwood floor, looking up from my prone position I saw my laptop had found its way to a new website with a big name. The site’s glossy black and white home page proclaimed in a stark font, Urban Zen. This online magazine (slash) foundation/store promotes a mission saying, “The urban zen foundation creates, connects, and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures, and empowering children.”

Founded a couple of years ago by Donna Karan this website is full of ideas, events, videos and passion. More in an abstract to come.


Simple To-Do List Apps

I recently came across two applications that make keeping a To-Do list much easier than slicing a tomato. First is an app built for the iPhone called Paperless. The app creates easy to manage lists for everything you have going in your life. The second app is a bit more robust but still very easy to use and understand, it called TeuxDeux an app that is easily accessed from a web browser. Paperless costs 1.99 – TeuxDeux is currently free.

Morning’s Simple Moment

Growing up I often would stumble out of bed and find my way downstairs to the kitchen to see my mother quietly squeezing orange or grapefruit juice. She squeezed the juice by hand using a simple white opaque juicer that probably cost under two dollars.

Sun coming up, birds chirping and a cool breeze wafting in through the screen door, waking up without the din of metal blades roaring electric into our ears, a simple hand juicer allows us to dwell in a pleasant moment for just a bit longer.

Many hand citrus juicers are available like this one from TableCraft….  enjoy