Month: November 2017

Wabi Sabi Yo


In Zen-bending Japan, the ancient idea of “rustic, withered loneliness” turned romantic over time, spawning an appreciation of flaws, a respect for spontaneous error.

American writer Ernest Hemingway urged fellow writers to imbue their characters with lots of flaws, the more the better; and the more real their characters would seem.

The Bible introduced a God willing to forgive our faults and flaws, someone to love us unconditionally, no matter our transgressions.

And the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi accepts the flaws inherent in our efforts, appreciates them as examples of wu wei, as examples of unintended action, and then celebrates them — raising them to the level of art.


Back to China’s Future

Scan_20171119Modern-day China must look back at its ancient past and find itself grinning at its potential future fate.

By 500 BC, the Zhou dynasty had passed through its Spring-and-Autumn period and began to lose its hegemonic grip, leading to the Warring-States period.

Today, with America’s global hegemony having waned under the Bush-Obama dynasties, China awaits a potential new Warring-States period to emerge.

While China knows well the fate of the last Zhou emperor, how a new dynasty rose to power — the Qin, or Chin, as in China — China also looks east to the West and sees there a potential trump card.


Zen Man Who

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Back in the mid-90s, in the days of AOL, I first logged in as Zen Man Me.  Around the year 2000, I got Googled.  By then, I was teaching college in the Bay Area and learning the local vernacular.

Thus, Zen Man Yo!

On paper, I’m hardly a Zen Man.  No meditation in robe-silent temples.  No dharma-talk attendance.  No shaving my head to show I’m not attached to my hair.

Instead, I’m more of a Tao Man — one following Taoism, the native Chinese influence on Siddhartha’s rising Buddhism.

Like the legendary Lao-Tzu, Taoists follow a middle path through the Tao te Ching, riding each wave of the universe, acting only when nature acts within.

Looking back, Tao Man Yo might’ve been a better login.  But something inside me went with Zen, so I went with the Tao, riding that wave till now.