Month: January 2018

Love & Zen in America

Zen Odyssey

Based, in part, on 27 hours of taped interviews conducted by poet Gary Snyder in 1966, authors  Janica Anderson and Steven Schwartz reveal the monastic love story at the heart of Zen Odyssey: The Story of Sokei-an, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, and the Birth of Zen in America.

In the early 20th century, Japanese orphan Sokei-an Sasaki travels across America and settles into Greenwich Village where he meets his match in Ruth Fuller, a wealthy white Chicago heiress with years of experience in Japanese temples.

Together, though both married to others, their yin-yang attraction re-shaped Sokei-an’s Buddhist Society of America into the First Zen Institute of America, bringing the slow narrow path of Rinzai Zen to the monkey-mind lives of Americans.

To follow their historic romance for yourself, click here.

 

Advertisements

Oprah, Empress of Everything

Empress Oprah of Everything

Oprah Winfrey’s yin-yang natal chart reveals a surprising inner-glimpse of the media queen’s artful ambiance.

On one hand, her Jupiter in Gemini keeps her talking talking talking while her Aquarian Sun, Mercury and Venus keep her heart and mind on humanity, on the betterment of ordinary lives.

On the other hand, beneath that light and airy altruism, a heavy dark Scorpio cloud schemes for power and control — masking emotions, manipulating others, all for the betterment of O.

May all the mice in her merry empire beware her shiny slice of — whack!    

 

Legacy of Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Waterfall Scene

According to legend, Lao Tzu, an elderly 5th-century-BC archivist, tired of the Zhou dynasty’s increasing corruption and left the empire to live a more honorable, hermetic life in the far-west mountains.

Whether this tale is true — and whether it’s true that Lao Tzu, at the behest of the last mountain sentry, gave the guard his Tao te Ching, his poetic collection of ancient Chinese wisdom — is of no importance.

No matter the myth of the Tao‘s inception — though the more charming the myth the better — what matters is the Tao itself.

And if, despite any evidence, generations have believed this tale, we might as well follow the Tao and be like water, going with the flow, waving farewell to old Lao Tzu as he wanders off toward sunset.

 

Hearts for MLK

MLK Wedding Hearts

With his mighty Mars in outspoken Gemini and his vocal Mercury in humanitarian Aquarius, it’s no wonder Martin Luther King changed the world with words alone.

Stepping off the airy public stage, his Capricorn Sun found earthy private pleasure with his wife Coretta’s Taurus Sun.

Both shared a Moon in Pisces, making them two sensitive souls — to each other and all the world around them.

At home, Martin’s Gemini Mars found flirtatious fun with Coretta’s Venus in Gemini.  And her Cancer Mars provided a warm emotional family for his delicate Venus in Pisces.

Their downfall, sadly, was a shared Saturn in playful Sagittarius  — leaving them to rely too much on luck, too much on a circle of too-trusted dreams.

 

The Book of the Way

Tao te Ching

After seeing the Dalai Lama speak in 1989, I browsed the books for sale outside the university auditorium and first discovered the Tao te Ching.

That was Stephen Mitchell’s translation, and I took it home and read it,  bending like a stem to its soft humor and smiling guidance.

The 81 poems comprising the Tao provide a map to a spiritual territory, a land far from the pages of a book, closer perhaps to the heart of all our deeds.

Click the image above to get your own copy.  Then read it for yourself with a warm cup of tea.  Begin to grin as you slowly unravel its riddle…

 

Rocket Man Turns 35

Rocket Man 2

Kim Jong-un, per his friend Dennis Rodman, was born today, January 8, in 1983.  If so, that makes Kim a Capricorn, a goat-like CEO in charge of his own one-party republic.

With three major planets in Aquarius – his Mercury, Venus and Mars – Kim must sincerely care about his caged, hermetic people.  His seemingly maniacal moves must be truly altruistic, all for the good of humanity.

But his Saturn shows up in Scorpio – same as his moon – making Kim an impassioned leader, an emotional (if not too touchy) decider.  He loves his friends deeply, same as he hates his orange-haired DC nemesis.

With his Jupiter, though, in Sagittarius, the goat goes centaur – having himself a blast at the transvestite basketball dance.

 

China’s Gen Zen

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looks like Chinese millennials are equally apathetic as their western counterparts.  That’s according to China’s Global Times.

Rather than focus on capitalistic careers or communist-party dogma, China’s so-called Zen Generation is turning away from money and Mao and looking farther back in history, back to Buddha himself and his image of inner peace.

Sounds like these twentysomething Chinese are lacking a little Confucian structure.  They prefer to lounge around in Lao Tzu’s Tao, waiting for wu wei to woo them off the couch.

Actually, this bodes well for China’s future.  If she can detach from imported ideologies, if she can return to her own ancient wisdom, the rest of the world would be wise to follow.