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#26 2007-06-12 06:03:47

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Was it the innate nature of mind that convinced you of a "cycle of births and deaths"?

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#27 2007-06-12 10:09:41

Harazda
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Tairaku, I think it's something that can be developed naturally, and I think Watazumi was simply sharing his discovery, as am I.  It's just understanding a pattern as it emerges, and being sensitive to change.

Harry, that's an interesting question, the basis of which assumes an underlying theistic dualism.  I can't answer your question from within your dualistic assumption.  From within the actual nondual situation as it arises from moment to moment, then I say that the essence of mind and phenomena is primordially self-liberated nondual Wisdom.  No one has to convince a person when such a reality dawns.

Samsara - the cycle of births and deaths - is at the root of Hinduism and it's flower: the Buddhadharma.  This is phenomenological fact.  It appears in the various traditions as a result of roughly 18,000 years of experience among sages, beginning in Central Asia, as far as I can tell.

If I tell you about my personal experience in this matter, it would be to no avail.  In fact, I've already said too much.  But, I can say this: a well-rounded individual balances both mind and heart.  In Classical Chinese Medicine, the "brain" is the function of the heart Shen, and Shen knows things beyond the constrictions of skepticism.

Last edited by Harazda (2007-06-12 10:10:56)

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#28 2007-06-12 10:41:21

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Theistic dualism? I'm sorry, just what did you read from my one sentence???

I think you may have created a skhanda of assumption there.

"Samsara - the cycle of births and deaths - is at the root of Hinduism and it's flower: the Buddhadharma.  This is phenomenological fact.  It appears in the various traditions as a result of roughly 18,000 years of experience among sages, beginning in Central Asia, as far as I can tell." (Harazda)

Well, I'll defer to your experience in your case, even if you do see it contradicting mine as "dualistic" which, if you don't mind me saying, seems dualistic. I rather think Hindus might disagree with your view of Buddha Dharma as Hinduism's flower (if you will indulge our dualism a little further). Here's words from a chap that lived a couple of thousand years ago when they accepted all sorts of whacky crap about the order of the cosmos:

"Do not be satisfied with hearsay or with tradition or with legendary lore or with what has come down in scriptures or with conjecture or with logical inference or with weighing evidence or with liking for a view after pondering over it or with someone else's ability or with the thought "The monk is our teacher." When you know in yourselves: "These things are wholesome, blameless, commended by the wise, and being adopted and put into effect they lead to welfare and happiness," then you should practice and abide in them..."

-The Buddha, Kalama Sutta

I'm sure the universe will recycle me with supreme economy, but its not for me to know where my various bits will be scattered. In a sense, of course, the universe (if we are part of it) seems quite naturally dualistic, "multi-listic" and non-dual all at the same time... or maybe "Samasara" has an identifiable edge or cosmographical location? The Samsara concept is, of course, often held in a deeply dualistic way.

Regards,

Harry.

Editted to include name on quote as commanded by our evil overlords.... BAD god!

Last edited by Harry (2007-06-12 11:39:51)


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#29 2007-06-12 10:53:17

-Prem
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Harazda wrote:

Watazumi's Zen awakening must have preceeded this interview by several decades; I think it's somewhat safe to say that he understood his Zen, as he also knew the "one sound."

Shunryu Suzuki said, "When you become you, Zen becomes Zen."  It seems to me that, for Watazumi, this meant discovering his own way through breathing.  When mountains and rivers once again became mountains and rivers, his task was to work within phenomena as relative truth, and this was centered upon an expanded use of the breath in order to enhance the human experience... rooted in satori.

In the Dharma, regardless of the tradition, we carry with us the seed of Buddhahood... Tathagatagarbha.  It is the precious gem that is waiting to be uncovered.  Each of us has our own proximity to the awareness of this innate nature, and we approach it with varying degrees of karmically-based inclination towards its unfoldment.  Watazumi had arrived according to his own inclination, as we all eventually do.  My own personal opinion is that if we understand the Sutras (and the Tantras) and work on permeating all phenomena with the sound of the flute as nondual with awareness (mind), then we are on the actual road to liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.  Once we gain a foothold on this realization, the evidence of our breakthrough can be found in our sensitivity to the needs of others, followed by the desire to help.  This help can be rendered through endless methods... one of which is further use of the flute in solidifying pristeen awareness of the innate nature.  At some point, this innate nature just permeates all that you do.  I think Watazumi's sense of the innate nature permeated all levels of breathing he utilized for purposes related to teaching others and nourishing vital forces (yang shen).

Hello-
Please do not take this the wrong way, but why do you assume that Watazumido achieved any kind of awakening? Is it because he played the bamboo extremely well, or because he spoke in parables and other hard to understand jargon? I am just curious why you put Watazumido up as some ideal? From what I gather (some from people that actually met him) that he was a great artist(some say a charlatan) and actually not what you describe. Who can say either way! Also, in the komuso podcast that someone put up on this list, when Yokoyama asked Watazumido if shakuhachi/Hotchiku can lead to satori/enlightenment(Ichi on jobutsu)... he replied "No", and it did not seem his answer was in any way a zen parable. Just simply "No". I am just curious...It sounds like you are taking your own understanding and imposing it upon another human(Watazumido's) personality and life. As shakuhachi players we all have been influenced either directly or indirectly by Watazumido. He changed the face of shakuhachi. Everyone speaks of him as if they have spent a considerable time with him when all we have as a legacy is his recordings and a couple of written articles. It is very interesting to hear of each persons own personal Watazumido. Perhaps I have mine too.
-Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2007-06-12 11:40:24)

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#30 2007-06-12 11:20:49

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

To add a bit more to this and maybe break the whole greatness and holiness of Watazumi. Here I go.

I am sure everybody is familiar with the story of Watazumi doing a concert and getting on stage and playing only one note and leaving. Well my opinion on this is that he has to be pretty selfish, stupid or totally disrespectful of the audience and WHY? Those people have paid to hear him and yet he pulls a stunt like this not thinking that maybe some of the audience were not very rich and paid hard earned money to see him. If he wanted to talk or act all Zennish about it there was other ways to do so. Now even if the concert was free and he did such a thing it would still be bad since maybe some people came from far away to see him. Yes sometimes in Zen there is stuff like what Watazumi has done but usually it is expressed in a context of Student/Master study time. Now am I totally putting Watazumi down? Answer is NO I am just putting some different opinion out there so people can reconsider the personality cult that has been built around him. Anyway he was a good player that that is all we can say about him now since only his recordings are left to us. As far as his Zen stuff nothing is left only rumors of third and fourth hand hearing so that does not have much value.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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#31 2007-06-12 11:29:17

Mujitsu
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Interesting thread here. Just a reminder that using the quote tag before posts makes it easier for everyone to see who and what you are responding to. You can also find the code for 'quote tag' by clicking on the 'BBCode' link located below your post window. It does take a little cutting and pasting but the effort helps organize the various discussions that develop in a thread.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Ken

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#32 2007-06-12 12:30:21

radi0gnome
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Gishin wrote:

I am sure everybody is familiar with the story of Watazumi doing a concert and getting on stage and playing only one note and leaving.

Maybe it was an amazing note! smile Really, if I went to a concert and something like this happened and it ended up being written history, I consider myself priviledged and that it was a priceless experience. There's a history of this kind of stuff, John Cage's 4'33" and Miles Davis playing only one note in his solo, but described as being at exactly the right time, are two that I know of. If you pay attention to what John Cage was saying, this "nonsense" composition was a huge and profound statement, whether it was music or not is another question. Even though I was joking about it being an amazing note Watazumi played, I bet that just like Miles Davis', it was of high quality. It takes an amazing musical mind to get away with something like this, controversy is to be expected, but the fact that there was controversy shows that some people understood it, otherwise it would be unanimously dismissed as nothing but a bad moment in musician's career.

Here's a link to a wikipedia entry on John Cage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage 
He was on a panel at the CMS (I guess all these people hung out in the same circles) one time and I, an early twenty-something kid sitting among a bunch if artistic types (it's very hard not to say "old farts" here), asked a question about music being used as a political vehicle. The rest of the panel, after a good amount of silence were obviously going to move to the next question without comment, but John Cage interrupted and answered something to the extent that he used to express political views through his music but had come to believe that it was the music that was of more importance and focused on that. How can you not like a guy like that?


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#33 2007-06-12 13:10:22

Harazda
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Yes.  Interesting. 

Harry, I offer my apologies for reading typically pedantic post-Modern cynical belief-in-nothingism into your question.  This reveals my previously being on the receiving end of anti-intellectual post-Modern bullwhipping on other internet forums.

I suppose we all impose much upon our surroundings, and I would be a fool to say that I do not do it myself.  What I now want is to just keep things simple; I think this forum deserves this simplicity.  The flute is the thing.

Watazumi's status is, of course, unimportant to our own unfolding life situations... right?  To me he represents an ideal that is perhaps greater than he was himself.  That's the problem with idealism. We recognize greatness coming from a certain personality that we just assume the personality him/herself sees... but perhaps they DO NOT!

Best to just tend our own garden.  Plus, since the name of this thing is "Zen," I should probably not impose Buddhist norms upon a thing that isn't a thing, but yet IS.

I'm working on Kyorei right now.  What a blessing in these times.

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#34 2007-06-12 13:12:50

jb
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Hi.

John Cage practiced Zen, ate macrobiotic food and collected mushrooms.  So what?

Sitting Zen is the end stage of a process.  Skip the process at your own peril.  There's some statement about meditating on emptiness with the wrong view for a thousand kalpas will get you nowhere.  Study.

jb

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#35 2007-06-12 13:31:22

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

I saw Cage not-picking-mushrooms one time... genius!

Regards,

H.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#36 2007-06-12 14:07:36

dstone
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Harazda wrote:

That's the problem with idealism. We recognize greatness coming from a certain personality that we just assume the personality him/herself sees... but perhaps they DO NOT!

Well said!  Thank you!

As for the one-note (or zero-note, from Cage) "profound" pieces...  If it wasn't Watazumi or Cage or Davis, it would have been someone else, soon enough.  I'm sure those musicians felt it needed to be done at the time, in context, so they did it.  Today, such a performance would seem trite.  We've incorporated crazyness like this into our collective and personal world models.  Its not the original surprise and disruption it used to be -- it served its purpose. 

I don't know what the ticket buyers for Watazumi's events were told to expect in terms of pieces, duration, topics, etc.  If this wasn't really laid out then I'm all for him testing assumptions/boundaries/definitions.  Buy tickets to a crazy guy, expect crazyness.

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#37 2007-06-12 14:13:14

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Perhaps the concepts of 'Awakened' and 'Enlightened' are really aimed at the Donald Trump's and the Dick Cheney's of the world. It's aim: To teach generosity and sharing to the Donalds; compassion and the ability to appreciate all levels of existence to the Dicks. You'll have created dramatic results that appear to be big, 180-degree changes. 'Transformation' with a capital "T". "Enlightenment" with a capital "E", etc.

The rest of us just need a few (or a lot of) touch-ups.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#38 2007-06-12 14:29:46

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Harazda wrote:

Harry, I offer my apologies for reading typically pedantic post-Modern cynical belief-in-nothingism into your question.  This reveals my previously being on the receiving end of anti-intellectual post-Modern bullwhipping on other internet forums.

Harazda,

No problem, but I fail to see the problem with non-belief: I don't belief in you yet you seem to exist just fine...   :-)

At the end of the day, its all BS. I propose we have a little rest.

Regards,

Harry.

Last edited by Harry (2007-06-12 14:30:16)


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#39 2007-06-12 14:52:58

Mujitsu
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

jb wrote:

John Cage practiced Zen, ate macrobiotic food and collected mushrooms.  So what?

Harry wrote:

I saw Cage not-picking-mushrooms one time... genius!

Ha! Wonderful stuff!

In the early eighties, I studied Javanese Gamelan under Lou Harrison. Harrison and John Cage were early friends and avant-garde contemporaries. Once, we asked him what he thought of Cage's silent piece. He thought carefully, then said, "Well, that is ONE way to get things done."

I wonder if that was a compliment, a criticism, or both? Those crazy composers!

Ken

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#40 2007-06-12 16:08:06

Harazda
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

I see my perception was correct.

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#41 2007-06-12 16:39:55

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

What you see seems correct...to you. What seems to make it correct?

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#42 2007-06-12 16:42:11

Lorka
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Registered: 2007-02-27
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Hi Harazda,

I found your post very interesting, if a bit esoteric.   Could you perhaps explain the 4 different types of breath and their benefits in a more simplified manner?  Interesting stuff, especially about the capacity of the flute to promote healing through the focusing of breath.  You play the Anasazi also, if you are able to check out my post there, as I had a question for you about the utaguch cut  (see my other post on that though, as I want to keep focused).  Thanks,

Matt


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#43 2007-06-12 17:00:17

Harazda
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Harry, with all due respect, I can see that you're playing games.  My intention with my post regarding breathing had to do with some of Watazumi's teachings and the meaning I had seen in them from a Classical Chinese medical perspective.  A reference I made to samsara has now become the fuel for a derailment of the thread!  Look, I am totally over the concept of trying to twist peoples' arms over the internet regarding commonly-known religious doctrinal issues.  If you don't believe that life has meaning, that, in the end, everything is BS, that's an issue for you to work out.  That's not my view, and we disagree, brother.

Have a great night, and be well!

Chris

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#44 2007-06-12 17:23:47

Harry
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Dear Chris,

This is a Zen section of the forum: What's the relationship between Zen and religious doctrinal issues?

These are games to me, tragic ones more often as it pains me to see in the world, but please don't mistake my comment regarding BS as referring to everything: The Dharma is not a doctrine, and contains all games, beliefs and eventualities.

I too am interested in hearing what you have to say re. breath, but where doctrine is concerned: if you don't see it as the stuff of intellectual games may I repsectfully suggest that it might be better kept outside of a Zen section of the forum? In my experience Zen has an unequalled ability to put religious doctrine in a healthy (and safe) context.

Regards,

Harry (Post-modernist pseudo nihilist wahtever-it-was-ism-ist) :-0

Last edited by Harry (2007-06-12 18:19:00)


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#45 2007-06-12 21:41:34

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Mujitsu wrote:

In the early eighties, I studied Javanese Gamelan under Lou Harrison.

Ken, This statement brings to light that few of us know much about you and your life's work. Do you have an online bio hiding somewhere?


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#46 2007-06-12 22:37:07

Travis Winegar
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From: Columbia, MO
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Chris Moran wrote:

Mujitsu wrote:

In the early eighties, I studied Javanese Gamelan under Lou Harrison.

Ken, This statement brings to light that few of us know much about you and your life's work. Do you have an online bio hiding somewhere?

Hmmm... I always thought he lived in his workshop and sustained himself entirely on kelp shakuhachi trimmings...


"As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw." Shunryu Suzuki

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#47 2007-06-12 23:05:34

Harazda
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Registered: 2007-06-07
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Hello again Harry,

What's really interesting is that, about two weeks ago, I wrote the following after I walked through my front door after my usual afternoon walk:

"Belief in nothing seems so safe,
But it is the most dangerous of games."

I kid you not.  After reading your last post above, this little scribble came back into my my mind, and I retrieved it from a slip of paper in my copy of Huston Smith's Essays On World Religion, in which he discusses the plight of post-Modernism and how it negatively impacts the phenomenological study of religion.

Last edited by Harazda (2007-06-12 23:05:57)

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#48 2007-06-13 02:12:46

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

Travis Winegar wrote:

Hmmm... I always thought he lived in his workshop and sustained himself entirely on kelp shakuhachi trimmings...

One would think.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#49 2007-06-13 04:46:44

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
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Re: Zazen and Suizen

But Chris (Harazda), my dear man, who has said that they believe in nothing? The belief in nothing is just another belief, you have tilted towards another extreme. I don't see a need to support belief in either something, or nothing, and yet things remain as they are regardless, except possibly me... in a sense.

If you are interested in Zen, you might consider investigating this area.

"Regarding this Zen Doctrine of ours, since it was first transmitted, it has never taught that people should seek for learning or form concepts. "Studying the Way" is just a figure of speech. It is a method for arousing people's interest in the early stages of their development. In fact, the Way is not something which can be studied. Study leads to the retention of concepts and so the Way is entirely misunderstood. Moreover, the Way is not something specially existing; it is called the Mahayana Mind - Mind which is not to be found inside, outside or in the middle. Truly it is not located anywhere.

The first step is to refrain from knowledge-based concepts. This implies that if you were to follow the empirical method to the utmost limit, on reaching that limit you would still be unable to locate Mind. The Way is spiritual Truth and was originally without name or title. It was only because people ignorantly sought for it empirically that the Buddhas appeared and taught them to eradicate this method of approach. Fearing that nobody would understand, they selected the name "Way."...."

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind
- excerpted from a translation by John Blofeld (1958)

From:

http://www.dailyzen.com/zen/zen_reading13.asp

Last edited by Harry (2007-06-13 05:34:08)


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#50 2007-06-13 08:47:41

Kerry
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From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Zazen and Suizen

"Belief in nothing seems so safe,
But it is the most dangerous of games." - Harazda


I never thought of impermanence as safe or a game. Frightning initially, finally liberating. Beliefs for me, are ultimately discriminatory. Bodhidharma said "the way is wordless". Yep!.....

A Zen challenge:
Donate our books
and keep our flutes.
Watazumi would be laughing..... - kerry


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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