Archive for May, 2017

Constructed Typefaces as Art (test)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

I am always gladdened whenever I discover that someone for whatever reason stumbles upon something I wrote three or four years ago, and yesterday was no exception.

During that time, I had stumbled upon  a “trick” so as to be able to post a title with grossly oversized letters that resulted in a great deal of overlap. Although entirely accidental, I liked the way it looked as a shape.

Going back to the original post, which still displays as it did when I wrote it, it appears that WordPress has managed to circumvent further use of the technique for future titles.

The original title: “Placeholder” here came when I tried to replicate the technique, and having failed, was unable to delete the failed attempt.

Sorry for the Inconvenience…(and apologies to Douglas Adams). I will confine future attempts to this post only.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/29/2017

I Can See Your House from Here (Haiku)

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, That was Zen, and this is Tao, The Rain Dance on May 27, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Time and Time again,

those who sought in vain

to capture my attention

were those who tried to

talk me down from off

the ledge in my hour of need.

xoxox

It never worked.

It never will.

Understanding not

what it is that brings me here

to this lofty perch.

xoxox

Observing what goes

unexamined by

those all too preoccupied

by thoughts beyond their control

within lives run by

thinking constantly.

Minds chattering so loudly

they cannot hear their feelings

even if their souls should speak,

I can see your house from here.

xoxox

Out on this ledge

thin as Here and Now

Music is so very loud

you can’t hear your thinking mind;

Feeling is all you can do.

xoxox

I did not come here to jump

I am here to dance

out on this high edge.

Do not try to talk me down

from off of my ledge.

Come up and join me

in my special place

where my Music never ends.

xoxox

We can dance here day and night

naked jaybirds if we please

keeping us warm in Winter,

drying us after Spring rains,

tans celebrate Summer sun,

we can dance until the Fall.

xoxox

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/27/2017

The Indescribable Ecstasy of Being

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Isn’t it?

Happy Mother’s Day if you are one.

Happy Mother’s Day if you know or love one.

Happy un-Mother’s Day if you aren’t one,

you are also perfect just the way you are.

Right Here

Right Now

Just

be happy.

Do you need to give yourself permission?

Whether you know it or not, it’s a choice.

It’s not something you need to learn.

Whether you know it or not,

you already know.

Just

Be

Here

Now.

One thing just follows another.

Whatever it is, just lean into it;

accept

 your

temporary circumstances

without pride

or shame;

inevitable

regardless

of merit

or guilt.

Impermanent

regardless

of desire

to have it otherwise.

Enlightenment

is not

The Everlasting kiss

of True Love.

Loving Kindness

does not cost you anything;

an eternal moment

in nonexistent time….

The more you give it to yourself

the easier it is

to give and see it everywhere.

Even in the face of madness,

let’s face it,

we’ve seen that

old tired face

so many times before.

The face behind

the face

a mask,

the same just as it ever was

so many times before.

Compassion

is what’s needed most.

Just Now

Right Here

Just Love.

The knowledge of

The Knowing

is enough.

As

The Indescribable

Ecstasy of Being

connects us all.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/14/2017

 

The Ubiquitous Mr. Wu

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, That was Zen, and this is Tao on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

wu-wei

I originally posted this almost two years ago; I was reminded of it just now, and thought I would share it.

As a surname, he appears in numerous references to fictional and non-fictional characters ranging from the Chinaman in the TV series “Deadwood”, to the songs of George Formby, or even “Dr. Wu” by Steely Dan.

It is a very common name in China, as well as an informal category for a form of Chinese spoken in the Wu Provence of China.

Depending upon the dialect, the Chinese word for “No” can be pronounced “Wú”, or “Bú”. In Japanese or Korean, it is translated as “Mu”.

“Mu” is also a key element in Zen Buddhism.

The Buddha stated that “All things have Buddha-nature” despite the fact that he also allegedly stated immediately after his own birth that “…from the heavens above to the earth below, only I am holy.”

! is also the enigmatic emphatically negative response to the question in Zhaozhou’s answer (he is called Jo-Ju in Korean) in the Zen Koan that asks whether or not the dog has Buddha-Nature. It is often listed as the first of the Ten Gates.

Mu is also sometimes translated as “Pure human awareness, prior to experience or knowledge”.

In the Jogye practice of Korean Zen Buddhism as exemplified by the teachings of Seung-San Soen-Sa, this refers to what one knows intrinsically “in a place before words or thoughts”, sometimes expressed as “don’t-know-mind” or “you already know”, or even “if you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong.”

It also may be intended to imply that the question is improper and must be unasked because yes is just as wrong as no or even no response at all.

Robert Persig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance equates this to a “Mu” (High-Resistance) state by identifying that although it is frequently asserted that binary computers are controlled by either a “One” or a “Zero” value, if the power is shut down there is neither “One” or “Zero”.

Yet in contemplating these interpretations of Zhao-zhou/Chao-chou/ or Jo-Ju’s response I could not help noticing how the emphatic pronunciation is also a phonetic pun that mimics that sound of the barking of a dog, thereby calling attention to our attachment to words.

“Wu!”

This makes perfect sense…in fact, I have never heard a dog issue either a “Bow!” or a “Wow!”

“Wu!”

I do understand the value of the contemplation of this enigmatic and paradoxical Koan for its own sake. For many years, I had only heard or read the English translation of “No!” and it encouraged the maintenance of the “ever-questioning mind” that is a fundamental cornerstone of Zen from which many other understandings were to come.

Mu is important to understand that any and all thoughts or uses of reason and words are to be cut off and discarded when the conditions of the question do not match the reality.

For some reason, when I read Persig’s book, his explanation of “mu” did not stick, and was completely forgotten for more than thirty years.

Obviously, that might have helped me many years ago…but perhaps not….

Easy answers may lead to facile understandings of more complex questions.

“Wu Wei” is a term for without action or even “Wei wu wei” meaning action without action or effortless action as in the Tao of T’ai chi ch’uan.

In similar fashion, at the risk of being a “spoiler” I would also like to propose the following solutions to several other enigmatic questions, such as:

If all things return to the One, to where does the One return?

ZERO. As simplistic as this may seem, it is nonetheless true.

In Buddhism, this is supported by the concept of Impermanence.

It is a fundamental scientific concept, especially in regard to quantum mechanics.

“First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain then there is…”

You are a Zen Master in a monastery, and a very large, intimidating man comes into the temple, who lights a cigarette, whereupon he blows smoke into the face of the statue of the Buddha, and drops the ashes onto the statue as well.

He believes that Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

All things have Buddha-nature…he is the Buddha, the Buddha is him. No matter where he drops the ashes, the Buddha is everywhere. He is stuck and thinks that there is nothing else beyond his belief. Ashes are Buddha, Buddha is ashes

It is a given that “If you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong” because all words have opposites and create disagreement.

If you try to teach his error with words, he will only hit you.

What can you do to teach him?

This Koan was popularized by Seung-San Soen-Sa, a patriarch of the Jogye Order of the Kwan Um School of Korean Zen, presented to him by Mang-Gong, his teacher.

In all my research of this Koan, it is to date, the only one that was never explained in print, and it seemed that no answer was to be found anywhere, despite the fact that I have struggled with this question for more than twenty years.

This question has to do with what is called “Dharma Action” such as biting an apple, ringing a bell, or drinking tea, because in the final stage of Zen, “everything is just like this…just this, only this…in a place before words or thoughts…”.

All is an illusion, a dream of dreaming. There is only impermanence. Even the comings and goings are an illusion.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness.

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

No Form, no Emptiness…only this…Nirvana.

Magic, Madness and Absolute Freedom; Fish fly in a fiery sky and birds swim in a bottomless sea of all the tears of all the Buddhas, past and present. A stone girl plays a flute with no holes as lions dance with lambs to a song with no words or notes.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is just like this. We have found our way back to a home that was already ours before our parents were born. We now recognize our one true face. We are like a mirror.

For several years, I believed that the answer was “Nothing” because all words create disagreement, and that perhaps the lack of reaction (Wu-wei) would eventually cause the man with the cigarette to realize his error, because for one thing, the statue of the Buddha is not the Buddha.

How many people does it take to achieve world peace?

One. (If that answer isn’t obvious, then think about it until it is…)

I figured it was best not to argue, but I was still attached to words and thoughts.

In fact however, I just had not yet come to realize the Dharma action that would cause him to realize that, like the Uroborus, all Zen teaching leads back to itself; “Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is Just Like This.”

Sooooo…What do you do?

Smile. Pick up the Ashes, and with great loving-kindness, blow them into his face.

Buddha is Buddha. Ashes are Ashes. (He can taste the difference.)

A quarter is still twenty-five cents.

“The mouse eats cat-food, but the cat-bowl is broken.”

As the tides come and go, fish swim in and out of the river as it flows to and from the sea.

Can you hear me Dr. Wu?

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/01/2015

When nothing is done, nothing is left undone

Posted in That was Zen, and this is Tao, Zen on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Non-resistance, acceptance, and surrender are some of the most inscrutable aspects of either Zen or the Tao, especially to Western Minds.
Wu-Wei or “non-doing” refers to action devoid of struggle, which flows effortlessly once the mind is aligned with the natural flow of life.
Sometimes it is referred to “the action of non-action”.
I highly recommend visiting Zen Flash on a regular basis.
Thank you Lou.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

Zen Flash

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped. Less and less is done until non-action is achieved. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering.

~ Lao Tsu ~
Tao Te Ching

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Once in a Blue Agave Moon…but wait!….there’s More!

Posted in Novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Chapter seventeen, Part Three

(Leigh-Ann continued):

“You already know that this is a dangerous undertaking…between the rough terrain and harsh conditions on the road, So I try to keep everybody healthy and intact…I was the one who treated Amy’s road rash after the first time she dropped her bike on a fast turn, and I am so glad it wasn’t worse, but it was a wake-up call for all of us, so in addition I maintain a sort of MASH unit just in case. It’s all packed in shipping crates and can be set up in less than two hours for a full surgical suite, and less than five minutes for immediate interventions that can’t wait until then.”

“I have also managed to acquire a grand inventory of vitamins and nutritional supplements, health supplies and root medicine; I use organic natural sources whenever possible, or trade for more sophisticated medications I can’t make. I also trade antibiotics and surgical skills if necessary, and that more than pays for anything we want or need medically.”

“Jed already knew he could trust us. I don’t blame him for not trusting other men, but we both know that he would be naive to trust most women either. It’s gotten to be a very lonely and suspicious world. When Jed started to realize that he was looking for you, of all people…the one person that I know for a fact he still considers to be his best friend, well, we all realized that this was a chance to close the circle back on itself…to take on new blood among old friends.”

(Jed coughs slightly as if embarrassed by Leigh-Ann’s direct sincerity):

“What Leigh-Ann is not mentioning is that these three women also have both singular as well as group talents for distraction bordering on hypnotism.”

“I’m glad there aren’t more women in this business right now because ‘The Three Winds’ have pretty much cornered the market for feminine charm, and for that reason when anyone ever underestimated or mistreated any of us, those men who crossed us never expected to be shot by a woman.” 

(Leigh-Ann):

“…At least not until our reputation became common knowledge…it would be easy for people to become envious or jealous of Jed’s perceived wealth and good fortune, and he got tired of constantly having to looking over his own shoulder all the time, which was just about the same time that our own individual stars were beginning to rise.”

“I don’t know what I believe about destiny or fate, but whatever has brought us back together is the kind of thing most people would call an omen.”

(Jed):

“There’s one more thing…one of the reasons I wanted to propose this alliance…do you remember a place they called ‘The Home for Wayward Souls’?”

(Elliott):

“Down in southwest Florida?…used to be an African animal sanctuary?…No, wait… If I remember correctly, the government took it over and was using it for Chimpanzee research…no what  minute…they were the ones who paid for all the attorneys…some kind of religious cult? …where they had that trial about animal cruelty and some shit about government experiments, and a chimp that was able to testify on his own behalf by using sign language? Wow! What was that, like fifteen yeas ago? Whatever happened to that bunch?”

(Chiana):

“Wait a minute!…wasn’t that also the home of the ArchAngels?”

(Jed):

Yes, as a matter of fact is is. They often referred to the actual church building as The Sanctuary, and that was where they made all that music and visual effects. Even back then, it was the best theater, sound system and multi-media show I had ever seen.”

“Ash and Kali eventually even got their own television network on cable…outdid the Christians at their own game, and became reluctant millionaires in the process, so they set up their church as a non-profit corporation.”

“Despite the popularity of their recordings, including videos, you really did have to experience it all live to really appreciate it, which is why they never took their show on the road. They really didn’t have to, and with all the lock-down and security measures set up during the trial, they really couldn’t.”

 “Nobody wanted to be the next Dimebag Darrell…the really right-wing Christians thought they all were Satan’s minions. Eventually, if you remember, it was one of the FBI chiefs that murdered Frederick, the chimp that testified at the trial right on the courthouse steps right after the last day of the trial.”

(Elliott):

“Oh yeah. I do remember that. We saw them a few years before all the controversy, when it was still more of an underground kind of thing…and they were just a local band that played for the church services. You know what I think about religions in general, so we had to be more or less dragged along by a couple friends of ours, but we used to go out there every couple of months. It was a long drive, so we used to stay there overnight and drive home the next day.

 “But honestly, I was really only there for the show…great place…a jungle paradise. I remember thinking that this must be what the Garden of Eden was like.”

(Chiana):

“It was really beautiful and inspiring. We never even thought about going back there after…well, you know…we just pulled up stakes and came out here and waited for the rest of the world to come back to its senses. Whatever happened to them?”

(Jed):

“Well, for starters, they survived the Armageddon Virus and the general collapse of Western Civilization better than just about everybody else, but that’s another whole story unto itself. The point is that they have also maintained an almost completely self-sufficient society of their own, and they are one of my best clients.”

“One of the lead FBI agents who was put there as a mole to report on them turned rogue, and he also turned a bunch of other three-letter agents that were friends of his into a legitimate private security force shortly after the trial. He was also the one who killed Sebastian Lodge, his boss, who shot Frederick, the Bonobo-Chimpanzee hybrid that the newspapers named ‘The Talking Monkey’ during the trial.”

“And if that wasn’t enough, every night something like fifty Chimpanzee/Bonobo hybrids now patrol the entire perimeter of the premises. It’s uncanny…I think they are naturally smarter than many of the humans I’ve known.”

“Given the opportunity to evolve in such an accelerated atmosphere devoid of involuntary captivity, their inability to speak seems to be a very minor limitation, since everybody who lives there knows how to use sign language.” 

“At present, they do not have all of the cognitive abilities of humans, but the fact that they possess true sentience and some degree of sapience is unmistakable. They are outgoing, friendly  and quite charming.”

“They’ve turned it into the Garden of Eden, where even the Serpent is welcome, as long as he behaves himself.”

(Elliott):

“…And…?”

(Jed):

“And I want you to meet them…they changed my life…that hardly even scratches the surface of what I am trying to say…you need to meet them…you and Chiana. This isn’t something that can be explained with words. The only way to really understand is with this…” Jed holds out his hand, palm up. Six bright blue capsules lay there.

“They call this the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

What lay in Jed’s hand were six capsules. Cobalt Blue, Egyptian Blue, Electric Neon Blue…if there is a name to describe a color even brighter, more intense and more saturated than all those colors, that is what you would be looking at.

(Jed):

“I’ve never seen a color quite like that. Even the capsules are made on-premises…by a genius chemist who had been a consultant to every major Big Pharma manufacturer on the planet. He invented this compound from bi-products of a drug he was designing for Merrick.”

“His name is Merle.”

 

Chazz Vincent

05/13/2017

 

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: “…but wait!…there’s More!

Posted in Liason Between Parties, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Once in a Blue Agave Moon on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Chapter Seventeen, Part Two

(Jed):

“I have to admit that I’ve lost track of how many languages Amy speaks, but she usually manages to communicate or at least listen to make sure they’re not talking shit about us right under our noses.”

(Leigh-Ann):

”More often than not, somebody involved on the other end tries to ‘re-negotiate’ the deal at the last minute, but you won’t find a better haggler than her; in fact I’ve even seen her raise the price just to teach them a lesson for trying, with all of us ready to walk on her cue. But here’s the really beautiful part…she can argue any angle from either direction, and make it sound like the only option to take.”

“It works like this: she knows how to play the egos of any man she deals with because she always gives them a way to feel good about themselves when they do business with her because she never lets her real intelligence show unless she absolutely has to; but even if she has to put them in their place, she gives them some kind of out so they can pretend to have won by doing what she wanted in the first place.”

“She says that all those psychology courses gave her insights into channelling talents she already possessed.”

“All I can say is that it’s a gift she has; twenty years ago we weren’t exactly the best of friends, but we’ve both learned a great deal since then, and have developed a mutual admiration and I can tell you right here and now that to observe her working a deal is a thing of beauty.” 

“Rebel also brings her tattoo gear along. I don’t think we have ever made a trip out that somebody hasn’t wanted to trade something extremely valuable or desirable for one of her works of art. It’s getting so that people look out for us just to meet her. She has  a growing cult of fans that keep driving up the value of her work.”

“She is more or less considered the visionary artist of the Apocalypse. People are again starting to believe that certain talismans and symbols impart invulnerability to their wearers; hell, she won’t ever consider doing a tat unless she looks into their soul first; she calls it scrying…learned it from her grandmother.”

“But she picked up Wicca after she left Virginia; after her grandma died she started studying Shamanism from the local Cherokee, Algonquin and Chickahominy tribes.”

“There are places we go where we get safe passage just because she is with us. I’m not saying she doesn’t have some kind of miraculous talent, but  the worse that times get, the more that people turn to the Meta realm for protection.”

“Taken on balance, we are something between Santa Claus, a carnival, a traveling medicine, monster truck and gun show, and a flea market, except we are very scrupulous about making sure that everyone feels they got a fair trade for whatever they want, which is usually something nobody else has, or better quality than what is available elsewhere.”

(Rebel):

“We also give a lot of shit away to the locals. If we shoot a wild hog or a deer, we cook for everyone who shows up until it’s all gone. Our barbecues are famous. We also fix fish, ‘gator or frogs when they are available, as well as cabbage palm, which is called ‘swamp cabbage’ here in the Southeast.”

“We like to bring the party with us wherever we go, but the goodwill it generates is something we kind of stumbled onto while we were out on the road.”

 (Jed):

“Nobody with even a little bit of good sense wants to rob or harm us…and if anybody tried, the locals everywhere would come to our rescue (if we actually needed it) because we are loved, needed AND feared.”

(Rebel):

“In fact, about six months ago, this drunk asshole tried to put his hands all over Amy; it was almost sundown…called her a slut and ripped her shirt off…really big guy, a truly intimidating bully…with a very bad rep in that area…got used to getting his way with the locals.”

“He jumped her from behind, but before she could even get up, people came out of nowhere and beat the living shit out of him. They hog-tied him and said they were going to lynch him right then and there.”

“I sure didn’t have any problem wth that; if they hadn’t grabbed him first I would have taken him out right then and there, but Jed stepped up and told them all to stop…the guy was already beat so bad that I doubted that he could have survived anyway, but Jed not only talked them out of it, but then he had Leigh-Ann treat his injuries, set his broken bones and even gave him antibiotics.”

“I thought Jed was nuts at first; called him a pussy for not standing up for Amy…(not in front of anyone else of course) but I didn’t see the logic in doing that. I thought it would hurt our rep, but the guy also had a family; wife and kids, parents, brothers and sisters.”

“So Jed starts talking to what was for all intents and purposes a very self-righteous lynch-mob. The guy was still unconscious and bleeding very badly. Jed thanked them all for standing up to this guy that had intimidated them all for years…turns out he used to be the sheriff in fact…he praised them for their courage, but then he said ‘look…you proved that you don’t have to fear him anymore, but if you kill him, you better kill his whole family right then and there, ‘cause they will want revenge.’ Then he said mercy is a luxury of the powerful and the wise, and how justice is not compromised by kindness, so give him just one more chance to see the error of his ways.”

“But then Jed added that if he steps out of line just one more time, take out his whole family…even the kids, and if they think they can’t handle it, get on the radio and let him know because we will personally come back and do it ourselves…no mercy, no prisoners, no survivors, and zero possibility for revenge.”

“We stayed on until he was well enough to understand we meant business, and made sure his whole family knew the consequences if they didn’t all behave. His parents were elderly, and embarrassed by him because they already knew he was a cruel piece of shit. They were old-fashioned Southern Baptists, so Jed knew just how to  appeal to their Christian values, and the rest of the family was just glad to still be alive.”

“Now every time we go back there, the locals all come to Jed for advice, like he was fuckin’ Solomon or something, but that story has made the rounds all  over Florida, so most people know not to fuck with us,”

“A few have tried…but….(Jed’s voice trails off as he stares at Chiana.)

(Leigh-Ann smiles slightly, looks down and shakes her head, sighs, and resumes control):

“Rebel even does a full-body armor tattoo that involves having the subjects allow themselves to be bitten by a rattlesnake before she soul-gazes into their eyes in a sweat lodge.

“Apparently, it’s part of an Apache warrior’s ritual with just a touch of Yakuza and a dash of VooDoo.”

“She’s become the closest equivalent  to a rock star that these times have produced…so far…except for the ArchAngels, who were already famous.”

Elliott and Chiana exchanged glances at the mention of the ArchAngels; they had become fans of the band before the Armageddon Virus hit the reset button on all Western Civilization up to that point.

(Elliott):

“The ArchAngels!…are they still around?”…I mean, after the shit hit the fan, that was pretty much the end of mass media, I thought.”

(Leigh-Ann just laughed as she shook her head, smiling and wetting her lips with her tongue as she rolled her eyes.):

“Well, yes, as far as national sales of just about anything like that, I’d say you were right, but…but just stop to consider that where they live, they are the local talent…well, there’s a lot more to that story to be covered later. I didn’t mean to take us so far off topic just yet.”  There was a glimmer of a sly smile as she re-directed the conversation back to her original destination.

 

Chazz Vincent

05/13/2017