Zen 96

The well-known in the West term Zen was empty right from the start -- miss even one of its three letters and the whole notion goes wrong. Looking inward yourself or outward, all the same, you see there is no fixed Self -- the centripetal emotion turns into the centrifugal and conversely. So, break into the purgatory of your soul through the front gate if you want to take your proper place in Hell.Today, more and more people want to know what Zen is. The problem is that it is not an easy task to describe it, as Zen is beyond wording. It is something that cannot be talked about nor expressed in written form. The moment language is used we are no longer dealing with the spirit of Zen. However, Zen cannot be left unexpressed. In order to introduce the reader to the world of Zen, there is no alternative but to resort to the use of language; and that language is poetry. That's why there are so many poems written by the numerous adepts of Zen.On the other hand, if Zen could be presented to another, men would all present it to their superiors; if it could be served up to others, men would all serve it up to their parents; if it could be told to others, men would all tell it to their brothers; if it could be given to others, men would all give it to their sons and grandsons. The reason why it cannot be transmitted is no other but this: that 'if,' within, there be not the presiding principle, it will not remain there, and if, outwardly, there be not the correct obedience, it will not be carried out. When that which is given out from the mind in possession of it is not received by the mind without, the sagely minded man will not give it out; and when, entering in from without, there is no power in the receiving mind to entertain it, the sagely minded man will not permit it to lie hidden there. The point here is that the ordinary intellect is unable to function on this frequency of interpretation, and in its unenlightened or unevolved state, views the Buddha’s logic as gibberish, or ‘mystical’ inspired nonsense, when in fact, the Buddha’s logic has more in common with higher science (i.e. quantum theory), than it does with theistic religion or the imaginations of superstitious based thinking. Therefore, better known in the West as Zen, it is a Western art-based movement that serves as the antithesis to established norms and conventions. It is a vague sense of performing a function, skill or art in the secular form that is devoid of strenuous effort, or somehow new or unexpected. In fact, Zen is not the experience, nor the realm, less still any heretical forms of Buddhist practice that ignores Buddhist conventions. Zen is just Zen, and that's it.
Views: 817

Still Life with June

Winner of the 2004 ReLit AwardShortlisted for the 2003 Pearson Canada Readers' Choice Book AwardNOW Magazine Top 10 for 2003Cameron Dodds has just turned thirty. A writer, he steals ideas from others' lives, often borrowing stories from the patients of his workplace, the Salvation Army Treatment Centre. When one of the patients, Darrel Greene, hangs himself, Cameron sees an opportunity for a story — maybe even a novel. He begins to research Darrel's past, and decides to visit his sister, June, a woman with Downs syndrome. As Cameron develops a relationship with June and delves further into Darrel's past, he makes many discoveries, none of which is more surprising than the one he makes about himself.
Views: 604

The Moon Pool

Li Bai's poems have been spread out thru the ages; even today they are highly praiseworthy. But only some know about his style of fencing called Li Bai's Drunken Sword. In terms of his famous works, the reader will discover how the poet's swordplay and wine drinking under the moon affected his poetic legacy. The author's 60 newest moonlit verses are also exposed herein for immediate contemplation.These collected poems has been inspired by the works that the Tang-period poet Li Bai (701-762 CE) left after him as a great cultural heritage, and of whom I will have more to say on the pages below. It was with him that this book began; without him, none of what follows after the short essay would have been written.Fortunately or not, but I am not alone in this regard, as there are so many famously known creative figures in the West who have also been inspired by the poetry of Li Bai who lived and created on the other side of the world around twelve hundred years ago, but whose influence in some inexplicable way continued to grow in China and abroad.The following three poems of Li Bai translated and represented herein as preface to my collection of verses are unfolded around the common subject of the Chinese literature -- the moon and its imagery. Together with the reader, we are going to unveil some unnoticed (if not to say 'misunderstood' or even 'wrong interpreted') moments of the poet's legendary life.It sounds obvious but, again, we learn more about the world literature by studying the evolution of poetry through the centuries; as a result, we find out more of the world's history, evoke our interest and understanding of the ancient writers and of humanity in general.Poetry analysis and its translation from the language like archaic Chinese, which is the foreign language for the contemporary Chinese as well, is not scientifically exact, it is somewhat subjective to how it affects the translator's academic knowledge and daily experience. Yet, I find it very difficult to put a lot of credit on those representatives of the Old School (most of them are the famously known scholars of academic elite) who do not try to dig deeper about the poets of antiquity, and to reveal their motivations and find out those who affected them.Everything Li Bai did was tuned to the passage of time and the joys of Nature with brilliance and great freshness of imagination. The subjects that he studied in his poetry were swordplay, friendship and solitude constructed around the everlasting image of the moon's disc reflected in the pool with its multiple tints and mythological riddles. His imagination and humorous characteristics of a freethinker are apparent in his poetry in full to be a powerful incentive for many others throughout the ages, and your humble author is not the exception.
Views: 456

Pilgrims To Jerusalem

“Life is more exciting if there is a dream,” Jonathan Abraham told Gene Ensomo as the cruise ship Queen Virginia plied the Mediterranean Sea on a cold night. The ship was on its way to Port Haifa in Israel. Jonathan Abraham, and his wife Ruth, were Jews who were born in Australia. Their parents escaped from the Netherlands to the Philippines during World War II.A glimpse of Gene Ensomo's past.“Life is more exciting if there is a dream,” Jonathan Abraham told Gene Ensomo as the cruise ship Queen Virginia plied the Mediterranean Sea on a cold night. The ship was on its way to Port Haifa in Israel.Jonathan Abraham, and his wife Ruth, were Jews who were born in Australia. Their parents escaped from the Netherlands to the Philippines during World War II when the German leader Adolf Hitler began the horrifying persecution of the Jews in Europe. This persecution resulted in genocide: the killing of more than six million Jewish people.
Views: 311

Even The Grass Bleeds

On July 16, 1990, the most devastating earthquake in Philippine history takes place. Daniel, an engineering student is trapped beneath the rubble of the Hyatt Terraces Hotel. Rose, his girlfriend, is an OFW in Hong Kong. She awaits news of his situation.On July 16, 1990, the most devastating earthquake in Philippine history takes place. Daniel, an engineering student is trapped beneath the rubble of the Hyatt Terraces Hotel. Rose, his girlfriend, is an OFW in Hong Kong. She awaits news of his situation.A love story which shows the nature of man: his love and hatred, his compassion and greed, his weakness and determination to rise above human tragedy empowered by his faith in God.
Views: 267

The Reformer

Besides absolutists of the right (the tsar and his adherents) and left (Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks), the Russian political landscape in 1917 featured moderates seeking liberal reform and a rapid evolution towards a constitutional monarchy. Vasily Maklakov, a lawyer, legislator and public intellectual, was among the most prominent of these, and the most articulate and sophisticated advocate of the rule of law, the linchpin of liberalism. This book tells the story of his efforts and his analysis of the reasons for their ultimate failure. It is thus, in part, an example for movements seeking to liberalize authoritarian countries today—both as a warning and a guide. Although never a cabinet member or the head of his political party—the Constitutional Democrats or "Kadets"—Maklakov was deeply involved in most of the political events of the period. He was defense counsel for individuals resisting the regime (or charged simply for being of the wrong...
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Just Beneath My Skin

In the small town of North River, every day that goes by bleeds into the next. Poverty begets hopelessness, hopelessness breeds violence, violence causes despair. The only way to change fate, a minister tells his son, is to leave. The minister's son, Jake MacNeil, chooses to ignore his father's advice. Only when he realizes what has become of his life — working a grueling dead-end job, living with a drunk, friends with a murderer — does he decide to make something of himself. But nothing comes without a cost: in choosing freedom, Jake abandons his own son, Nathan, to the care of the boy's abusive mother. Years later, a reformed Jake comes back for Nathan, to finally set things right. But in North River, everything comes around again; and when a dangerous figure from the past becomes hell-bent on dragging the new Jake "back down where he belongs", three generations of MacNeil men must come together to pay the full price of hope. Gritty, unrelenting, yet peppered with...
Views: 63

The Romanov Stone

“History, suspense, romance— The Romanov Stone has it all.” - New York Times best-selling author Antoinette May Her mother’s deathbed revelation that she is a descendant of Nicholas II, Russia’s last tsar, launches reclusive Kate Gavrill on a bold search for a lost family fortune. But nothing is simple in the tragic history of the Romanov clan. Only by finding the rarest of precious gems—a fabulous, long-missing alexandrite—can Kate claim her treasure. At her side as she journeys across continents is Simon Blake, a respected New York gemologist, whose powerful attraction to Kate is undercut by deep fears about her mission. In their daring quest, they confront Colombian jewel thieves, blood-thirsty Ukrainian mafiya, and a sinister cleric trained in mind control, each hoping to seize the Romanov Stone. Haunted by her past, driven by a promise to restore her family’s name, Kate gambles all for a prize she may never attain.
Views: 60

The Big House

The warden tells all! "The Big House" is a frightening insiders look at life in a world-famous, maximum-security prison and the first to be told from the wardens perspective. Let Warden James H. Bruton lead you beyond the massive coils of razor ribbon and into the cell blocks of some of Americas most dangerous prisoners. Experience the shocking reality of working everyday with murderers, robbers, rapists, and thieves. Meet the inmates who have killed or maimed and who would take human life in a heartbeat. Who are they, and what are they all about? Walk inside with the Warden to this world of unimaginable ferocity and numbing reality. Experience in graphic detail the grim and sinister realities of prison existence as you come face-to-face with child molesters, predators, drug smugglers, and gang members. Learn the management techniques of controlling the most violent and difficult-to-manage offenders as well as why the staffs approach to treating inmates has made Oak Park...
Views: 43

Love and Lament

A dauntless heroine coming of age at the turn of the twentieth century confronts the hazards of patriarchy and prejudice, and discovers the unexpected opportunities of World War ISet in rural North Carolina between the Civil War and the Great War, Love and Lament chronicles the hardships and misfortunes of the Hartsoe family.Mary Bet, the youngest of nine children, was born the same year that the first railroad arrived in their county. As she matures, against the backdrop of Reconstruction and rapid industrialization, she must learn to deal with the deaths of her mother and siblings, a deaf and damaged older brother, and her father’s growing insanity and rejection of God.In the rich tradition of Southern gothic literature, John Milliken Thompson transports the reader back in time through brilliant characterizations and historical details, to explore what it means to be a woman charting her own destiny in a rapidly evolving world dominated by men.
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When Jacob is called back to Advocate, he is not only returning home again, something he knows he cannot really do; he is going to face his dying grandmother and the people of the town who turned on one of their own.Twenty years earlier, when his uncle David came home, it was to die. The response in Advocate was typical of most towns, large and small, in 1984: when his disease became known, Jacob, his grandmother, his mother, and his aunt, were shunned, turned out from school and their jobs, out of fear of an until-then unknown virus.Like To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel beloved of one of the main characters, Advocate is elegiac, written by a first-rate author, about overcoming ignorance and prejudice. With wit and emotional depth, Greer describes the formation of one boy's social conscience and takes us to a resolution that is truly satisfying.
Views: 13