Mirror of Zen Blog

A Cancer on the Planet


In 1974, the Club of Rome issued a milestone report on the state of the planet and the path forward for the flourishing of life here. Their seminal report, titled “Mankind at the Turning Point”, declared ““The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.”

Yet even in their wildest fever-dreams, did this august council imagine that that cancer would so metastasize that it would be 19 floors with 40 bars, the largest waterpark at sea with six record-breaking slides — where you can “Choose a different pool for every day of the week, including Royal Bay — the largest pool at sea” — and “a huge surf-simulator [that] funnels 30,000 gallons of rushing water to create the perfect swells all day, every day”?

Icon of the Seas is a cruise ship under construction for Royal Caribbean International and will be the lead ship of the Icon class. She is scheduled to enter service in early 2024 out of the Port of Miami in the US. She has a gross tonnage of 250,800, making her the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage. [Wikipedia]

This is not an engineering marvel, nor is it “a new chapter in cruises”. This is insanity, such an extreme form of dissociation as to be even schizophrenic. If some say we are doomed, I can only answer “Bon voyage.” You make your bed, then you sleep in it. Anyone who pays upwards of $10,000 per person to ride this disgusting abortion of what happens when an amusement park meets a shopping mall deserves not only the most fulsome ridicule, but the strongest social disapproval possible, just this side of a beating. I mean, seriously, folks.

Two Begging Bowls


When you first ordain, you receive two things: a large “kasa” and a set of bowls. The bowls are symbolic of begging for food and medicine and housing. You essentially become homeless, in that instant of ordination, a beggar and a sort of glorified street person. When I first became a monk, and defined the word Bikkhu for my parents [Wikipedia: “Bhikkhu literally means “beggar” or “one who lives by alms”], my dear Mother exclaimed, “Oh, we send this man to Yale and Harvard just to become a street beggar!”

So, it’s time for the begging bowl to come out and make its holy rounds.

Anyone who supports is supporting my efforts and ability to spread the Dharma, without having a religion or organization or Order or denomination backing me up, helping me to take care of supporting this Community and offering meditation for free to as many people as possible. The support I receive through these outlets — and now through sales of the Online Course: Authentic Temple Zen — is also set aside to donate for the rent of Zen Center Regensburg’s facilities.

Thank you, by your donations, for making my Mom proud that I’m not a complete and total fuckup.

1. Begging Bowl #1

    Go there directly from here:

    2. Begging Bowl #2

    Cut through the traffic and arrive there here:

    Andrew Huberman’s “Karma”


    And what is the literal definition of the word “karma”?

    Action. Karma literally means “action”.

    Hereby the eminent scientists Dr. Andrew Huberman lays out, in the pithiest expression possible, the neurobiological imprinting of “karma” in our nervous system.

    Harvesting Words (and Images)


    Good meditation teachers today write original expressions of the path of meditation, and spirituality in the modern world. They can beautifully describe the challenges of meditation and parenthood, the delusions to avoid through this effort or that, or shine a light on some ancient thinker.

    I really can’t do those things. What is there left to say, especially about something that cannot even be described? When someone once complained playfully to Zen Master Seung Sahn that he often employed the same stories and explanations for describing the work of Zen, he replied, “Yah, same words. Same stories. But you don’t yet attain that, so I must keep trying same thing!”

    I have given literally thousands and thousands of public talks on Dharma. I have instructed tens of thousands of people directly, and now through an online course. I feel I have fairly exhausted the natural methodologies for sharing insights into the nature of consciousness, and the way we might attain insight into that consciousness most optimally.

    This blog functions as my attempt to express the issue of consciousness from “other” angles than are possible in spoken talks: Using videos, issues of the day that concern my attention, the expressions of others who exclaim on this subject or that touching consciousness and the matter of human suffering — I try to shine a light in a way that is interesting and entertaining — for me, and most hopefully for others. Even as I share something here, it is usually in a burst of enthusiasm like “I want so-and-so to know about this” and “What a great way to show ‘dharma'”.

    That’s all.

    Nothing really original here. Just shovelling around the stuff of others, and then my worthless reflections on that (sometimes), all trying to point back to that nameless something.

    Nothing original here. I just harvest others’ words and images, mostly. Hopefully, it points in the right direction: don’t know.

    From an illuminated manuscript of France, 15th-century.
    (credit: @WeirdMedieval)

    Communicating Sentience

    Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 22.36.42



    Helpful Steps


    This thinking-mind is, at bottom, a habit-machine. The word for this is “karma” or “mind habits” (as Zen Master Seung Sahn so pithily defined “karma”), known to moderns basically as “psychology”.

    These steps from a popular coach and trainer can really help for setting up new mind-habits: a daily meditation practice, or a daily yoga or exercise regimen, cutting alcohol or cigarettes, etc.