time to learn what Zen means

“To exist and function in the world of opposites while experiencing that world in terms of a primal simplicity does imply if not a formal metaphysic, at least a ground of metaphysical intuition. This means a totally different perspective than that which dominates our society-and enables it to dominate us.

Hence the Zen saying: before I grasped Zen, the mountains were nothing but mountains and the rivers nothing but rivers. When I got into Zen, the mountains were no longer mountains and the rivers no longer rivers. But when I understood Zen,the mountains were only mountains and the rivers only rivers”.
-Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite

how do I look

Ten formal elements of Japanese design:

1.Katsura-Refined rusticity in architectural design

2.Shibui-Subtle elegance

3.Wabi and Sabi-Rustic and withered elegance

4.Iki-Stylized, sophisticated elegance

5.Miyabi and Fūryū-Opulent and stylish elegance

6.Karei-Sumptous elegance

7.Kabuku and Basara-Outlandish elegance

8.Ma-An interval in time and space

9.Nōtan-The dark-light principle

10.Mingei-Japanese folk crafts

note: from the book, Japanese Design

Art, Aesthetics & Culture

by Patricia J. Graham

beginner’s mind

“Zen is about consciousness, but a consciousness that is transformed…Zen consciousness does not try to fit things into artificially conceived a priori structures. It is simple attentiveness to reality. It ‘simply sees what is right there and does not add any comment, any interpretation, any judgment, any conclusion. It just sees.’… Zen is interested in the real, not the verbal….Zen involves attentiveness and receptivity to what is….Awareness of Zen, therefore, is not the self-conscious awareness of a reflecting, knowing, talking ego, but pure awareness-an awareness that is immediately present to itself.”-William H.Shannon, Thomas Merton’s Paradise Journey, Writings on Contemplation

note: I’m reading Shannon’s book mentioned above in between the 2 books about St. Augustine. I’m on schedule with St. Augustine’s readings.I worked out today.