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Seung Sahn's Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, and chat with Seraph and Marshall

Dottie on koans.

Good morning

A man came into the Zen center and dropped ashes on the Buddha.

One hundred and fifty years ago men put metal penises in the earth and started burning fuel in earnest, beginning to fill the atmosphere with ash.

These men claim “Buddha is everything.” They are very strong and will hit you if you say otherwise. How do you fix their minds?

In a stroke of brilliance, I piped the morning meditation’s Zoom call audio through the Sonos. It’s quite silly though I waited so long to figure this out. Clifford’s Morning Bell Chant is wailing now. Felicitous: pausing the onslaught on my geriatric iPhone’s speakers eliminated the rheumatic gargles and burps.

Good evening

There was a moment yesterday, around the routine crepuscular slide, when Seraph mentions how the diaspora broke us. (Sambal moves around the gums.) We broke, to assimilate. We discontinued mentions of the moon cycle’s importance in our rituals. We cleared the forest from the imagination. My chest balled up. I could cry. It had been a tough Sunday already in one of those classic disorientations of a fleeting weekend. Just as a week or two of life pressures edged to the pinnacle for a breath and place to lookout with a panoramic view. (I’m thinking of the top of Bernal hill.)

I don’t love the language of broken and fixed because it’s hard, phallic. It makes me think of split wood. (I have too many planks, not enough logs to build Atul’s workshop!) My own notional machine of my mind body conjures gushier platelets. Like a pre-cum immured into being across a white plane with a left-to-right, slightly downward stroke of a palette knife squishing a wave of paint across a plain surface. I love the way paint breaks. How air bubbles create a torn moon surface. Within this mode perhaps I’m become dabs and waves. Uneven, partial, preparation for art, art substance, also a soothing transitioning item from globular mound to wave. So that’s why it’s hard to feel broke, or whatever the reverse, some architectural rebar. Nonetheless, the near-tears I felt at the invocation of brokenness are a clear indication that the door has been shut on joy before.