Yoshizen's Blog

ZEN Practice ?

Following the discovery of my old climbing boots, I found something amazing (to you)

out of packed up boxes I’ve stashed, may be 25 years ago.  🙂

Some of  readers, even a keen Zen practitioner may be horrified to see this 😀

Then, some might ask, What this to do with Zen.   Or, to be a Zennist, does it necessary to do it

in this extent ? —– There is no rules or requirement.   All up to the person. —– Some might

be taking easy to sitting or could be walking, even cutting a lemon.   Why not stitching.  🙂

Woolly Socks A09A2165

But, I didn’t do this thinking of Zen.  (It was long before I even become aware of

the meaning and the effects of repeating practice in the Buddhism) = I just did it

as I got too much time in a winter mountain shelter or in a tent while imprisoned by the snow

blizzard.   What else to do then ?   (Other than this, I curved fire log into such as a spoon.)  

Still, it was only me doing like this and I never seen anybody else

did the same, then and ever since.

(And many years later, I realized that it WAS effectively a Zen practice.)

[] []

Mountain woolly socks couldn’t last for ever, of cause.   Soon or later, thread would be getting

thinner and break.  But if we threading it with another woolen thread to reinforce

the part, it extend the life = pretty obvious = So, I did. 😀

(The socks photographed here had been worn, I think more than 8 years or more while using

it about 100 days a year.   The heel part seemed to have 3rd ~ 4th generation of the

thread, and 40 years later, it is still usable !)

—– If you don’t know how to do the same, just look at how knitted thread runs.

Then just follow the existing thread, go through the loop alongside.  And keep doing it to cover

all the part necessary to reinforce.  (Use the thread partly doubled to make it even stronger.)

(My mother was very good making Kimono (of cause by hand stitching) hence by watching

her to do the work, I learned some sewing technique though, when my mother and sister saw

my re-threaded socks,  it frightened them = so, it was not a common practice, and out of

imagination even to the Zen monk’s family.  🙂 )


If this is a practice for Zen, provably this is the most humble yet easy to do

practice you ever heard of,  still not such a labour than to sweep the street.

And on top of it,  it would save some expense on your pocket too.

= You must be very grateful.  So, have a try, when you are not too busy. 😀


The kernel of the Buddhism is to do and to live unconditionally.

(So, if there is a thinning hole appeared on a heel of socks,  just mend it.

= simple and straight.  No need to think at all.  🙂 )

Therefore, Buddhism is not to search or ask something but just live.

Anyway there isn’t any answer. —– Hence,

Lord Buddha ignored the question, on this reason.

Since living and doing unconditionally in the first place, there couldn’t be

any hindrance or doubt.  (Doubt was CREATED in the mind)

Hence, even going through the sufferings, it will be passing away without

causing any mind to buckle, even without taking notice.  Therefore, even

when the death is arriving, there couldn’t be any stir in the mind. 

This is the Nirvana.  And this is what

Lord Buddha has taught.




10 Responses

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  1. elenacaravela said, on March 4, 2013 at 01:22

    I’ve darned many a sock. I’ve never thought of it as anything but economical. Thanks for the image and post Yoshi-food for thought.

    • yoshizen said, on March 4, 2013 at 02:00

      Good good Elena. The same technique can be used for any other knitting garment.
      If you can’t find the same wool, unravel the end of sock or sleeve, then use it for mending.
      If it was eaten by a moth and only one or two loop was missing, pull the thread from
      both side and knit into the next loop (hence the thread from both side would be over-lapping)
      —– it is not only for food-for-thought but food-to-do by your hand too.
      When you try, you may find, it is surprisingly easy. 🙂

  2. bentehaarstad said, on March 4, 2013 at 01:43

    Nice socks! Zen or not. 🙂

    • yoshizen said, on March 4, 2013 at 02:11

      I never ever expected anybody says Nice to it !
      Thank you Bente 😀 😀

  3. jag said, on March 4, 2013 at 10:05


  4. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on March 4, 2013 at 14:35

    What a delightful pair of socks! They have real character! Such a long life and happy colors. Mend and march on!

    • yoshizen said, on March 4, 2013 at 15:32

      Thank you Lemony.
      One old-boy of our Alpine Club was utterly bemused and said “Can’t you buy a new socks ?
      If you afford to buy such camera and lens, I’m sure you can buy 100 of socks, can’t you ?”
      —– it’s a matter of mind-set.
      I had no obsession or sentiment, but don’t like to see its miserable broken state with
      gaping hole on the heel, so that, I just mended it, like a routine.
      It was not intended to be colorful but, I didn’t bother with non important detail 🙂

  5. drawandshoot said, on March 4, 2013 at 22:56

    They are wonderful socks, Yoshizen! Very cheerful and nicely done with the repairs. : )

    • yoshizen said, on March 5, 2013 at 01:37

      Thank you Karen.
      Though, it was not intended to be seen wonderful.
      Just mended purely for function sake and I started to
      wonder, why no one said looks horrible 😀

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