Yoshizen's Blog

Daikon Flowers — ?

Like most of the root vegetables, this Daikon (Japanese white Radish / Mouli) started to shoot before I eat. (I bought 4 Daikons  for £1 ! = Even if I eat it every day, it would take at least 4 days.)  Like Ginger, Onion, Garrick etc if they shoot too big (more than 2″) before I noticed, I dare to cut it off, instead I plant it to a pot and let it  grow, for me to play good hypocrite.  Ready butchered meat, chicken or fish kind by somebody else is easy to eat (somebody else got blood on the hand = not me), still I can kill and boiled alive the vegetables, bean etc without any hesitation and eat them.  Though, when I see their vigorous activity on front of my eyes, I get a bit shy.  So, I put it to a pot.  Generally, they start rooting and grow up. 

But this Daikon took different direction.  Without showing any interest to start even single root, she just started to shoot up. —– I realized that she is growing flowering stem.  Was that because I left enough Daikon flesh as an energy reserves, so that she doesn’t need to seek any more nutrition from the roots but went to grow flowering stem straight.  Or was it the season to go flowering anyway ?

So the serious question arose, “Has she made a choice = instead to grow roots but go to flowering ?”  And was that because she noticed that she got enough reserve to do ?  Or hard-wired program / internal clock directed her to grow flowering stem as a season’s imperative.  But how she did know the season ?  Did she assess the amount of sunshine, or the length of daytime ?  —– What so ever the decision made === Where was it processed ?  Has she got any CPU or a kind of brain ? —– OR was it just a hard-wired (Genetically programmed = When time comes, one gene activated, and started the Flowering Process like a chain reaction.)  —– You may say it IS just a cut off tip of a garbage === still having so much so high level decision-making of which the mechanism IS beyond our comprehension. 

= I wrote those above almost two weeks ago, thinking when I saw her flowers, I would put its photo into my post. —–  Though, it turned out to be not so. = It seems, subdued light in the kitchen window wasn’t good enough.  But in the same time, the dry air seems killed off the flower buds. === Nature or Daikon’s condition didn’t go as what I expected. = They got their own rules and rationals.  And the environment was not meet the plan of the Daikon itself.  ( I did give a mist of water splay time to time though, apparently it didn’t help.)  What we believe we know something and thinking / expecting something might be just a fraud. 

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Puzzling Cherry

Seeing this picture, very few of you will noticed that this is in fact a quite familiar place.  In deed, I’ve shown the photos of here in my blog a lots of times if not over hundred.   This is a very corner of the green patch I described as a flower meadow in my blog in the past three years. 

Why I’m fussing about was, the wild cherry trees growing here, now having a full bloom.   What’s wrong ? —– Nothing wrong.     But I just wondering how those cherry trees came here.  What I dubbed Instant flower meadow was created by the local residents on June 2014 simply by spreading the seeds of the meadow plants.   So, I guess that, those more than ten cherry trees, all about the same size, looks the same variety, must be started to germinate here then as the same lot. (= not accidentally brought by the bird as an individual seed.)   So, they all together are now three years old siblings and having the flowers first time. 

In the past, I was thinking that those small trees were the seedlings of the nearby Multilayered Cherry tree.   But now a fraud was exposed !    The bag of the “Meadow Flowers Seeds” were adulterated with cherry seeds = and its right or wrong have to be strongly questioned.  Ever growing those cherry trees wouldn’t go together with the idea of a flower meadow. —– May be closer to the real nature and its cycle of the plant though, those wild cherry were too obstructive to “The Meadow”.  They are not expected to grow in a garden patch of a council housing estate here.

The particular cherry itself was a rather primitive wild cherry.    So, I want to see this flowers have cherry fruits and eaten by the birds.  (then spread to other locations. —– would it really happen ?) 

You might be noticed a phenomenon, that the most of the cherry blossom doesn’t have the siblings under the tree.  First of all, not all of them makes cherry fruits, let alone good to eat fruits. Because of them were created only for the sake of beautiful flowers, and often those variety was infertile.  Especially the most popular cherry in the world, Somei-Yoshino was originated from just one tree discovered in the Somei village in the west of Edo (Tokyo) 150 years ago.    From that tree, all the Somei-Yoshino were artificially propagated by grafting one by one.  ( But now, with the limit of the genetic strength, the Somei-Yoshino is coming to their end, and the nursery had stopped to produce any more Somei-Yoshino, following a direction of  the Japanese Gardening Association.    It was replaced by the next generation “Jindai Akebono” ! —– You can Google this story.)

So, the under the Somei-Yoshino tree, there even a single seedling germinate. 

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Void and Middle way (2)

As I wrote on the beginning of the previous post, that the Matter all about Buddhism is The Mind.  

But, on this moment, forget about whether the Mind exists or not, can it remain after the death or not, kind of argument. (It seemed, that the writer of Mahayana scriptures made the matter too grand and ostentatious — don’t exaggerate too much. (= It’s a bad habit of the Indian scholar)  It’s just the matter of the Mind and Heart Sir.)  So, just think of your own Mind. We all know, that there are two kind of mind in our brain.   One feels and often perplexed in a depth of our mind (often called your Heart) and the other is thinking a logical answer while giving complicated consideration or justifying excuse.    The former was generated from the old part of the brain, called Lymbic system.   And the other from the brain’s new cortex.   Sound strange though, the neuro scientist found that we are first thinking deep in our subconscious, then convert it to cognitive (in lexical) form second later.   So, technically, the former can be the first impression or your feeling and the later is the Second thought or Consideration.  This mechanism appeared when we see, hear, taste — 5 senses = feel it, then categorize, name it or describe it.  So, this Second thought has been given a Consideration (while referring to the data-bank)  or Judgement whether it was for an answer of Yes or No = like, you have seen it or didn’t see it.

—– But here is a trouble, you might have thought, that you saw it — Did you ?   How you ARE shure.  Even if it was there, next moment, the projector was switched off or changed to the next image or the person is dead.   So, the Buddhism advise you, don’t cling your thought or hard judgement of Yes or No.  Leave the matter to your first impression.   Neither Yes or No, but your intuitive observation = This IS the Middle way.  Not between the Yes or NO, but your own initial intuition.   Because the whole Dharma is moving and keep changing = try to define it in a fixed form is nothing but the our delusion, since the Dharma itself IS VOID.  In fact we too.  (Though, I wouldn’t guaranty your debt disappear on the next moment or your wife let you free tomorrow.  —– World may look the same. 

So, don’t ask me what is the point to become a Buddhist.     😀   )

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What is VOID and Middle way

What all about Buddhism, the matter is “How our Mind works” no more no less. 

To Lord Buddha himself, its source was our mind itself.  Lord Buddha observed the activity and its tendency of his own mind, and the mind of the others as well.  But, priory to the matter of Mind, Lord Buddha discovered the mechanism of the Dharma, and its entwined activity of the Karma.  In the first glance, the Mind looked work in the same principle of the Karma though, there are some peculiar tendency in the activity of the Mind.  Generally, the Dharma works according to the mechanism of the Karma, though, the Mind does not necessary follow the Karma. 

When we see, the Mind may see but may not see.  Seeing and recognise it, is not the same activity.  Even if we didn’t see, we may still recognise it.  Its mean, the existences of the Dharma may be the same.  It may be there but may not be there.  The constant change in the moment to moment makes the situation even worse.  We can define, it’s there or it’s not there though, the truth seems not the matter of what we define still, we know the state of it by our intuition or subconsciousness = It’s there as it is.  But, we can not see this cognition, because it is in our dark subconscious = it’s there but not there.  Therefore, the form is no different from the Void.  Void is no different from the form.  See the world in this eyes, is the Middle way.  And because the world is exists in this way, It IS the VOID.   

The meaning of the night walk described in the post “Test of selflessness” was —– The followers followed Lord Buddha without ask why or what for = without having any lexical cognition.  Completely Selfless and Open minded = not imposing their own definition or seek an answer but accept the situation (walk on the rainy night) as it is = without going into the mind-game / Why,  but just take a walk —– This selfless mind is in the Middle way and accept the Dharma in such a way is to see its Void.  To gain the eyes of middle way, the followers became free from the wrong idea and start to see and live as the own (as it is).   To be as the own mean to be with Dharma. 

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Wabi – Sabi

wabi-sabi1-a09a7150Time to time, you might have heard the Japanese words, Wabi and Sabi, especially in relation to the Haiku Poet Basho or about Tea making and its pottery work. (such as tea bowl)  The word Sabi is related to Sabi-shii or Sabi-reta etc all of those meaning may be clearer in the visual metaphor than a lexical explanation (since those notions has to be grasped by the naked perception not by the thinking brain = hence direct transmission) — imagine you came across the place looks like abandoned or inhabited houses. = you may use a word ghost town.  No single soul on the street neither any sign of daily activity. Though, it is the very matter I’ve talked about in the previous post = if you were a westerner, your psych imagine a ghost town in a western film which is a dry, dusty, sun stricken street of wooden hoses — but here, in Japanese case, it has to be darker, under the shade of the tree, and rather wet, moss-covered half rotten houses. = you may feel even spooky.  This is rather exaggerated case of Sabi-shii scene.  And if you were here alone, you must feel quite Sabi-shii / lonely or desolated.  Then stretch your imagination further to the inside or the back of the house, what sort of the things you may find — wooden utensil ?  or a kind of bowl for eating, drinking ?  — a kind of the people used to live here, might be a poor farmer or casual worker helping those farmers = anyway, having had hand to mouth kind of the life = everything was a bare minimum.  So, if the bowl was not wooden but a pottery, how it looks like.  A bowl made to exchange for few vegetables or a caught bird, the pottery wouldn’t have a nice glaze or any decoration = just enough function for daily use

wabi-sabi2In the case of pottery, those images are the completely opposite of the Wabi, Sabi. Or I should say the typical decoration in the western standard, which the people think “gorgeous”. (but may be rather poor taste though) 

wabi-sabi3-001And in comparison, this is a Japanese dish in its decorative formal style. (This is Nabeshima. — If this one had no clack, it could fetch £10,000 even though this one was made by a trainee (= the lines were rather messy), hence second grade) —– Still, you may noticed that the stark contrast in the visual design = The western approach try to fill all the space with decorative images but Japanese leave the blank space.  Why ? It’s because of the Zen philosophy.   Western philosophy says, Nature avoid the vacuum but Zen is the matter to live with the Void.   So, to the westerner, gorgeous mean filled with nice decoration but Zen sees the peace in the blanc space.  If the nature was not in the free space, it is not natural but a fraud.  And Zen reject any intentional act as an unnatural fraud.  Especially in terms of Tea making, it got to be absolutely humble and everything has to be a bare minimum. —– This principle was in strict force, almost to an austere level.  So, when this principle was applied, a tea bowl has to be as a bare minimum = away from any intentional, artificial decoration or even an attempt to make it looks good.  In this philosophy, Tea-master Rikyu found the cheapest and the most humble pottery made for and used by the poorest people was the most suited for Tea making, which showed the Wabi and Sabi.    (Photo above right)   And this is the typical sample of the Wabi.  (In fact, this was the back or bottom of the dish the photo before.) = There was no intention to make it looks any better — it was naturally shaped and finished.  Its unassuming naturalness was not created by any intention but rather say, it just happened because it did nothing particularly. This absence of human intention = nothing is the core of Wabi. = poor humbleness, be natural in its material is the matter.  —– So, to a potter, this is the most difficult paradox in the pottery and the ZEN. = Tea bowl have to be made but made without having any intention to make it.   The answer is,  Make it with the mind of NO-Mind = Mushin in Zen. 

(In practice, just to be a potter, not a business man but just potting and let the pot to have its own fate = a pot made out of soil should have the face of soil and show the face burnt by the fire.)

wabi-sabi4-003wabi-sabi5-a09a7149(To an untrained eyes, “rustic” or lack of skill may looked like or confused with Wabi, though, the important point is, Wabi’s roughness or unevenness  was created by the unexpected accident, such as a fallen ash or unevenness of the fire not by the hand.)  = Think, Karma created Wabi not the hand let alone the brain deliberately thinking.  And the participant for tea ceremony has to appreciate such imperfect feature as an encounter on the moment.  (Which called Keshiki.) — The photo above, the vase showed a kind of Wabi on its glaze though, its pretty shape was too commercial.  Yet still, the right one seemed to have certain character to join Wabi = it’s a poor mans non-assuming daily mug, rather cheap product still it IS nothing else of Just a mag ! — but the photo left is a typical sample of a sham pretense.  On the surface of the mass-produced cup, a fake pattern of the dripped glaze was painted.

—– Now you might start to understand why Japanese garden or even an arranged flowers never had pattern or even a symmetry.

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Lost in Translation

There are quite few Japanese words notoriously difficult to translate into western language. 

Such as  Itadaki-masu (いただきます), Okage-sama (おかげさま), Mottai-nai(もったいない)、and abave all  Wabi, Sabi. (わび) (さび)

Why those words were difficult to translate, was because of that the one’s fundamental conscious to exists were completely different in the west.   Some said that because of the difference between the Christianity and the Buddhism.  But, to my eyes, the cause was much deeper = because of the fundamental difference, the westerner invented God, but the people in the east IS living under the Heaven since the beginning of the time. (so that, even Buddhism adapted the Dharma / Rule of the Universe)  And in the Shinto, (of which Japanese unconsciously follows) naturally follow the Rule of Nature which is almost the same to Dharma though sublimated much deeper down to the almost chemical level.  (That’s why Japanese doesn’t touch other’s possession and wash or clean the hand almost obsessively = so that, they were reluctant to shake hand, let alone kissing others, because they were prohibited to touch filth by the Shinto. —– hence, wearing surgical mask to avoid to breath other’s germ. = some of them even don’t eat a rice ball made by others hand.) 

In the same time, since the Japanese has the deep awareness that they “were Made to exists” by the Heaven, Rules, Dharma what so ever called, when they start to eat, they have to say Itadaki-masu = I gratefully receive this given food and thanks to the food (material itself) who gave their lives to me as well = Japanese are well aware that they are killing the Potato, Beans etc boiled alive.  Likewise, the word Okage-sama meant the thanks not only to the person who gave a kindness to him but also grateful to the Heaven who arrange the meeting. = This is the word to express absolute humbleness. = conscious toward the “Given Life” and thanks to its fate.  And the word Mottai-nai meant “Feel shame to waste the precious resources which has been given to us“.

=== It’s easy to see the point, that the fate of the rice glowing society was governed by the sun and rain = nature, not by a strong hunting, fighting individual. (The western God was conceived as an ancient Hero ascended to the heaven (A legend became myth, then to a religion) = therefore speak same language, and negotiable with a bribe = how humanistic !    😀 )

In contrast to the east, the western’s Ego justify his existence “As a rightful owner of my life”  and have a right to kill and eat, because they were made to be eaten. = thus feel no sorry to a butchered chicken.  Such fundamental difference between arrogant Ego and passive Humbleness couldn’t have the same kind of sentiment, the psych which is the base of each word. = therefore no compatible word could exist.   No wonder a trouble in translation.

I’ll explain the words Wabi and Sabi on the next post with sample photos. 

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Delusion — Zen ?

Soon after I posted the previous post, someone asked me if I’m promoting to indulge a delusion ?   Or is it nothing to do with the Zen Buddhism ? —– I answered, that the Zen is not judging or promote anything.  Because the Zen is not a direction but the way to go there, where-ever it is.   The sword master Musashi refined the way to kill, through the Zen.   Zen wouldn’t direct a person not to kill.  The person can learn the best way to kill in the highest efficiency through the way of the Zen.   So that the Shaorin Martial art came from the same temple where the Zen was started as they ARE the same teachings.  Likewise an Otaku may achieve his own best delusion.   Right or wrong is in the different teachings.   Buddhism will not pretend to be right but it would be naturally prevailed while the one living in Dharma.   Still, as Dharma is everywhere and the Karma is dealing with all sorts of fate, it is no doubt, a professional killer must have his (her ?) own Dharma.   What’s wrong ?  —– I don’t think you can direct Dharma, let alone editing it in your preference.   😀

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New year 2017

newyear2017-dsc_3070

In brief moment, morning sky showed a sign of sun rise though, soon after it was covered with thick cloud.  So, this was the only shot for the New year.  (Heavily cropped 18mm lens wide image.) 

New year has arrived with almost nothing special (as I don’t drink) only with distant firework noises and the Big-ben’s gong from the radio. 

Something funny about was the song, Auld long syne.  This old Scottish song might be the most well-known song all over the world. (It seemed every where in the world, people singing this song back of the New year report.)  This song came to Japan almost 150 years ago.  Japanese new Government then sent out many researcher or study group to the west to find and study the advanced western system and the technology.  (So, Political system from Britten, Technology from Germany, Law system from France and strangely, lots of Scottish, Irish songs — but with heavy misinterpretation.)   Such as like almost Anti-war “Danny Boy” was changed to praise the old family ethos.   Likewise, a song missing the old-time and the friends, Auld long syne was changed to a song, sending out the hard-working student from the school. (So, this song became exclusively for a school graduation.) 

— At least, I graduated from Junior, secondary, High and University though, I attended only a Junior School Graduation due to a consequence to be who I am.  (I was fully aware what I was going to do with its consequence.)   Since I was a bad boy, secondary School suspended my Graduation.  I carried out a silly prank to disrupt Hi-School ceremony and the time of my Uni’s, I was in the remote islands for a botanical research expedition.  So that I have quite heavy emotion behind this song.   “What was my life for ?” “Has it been worthwhile ?” — I would say that I was lucky enough to do as much as what I wanted.  (You can do the same = Just Do.  Not leave the regret of didn’t do, but rather burnt fingers by challenging !  Its mean, “To be there, on its moment.  Don’t escape or avoid ” So that, I lived the life what my Karma gave it for me. = I can confidently say, this IS the Zen as I’ve tested on my life.) 

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PS :  This is a follow-up = a bit more likely photo on the next morning.  🙂

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( Taken on 2nd Jan’ 2017, 08:32 GMT)

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Mindfulness yet again ? ? ?

Many years, I’ve been having incongruity toward the use of the word, so-called Mindfulness. — With a kind of hunch (There seems to be a big mistake ! ), I refer back to the Agama scripture how they wrote about the definition of Selfless. —– It seems there is no direct description of No-self in the Agama, but only the indirect explanation, which was as an answer to a question “Is there permanent Self (Atoman) exists ?”   It was only in a metaphor of the impermanence of a soil (or cow dung). (= Even such simple existence of soil couldn’t be permanent, how the mind or Self could exists permanent.)

Of course the No-self was not the primary phenomenon but only a consequence of No-permanence, and No-permanence was because of the constant activity of the Karma. Understanding of the Karma was Lord Buddha’s most fundamental philosophy, and from here, such as Four Noble Truth were deduced.   Therefore, it may not too strange to have less significance of the No-self in the Agama scripture.   Or, it could be the deliberately placed emphasis to negate the Self.  Since you can’t talk about a thing which is not exists. Why Self is not exists, because it was a deluded product of the mind.  And the mind is only a momentary reflection of the Karma.  So that, to put emphasis on the mind (of awareness / memory) in the Mindfulness practice IS not Buddhism.  In deed, the Theravada sect who promoted the idea of Mindfulness was based on the idea of Sathi, which was the idea in the Vedic meditation.   Of course Vedic stands on the idea of Atoman = Perpetual mind / Self = so that, become aware of the mind = mindfulness IS their practice.   It is not a Buddhism but nothing but a Hindu practice.  This IS a typical mix-up or a misunderstanding of the Buddhism by the Theravada sect.

Whether clinging the mind could bring any good to the mental health of the person, in comparison to the empty-minded Buddhists.  It was too apparent in the social phenomena in a Hindu country, in contrast to a country where people even don’t remember that they were the Buddhist = Japan.   A country where the notorious brutal gang rape cases were kept happening, or the country where the safest place to travel.       The question IS where their Ethos and the Morality came from.

It was the observation made by Lord Buddha 2500 years ago.   Clinging the idea and such mind is nothing but a delusion since the idea of “such mind could exists” itself IS the delusion.   And let all the five senses free = not to stick to any perception will make us to emancipate any notion or image, hence able to see the Dharma. (All those notion, images which were the products of thinking, has been masking the Dharma.)

It IS the biggest irony, as long as you are thinking or seeing something, you can not see the truth. When you abandon to see, you start to see the Dharma. — The most funny irony IS, to abandon to see, stop thinking to see IS exact opposite of the so-called mindfulness practice. So, those so-called mindfulness practice is creating yet another delusion and the obsession.

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Thinking process

sony-tilt6-001

Sorry, it’s about that bellows again.  — behind the apparent shape and its function, that Sony Tilt attachment has many hidden structures and the stories, such as the bottom of A7R camera, additional plate was screwed. Because the device’s constant adjustment = rotation, the plate protect the camera bottom scratched.  And the hard alumium plate has anodized hard surface, which would prevent the two aluminium parts stack together.

You may not able to guess how the bag bellows was made and attached to the mount of both side.  Imagine, if the leather bag was made separately, how you can attach it to the mount (Body side was a camera body cap and the lens side was the back of the front panel with Canon EF mount attached.)  = In order to have the precise position of the mount, a length of black leather was first glued to each mount ring.  Then the leather was folded to the position and stitched together to make a closed bag.  (Because the tilt movement is only one side, the bag was made wedged shape.)

When we make (design) something, there are two different approach.     One is to imagine the final piece in the brain first. And cut the material in each size and shape then assemble altogether.   And the other is, bring the major material to the place and find the size and shape etc on the spot while giving many considerations.  So that the making process is step by step.

(Sound somewhat out of context, you may think though)  The Buddhist’s approach is the later.  Lord Buddha loathe to rely on the imagination, hence he didn’t teach notions, even not rely on the words.  Because  he taught the Karma = everything exists and moves following the Karma.   The sign or agent of the Karma are on front of us and they are keep changing moment to moment.  Perceive all those Karma and intuitively follow them will be the least troublesome life we can have. (Intuitive mean, without having “thinking” self = Selfless = be in the Void = with Dharma)    This is the reason why we have to deal with the things on front of us.  If not on there, its mean, it exists in the thinking or imagination.   So, to make a thing on the spot, while finding the precise dimension and the requirement is the right approach to do.   (It’s not against the nuclear scientists designing particle collider — we may not able to see the particles or tela gauss magnetic force by our eyes still, they are there. = Scientists intuitively count its effect in.) —– In this world, there is no ideal remedy or solution (which was a product of imagination or fantasy) but only practical measure applied on the spot, moment to moment. (You might have seen or remember that all the so-called  “ology / ism” has been bankrupted leaving immeasurable destruction behind ! )

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