Buddha wasn’t a Buddhist

It’s a poetic anomaly,
There is no right theology,
It’s phenomenology you need to Witness the reality:
No koan spoken understood;
No vista below the gaze undertook;
No path you know underfoot;
The crucible denied because even though you tried the reality you saw was caused by the illusions you had in mind – it was but shadows on the wall, hinting at a larger picture beyond, an impermanent veil instead of all… you could see, if we just opened our eyes, maybe for the first time.

This poem uses Buddhist philosophy to argue against certain Buddhist beliefs structures. The specific beliefs are left as an exercise to the reader.

Guest Post – A tea poem by Jonathon Ready

A fine youg ChaRen

This is a guest tea poem written by Jonathon Ready;

I was sitting in her tea house.  My breaths came harder every time.  The air was thick with the steam from the boiling kettles.  Drip Drip Drip the water runs off my nose falling on the Tatami mats.  FFFF exhale, FFFF exhale, humidity coating my nose and the scent of brewing Oolong mixed with a floral scent.  I yearn to keep feeling.  I open my eyes and the type of light that you get from hardwood and candlelight allows me to sense the center.  My whole body aches when she picks me and lays me down on a bamboo mat.  She carefully waits as I dry she is carefully doing this to me, but I know she is doing it for her own enjoyment.  She withers me and rolls me.  Just the way I like it.  She likes to bruise me.  I like the pain too.  She lightly roasts me and tosses me with her bare hands.  The heat and the fruit-wood smoke.  Perfect. Then she leaves me there balled up in the fetal position.  She picks me up like a baby and drops me into my bath.  I unfurl, weightless.  And she enjoys me.

 

That was…  sexy….
I don’t think it was referring to any of the other institute members…

Chaxi at the 7 river bends

While not an extreme chaxi, this was a beautifully memorable one. Our host in japan, Mr. Yasuo Koike, has been of the most gracious sort, and we are now in Shizouka, a tea growing Provence.

We made a special 2 part chaxi on top of Asahi Dan Mountain overlooking a section of the river known as the 7 bends; being our first (serious) chaxi in japan, we decided to go with a Japanese theme.

Japanese Aesthetics are all about symbolism, so for this late 80’s Taiwanese oolong we used a chanoyu fan with rukyos poetry, and kashi paper under the gaiwan. We chose the tea because it tastes like plum, and plums are one of the symbols of Sen no Rukyu the founder of Japanese tea ceremony.

That set us up nicely for part 2; matcha chaxi!

We use the open fan as our hanging scroll, and the view as our tokonoma. Mr. Koike whisked tea first in his Oribe tea bowl; the green and white of the bowl were picked up by the green pine and the white kashi paper, both serving to enhance the colour of the matcha.

He also whisked tea in my Korean Persimmon bowl (by Mr. Lee); persimmons are a autumn fruit, reminding us that the joyful warmth of summer rains will soon be replaced by colorful leaves lofting on the breeze as they whip past the brushwood gates across japan. Very wabi. Again, the play of white and green bring this chaxi to life.

I’ll end with the days poetry.

品茶 at the 7 river bends

 

Spread out below, the water flows,
Backed by summits I want to know,
I follow tea, at home as I go,
Because people know,
Sharing tea makes us free,
To feel and to see. All.

 

2 teas, 1 mind, this chaxi binds.

 

– Jason