30 12 2007

With all the running and stuff I have been doing the last year and more so the last couple of months it is good to have some balance to that, some stillness. It feels weird though not doing anything of note. Yet, keeping in balance and doing nothing is of note and keeping in the Zen spirit. There are things I could be doing, but… I’m not, at least nothing on Sat. perhaps Sunday will be as well a day of Stillness.

We are preparing for New Years. There will be no food prepared on that day read: no cooking. We went to the Japanese Market today to get some traditional stuff. Only Japanese foods the rest of the year. Lady Z will make enough Mon. night for snacking all day on Tues. Will have a quiet reflective day. She says as she gets older and closer to moving back to Nippon she becomes more interested in traditional Japanese things. Last Year was also quiet, but that was a different quiet because of the lose of her father that year. This year is more of a thankful, quiet celebration quiet, that we can enjoy food and drink.

It will be a good way to start the New Year. I will do my prayer, meditation and Tai Chi early. The rest of the day will be eating, drinking, napping, reading, maybe a DVD. Lady Z will add to that mix watching Japanese TV. She has been looking forward to it.

I have a couple of things I will be looking forward to next year. There are two retreats I am looking forward to : Kyudo and Ch’an. Both are in May a week apart, this should be interesting. The Kyudo will be in a mountain Zen center, with a big influence from zazen and perhaps some of the monks. It is a “Sato” style center and the first place a was exposed to a formal Zen Practice years ago. A very different time and space in my life. It will be interesting to sit in that space again. It will be fun to be on the farm in the mountains, and get to “practice” the many faces of Zen in open space. Such vibes from the temple. The Ch’an retreat, hmmm so different all about internal …hmmm mostly, there is some moving Zen. But nothing like doing Tai Chi most of the day, with a little sitting. So, hmmm I guess it could be thought of as the Yin to the Yang of the Kyudo retreat. The stillness…

The big thing for early next year is my Sis-n-Bro in-law visit. They have taken care of us every time we went to Japan, they have been wanting to come here for a long time and something gets in the way each time. This time tickets are purchased and if the Force permits, they will be here. It will be great to show them a good time for a change . We are looking forward to that, Tanoshime desu! For now, there is only now and


Like the day

full of fog and cool air

it called for stillness


Into the sunset…

26 12 2007

With the passing of Christmas this season , the sun begins to set on 2007. It was a challenging year. One in which we can be thankful to get through, and learn from our errors, celebrate our joys and sorrows, would be the Zen thought. For without those Yin moments of bitter tea, there would have been no chance to grow.


With the lost of my job early in the year I was not sure how this Christmas would be. I was fairly sure we would get by, but it would be very tight. Even tough we are both working, our Christmas was simple but pleasurable. We enjoyed the time we had together and that were were able to have food and a warm place to live. Our spending was modest. The high point for me was just being able to relax for a few days, no studies, no getting up early for class or work. I could read, study some Japan, clean up the garden a bit and tend to my plants. Of course some housework but nothing demanding…sweet. Some time to myself with a few chores to do at home to prepare for the New Year.
Lady Z had to work, but we still were able to feel like we had a holiday. Out to dinner on one night, to celebrate my passing my USCG exams and Christmas blessings. For dinner on Christmas, a filling but light homemade dinner, champagne, some good music, played “Go” , life was good. I had the place all to myself during the day, we spent time together in the evening. That has been rare these days. Only purchased a couple of small gifts for ourselves and immediate family.

4 lights

I heard a someone say , that when they were kids they got some 40 presents . That really made Christmas for him. Understandable, it would for me also if I got 1/4 of that score. Now he could not get his kid anything but some simples toys and even doing that was struggle. He was sad, it was a lousy Christmas… There was the party the day before with friends over, and lots of eating and drinking and sharing with friends that came out… reaching out…but Christmas was otherwise pretty much a bust. They are broke. Interesting how life changes our views from a when we were young, ne! When we base our nows on then it brings suffering. Interesting Buddhist thought there, on a Christmas, pondering. Yet Christian as well about attachments. Interesting how a a holiday based on a man who spoke of non-attachments to things of illusions, worldly goods, is all about the goods. Kind of sad ne!

Christmas night

When I was a child Christmas there were presents (a few) and all, but before that there was church. It was made known Christmas was not all about presents. Even though my path is now not a regular church attender. The belief of non-attachment to the consumer spirit of Christmas is still there. I tell my son, and anyone else for that matter, Christmas is not about shopping. I think the more the true “ideals” of Christmas are shown and taught at this time of year the less guilt and depression many will feel. Not to mention the debit.

Of course then store and sales would suffer…more spirit , less spending…
Interesting cycle ne!

Yin, yang, cause and effect, karma

the place

The Spirit of Christmas I feel is beyond religion so if taught correctly, should transcend countries illusion’s of boundaries. As it is now, but with the sacrifice of it’s soul. Fundamentalist would say, the Devil’s world has corrupted the Spirit of Christmas. But what do I know, I’m just a leaf…

Anyway, we had a good Christmas, we had our own space, ceremony, celebration, meditation, sparkle , we even received a few cards. Cards are kind of a big deal now. Because it is sooo easy & cheap to send ecards. Something that was common place years ago is a big deal now. Buying, signing, mailing.


Anyway now on to New Years…

The lady and I have never been the go out and party New Years type. So we will have a quiet New Year.

We are planning a simple Japanese Style New Year. Some meditation, some drink, snacks, traditional foods, quiet time. Like our Christmas was. Lady Z is off and looking forward to her first in a long time New Years day off.

Happy New Year!

Happy Birthday, J.C.

23 12 2007



May all one day share

the gift of peace…


As we all share

the same spirit.


Fuu Miyatani

Merry Christmas

Christmas -recycle

10 12 2007

I copied this from my on-line bud Vals’ Blog

Christmas shouldn’t cost the earth – recycle!

Interesting tips also here
Think Green!!

7 Random things

10 12 2007

Seven ( sort of) random things

I‘ve been tagged by Val, whose blog Stepping Stones of Truth is always good reading, about life in England, meditation and her visits to Kyoto ! What can I say about me though that has not been posted. Hmmmm …anyway I shall join the game, release the hounds. The rules are as follows :

  • link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
  • tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
  • let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I am a sailor. I didn’t start till late in life. As one thing lead to another I ended up not only a sailor but a sail instructor. Never thought I’d be doing that, but it came about because of my plans for Japan. Life takes funny turns sometimes.

2. I admire, and try to follow the teachings of the Buddha & Jesus. They were a sensible guys with practical solutions to all life’s challenges. The thing is to dig through all the trappings that people tend to put on things (them) and get to the basic teachings of both. Some find the two in-compatible, I think that is limited viewing, for truth is truth. Like water is water no mater if it is in a river or a pond.

3. I am enjoying my Zen practice. It has been now almost a year of formal study I find it a shower for my spirit. I have been involved in the “thought, the philosophy” with my Shaolin marital art study for a long time but had not done formal stillness training. I recommend it.

4. I miss playing music more than I get to do these days. I hope to one day be able to do more of it in Japan. One of my few regrets in life is that I did not continue to play violin when I was young.

5. When I was young, besides being a detective/secret agent, all I wanted to do was work on and race cars…big change to end up a Artist

6. I had never thought of this in my earlier days, but I plan on writing a book one day, maybe two. I never considered myself good at writing, but others have told me different. Maybe it is that waiting to leave something behind sendrum. Egotical thoughts of immortailty… Anyway, it will be something for my heirs to read even if no one else is interested. … whatever 🙂
7. I LOVE science/fantasy fiction.
I shall tag these 7 people. I hope they find the time to join the game at some point.

A Guy on Zen Frog

oops I put the wrong link fro the zen frog, now corrected

Butuki on Laughing knees
Rick on Cook Dings Kitchen
Michael on One foot in front of the other
Frankie on Threefold Twenty
Mike on Gaijin-in-japan
I have no idea what his name is on of Rice n Zen


4 12 2007

Nice, keep the fun in blogging…

Things will be quiet here for a while. I am in the mist of 3 weeks of training for a Coast Guard License test. No time for anything fun or interesting for the next 3 weeks , just study and work, work n study. Maybe over the holiday’s I’ll get to do something fun. Sisuk’s School is having a holiday party end of the month, food and chit chat.

Mac world is in Jan. also the Oakland Museum white Elephant sale interesting , but not really fun.

Just having to see what the tide brings in until then.

peace….save the whales, save the planet!

Fuu miyantani