Monthly Archives: July 2009

Words from Jung

Nothing really important here, but I was reading about Dr. Carl Jung on Wikipedia, and I found some quotations there I thought worth sharing: I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism | 2 Comments

Aisatsu: a Zen Buddhist “greeting”

Here’s a random cultural fact about Japanese and Zen. In Japanese, the word commonly used for “greeting” is aisatsu (挨拶). However, a while back, I read in my cultural guidebook, that the word was originally used in Zen Buddhism to … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese, Zen | 2 Comments

The Sekimon Shingaku Movement

As mentioned recently, I’ve been reading certain articles from George J. Tanabe Jr’s Religions of Japan in Practice, including one about the sekimon shingaku (石門心学) movement in Japan. According to Janine Anderson Sawade, who wrote the particular essay, the movement … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Philosophy, Shinto, Zen | 5 Comments

Grow up

Yet another funny comic from Xkcd: (Click for larger image) I believe I mentioned this in the past, but the Zen priest, Kosho Uchiyama, in his book Opening the Hand of Thought, had talked about how a lot of people … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Zen | 1 Comment

I only know what I know

Lately, I’ve been reading the excellent compilation of articles on Japanese religion by George J. Tanabe Jr, called Religions of Japan in Practice, among other things.1 It is a hefty tome, but has lots of interesting articles about lesser-known aspects … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Zen | 2 Comments

Listening to a foreign language

I found this great quotation from a Roger Zelazny classic, Doorways in the Sand, which I’ve been re-reading lately.1 In this chapter, the main character Fred, is listening to two aliens having a conversation about him in their native language: … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT, Language, Zelazny | 2 Comments

Killing time the ancient Japanese way

My wife likes to read Japanese blogs a lot, and often the blogs have names with word つれづれ (徒然 tsure-dzure) in there. I asked her what this meant and she stated it was hard to explain, but after seeing a … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Japanese | Leave a comment

Japanese Life Expectancies, Food

For another year, Japanese women have the longest life-span of any people in the world. Interestingly, among the top of longest-living groups of women in the world, some were Asian, some European. America obviously was somewhat lower. Given that my … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, Health, Japan | 13 Comments

Tathagatagarbha: the womb of Buddhahood

This is one of those concepts in Buddhism that really, really confused me for a long time but thought I’d expand on it a bit. After finishing some readings on Yogacara Buddhism, I turned my attention back to an old … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Shingon | 2 Comments

Japanese Yojijukugo

So, lately, on, I’ve been exploring some of the supplemental lesson tracks like onomatopoeia and now yojijukugo. The term yojijukugo (四字熟語) refers to special 4-character phrases in Japanese, that according to JPod101, are often of Chinese origin and sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese | 2 Comments