News from the Front, Oct. 23rd 2009Posted: October 23, 2009 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Buddhism, Japan, Literature, Zen | 8 Comments »
This is off-schedule, but a nice chance to take a break and talk about sundry things:
- The family and I are settling down in the US after being here for more than a month. I never imagined I would have culture shock coming back to the US, and my hometown, but I did! It took some time to get over this, but life is calming down, and we’re getting ready to move to our new, permanent home at the beginning of November.
- Halloween is coming! Our little one is enjoying the festivities. She thinks ghosts are called “Halloween”, so says to her toy ghost “Hi Halloween!”.
- Speaking of Halloween, the next 3 posts feature ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn (or retellings by him). Hope people enjoy! Halloween as a holiday doesnt’ really exist in Japan, but the Obon Season in July-August fills a similar role, so usually ghost stories would be told then, not in October.
- Speaking of Hearn, I am reading, among other books, a great book of his called “Kokoro“, which is a collection of his essays on his experiences in 1890′s Japan. Some are very insightful and touching, like the first essay on the murderer whose forced to confront the murdered man’s family. Or his comparisons to the Western religious thought to Buddhism (which he speaks of highly). Other times, he veers into really old-fashioned thinking about racial differences, but clearly he loves Japan and Japanese people, so he’s not critical, but his views seem really old-fashioned by today’s standards.
- I’ve also started reading a book about Soto Zen in medieval times. The book is kind of scholarly, but really questions a lot of “neo-orthodox views” held by Western, Zen Buddhists today. I’ve only started, but it’s interesting so far and I hope to write about it soon.
- Speaking of posts and writing, I am debating about going back to 4 times a week, as there are just too many good ideas piling up. Once the holiday season at work calms down and we move in, I just do this. Or sooner. I’ll think about it.