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the learning laboratory at the end of the universe...

Religion, Love, Politics, Economy


I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, spent some years teaching in a Russian Orthodox Seminary, spent over twenty years married to a Methodist, studied Zen (and practice it, sporadically)and Judaism, and, and, and.....

I am or the opinion that whatever works, whenever it works, is valid.
 I am fonder of Zen than I am of Christianity.  Zen (or any other form of Buddhism)doesn't deal with "sacred mysteries".  It's all in front of your face.  You just have to learn to see it.  Shunryu Suyuki is one of my favorite authors. He says things like this:

"How do you like zazen? I think it may be better to ask, how do you like brown rice?  Zazen is too big a topic.   Brown rice is just right.  Actually, there is not much difference."

My attraction to Zen and Douglas Adams explain each other, but they tell you nothing much about me, other than maybe some people find me odd.....

I like to talk like Douglas Adams wrote.  I'll say "so long, and thanks for all the fish" on my way out of the pub, or "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  (which I often use as an email signature) but I'm not Douglas Adams.  For one thing, he's dead, and if I were, I wouldn't be writing this, so you are blessed.  Suzuki is dead too, but I'm beginning to think that doesn't mean much.  Dead is dead.  Dying, however, can be painful. Dying is one of the big reasons we have religion.  The biggest one is our inferiority complex as a biological family.

With Zen, as with the five books of Adams' trilogy, we learn that there's a lot of nonsense in our lives.  The trick is to recognize it and give it back to its creators in the form of wisdom.  No, there are no helpful hints here, this is only opinion (read the title).

In the Orthodox tradition of Hesychastic Prayer the monk sits, controls breathing, and repeats prayers and meditates much in the same way that a Buddhist practices Zazen.  You can do this without prayer, as well.  Think about the mindlessness of playing solitaire on a computer and the way random thoughts enter your mind.  The same can be said of many other forms of activity.  If we eliminate the random thoughts, we can come to a state of no-mind.  Not so traditional, but it can work.  And that's all I have to say about religion.


I am not talking about this thing where the world seems new and the heart is in the heavens, nor am I talking about flowers and candy.  Love is a hard thing.  It means sacrifice.  Some of this sacrifice is the giving away of self.  This is not easy, but it's the thing that love is made of.  Love is not about self, it's about the other.  This is something many forget. If you love someone and they do something that is not good for you, love tells you to forgive them.  If you love someone and they have a problem, love tells you to help them.  

Love is like a good, well-broken in pair of hiking boots.  This means, if you take care of them, they will last a very long time and they will keep you warm and dry and free of pain as you travel.

early June, 2010: nota bene
wives and lovers of the writer are still loved, regardless of legal, spatial, or temporal status of the 
relationship. You may find that hard to believe, but it's just another case of truth which is stranger
than fiction.....

Politics and Economy

They ain't my job, ese......

copyright 2010: john zavacki (the elder)