Saturday, August 20, 2011

In Greece...

It's not as bad as I expected. Life's like that.  But the city definitely looks like a worse version of many places in the US as far as real-estate bubbles are concerned. There's lots of abandoned uncompleted construction projects amdist the sunny bright Mediterranean city.

I can imagine that this sort of thing is fueling a great resentment which I don't see expressed at all to me: this is the place where European civilization pretty much finds its deepest roots; the name of Europe itself is Greek in origin.  "And this is how they treat us..." they must be saying.

I'll have more later...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stirring a bit of life back into this blog...a summary....

                                                       Buddha from Longmen Grottos, Henan Province

It's not for lack of material; largely it's been for lack of time. As my family is in China for the summer, I've had less time for blogging than usual, especially given the fact that I started taking Wing Chun from a teacher some 25 or so miles from where I live. And today I have to go to Greece - I'm looking forward to the weather (it's been a rather cold summer here in the Pacific NW). But I get this feeling I'm going to be witnessing something close to the collapse of a government/social disorder/etc. But for want of a few blog posts here and there, here's a few points for those who might still follow this blog from time to time: 

  • Barbara's recent posts on Tibet - especially her latest -  are remarkably free of perspective at how disingenuous the Tibetan exile organization sounds to the Chinese. I mean really.
  • I had been meaning to put a comment on her site that she might be being indirectly subsidized by the Chinese government; China Daily accepts branded content from the NY Times every now and then, and is owned by the NY Times. 
  • Having actually, really, taken a martial arts class from a teacher in one of the world's most renowned lineages of the art (hence the 25 mile drive each way twice/week), I think I can begin to write about martial arts and Zen Buddhism.  And the martial arts themselves.  But instead I should be practicing both Zen and Wing Chun.  
  • One post would be how a martial arts practice informs a Zen practice from  a purely physical point of view.  
  • One post would be - I have done yoga  as part of my pre-zazen practice, and I have taken a few classes in other martial arts, but really practicing a martial art such as Wing Chun (and there are others, I'm sure) results in a deep re-assessment of one's self that yoga, I'm afraid, can't really provide.  It's true.
  • I could write 3 or 4 posts on Wing Chun itself. It is a system that whoever invented  it - some say Ng Mui - whoever invented it was a smack down absolute freakin' genius.
    • One thing that is amazing about it is how little you need to learn to actually begin to replicate what you see in the movies.  Ah, but to perfect those moves takes a hell of a lot of practice, because...
    • Another thing that is amazing about it is how profoundly counter-intuitive aspects of it are, relative to some arts such as Tae Kwon Do and various schools of karate.
  • Regarding martial arts - as in Zen - I'd say the specific school is nowhere near as important as finding a good teacher.
  • And yet another post would be a re-assessment of the "yoga & zen" thing.
  • I'm also meaning to post on "Buddhism and the Internet of Things," mostly because as a guy who actually researches the "Internet of things" and studies Buddhism the "topic" comes across to me as "Buddhism and Consumer Product  R&D," or something like that - it's an almost absurd juxtaposition of terms.
  • I'd also been meaning to post on the recent economy of late.
  • And how to get back into practice.

That's all for now.  That should stir up some stuff...