Hagakure #7

We all know the dry mouth that comes with fear. We have only to stand up before a group to give a speech in order to find our mouths go dry and our lips stick to our teeth. But fear means more than a dry mouth to a Samurai. There is a secret in spit to the seasoned warrior.

The Squatters (#3)

The Squatters, like most people, do not regard an act of retribution against them as the second act. To them, the first was justified and stands alone; therefore an retribution is always a new, undeserved act. But Squatters lack moral proportion, and Rick gets more than he deserves.

The Journey Home

At the suggestion of the Ven. Yao Xiang, Ming Zhen watched the YouTube conversation in which an orthodox Catholic priest traces his life from drugs and motorcycles to his present ministry. His recommendations are somewhat different from the Zen prescription, which Ming Zhen responds to in her essay.

The Squatters (#2)

Rick and Helena think that they can fight fire with fire, and do dirty tricks to their antagonists. In Part II of The Squatters, Ming Zhen Shakya shows how pitifully inadequate such actions are.

The Squatters (#1)

Rick (evil genius of The Money Lender) gets ‘his turn in the barrel’ when he tries to retreat to a house he owns and finds it filled with very nasty squatters. Rick thinks he knows how to fight fire with fire. But that remains to be seen.


We would like to congratulate Victoria, lovely wife of Abbot Ken, for her great performance in Pensacola Marathon. She finished […]

The Sale of the House

Common sense promises made with the knowledge of our diminishing volition are safeguards against the irrational deals we make when we are higher than a kite…especially when we’ve been plucked from the jaws of death-by-drowning. An important lesson on the recognition of our limits

Hagakure #6

It is never too late to adopt the Samurai Way of Life, to abandon old selfish ways, to embrace new principles, and to devote one’s life to being loyal to those principles. Especially after a surviving a critical challenge to one’s existence, we experience a great need to find a better way of living, a code to live by that will impart indomitability to us. We are done with being weak. In her review of Jim Jarmusch’s film Ghost Dog, Ming Zhen Shakya shows one man’s conversion to the discipline of righteous beliefs.

Happy Halloween!

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!

Cowspiracy and The Cancer Detectives of Xian

Along with “Cowspiracy” (on Netflix) comes this recent announcement by the WHO about the dangers of foods we frequently eat. Processed meat (and some red meat too such as hamburgers) are put on the top of the “carcinogen” danger list along with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic, and cigarettes.

A Prescription for Murder (#7)

Miguel doesn’t not see it yet, but Ruiz was right: his engagement to Constanza has cost him his honor. Tony proposes to Karen and she is furiously angry when she comes face to face with Juan. The pieces come together.

Abbot John and the Electronic Fairy

Abbot John muses and muses again and seems as routinely unable to reach a conclusion about a mused about subject as ever. But he continues to try. This is why he is called Abbot John.

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