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August 2015

Hagakure #4

Conflict between North and South, introduction of firearms, and foreign religious interference present problems that only an extraordinary man could solve. The Shogun Ieyasu intended to be that man.To attain his goal he calmly resorted to force and political trickery. Yet one small betrayal wore so heavily on him that he wrote the Buddha’s name 10,000 times to atone for it.


Our congratulations to Ken and Victoria who are now not only a happy couple… but a married happy couple!!!

A Prescription for Murder (#3)

There are old portraits in the hacienda’s attic that may explain some of the problem’s Karen is having. Getting into the attic is yet another problem. Ruiz, the police detective, says that he has information that will help her; but he is drunk and refuses to discuss what he has learned.

Hagakure (#3)

Japan’s first “Separation of Church and State” long cherished by Americans was accomplished by its first Shogun, (“the barbarian suppressing Commander in Chief”) Yoritomo Minamoto who let the Emperor preside over religious matters in Kyoto while he moved the government, the first meritocracy, to Kamakura where he set the stage for the flourishing of Zen and the Martial Arts.

La muerte y las semillas de mostaza

Muchas veces nos sentimos desgraciados: “¡sólo a mi me pasa esto!” decimos. Sin embargo, cuando miramos a nuestro alrededor y vemos que no estamos sólos, todo se vuelve más fácil.

A Prescription for Murder (#2)

A day of enjoyable sailing ends with the bad news of Agnes Celine’s death and the worse news that Karen Breiton is suspected of having caused her death. Karen has stumbled into someone’s trap. But who or why or what the event will have on her professional reputation are questions only a Mexican police detective can answer.

Hagakure (#2)

All great movements have a beginning which fulfills a need. Peasants, being given no armor or weapons when they were sent into battle, had to copy the “attack and defend” techniques of birds, insects, and animals. This became the beginning of Karate. In Part 2 of her Commentary on the Hagakure, Ming Zhen Shakya discusses how shifts in imperial power forced noble sons into the hinterlands where they became “servants” (samurai) of brutish warlords. They shed the foppishness of fashion and brought the ethos of unflinching loyalty to one’s lord, and this, mingled with the mastery of horse and weapon and the disciplines of Buddhist Meditation and weaponless fighting, became the root which had yet to send its stem up into the political world. This root would gather such strength that when it did break ground, it would define a civilization.

La flecha envenenada

A pesar de todo el ruido que nos rodea, muchas veces, la simplicidad de intenciones es nuestra mejor alternativa.

A Father’s Birth (#5)

Deliverance Day finally arrives for Da Shi Yao Xin. In Part V, A Tiger in the Belgian Forest, he tells us how it feels to suddenly become the dad of an adorable tiger cub, a.k.a. his son Eliott.

A Prescription for Murder (#1)

A Phoenix cardiologist is the perfect choice to be framed for murder. She believes, as do all unenlightened souls, that she needs the society of other people. What she needs to learn is not to have friends, but to be friendly to everyone. But that spiritual state is a long way from where she finds herself. She distrusts Mexico’s legal system and she trusts friends from home who are known as reputable persons of integrity. Her misjudgments are now her biggest problems.

Hagakure (#1)

Few writers have been so prolific and so eloquent in their love of their country’s traditions as world-class author Yukio Mishima. In Part I of her Commentary on the Hagakure, Ming Zhen Shakya discusses Mishima’s obsession with the Samurai ethic. An expert swordsman, he planned meticulously for his death by hara kiri, but nothing about his final day went as planned; and his death became a travesty of a Samurai’s heroic demise.

The Party

Yin Ts’ao, in his own inimitable way, has personalized man’s essential conflict with the material world and all its spurious values. His setting is the home of newlyweds and his instrument of rejection is alcohol and maybe a few drugs. Welcome to “The Party”.