Ming Zhen Shakya tells us of what to look for in our self….with her experience as a prison chaplain. This essay requires contemplation….using her skillful means to point the Way.
Essays by Ming Zhen Shakya
Save by a few things, there is no issue more confusing than Buddhist Theology. Except that more people tend to feel able to debate about it that as the case of string theory. In this exquisite essay, Ming Zhen Shakya expounds a summary of the theology behind our Path.
Beginners in the Path sometimes get confused when reading different Zen accounts. Usually, they get contradictory statements… In “Sudden School and Gradual School”, Ming Zhen Shakya explains synthesizes the approachs of both schools.
Homoerotic activity was practiced in many ancient militaristic cultures, especially the Samurai. I helped to balance the exclusive effeminate maternal upbringing a boy knew before he was sent to military school. It substituted strong, life-saving warriors for the bunnies and foxes of childhood folklore. It taught him self-reliance and teamwork, and established the man-to-man communication that was lacked in herertosexual relationships
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.
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.
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.
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.
Firearms and Christianity brought new problems to Shogun Ieyasu which he solved by separation and division. When he died the Shogunate fell to his son and then eight years later to his grandson, the tyrannical Iemitsu. Forbidden to earn money and to spend months at court, languishing in boredom, most of the once-proud Samurai became poets, gamblers, fashionistas, gourmets, actors, gossipers, and womanizing drunks. Some, including Tsunetomo, who composed the Hagakure.
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.