I got out of the house yesterday and picked up a neti pot from the drug store.

Wow. Thanks Barry! As a long time sufferer of sinus infections I have to say I can’t believe no one had ever recommended one of these things to me before.

Busy mind during the first sitting, lots of thought secretions about a conversation I have been having via private messages on “Zen Forum International” that started out like this:

Hi Jordan,

I'd be interested in hearing how you reconcile Buddhism with being a marine.

I can see the honor in protecting the nation, but I'm very interested in hearing how a soldier can feel any honor in following orders when a madman like George Bush is the commander in chief.

The selflessness of following orders without question is a pretty obvious aspect of military training, but it doesn't seem sufficient in and of itself to be selfless in the service of a crazy commander.


Something about the tone of that has really bothered me.

Woke ZMH for the second sitting and I was much more settled.

May all beings be well and happy.


Lauren said...

We all take orders from mad people. If they are not behind us, they are in the mirror.

SlowZen said...


Barry said...

Hi Jordan - did I recommend a neti pot at one point? Guess so . . . but one of the advantages of moderately old age is that I don't remember so well! I love mine and use it 2x daily.

As for your correspondent, I'll echo Lauren. We're all in the service of a mad, crazy commander and that commander is much closer than most of us wish to admit.

We get to vote for the commander-in-chief every four years, and we should do so. But the other commander is in charge 24/7 - so what shall we do with that fellow?

SlowZen said...

Thanks Barry the neti pot suggestion was on my post about boogers.

I tried to explain to the guy that the military is not responsible for regulating the civilian government. I hope he understands.

Sean said...

Wow, what a brazen statement of something, that looks like.

Myself, sir, I reconcile my study of Buddhism with my being in the Army, on a premise of some things that I read, which were written by the Samurai Yagyu Munenori, later translated by Thomas Cleary.

It was in The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War, which was published together with the namesake of the book in which it was published: The Book of Five Rings, by Myamoto Musashi. I do not know why they didn't indicate both books, on the cover, but there are two books in the edition, and they are by two separate authors.

The Master Yagyu put the matter as so:

There is an old saying, "Weapons are instruments of ill omen, despised by the way of Heaven." The reason weapons are instruments of ill omen is that the Way of Heaven is the Way that gives life to beings, so something used for killing is truly an instrument of ill omen. Thus the saying has it that what contradicts the Way of Heaven is despised.

Nevertheless, it also says that to use arms when unavoidable is also the Way of Heaven. What does this mean? Although flowers blossom and greenery increases in the spring breeze, when the autumn frost comes, leaves always drop and trees wither. There is the judgment of nature.

This is because there is logic in striking down something when it is completed. People may take advantage of events to do evil, but when that evil is complete, it is attacked. That is why it is said that using weapons is also the Way of Heaven.

-- Yagyu Munenori


Later in the work, Yagyu goes into depth, in discussing relations of martial arts and Buddhism. What he said, there, I think's been enough for me to get a bite on, myself, sir.

There's also a book of communications to Yagyu, from Takuan Soho, who is accredited as a Zen Master. In a translation by William Scott Williams, the book is titled, The Unfettered Mind. I think it would lend credence, if there would be a question as to the credentials of Yagyu Munenori as a Buddhist.

That guy who wrote to you, there, sir, he is not my unfortunate contact to comment about, as I notice, so I'll avoid stating any of the comments that come to mind, sir. I guess it would be better off disregarded, as like to some little chihuahua of political desire yapping at the back tire of the bike.

The integrity of the chain of command is vital for the functioning of a successful military -- as I know you'd be well aware, sir. It would appear that the commenter is completely clueless about it. If I can comment about anything in regards to what he said, it would be that, sir.

Mud, not of the slinging type. Mud!

SlowZen said...

Hi Sean,
Thanks for stopping by and offering your opinions. It is good to hear from a fellow service member on this.

Thanks for looking!