Most of the last couple of years I have been keeping meandering rants like this off of the internet. Between position and OPSEC meandering posts like this seem like a bad Idea.
But I am going to let one fly just for the heck of it. If for no other reason than to remind everyone that there will be Zazen practice offered tomorrow from 0930-1130 at my place on Camp Shields. Be there or be somewhere else.

So I have been trying to read Red Pin's new translation of the Lotus Sutra, I like it so far.
Wait what's that? Oh, Red Pine, Pin would be cooler. Or for an author Red Pen eh?

Ok, So reading has been slow going lately, I haven't seemed to be getting into the groove or whatnot. And as soon as I start to I get interrupted, which I never minded so much when I read fiction novels and whatnot. When reading Master Dogen, or old sutras, I tend to have a harder time of following along. So those interruptions usually make me start back at the beginning of a chapter. Sometimes those chapters are long.

In other news, I should have about seven months or less left here on Okinawa. It has become very much politically incorrect to say that you hate it here. And I'm sure I would get a stern talking too if I made a couple of pages long rant about all the things I loathe about being a Marine stationed on Okinawa. Do understand the strategic importance though. It is a shame we can't just let the canadians take over the responsibility though.

I like it when people show up for zen practice. It is refreshing to talk to people interested in the middle way. And I don't know what it is exactly, but sitting with others brings a kind of energy to the practice otherwise absent in my usual lone sitting... (YES ! I know, when one person sits, the buddhas in the ten directions are sitting with them.... But they don't bring snacks.)

The kids have been doing well. Both are great students and are getting plenty of time socializing.
Too bad I will have once again rip them from their comfortable circumstances and transport them to a new foreign location, new schools, and new peers soon. I would like it to be the last time. Buddhas know My folks didn't bounce me around from place to place when I was growing up. I wonder if I will create some stability ant the next place... Probably not.

I would like some root-beer without corn syrup please. I can not find any at the commissary.



Robin said...

I feel you on most of these, Jordan. (The others I know nothing about, like raising kids in the military.) I'm currently reading Thoreau's Walden. Holy crap, that guy had a 10th degree black belt in the English language! He's brilliant, and a brilliant writer, but talk about having to read and re-read and re-reread the same paragraph! (Which is often also the same sentence, and even the same page.)

I grew up with military kids; from my relatively stationary place, the heartbreak was losing good friends right and left as their dads got herded around. But those kids also had something we didn't. It's hard to put in words, but they had a kind of "mobile identity". They were less dependent on others for their sense of self. And many seemed to have a more active attachment to their families, even when they were teenagers. An esprit de corps.

What is it about Okinawa that service personnel complain about? Is it one of those "nothing to do" places? Or "can't leave base" places? Or "people outside the wire hate us" places? 'Course, the problem could be solved by not occupying someone else's country in the first place. Ahem. Pardon my Buddhism. Anyway, I understand the mission needs your discipline, but I'd be interested in your (brief, general, objective, purely scientific) overview of thoughts US military personnel who are not you might have about life there at this time.

And as a Canadian, I accept your offer.

As for the root beer: you and me both, brother. You and me both.


Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit

SlowZen said...

Hi Robin,
My biggest gripe with Thoreau was that he was not nearly prolific enough in his endeavors.
I can see your point on military kids, but the fish don’t know they are in a tank yet.
As far as Okinawa; all of the above and then some. Mostly I get fed up with the way we treat our young people. The whole punish the organization rather than the individual is highlighted in every book on leadership as being a moral crusher, but yet we still do it.
I Think I preferred the Buddha Dharma over Buddhism. Buddhism is just too sticky. Much like peoples positions on politics…
I am not sure if my thoughts are scientific, but in brief, we are in a drawdown. America is going to emasculate its military again, as it does after every war, and it is going to hurt the vets. Meanwhile we are looking at being drawn into war in Asia (entangling alliances, resources, etc. [read china wants to lay claim to fishing rights and every little island with the potential of having minerals on it in the Pacific, {think of the USA about a hundred years or so ago, Cuba, Philippines, only this time we get to play Spain and China is playing the US. ]) which will require a lot of effort from our Navy and Marine Corps. Your news media is owned by the same people who own your politicians, and it is hilarious how anyone thinks there is a difference between fox news and cnn, or democrat and republican for that matter. The average civilian doesn’t have a clue what is going on internationally. And it scares the ever living piss out of me. Sorry, this appears to be another nickel rant. But thanks for playing.

Yamakoa said...

Hey Jordan,
Long time.
Great to see you are still at it. I have a sneaky suspicion there is little alternative for us. Once the process and desire of awakening takes hold. might as well call it. The Fat Lady is Singing!!!!!

As usual, I am grateful of your service. I appreciate the news from the "front lines." My buddy is just finishing one his tours in AfPak, and to hear him tell his stories, break my heart and fills me with RAGE. Although, it is "Un-Buddhisty" to say such things, I realize it is just Kwan Yin who's heart breaks and Manjusuri who wields the blade in rage. It is easy to lose hope, but then I remember that as long as there are people like you and my buddy out there in the front lines and countless others fighting the good fight in other arenas, there IS HOPE!

Take Care and Godspeed,

SlowZen said...

Wow, it has been a while. Good to see you are still among the living.

I like living.

MyoChi said...

Hello Jordan..was glad to have gotten a chance to read your blog today..have been kind of busy lately..so very nice to see you providing a place for community to sit together. I am kind of loner, but very quickly realized the importance of sitting with others. It truly strengthens practice. I have come to appreciate deeply the zen center I go to and people who keep the place running.

SlowZen said...

Hey MyoChi,
Thanks for popping in. Good to hear from you.

Thanks for looking!