Beginner's Mind

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Friday, April 16, 2010

Monks and Chinese Government

Interesting story.

Note the end of the story:

Makeshift rescue teams of monks and fellow Tibetans said they would work until there was no one left to save.

"We wanted to help people and save lives," said Dengzeng Luosang, a monk from neighboring Sichuan province, as his crew pushed at a section of wall with wooden beams and yanked away a chunk of concrete with ropes.

Nearby, a dozen government rescue workers probed the debris with video cameras and heat sensors.

Both teams, one Tibetan and one largely Han Chinese, were likely to spend another cold night sleeping on a bus or in a tent after yet another meal of instant noodles.

"It doesn't matter if it is Han or Tibetan," Dengzeng said, wearing cotton work gloves and a simple face mask. "Life is precious."

Friday, April 09, 2010

Summer Reading Project

Past readers of this blog will recall that I usually have some sort of "Summer Reading Project" that I talk and think about, then begin reading - in October. So, this year, I'm starting in April. There's little danger that I will finish it before the spring is over (or summer, for that matter), as it is ambitious, but by no means impossible.

The way it will work is as follows: I will iterate a cycle of three books in the following order: (is it grammatically correct to have a : after a previous : in the same sentence?) 1. A science book, 2. A book by Archer Mayor, 3. A dharma book (a book on or about Buddhism). At my discretion, I might make an occasional four book cycle, which will make the fourth book: 4. Another book by Archer Mayor. So, let me explain my selections.

1. A Science book. I place this one first because I am currently in the middle of a great book entitled Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell. While a trip of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so what if you start the trip a step ahead? What, do I have to go back to the beginning? Anyway, it's my project and I'll start it the way I wish.

Lined up behind this book are additional books on chaos theory, plus a few Richard Dawkins' tomes I have not yet read, and a number of other goodies, many related to neurology and brain stuff.

2,4. An Archer Mayor book. Archer Mayor is a Vermont author of who-done-it mystery novels involving his sleuth Joe Gunther. I've met the man, and he's a wonderful story teller. Peruse his site for more. I've read the first seven or eight or so, but it's been years and I've forgotten who-did-it.

3. A Dharma book. Oh boy, I have a lot of these from which to choose, including books by Thich Nhat Hahn, H.H. the Dalai Lama, and other great teachers. Some are straight dharma (teaching) books, some are history books, some might best be called "self-help" books which use Buddhist techniques. I use to read these at a pretty steady rate, but have drifted away from them. Unless something happens, I'll probably re-read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki as my first choice.

Any recommendations would be appreciated, but one of the main reasons for choosing this project as it will help me focus on reading what I already own and haven't read, and thus allowing me to stay away from book stores and save some money. There is little danger I will run out of things to read if I just stick to my home library.

It's pushing on towards midnight, so I think I'll go to bed and get started. It will only amount to a page or two ('cuz I'm tired and sleepy), but the trip of nine hundred and ninety-nine steps begins with a few pages.

Music in my mind A jumble of things heard over the day, mental leftovers from a long day.