Gone Before You Know It

Now that the miserable long winter here in the Pacific Northwest is becoming a faded memory (not to mention unusually persistent this year), Spring is finally here!  At times like these I love to go back and re-read poems from the famous Japanese anthology, the Hyakunin Isshu. In particular, one of my favorite is thisContinue reading “Gone Before You Know It”

Politics and Hysteria

This was a sobering article I found in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/watertown-new-york-tops-scale-political-tolerance/582106/ In particular, this quote really disturbed me: This matters because political disdain has begun to distort our perception of reality. Democrats now think Republicans are richer, older, crueler, and more unreasonable than they are in real life, according to multiple studies, including one byContinue reading “Politics and Hysteria”

Buddhist Altar, Japanese Style

Recently, I was chatting with a coworker who’s a fellow Buddhist and he was asking about how to make a Buddhist altar. It turns out that English-language books usually don’t explain such things, focusing on the more cerebral, dogmatic details. Great if you want to know Buddhist philosophy, but kind of lousy when you justContinue reading “Buddhist Altar, Japanese Style”

Yakudoshi? More Like Yaku-no-shi!

In Japanese culture, certain years are considered inauspicious based on the year you were born and are called “yakudoshi” (厄年). The logic behind these particular years comes from Chinese homophones (words that sounds alike). According to this helpful book, the years listed can also be homophones for bad things. For example “42”, if you sayContinue reading “Yakudoshi? More Like Yaku-no-shi!”