Zen and Me

I never knew many of my cousins, but one of them, Wayne, a photographer, introduced me to Zen. He was a big fan of the book, Zen in the Art of Archery by a German named Herrigel. My cousin’s interest in Zen had a noteworthy influence on his photography.Zen-2

I never knew many of my cousins, but one of them, Wayne, a photographer, introduced me to Zen. He was a big fan of the book, Zen in the Art of Archery by a German named Herrigel. My cousin’s interest in Zen had a noteworthy influence on his photography.

My grandfather was a motorcycle repairman. By the time he and my grandmother adopted me as their own, he had retired. He wasn’t a Zen practitioner, but he always had a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on his mantle.

Zen-1Wherever I travel, a copy of 365 Zen is always with me. There’s a reading in it for every day of the year.

My closest friends, the only two people who know what I do for a living, have asked how I manage my sanity—what little of it there is—and the answer is compartmentalization. I seal every assignment into it’s own compartment.

Because of that ability, this reading from 365 Zen is one of my favorites, “We have created such insulation between the whole of life and ourselves—not just a thin membrane, but a whole suit of armor—because we do not want to face impermanence and experience suffering, especially the suffering of others.”

I practice Zen—with every squeeze of the trigger.

Here’s an excerpt from The Tourist Killer to prove it:

“The butt of the rifle was comfortable against the shooter’s shoulder.

A deep breath.

The shooter, the rifle, the bullet, the target all meshed together into one single entity.

The moment arrived.

Nothing moved except the shooter’s right index finger.”

I may not be a Zen master, but I’m a master of my profession.

My current book I’m reading is, Kyudo, The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery.

What are you reading?

About FCEtier

Author of "The Tourist Killer" and "The Presidents Club," both available on Amazon.com. His third novel, "A Year Without Killing," is now available as a serial at VentureGalleries.com. Husband,father,grandfather,pharmacist,photographer, published author, blogger. Featured artist and writer at VentureGalleries.com VentureGalleries.com
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6 Responses to Zen and Me

  1. EE Giorgi says:

    Cool. Does this mean we are going to see Claudia use Japanese archery in the future? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reesemckay says:

    In what Claudia says about the quote she appears to have turned the meaning on its head. The point of Zen is to train in dismantling the suit of armor so that one can face impermanence and the experience of suffering. Virtually all Buddhist traditions talk about this problem, and most of them talk about it in very similar ways. The armor of ego makes one closed off to the beauty of the world, closed off to your own heart, closed off to having any meaningful relationship with others. It is very heavy, claustrophobic, creaky, and unwieldy — and it ultimately does not even really protect a person from the suffering he/she wishes to avoid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudia says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for the thoughtful comment.
      While I’m not a dedicated practitioner of Zen, I choose aspects of it (as I do with other philosophies) and mold them to fit my needs.

      Like

  3. My heart aches for Claudia. She has rationalized and defended everything she has done. She is bright, capable and engaging, but she is lethal, both to herself and others at this point in time. These traits are exactly make her most engaging and interesting to readers. We all have faults and shortcomings. We all want to see hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • FCEtier says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Martha.
      From a Christian point of view, do you see any conflicts with Zen and a practicing Chrisitan (although Claudia is not?)

      Like

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