I have noticed that parking spaces—white stripe lines painted on the street, for handicapped persons—are set back slightly further than the regular parking spot in front of them. I assume that this is for good reason—that the handicapped person generally may need more room for maneuver in and out of a parking spot.

This is an example in everyday life of the application of standards. I further assume that this is a standard for the crews that paint those lines. There are reasons for standards. It has to do with people’s capabilities, with their ability to perform and to learn.

Matsuoka Roshi often said that the Zen person has no difficulty following the sidewalks. What he meant by that, I think, is that conformance to trivial aspects of society are not really worth the trouble to resist. And if we are bogged down in that level of non-conformity, we will not have the time, energy, or awareness to avoid conforming in much more restricting or damaging ways.

I was born in March of 1941, and over the next half a decade, as only a young child can, became vaguely familiar with the fact that there was a war going on.

I still remember seeing the seemingly endless military transports, men and weapons in camo, parading through the small and relatively insignificant town of Centralia, Illinois, centered in the corn and soy bean fields in the southern half of the state, about an hour due east of St. Louis, Missouri, the East-West axis metropolis; and complemented by Chicago on the North-South axis, where I would later pursue higher education and find the love of my life.

Welcome to the Zenblog of Zenkai Taiun, founder and guiding teacher of the Silent Thunder Order. The first order of business is to name this blog, and you are invited to submit your brightest idea entries. Remember that we will want to live with this name for some time, and that it should be to the point, memorable and appropriate.

Being to the point means it captures, in a single word or brief phrase, the quality and character of the content that a visitor might expect to encounter, and that of its author

Welcome to “the blog that shall remain nameless” for the present. We are conducting a contest to name this blog in an appropriate way, so it is appropriate that we blog a bit about what the focus of this particular blogic activity is and will be.


The focus is on Zen and daily life, which is admittedly not a very tight focus. Very broad, but appropriate for Westerners, Americans who are interested in Zen and perhaps adopting its practice as part of their lifestyle. So we will be welcoming questions and comments on Zen and household, lifestyle, Zen at work, in school. Zen relates to everything we do and illumines the mundane circumstances of daily life. After all, Buddhism is not a religious belief system about reality, but instead simply examines, thoroughly and on the cushion in meditation, the reality we inhabit — the fundamental miracle of existence itself.

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