Tag Archives: koan

Practicing with uncertainty: ‘Joshu’s dog spreads wings’

More than twenty years ago, I was a member of an amateur choral group that performed a Mozart Litany (K. 125). While it may have lacked the grandeur of the Verdi Requiem or the Beethoven Choral, it was the most … Continue reading

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Ko|ans|wers for the 21st century

Late in the 20th century I put this comparison at the beginning of a Web essay: Old joke: Q: What did the Zen monk say to the hot dog vendor? A: Make me one with everything. New joke: Q: What … Continue reading

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Mon cher Degas

On the side of our refrigerator, I have a quotation from the 19th century poet Stéphane Mallarmé, speaking to his friend, the painter Edgar Degas, who was complaining about the difficulty of converting his ideas for poems into actual poems: … Continue reading

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Basho’s frog

In A Zen Wave, Robert Aitken calls it “probably the most famous poem in Japan.” The old pond; a frog jumps in – the sound of the water. It must surely be the most-translated of Basho’s haiku, or anyone else’s … Continue reading

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