Thursday, 15 January 2015

good advice

rereading Pirsig (third time) thanks to a conversation I had at the office christmas dinner during which a colleague asked me whether I had fully understood this book - we were talking about his motorcycle whereupon I asked him if he had per chance read Zen & the art of... yes he had, admitting he had found it pretty tough going at times -
 my initial reaction to his question was 'yes' quickly followed by a 'I have forgotten quite a lot, though' and so I began again; it is full of wise 
mind boggling, soul searching Chautauquas, so I probably have understood far less than I thought!  
having started reading 4 weeks ago I have encountered three other men (including my husband) who have also read the book, so quite a few conversations have revolved around 'classical versus romantic thinking' et cetera. Whilst discussing Zen &...  the Tibetan book of the Dead was also mentioned and serendipitously there was a positive review on the telly (did not see that myself)so lo and behold it is all of a sudden a minor hype in book land, the latter that is.
I seemed to recall owning the Tibetan book myself, although I had been unable to locate it for time now. I have been reorganising books amongst other things and had not come across it so far. Today however it took just one look at the exact shelf it was sat on: yep there it was. See I wasn't going crazy, I do own this book.....and then whilst making the two collages below, a line of wisdom in a magazine, to which I would like to add: READ * SMILE

SEW*COOK*WRITE*DRAW*MAKE*GROW*READ*SMILE

'there's a black dog in the living room, his paws are very muddy, do we let him stay or not?'
off to friend R. in the UK who loves dogs

fallen angel, have not yet made up my mind where she's heading

9 comments:

deanna7trees said...

i did read both those books in the 1980s. i think that's when the Zen....book came out. can't remember much of either one. i think we always get different things from those type books the more time we read them as we have accumulated so many new experiences along the way.
love your collages.

deemallon said...

funny to read this today, having just days ago thought, "I should re-read Zen and the Art..." because I have been sewing at the machine lately. To me that book was so much about paying attention to everything -- animate and inanimate. But it would be interesting to take another look, 30 years on!

Julie S said...

Clutch has been looking online at the KLM website, he can't believe there is a place where boxers ARE allowed on the sofa. Good thing his paws are too big to hit the send button.

These are exquisite and funny that Dee writes that its funny that you just wrote this because I too have been thinking about rereading Zen. I read so much that I probably never really understood because I was so young.

Ms. said...

1. Although Robert Thurman is the foremost Buddhist Scholar in the west, and the Dalai llama wrote the forward, I still refer to the Tibetan Book of the Dead I first encountered in the early seventies (http://www.amazon.com/The-Tibetan-Book-Dead-Liberation/dp/1570627479#reader_1570627479)--read the introduction by Francis Fremantle which is very useful. I still refer back to it. A student of his,

2. Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Allen Watts were my readings in en back around the same time. I have since liked Suzuki Roshi, especially "Zen Mind, Beginner Mind" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Mind,_Beginner%27s_Mind).

Many teachers and many paths, one essential message at the heart of all of them. A bit like your art--
I LOVE your collages...both of them!

Ms. said...

sorry--I left out finishing that first paragraph...a student of his Pema Chodron is a favorite of mine, plain and direct teacher ()http://pemachodronfoundation.org/store/buy-books/

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

more Zen&theArt of.... readers! makes me happy, it is worthwhile rereading Dee and Julie!

Very true Deanna.

the KLM ad is excellent, it has come my way several times now on Facebook


I must explain that the dog collage was made with a very funny sofa ad to which I have only added the black dog in the foreground, the dalmation top right, a window and lampshade on the left plus something in right foreground corner to hide the text, so the credits for the original setting go to the photographer and his/her team in getting all of these dogs to sit patiently for the photograph


thanks Michelle for your info on Buddhist scholars, I have to admit to knowing very little about (Buddhist) scholars and have not deliberately chose this version, it was most likely the only one available in the shop when I bought it back in the nineties (or maybe I wasn't looking hard enough)
I haven't even managed to finish reading it, but then it isn't a book you have to read all in one go, like a novel.....
I have 'discovered' Pema Chodron, not long ago in fact, I bought 'start where you are' liking the title and that's just about as far as I got, being distracted by where I am in life (= Very Busy) and Pirsig's Motorcycle saga; I will post about Pema in the future I'm sure, as I have watched several of her you-tube talks and am mightily impressed by her insightful and straightforward teachings

Liz Ackert said...

Saskia - I have been reading through Grace's Windthread and found you in early 2012. In one comment you said (as I recall), "I may not always comment, but I am always here, reading." So too, I am always here and it is my great pleasure to follow you.

Mo Crow said...

If I could only have one book it would be "The Zen of Seeing" by Frederick Franck (1973)

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

I remember I said that Liz, isn't going back in time on somebody else's blog a lot of fun, insightful too.
I forget a lot of what I say, so if you do keep coming back please forgive me my repetitions, I have but a few themes

wow Mo, I had not heard of him (if I have I've forgotten) and have just googled him, not only is Frederick Franck Dutch he was born in the same town I was! yet another book and person to discover (see Ellen Meloy over at Grace's)