Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baba Ghanouj and Soto Zen

Tuesday evening I made some really good baba ghanouj, and made enough for me to make three meals off of it. It was simple enough (eggplant, oil, salt, tahini, lime juice) and patience while the eggplant cooked was the main ingredient. Certainly I'll make more soon. Baba ghanouj is filling and tasty.

I've been reading some pages of three different books lately. One of them is Brad Warner's Sit Down and Shut Up, which is now one of my new favorite books on Zen. He writes out of his history both with Zen and with punk rock, and he has a sense of humor that can at times be a little dorky, but over all serves to leaven his texts so that the heavy and the mundane don't turn the casual reader away. (By the way, Noah Levine approaches Theravada from a punk background, too, but in my opinion his prose comes across more militant and angry than Warner's.) This is his second book; I've read his first one, and I liked it. He's just published his fourth book, but I haven't yet looked closely at either that or his third book.

It seems like my favorite Buddhist writers come from Soto Zen (Warner, Steve Hagen, Shunryu Suzuki). Soto Zen to me appears to be the most no-nonsense version, not even promising any kind of enlightenment other than the simplicity of one going through one's day. Since I was raised on, and have burnt out on, false promises, a bare bones philosophy and praxis makes the most sense to me. I think I would do well to make myself sit regularly.

I have no idea how much I will be out and about this weekend. With the teaparty zombie hordes coming to town, I feel I would be safer staying at home and waiting them out. Still since I live nearest to the green line, and the teapartiers have been warned to avoid the green line, I think I'll be okay if I stay in my neighborhood. Besides I'm more concerned about my own potential anger upon encountering them than I am of what they might possibly do to me.

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