Old Asian Women

"Old Asian Women", number 145 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Old Asian Women seem to be some of the most durable people around. Why is this the case? Hard work, family ties, a go with the flow attitude. Doing what needs being done. This is also the way of Zen.

I've been thinking about obsession lately. In this context I view obsession as uplifting as apposed to an irrational drive. Obsession is defined as a compulsive or irrational preoccupation, an unhealthy fixation. And yet, it could also be seen as a strong drive for excellence, an immersion into the art, a single pointed endeavor, focus.

I came acrossthis short video of a  Joel Bukiewicz, knife maker in Brooklyn who is obsessed withkitchen cutlery. Most excellent. 

This embodies my feelings about wooden spoons. Only my execution needs work.

This reminds me of my friend, Doug Stowe who is an evangelist for making things with hands. A hand made world in which we learn and socialize via the work of our hands. We in America have gotten so far from this. So much education, work and social activities have neglected the value of hand skills.

In some arenas, hand skills have not only been neglected but are denigrated. There is so much to this world of the hand. An aesthetic and intimacy that is uncommon.   

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.