Picture Brides

"Picture Brides", number 144 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Propinquity is the effect describing the tendency of relationships to be formed by people living in proximity to one another. In today's miniature, Japanese American's ordered 'picture brides' from Japan and when they arrived 'propinquity' lead some to develop love relationships with the older Japanese men who paid their way to America. Quoting Aitken's Nana "propinquity propinks". Propinks is not a real word but poets and literary types make use of it anyway.

The earliest literary use of this phrase comes from the tile of Chapter 21 in Ian Flemings 'Diamonds are Forever' - 'Nothing Propinks Like Propinquity' published in 1956.

In Robert Aitken's other book "Zen Master Raven" there is the scene in the book called. "Propinquity". Here is how it goes.


Cougar also came by that evening for the first time. After Raven's final response to Gray Wolf, he asked, "Then is karma just cause and effect?"

Raven said, "Propinquity propinks."

Cougar shook his head vigorously and said, "Sometimes it makes me irritated."

Raven said, " Your great chance."

As the Raven said, "Propinquity propinks." This 'propinks' is the verb form of propinquity. This is like the phrases "antiquity antinks" and "ubiquity ubinks", which are poetically cute. Obviously Aitken propinks propinquity!

Rev. Pierre Taigu Turlur talks about shikantaza, Dogen's unique style of meditation and ango, a traditional 100 day practice period in a couple of nice youtube videos.



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.