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Re: Wild Ivy

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  • Chris
    Hi Dan, I don t know about the Wild Ivy in relation to zen gardens but next time I m at the library here I ll look it up. About mediation and laughing: I
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 20, 2003
      Hi Dan, I don't know about the "Wild Ivy" in relation to zen gardens but
      next time I'm at the library here I'll look it up.

      About mediation and laughing: I wonder if there is a connection the
      "Laughing Buddha", the God of Happiness. Japan knows him as Hotei ("cloth
      bag"), and he is one of seven gods of luck here drawn from Indian, Chinese
      and Japanese tradition. Instantly recognizable by his large paunch and
      Cheshire-cat grin. Of the seven gods of luck, Hotei is the only one whose
      antecedents can be traced to a human being. His bulging bag provides for
      the needy and is never empty.

      Those of you with slightly more sophisticated knowledge of Japan, Hotei is
      an incarnation of Miroku Bosatsu.

      You can see an image of him here:


      * * *

      According to Harold Bloom, Franz Kafka in the height of his career used to
      have a circle of friends over to his house. There is a veil of secrecy over
      what went on there. From obscure references that he collected, Bloom
      conjectures that Kafka's stories like the Metamorphosis with the man turning
      into a beetle were hugely funny "inside jokes". Waves of laughter washed
      over the members, lifting them to new spiritual planes.

      Anyone who has ever laughed themselves silly, giddy-silly, knows there is
      something to this.



      > Anyone know why Zen Master Hakuin's autobiography is called
      > 'Wild Ivy'? Is it related to Zen gardens?
      > Hakuin lived from 1686 to 1769 in Japan. I've been reading
      > an excerpt from the autobiog. Here is a quote about
      > meditation:
      > As for sitting [meditation], sitting is something that
      > should include fits of ecstatic laughter--brayings that make
      > you slump to the ground clutching your belly. And when you
      > struggle to your feet after the first spasm passes, it
      > should send you kneeling to the earth in further contortions
      > of joy.
      > Dan
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