Re: Wild Ivy
- 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
> 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.