Thursday 10 October 2013

Working in Montréal today --Zen and the Art of Panhandling

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today

Friends.. I must share with you the teachings of Chinul.  Chinul is Jinul, also Bojo but was born Jeong.  Yes, more name changes than a Boris Pasternak novel.  Jinul was from the early 12th century, a Korean Buddhist monk and the only reason that he is mentioned here is his fundamental teaching that for all of us, becoming a Buddha is within our reach and that our true nature is always known to us, even when it is not, but discoverable in a single moment of clarity or epiphany.

Okay Uncle Daniel, you have our attention, we liked the duality of the 'is/is not' thing but don't wander too far..

Don't worry, I won't. But it's not really a duality, since the two states are not divisible, it really is a dichotomy wrapped up in a Gestalt.

But I digress, this morning I read a note that a friend of mine from high school sent me and within she explained that: 

"..The campground job is over for the season. I am back on the job hunt - again. I could teach yoga but I'm feeling like I have more to learn about myself first. So I may just sit downtown with a cup and take in alms. I'll let you know how lucrative that is.." -- M

This is where some persons would attempt to dissuade her from the life of squeegee kid and to pursue the theatre or other arts but I say, embrace the career path that may unfold.  Experience the Zen in becoming the best at what one does, regardless of what one does.

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? --R.M. Persiq (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

Um.. Thanks Uncle Daniel, but how does this quote help us?

Well.. I could tell you, but it would not do you any good, Zen is not an intellectual discipline you can learn from reading a Pulp or be taught by or from the likes of me but rather it is a practice of studying one's self and seeing into one's own nature. The main tool of this practice is zazen.

Zazen Uncle, like Zazeen, the new IP TV service?  No.  Not like Zazeen.  May I continue now with less interruption please? It is a short flight and I have still much to write.

Consider that the most successful rusty cup supplicants (don't bother googling -I just strung that together) have the best affectations; ticks, twitches, and Tourettes are nothing to turn one's nose up at and if done well can maximize returns.  Seasoned pros of course can fake an amputation, not much else has more of an effect than raising up a cup tied to a dirty bandaged stump where a hand may once have been, "please sir, I have 3 hungry children at home and I need new bandages too".  Best for the suffering, the Dukkha, to be worn where others can see it and enjoy it too.

Have we considered the inner peace the knowledge of one's self gained by these cup shakers?  Zazen is a meditation form where there is no clear objective nor goal nor path, can be done singly or in a group and through which one may gain enlightenment or they will not.  Can you propose a craft, a trade, a vocation which provides any greater opportunity for such goalless sitting than this?

But Uncle Daniel, isn't the meditation part really quite optional and that all is really required to achieve enlightenment is to be able to recite koans?

I could answer you, but that would be like showing you the peak that cannot be seen.

Uh.. Thanks, that was very .. illuminating and at the same time annoying.  Do you have any other tips to maximize the spare change pursuit for us Uncle Daniel?

Yes, but just one.  Please do avoid chasing people down the street screaming that you want spare change for some soup -- it hurts the entire industry and brings about contempt by the other corner coin cup claimants.

This last proviso must be said, as two nights ago while downtown at the ROM for the Chilean Wine Festival, walking around to the side of the ROM looking for the secret entrance (I could tell you more, but it's a secret) when a woman called after me and when I turned she screamed that she wanted soup.

I considered stopping and discussing the matter, but was concerned that it would lead to lengthly discussion over the merits of the tomato over cream; cream over broth bases as well as could lead to a comparative analysis of Eastern European borscht.  I quickly explained that I had no soup. 

She stopped in her walk, and simply terminated the short lived discussion with.. 'oh'.

It was then that I considered the answer to my friend lay within her question (yes I know you read no question, but does not the question not queried remain to be yet answered?)

The Dukkha, the Zazen, the Enlightening, Nivana, the Buddha are all one.

My friend should teach Yoga, should learn about herself and yes, she should sit downtown with a cup.

Street corner Yoga for spare change and enlightenment.

Have a great day.  Peace out.


  1. Street corner may be on to something there.

  2. Do you pick the ads that show on your pages?

  3. And peace out with you too Daniel. Namaste.

  4. Street corner yoga - definitely a spectator sport.

    And Daniel (uncle Daniel, that is) ... Did you just include a small spot ad for 'Zazeen' on your pulp?

    Clever ;)

    Have a good day in Montréal young lad.

    1. Hi Sean, yes I confess, I included a small plug for Zazeen TV

  5. Don't be talkin' like you know us

  6. Street corner YOGA

  7. There once was a peasant who woke every morning, kissed his wife, and went off to work in his master's fields. One day he found enlightenment and understood his true nature. The next morning he woke, kissed his wife, and went off to work in his master's fields.