Matsuo Basho

Some observations made about his works ~

They can serve as a catalyst for some of the most important states of the soul.

They remind both the writer and the reader that contentment relies on knowing how to derive pleasure from simplicity, and how to escape (even if only for a while) the tyranny of being ourselves.

An interesting blog – http://www.haikuapprentice.com/

Sen No Rikyu’s – Final Tea Ceremony

It was considered an honor for those of samurai rank or higher to
be allowed to kill oneself rather than be put to the sword. To take
one’s own life was seen as far more honorable, as one could show
one’s indifference to death—one of the gauntlets thrown down by
Zen. The term harakiri (literally “abdomen cut”) was significant
because the stomach was considered the area where the soul resides,
and was therefore the center of a person’s will. Being of high rank,
Rikyu was afforded this right, and in keeping with his beliefs and
love of tea, Sen no Rikyu held a final tea ceremony for his closest
friends. Throughout the poignant ceremony his concentration and
attention to detail were exemplary. After the ceremony, once the tea
had been consumed, Rikyu gave his beloved tea utensils to his
friends, all save his own; this he crushed in his hands, saying, “No
more will this cup, tainted with the lips of misfortune, be used by
another.”

Excerpt from Wabi Sabi – The Japanese Art of Impermanence

 

“Welcome to thee,
O sword of eternity,
Through Buddha
And through Dharuma alike
Thou hast cleft thy way

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film – An Observation from Wiki

Another object of controversy is the Academy’s “one-country-one-film” rule, which has been criticized by filmmakers.[25] The Guardian said that the idea of a Best Foreign Language Film category itself is a “fundamentally flawed premise” and this is the “most critically sneered-at of all Oscar categories”.[26] It also stated “In a perfect world — or, at least, as perfect a world as would still allow for gaudy film-award pageantry — there’d be no need for a separate best foreign language film Oscar. The fact that, after 87 years, the Academy has yet to honour a film not predominantly in English as the year’s best [Best Picture] says everything about their own limitations, and nothing about those of world cinema”.[26]

Nihilistic Moods of Despair

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[reading aloud from Issac’s wife’s memoir] “He was given to fits of rage, Jewish liberal paranoia, male chauvinism, self-righteous misanthropy, and nihilistic moods of despair. He had complaints about life but never any solutions. He longed to be an artist but balked at the necessary sacrifices. In his most private moments, he spoke of his fear of death, which he elevated to tragic heights when in fact it was mere narcissism.”

Letters from My Father – Obama

There was poetry as well-a luminous world always present beneath the surface, a world that people might offer up as a gift to me, if I only remembered to ask.

 

That is how Obama explains the phenomena of people sharing their stories of struggles with him during his time as a Community Organiser. The honesty of the feeling mixed with the beauty of those words resonate very deeply.

You are just a dirty liar

The trouble with writing a book about yourself is that you can’t fool around. If you write about someone else, you can stretch the truth from here to Finland. If you write about yourself, the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar

-Groucho Marx