“Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

Like this cup, Nan-in said, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

“Lying just beneath the surface of (political) arguments with passions raging on all sides are big questions of Moral Philosophy.. But we too rarely articulate and defend and argue about those big moral questions in our Politics”
Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel has a great series on Justice which explains the currently competing philosophical theories of social justice that exist in the world today. Unlike anyone else I’ve seen he’s bringing the problems of Moral Philosophy to the public at large in an easily accessible way.

In the TED Talk above, Sandel gives a passionate plea to bring some of this intelligent philosophical discourse to our political dialogue. I share his frustration and it is heartwarming to see someone make such an argument in a public setting. Of course, the Metaphysics of Quality provides us with a vastly improved language with which we can discuss morality and it brings with it coherence and evolutionary context to these discussions where there previously was none.

Soyen Shaku Image

– In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.
– Retire at a regular hour. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction.
– Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.
– Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.
– When an opportunity comes do not let it pass by, yet always think twice before acting.
– Do not regret the past. Look to the future.
– Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
– Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.

Soyen Shaku

Wikipedia Link

“I think nowadays though, the more general idea, the more plausible idea to many people; is that when we die we just cease to be.  That’s all there is to it.  But we’re inclined I think, to have in our minds, a picture of this.  Which indeed is depressing.  Of being shut up in the dark for always, and always, and always.  To be kind of buried alive in a blackness. Where we are blind, deaf and dumb but somehow still conscious..”
Alan Watts