Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Lies and Hate REVISED: With Disinformation, Antisemitism, and Anti-Muslim Attacks Haunting Us Now, this is a Critical Time to Speak of History

I grew up with a love of Sherlock Holmes. Millions of us have. When I was teaching a class on logic and debate to high school students, I used a book of quotes and incidents from Sherlock’s cases to study critical thinking and teach informal syllogisms. So, when I saw a review of a modern version of the detective, not written by Arthur Conan Doyle, and read about the plot, I was intrigued.

 

The author of the book is Nicholas Meyer, a contemporary scriptwriter as well as novelist. It’s called The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols. The plot is built around actual events from the past that are still haunting the present. And with disinformation, antisemitism, and anti-Muslim attacks haunting us now, this is a critical time to speak of this history.

 

The Protocols mentioned in the title are actual rants, lies, propaganda that were first published in the nineteenth century and, unfortunately, have been reproduced even today. They are called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

 

The document was created to deceive people into believing Jewish leaders had come together to plot the takeover of the world. In the novel by Meyer, Sherlock is asked to find out if the plot is real and, if not, expose the lie so the truth could be revealed.

 

In truth (as well as in the novel), the Protocols were plagiarized from a work of satire called The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, by a writer named Maurice Joly in 1864. It included no mention of any Jew. According to Wikipedia, Joly’s piece was an attack on Napoleon III, elected President of France who later made himself absolute ruler.

 

Joly has Montesquieu speak in support of democracy and argue that the “liberal” spirit in people was indomitable. Machiavelli argues it wouldn’t take him even 20 years to “… transform utterly the most indomitable European character and render it as docile under tyranny as the debased people of Asia.”

 

In the end of the satire, absolutism wins, and Montesquieu is consigned to remain in hell.

 

The piece would have been consigned to oblivion, except probably for Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, head of the Russian Okhrana or secret police of the Tsar Nicholas II. He commissioned a re-write, to replace the attacks on Napoleon with attacks on the Tsar. And to turn the meeting between two dead philosophers in hell to a meeting in Switzerland by Jews.

 

In the original, Machiavelli argues “Men must not scruple to use all the vile and odious deceits at their command to combat and overthrow a corrupt emperor…” Just change a few words and we get the tenth protocol, “Jews must not hesitate to employ every noxious and terrible deception at their command to fight and overturn a wicked Tsar…”

 

And there were in fact meetings by Jews in Switzerland in the nineteenth century, but they were not secret. They were Congresses called to create a Jewish state. Unlike the plot of the plagiarized and fictional Protocols, the meetings had nothing to do with overthrowing the Tsar or any other state….

 

**To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

 

It’s Too Easy to Be Judgmental: Finding the Communion Beyond Calamity

It’s so easy to judge ourselves, isn’t it? ‘Judge’ in the sense of putting ourselves down. We do something we think is wrong and we suffer regret. Or we wonder: am I a good person?

 

Is this self-judging a flaw in our character? Something conditioned by culture? Maybe, a way we hurt ourselves? Or something entirely different?

 

Maybe we’re judgmental of others. We might feel another person is too blind to see the truth. Or they’re trying to undermine us. Or that they think they’re “better” than us.

 

Or maybe we sometimes feel we’ve wasted time, or our lives. When it seems we’re wasting time, what’s wasting away? It’s wonderful we don’t want our lives to be meaningless. But maybe we know this yearning not to be meaningless because we thankfully know meaning; we know moments when we’ve done something that feels glorious, that make a difference.

 

Or we feel vulnerable. Being alive means we’re vulnerable. When we love, we’re vulnerable. But our vulnerability, although frightening, is a life-giving gift. Because we’re vulnerable we can learn; we can feel. We can act. Vulnerability can reveal our need for and our essential connection to others. It can reveal our sincere presence right here and now.

 

Sometimes, we get competitive with our ideas and turn a discussion into an argument we feel we must win. But what is it we think we lose if we don’t get the other person to accept our viewpoint? Underlying the passion of this competition is often a feeling we could be mistaken. The more insecure or wrong we feel, the more vigorously we might defend our position. When I was still teaching, I noticed the more experienced and comfortable I was in my profession, the more open I was to a diversity of ideas⎼ and more capable at helping students be themselves.

 

Or we see ourselves as “bad” because we so want to be “good.” Or, when we judge others, or ourselves, it could be because we feel, deep down, there’s something more to us; there’s such a wonderful possibility in us of living more deeply and kindly.

 

Recently, I became anxious about a medical procedure I needed to undergo. One doctor reminded me of a mindfulness teaching I thought I already knew: we often feel anxious because we know calm and want to live. This was a helpful reminder.

 

Right now, we’re all suffering from a divisive world, and from wars and other unbelievable horrors. But our understanding of how threatening divisiveness is to our survival is aided by knowing the need for cooperation and peace. We might know, somewhere inside us, a communion sits waiting beyond the calamity.

 

Because what’s not often seen in our perception of division, competition, duality, self-judgment is there’s something distorting our thinking process or conclusions about the world, about life….

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

 

Maybe There’s a Joy So Deep the Whole Universe Is in It: The Curious Power of the Wind

Sometimes, just staying still and listening to the wind can be an event of great beauty. Nothing else is needed to feel full, satisfied. Happy. Those are rare and glorious moments.

 

Sometimes, wind is a gentle touch, a cooling breeze on a torrid day. Sometimes, it disappears. Sometimes, and too often lately, the day is hot, dry, seemingly lifeless; then it suddenly gets cold and the wind rages, sounds like a speeding train, and is too powerful to stand up to. Tonight, the earth gently whispers, a soft, steady sound. Then it almost goes silent. Then it builds until it sounds like a rainstorm is about to slam us, but there’s no rain. No rain clouds. Just wind. Then it calms before it rises once again.

 

The wind animates the world around us. It builds, and the trees dance; falling leaves, and papers lying in the street, fly around; bushes rattle, clouds stir, oceans wave. Just like the breath animates us, the wind can animate the world.

 

Ancient humans made a connection between wind and human breathing. After all, breathing involves air moving in and out of the body, animating us like wind animates the world. So, in India, for example, there was the concept of the five winds in the body, discussed in the Hindu sacred book, the Upanishads, in yoga, and later in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science of medicine. When we breathe, we take in the wind of the world.

 

The Greek word pneuma can mean both breath and wind, as well as soul. The presocratic Greek philosopher Anaximenes said, “just as the soul (psyche), being air (aer), holds us together, so do breath (pneuma), and air (aer) encompass the world.” Anaximenes thought of air as the first principle out of which all else is composed. The Bible uses the word pneuma in a similar fashion. There can be spiritual as well as a mental and physical dimension to breathing practices.

 

If only we listen carefully enough, every wind can remind us of these interconnections. We can feel our surroundings calling to us or hear people all through time calling to us. We are not two. We are not two. Maybe if we listen, we might hear in the wind the trees, birds, leaves, and clouds speaking of our natural inseparability with the universe in which we exist. No air, no us.

 

We can make listening more deeply, with more curiosity and compassion, a regular component of our lives, along with exercises, as in yoga, martial arts, and mindfulness meditation that help us breathe and live more fully.

 

We can also think about what animates us besides the breath. What stirs us? What stirs us so much that, afterwards, we don’t feel we’re lacking anything? We don’t feel more in pain afterwards than we did before. But instead, it leaves us with a sense of Ah, yes. This I love. No other time or place or anything is needed. Just this, this moment, is sufficient. Wonderful.

 

What stirs us so much we hear our inner world coming alive, and hear the universe speaking?…

 

**To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project. Enjoy.

The Darkness Closest to Us: Don’t Get So Absorbed in the Universe of Words that We Lose the Universe of Being

One thing I love about many of my good friends is that they’re honest with me and willing to find and kindly tell me about holes in what I’ve said or argued, and to hear what I didn’t speak.

 

A great friend and college roommate found a point in a recent blog of mine that I had left unexplained and that had filled him with questions.

 

The lines were: Black holes the shape of trees, buildings, and hillsides stood silhouetted against a gray sky, a massive gray cloud filled by moonlight, yet with no moon visible. And the darkness appeared to begin in close to myself and lessen as it spread out into the distance. And he asked: “How did the darkness appear closer to yourself?” Or “why did it appear darker the closer you came to yourself?” Did you realize the implications of what you said?

 

Perceptually, the world was darker closer to myself because the only physical illumination was far off, from the lights of a nearby city, or from the moon itself.  But I rebelled against my own first understanding of the psychological or metaphorical meaning of the line. I heard “dark” as meaning sinister, something negative or evil. But I didn’t mean sinister or evil.

 

I later realized other meanings of dark, as in unknown or unknowable. As in beyond words. As in unrealized possibility. As in the unknown before from which everything after emerges. Before we speak there is an emptiness, a silence. Buddhists, Taoists, mystics speak of this.

 

Lao Tzu spoke about the emptiness out of which the universe, or fullness of life, emerged:

“In the beginning of heaven and earth there were no words,

Words came out of the womb of matter…”

 

Of course, since we don’t know what will happen or what will emerge from the womb of time and matter, we can feel frightened. We don’t know if what emerges will be helpful or hurtful. We don’t know if we’ll have the ability to face the unknown or do something with it we can be proud of.

 

We often think we know so much about ourselves, maybe too much. We might think we are so clear, obvious, unchanging. In fact, we can never fully know or fully capture ourselves or be contained in any number of words, thoughts, judgments.

 

Each word, each thought is an abstraction, a recording, or occasionally, as philosopher J. L. Austin argued, a performance or action. Think about an officiant saying. “I now pronounce you man and wife.” Or when we are overcome with beauty and all we say is “wow.” Words facilitate remembering and can help us evaluate, analyze, think about something. They can be so beautiful⎼ or painful to see or hear. They can lead to rumination or take us out of it. There’s so much that just can’t be spoken. Yet here we are talking.

 

In every moment, we have this choice….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

I hope you have a wonderful celebration of Juneteenth, and a Happy Father’s Day.

Perceiving Ourselves More Clearly So, We Can Perceive the World Around Us More Clearly and Act More Powerfully

A wonderful friend wrote a powerful and frightening article about the situation we humans face right now. I can’t share it here because he’s sent it out and it hasn’t, yet, been published. But I would like to share its central insight.

 

Most of us already know how difficult the situation is now, between climate change, the threats of autocracy, hate-manipulated gun violence, war, etc. We might be consumed by so many concerns that we get lost in fears and retreat to the usual, the safe. But what we face is not usual and not at all safe.

 

I sometimes wonder if we can even conceive of the challenge we face. We need our rational minds to evaluate all the evidence. But maybe we need to feel it even more than grasp it. We certainly can imagine what a small town looks like after a massive tornado; or what a city like New Orleans looked like after the flooding of Katrina. Or what burned out towns in California look like or cities when sidewalks and streets melt from the increasing heat. This is the face of the climate emergency. And whatever we’ve seen in the past, we’ll probably be seeing worse in coming days and years.

 

We might read about what it was like living in cities like London before environmental regulations were passed, when people couldn’t go outdoors without getting sick due to torrential smog. Or we can imagine a world without any wildlife outside zoos, no lions, tigers, and bears, no elephants, no eagles and ravens, no owls. Or no honeybees. Without bees, no honey, no fruit, no crops.

 

Or what happens to a nation when increasing hate fueled violence, like in Buffalo, NY fills the streets. The number of hate crimes has more than doubled since 2015, when DJT first ran for office. Or what a dictator like Putin is doing to Ukraine or what would happen if a white nationalist or Nazis became president or Dictator.

 

Or what happens when children are forced to read or learn about only what people driven by hate, bigotry, and lust for power want them to read. Or when women are no longer allowed to control their own healthcare options or how their bodies are treated.

 

My friend feels the terrifying frustration of seeing a threat so clearly yet also feeling powerless to stop it. I think he speaks the fear and concern that a majority of Americans feel. But for him, only dramatic changes will be noticed. Little changes can get lost in the storm clouds of images of what might be coming. Crying out to the world, “Why can’t anyone stop this?” can drive anyone crazy.

 

Yet, a democracy is all about many people doing relatively small actions together. The wheels of law and change can move with painful slowness.

 

A few close friends talked with him about not obsessing over these awful possibilities. And he knows this. But words do not reach deep enough to lift us out of an image of oblivion.

 

He spells out or shouts out a clear line of action we can all take….

 

*To read the whole post, please go to The Good Men Project.

Instead of Shrinking Our Lives, Expand Them: Going As One United Being into a Beautiful Day and Into that Good Night

Why does feeling the sun on our face, or even seeing it out the window, create a sense of happiness?

 

Most of us love it when, after days of rain or cold weather, the sun is visible, and the sky is clear. Especially in the spring, and the blue color just goes on forever, the day is not just physically but emotionally brighter.

 

Of course, if there’s been a drought or we’re allergic to the sun or worried about skin cancer, that spoils the fun. But a sunny day? We use that as an expression of being happy; or a sunny disposition as being positive, uplifting. Or we see the sun and feel that, as we look up, for now at least, we can enjoy a moment. We can allow ourselves a respite before the clouds move in.

 

And sometimes, we can find a sun living in ourselves. Or we might find a sense of quiet presence or get absorbed in something we love. Maybe it’s writing a story or meditating. Or we’re practicing a martial arts kata, dancing, listening to music, or walking next to a waterfall, and we’re gone. There’s nothing left of us but the creating, the kata, the dance, the music, the waterfall. It’s so amazing that we can feel most ourselves when, as the 13th century Japanese Zen teacher Dogen Zenji put it, we forget ourselves in action.

 

Contemporary Zen teacher, environmental activist, and author David Loy put it very clearly for me in a recent talk. When we do something not as a means to something else, or to get somewhere else; when we do an activity for it-self, not for what prize we may get from doing it, we can be transformed. We cease to be self-conscious and become more deeply conscious. We become sun conscious, activity conscious; we become more aware, more mindful of how one action, emotion, sensation, or thought flows into the next and forms our quality-of-life experience, so we can adjust, deepen that experience. In his talk, David Loy illustrated his point with the explanation of Karma yoga, the yoga of action, from the Hindu spiritual classic, the Bhagavad Gita. When we do something without being attached to the results, but aware of the rightness of what we do, we are more likely to be transformed positively by the action.

 

When we work for social justice, for example, we do the best we can, being as strategic as we can. We want to create better conditions in the world and make a difference; but our personal achievement is the action itself that we take. No matter what we do, we are most likely to have good results if we focus on doing the best we can, now, and not on worrying about the future or how far away it is.

One passage in the Gita says:

“You have a right to your actions.

But never to your actions’ fruits.

Act for the action’s sake.”

 

I remember, when I was teaching secondary school and students read this passage in the Gita, they at first disagreed with it, or disliked to it. They asked, “Why not be concerned with the fruits of our actions? When we do something well, don’t we deserve praise? Don’t we want to foster a concern with the fruits, or at least the ethical consequences of our actions on the world?” …

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

Remembering Those Who Have Loved Us: Only By Being Open Can We Understand What Love, And Life, Can Bring. Revisited.

Love is a mystery. Certainly, we can talk about what it feels like when we love or feel loved. Neuroscience can tell us about our brains in love, poets can expose some of the depths of the emotion, and psychology and mindfulness can awaken us to how it arises in ourselves. Yet, relationships touched by love have qualities that go beyond anything we can consciously explain.

 

My Mom died 15 years ago, yet every Mother’s Day I still have an urge to do something for her. I feel she is alive and have to remind myself she is not. She so often reminded me to be aware of other people’s feelings, not just my own, that I still search for her within myself.

 

She didn’t talk about empathy and compassion but showed it. She was able to take people in, to see who a person was and embrace them. When I first brought Linda, who is now my wife, to meet my parents, my Mom accepted her right away. There was no mother-girlfriend conflict. The same was true with her relationship with my brother and his wife.

 

She still appears in my dreams at times and talks to me. Maybe we all have similar experiences, not only with our moms but with anyone dearly loved.

 

One night, just as my wife and I were about to enter a restaurant in our hometown to eat dinner, I got a lesson about just how deep a connection can exist between two people. As I grabbed hold of the door to the restaurant, I suddenly felt an intense pain in my chest. I let go of the door and bent over. I stayed there for a few minutes, unsure what to do. In a few minutes, the pain dissipated, and we went in to eat our meal, feeling a bit worried and confused.

 

When we left, I checked my cell phone for messages. I often turn it off.  I had only one message; it was from my Dad. However, as I listened, I didn’t hear my Dad speaking to me. Instead, I heard his voice, sounding upset, and at a distance, mixed in with other loud voices. At first, I was bewildered. But as I listened, it became clear I was hearing a recording of EMTs trying to revive my mom. It turns out she had had a heart attack just as we were about to enter the restaurant. My dad found her a few minutes after the attack and called the EMTs. Then he called me and accidently left his phone on recording my Mom’s death.

 

If I didn’t have a witness, many people would doubt that this occurred. I even doubt it myself sometimes. To borrow from Shakespeare, there is more to love than can be dreamt of in any of our philosophies.

 

My mom modeled what it is to love. She did this in the way she took care of us. She did this with my Dad in the way they cared for each other. My parents showed me what relationship was about. They showed what life could give us. Whatever or whomever I love carries their influence. My Mom and Dad live in my ability to love.

 

It’s weird that we must learn and re-learn these basic lessons over and over again….

 

*This revisited blog was published by Medium and an older version posted by The Good Men Project.

Feeling More Comfortable with Aging: Maybe If We Stop Fighting Ourselves Our Lives Might Not Seem to Pass as Quickly

All through my life, I felt I would continuously get better at doing things. With practice, I’d improve in sports, or writing, carpentry, cooking⎼ whatever I set my mind and body to do. Maybe most of us feel this way. Practice improves performance. But this is no longer true for me, at least not with physical skills and activities.

 

I had in the past assumed that if I had a pain, it was temporary. And if I treated it kindly, wisely, and went to consult a doctor or some form of healer, it would eventually go away. No longer. Pains appear and do not always go away. They change all the time, but do not disappear forever.

And meanwhile, time, life can go by too fast. Aging is changing.

 

The older we get, the faster our days, weeks, lives seem to disappear behind us; or the speed at which our life passes is directly proportional to our age. This seems to be a syndrome that plagues all (or most?) of us as we age. Maybe we should call it the aging time syndrome.

 

I first heard about it in a college philosophy class. The professor said it was often used as an argument against the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent creator. How could a beneficent God allow time to speed up for us as we got closer to death?

 

Why it happens is not understood. Is it caused by a slowing down in our ability to process information so we can’t keep up with time passing? Or is it because aging means we have more memories of old moments to shorten our habitation of the new? I don’t know.

 

But the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear that what happens is not that the present goes by faster. We still have moments that can seem to last forever. What happens, I think, is that as we age, the past gets larger quicker. We look back and suddenly feel the day, the week, the decade⎼ they were here one moment, and too quickly, they’re gone.

 

Is this sense of the past getting larger quicker an inherited alarm clock? An inborn prompt that evolved to teach us to live the last years or moments we have left more fully?

 

Last night, I discovered new twists in an old exercise. At 3:30 am, after pain woke me up and I had trouble getting back to sleep, I decided to return to window watching, a practice I had begun earlier this year. But I changed it a bit and discovered new applications for it.

 

Instead of gazing out the window to simply notice the beauty of the world, I took a breath and then looked to see what before I might have missed. I asked the night what beauty is here that in recent times had eluded me? What had I never verbalized to myself or others, or never felt? Or: what can I perceive now because of what I had noticed before? I looked outside; then closed my eyes and visualized the scene in my mind. Then l opened my eyes and looked again….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

When the Sky Clears, What Is It We See? The Bird Danced on the Roof Top, Saluting Sky, and the Emptiness in Which It Flies and We All Live

Last week, my wife and I were walking down our rural road when we noticed a large bird enter the space above our heads and circle lazily. Then a second arrived, and a third. Probably Turkey Vultures, magnificent in flight. And suddenly, all three were just gone. We didn’t see where they went.

 

At first, we felt the sky as empty, emptied of birds, lacking. But as we looked more fully, what before was merely background became something else, something more. We saw in full clarity the deep blue beauty of the clear afternoon sky. Not only the sky had cleared, but our minds.

 

The great poet and translator, David Hinton, in his book Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, said when we open our eyes, we open the sky inside us. We feel this empty space the size of the universe.

 

A Chinese poem, says Hinton, is not a metaphor seen or conjured from inside a spirit or identity center, or a self-separated from the universe, but the mind of the poet at that moment. Hinton quotes an early Chinese Ch’an (Zen) poet, Hsieh Ling-yun, as saying mind is “a tranquil mirror, all mystery and shadow.”

 

The sky mirrors our conscious awareness coming awake in, or more accurately, as the world. We often think of the sky as that blue or cloud filled something far off in the distance. But it’s also what we breathe in and out right here; what we move though each moment of our lives. We see and breathe in the world and the world sees and breathes in us.

 

And then the birds were back; first one, then the other two. They circled gracefully into the area above us. One went to sit on the ridgeline of a barn next to the road. The other two soon joined the first, but at the other end.  And the first raised its wings, held them out to the side as it would do if it meant to take off. But it stayed in place, in a different sort of flight.

 

Was this a mating dance? Or was it saluting the sky, the emptiness, the medium in which it flew, and we all lived? Was it bowing? For us, we might bow by first bringing our open hands together; for the vulture, it bowed by opening its wings out. Hinton says the ancient Chinese characters for bow mean hand-whispers, or maybe hand as the silence of mountain peaks, or clear minds. Maybe by opening its wings thusly it became the sky itself, the light, the silence.

 

We watched to see what the vulture would do next, but it just held the position. The three birds, my wife and I, the barn, the universe. And we walked on. The opening through which the universe was aware of itself walked on….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

**The photo of the Buzzard Dance was taken on our walk.

Window Watching and Sky Gazing: Attention that Heals

It’s been hard for so many people to get a good sleep at night lately, or to feel at ease during the day. I still wake up 3 or more times a night, mostly for issues common to aging, although there’s nervousness about all the threats in our world today lurking in the background. But how we respond to any event, and the quality of attention we give each moment, shapes the quality of our life overall.

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about waking up in the middle of the night and noticing the beauty of moonlight outside my very rural home. Or of distant city lights etching tree limbs against the gray sky⎼ or turning parked cars into mysterious, almost animal shapes. And I’d like to report that when sleep is interrupted and I do this looking-out-the-window practice, intently looking for the beauty that is there, my nights have been more engaging. I’ve become a connoisseur of darkness, a night watcher studying what is seen.

 

I look forward to the moment of looking. And even the pain and other issues that wake me have become more interesting⎼ or less annoying. Even my dreams have taken up this practice. Last night, my dream-self said that instead of window washing, I was window watching.

 

And I’ve become a night listener. Like a bird watcher searching for a rare bird or one we love, we can listen for any rare sound to focus on for study. There are few loud sounds at night near my home. Yet, no matter where we live, we can listen to the sounds of the neighborhood, the city, or the forest, for example, as if there was a concert going on outside the window. Or we can listen for trees bending, people talking, cars honking, or leaves spinning in the wind. We watch and listen for the beauty, for patterns, for interconnections.

 

We can do this not only at night, but all through the day. Sleeping and dreaming help us integrate one day’s thoughts and happenings into a fresh, new morning. The past creates the ground of the present.

 

Of course, at night, sometimes there is no moon or distant city lights, and our windows become holes into nothing. I like that less, but can study how even emptiness, and my not liking, feels. We often imagine nothingness as a distant event, or thing. But what are we seeing when we notice a hole in our knowing now?

 

We can also watch the sky during the day. Many of us continually look down, narrowing our attention and reinforcing self-concern. Looking up and out into the distance can spread our awareness, open us up, let us take in more.

 

One of my favorite books is the classic Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki. The first story in the collection is about a university professor visiting a Zen Master named Nan-in. The professor could be anyone full of their own opinions, and sure that what they think is true is the one and only truth.

 

The professor asks Nan-in about Zen. In response, the Master invites the professor in for tea. After they sit and the tea is ready, Nan-in pours the visitor’s cup full and keeps on pouring. The professor gets nervous while watching and exclaims, “It’s overfull. No more will go in.”

 

You, too, are overfull⎼ of opinions, not tea, says Nan-in. “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

 

It’s not just when or where we look, but how. …

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.