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FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Posted by Gorfram 7b W Oregon (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 7, 04 at 2:48

I didnt know what these were, so I looked them up.

Definition of "Ma":

"1. room; space(availabe) 2. time, interval; leisure"
Martins Concise Japanese Dictionary, Samuel E. Martin,
Charles E. Tuttle, Rutland, VT, 1994, p. 525.

"Lit. 'empty, gap, space'. The space between two structural parts."
(listed under: "Aki (also written kuugeki, ma), Category: architecture/general terms"
JAANUS: the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology,
link from alphabetical index entry


"the Japanese sense of place; usually regarded as having both a time and space component, space/time."
A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto, Marc Treib and Ron Herman,
Kodansha International, NY, 1980 (Rev. 2003), p. 195.


"Space; depending on its use, ma can represent linear, planar, volumetric, temporal, or social spaces."
Japanese Garden Design, Marc P. Keane,
Tuttle Publishing, Boston, MA, 1996, p. 175.


Only one of the sources I have handy gives a definition for "Mu":

"Nothingness, emptiness; a teaching of Zen Buddhism."
Japanese Garden Design, Marc P. Keane,
Tuttle Publishing, Boston, MA, 1996, p. 175.


So, Edzard, what do "ma" and "mu" mean? :)

- Evelyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

And yet "wa" is far more important!


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 7, 04 at 13:17

"Mu" = cow.

"Ma" = sheep.

"Wa" = human baby.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

[Yesterday was my day for carefully documented research, so]

Who was it that said "You gotta have wa"?
(Wasnt that in "Damned Yankees"? :)

And somewhere on this forum, someone quoted someone as saying "Its just a hobby, if you aint got wabi sabi."
(I think Bambooo may have been involved :)

[This ties with the (lamentably late) Peter Schickeles "It dont mean a thing , if it aint got that certain je ne sais qua", for my favorite variation on the original quote.]

This thread could quite reasonably be expanded to cover other ineffable J. garden qualites indicated by untranslatable Japanese words and phrases.

- Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Evelyn,...
carefully researched documentation shows Ma and Mu to be associated with Wa as barnyard animals, at least to the age of 7...

I think you've covered it very well in noting the sources.
perhaps the question is better phrased, "how is Ma and Mu used in the garden?"

one of the ways is that the measurement of the 'empty interval' of the karesansui -'gravelled space' is proportional to the length of the note prior to the space and after the space.
Much the same way is the importance of the space 'between' the stones of the nobedan, rather than the stone itself.
Understanding musical instruments, inflections, notes and music score intervals is in this way brought into gardens, which sets time period, current popular music as necessary to understand the garden, depending upon which period it is set in (if we look at it this way).

ie; we know the stones of the Seattle garden of Jando's pictures is set in the Momoyama period (first half) and the Edo 'revival' period, what then is the music associated with this period, then what was/is the popular interval? Then the garden is adjusted to the intervals of the music, which sets the 'taste' of the garden.. indicating where to improve the garden, if it has fallen 'out of interval'.
edzard
:), i can hear herb's grains of salt falling..... chuckling.....


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 7, 04 at 18:08

At this rate I shall soon run out of salt. Then, since "pish" has already been appropriated, I shall mutter "tush" instead.....


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Do you mean that this way of relating to "Japanese Garden" is meaningless Herb? It is far beyond the my own understanding or interest but it would be arrogant of me to name it in the way that you have.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Kwatz!


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 7, 04 at 21:11

Inky,

You surprise me. Why would an allusion to Gilbert & Sullivan, used in a response to a similar allusion to The Mikado by someone else, be arrogant?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Are 'ma' and 'mu' in the J. garden analogous to the western idea of 'negative space"?

I feel a little uncomfortable talking about "negative space", partly because it is an easy avenue to pretentiousness; but mostly because, not having an MFA in anything, Im not sure Im qualified to use the phrase :)

Right after reading a description of the writer being inadvertantly shoved, elbowed, and body-checked in the course of shopping at a crowded Kyoto farmers market, I happened to see a photo of a karesansui on the cover of one of the books lying around here.
It struck me that its not the sand itself, or the rocks or shrubs in and around it: its all that glorious, luxurious, calm empty space. In a country where people have lived in amazingly close quarters for centuries, it makes sense the aesthetics would develop gorgeously empty volumes of unoccupied space.

So, is this a profound insight, utter nonsense, or something that you guys thought that everybody already knew? :)

- Evelyn

PS. Herb, will you elucidate the reference, or shall I have to go out and rent the whole G & S catalog?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 8, 04 at 0:08

Evelyn - It started when (in the thread about cultivation in empty spaces) Edzard wrote, in response to my remarks about taking some of it with a pinch of salt - "pish....Herb".

That of course put me in mind of "Pish-Tush": and then I saw that in this thread, Edzard wrote - ":), i can hear herb's grains of salt falling..... chuckling....."

So, chuckling also, I followed it up with my remark about running out of salt and muttering "tush".

And no, you needen't go & rent the whole catalogue. This should do -

http://www.newlog.org.uk/Shows/The_Mikado/Dialogue_Audition_Pieces/Pish-Tush_2.html

Herb


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

... insight.
and relates back to the conversation of the continent, the peninsula and the island, perception being, garden responding to that thought process.

negative space... perhaps, though it leads to confusion later, imo. A good place to start though,... 'empty space' still is 'something', with something in it.
on the subject of pish - tush, & music.....
or in the UK, marching music, the row of cedars on the way to the Mount... has a cadence...
if it is in the UK, why is it that Japan can not have music in their gardens? Or the silence between the notes?
what if sound is a constant, and the silence is the note?
I'm reminded of Poe's -Silence, A Fable.
curious...
edzard


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Yes, the term "negative space" gives me pause as well. It always puts me in mind of the sort of problems with space-time continuum one might expect to find in the vicinity of a black hole, and that one might only expect to hear discussed at parties where physicists have gotten deeply into their cups :)

But I don't know another word for it, except maybe "ma occupied by mu" (which is likely to lead to trouble in the sheep pen, and the milk getting soured :)

I'm sorry, Edzard, but I'm afraid your music analogies are beyond me. Among my failings, I am seriously musically challenged, and have never gotten past the thing they call "Key". [It's kind of like when I was an extremely mediocre aikidota trying to understand the concept of "Chi", except that I was vastly better at Aikido.]

While we're discussing my failings, I am also rather French-challenged, and mispelled "je ne sais quoi" somewhere above.
And, worst of all, I mis-remembered your (30.06) caliber. Sorry, I know that sort of thing's important to a guy ;)

Herb, thanks for the elucidation. Now I won't have to try to sleep while wondering whether it was Yum-Yum who sprinkled salt on the Modern Major General's tush, or what :)

good night,

- Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

uM, I aM in aW.
As for "negative space", this is a concept that has no meaning in a culture that believes that there is life in the space. In the materialistic west we interpret the space between things as empty or negative and only serving as a prop. Emptiness and nothingness does not carry this same baggage in Buddhism or Shinto and probably the East in general for all I know.
Missed the G & S reference Herb, sorry.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 8, 04 at 12:07

Inky,

I raise my glass to your opening line!

Herb


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Thank you Herb, are we talking a wee dram?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 8, 04 at 18:40

Mortlach single malt!


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Slainte to both of you!

:) Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 8, 04 at 20:49

Hi Evelyn
this is my 2 cents

Mu: mu means nothing or nothingness. like number of zero " 0 )
$1- $1= O ....> you had one dollar and paid one dollar for icecream , now nothing left in your pocket . when "0" is between number of 1, then 0 have big impact and meaning. for exsample
number of "101" , zero is no longer " no meaning or nothingness" zero has value. In the Japanese art and/or Chinese art "Mu" have value and meaning (s)

when you think "MU" as nothingness, then there is things called "MU" no shape, no smell , cannot touch, cannot see but there is "MU" .

sometime translateing one launguage to another. other side of of culture do not hame same concept/meaning of the word or do not have same meaning of word.
In Japnanese lauguage, we did not have word of privacy until Meiji era. privacy is imported word. English do not have word of "wabi" "sabi" .... when you hear word of "God" you are automaticly think God of christianty. not diety of Buddhism or other God (s).

space where not used in paintings and gardens. westner thought that while you have usable sapce but not in use so those space is called as negative space.
thought of Orient is that emputy space is used to enhance objects of art or garden. There for, empty space is not "unused space"
emputy space is important as object(s) . empty space as "MA" should not translated as negative space.

Word of "negative space" may apply to in art and landscape of west. unsued space is part of Japanese art and garden.
nothingness is not " nothing "like number of "0"
Many of Japanse art's empty space are importan part of the arts.

word of " MA " is used in every day Japansese life. when you want to have realtion but not too close then you keep" MA" space between you and him.

for a while you want to keep distance with him " them you have " MA " / time ....but not cut off relation ship

In Japanese garden, Negative space should consider as positive space, enhanceing space .

you have spend many hours to serch :) : ) ...... mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Mike-san said:
"[in the] number of "101" , zero is no longer "no meaning or nothingness": zero has value.
" MA " is used in every day Japanese life. when you want to have realtion but not too close then you keep" MA" space between you and him.
for a while you want to keep distance with him " them you have " MA " / time ....but not cut off relation ship .
In Japanese garden, Negative space should consider as positive space, enhancing space."

"Space" can be used to make or keep distance within an existing relationship here, too. Sometimes your boyfriend or girlfriend will "want some space."
(Note: this is usually not a good sign.)

And if I somehow got a check for $100,000, I sure wouldnt think of those five zeros as "nothing" :) :)

I like the idea of "positive space" :)
In theory, we could just call it "space", but westerners like me could easily fall back into the trap of thinking of it as "empty space, unfilled as of yet" rather "space with positive space-holding value of its own."

Thanks for taking the time to help me understand this, Mike-san.

:) Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 9, 04 at 14:44

Mike -

I've seen some 'Japanese' style gardens that I've felt were overcrowded, but I couldn't quite understand why I felt that way. Your analysis & explanation makes me look at them in a clearer light. Thank you, Mike-san.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 9, 04 at 19:56

Hi Herb
some private home garden offten have to shield view from next door or street,we don't have much of buffer zone. time of year also makes difference too.

you and eveyn, edzerd,scott mikee, INKY,June and many others who has good, kind heart and trying to help others . I am doing my part. ( I can not write well in English but I can read Japanese heheehe). some times, heated opnions are exchenged. It brings more intrest and I am for sure that every one reserched before writeing /posting to give others correct information. I have made many good friends in this forum.
we enjoy each other...
Thank you every one............................mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 9, 04 at 20:15

evelyne
Relation not "realtion . sorry ;);) I wish spike give me spell check future in the GW .... If I go back to second or third grade of Japanese midle school english class, I get lot's of red marking and have to bent knee to the English class teacher.......... I made her cry one day. soon she went to teacher's room, older female math teacher came to the class. I was in big trouble . I am paying price for that now............. mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

I love Mike's zero analogy; to take it one step further...

Ma=0

Mu=infinty

The first koan a Zen student undertakes is "What is mu?" Like all good koans, there is no real answer; it is a bit like our efforts to define art or J-gardens. While we try to define it as absolute nothingness, the fact that we've defined it at all precludes that. And the "nothingness" also defines all possibilities; anything is possible from that kind of a starting point...

Here is a link that might be useful: What is mu?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 14, 04 at 19:51

Scott - I'm neither a scientist nor a mathematician, but your bringing up Ma=0 while Mu=infinity makes me ask - where is the half-way point between the two? I sometimes wonder if it's Pi. I've no logical reason for that suggestion, beyond the impression that Pi seems (so far) to be beyong expression as an exact value. On the other hand, perhaps the question is pointless because neither Zero nor infinity is an expression of reality?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 15, 04 at 2:12

Hi Herb

Scott is not talking mathmatic nor science . you don't have to be neither one, but you have to read Heart Sutra.
Heart sutra is shortest sutra of among 3,000 sutras.less than 300 kanji chractors but has essence of whole Buddhism is in the Heart sutra.
all Japanese sects of Buddhism read and use Heart sutra in it's doctorin except Nichiren sect and Jodoshin shu sect.

Koan : if you understnd heart sutra , it will help you to understand Koan . without heart sutra you never understand
Koan or will take very long time to understand it.
mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Mike's right; I'm not trying to get scientific here; just getting with the spirit of trying to define the indescribable.

Chao-chou's answer to the dog question is the best possible definition I know. It is neither yes or no; it does not attempt to redefine the question, indeed it really doesn't refer to the question at all. Keep in mind that there were follow-ups to the original question that the master continued to answer with the same "Mu". It is all defining and encompassing and yet it is nothing at all...

At the heart of all great religion lies the mystery...


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 15, 04 at 12:52

I wonder if, when Chao-Cho replied "Mu" to the first & later questions, "Mu" may equally well be translated as "Anything's possible"?


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Sorry, Scott

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 15, 04 at 12:55

Too late, I've I just noticed that you already suggested that.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

I like that thought, Herb...


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Interesting that Schrodinger & Nan Chu'an both frame their thought-problems in terms of the violent demise of cats...

The reciprocal relationship between infinity and zero has always seemed interesting to me.

One of my favorite authors (Ursula K. LeGuin) once described housework as "The Art of the Infinite", and I've been thinking about that lately as I do the cleaning, clearing, tidying & sweeping that the garden eternally requires.
I enjoy doing this in the garden (vastly more so than in the house :), and find that it brings me the closest I've ever been able to come to a meditative state. "Monkey mind" wears itself out, and at some point it comes to me that all I have been doing- *all* I have been doing - is trimming that one plant. Not mentally balancing my checkbook, not critically reviewing my neighbors' taste in television and/or garden art, not thinking about some silly politician creating some silly mess, just (not nearly so verbally) "Leaf goes (clip). Leaf stays. Leaf goes? Leaf stays. Leaf goes (clip)...."

Reaching this state is a large part of *why* I garden. But it is interesting in terms of Ma and Mu that -

[As I was typing this, I heard the noise of my apartment maintenance people blowing the last years worth of leaves and debris off of the roof and gutters, and interrupted myself to go move the moveable portions of my balcony garden under the eaves - not a mediative exercise by any means. (Monkey mind has quite a bit to say about it:)]

It is interesting in terms of Ma and Mu that this constant incremental tidying, an activity that stretches towards infinity, leads to a mental state approaching nothingness. If we were to travel an infinite distance away from the earth, we would arrive at (so we mostly suppose) empty space, nothingness. If we divide by infinity, we get zero. If we divide by zero, we get infinity.

Go figure.
;) Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 16, 04 at 12:54

Hi Herb
I am a lay man of Buddhism. Lay man can learn him self but never teach or speak Buddhism to others, Be coues he( myself ) do not have enough knowlege of sutra, precept of Buddhas . I am well wear of it.

posting of Scoot, Oct 14 and his attachment "Mu ".
name of master Joshu jushin in Japanese ( 778~892) answered his deciples " yes : one time and "No" other time
contradiction ? It is not contradict to his answer.

There is other dog question. deciples are agueing either Dog has "Busho" nature of Buddha or not ?
In the other story same subject.
when master herd his diciples argueing / debateing if Dog has Buddha's nature or not, he grabed sward and killed a dog .
after they saw thire master killed a dog , that is end of debate. later his favored deciple retuned from trip, The master asked him same question to him , The deciple put his sandal on his head and had no word. the master said if you were there, I did not have to kill a dog and he regrate it.

There is big sutra of "Nehan kyo" it tell Shakymuni's teach and his life. and in the sutra clearly tell all being
have Buddha's nature .
Yes and No answer was telling them that his deciples are argueing ,debateing meaning less, waste full argument/debate. killing dog is drastic way to end meaning les debate. That is my understanding of dog story .
you can understand it if you read heart suta and understand it.
many koans and precept of Zen are base on heart sutra.
we use about 1300 yr old translation of Heart sutra. many Heart sutras in English are less than 200 years old and have many peoples translated it. each translation of heart sutras deffernt than others slitely.
you can find many tranlation of Heart sutra in google serch.
There is thing called "Mu" nothingness. since there is so called nothingenss . "Mu" is exsit
...........................................mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Sutras of Buddhism


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 16, 04 at 13:37

Yama,

Thanks for the link.

Incidentally, I wasn't asserting that Mu is a mathematical concept.

Herb


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 16, 04 at 18:42

Hi Herb
I knew it. length of time you are posting on J garden forum, contents of posting and answers of yours. I know you. a man know a man .
It was for mostly to people who read J garden forum but not write/post. It is same as Scott. useing his name but it is for other peoples mainly. :) :) :)
mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 17, 04 at 4:37

translations are better or worst than the original , so forgive me if it is not the best : "discussing or arguing is the salt to life" After reading 33 follow-ups to 'Ma' and 'Mu' I am sure that we have enough salt for everyone


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 17, 04 at 13:26

Hi Kobold
Wecome to J garden forum.
How often can you agree to your mother's opinion ? :) :) :)
some of poster we know each other for two year or more, and some time we talk over phone and exchange gifts some times.
we respect each other . some time we have heated exchange of opinion , offten some one who know names for a while step in and try to cool off. while no one step in between , It is good sign of discussion.

Be side salt is very important ingredent of cooking .
I hope you jump into our discssions to cook. ... mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 17, 04 at 14:13

Hi Mike

You might misunderstand my remark, salt is one of the MOST important thing for life, not only for cooking. Only inteligent people can discuss.....others pull a gun!


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Cum grano salis


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 18, 04 at 5:42

bambooo , I take it as a complement, 'sal' means witty, amusing too.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 18, 04 at 6:03

oh, that gremlins!!! I ment compliment


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Where I live salt is a condiment.
The Latin phrase aforementioned is a play on words and is best translated as "not to be taken seriously".


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 18, 04 at 19:36

Inky, no living form can exist without salt (NaCl), so take it seriously!!
Latin was my third language, English is the fifth.


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

So, practice is probably a good thing hey, blue?


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 18, 04 at 21:21

Hi Andrea
Thank you for sending me warm and kindly remaked an e mail to me .

I was thinking of mathew 5- 13 also. salt is important ingrediant of life and cooking. salt is also used as purificator of soul and body in Chinese and Japanese culture.

remark of my English ability, It is true , I adomit it my self. I have received few critisum of my English ability in the past. Good part of my life is that I always have my friends who stand by my side. so it is not bother me .

I have a friend who is living USA longer than I am , she even don't try to write in English, but she run a Japanese restaurant very successfly , and She is worth Millons of dollar
I also know other Japanese restaurant ownwer who do not speak much of English , and connot write a check but He has three restaurant and two food stores. I know a man who speak perfect English and PHD degree, he drive a beat up car, have a part time job. only his asset is home which paid by his wife's parents. Ability of English do not masure always success of life.

I think you missunderstand me also. I did not pull gun toward my friends.
Inky and bamboo Thank you, but it is over . Andrea send me a nice e mail . I still wecome Andrea. : ) : ):) It will take time to know each other..............mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 19, 04 at 0:40

Inky, you are right, practice makes the master!!

Mike, not even in my wildest dream can I imagine you with a gun! My intention with my remark was to tell, how much I enjoyed all the discussions, doesn't matter how heated it is, to exchange thoughts, ideas, it is so important, than salt in life. Top of it, everybody has enough salt not to take it too seriously.As long as you can discuss, argue, you respect your partners , exchange ideas, share knowledge. This is part of being intelligent. People who do not care about anybody or anything solve their problems with gun.

We all are different, yes, takes time to know somebody so well to understand him or her from halfsentence.

bamboo, Inky : cogito ergo sum !

now, where is that darn salt shaker? Andrea


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

I think you's are putting to much of a quality judgement on the term "negative" space which is just the opposite of positive space. It's not good or bad, it's opposite. The balance or tension between the two is what is strived for.

paul


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 19, 04 at 21:39

Hi Evelyn
Eveyln : you wrote about Ryoan ji temple's Zen garden while ago. If I provide you historical fact , it may disappont you. Edzard already know it< I think > .
what do you know about famous Ryoanji temple's Zen garden ? can you see any relation to shinto ?
..........................................................
There are 7 Heavens. Heaven of East, Heaven of Weast, Heaven of Soth , Heaven of North, Heaven of above, Heaven of bellow . Heaven of where we are now. when you see youe sister, a dog , a cat and samall space of your garden as your Heaven , you are in heaven. when you see your garden is too samll and dog may not good for a small garedn , you want to have bigger space,need more money , need more time, need more of many things /greed make you feel where you are not in Heaven.
You are my favorlite person next to Cady and Mom. :) :) :)
Enjoy what you have now. ..................mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Mike-san,

Thank you :) I am very flattered, and very glad, to be among your favorite people. You are one of my very favorite people, too :) :) :)

You are right in that while I try to be happy with what I have, I also am constantly wondering how I might improve it :)
I read somewhere that while Americans believe in the "pursuit of happiness", many Asians think that we are born happy with no need to going running after anything.
I keep forgetting and re-learning this :)
Perhaps I need to spend more time reading and trying to understand what you and others have written about Buddhism :)

Please tell me the history of the Ryoan-ji garden. I doubt that I will be disappointed, unless it turns out that it came in of those "Zen-garden-in-a-box" kits that they sell in bookstores :) :) :)

my warm regards,
Evelyn

PS. Based on the example of your friends who own restaurants and your friend with the PhD, maybe you should stop trying to improve your English (even try to forget some) so that you can get rich, too :) :) :)


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Evelyn, we ARE born happy and stay that way for a good long time too!

Then someone tells you to grow up, and unfortunately, most of us listen...

Vive la resistance!

MU!

Scott :p


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 20, 04 at 23:55

Hi Scott
:):):) ... I discover that korean temple's vegetarian meal have lot's of garlic, ginger. Japnese temple not allow to enter to temple garlic, chinese chive ,ginger. korean temple and Japanese Temle use tofu and sesami oil. I like Chinese Jodo shu Dojo's chinese vegetarin meal too.
some day we can visit any temples in New England togather.

Evelyn :
If I do not learn English, and not improve my English , I can not make many friends over Garden web. ;);;..mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by kobold Vancouver BC (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 21, 04 at 2:03

Hi Mike

You pick friends over money, very wise man.

Thanks for explaining the 7 Heavens, we use the expression "to be in the 7th Heaven" but I knew only a different interpretation. I like yours much better, we don't have to die first to get there and we have an active role to form it, accept it or change it.

Andrea


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

Mike-san,

I like you just as you are, and many others on GW do, too :) But I'd look silly trying to stop you from improving your English as I struggle with the bare beginnings of learning a tiny bit of Japanese.

I am staying with my mother for a few days and have read her some of these posts. She thinks that since you will shave your head and live a life of study much like a monk, it is good that you are Japanese rather than Korean, unless you like garlic and ginger more than, er, female companionship ;) ;) ;)

give my regards to Cady,
;) Evelyn


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

  • Posted by yama 7b Ga (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 21, 04 at 9:24

Hi Evelyn
I will stay out side of Temple's gate with Cady.
I shaveing my head while ago,now like to have some hair. base ball cap won't stay on bold head.
Some day my spring dry out, then I will think about being monk. ...hehehe

Andera : I like to think myself that I am in heaven with many friends and troubles. going to heaven and no pain, no surfering , every day is nice and sweet , then we remember how good salt was, and miss salt. :):):):)

boild egg :
To make boild egg, water should be boild ? since it is said boild egg, I thought I have to boil water to make boild egg without any doubt. I made water to boil to have a boild egg. Today I have leaned that water do not need to be boil to make boild egg . 65~ 68 metaric degree is hot nough . No boild water is needed to make boild egg.

To understand relation ship between shinto and zen garden of Ryuan ji temple, you need to understand "knock, knock " joke of children. Prejudice mind make you wild guess, or without of prejudice mind you can have wild guess....mike


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RE: FAQ: 'Ma' and 'Mu'

"Knock, Knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Japanese Gardener."
"Japanese Gardener who?"
"Japanese Gardener who understands the relationship between Zen and Shinto."
"Thank Goodness! I keep trying to explain it to people, but don't understand it very well myself."

You've also got me speculating wildly about the history of Ryoanji, Mike. Tonight I'm worried that the stones might be seen, using a stylized form of contemporary calligraphy, to spell out the words: "Eat at Jo's" :) :) :)

My mother says to tell you that the best way to boil an egg is to put the cold egg into a pan of cold water, bring it *just* to the point of beginning to boil, and then set pan and egg aside until they are cool. This makes a great egg, which is also very easy to peel.
The only drawback is that it can take half the morning just to cook your egg :)

- Evelyn

PS. I think Cady will be very happy with her hairy scholar and the waters outside the temple gate ;) ;) ;)


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