1. The internet absence is down to my brain being more in Facebook mode, or even Twitter, than anything involving sequential sentences. Head cold is still in head, doing its best imitation of a sinus infection. Much forced saline drainage has been employed. Saw doctor, acupuncturist, chiropracter and Thai massage guy last week, the first three earlier than I cared for. Worked a few hours, rather more than I cared for as well, except that work provides my few social interactions of the week.
Result being that half the world will be getting New Year's cards from me, not Christmas ones.
2. Have read one and a half Irene Adler mysteries, which feel somewhat off when I'm well but, languishing, are just the thing. Possibly because the Holmes is minimal and deftly handled, the latter of which is a rare feat among pastichers. This is not the Irene Adler of Doyle, I think-- American pastichers do want to make their Holmesian characters American, or is it their publishers who think Americans won't read Brits? No, must be the writers. A fannish habit almost as bad as Suedom, but oh well. I also think we're headed for another American trope, the Conspiracy, sub-genus Demonic Conspiracy, which oh dear really must we? But I am ill and have nothing else to read (looks at towering stack from the Front Lawn Library) well, nothing else I feel capable of reading, except Buddhist theory. Which I read as well.
3. Had a Saiyuki dream last night, Gokuu trying to learn to write and Sanzou with a character on his forehead that was, am pretty sure, the Greek omega. But this was also a story I was trying to post as an LJ entry only I couldn't find the proper page, and the daycare kids were coming back from evening kindergarten. 'Is it midnight already?' I thought, looked at the clock and was relieved it was only 10:30. 'But that means school has to operate in two shifts, and there are late night teachers just like there's late night hospital workers. Must be tough not getting out in the daytime.'
4. Some day I will write a diatribe against An Invitation to Practise Zen, but that involves getting the book from downstairs and looking up the offending passages. Bref: it is not an invitation, it's a dispiriting statement that no really someone like you *can't* practise zen. Count your breaths-- but be aware of the fact that this exercise isn't meditation. Practise mindfulness, but don't think that being mindful of mundane things like (sneer) washing dishes is actually *mindfulness*. (I suspect a jab at Thich Nhat Hanh here.) Mindfulnes is mindfulness of nothing. You may feel great peace and happiness, but this is one of the illusions attendant on meditation. Ignore it. You may experience a sudden overwhelming revelation, but that isn't satori. What is satori? Oh, you'll know it when you see it.
From my reading, all of this may be true-- the upper levels of meditation are quite beyond my comprehension-- but really, this is no way to talk to beginners. And frankly, why does the author think a westerner *cares* about doctrinal differences between the Sōtō and Rinzai sects of Zen?