Currently, my life is in extreme turmoil, I am a leaf in a hurricane, fighting to regain inner rest: as if I'm decomposing and recomposing, like the quantum behaviour of the surface of the void. Music kicks me around, wish I could share this with someone. I try to express these feelings in /Memories - although very few people will actually get the message carried by the undercurrent there. If you do, drop me a line ;-)
These rather extreme inner events also arose my interest in the different ways of Zen.
Notwithstanding Dogen And Go, I have the impression that there are links between Go, Zen, traditional Oriental music, calligraphy and painting: maybe I only imagine this. Zen seems to emerge as the root knot, but this is not clear yet. As an example:
- the goban makes me think of a Zen garden; empty, it is the universe, each move zooms in to a smaller part of it; filled, completed, it has become a point in space-time. Smells too logical to be Zen.
- enjoying the sensations of stones and wood, being aware of nothing but this: the way light plays, the sounds, texture; enjoy the richness emerging from simple, abstract rules, the way stones get arranged - particularly asymmetry; calmness of the space where one plays go; calmness of the mind, where the aim of the game is not to win, but to enjoy - immerse - in the game, walk a path; enjoy an unfolding game, crystallization of thought, an expression of techniques, skill; playing without thinking (well...) - but not just playing randomly, but relying on intuition: this all smells Zen. If kyudo, sho-do, ikebana are Zen arts, why wouldn't Go? See also http://www.sevendaysvt.com/features/2005/playtimes.html.
- wabi sabi in painting/calligraphy, but also in the simplicity yet richness of e.g. shakuhachi is not far from the way stones on the goban are arrayed.
- I do believe that the attitude to always wanting to progress is typical of these "modern times" where everything should be optimal. This attitude has flaws, to put it weakly. The only goal of a rank should be to be able to correctly calculate handicaps to keep games enjoyable. The focus should remain on enjoying the game, sure learn new things, not on getting a higher grade (i.e. enjoying a rating going up). People wishing to become Dan are making this mistake: not becoming Dan is the goal, but try to play better (and become Dan "by accident").
Think of children learning the game: their progress can be enormous, yet they are not aware of that; they just devour go literature out of interest, because they want to discover, not because they want to progress. Only later will this change, when they want to compete with other kids, prove they are the best - that's where things start to go wrong (in a sense). It is this natural state of mind that a go player should adapt when willing to progress: not willing to progress at all. In fact, this is about the Beginner's Mind (see Dogen And Go).
See also The Taste of Banzo's Sword
- from the mud below rise little bubbles, sparkles of pure spirit.
See also Philosophy and Go.
- "When we understand emptiness in this way we see Go through the eyes of the sage. We will have no ranking, no joseki, no plan of attack. We will have no form. Like water, moves take the form needed."
- "The point of placing this story in with the mandala is that my rank too is transient"
Go is meaningless as such: there is not much difference between go, chess or collecting stamps. But all can be eye openers, catalysators.
It is just another way to explore other areas of life. For example, a club member wonders if anyone is reading the exercises and game reviews he is posting from time to time. One should not to wonder if postings reach anyone, but let the heart speak and simply embrace others, make them part of one's experience and drag them along in the wake you leave behind, share one's joy with them. Game reviews and exercises can be just one of those ways.