The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 110
Zen, these days, was viewed more as a minimalist visual art form, or a mood of tranquility created by that art, than as a school of Mahayana Buddhism.
Not precisely a con, just a helluva lot easier than the real thing: a direct encounter with Buddha nature in which understanding oneself as pulse, breath, cellular regeneration and mutation is considered light years more accurate than the commonly held view of self as personality, occupation, etc..
So if you were to walk through my home here in the high desert, from garage—converted to oddly angled sheetrock walls that made it gallery and studio space—through the raked sand backyard adorned only with a silver car fender and three, six panel, wood-framed windows planted in the sand, then into the Japanese style interior of the house itself, you might hear yourself whisper: “So Zen,” especially if the bamboo wind chime music I’d recorded, then run through a couple reverb filters, echoed via wi-fi magic one environment to the next.
Hank and Linda, my cats, had wiped out the rodent population years before, while I’d managed to tame the trailer park tenants with a kind of zero tolerance, cops-on-speed-dial policy. And I’d adopted Bruce’s strategy for dealing with the ever increasing traffic noise 200 yards away: “Just think of the highway as the ocean,” suggested Bruce, “and the cars and trucks as waves crashing on the beach.”
Stater Brothers, the only supermarket in 29 Palms, was a couple miles away. Easy running distance. Always a kick hopping on the MBTA’s Ready Ride bus—my sweet, sassy Sabrina at the wheel—for the trip home.
The dirt road from the highway to the water storage tank at the foot of JTNP was decent for speedwork, and with plenty of that lawsuit settlement money left I’d invested in a tasteful but affordable floral-patterned runner for yoga.
Ten pound dumbbells for strength was something new.
A once per month, (well, you know, sometimes twice), 12 pack of Kona Longboard—my reward for good behavior.