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A TALE of TWO CAPS


In 2000, we took our then ten year old daughter and our exchange student from Iceland, to Disney World. We had fun!

I bought two caps for me, one had Grumpy written across the front. The other had the configuration you can see in the photo above. Now I have never considered myself a grumpy person so I was going for the irony when I sported it about town. However, the second cap has at least a double irony.

Please study that cap as I spin my tale. This cap is the only one I have seen of this design. When I wear it, it often gets quizzical stares from people. In 2000, I was still three years away from starting my Practice Path toward Soto Zen Priesthood. So now, 19 years later I see it is a koan. A koan for me and for others. Looking carefully you see Mickey's profile as a Yin/Yang symbol. Wow, so Mickey must be Taoist. Maybe. This cap still begs another question. But before I go there, let's turn our attention

Let's get Grumpy back in the tale. I see this cap as Samsara and Sammati. So grumpiness as part of life does not have to be one's dominate "way-of-life." Just as the Taoist symbol does not mean "either or," but the construct of complementary. Taoism of China had significant influence on the practice of Chan, in Buddhist sanghas-just sit as things come and go.

In Zen we live each moment with the conditions and variables that arise. So both caps have their usefulness in the sharing of the Dharma. I just have to choose...


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