Zen Sex

Not much of either sex or zen: the book Zen Sex by Philip Toshio Sudo is an unfortunate mix of cliché and snigger, pontification and nudge-nudge. It leans heavily on quotations, perhaps poorly-translated, from Ikkyu, a 13th century Japanese monk and rake. Excessive whitespace, large print, fuzzy shunga illustrations, and repetitive text all add up to a taste of weak tea. Sadly, the young author died of stomach cancer only a couple of years after this book was published in 2000.

But amongst the chaff there a few kernels, mainly old parables. The best:

The zen teacher Soen Nakagawa taught this lesson to a student who approached him during a meditation retreat. "I am very discouraged," the student said. "What should I do?"

Soen's reply: "Encourage others."

^z - 2013-01-13