Ask the Reader

November Project: Question #27 I received this in my email inbox just a few minutes ago from James

I can't imagine the number of questions you must get all the time, nevermind this November project. But I wonder if you have a question for your readers? My question is, what one question would you like to ask your readers?

Hmm...interesting. I like this. :-)

My question for the readers is one that no one has ever asked me.

What concerns you in your daily lives?

Whether this concern blocks you off from what you consider daily life, or is an integrated part, however you might see it, what concerns you? Forget for the moment if you believe your concerns to be selfish or of no real importance, or even if you believe those concerns to be illusory...I don't care about that...

I would just like to know, as human beings running around living your lives, what is it that concerns you? To be good parents? To be enlightened? To get laid? To make a name for yourselves? Or something else entirely? What is it?

And I ask this question with love. It is in no way accusatory, nor asked to make you think you are not doing enough in the 'right' areas.

I am really looking forward to your replies, as simple or complicated as they might be.

Recent Doings

Yes, Takuin is still alive. ;-) I have not posted anything since the first week of August, but I am still here. Even though I have not been seen at, I have been very active on Twitter and at the Life Beyond the Image Facebook page.

But fairly soon you'll have all of me you can stand, as I am going to hold another November Project this year. And for those of you unfamiliar, you can find out the basics of how it works on this post from 2010. I have not started taking questions yet, but you can expect to see a separate post on that soon.


Recently, I poured through my library, looking for any notebooks I have filled since the 'accident' of December 1st, 2006. I think I have found them all, and my intention is to burn them. This might sound odd or even crazy to some of you, but it is completely right to me.

There has been some interest in those writings over the last year or so, and after I pulled them all together and had a look, I realized they were a wordy amalgam of no significance. I quite like to compare those writings to a two year old scribbling on the wall with a crayon; cute for sure, but something even the child will forget in a day or two. And this child has long since forgotten those old words.

I won't make a big to-do about disposing of those notebooks, but I may take a few photos of the event. ;-)

(NOTE: This does not mean I will purge the website. All the writings since December of 2006, and all future writings, will remain.)


I am still taking Skype calls from people all over the world. It seems to go in 'waves', for whatever reason. That activity is sometimes busy and frantic, and at other times sparse. But I enjoy it either way.

I have learned a great deal from the people I have spoken with over the last 3 or so years, and I look forward to more of that. Thank you all very much! (If you are interested in having a call on Skype, there is no charge. Check the Contact Page for details.)


That is all for now, but I look forward to interacting with all of you when the November Project 2011 begins. And I will write a post with details soon.

Be good. :-)

Ryozen Kannon

The Announcement Revealed

Note: This was written before the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011. New information related to this announcement is at the end of the article.


OK, this is what is happening...

After speaking with a few young filmmakers, a series of short films featuring Takuin will be shot throughout Japan sometime in May. The films will cover a wide variety of topics, but will not be 'about' Takuin.

The main reason I have refused this sort of thing in the past is because, usually, they want the subject to be Takuin. A film 'about' me would be completely unnecessary, and the idea just does not sit well. I cannot understand the interest in the subject.

If there is any significance to Takuin, it is in the moment by moment living of the thing, and not as an historical narrative or method building exercise trying to replicate whatever might have happened to him. There is enough of that sort of chicanery, the 'If you do THIS, you'll get THIS,' kind of nonsense.

Up the Mountain

Anyway, the filmmakers and I went back and forth a bit, and eventually came to an end we could both settle on.

None of the films will be pre-planned or scripted, apart from whatever shots they feel the need to get, but that is none of my business anyway. And as far as I know, filming will take place in Tokyo, Toyama, and a few other places in Japan. As to the subject matter, they've left that up to me.

And also, in the interest of full disclosure, I will not be making any money off of these films, and neither will the filmmakers. They will all be freely available through various video sharing websites.

I am not sure how any of this will turn out in the end, but I have no real concerns. I am actually looking forward to the process, as it will definitely be exciting and interesting. If there are any other updates or items if interest, I will be sure to let you all know here first.


After the events of last week, I've been thinking of ways that I might help others here in Japan. Here are a few I have decided upon:

  • Making DVD's of the upcoming films for sale, with all proceeds going to disaster relief. This is something I know very little about, but I imagine it wouldn't take very much effort to make this happen.
  • Writing a new book - a PDF - for sale on this site, with all proceeds going to disaster relief.
  • I have been working with a film composer here in Toyko for the last 3 months for an upcoming project later this year. We may refocus our energies on writing music and holding performances in and around Tokyo with all proceeds going to disaster relief.

That is the list I've come up with so far, and two of them can be acted upon immediately.

What would you add to this list? How else would you help (or are helping) those that need it the most?

I'll be sure to keep you all informed about these things as time goes on.

To keep up with what is happening with me in Japan, please follow me on twitter.

Big Announcement for Takuin.Com Coming Soon

Early next week, I'll be announcing a major upcoming event for the site. It is something I have resisted and even refused in the past. But finally - and perhaps out of my need to leave the house - I have agreed. ;-) I'll reveal the whole thing around Tuesday of next week, after I take care of a few final details.

Stay Tuned...


The Return

As those of you following me on Twitter or Facebook already know, Akiko and I are leaving for the United States today to attend to a death in the family. I'll be there for three weeks. I'll be able to check e-mail and comments sporadically, and I'll probably keep to one post per week, as usual. I am not sure if I'll be writing about specific events during my stay, but most likely, the posts will be related in some way.

Be good, and take care of yourselves...

To Listen

To listen is to share love with another person. It is not an isolated activity, but an open movement; a complete sharing of oneself.

I must be open to you completely to really share with you. So I don't want to waste my time with planning what to say next. If I plan everything while you are speaking, I will miss the beauty of your words.

To miss your words is to miss the meaning of life.

Are You More Than Experience?

Have you ever questioned why experiences are important to you? Why certain memories you hold onto, while others you throw aside? You may hold onto the memory of the greatest sexual encounter you’ve ever had, or the time you had the hell beat out of you. But why? Why do we hold on to these things, and who is deciding what to keep? It means something to someone, but why does it have to mean anything?

Please take a moment to look within, right now. Then come back and tell us what you've found.

Is there more to you than experience?

To The Student

Don't say you are 'All One.' That is an incredibly powerful statement. And as we go into this step by step we can see your confusion. So is the fact your confusion, or your idea of being All One? If you are All One, you would have no questions to the contrary. You would not ask a thing. So please, let's not cover up the fact of your confusion with your idea of wholeness. We begin with what we have. There is no shame in being confused.

Zen and the Cockroach

Takuin sat in a Zen temple in Kyoto, waiting for a Zen Monk and an interesting conversation. During his wait, he saw a little cockroach making its way across the floor. It was indecisive; move one way, go back, move one way, go back. He sat with this little creature for some time while waiting.

Then, a student of the temple walked into the room. He walked over to the roach and stepped on it.

Takuin left the temple.

Subtle Danger

The danger is in reaching for the ‘idea’ of freedom, thinking it is in any way real. A guru may tell us it is all bliss, all love, all this or that, and all we can do is imagine that apparent state. Then we begin our search by looking for the state we have imagined, which is not the actual thing. Such a dangerously subtle trick.

Water Fasting - Final Day

No problems, no problems. I did not fall off the wagon, and it is surprising to think there has been no real food to support this body for the last 28 days. Yet, there is this strange feeling, knowing that I will re-introduce food tomorrow. It is uneasy, and something I must listen to. I'll think on this for a bit, then write a larger follow-up post on the whole experience.

The Dialogue

There is a misconception about dialogues; many people see the end results - the transcripts, the footage, or whatever - and think that is the end. In other words, once dialogue is over, the end result must be the right way to see it. But is that correct? You and I could speak on the same subject 5 different times, and each exploration could be entirely different. It is like jazz. The chord progression is the topic, and the solos are the dialogue. The results are unlimited within a limited background.