I'm pretty happy with my life in most respects. I wish I could afford an Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar pedal and an Italia Rimini 12 String Electric Guitar. But then again, where would I put them? Besides material possessions are always a burden. And the cause of all suffering is desire for guitar equipment, right?
I've still got Crum the Cat. I'm having to learn to modify my mudra during morning zazen. A mudra is a hand position. The one you use during zazen is called the Cosmic Mudra. You can see an example of it in this photo set that I put up forever ago.
Problem is that Crum likes to sit in my lap and purr during zazen. So I need to accommodate by finding a place for my hands that works when a cat is there. I'm working on this.
Zen and cats have a very long history. In Japan zen temples almost always have several cats. I've never been to one that doesn't. The one at the end of the road where I used to live had at least half a dozen that just hung around all the time. I'm not really sure where this tradition got started. But even Dogen moans about it somewhere in Shobogenzo. I'm not talking about his famous commentary in Shobgenzo Zuimonki on the koan "Nansen's Cat." I know there's some chapter near the end of the Shobogenzo proper where Dogen is bitching about how degraded temples have become "these days" (the 1240s CE) to the extent that they even keep cats as pets. But I can't recall exactly where that was anymore.
Then there's the old story about tying up the cat during zazen. That one's pretty funny.
"When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice."
I've been busting my balls for the last few days writing. Hope this next one sells a few copies. I owe pretty much everything I made in Germany last year to the hospital I went to who insisted I needed a spinal tap and a CAT scan. Speaking of cats...
I've also put a bunch of blasts from my past up on YouTube. Here's a sampling:
Here I am as American News reporter Bradley S. Warner in the theatrical feature film Ultraman Zearth from 1996.
The French reporter is Nathalie Delin, another person who worked for Tsuburaya Productions' International Division. Nathalie was probably a lot more "professional" in terms of the TV and film biz than I ever was. And perhaps as a result of that she didn't last nearly as long as I did at the company. But she made it through a few years. I haven't seen or heard from her since then.
Here I am in the late-night horror TV series Moon Spiral. I'm playing a vegetarian ghost.
The star of this show was Mariya Yamada who went on to become a huge star in Japan for a while. She also appeared in the Japanese edition of Penthouse magazine, though she did not remove all of her clothes for the shoot. She was just 16 when she appeared in this TV series playing a psychic girl who works with a couple of detectives. It was sort of X-Files-ish. I think there were only six episodes. But not because it got canceled. A lot of shows in Japan just run a few episodes. The mini-series concept is much stronger over there.
This show was written by Masakazu Mighita who also wrote The Calamari Wrestler, Executive Koala and Pussy Soup (which I first heard of just now when looking him up on IMDB. I gotta ask what that was!)
Here's a clip of me getting blowed up real good in Ultraman Tiga episode 51
I wrote about this in Hardcore Zen. I had a crappy copy of this up on YouTube for a while. But now I've replaced it with this better one.
It's harder to spot me in this. But I'm in most of the crowd scenes in the Ultraman Neos pilot film.
I'm also the guy on the right at the end of this, the one who points up at Ultraman Neos flying overhead.
I'm playing the monster Powered Baltan in this Tsuburaya Productions commercial from 1995.
The best view of me comes at about 1:00 or 1:01 in this clip. Those are my big blue lobster claws waving in the air. I was selected to play Powered Baltan because he was a monster from the only Ultraman TV show produced in the United States. Unfortunately, that happened to be the worst Ultraman TV show ever made, as well. Noboru Tsuburaya is the singer you see at the beginning. He was the president of the company and the man who hired me to work at Tsuburaya Productions.