October 25, 2008

Zen, hula, and Althouse.

You may be thinking: It's always Ann Althouse. Why can we hear something about the other Althouses around the country? Okay! Let's start here, on a blog called The Dude Abides (subtitle: "An Existential Crossing Guard at the Intersection of Spirituality and Pop Culture"). The blogger, Cathleen Falsani, attends a hula class at the Zen Community of Oak Park, which was founded by Abbot Robert Joshin Althouse and his wife June Kaililani Ryushin Tanoue.
Over the summer, the Oak Park Zen Community consecrated a vast hula mound Althouse built in the back yard — two large, enjoined grassy knolls that together form the shape of a yin-yang symbol....

"Hawaiian spirituality is in some ways opposite of Zen because there are in excess of 40,000 gods and goddesses" in its pantheon, [Tanoue] explained....

There is a spirit in the dance, she said, that complements, rather than competes with, her Zen practice. "The sacred is how we treat our experiences, how we're open to them," Althouse said. "We don't create something sacred. We find it right where we are by the way we deal with experiences. I think hula is very much an expression of that, and obviously, I also think that Zen is a way to access that.

"Hula's operating on a lot of different levels, metaphorically and psychologically. It's very hard to pin these things down, but when you see it, you recognize it," he said....

"Like now, for example," she said, referring to the tense climate we're all living in right now, with economic, political, societal and spiritual uncertainty all around.

"It's a good example of transforming something by approaching it with a lightness of heart," Althouse added. "Having joy in the midst of chaos."
All right, then. Althouse says, have some joy in the midst of chaos.

17 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow, all the shoe posts and now this. It's been red meat for Jennifer for days.

Bissage said...

All right, then. Althouse says, have some joy in the midst of chaos.

That's all fine, well and good.

Still . . . some of us want to wang chung tonight.

Pastafarian said...

Damned hippies.

Expat(ish) said...

The first thing that always strikes me with stories like these is: do they have real jobs?

No disrespect to the Abott/esse or anything, but can one make a living running a hula-zen center (or centre)?

-XC

Pundit Joe said...

Everybody have fun tonight!

Flood said...

I'd just been wondering if you're related to the Althouses of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon.

I esteem you highly, but an association with those beers couldn't hurt.

Rich Beckman said...

"have some joy in the midst of chaos"

I thought the chaos didn't arrive until Obama was in office.

Seems like I've heard that recently.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd just been wondering if you're related to the Althouses of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon."

I can make all questions along this line extremely simple.

1. I have exactly one living relative who shares my last name, my brother (whose name is George).

2. I have never in my life met anyone outside of my family who has my last name.

ricpic said...

America is the country that is always becoming --
Finding joy in the chaos;
Tossing and turning in its troubled sleep to come awake;
Plowing through the black and roiling waters of this dark sea,
Its eyes never losing, never completely losing, the horizon.
God bless you and keep you, mighty nation mine,
As you search the passage to your soul.

Joe M. said...

The first thing that always strikes me with stories like these is: do they have real jobs?

No disrespect to the Abott/esse or anything, but can one make a living running a hula-zen center (or centre)?


Is "making a living" at a certain job all that's required to make it "real"? All kinds of things wrong with that standard, my friend.

Ann Althouse said...

Can you make a living? Google the Oak Park Zen Community and you'll find the web page. Looks like the hula classes cost $15.

There are other things as well, for example you can take "Inner Disarmament: the art of pro-active integral communication," a 3-day workshop, for $225. "This workshop will teach you specific language patterns for building and nurturing trust in relationships and groups. The class material is accompanied by many hands-on role-plays that are surprisingly tranformative. The integration of integral, universal truths with practical communication skills will give you more confidence in working with conflicts and difficult people. Robert Althouse has been teaching this workshop since shortly after 9/11, helping people learn how to work more skillfully with conflict and difficult people."

Now, I'm picturing people taking that course and asking him if he's related to Ann Althouse and adding some comment like "talk about conflict and difficult people."

rhhardin said...

Teddy Villanova, in Thomas Berger's Who Is Teddy Villanova?, turned out to be a guy named Newhouse.

Learn the thousand words in The Quintessential Dictionary and you can read it without looking anything up. I recommend flash cards.

Ophir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ophir said...

All right, then. Althouse says, have some joy in the midst of chaos.

New blog subhead?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Man, talk about ignorance...

I was most of the way through the post before I realized that hula was referring to the dance, not the hoop.

If referring to the hoop, the whole community sounded rather silly.

Expat(ish) said...

@joem - Actually, yes, that is my first and last question: can you make a living doing that? Because at the end of the day you have to eat, pay rent, pay taxes, put clothes on, etc.

It's find to be, whatever, when you're living on someone else's pound, but at some point you have to make a living.

@ann - Uh, I've run startups that had customers but, at the end of the day we didn't make a living. And at some point the coolness of a mobile phone offering (or whatever) didn't make up for the actual absence of a pay packet.

-XC

Balfegor said...

"Hawaiian spirituality is in some ways opposite of Zen because there are in excess of 40,000 gods and goddesses" in its pantheon, [Tanoue] explained....

40,000? Pah! Japan is famously known as the land of 8 million gods. (yaoyorozu no kami -- 八百万の神).