Derik Badman's Journal

2020-11-13 08:24

I picked up Discovering the True Self: Kodo Sawaki's Art of Zen Meditation edited, etc. by Arthur Braverman because I've read about Sawaki and some other translations of his words. He is in the zen lineage (as they say) of some other zen author's I've read. Sadly, I found this book not very enlightening (ha!). The words from Sawaki did not feel any new or different than what I've already heard about/from him, and in particular I found Braverman's introduction and editorial commentary rather poorly written. The introduction/biography part in particular felt disordered and repetitive. Actually, as a whole the book is repetitive, felt like it was padded out to make it a full book. This sense of lack of novelty and repetition might also come from me having read The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo by Kosho Uchiyama, which surely covered a lot of the same ground and was written by one of Sawaki's students.

180 degrees from that, I stared playing the new Assassin's Creed: Valhalla the other day. So far, nothing specially new or exciting for the series beyond the setting (9th century Norway, I think, though I believe it moves to England as the game progresses). It may just be because I'm getting used to the UI/controls but I do feel like I'm always at a bit of loss to my surroundings in the game, almost like the camera viewpoint is closed in too much. I'm still in the very early lead you by the nose part that this series always has, but at least, so far, there have not been any annoying intrusions by the present day storyline they always have to work into these games. I am again a bit annoyed at the producers that again, while they offer to let you play a male or female protagonist, all the materials seem to focused on the male one, tacitly making that the "default/standard." Which also makes me think that the storyline probably pays no attention to which one you pick.

An excellent review of a Turner show up at the Tate (though maybe behind a paywall?).