What is Soto Zen?


From the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. ( Bolding is all me though)

What is Soto Zen? Soto Zen was developed in the ninth century by the Chinese Monks Tozan (Ch. Dongshan) and Sozan (Ch. Caoshan), the first syllables of their names making up the subsequent name of the school. It stressed doing meditation without a goal, as everyone is already inherently enlightened. Seated, silent meditation is an expression of this.

Soto Zen Buddhism is distinguished by its focus on the down-to-earth practice of “everyday zen.” It encourages awareness of the workings of one’s own mind as a means of living mindfully in all areas of daily life – at home, at work and in the community.

In his “Instructions for the Cook,” Dogen taught that cooking and caring for other people were as important as sitting zazen and chanting sutras.

Soto Zen is for those who want to practice Zen in everything they do. In coming face to face with their life in all its aspects, they come to know themselves and find their relationship to all other things. They learn to be truly here and to serve in all ways.

You can find a center near you, if you’re intrigued, on the Soto Zen Buddhist Association website.

Men, Experience Menstruation. Now!


There are so many times I’ve wished the pain and suffering I get every month on one of my male pals. Now, due to the genius or perhaps insanity (I really mean that statement, take a look at this project) of Royal College of Art student Hiromi Ozaki, I no longer have to wish.

Ozaki has developed a wearable metal suit, dubbed the Menstruation Machine, that allows a boy to experience the “pain and bleeding” of an average 5 day menstruation.

The machine is outfitted with a reservoir system that releases blood and lower-abdomen-stimulating electrodes (Yes! The cramps! The cramps! Give them the cramps!) that gives the wearer the experience of menstrual cramps.

Check out the machine in this catchy little music video for it.

In the video, a boy named Takashi has built the machine in an attempt to dress up as a female “biologically as well as aesthetically.”

The Japanese Tradition: Apologizing


Lord knows, I’ve written about all types of things that have to do with saving face. Now you can see how the Japanese do it.

FYI, if you haven’t figured it out yet this video is a satire. Check out another video from the comedy duo who created this one, called “The Japanese Tradition: Origami,” beneath the fold.

To find more of these vids search for “The Japanese Tradition” or search for “Rahmens,” which is the name of the masterminds behind the videos. Continue reading

Rube Goldberg Machine Explosion! (Alright, OK Go Too)



From the Japanese kids show,”Pitagora Suicchi” or Pythagora Switch.

It seems like the world is once again in love with the Indie (?) Rock band OK Go, the band just released its second “OMG SO VIRAL” video for the single “This Too Shall Pass” (below the fold) some weeks ago.

If the name of the band sounds familiar, it may be because you saw their first “OMG SO VIRAL” (I should totally trademark this phrase) video, “Here It Goes Again,” in case you aren’t familiar, you can see the video here.

Another reason why the band might sound familiar to you is because lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., wrote a damning editorial piece in the New York Times about OK Go’s record label EMI and major record labels in general for disabling the embed option on music videos in order to make a nickel. You can find a link to that editorial here.

It should come as no surprise that soon after that editorial piece, OK Go left their record label EMI, to create their own record label called Paracadute, (Italian for parachute).

Their latest video features one of the zaniest, large-scale Rube Goldberg Machines I’ve ever seen. Take a look at it in the video below. This is actually the second video for this song; the first video featured the Notre Dame Marching Band playing with the group; you can see that version here.

“This Too Shall Pass,” below Continue reading

Late Night Video Taisō: Para Para Taisō?


Tonight, a little something different. It’s not just a regular taisō, a calisthenic stretching routine done to keep the body in good health, no, this is a taisō plus a para para routine! What the hell is a para para routine you ask?

Para para refers to a synchronized group dance. According to Wikipedia, para para is to Japanese music, what line dancing is to Country music. The routine seems to be easy, so you should have no problem learning it. Ja, minna-san wa ganbatte-ne!