I am not an expert in philosophy. Probably it would be a very bad idea for me to claim to be an expert in anything at all. But I am happy in my enthusiasms and in attempting to maintain a beginner’s mind when it comes to most things. These are my contemplations while approaching philosophy as a 50-plus-year-old beginner.

On Footnotes

What is a “footnote”? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a note of reference, explanation, or comment usually placed below the text on a printed page” and secondarily as “one that is a relatively subordinate or minor part (as of an event, work, or field)”……(more)

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Not many critics or resources will suggest that ZAMM is a book of Zen nor that it is an attempt by a serious intellectual to develop an original metaphysical philosophy. Fewer still will mention that ZAMM is a critique of both Eastern and European Philosophy and Academia. I haven’t seen anyone call ZAMM an epic monster story or supernatural thriller….(more)

Footnotes to a Process: An Inquiry into Meditation

 I do not consider myself to be Buddhist. I did not grow up in a Buddhist household or culture; I don’t participate in any Buddhist organizations; I have a relatively limited knowledge of Buddhist thought, having read only a handful of contemporary books about Buddhism. But none of that suggests to me that meditation isn’t capable of observable impacts…. (more)

Footnotes to Buddhism’s Four Seals

I have an active and respectful interest in Buddhist perspectives that has occupied a fractional part of my attention over several decades. Initially this interest began as a literary interested stimulated by Robert Pirsig’s books (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila) on the one hand and Herman Hesse’s books ( SiddhartaMagister LudiDer Steppenwolf) on the other. Perhaps it also comes of growing up during the 1970’s….(more)

Footnotes to Being Water: An Inquiry into The Lee Family Philosophy

It is the rare person that does not have at least a passing awareness of Bruce Lee, the martial artist and cultural icon. Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, has published Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee as an entrée to Bruce Lee’s underlying philosophy. If one considers the attributed writing of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius (the Stoics) to be books of philosophy, then there’s good reason to view this book similarly….(more)

Footnotes to Niksen: An Inquiry into Doing Nothing

I began this inquiry as a response to a book that I found at the local public library in my community. I read the book over the course of a few days, expecting to find little other than a standard, light-reading, member of the trendy “wellness” self-help genre. My expectations were mostly fulfilled. But the book managed to extend slightly beyond those expectations, occasionally, to include some ideas that seemed to be genuinely worth exploring….(more)