04 April, 2007

The Half-Dipper

Welcome to The Half-Dipper.
"If you go to Japan and visit Eiheiji monastery, just before you enter you will see a small bridge called Hanshaku-kyo, which means 'half-dipper bridge'. Whenever Dogen-zenji dipped water from the river, he used only half a dipper, returning the rest to the river again, without throwing it away. That is why we call the bridge Hanshaku-kyo, 'half-dipper bridge'. It may be difficult to understand why Dogen returned half of the water he dipped to the river. When we feel the beauty of the river, we intuitively do it in Dogen's way. It is in our nature to do so."

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Shunryu Suzuki


Iwachu said...

yes, respect nature!
and always keep in mid its' great value of which you profit as a gift!
don't waste or even worse, pollute it!

toki said...

Is D.T. Suzuki the same as Senryu Suzuki?

Hobbes said...

Hi, Toki,

D.T Suzuki is the famous academic, with an obvious interest in Zen. Senryu Suzuki was a full-time Buddhist monk (master of Eiheiji Monastary, in fact), who brought Zen to California many decades ago.

I enjoy D.T. Suzuki's books, from a purely rational, intellectual standpoint. They are good for those wishing to learn more about the "thinking" of Zen.

Senryu Suzuki, on the other hand, is a true Zen master in the traditional sense. His books ring with clarity like a beautiful crystal glass that has just been struck. Every page is dense with wisdom. "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is a book that one can truly dip into throughout an entire lifetime, and learn more. He speaks to everyone, and he speaks to our changing level as we practice Zen more often. Sincerely, this is one of the world's great pieces of literature.

I remember reading it as an undergraduate and enjoying it, but not really "getting it". After many more years, I have changed to the point at which the book's wisdom now shines like a blinding sun. I hope that I'm not one for hyperbole, but it's a wonderful book, and one of the core books in my collection that I read often.



toki said...

Do you have this in your collection:

Ido said...

Dear Hobbes,
I am writing this comment some 53 posts later, this is to congratulate you on your highly prolific and entertaining blog.
You keep going from strength to strength. Wish you all the best and
hope to add another comment in some 53 posts later :-)

Hobbes said...

Thank you very much, Ido - I appreciate your consideration!



Hobbes said...


jewellspring said...

What a great name you chose...such a terrific meaning. I appreciate your comments and visit over at Tea Party Girl! You definitely seem to know your tea, I will keep that in mind.

Rob said...

I know that various clans in feudal japan believed in river gods. Perhaps he was showing thanks to the river god for the gift of life by half-dipping. In any case, thank you for the wonderful blog.

Hobbes said...

Most kind, Rob, thank you.



petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Am I thrilled that your blog is of note! I am just finishing Thich Nhat Hahn's OLD PATH, WHITE CLOUDS about Buddha's journey and teachings. And am now engrossed in the Tao. I haven't read your years of blogging, but was wondering if there was a way to sign up and join your group or organizaiton to share the zen path.

Christiana Krump said...

So, Hobbes...I've been reading your blog for quite a while. I first picked up your blog when I was lookg up stuff about recent goings on in Oxford. (I did a summer session at Oxford when I was sixteen and I've missed it horribly since.) I too love tea, poetry, writing, and photography so I kept on reading. I have yet to meet a tea I didn't like. Congratulations on having a supremely interesting and entertaining blog.

Anonymous said...

How (un)lucky I am to just stumbled across your blog now... You have such an interesting blog, and great photos to go with the writing.


Anonymous said...

hey, hobbes

couldnt find contact info to give you an email, so hopefully i can get a response back here...

i live in the states and though we have tea houses there is nothing even close to the quality of the stuff you show. where do you usually get your teas?

Hobbes said...

Hi there!

Tea-houses usually aren't the best places to buy teas, so you're at no disadvantage!

Places I have used and found to be useful in the past include:

Houde - expensive but usually good

Nadacha - good price on a small range of very decent teas (disclaimer: friend of mine)

Yunnan Sourcing - cheap, less consistent in quality

Puerh Shop - as above

Dragon Teahouse - as above

Royal Puer - as above

Andao - more expensive, but can be very good (suppliers of the lovely "12 Gentlemen" brand of tea)

Teaspring - good for Chines greens

Teahabitat - nice for dancong (wulongs)

O-cha - great for Japanese greens

Let us know how you get on!



P.s. My e-mail address is hobbesoxon'at'gmail'dot'com