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Stink Bugs and Sesshin

September 08, 2010 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

Stink Bugs and Sesshin

We are now in sesshin. I don't feel so much like writing as there is not a lot to report. As anyone who has sat a sesshin will know, although there may be a bunch of internal goings on, there is very little to put on a postcard for the folks back home.

However, I did want to share this cool photo I took this morning. This black widow lives just outside the front door of the practice house, where some of the residents live. It is the first one that I have seen that was clearly a black widow - check the red hour glass on the abdomen. Strangely, I then overturned a large rock whilst working this morning and found another female black widow with two egg sacs. It's always funny when you notice something once and then keep seeing it again and again. Not quite so funny when that thing is a poisonous spider, though. This poor bug (pictured), known to most as a 'stink' bug due to its tendency to raise its butt in the air if you go anywhere near it - I for one have never stuck around to experience the stink - seems to have become part of the spiders menu for the next few weeks. The spider wrapped the bug up and proceeded to hoist it about 4ft up to its lair in the rafters. Ironically, just opposite the black widow's lair is a humming bird feeder with all these beautiful, bright colored birds sipping what is essentially liquid sunshine (or at least it should be  - I think they are actually drinking watered down sugar from Walmart). I'm sure there is some insightful Buddhist-sounding comment to be made about this contrast between these two corners of nature. I will, however, leave that to you.


  • Bob:

    10 Sep 2010 23:13:50

    Walmart has no Buddha nature. Please adjust your purchasing accordingly. Thank you.

  • Yugen:

    11 Sep 2010 15:31:17

    Bob – I take it you are kidding? If not, then you will have to take that one up with the man behind the humming bird frenzy at Yokoji and patron of Walmart, Jim Prall. It is from his pocket that the humming birds are sustained.

  • Bob:

    16 Sep 2010 21:46:02

    Sorry. I’m not kidding at all.

    There’s a film that explains it all. It’s called WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price. http://www.walmartmovie.com/

    The decisions we make about where we source our needs has a direct effect on the world around us. A detrimental effect when we shop at Wal-Mart.

  • Yugen:

    16 Sep 2010 22:09:54

    Bob – I take your point. Interconnectedness is indisputable but it certainly isn’t limited to Walmart. Not one of us can really step forward as not being guilty of contributing to the suffering of others in some way. Personally, I am a vegan as I hate to think of the suffering involved in farming, but most of the people around me don’t see it that way and are happy to eat whatever and that is true for them. And what can you do but follow your own truth? I can live with the occasional trip to Walmart. I don’t think they are force for the good, but are they really that much worse than Target, Stater Bros. or the other shopping options we have around us? Big business is always ugly.

  • A. Jesse Jiryu Davis:

    17 Sep 2010 03:29:13

    Nicely written. Maybe nothing for a postcard, but for a homesick old resident, it’s enough.

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