108 Readers? Really??

Today I had a look how many people subscribed for this blog. After deducting some obvious spam, I counted 108 subscriptions … really?

Recently somebody (with whom I had just a brief virtual exchange) called me a “blogger”. I was baffled … isn’t a blogger a young, maybe nerdy late-teen being occupied with writing about, say, street-fashion or the latest technical gadgets? Or someone for whom independent online-publishing is an important part of every day life? Someone with a message …?

Hotei pointing to the Moon by Sengai Gibon

Hotei pointing to the Moon, by Sengai Gibon

Calling me a “blogger” is a bit as if my university students would call me a “hand-outer”, because occasionally they receive a hand-out accompanying my lectures. Though, producing and handing out short snippets of text is not anyhow significant for my academic research or teaching, it’s nothing more than here or there providing some additional information, pointing to this or that. In a similar way I understand my blog in relation to my teaching activities in Zen and Zen-Arts.

I began this blog as a kind of travel diary when I went to Japan and the Tohoku region a few weeks after the disastrous earthquake and Tsunami (known as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake). At the time I wasn’t sure what will become out of it, I also wasn’t quite sure if I will return in good health since the fatally destroyed reactors in Fukushima were still boiling, in addition to a typhoon warning issued for that very day I passed close by Fukushima on my way to Sendai.

I simply thought it might be a good idea to provide some bits of information about my journey, mixed with some views on my way of practising Zen. Some nice feed-back encouraged me to continue writing, in spite of serious doubts every now and then if this wasn’t a considerable waste of time.

Consequently, this blog is not (like some other blogs might well be) written for it’s own sake, or anyhow considered to be a consistent and self-sufficient source of information. It’s just a hand-out, snippets, or (as it is said in the title) “incidental remarks on Zen”. Nothing too serious … my 108 subscribers (and accidental passer-by), I hope you enjoyed reading!