August 1834, Demerara

A ship of the firm Sanders Crossing Company, arrived at Georgetown Landing on the first day of August, 1834. Mr. Alfred Jingle studied this date distinctly, and celebrated it as his birthday thereafter.  It was a matter of considerable weight in his mind. The majority of Alf Jingle’s voyage-mates had found the journey a grueling and tiresome affair. Not Jingle. Employing his unusual and distinctive … Continue reading August 1834, Demerara

Learning

Several months after my forty-fourth birthday, I purchased a battered and abused 1982 Yamaha XJ Five-fifty Maxim. While I had previously owned and enjoyed many different cars and trucks, the Maxim was my first motorcycle. So far, it has been my only motorcycle. In part, I acquired the Maxim to fulfill a long-deferred curiosity and ambition. That being, of course, to learn how to ride … Continue reading Learning

Sticky post

Welcome To Zensylvania

Welcome to Zensylvania. My name is Eric Adriaans and I’ll be your host, tour-guide or master of ceremonies. You decide which. In Zensylvania, I explore zen, meditation, tai chi, motorcycles and a variety of other obsessions which continue to provide me with meaningful and sometimes unexpected insight into living the kind of life I want to live and being the kind of person I want … Continue reading Welcome To Zensylvania

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 … Continue reading Footnotes to Niksen: An Inquiry into Doing Nothing

Footnotes to Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (One: Title and the “Author’s Note”)

I’m no longer completely certain when or how I first became aware of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance By Robert Pirsig. I do know that it was never on the reading list for any high-school or university courses that I took during my academic days in the 1980’s and early 90’s. It seems probable that I came across references to it in some … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (One: Title and the “Author’s Note”)

Footnotes To Buddhism’s Four Seals

This essay was originally drafted as a reaction to Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse’s 2008 book What Makes You Not a Buddhist. I did not enjoy the book the first time I read it. Probably, I wanted the book to be something other than it is. Now, a few years later, I appreciate it significantly more by taking an altered perspective. While I still don’t agree with … Continue reading Footnotes To Buddhism’s Four Seals

Footnotes to a Process: An Inquiry into Meditation

On February 11, 2021, I decided to explore the practice of meditation. This is what happened and how I proceeded. For me, 2014 was a year of significant change stimulated by what seemed to be an assaults-from-all-corners 2013. 2014 was a year that I began my response to all of those difficulties. I increased my pursuit of a number of philosophical and practical matters. In … Continue reading Footnotes to a Process: An Inquiry into Meditation

Footnotes: Tai Chi and Movement as Metaphor

Who hasn’t heard or seen Tai Chi described as meditative movement? It’s an extremely appealing description. As a beginner, I can’t claim to have attained a meditative state. After six or eight months of not-quite-daily practice, the flailing of my limbs is starting to require less conscious effort and feels less awkward. When I think of the movements and even while performing the movements, I … Continue reading Footnotes: Tai Chi and Movement as Metaphor

On Footnotes

Every now and then in Zensylvania, we tend to get a bit meta and referential about things. You’ll notice that many of the essays and inquiries are titled as “Footnotes to”….something. Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Footnotes to Niksen. Footnotes to Being Water. Etcetera. While all of this footnoting may seem a bit overdone and repetitive, it isn’t without long consideration … Continue reading On Footnotes

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

As a happy coincidence to my decision to practice of Tai Chi, I stumbled-upon Shannon Lee’s Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee at my local public library. The book clearly acts as much as a bridge to Shannon Lee’s podcast as it does the Lee family’s legacy and philosophy. Naturally, all of these things are interconnected. This broader connectedness led me to … Continue reading Footnotes to Being Water: An Inquiry into The Lee Family Philosophy