Bear News Beartown News

AUGUST 1, 2003



In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.  Then using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's and Krispy Creme. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And man said "Yes!" and woman said, "I'll have another with sprinkles." And lo they gained 10 pounds.  And God created the healthful yogurt that woman might keep the figure that man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them. And woman went from size 2 to size 6.  So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing and garlic toast on the side. And man and woman unfastened their belts following the repast.  God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried shrimp and catfish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.  God then brought forth running shoes so that his children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And man and woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and piled on the pounds.  Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition. Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them and added copious quantities of salt. And man put on more pounds.  God then gave lean beef so that man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and the 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then Lucifer said, "You want fries with that?" and man replied, "Yes! And super size 'em!" And Satan said "It is good."  And man went into cardiac arrest.  God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.  And Satan created HMOs.

Let's Be Honest

A pious Jewish man died and went to heaven. God greets him at the Pearly Gates. "Are you hungry, Moishe?" says God.
"I could eat," Moishe replies.
So God opens a can of tuna and reaches for a chunk of rye bread and they share it.
While eating this humble meal, Moishe looks down into Hell and sees the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters, pheasants, pastries and wines. Curious, but deeply trusting, he remains quiet.
The next day God again invites him to join Him for a meal. Again, it is tuna and rye bread. Once again, Moishe can see the denizens of Hell enjoying caviar, champagne, lamb, truffles and chocolates.
Still he says nothing.
The following day, mealtime arrives and another can of tuna is opened.
He can't contain himself any longer. Meekly, he says:
"God, I am grateful to be in heaven with You as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread, and in the Other Place they eat like emperors and kings! I just don't understand."
God sighs.
"Let's be honest," He says. "For just two people, does it pay to cook?"

(And Zen we do this and Zen we do that)

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single oy.
If you wish to know The Way, don't ask for directions. Argue.
Take only what is given. Own nothing but your robes and an alms bowl. Unless, of course, you have the closet space.
Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with posture like that.
There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?
Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.
Do not let children play contact sports like football. These only lead to injuries and instill a violent, war-like nature. Encourage your child to play peaceful games, like "sports doctor."
To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?
Learn of the pine from the pine. Learn of the bamboo from the bamboo. Learn of the kugel from the kugel.
Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.
If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?
Those who know do not kibbitz. Those who kibbitz do not know.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.
Do not kvetch. Be a kvetch. Become one with your whining.
The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao is not Jewish.
Whenever you feel anger, you should say, "May I be free of this anger!  This rarely works, but talking to yourself in public will encourage others to leave you alone.
Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second, satisfaction. With the third, Danish.
The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings. Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?
Enter into your inner self and behold the eye of the soul. Gaze upon your original face before you were even born. Shocked? Remember, this was before the nose job.
Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.
In nature, there is no good or bad, better or worse. The wind may blow or not. The flowering branch grows long or short.
Do not judge or prefer. Ask only, Is it good for the Jews?"
To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.  Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.
Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?  Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkes.

If you lived here, you'd be home now.



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