This is the 1000th greenYgrey blog since we upgraded to a new wordpress.org version in August 2011, and brought them over to our new home here on wordpress.com. There were a few hundred blogs on the old version that didn’t save to the new version from when the original Greenygrey website and blog started in early 2008.
New X Files Parody Book
I was hoping to announce the third of the fantasy travel by mostly Google Maps and Wikipedia trilogy was available for distribution from Amazon today, but I wasn’t completely happy proofing the book this morning, so made some alterations before submitting it for review again.
I’ve now been editing it for 3 months, and it’s been at the final proofing stage for a fortnight. Today, the main problem was that I saw a page could be cut by making a small edit, putting a superfluous thought in another episode. It should be available tomorrow.
I hope that my attention to detail shows that although the book is going to be a self-published parody comedy I take it very seriously, and consider it a work of art that needs to be as perfect as possible. However, I know that if I keep going over the text I will see writing to improve, and new ideas to add, so I have to call a stop sometime, when it looks like a book should, and reads like a quality work.
Thousand-day Challenge for 1000th Blog
Although the book being published on the 1000th blog would have been good, I’ve just realised there’s a big coincidence in its replacement, that I hadn’t noticed until just now, having decided to post it anyway.
That’s because my favourite lines from Adharanand Finn’s The Way of the Runner (Faber and Faber, 2015) mostly concern Japanese Buddhist monks and their tradition of running 1000 marathons in 1000 days over seven years to help them reach enlightenment. Here’s extracts from a discussion with a Japanese Buddhist monk on page 122 of the book:
‘The idea behind the constant movement of the thousand-day challenge, he says, is to exhaust the mind, the ego, the body, everything, until nothing is left.
“When you are nothing, then something, pop, comes up to fill the space.”
He mimes a bubble popping.
This something, he tells me, is the vast consciousness that lies below the surface of our lives, beyond the limits of our usual, everyday experience. A sense of oneness with the universe.’
There is further discussion from pages 207 – 212:
Finn discovers the challenge is more to do with the thinking time than running. It is meditation by movement: thinking about life and how you should live.
Finn wanted to know what nothingness enlightenment feels like, sounding disappointed that it isn’t some kind of amazing revelation. He hears that there’s not one moment of understanding, where you learn the meaning of everything. You continue learning, as in college.
Enlightenment not a feeling, like being surrounded by a halo of bliss. It’s something alive, pushing you on every day. Something deep inside us wants to find that place, find it again and return to it. For some of us it means going out for another run.
After circumnavigating Mount Hiei for the 1000 marathons the monks spend nine days without food, drink or sleep in a dark room. The idea is to be as close to death as possible. Monks then become a Daigyoman Ajari, which I think has a nice greenYgrey look about it.
The monk thinks it is just one path among many to the same destination.
Finn says the path or way is big in Japan; it has the suffix -do, as in the martial arts judo and kendo. Bushido is the way of the warrior. It is also used for gentler pastimes, with sado (tea-making ceremony) and kado (flower arranging) others. It’s basically any way that develops and refines you as a harmonised person.
Just Trying to be Another Western Underdog Hero
Later in the book, on pages 267/8, Finn, who was spending time in Japan learning about their running culture, after his previous book took him to Kenya, compared the main difference he saw in Western and Japanese society.
He wrote that in the West it’s more important to be an individual winner, while in Japan it’s more about the team and being in harmony. In the West the underdog loners are often the heroes of culture, sport and society, but in Japanese manga they emphasise team spirit. A Manga storyline often shows how an individual wants to do things his own way, gets into trouble, and recognises the need for help from the team, creating harmony.
So maybe I’m more normal in the West than I thought!
Last Coincidence (for this blog post)
There was a nice coincidence after I went on google plus soon after copying the above extracts, and found the photo below, which in my mind combined our new POP (PinkyOrangePurple) art with the 1000 day challenge being about trying to exhaust the mind, ego, and body until nothing is left: