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Zen and the Art of Zen Mastery

I was reading StickyMinds.com today and happened across an article on Zen and the Art of Software Testing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Zen and all things Zen Buddhist but it strikes me as odd that everybody’s always going around proclaiming themselves to be some kind of Zen masters, when most don’t even understand the basics of the religion. The Zen way of life was intended to make sense of the universe, to provide hope to the hopeless, to help end suffering (or deal with it,) it wasn’t put forth for us to misconstrue, to tangle into some sort of catch phrase that we can use to sell self-help books. I find it irritating that everybody’s always going around discussing Zen and the Art of… without having any knowledge of Zen basics or giving any mind to the fact that they have just insulted probably more than a million Asian folks by exploiting their religious belief system. How would you feel if some Asian guy went around saying, “Christ and the Art of Software Testing?” Wouldn’t you be more than a bit offended? Sure, maybe you can chalk it up to “political correctness” but I find it just a tad annoying.

On an entirely more serious note, my neighbor’s dog, Penny, had to be put down yesterday. Coupled with the recent deaths of Ray Charles and Ronald Reagan, this makes a lot of dying and suffering. I’m almost starting to think I’m some kind of “kiss of death” except for the fact that I didn’t actually know Ray Charles or Ronald Reagan. Charlie will, however, miss Penny. She used to come outside when we were sitting in the front yard and sort of sit on him. He didn’t mind though, as he loved to smell her, get in her face, and otherwise aggravate her. He just didn’t understand when she was sick and now, I’m certain, he’ll be confused by her disappearance. The front lawn just won’t be the same without dear Penny.

The true Zen masters would probably console me by saying that her suffering has ended, she’s moved onto bigger and better things in the great cosmos of life, death, and rebirth, and that it was a lucky happenstance that I knew her at all.

In keep with the true Zen spirit of today’s entry, I’ve just been informed that the Texas Lotto is up to 100 million dollars. That’s a lot of smack-a-roos for one Zen master. I think I could buy an island off the coasof Tahiti and wax very philosophical with all that dough, don’t you? That’s a lot of money to become one with, but I’m sure I could give it a shot.

Until next time…

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