The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans by Wumen Huikai and Yamada Koun

Yamada provides a series of explanations and comparisons that help place the ancient Chinese text in a modern context. This book interleaves Koun Yamada’s translation of Wumen’s Mumonkan, a classic Zen text, with Yamada’s own lectures on each of Wumen’s koan and supporting comments. The book is divided into forty eight chapters, each covering one … Continue reading The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans by Wumen Huikai and Yamada Koun

Once There Was

Art is strange. Wonderful. Tragic. Beautiful. But strange. Much like this performance of Nina McNeely's contemporary dance piece “Once There Was III”. https://www.ted.com/talks/nina_mcneely_once_there_was_iii_a_mesmerizing_blend_of_dance_animation_and_tech The seven-minute piece is... well, what is it? Babylonian myth reset in the modern age? Cyberpunk? McNeely gives a few minutes of explanation after but is that what the piece is? Certainly … Continue reading Once There Was

Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe

Focused primarily on the specifics of martial arts practice but also showing how those experiences pervade other areas, Hoppe provides female perspectives on what is stereotypically a very male world. Hoppe interviews a broad range of female martial artists, seeking similarities and differences in how martial arts have shaped their lives and how their experiences … Continue reading Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe

The Goalkeeper Doesn’t Decide Who Scores

Previously, I set out my theory for why people might have started to see the DMs of roleplaying games as separate from the players. Someone who wishes to remain a nameless spectre of looming contention asked me if it actually matters whether the DM is called a player or not. And, in fairness, a lot … Continue reading The Goalkeeper Doesn’t Decide Who Scores

Prop Forward for the Cricket Team

Over the last few days, disagreement over a Dungeon Master's position has sprawled across several of my social media feeds, sparked by the assertion that the DM is another player rather than an different type of participant. One key point of contention was whether or not new rules systems had changed the role from player … Continue reading Prop Forward for the Cricket Team