Had a great treat yesterday, I went to the Walla Walla Saturday Farmer’s Market to get a few veggies and baked goods and visit with some friends who have a booth set up.
As I was walking out of the market area, I saw four or five people sitting on the grass and chatting, and one of them looked somehow familiar to me, and I stopped and asked the gentleman if his name was Bill Porter. He said yes.
Bill Porter is well known in the Buddhist world that I’m familiar with, as a dedicated and talented translator of Buddhist writing from the Chinese. He has also authored a couple of books having to do with his experiences traveling in China and doing research in venerable temples, with Venerable teachers, Buddhist hermits dead and alive; and great masters of Zen and Buddhism in general.
I laughed at myself a bit later because I acted like a starstruck fan, which I was; still a fan though.
My favorite heroes are those who labor quietly and attempt to shed light on our humanity by living meaningful lives. Red Pine, which is the name Bill Porter translates under, seems to be like that. Then again he may be a terrible person, but I suspect that he is the former.
What makes him important to many who read him is that he brings an experiential quality to his work. Certainly there is scholarship involved and apparent but he ain’t just supposin’ a lot of stuff that he thinks the author meant. While, also doing just that; because that’s what translation kind of has to be. He seems to come at it from some understanding (actualized), of the practice.
Anyway, it made my day and expect I’ll go visit him at some point. His friends who had to listen to me gush for a few minutes may not have been aware that this guy was a sort of rock star for some old-coot students of the Way in a smallish corner of the large Buddhist Universe, but he is.
The few dozen of you who (perhaps on a good day the number is that large), read this bloggy-babbling, (bobbly-blagging) check him out.
I’ve seen some of his poetry and I suspect he’s the real thing; I can’t judge it because I do Schmoetry, my personalized delusion-natter, so I may know what is not poetry, then again who am I to say.
If you are a student of Buddhism, other cultures and ways of being and are not familiar with him, use The Google.
The No Where
Is Here. No Now
Too. Not Two.
Nary a One.