by Dan Rowan
“My own original house” is a collection of reflections. These ideas all have something in common, but their commonalities are predominantly felt and not spoken.
The name is purposefully misleading. It is not “my own” nor is it “original” in the commonly used sense—all of the verses and quotes are attributable to someone else. It is also not a house. The work pairs verses from various times, places, and ethics with short excerpts from essays and books. It’s a riff on the use of capping-phrases in Zen practice and a bit like cooking–choosing some high quality ingredients to create something nourishing.
Contradiction and paradox are important elements of Zen because they encourage one to go beyond static concepts and absolutes. However, no insight from the contemplation of these paradoxes is possible without first being firmly rooted in the here and now.
Dan Rowan grew up in Oklahoma and now lives in Portland, OR.