I first heard of Zen during WWII when I was a mere stripling, though all I knew about it was that you could shoot arrows like William Tell if you were high on the stuff. Since it was tied to Japan and this was WWII, Zen wasn't real popular with most Americans, anyway, so I gave it a miss.
Then, I learned Zen was about more than archery, that it was free but very expensive, easy but hard, clear as crystal and still opaque. The more you study it the less you know. There are monks on Mt. Fujiyama in Japan who have studied Zen for sixty or so years and they know less about it than your cat. However, one mustn't think they know nothing, it's just that they won't tell you what is they do know.
Incidentally, your cat is probably closer to Zen-like goings-on than you'll ever be.
An aside: I saw Mt. Fuji from the deck of a troopship on my way home from Korea. It was raining and overcast and Fuji's snow capped top half seemed to be suspended in mid-air. It was an awe-inspiring sight and one never forgotten. I didn't see any monks.
Disappointed, I figured I'd never enjoy the Zen experience and would have remained a spiritual ignoramus ever after, but then I came across a Zen joint and that made all the difference. We were watching Laurel and Hardy movies one night and treating our various illnesses with fruit from the noble marijuana bush when a pal got up (we were sitting on the floor but I can't remember why) and left the room.
He came back carrying a cigar box filled with pot paraphernalia, opened it, and took out a very large joint in sinister yellow paper. Our interest piqued, he explained that it was an authentic Zen joint, the only one any of us had ever seen, and he would share it. There were eight of us and we each had two mighty tokes from the joint and no one needed a third. The joint was turned into a giant roach and our lives were changed forever.
One guy, a lawyer, decided to go straight; unfortunately, he was reduced to penury and became a ward of the state. Another guy sold used cars and went broke by refusing to cheat his customers, a woman gave up her adulterous life and four guys had to go back to their wives, a Jewish guy felt such remorse over that Gaza affair that he converted to Islam and took a job as a watchman in a minaret on Santa Monica Blvd. to atone, etc.
As for me, I was enlightened, made aware where I'd once been unaware, gained insight into myself, and really wanted to learn how to roll Zen joints of my own.
So, that's what this is all about, these are the facts. In order to roll a proper Zen joint you really should study with Japanese monks on Mt. Fujiyama. That's where the art form was developed 2,000 years ago. I can give you some general tips, though, that will get you started on the right foot.
The first rule is, never roll a Zen joint when other people are around. If others are on the scene they'll want to help you smoke the joint and Zen guys hate that.
Next, roll a fat doobie and smoke half of it to set the mood. You want to reach a Zen-like mental state and after smoking half a joint you'll think your middle name is Zen.
Remember to use good pot. You can always get good pot from the Hells Angels. Just flag down the first one you see and tell him Grandpa Ganja sent you. Oh, and if you're over 55, ask for the senior citizen discount.
Always use good rolling papers but don't use Chinese rice papers. If you do every time you smoke a joint you'll feel like smoking another one half an hour later.
Come to think of it, that's not all that bad.
Then smoke the other half of that fat doobie to steady your nerves. Pot is a great stabilizer. I know some long-term pot tokers who are so stable they can hardly move at all. That's how stable you want to be when rolling a Zen joint.
Then take 12 regular rolling papers and glue them together to make one large rolling paper. Add the pot and roll from east to west using the Siamese reverse tuck variation with quick hand movements to lock in the spirits.
When finished a proper Zen joint should be 6" long, 1/2" in circumference, and on fire. You should be on the end that's not burning.
Before smoking a Zen joint stop and admire its aesthetic qualities. Note its color, inhale its piquant aroma. Pick it up and roll it between your fingers for its tactile vibes. Hold it to your ear and listen for the soft murmuring of the ganja spirits inside. Remember, a Zen joint is more than mere smoke; it's a work of art, a thing of beauty, a gateway to enlightenment and inner-peace.
Okay. Then light 'er up, take a hit, and hold your breath for four minutes to reach a Zen-like state. Or you can skip the pot and reach a Zen-like state just by holding your breath for four minutes.
One hit of a Zen joint and your life will change forever. You'll grow taller, be smarter, look better, and have lots of new friends. Of course, those new friends will be pot dealers, gangbangers, stoners, and probation officers, but they'll still be a cut above the losers you hang out with now.
Remember, you can send a finished joint to me for an official rating on Grandpa Ganja's World Renowned Potency Scale. No joints will be returned.
I'm in the book.