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PEACE CORPS ZEN

Jamaica



PRESENTED BY:
...the Wanderling

PEACE CORPS



"...give any information you have garnered to a fellow traveler along the Way. Why? Because the same information would have helped the person who compiled it if it had been given to him, and that is why he compiled it --- and that is why it should be offered to others along the Way."

An interpretation from the works of:
WEI WU WEI


Thus said, then, the following is offered:

When I was in the Peace Corps, former Peace Corps Volunteers traveling the world, would stop into the Peace Corps office, most typically located in the host country's capitol, of which mine was, and request the name and location of a current volunteer so they might obtain food and lodging for the night or stay a few days. In the country in which I served, Jamaica, my place, a small cabin overlooking Kingston, was high up along the steep serpentine road winding through the Blue Mountains, and was ALWAYS among those suggested.



LOOKING TOWARD- KINGSTON,- THE HARBOR AND THE ISTHMUS OF PORT
ROYAL AS VIEWED FROM MY ABODE IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS,- JAMAICA.


During the years following my return from the Peace Corps, especially so the early years, many former Peace Corps Volunteers world travelers continued to seek out my place in the States as somewhere to visit, hang their hat, or as a short-term base of operations to access the surrounding area. However, out of the Peace Corps my time was not nearly always my own as it had been as a volunteer, so I was not able to personally accompany them in some of the local and regional interests such world travelers tend to seek out.

For those who wanted to hike the local mountains, for example, I searched around and found what I considered the best local hiking guidebook available, taking into consideration my OWN experiences actually hiking the same trails. Of all the various guidebooks on the shelves, the one I picked out most accurately depicted where to leave a vehicle, points of interest, the trails, distances, topography, where one could find water, etc. The travelers made their own decisions as to what trail, how long they would be gone, how much water to carry, how far they themselves could go before the need to turn around, that sort of thing.

True, they could have gone off on their own, unprepared, wandering around forever following any trail, however, my meager offerings, gone over previously by others and put into the guidebook, but selected by me from my own personal experiences traveling the same trails myself, provided a pointing of the way so undue hardships would be less likely forthcoming. Some heeded my suggestions, some didn't. Some reached their goals, some didn't.

When the British ran the island, in Kingston, the capitol, there was a people's commons they called Parade. It was a huge grass area they kept immaculately preened for parades and various pomp ceremonies. After the British relinquished colony status, island folk from the hinterlands and elsewhere began using the surrounding streets, alleys, and Parade to set up and sell their wares, turning it into a giant outdoor bazaar. The outdoor bazaar atmosphere was exotic in it's own way...the sights, sounds, the colors and general milieu...and to be truthful, I loved the "Terry and the Pirates" excitement and intrigue that seemed to abound and present itself around every nook and corner, reminding me very much of being on the streets in the Cholon district of Saigon in 1964. However the vendors would continue to haul in loads and loads of stuff, bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, various animals to turn into meat, that sort of thing. The only thing is they never bothered to cart off any of the leftover residue and castoff garbage. It piled up and up into huge heaps, attracting flies, rats and other animals and insects, besides stinking to high heaven.




As mentioned, I lived high in the Blue Mountains in a pristine jungle secluded cliff-side overlook pushing close to a mile above the capitol. Every morning I got up and cleaned my OWN room, but wouldn't go down into the city and clean Parade.

The following from the Five Degrees of Tozan , the Fourth Degree The Arrival at Mutual Integration (The Absolute within the Relative) known as Ken-chu-shi:


"He enters the market place with empty hands, yet others receive benefit from him. This is what is called to be on the road, yet not to have left the house; to have left the house, yet not to be on the road."


The point being people can do and what they will, with Buddhism, Zen, or anything else...even clean their own rooms or let the garbage pile up. Yet a true man of Zen can enter the market place with empty hands, yet others receive benefit from him.(source)



  1. OBEAH A Jamaican man of spells, similar to voodoo or witchdoctor.

  2. THE BLUE MOUNTAINS The mountains where I lived and the home of Blue Mountain Coffee.

  3. LIME CAY Small island off Port Royal and Kingston. Frequented regularly by PCVs.

  4. DENGUE FEVER The Wanderling contracts Dengue Fever and cured by the Obeahman's rituals.

  5. MAP OF JAMAICA Where I lived was located at just about the "W" in Half Way Tree.

  6. BLUE MOUNTAINS TOPOGRAPHIC MAP

  7. OFFICAL PEACE CORPS JAMAICA PUBLICATION FOR NEW VOLUNTEERS

  8. THE OLD OBEAH WOMAN

  9. THE WORD OBEAH: What Does It Mean?

  10. PLATO THE WIZARD Obeah Power and the Devastating Jamaica Hurricane of 1870.

  11. AN EMAIL TO THE WANDERLING. A former Peace Corps Volunteer queries the Wanderling about his time in Jamaica.

  12. EMAIL THE WANDERLING Easiest Way To Contact the Wanderling.


DOING HARD TIME IN A ZEN MONASTERY


THE PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER
AND THE ASIAN WARLORD


Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.


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AWAKENED TEACHERS FORUM


ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL







GASSHO
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Cholon District, Saigon, circa mid-60s
(Photo Courtesy of Bob Speare, SigSupA Phu Lam )

THE SAIGON TEA GIRL




ADDITIONAL JAMAICA PEACE CORPS SITES AND LINKS:

PEACE CORPS JAMAICA: Richard Sitler

THE PEACE CORPS IN JAMAICA

FRIENDS OF JAMAICA

U.S. EMBASSY PEACE CORPS JAMAICA PAGE




copyright 2000,
Swift River Development Association, Jamaica
all rights reserved





PEACE CORPS ZEN
Presents
News from Jamaica:

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BACKGROUND "GIF" COURTESY
TERRY DOUGHTERTY, RPCV