Archive for the ‘Christianity, Zen & religious & spiritual’ Category

The design for my Zen-artist signatory stamp is finally ready

November 29, 2005

Unfortunately I can’t show it to you here within the blog, but it is finally ready . . .

. . . and with its now-reality, I can, I’m going to for the first time ever reveal to you – my friendly reader(s) – my “Zen name” (beside my deep and abiding faith as a large-C-Christian, I’ve been a practicing Zen Bhuddist for over 30 years), which is: raba

Just out of curiosity, take a geuss as to what “raba” means. When a lay Zen acolyte is initially accepted into the Zen community as I was when I was seventeen years old way back when, it’s tradition that their sensei/teacher/mentor/master gives them a “Zen name”, almost always a Japanese-based name which is reflective of who they (the student) are at their very core.

So, what do you think “raba” in Japanese means? “Light”? “Stone”? “Fire”? “Path”? “Dumbass”?

Nope, none of those . . . in Japanese, the literal translation of “raba” means “mule”, as in the highly intelligent and persistently stubborn cross between a horse and a donkey, and for the wags in the audience reading this, NO, it Does NOT mean “jackass”, it means “mule”, Smile.

For all this time of keeping this gift of my Zen name to myself, I’ve shared it with one, maybe two other people outside the Zen community before sharing it with my wife and stepdaughter recently, but now it’s time to come public with it, since come the proverbial Katrina or California wildfires I’m going to plunge back into my art – which will include a blended East/West style of Zen calligraphy and art – and set up my online gallery at, which I registered the domain for last year and am just now getting ready to put underpinnings of foundation to . . . okay, okay, so mules procrastinate as well be outright stubborn sometimes, sue me, Grin!

With my creation of a design which will become my signature stamp, and no, I didn’t choose to use the Japanese kanji characters which would spell out “mule” for my stamp design, prefering, and keeping in the spirit of the confluence of blending both Western/Occidental and Eastern cultures which is one important aspect of who I am as a man and person and which will be the driving force behind, choose instead to hand-draw (using Corel Draw to create the initial design and Paint Shop Pro to polish it) the initials “R-H-K-C” inside a polygon that’s inside an oval, RHKC standing for Raba H. Kent Craig, my full Zen name.

So, today by announcing this becomes the first step in that journey of the next ten thousand, and I couldn’t be happier.


A Thanksgiving vision of an eerie Civil War kind

November 26, 2005

My wife and I were driving down Tryon Road in the southern part of Raleigh on the way to catch the early morning Thanksgiving sale at the Super Kmart in Garner (she’s a serious shopper, what can I say) when we crossed the bridge over the railroad tracks just before Tryon deadends into Highway 401 South when I saw them.

My wife being a non-empath and a “severe” Christian really doesn’t believe in psychic phenominae and even though she knows I’m a “for-real” empath and I couldn’t not be this way anymore than I couldn’t be anything else that I am, I was simply born this way, she tolerates my occasional expression of something “interesting” that happens to me despite the multitude of filter-layers constructed over the years by myself to prevent “hard-wall” conscious reckonings but she also poo-poos them about figments of my imagination only, which who knows, while they’re very real to me, shoot, they could be mental constructs of a creative mind and nothing more, I don’t think they are, I think they’re real when they happen but still, one never truly knows.

Still, when I looked up the railroad tracks and saw two forms in full Civil War-Era Union soldier unforms, one of them carrying what looked like an 1863-era-issue .54 caliber musket/rifle and the other lightly burdened only with field pack and a walking stick as they made their respective way heading north into Raleigh on the same railroad track or at least the same railroad track right-of-way which has been unchanged since the 1840’s when it was first laid down and which served as the conduit for virtually every single Union soldier in the various Southeast theatres who eventually made their way home after the war ended, literally tens and hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers being shipped by rail to this area before being mustered out and sent home, still, when I saw these two very detailed spirit forms not a hundred yards from me albeir as we drove 45 miles an hour over the Tryon Road bridge, still, the sight of them definitely caught my attention and I made mention of them to my wife who gave me one of her polite but sincere “ppphhh-shaws”.

I hadn’t seen such a clear vision of a spirit, any spirit let alone a couple of them just sauntering along in weeks if not months. Like I say, normally my mental “filters” keep them out of the forefront of my conscious mind, thankfully.

But hey, it was Thanksgiving Day (which began as a holiday in “the north” way before it was celebrated in “the south”) and they seemed happy enough as they seemed to be making their way further north, further to home, on this the most home-oriented of American holidays, so it seemed fitting that their spirit-bundle would be especially bright and strong on Thanksgiving Day.

Bless my wife, she does so willingly tolerate aspects of me and who I am even though sometimes she thinks I’m so full of “it” that that’s why my eyes are brown she still lets me talk about this or that part of me even though she doesn’t believe a word of it and we go on with our marriage and relationship, one skeptical counselor and one empathetic creativist who still manage to be in-love with each other.

I have to admit, though, I can’t wait until we both enter a “reality distortion zone” which sometimes happens when someone, even a total skeptic like my wife is, is with me when an event or an occurance that’s meant for me happens within a tiny physical-space “zone” and is experienced virtually identically by someone else. When that does happen, I’ll blame it on Steve Jobs, since being around him at times was said to be like “entering a reality distortion zone” too, Grin!

Once again, “Medium” stikes a chord

November 16, 2005

As those of you know who’ve been following my blog for a while now, I’m a huge fan of the NBC show “Medium” which comes on Monday nights at 10PM because, well, I, uhhhmm, I geuss you could say I’m a “medium” too…I don’t see myself as that, I see myself as an “empath” (I HATE the term “psychic”), but the show is giving a common language and a common bond to all of us who are like or even somewhat like even a little the show’s main title character “Alison” as played by Patricia Arquette.

This season’s first 2-3 shows were so dumb, their scripts were, that they ventured into downright hokey territory and past the pale of even remote believability, but last night’s show was back on that dead-on mark that was hit almost every time last season (the series first season was last year) that it was like welcoming an old friend back home.

The show dealt with the day-to-day reality that as an empath, errrrr, “medium”, that when “Alison” or anyone with any empathetic ability gets a vision, in last night’s episode it was Alison being flashed by a vision from her husband and/or his old lover he hadn’t seen in 15 years as his old lover and her new husband accidentally met her and her husband at the movies and then from there the plot thickened, the very real hilarity and simultaneous poingnancy being when Alison saw the memory of her husband and his former (just a one-night stand, though!) lover in bed in the way back, yeah, she reacted very human and got very hurt and very angry at this high-amplitude vision was “broadcast” to her more or less against her will and definitely without her consent, and how she dealt with, how she dealt with that mental-psychic-based-DVD-loop of her husband jumping the bones of another woman albeit years ago before she and Joe – her husband – ever met made for a truly classic episode.

If you do or don’t believe in ESP and psychic powers or psychics or mediums or empaths or little green men from Mars (the show doesn’t deal with aliens and that sort of nonsensical stuff, thankfully, just issues of being a psychic in a world filled with 99.999% NON-psychics), it’s still a very well-written show with lots of human drama and interactions and always, always some interesting plot lines and plot twists, do give it a surf-in one Monday night, you’ll be glad you did.