the flip law will transform the learning of ‘tables’ if you insist

wait a little and I’ll show you how not to be concerned with 63 of the products you have to learn up to 100 so you’ll only have to become familiar with 37, but I hope you don’t just ‘learn your tables’ without thought, that’s’s two quick tips to be going on with when you are considering two factors to be multiplied together:

don’t learn both forms, learn one

learn the one in which the smallest number comes first

e.g. 6×8, 8×6

forget the 8×6

that’s halved the problem nicht wahr?

slight problem: you’ll really have to work on the flip law until it’s second nature


the huatou, ‘dust beats tables’

dust beats tables

A huatou is a short phrase which embodies an insight into the Dharma. The Dharma is ‘The way of the Buddha’, but here we are obviously not using it in that sense. It is used in the whimsical sense of ‘The way of the Rod’. However it is not entirely whimsical.

Longer versions are called koan (from the japanese) or gongan (from the chinese).

In the correct use of gongan or huatou one should not seek an intellectual understanding, philosophical ideas or verbal insight but rather an intuitive apprehension of heart-felt meaning. It is similar to the appreciation of a poem. The result is felt more than thought.

‘zen’ is the japanese transliteration of the chinese ‘chan’, which is in turn derived from the sanskrit ‘dyana’…

Here is a traditional chan huatou:

‘In this red hunk of meat, there is a person of no rank who goes in and out the gates of the face. Who is that person?’