Monday, October 09, 2006

NASHVILLE

Reporting this morning from Nashville. I spent 15 hours yesterday driving with my mom and dad along the highways of America. It's not often I get to really see the land of chain fast food restaurants and Wal Marts that is this here United States. Had my first Taco Bell meal in a decade or more and remembered why I stopped eating that garbage. Though I must admit, when I first turned vegetarian I was glad for Taco Bell as it was the only place for a quick, cheap non-meat meal.

I wanted to write something profound about koans. But my dad's got the TV blasting here in the hotel room. I often forget there's a whole segment of the society that enjoys having crapp-o TV shows carping at them 24/7. I took to turning off the radio on my driving shifts. My dad's got one of them XM radio deals. 200 channels and nothing on. Noise, noise noise.

If you're interested in Buddhism, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all that noise. Turn off the TV, the radio and -- for God's sake -- the Internet and get down to some real practice.

27 comments:

Johann said...

Thanks for the post dude...rock on.

Johann said...

Thanks for the post dude...rock on.

Prof Wes said...

No kidding.

V for Vendetta said...

But i thought watching TV was as good a practice as any other in the skeem of things?? Tunning out noise to practice is the same as meditating to become enlightened. Its all dharma.

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

" But i thought watching TV was as good a practice as any other in the skeem of things?? Its all dharma?"

that's like saying smoking crack is as good a practice as any other cos ' it's all dharma'
watching tv is a MASSIVE waste of time. instead of watching all that cool stuff going on on tv why don't you get off your arse and actually DO some of that cool stuff?

"Tunning out noise to practice is the same as meditating to become enlightened."

it's true that's why when i go to sesshins i always start singin the theme tune to the A team really loudly half way through the sitting.

this is basically your thinking

you want to be more content and balanced in your life whilst doing absolutely nothing to change a single concrete aspect of your destructive behaviour.

this i think goes for pretty much everyone. LOSE WEIGHT FAST WITH ZERO EXERCISE AND YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU LIKE! COS, HEY, IT'S ALL DHARMA!

almost everyone routinely engages in destructive behaviour like eating junk food and watching tv and getting angry at stupid shit like some guy talking crap on the internet (that one's me :¬) - actually sorry this is strongly worded i'm not really feeling angry right now).
don't ever think that zen is about practising zazen whilst simultaneously being able to carry on doing all that retarded stuff:
being mean to people, filling your body with poison, rotting your brain with tv.... it all has to go.

how does it go?

my teacher is adamant that if we make a conscious effort to discontinue engaging in destructive behaviour then we will almost always fail. instead we just have to sit zazen EVERY day and eventually we will be unable to imagine how we used to find it so easy to engage in destructive behaviour.

this is something that is new to me cos i always thought you HAD to make a concerted conscious effort to stop that stuff. he thinks not (dogen says this as well).

Pretabe said...

Tv is ultimately useless and takes your mind off your life for a while. Its an escape for the majority of people.

I personally watch t.v every now and then, but the fact remains undeniable.

oxeye said...

TV helps us decide on what piece of shit commercial product we can't live without. I usually keep CNN on in the background, just in case a new war breaks out. I am sure it is rotting what little brain I have left..

yudo said...

anonymous user wrote:
"my teacher is adamant that if we make a conscious effort to discontinue engaging in destructive behaviour then we will almost always fail. instead we just have to sit zazen EVERY day and eventually we will be unable to imagine how we used to find it so easy to engage in destructive behaviour.

this is something that is new to me cos i always thought you HAD to make a concerted conscious effort to stop that stuff. he thinks not (dogen says this as well)."

I'd tend to exercise some caution over this. Deshimarists consistently say that sitting zazen is enough and that studying, --I'd say "feeding" the zazen"-- is useless. My experience is that most of them are nasty, mean, uncompassionate and dessicated from the inside, which isn't exactly what one might have thought.
So, Sawaki Roshi may have said that "zen is zazen and nothing else", but he had studied the Shobogenzo a lot. He probably said that to priests who thought that zen was ceremonies and funerals.

Jinzang said...

Nice try, but not nearly ranty enough. If you want a good rant against the evils of modern life, here's one from the Venerable Hsuan Hua.

The biggest monster nowadays is the computer. Its invention has made people worthless and useless, because it can do everything. The computer has turned people into numb and dispirited morons who live as if drunk or dreaming and don't understand anything. If it's not a monster, what is it? It's a product of demonic intelligence.

Another monster that has come to the world is the television. Television has deluded people to the point that they cannot tell black from white and right from wrong. They are no longer clear about facts and principles. The programs shown on television teach children to be upside-down and confused. They teach them to commit murder, arson, robbery, and rape, and to take drugs. These crimes are all due to the influence of television. The computer and the television are two big monsters, but people don't recognize this. Instead, they treat them as prized possessions, spending fortunes to acquire them.

Esmerelda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Esmerelda said...

Well Brad I guess 15 hrs in a car with one's ancestors would make anyone cranky. I really suggest you turn the xm radio to fungus 53, the 24 hr punk rock channel. You might feel better. Technology is neutral, it is what you make of it. The computer business pays my bills. The movie & TV industry pays yours. As I understand it most people on this blog sit zazen but live in the world. That world is changing. You have been teaching zen via the new technology more effectively and to more people than you have in person. You really should recognize that and accept it. That said, I must admit I enjoy your rants too.

oxeye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

" I'd tend to exercise some caution over this. Deshimarists consistently say that sitting zazen is enough and that studying, --I'd say "feeding" the zazen"-- is useless. My experience is that most of them are nasty, mean, uncompassionate and dessicated from the inside, which isn't exactly what one might have thought.
So, Sawaki Roshi may have said that "zen is zazen and nothing else", but he had studied the Shobogenzo a lot. He probably said that to priests who thought that zen was ceremonies and funerals. "

well i'm not a deshimarist and neither is my teacher but i know exactly what you mean about the dangers of this thinking. that's why i had problems with it and i still do sort of, but at the same time i think there is a truth to it. when we have the intellectual thought "i must stop getting angry at people or i should be more compassionate" that's all it is: a thought. it is often very difficult to turn that thought into habitual action. when i sit zazen though it puts me in a state of mind that makes it very easy to act morally without thinking about it too much. i just don;t feel the desire to shout and be rude etc. i think the problem with the deshimarists is that they sit zazen in a stupid way from what i gather. very rigid and forced and unnatural. maybe that's not true but it seems that way.

Jules said...

They teach them to commit murder, arson, robbery, and rape, and to take drugs. These crimes are all due to the influence of television. The computer and the television are two big monsters, but people don't recognize this.

Wait, I'm so confused. I thought these problems were all caused by homosexuals and punk rock music.

oxeye said...

Venerable Hsuan Hua has some interesting things to say.. Don't think I'd touch him with a ten foot pole though.

Drunken Monkey said...

Anyone here thinking that Ven Hussein is a bit nutty?

Jinzang said...

I thought these problems were all caused by homosexuals and punk rock music.

Actually it's vaccinations.

Dan said...

a bit nutty but i don't actually disagree with anything he says in that article.

Dan said...

well except for the bit about the solution being 'to have faith in him' (CULT!.

but the picture he paints of the current global situation is pretty accurate.

oxeye said...

More Hsuan Hua quotes..

"Now there is a class of demons from "outer space" that want to destroy the world. They are out to ruin mankind. They spray toxic vapors onto the crops, so that people who consume them become poisoned. They also spray toxins on poultry, livestock, fish, and other aquatic creatures, so that people who eat those kinds of meat and seafood become poisoned, contract cancer, and die. In addition, they spray a slow-acting poison on the things we use every day. For example, the perfume used in the toilet paper causes serious diseases such as cancer of the rectum. In the past, when people didn't use perfumed toilet paper, they didn't contract such strange diseases."

"Why does a butcher of pigs have eyes resembling those of a pig? It's because he had been slaughtered as a pig many times in the past, and now he has come to seek revenge. Although he is human, his eyes are those of a pig."

"I leave it up to you. Americans like to eat American onions, and so just about every American smells like onions and garlic. They also smell like bread, butter, and cheese, because that is their daily fare. If you don't believe it, take a sniff‑‑go grab the arm of an American and see what they smell like. You will find what I have just said to be true."

"Stupidity and wisdom are basically the same. When you reverse stupidity, it becomes wisdom. "

I would have to say this man was very wise.

Thanks for the link Jinzang

Dan said...

yeh ok he's a complete nutter. but it is true that the pesticides sprayed on our crops, the antibiotics fed to our livestock and the chemicals we use in our toiletries are all fucking us up. i read it in the guardian so it must be true. :)

Dan said...

" Why does a butcher of pigs have eyes resembling those of a pig? It's because he had been slaughtered as a pig many times in the past, and now he has come to seek revenge"

lol that doesnt even make any sense why would a former slaughtered pig come back to take 'revenge' by slaughtering more pigs? surely former slaughtered pigs would come back and take revenge by killing some butchers no?

yudo said...

Anonymous wrote:
"i know exactly what you mean about the dangers of this thinking. that's why i had problems with it and i still do sort of, but at the same time i think there is a truth to it. when we have the intellectual thought "i must stop getting angry at people or i should be more compassionate" that's all it is: a thought. it is often very difficult to turn that thought into habitual action"

This is quite true. A friend of mine who's a SGI Nishirenist, is constantly ranting about that, but doesn't seem to be able to put it into practice. But I get a feeling those thoughts are useful, in sorts, to set up something which takes form when we sit.

zenducker said...

Two items really stuck out of that post for me. First that Taco Bell is a good place to go for Vege meals. The second one is that I absolutely hate TV. I gave up watching it about two years ago and it's funny because people at work actually get angry at me when I have no idea what they are talking about when they quote some TV show activity.

Anonymous said...

Hey, while searching for widgets for my blog, I stumbled upon www.widgetmate.com and wow! I found what I wanted. A cool news widget. My blog is now showing latest news with title, description and images. Took just few minutes to add. Awesome!

laptop battery said...

How can you prolong your battery for laptop.