Friday, October 05, 2007

I'M BACK

I'm back. And so are the damned Holosync ads. Look. There's no such thing as meditation by machine. Bag those CDs.

Anyway, here's a better view of that thing that Ian MacKaye signed at Air's Video in Tokyo. You can kinda sorta see his picture in this one. Ian MacKaye is still alive. Apparently a rumor of his death has been spreading across teh Internets. But I was sad to learn of the death of Mike Offender. Mike Offender was the bass player who played the killer lick that opens up MDC's classic "John Wayne Was a Nazi" on the LP version (though not on the single version). That little lick was a big influence on me cuz it said you could play innovative bass lines in hardcore, something I always strove to do in 0DFx. I'll say a Hanya Shingyo for Mike tonight.

And, speaking of 0DFx, here's an article about my movie Cleveland's Screaming from Scene magazine in Cleveland. The Cleveland premier will take place tomorrow night (Oct. 6th) at 9:15 PM at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. Y'all be there!

Too jet-lagged to post more right now.

162 comments:

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I just wanted to remind ya'll that we're sitting tomorrow (Sat 06 Oct) and Brad will be there (man, he's traveling a lot lately).

And to anyone in the greater LA area who has avoided coming to HSC because they're concerned about the fire-breathing punk or of being made fun of on this blog -- fuhgitaboutit. It's a friendly, very compassionate sangha filled with great people. And, to my knowledge, Brad has never skewered any of us on this blog. Though that could change when I show him my new invention, the Vibrozafu (TM).

So come on down!

Rob

Anonymous said...

Welcome home
and if your zafu callous from all your sesshins and transoceanic flights craves even more--we will be very happy to see you.

Lone Wolf said...

I think I've posted this before, but it never hurts to put the word out there again.

Ian Mckaye is currently in a White Stripish duet band called The Evens, which consists of himself playing baritone guitar and singing and a girl named Amy who plays the drums and sings too.

It's more indie than punk, but I really dig the tunes.

Check it out the link below:

http://www.myspace.com/evensthe

Matt said...

I whole heartedly agree with everything that smoggyrob has said. I've only been able to make it down from Oakland once, but they were the friendliest Zen group I've been to. (I've been to more than a couple in the bay area)

I'm currently considering a move down to LA...going through some changes and got nothing tying me to this place. I actually know more people in LA that I do in the Bay, The Inosanto Academy is right there (martial arts) and Brad's group is a big draw for me....We'll see, I hear that LA Fire is always hiring.

Drum History said...

Hi, this is my first post to Brad. Never thought I would have a reason to use Blogger again since my old class. To get to the point, have you read any Epictetus? Or any of the Epicurean philosophers? They strangely reflect some of your views on Buddhism and tackle some of the big questions that modern philosophy is scared to face; applicable ethics. If you haven't read him, I would highly recommend it. The book is "the art of living" an interpretation by Sharon Lebell. She is not a philosopher (atleast not from what she has written in the past) and that makes the book better in my opinion as its a practical approach, such as your's to Buddhism.

I read Hardcore Zen and have a few questions. How can all the answers come from starring at a wall? And then you say that there is no answer, no enlightenment. But it must do something, right?
In your article "On the Watchtower," you talk about the impossibility of a sensible conversation between to "true believers." Isn't zen Buddhism just the belief that all answers will come from starring at a wall? Doesn't that sound just as ridiculous?
Then you go on to say that you will know what god has for breakfast and such, which is confusing as I thought that you didn't believe in a god. Do you?
That's enough for now.

Zen said...

Brad, I thought your latest Suicide Girls article about re Myanmar etc was spot-on. A very coherent and well organised article. Thank you.

David said...

Keep us updated on the DVD release? I'm interested in Cleveland Screaming, but too far from large cities.

Jinzang said...

I read Hardcore Zen and have a few questions. How can all the answers come from starring at a wall? And then you say that there is no answer, no enlightenment. But it must do something, right? Then you go on to say that you will know what god has for breakfast and such, which is confusing as I thought that you didn't believe in a god. Do you?

Someone else will probably give a better answer, but I'm here now, so here's my two cents worth.

Looking at a wall is not the main pint of practice, any more than sitting cross legged is. What you're doing is experiencing everything that happens in your mind. Usually we're too busy doing stuff to notice what's going on in our minds. Sitting in one spot and staring at a wall shuts off the external activities so that we can be more clearly aware of what's happening in our minds.

So whats the point? We misunderstand who we are and what we are doing. This misunderstanding leads to a lot of problems. By sitting down and watching our minds we slowly come to understand what the mind is. But this understanding can't be encapsulated in an answer because an answer is just another idea in our heads. The mind is vaster than any answer. The term enlightenement can be misleading too, because it suggests that the mind changes from dark to light or some sort of fabulous experience. Buddha mind is just ordinary mind, freed of our misunderstandings.

When Brad said "know what God had for breakfast," he was speaking metaphorically. Once you understand mind you understand everything, because everything has the same nature. There are fancy words for this nature: emptiness, suchness, buddha nature, and so on. But they all come down to the unexpressible character of our present awareness. One you see that completely, there's nothing more to know. Even God couldn't add anything to it.

Mike said...

Brad, look on the bright side if people click the Holosync ads YOU get money and the Holosync guy pays for the ad!

\m/ from Austin Tx..

Drum History said...

To Jinzang,

Alright! Thanks for the speedy reply. You really cleared up some ideas.
In the same vein, you could then justify the position as being the most suitable to have these reflections. Brad seems to be very adamant about this in "Sit Down and Shut Up."
You really explained well the question why one cannot explain the mind. What an oxymoron!

Mysterion said...

Jinzang sed:
"There are fancy words for this nature: emptiness, suchness, buddha nature, and so on."

Ku

Rather than the "emptiness of emptiness" - which is kind of silly - I prefer the emptiness of nothing.

Let me again tell a story:

Four young monks were walking along a mountain path when they came to a remote retreat for Zen Masters. The garden gate was open so the four young monks went in and surrounded the altar. One looked at the word MU. The second looked at the word KU. The third looked at the VOID. And the fourth said: "Is nothing sacred?"

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Drum History, it's taken me thirty years to (just about) run out of questions. Some people think that science is about answering questions. But all science ever does is come up with... more questions. Reality includes everything, including every thought we've ever had about reality. It's impossible for a thought about reality to match reality.

Answering your question could be done by speaking a word, by smacking you upside the head, or by writing 10,000 books.

You know right from wrong, truth from falsehood. We all do, when we pay attention. Take up the practice, find a teacher, sit with a group. If it's crap, you'll know it. If not, you'll know that too.

In the end, you can't be talked into this, and you can't figure it out. You can sit zazen.

Be well,

Rob

Jinzang said...

Could then justify the position as being the most suitable to have these reflections.

You mean sitting in lotus position facing a wall? Facing a wall help if your mind is too jumpy, which is the case for most people. It's a simple matter of cutting down visual informatin which can cause your mind to scatter in different directions.

Lotus position seems strange and unnatural because it fits a need most people don't usually have: the need to sit motionless for long periods of time. Sitting motionless serves the same pupose as facing a wall: it keeps you mind from scattering. Each time we move our concentration is broken. If you pay attention, youll see you're constantly shifting your position. This is not so bad for ordinary life, but a problem if you're trying to develop unbroken concentration.

For a sitting position to be stable, it needs to be balanced. The most basic requirement here is for your back to be straight, not leaning to either side and not slumped forward or leaning backward. If your back isn't straight sooner or later things will start to hurt. Technically this meas that your seated position must be symmetrical, so you don't have to throw your back to the opposite side to balance it, and your hips must be higher than your knees, so you don't need to lean forward to keep your balance. Sitting in lotus position on a small cushion meets this need, which is why it's recommended as the best position.

Anonymous said...

Brad wrote on Suicide Girls:

"All too often, though, I see people using their supposed humanitarian concern for people undergoing great suffering in tragic situations in far away places as a means to avoid working on much more urgent problems very, very close to home. It’s as if very big, very colorful problems in exotic and remote places are much more important than the far smaller and more mundane stuff right here. Yet dealing with the small mundane stuff right here is your real duty."

This is correct. I was in the peace movement and know a couple of star activists who sacrificed themselves, fasting, even serving lengthy periods of jail time to draw attention to the cause.

(Back then it was US policy in Central America)

Thier home lives were a mess. One man's activism caused great trouble at his day job and hampered its ability to do fundraising. This generated serious problems that lingered for the job, long after this man had retired.

When someone is out in public a lot, and especially if they're doing stuff that makes you feel like a heel for not behaving at their level

1) Face your own guilty reactivity and get curious about it

2) Ask whether this person is doing OK taking care of stuff on the non glamorous home front

3) See if you are taking care of matters at home, too.

This isnt to say we should avoid activist projects, just make sure these dont become fashionable escapism.

When Hurricane Katrina was on the news, I was horrified, like everyone else.

But I remain glad that I decided not to go reactive. I wanted to help, but my first two questions were:

1) Is there someone here in town who needs help?

2) Are there local organizations in the New Orleans area, that are close to the ground, dont have heavy layers of bureaucracy, and likely to spend money where it is really going to get to people who need it? For I suspected that the billions of dollars donated to Red Cross would attract crooks and invite embezzlement. Huge sums of money make people crazy.

So I discovered someone in our neighborhood did need help--she was getting SSI and needed a one time grant to make her rent that month until she got her SSI. When she did, she paid us back. So..we did homeless prevention.

Two, I contacted my old seminary and they knew of churches in the NOLA area who were close to the scene.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

dan said, "As a married man myself I have trouble understanding how his wife can allow that."

FWIW, "marriage" is no more than
a contract between adults, and thus, is
no one's business but their own. It
doesn't have to be the one-size-fits-all
version imposed by church and state (and
anyone brainwashed by said church and
state).

BTW, don't believe a word dan says.
He's really Claire Danes, and
all his movies suck.

Anonymous said...

damn jinzang.. you really know how to put the "zang" back in jinzang dont you?

right on man. right on.

-Anonymouse

dan said...

"FWIW, "marriage" is no more than
a contract between adults, and thus, is
no one's business but their own. It
doesn't have to be the one-size-fits-all
version imposed by church and state (and
anyone brainwashed by said church and
state)."

True, but going on about how much you wanna fuck other women (even as a joke) is pretty disrepectful to one's wife in my opinion. You're right though, marriage is different for different people so blah. I just brought it up to defend myself against the charge of being a 'guru worshipper' or some ridiculous nonsense.

"BTW, don't believe a word dan says.
He's really Claire Danes, and
all his movies suck."

Fuck you, you have no idea how hard it is not be type-cast after a few big hits. I'm working on my broadway career right now anyway. Then they'll take me seriously...... BEAAAATCH!

Mooncat said...

Drum History,

Although Jinzang expressed very cool answers to your questions, I don't think Brad was speaking metaphorically when he said you would know what "God had for breakfast." I think he was being very specific (could be wrong though!)

There are certain koans in the Rinzai school that address the same thing namely "Mu" and "Show me the face of the creator of the universe," and "Even Shakyamuni and Matreiya are his servants - who am I talking about?"

All we're trying to do is return to our true nature and zazen seems to be the most effective way of doing this. When we've been sitting for a while (years usually) we start to realise that there is only one person that can possibly be the creator of the Universe/God/Mu/the master of Shakyamuni.

I wonder who that could be?

As Jinzang said we don't necessarily have to stare at a wall to practise effective zazen it's just that it's less distracting, and when you sit absolutely still, you start to lose bodily sensation - the body "stills" and the mind then follows. Some teachers call it "dropped off body and mind" but that's just a fancy way of describing a fairly simple physiological practise.

For a much better explanation of why zazen produces this calmness check out "Zen Training" by Katsuki Sekida.

Cheers

dan said...

While we're on the subject of things I diagree with Brad about is his use of th word 'God' in his writing. It means way too mean things for way too many people.

Anonymous said...

pick and nit-pick were sitting on a blog, pick fell off, who was left?

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I know! Nit-pick!

Anonymous said...

Zazen can only be practiced while in a lotus position, or a similar sitting style.

You may be able to recreate the mindset of Zazen in your daily life, which is one of the main points of the practice, but it's not Zazen.

That's like saying if you create the mindset of playing basketball while making sweet love to a chicken, then that act of semi-erotic chicken love is playing basketball.

It's completely different, ask my rooster, Mr. Stinky.

Sgt. Pile

Anonymous said...

some of us talked about getting together to see the movie bladerunner. it has a limited engagement thru this coming thursday. we could agree to meet at 6:00 pm at the landmark theaterscreens/coner of westwood and pico blvd. buy tickets for 7:50 pm show and have dinner at many restuarants nearby. than much. eric warwick

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Just to clear up Eric's Blade Runner post (above):

We're going to meet tomorrow, Tuesday October 9th at 6:00 pm. Where? The Landmark Theater on the corner of Westwood and Pico. We'll buy tickets for the 7:50 pm show.

We really need to start a forum for Dogen Sangha Los Angeles.

Rob

Anonymous said...

pimping buddhist chick

Anonymous said...

correction to movie bladerunner comment so far we have a few people going on tuesday oct.9 at the landmark theater screens corner of westwood and pico blvd. we will be meeting at 6;00 p.m. to purchase tickets for the 7:50 p.m. show. we will then pick any one of any number of restuarants near by for a nice leisurely dinner. eric warwick/brad warner's zen group.

Captain Steve said...

Brad,

Could you update your Santa Monica Zazen web schedule?
http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/ZazenClass.html

The last class listed is September 15th.

I see from smoggyrob's post that there was a class on the 6th.

Thanks, Steve

Smoggyrob said...

Hi Captain Steve:

Until that gets updated, we're sitting on the 13th, 20th, and 27th. The 20th is a one-day retreat and requires reservations. This schedule is subject to change. We pretty much sit every Saturday.

We'll see you there!

Rob

Blake said...

God had a whole grain bagel with lite cream cheese and a cup of hazelnut coffee from Panera for breakfast. He ate it on his way to work.

John said...

Enjoy the movie tonight. I'll be recording the music of our enemies, the evil-doers.

Can replicants do zazen?

Anonymous said...

"Mother nature is a bitch and she is not above weaning us from her teats."

If you lived through having your home, your whole neighborhood, entire circle of friends torn away by a hurricane or flood and can say that, Okay.

If you've not lived through a full scale spanking by mother nature, dont dump on those who are crying because they dont have the money or transportation to flee a flood zone.

The folks who write that global warming may not be so bad after all, most likely live in areas not likely to be flooded out and can easily wax philosophical about the benefits of an experience that isnt likely to flood their asses out of house and home.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

can replicants do zazen
every moment disolving
like tears in the rain

keishin.ni said...

Good outing!
My first viewing of Blade Runner! As Rob said "Good thing you waited until you could see it the way the director wanted it to be!"
I walked out afterward expecting I'd need an umbrella to get to my car.... Loved the wetness, the decay,
I want to know, did he ever take the test himself?
Did two replicants find true love? It makes sense you would send a replicant of an even higher order out after other replicants..

I was reminded of Dark City which had a similar feel to it, and oddly Northfork also came to mind.
I'm so glad I got to see it on the big screen, and not my rinky dink TV screen at home.

Mysterion said...

keisin.nl sed:
"It makes sense you would send a replicant of an even higher order out after other replicants."

That certainly explains existential trance that the film portrays.

"In the last scene, Deckard leads Rachael out of his apartment. He notices an origami figure of a unicorn on the floor. A fellow cop has often left such figures outside replicants’ rooms. In an earlier scene, Deckard was thinking about a unicorn. Looking at the cutout now, he realizes that the authorities know what’s in his mind, that the unicorn is a planted memory, that he’s a replicant and that he and Rachael are both now on the run. They get into the elevator. The door slams. The end."

(They are BOTH terminated, with prejudice).

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Mysterion said...

"Running parallel to (Blade Runner) is the story of John Isodore, a ‘chickenhead’ – a genetically inferior human being, unable to reproduce or leave the planet for cleaner, nicer worlds. The friendless Isodore spends much of his time on his black ‘empathy box’. And here is where Dick does something that Hollywood would never dare. When Isodore grasps the box, this is what he sees:

‘a famous landscape, the old, brown, barren ascent, with tufts of dried-out bonelike weeds poking slantedly into a dim and sunless sky. One single figure, more or less human in form, toiled its way up the hillside: an elderly man wearing a dull, featureless robe, covering as meagre as if it had been snatched from the hostile emptiness of the sky. The man, Wilbur Mercer, plodded ahead…’

Through the medium of the box, Isodore becomes one with Mercer, as do millions around the world.

Mercer ascends the hill, has rocks thrown at him by unseen antagonists, reaches the summit, dies, is buried, is reborn, begins to ascend the hill once again, perpetually.

The vision of a virtual reality Sisyphus/Christ is grotesque, convincing, pathetic and very Philip K. Dick."

Too bad for cinema that Hollywood, in the wake of the Monkey Trial, is just a bunch of fearful chickenshits.

keishin.ni said...

Mysterion,
Re unicorn memory/origami--yes, and there was a unicorn among Sebastian's room full of creations.
But--I got this creepy thought--was everybody a replicant and those being hunted down were the few replicants evolved to the point of experiencing emotions--hate, love, anger, despair, fear?

I know you've got answers for me Mysterion!

Mysterion said...

I don't know if there are any other 'academics' here, but if so, you might have some intellectual curiosity on the matter of 'Blade Runner' and read:

"The Nocturnal Future as Alienated Existence: Blade Runner"
by Metin Bosnak Journal of Economic and Social Research

Additional resources HERE

Mysterion said...

I suspect that John Isodore (the ‘chickenhead’) is morphed into Sebastian for the film version of the story. If so, then Sebastian is a rare human - a miserable, poisoned human who can know real suffering. It seems to me that Sebastian programmed the unicorn memory into Deckard. If the 'skin jobs' knew suffering, they could not tolerate the environment (somewhat accurately) envisioned for earth in 2012.

Biblical unicorns:
Numbers 23:22, 24:8
Deuteronomy 33:17
Job 39:9-11
Psalms 22:21, 29:6, 92:10
and Isaiah 34:7

Mysterion said...

"Blade Runner"
"Matrix"
"Ghost in the Shell"

each explore 'what it means to be alive' from the perspective of something (e.g. all of us) that is NOT alive.

Over the years, I penned a series of papers on 'Ghost' and 'Matrix' but was too young and inattentive when 'Blade runner' was first screened.

'Making of a Cyborg' (Ghost in the Shell) a.k.a. REINCARNATION

When you are dancing, a beautiful woman becomes entranced.
When you are dancing, the shining moon shimmers.

A god descends to join her dream,
Dawn approaches while the night bird sings.

May the Gods determine your future.
(repeated 4 times)

Kind of wild stuff for Hollywood.

Blake said...

I have studied Blade Runner for quite some time. It will be a feature in my upcoming Law and Pop Culture class along with Fight Club and Buffy.

Not kidding.

Mysterion said...

Blake said...
"I have studied Blade Runner for quite some time. It will be a feature in my upcoming Law and Pop Culture class along with Fight Club and Buffy. - Not kidding."

Excellent, Blake, I hope I was able to add 1% to your 'Blade Runner' data base!

Blake said...

Mysterion:

Yes thanks. Although I will be focusing more on the legal side and not the existential. I might have to pick up some of the literature you recommend.

Funny, though, my undergrad is in philosophy with a focus on existentialism. Best movie for depicting an existential crisis?

The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Again, not kidding.

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are some damn NERDS! Mysterion, I bet you spent your entire youth playing Dungeons and Dragons. Blake, you probably never kissed a girl 'cause Star Trek took over all your time for after school activities! And of course, Smoggyrob was the teacher's pet. Just look at how he kisses "daddy's" butt.

Sit down and shut up!!!

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are some damn NERDS! Mysterion, I bet you spent your entire youth playing Dungeons and Dragons. Blake, you probably never kissed a girl 'cause Star Trek took over all your time for after school activities! And of course, Smoggyrob was the teacher's pet. Just look at how he kisses "daddy's" butt.

Sit down and shut up!!!


STFU dickwad

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"Mysterion, I bet you spent your entire youth playing Dungeons and Dragons."

I have never even SEEN Dungeons and Dragons. In my youth, I played chess and read Children and Household Tales (Grimm) of which Zipes is the preferred modern translation.

The brothers Grimm (my BGs) got me interested in folklore and so by the time I was seven and ready to read the Bible, I saw it as just another collection of folklore.

Of course, today we know from Archeology that the Bible is a very constrained collection of barbaric folklore (from tribes of blundering barbarians).

"From Hellas to the barbarian territory-Macedon, Anatolia, the Levant-the blundering ineptitude of 'intelligent Romans' when they attempted governance can only be masked by legends."

The barbarians were (and still are, to some extent) sacrificial cults that killed birds, goats, lambs, and bulls upon the altars of their gods. The Buddhists missionaries sent by Ashoka of India did little to mitigate the cults - save for the Hellenization of Buddhism into a new Jesus Cult. Challenged HERE

Drum History said...

That was a very funny comment Blake.

I am reading through Sit Down and Shut Up and I am finding it much harder to get through then his first book. He seems to have three points that he keeps on repeating: Don't trust authority just because they are authority, there is no self, and you always KNOW right from wrong (or what reality really is). Whatever you do, don't take the following to heart.

On the first point, Brad has made a rhetorical "double bind," similar to comments like "you must be free" or "try to relax." The English language seems ill-equipped to handle it. My friend believes that such statements are made to hoax the reader into a false trust. So please trust me when I say, "Don't trust authority." (this is somewhat copied from Alan Watts, "the Book: On the Taboo....")

The second and third points are mutually exclusive. You simply cant have one with the other. To illustrate let me consider both comments separately. "there is no self" Warner (can I call you Brad?) establishes this doctrine on the believes of causality and of the nonexistence of thoughts as opposed material substance.

For the former, this type of causality as applied to humans is called strict determinism, whose philosophical proponents were David Hume and B.F. Skinner (I know, I am such a windbag!). It states that humans have no ability to be a cause, which humans consider will (or free will). Now there are many arguments for and against this view, especially about ethics, but it is not for me to discuss now.

As for the later, many opinions differ on where thoughts lie (Plato's eternal Forms for instance), however most agree that all perception of reality exist in thought. So it is safe to say that reality is only presented to us in thought. To discredit thought would be to doubt reality. Sensations need to be translated into understandable signals!

[footnote: actually where people believe thoughts exist counts on what you think you are (or consider the nature of all substance). So far, western philosophy has separated into three categories on this subject:

dualism (both mental and physical, philosopher Descartes, Religion: Judaism, Christianity, Muslim),

Idealist monism (only mental, phil. George Berkeley, religion: Hinduism, Christian Science), and

Materialist monism (just physical, phil. Bertrand Russell, Religion: Buddhism?).
Ed. Mr. Windbag]

Finally, the third proposition, "You always KNOW right from wrong." This comes from his against all authority position, in which Warner states that the individual has full responsibility for his/her actions (even if he/she was ignorant of the outcome). This is some extreme Sartre free will. However, as stated before, the doctrine of determinism denies free will. In other words, you can't say you have no self and say that yourself is somehow to blame. (This is where the ethics get tricky, as all ethics are based on the belief that you have the ability to choose right from wrong, good from bad, or, more accurately, better from worse.)

In closing, I would like to share a story by an opponent of Skinner named Carl Rogers:
"From what I understand Dr. Skinner to say, it is his understanding that though he might have thought he choose to come to this meeting, might have thought he had a purpose in giving this speech, such thoughts are really illusory. He actually made certain marks on paper and emitted certain sounds here simply because his genetic makeup and his past environment had operantly conditioned his behavior in such a way that it was rewarding to make these sounds and that he as a person doesn't enter into this. In fact, if I get his thinking correctly, from his strictly scientific point, he, as a person, doesn't exist."
To which Skinner replied (wait for it...), "I do accept your characterization of my own presence here."
HA.HA. Gets me every time.

Blake said...

Anonymous said...

"Blake, you probably never kissed a girl 'cause Star Trek took over all your time for after school activities!"

You are so wrong! It was He-Man and Thundercats.

I bet you're embarrassed now!

Mysterion said...

Drum History a.k.a. sum won sed:
re:Brad
Finally, the third proposition, "You always KNOW right from wrong."

Brad is writing to a generation that is not carrying the baggage of a Watts or even a Baba Ram Das.

The heart of what Brad is saying is the oft repeated, but little heard:
"You are responsible for your own actions."

Thus:
1) You are your own authority.
2) You have your own ethics.
3) You have your own morals.
4) You have your own community.
5) You have your own friends.
6) Don't attempt to abdicate your responsibility to Brad because "You are responsible for your own actions."
7) You can elevate this one level by: "You can become responsible for your own thoughts." (Zazen)

I read "Sit Down and Shut Up!" as a king of 'Angry in Akron' rant... but that was only my first impression of the book. My perceptions fail my with consistent regularity.

Brad has generated INTEREST in Buddhism. I make no claims about "that is good" or "that is bad."

Let every being make their own misguided decisions based on their own failed perceptions. In my horribly humble, infinitely ignorant, and utterly unqualified opinion: "Brad dun good."

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Drum History said...

Thanks for the consideration mysterion. I am interested in Einstein's "God" if you know any more about that.

"I read "Sit Down and Shut Up!" as a king of 'Angry in Akron' rant... but that was only my first impression of the book"
wow... that is my first impression also. But I have yet to finish it. I was actually shocked at how well you expressed it.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Drum History said...
On the first point, Brad has made a rhetorical "double bind,"


I don't think so. The rhetorical double bind would be "Don't trust authority no matter what." In Buddhism it's perfectly reasonable to trust authority, just not blindly. In fact, if after investigation you find that someone is an authority on a subject, you should trust them regarding that subject. The Kalama Sutra which Brad quotes in the beginning of SD&SU says as much.

Drum History said...
"there is no self"... this type of causality as applied to humans is called strict determinism, whose philosophical proponents were David Hume and B.F. Skinner (I know, I am such a windbag!). It states that humans have no ability to be a cause, which humans consider will (or free will).


The Buddhist doctrine of Not Self (or no self or anatta) is not the same as strict determinism as you have described it. I must admit I know almost nothing about Western philosophy. I admire that you know that stuff. It's towards the top of my list of things to learn.

Not self means that you are interdependent with everything. For example, if you remove the sun, you would die. Not only that you and the entire ecosystem of which you are a part wouild never have existed. But that does not mean that the sun makes all of your decisions for you, or that you can blame the sun if you do something stupid. But the sun is a part of everything you do. If you say you are not the sun, that's not quite true. And if you say you are the same as the sun, that's not quite true either.

Buddhism is not sun worship! That was just one example. And it's also possible that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

We have some free will, but I can't read Sanskrit without studying it first, and I'll never be able to walk thorugh walls. If I think I can walk through walls, I'm wrong. If I try to walk through a wall, I will hurt myself.

In Buddhism, effects are caused by causes, but those causes are effects from previous causes. And the new effect becomes the cause of a bunch of other stuff, along with a bunch of other causes. No one thing causes anything by itself, or only is caused by one thing.

The third proposition, I'm not gonna touch either way! Although looking back at your post, maybe some of what I've written re: 1 & 2 relates to your take on 3.

Brad cites Nishijima's four basic principles of understanding Dogen on pages 13-14. Try using those as a framework to understand the rest of the book.

Mysterion said...

Principles of reading Dogen or "Theory of Four Views"

Shobogenzo has a reasonably consistent pattern of four views considering that Dogen died before he finished writing.

The idealists view is just an abstraction.

The materialists view is an example.

The realists view is a subjective view of idealism and an objective view of materialism.

The forth view is an observation (impression).

"Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen, worked on the Shobogenzo for 23 years, between August 1231 and January 1253. Its title indicates that the work is a depository of the major points of the teachings as handed down since Shakyamuni. Dogen Zenji edited the first 75 fascicles and left 12 in draft form. His original intention was to include these and systematically organize the whole into 100 fascicles, but death prevented his accomplishing the full plan. For this reason, the Shobogenzo has been handed down in various versions including a 60-fascile and a 28-fascile form. The most widely used version today is one in 95 fascicles edited in 1690.

Although it included practical materials on zazen and rules for daily living, the bulk of the text embodies Dogen Zenji’s own philosophy. It compares Soto teachings with those of other sects, pointing out differences and explaining Dogen Zenji’s position. Although it does not set the philosophy forth systematically and has been called abstruse, the Shobogenzo is nonetheless the primary work for understanding Dogen Zenji’s thought.

In terms of both quality and volume, it is hard to find another philosophical writing as substantial as this in either Chinese or Japanese Zen. Furthermore, Dogen Zenji’s philosophy excels as distinctively Japanese thought and represents a pinnacle of Japanese philosophy."
from HERE

As for my view of understanding: "To have Dogen's understanding is to be Dogen."

Just my

Jinzang said...

Ultimately, Einstein was either a Hindu, a Taoist, or a Buddhist.

Einstein was an admirer of Spinoza, who thought that the Universe was God and that both could be known through reason. He was a sceptic of quantum mechanics (QM), not a supporter, and believed that the indeterminancy of QM would one day be superseded by a deterministic theory.

Ken Wilber wrote one very good book, Quantum Questions, which is a compilation of essays on spirituality by the great names of modern Physics. The book is out of print and hard to come by, but worth reading.

It should also be noted that you cannot understand QM without understanding its mathematics. Interpretations of QM are just that, and not the real thing. So Buddhism did not anticipate QM in any meaningful sense. If one is tempted to believe that Buddhism anticipated modern physics, one should remember that Buddhism taught that the world was flat. The idea of Amitabha's Western Paradise makes no literal sense if the Earth is a rotating sphere. Which direction is west?

Jinzang said...

"there is no self" Warner (can I call you Brad?) establishes this doctrine on the believes of causality and of the nonexistence of thoughts as opposed material substance.

I think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be be. "There is no self" means that there is no thing correpsonding to the term self. Mind, body, thoughts, feelings, ... the whole list in the Heart Sutra. In meditation we sit down and have a look at ourselves and eventually see that this is so. That's why there's no need for authority. Actually, it's not that hard. When the chatter in the mind slows down enough, it becomes pretty obvious. I mean, if a former punk rocker with a taste for Godzilla movies can see it, it's got to be.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

I have a question that maybe someone can help me with. I understand Shikantaza to contain both thoughtless abiding and insight. When insight occurs, should an effort be made to retain it, or should I immediately let it go? I have had what seemed to be profound thoughts during zazen but I have also read that thoughts are just thoughts and not very important..

Jinzang said...

Should an effort be made to retain it, or should I immediately let it go?

Just let it be, whatever it is. It's like sitting on a park bench watching everyone go by. You don't do anything to change their path, you simply watch.

Mysterion said...

Right mindfulness -- acceptance of thoughts and perceptions while maintaining dettachment from them.

Vipassana in the Theravada.

Shikantaza in the Ch'an (Zen).

Mindfulness in daily life is developing an awareness of life everywhere.

Mindfulness is a deterrence to sleepwalking through life - like Neo in the Matrix trilogy, Deckard in Bladerunner, or Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost.

Immersion in fundamentalism is one of today's favorite substitutes for morphine.

Morpheus?

It's kind of a weird synchronism how these cards (postings) all fall in place. Did someone just reload the Matrix?

grins,
O-cha-ryu

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Zazen tomorrow morning (13 Oct 0930) at HSC! Come sit with a friendly group, and then help us rip this greater metropolitan area up.

Rob

keishin.ni said...

Yeah, provided we all go to the larger metropolitan area in one vehicle!

Anonymous said...

that would be the greater vehicle now, wouldn't it?

Matt said...

matrix reference...

hoo boy :)

Sandi said...

Hi Brad.

I don't know if you actually read these comments or if this is a place where all your friends talk ;) but I wanted to drop a line.

A Cleveland friend recommended Sit Down & Shut Up to me, and I had to get it because of the personal parallels. My husband and I grew up in Cleveland during what was probably nearer the end of the punk scene, and we are currently living in Japan. I was halfway thru the book when I wondered if you knew anyone I knew, and then I got to the bit about Dave Araca and the Guns. My older brother was in the Guns and was good friends with Dave Araca. I remember him well, and was shocked when I heard of his sudden and odd death. I wonder if you knew my brother, too? Anyway, it was the Northeast Ohio punk scene references that drew me in (no one --who didn't grow up there-- really believes that Cleveland had such a great scene back in da day), but now I am eager to continue my wading into the waters of Buddhism, so thanks.

Also, I wonder if there would be any way to see Cleveland's Screaming in Japan? e.g., will it ever be online anywhere? DVD out someday?

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

More you mention holosync, more likely it is to appear as ad. Google analyzes the words you have in you blog and tries to put relevant ads to the context.

More you mention the ad, more likely people are to click the ad. Just to see how crazy it is. And more likely it is that the add appears in your page.

Anonymous said...

Hey Everybody--check out new SG article
Brad's not like everybody else (and neither is anyone of us) viva la difference!

I liked very much Mellon from Tuscon comment recounting his Lama teacher reading precepts for ceremony off his laptop.

This is what I find: when I am in a situation requiring I conform, eventually one of the seams gives out, I can't suck it up and hold it in for very long.
When I am in a situation where absolutely there is no conformity expected or required I experience shapelessness, formlessness. For a few moments it is very heady and freeing and then its very peculiar: I roll around like mercury, droplets of me in all different directions--it feels like there's nothing to hold me up, hold me together. Reminds me of junior high dances--and that big empty space called the dance floor--I just want to stick close to the wall, preferably facing it, sitting on my zafu.
Isn't this a cowardly buddhism of mine, that won't get out there and dance!
>>cowpie

Matt said...

"More you mention holosync, more likely it is to appear as ad. Google analyzes the words you have in you blog and tries to put relevant ads to the context.

More you mention the ad, more likely people are to click the ad. Just to see how crazy it is. And more likely it is that the add appears in your page."

BAHAHAAA that sounds alot like my zazen practice sometimes.

Anonymous said...

RE: matt: totally. couldnt of put it better myself.

Anonymous said...

brad warner is THE shit

Anonymous said...

p.s. so is the rest of youse guys

Jared said...

I know I sort of missed out on the discussion (lucky me!) but I just wanted to respond to Drum's first post:

I actually am a big fan of Epictetus and, like you, see a lot of similarities between Zen Buddhism and his writings.

If you have the time or inclination, you should check out "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. It is in the same vein (He quotes Epictetus a lot, as they are both Stoic philosophers) but at the same time, a little different.

keishin.ni said...

There is a most extraordinary letter to Master Nishijima from Brad posted on the Dogen Sangha Blog. Well worth reading.

Jinzang said...

It seems that Mr. Asswipe is still mad at Brad and went and trashed his Wikipedia entry. Here's the longer version of the addition:

Brad Warner is widely believed by Zen Buddhists to be using Buddhism as a vehicle for his own personal publicity. His knowledge and practice of Zen Buddhism are not consistent with the eight-fold precepts. Brad Warner is at best a deluded charlatan that uses religion for his own personal gain, not unlike a Christian televangelist in the United States, and at worst Brad Warner is a phony, a fraud, and a criminal. It is also rumored that he frequently has carnal relations with various barnyard animals.

Can you get more childish than that?

Fun fact I learned today: bdud (pronounced "dude") is the Tibetan word for demon.

Jinzang said...

eight-fold precepts

Ten precepts. It's the eight-fold PATH, you ignorant asswipe.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go and credit Mr. Aaah sweep ay with the deed.
There's a big cyber world out there, a place with enough space for everyone, and for all opinions to find blogs to roost on.

Jared said...

" It is also rumored that he frequently has carnal relations with various barnyard animals."

Well Brad WAS always fond of Joshu's dog...I guess he uhh...showed him his Buddha Nature...

Anonymous said...

jinzang - I guess it could have been mr. wipe.
but unless you know it for sure, you might be letting your imagination get away from you.

Anonymous said...

I plan to sit every day till I'm
dead, and study Dogen too, so I
guess I should join DSI, but,
unfortunately, like Woody Allen,

"I'd never join a club that would
allow a person like me to become
a member."

Catch-22.

dan said...

"Brad Warner is widely believed by Zen Buddhists to be using Buddhism as a vehicle for his own personal publicity. His knowledge and practice of Zen Buddhism are not consistent with the eight-fold precepts. Brad Warner is at best a deluded charlatan that uses religion for his own personal gain, not unlike a Christian televangelist in the United States, and at worst Brad Warner is a phony, a fraud, and a criminal. It is also rumored that he frequently has carnal relations with various barnyard animals."


LOL

Jinzang said...

I guess it could have been mr. wipe.
but unless you know it for sure, you might be letting your imagination get away from you.


Check the revision history of the article. The article was edited by 219.105.45.228, which nslookup says is at west.osaka.dcn.ne.jp. After the original edit, on October 7th, there's a reversion battle where the other party is at ap.plala.or.jp. The other party says that:

"This entry is currently under attack from a website known as Big Daikon, due to one member throwing a hissy-fit over being refered to as an asswipe by Brad Warner on his blog. Said asswipe has, incidentally, been banned numerous times from that website, and is well-known for appropriating new identities in order to spread his ideas."

Mr. Wipe does post at Big Daikon under the name Ken_Shamrock. You can see his picture on his blog.

Jinzang said...

And I made a mistake last night. "bdud" isn't pronounced "dude." It's pronounced "dü." Final d or s is silent in Tibetan and puts an umlaut over ther preceding vowel. I'm still learning this stuff.

aumeye said...

Jared ~ Regarding "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, is there a translation (version) you prefer?

Mysterion said...
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Jinzang said...

The defacement of Brad's Wikipedia article got discussed over at Big Daikon.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang:
You are absolutely the Jinzangiest!
Thank you for sharing theeze beehind zee sceenes stuff! It was an eye opener--You mean people sit around all day with time on their hands to write inanities on blogs?!!
Sacre bleu!

Anonymous said...

I would like to bounce this off of any experienced sitters out there. I've been sitting for a few years now. yesterday at about the 25 minute mark, I started feeling a sort of body buzzing and my vision started pulsing along with the buzzing feeling and it kind of scared me so my heart rate started increasing and that really scared me so I ended the session. now I'm wondering if I should of just gone with it and seen what happened.. I am not sure what triggered this but it was the first time this ever happened to me.

John said...

Jinzang said...
The defacement of Brad's Wikipedia article got discussed over at Big Daikon.


Wow, that guy Ken had something bad to say about pretty much everyone on that retreat except himself. And he didn't even stay for the whole retreat. Pretty impressive in a sad, warped way.

Jared said...

Aumeye:

I have two versions, one I brought with me to school in Florida and the other I left at home.

The one I brought with me is translated by Gregory Hays and is fine enough. My dad also lent me some of his old books from the Loeb Classical Library collection (translated by W. A. Oldfather) which are very good, although I have only read from the Epictetus I and II, not from the Meditations (which I don't have from that collection).

Anonymous said...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6844390081891192959&hl=en

Why does Brad bother to do rituals?
If he does not consider them to be of importance, then just don't bother. If he does consider them to be important, at least make the effort to do them properly. This looks like a guy playing at being a proper Japanese zen master to satisfy the desires of his crowd of followers.

Anonymous said...

common wipe.. we've seen the video. take your act somewhere else. you have embarrassed yourself enough here already..

Mysterion said...
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Jinzang said...

I would like to bounce this off of any experienced sitters out there. I've been sitting for a few years now. yesterday at about the 25 minute mark, I started feeling a sort of body buzzing and my vision started pulsing along with the buzzing feeling and it kind of scared me.

Nothing truly bad can happen when you meditate as long as you remember to RELAX. The body is a self-regulating system. Trust it to do its job. If things get too intense during a meditation session, get up and do something else. But it's best to just relax and let what happens, happen.

Anonymous said...

US President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he had warned world leaders they must prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons "if you're interested in avoiding World War III."

"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," Bush said at a White House press conference after Russia cautioned against military action against Tehran's suspect atomic program.

"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," said Bush.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

'Brad did o.k'

Hmm, mumbling your way awkwardly through the ritual whilst reading instructions off a bit of paper. I bet his funeral services are a real show stopper :p

esmerelda_verde said...

Only a complete idiot would want to start WWIII and what is Shrub(aka GW Bush)?

Yudo said...

For Mr Wipe:

Akkocchi mam,avadhi mam, ajini mam, ahaasi me:
Ye tam na upanayhanti, veram tesam na sammati.
(He mistreated me, he beat me, he vanquished me, he robbed me; the hatred of those who cherish such thoughts is never pacated.)

Dhammapada I-3.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

"Youth and death do not mix - call it a sight gag - and it's best to keep the two (youth & death) separated."

I want Shrine Maidens in Sailor Moon costumes at my funeral :)

Anonymous said...

Brad must have a lot on his plate right now. It's been a while between posts..

Anonymous said...

Brad must have a lot on his plate right now. It's been a while between posts..

Anonymous said...

And we can help ourselves to servings--have you seen his latest (10/15/07) SG article? Or perhaps you may have missed his letter to Nishijima Roshi posted on the same date--Oct. 15, 2007?
Plus he has to practice his guitar licks for the upcoming 0DFX show in Ohio...
Life! No end of things to do....

Anonymous said...

And we can help ourselves to servings--have you seen his latest (10/15/07) SG article? Or perhaps you may have missed his letter to Nishijima Roshi posted on the same date--Oct. 15, 2007?
Plus he has to practice his guitar licks for the upcoming 0DFX show in Ohio...
Life! No end of things to do....

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"I want Shrine Maidens in Sailor Moon costumes at my funeral :)"

Of course Sailor Mars is a Miko

Another Miko ref.

I presented a paper (rather a tome) a few years back that brought a 'Shinto Specialist' to reevaluate his educational foundation. LOL

Hint: You know no more about the Japanese culture than those with whom you communicate - or miscommunicate. Japan is, even today, an extremely closed culture.

Although I enjoy debating the most trivial of archania, protocol prevents me from doing so more than infrequently.

Suffice to say, Shinto adopted much from Chinese Buddhism in the 7th cent. and Japanese Buddhism adapted much from Shinto thereafter.

For example, Buddhist 'Misugori' is an adaptation of the Japanese Shinto Water Purification Ritual 'Misogi.'

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Yudo said...
For Mr Wipe:

Akkocchi mam,avadhi mam, ajini mam, ahaasi me:
Ye tam na upanayhanti, veram tesam na sammati.
(He mistreated me, he beat me, he vanquished me, he robbed me; the hatred of those who cherish such thoughts is never pacated


Or how about:

He dared to disagree with me, he left my retreat without notice, he called me a prick in robes, he's an asswipe.; the hatred of those who cherish such thoughts is never placated.

Works both ways.

Anonymous said...

GOO GOO G'JOOB motherfathers!

-anonyMouse

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...

CORRECTION to above post:

Hint: You can never know more about the Japanese culture than those with whom you communicate - or miscommunicate - ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH YOU. Japan is, even today, an extremely closed culture.

Research "Lafcadio Hearn" the quintessential outsider and Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things - by Lafcadio Hearn

Hearn, by modern analysis, missed the boat.

Jinzang said...

Works both ways.

Works every way. Brad is bad, bad, bad for criticizing Mr. Wipe. Mr. Wipe is bad, bad, bad for whining about it. I'm bad, bad, bad for calling him ignorant. Everyone who criticized Brad for breaking the precepts is bad, bad, bad. Everyone who criticizes the people who criticize Brad is bad, bad, bad.

It's like the fairy tale where one person touches the goose and gets stuck, then another person touches the first person and gets stuck, until a chain of people is walking through town following the man carrying the goose.

Let's just have a truce on all the finger pointing. If you don't like Brad, instead of calling him names, go listen to Swami Beyondananda.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

jinzang said; Let's just have a truce on all the finger pointing. If you don't like Brad, instead of calling him names, go listen to Swami Beyondananda.

same anon here.
I agree. For the record I never called Brad any names. Yasutani roshi used to have a plaque on his door. It read 'He who speaks of right and wrong is the very one who is right and wrong.'

I'll pass on the Beyondananda, but I do prefer Krishnamurti. Jiddu, not U.G. (UG was too much like Brad for my taste) At one time Brad's teaching seemed to be somewhat in-line with K's teaching. No more. But you're correct. I really should move on. It's just that at one time I was a big fan of Warner's. I guess I keep hoping he'll return to his old self (ha!). But looks like it's never gonna happen.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

"It's just that at one time I was a big fan of Warner's. I guess I keep hoping he'll return to his old self (ha!). But looks like it's never gonna happen."

those are unrealistic thoughts. everything changes. it looks like you are just out for revenge. you should look at your own motives. But it looks like that's never gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

"Materialist monism (just physical, phil. Bertrand Russell, Religion: Buddhism?).
Ed. Mr. Windbag]"

Dialectic monism-- matter and mind are connected like matter ans energy. Google it.

Rubiolio said...

CBC radio interview;

http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2007/101407.html

Rubiolio said...
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Rubiolio said...
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Anonymous said...

those are unrealistic thoughts. everything changes. it looks like you are just out for revenge. you should look at your own motives. But it looks like that's never gonna happen.

Unrealistic? You're probably right. Revenge? I don't think so, no more than Brad was out for revenge against mr wipe when he wrote that blog entry and said all those nasty things. Brad probably thought he might be helping others and maybe even mr. wipe himself. However misguided, I'm sure those were at least part of his motives. Same here. I see Brad as going out in left field further and further. At least some of my motivation was to point this out in hopes of helping him recover. I hold him no ill will.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

134

Anonymous said...

135

Anonymous said...

brad!!! please post another article, so we got something fresh to sink our teeth into. this is getting ridiculous!

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

All-day zazen tomorrow morning (20 Oct 0930). Is it full? I don't know, ask Brad. Mmmmm, Japanese pickles.

Hmm, that seems a little haiku-ish.

Rob

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

139

Anonymous said...

140

HezB said...

I,like Brad, tend to shoot off at the mouth on the internet and in written correspondance and, also like Brad, I'm not so brave, confident or clever 'in the flesh'. Of course, unlike Brad, I have the luxury of not being the leader of a religious organisation.

Is it a good time for religious leaders to be abusing students?

"Well, duh!" as they say in court.

BTW, I cared when the Taliban idiots blew up the Buddha statues, not to care at all would be numbed up nihilism of the worst order... but, what can you do in the end when all is said and done? Nothing in that case.

Regards,

Harry.

esmerelda_verde said...

I cared about the statues too. They were cool and I would have liked to have seen them. Ultimate the world is poorer for their loss. It probably hurt the local people most because they would have made a little money from tourists like me.

Mysterion said...
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HezB said...

Why, damn your green Vulcan blood... As if we could really detach from anything!

Regards,

Harry.

Mysterion said...
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HezB said...

FYI: You'd have our coffee go cold for that!?

Regards,

Harry.

Jinzang said...

I see Brad as going out in left field further and further. At least some of my motivation was to point this out in hopes of helping him recover.

Back in the day we had real scandals in Buddhist centers. Now people are upset because Brad called someone ... an asswipe? If this moralizing trend continues, in another twenty years people will resign en masse from a center if a teacher looks at a student cross eyed.

Jinzang said...

I think part of the problem is that people are always trying to put everything in a box, including Zen. My favorite lines from My Dinner with Andre are these:

"I think that New York is a new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates ARE the guards, and they have this pride in this thing they built, they built their own prison, so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are the both guards and prisoners, and as a result they no longer have, having been lobotomized, the capacity to leave the prison they made or to even see it as a prison."

HezB said...

Zen is the practice of Zazen, or else its an asswipe that doesn't know its an asswipe. Effectively its got shit-all to do with Brad Warner and his asswipeisms, it would be silly to give people the impression to the contrary.

You can't redeem stupid asswipe "Zen" with clever quotes, or a perfectly compliant Brad Warner, or a brilliant argument, or some 'SuperBuddhism' or other.

Zazen doesn't come in boxes, but strutting "Zen" bullshit comes in an endless supply of em it seems; but its hardly the worst offender in the wider Buddhist world. I suppose I'd rather have a Zen teacher dismiss me as an asswipe than have some guru string me along like an true asswipe for years of drip-fed teachings. But then, that's an extreme example.

Calling people asswipes is generally irresponsible, and I say that from a common sense perspective: precepts are for asswipes with no common sense.

Regards,

Harry.

Mysterion said...
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HezB said...

re. Cornflakes and flakey mystics. If I was concerned with the Soap Opera of religion then I think I'd prefer one of the more humourous efforts.

Although, JerrySpringerZen has its moments I suppose; "Enlighten him with the chair!!!"

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

By sitting zazen to achieve enlightenment you become like the dog chasing its own tail.

HezB said...

So, were're going to start on dogs now?

HezB said...

...how many dogs died in the last Dog World War?

Jinzang said...

Zen is the practice of Zazen.

I don't think that's correct. Zazan is important but only one aspect of Zen. However, it seems many Americans wish that this were so.

By sitting zazen to achieve enlightenment you become like the dog chasing its own tail.

I agree in one sense, but not in another. I think it's perfectly fine to have enlightenment as a goal, but not so fine to be seeking it. What's needed is the faith (dirty word, I know) that with the practice of meditation what needs to happen, will happen.

HezB said...

Its what Dogen said, such is his Buddhism, and certainly I think it is Nishijima's rational Buddhism. And I think he put a little time into the matter.

Everything else is icing on the cake (nice icing and/or the dung icing as well). If Zazen is enlightenment itself, if the hope of anything more, anything greater, better, Zennier is just our pointless self iritation itself, then what more can there be worth pursuing?

Zen is a number of traditions as well of course, traditions that often take themselves too seriously. That's got damn all to do with Zazen. While the tradition of one-to-one transmission should be upheld, there's really need not be an awful lot to it if we want to follow Dogen's model of direct transmission and direct experience.

If you really need precepts or masters then by all means follow them, but it has nothing to do with the action of practicing Zazen which, Dogen reminds us, is the complete Buddha Dharma.

A really good teacher will render him/herself useless to the student in a very short time.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

157

Anonymous said...

If you seek the buddha dharma, go back the source.

Mysterion said...

Zazen is a practice of Zen - but I suspect that Zazen is a small, though not insignificant, part of Buddhism. Suzuki-roshi used to say "Hinyana brain, Mahayana heart."

Hinyana is, of course, slang for Theravada (Academic) Buddhism. Without academic Buddhism, you may be out of balance although that balance point is very individual. Granted that some have neither the ability nor the desire to explore Theravada (while many others simply lack sufficient time or desire alone) and whether they just Chant (I call 'em the Hare Krishnas of Buddhism) or just sit is a matter of choice (and neither approach is a matter of good or bad).

I find little danger in reading whatever I can get my hands on. Even the K E L L oh double good - good Kelloggs brought Ceres (Cereal) into mainstream Amerika.

As long as you avoid sacrificing a bull, goat, lamb, bird, or a child at your altar of Dog, you are fine with me.

Anonymous said...

160!

HezB said...

hee hee,

Make me a sutra daiper for that happy day when its my turn for my religion to be snuffed out like Billy Graham's sex appeal.

Sorry "160" person.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

162 :-)