Tuesday, October 02, 2007

PROOF POSITIVE

Here is is, people! Photographic proof at last that while I used to be cool, I am now a know-it-all phony prick in robes surrounded by sycophantic fans who worship my thoroughly wiped ass day and night. Yeah, that's right, mutha-fucka! Bow down to ME! All the way to the ground, you little weasel! Worship ME, like the DOG that you truly are! Praise my attainment of the most high ENLIGHTENMENT, you scum sucking slug! Bask in my radiant greatness and feel the glory that a worthless scurvy vermin like you could never hope to achieve in a thousand million kalpas! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa!!!!

Actually it's a photo taken at the precept ceremony I performed for Ren Kuroda. In this part of the ceremony you bow down to the teacher and ask to get the precepts. Once they are given you get to sit on the fancy chair while the teacher circles you with his head bowed praising your most high and mighty ass for taking the vows. There's video too. Go take a look.

Some people at the retreat asked if they could get copies of Nishijima's pamphlet on the precepts, which I quoted from and which you can see me holding because I don't have the ceremony memorized. It's on line at this link for free so go get it and print one of your very own!

And here's a shot taken out the window of Ren's apartment. Actually this is a temporary place till he gets the water lines fixed at his real apartment. The weird pinks and yellows in the photo aren't real. It's some kinda artifact or something from the digital camera. The window looks out over the Roppongi district. Roppongi is where all the embassies are. In the eleven years I lived in Tokyo I think I went to Roppongi all of three times. I'm not a major fan of places like this. Each night when I walk back to Ren's apt. I'm accosted by at least a dozen Nigerian guys who want me to go with them to nightclubs. It's not the least bit fun or interesting and I never have been able to suss out why it's so popular. Sex, I guess, and alcohol. But you can get those in cooler places. Go figure.

The view looks exactly like a miniature set from a Godzilla movie, particularly this one used in 1974's Terror of Mecha Godzilla.

94 comments:

John said...

Brad said... "Bask in my radiant greatness and feel the glory that a worthless vermin like you could never hope to achieve!"

Dude, nice try. I've seen your car. Mine is way nicer.

Plus, punk rock bass player: you play with a pick and I'll bet you can't even do two-hand tapping.

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

Jundo has a pretty good response to Brad's essay over at Tree leaf. Food for thought.

link

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, are you still married? You never mention your wife anymore. Whats up wiff dat?

Concerned citi-ZEN.

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

I drive a used Mahayana. The seats are really uncomfortable but it will get you where you want to go..

Imperatrix said...

Jesus H. Christ. I get really sick, recover, go back to work, miss 2 1/2 months of saturday zazen with the punk geek, and clutch my pearls, look what's gone down.

Anonymous said...

Aren't those the same precepts that you're supposed to follow, Brad? The ones that say never to disparage another teacher of the Dharma? How's that one working out for you?

Anonymous said...

anon,

Which teacher's specifically has he disparaged? If you're talking about the big mind guys it could easily argued that they are not preachers of the dharma and so fair game.

vinegar said...

anon,

What is it with the anonymous posts? Are people not willing to own up to their comments?

There's a bit of disparagment going on there too, is there not? Rather ironic that one!

If you have something to say ID yourself and take responsibility for your comments.

Anonymous said...

"Which teacher's specifically has he disparaged? If you're talking about the big mind guys it could easily argued that they are not preachers of the dharma and so fair game."

Isn't that a convenient way of getting around the issue? Couldn't the same be said about any sect, practice or form Brad or you disagree with? Rinzai zen isn't 'real' buddhism so it's fair game. Theravada isn't real buddhism so it's fair game to disparage any teacher in that sect, and so on. This is using the same reasoning as those in control of E-sangha who assert that people(like Brad) who do not believe in literal rebirth are not real buddhists and are not teaching real dharma.

Matt said...

I'm just as guilty as anyone regarding this, but i'm going to just sort of voice a request that we all be a little more careful feeding trolls and flamin' wars. It's unfortunate to have to sift through stuff for good conversation. Agreed?

peace,
matt

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that Brad got to pick and choose, by his own reasoning, who the "real" Dharma teachers are and, therefore, who his precepts apply towards.

I guess that Dharma is just as subjective as any other human endeavor and people can find ways to weasel out of any vows.

Of course, the simple solution is that if someone is ordained in a Buddhist tradition, they are ordained in a Buddhist tradition, and that means that the precepts that Brad took as a Zen priest (not me) are violated when he speaks ill of them. Of course, Brad will continue to weasel out of this and talk shit about anyone he doesn't like simply by saying that they aren't "real" Buddhists.

Anonymous said...

Before people point fingers at anonymous posters in an attempt to redirect any criticism away from Brad, let me point out that all of this is simply Brad's Karma (or chickens) returning.

He publicly criticizes other Dharma teachers and proclaims that they aren't teaching real Dharma (even though he's never met them, never listened to them teach, etc. etc.). Then he is taken to task for violating his own vows as a Zen priest. If he didn't open his mouth and break the vows in the first place, he wouldn't get shit from people for what he says about other teachers.

Now, unleash the fanboy hordes to try to protect Brad from his own actions.

Blake said...

Brad is the Samuel L. Jackson of Zen.

"I'm sick and tired of all these mutha fuckin snakes on this mutha fuckin plane!"

Anonymous said...

It might be better for everyone of us to stick to critical comments or debate about actual substance instead of ad hominem attacks. It's much easier and lazier to simply disparage a person (teacher or retreat attendant) rather than stick to the content. For example, Brad could have used mr. Wipe's leaving to make a valid point about the courtesy and proceedure involved in leaving retreat instead of name calling. Calling Brad names in return comes to the same thing. Rather than calling someone a self-centered prick in robes maybe it would be better to address the issue of authority and dogma in zen. Or even what qualifies someone to be a zen teacher. The whole issue of transmission and lineage in zen could be critically examined as well. i.e. What does it mean to be given permission to teach or to be someone's dharma heir in soto zen? Once you start down the path of lashing out at others; dickhead, homo, asswipe, etc. it is not surprising when, as another poster suggested, this comes home to roost.

Brad made a very good point in his essay "I am George Bush". Being 'One with the universe' means we are also the people and things we find unpleasant. I can disagree with you without inner division. Perhaps sensei ought to apply this teaching to instances where he is inclined to disparage or denounce other teachers or people. Maybe an essay titled: "I am asswipe" would be a good start.

dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...

"Isn't that a convenient way of getting around the issue? Couldn't the same be said about any sect, practice or form Brad or you disagree with?"

Yes. Yes it could. Some forms of Buddhism are stupid, so what?


"Of course, the simple solution is that if someone is ordained in a Buddhist tradition, they are ordained in a Buddhist tradition, and that means that the precepts that Brad took as a Zen priest (not me) are violated when he speaks ill of them. Of course, Brad will continue to weasel out of this and talk shit about anyone he doesn't like simply by saying that they aren't "real" Buddhists."

Evidently you are unfamiliar with Dogen, the founder of Brad's school of Buddhism. The whole of his book the Shobogenzo is full of him talking shit about other Buddhist schools on the grounds that they weren't real Buddhist schools.

I agree that from a certain persepctive it is the same as the E-Sangha Nazis dissing anyone who doesn't believe in reincarnation But from my point of view reincarnation blatantly contradicts the Buddisht idea of no-self/soul and so I wouldn't hesitate to say that teaching literal reincarnation as truth is pure woo and hence not real Buddhism. It all depends on whether you believe in cultural and social relativity or not I suppose. I don't so from my perspective some froms of religion and culture are stupid and even destructive and I honestly don't see the problem with standing up and saying that.

It also depends on what you are criticizing. Criticizing a Zen priest who's selling big mind.... well I can't really see the problem because something like Big mind is so obviously not what Buddhism is about.

ZenManDan said...

To quote Gudo Wafu Nishijima:

"Consider the true intent, or purpose, of the precepts. In most religions precepts, or 'commandments', are considered to be the laws of God. They form the basis of the religion itself and they must be strictly adhered to. In Buddhism the precepts are fundamentally different. Keeping the precepts is not the aim of Buddhist life. Perhaps this sounds strange to you, but it is a fact in Buddhism. Master Dogen said that following the precepts of Buddhism is only the custom of Buddhists, it is not their aim...

As Buddhists, we realize that in our long life, there will be many situations in which we will be unable to keep the precepts. This should not prevent us from receiving the precepts. We receive the precepts sincerely, recognizing their purpose and value in life. We esteem the precepts, but we do not worry about them. This was Master Dogens theory. It is our way."

Brad's choosing to "disparage" another teacher is just that...his choice. He's not going to Hell for it. He's not a bad Buddhist because of it. He's simply a man speaking his mind. I truly feel sorry for some of you and your inability to deal with such minutia.

Mooncat said...

"..something like Big Mind is so obviously not what Buddhism is about."

I regularly follow the comments on this Blog but up until now I haven't bothered to say anything but I think this has gone far enough and I feel compelled to say what I think (it's ONLY what "I" think!)

The Big Mind process in no shape or form has ever tried to claim that it is Buddhism, or that it can ever replace traditional zazen. Genpo regularly states that regular sitting is essential to zen practice. Big Mind is Big Mind - zazen is zazen.

All Genpo is saying is that here is a method by which you can access what is already there in the first place but it will only give you a glimpse, which may or may not inspire you to take up regular practice. If you do - great; if you don't - great, because here's the thing: your "way" doesn't have to look like anyone else's. In fact, your way does not have to "look" like anything at all!

"The Way" was there, is here, will always be there/here. It was there long before Gautama ever drew breath - he simply found a way to access it. His method ie "Buddhism" may work for you or it may not. Maybe robes work for you, maybe they don't; maybe you like standing on your head. Who cares? The point is this: find out what works for you as soon as you can and stick with it. "It" will not happen overnight but "it" is ALWAYS there. I still have to rehearse songs on the guitar that I've been playing for 20 years before a gig and I absolutely know that I will never get to some mythical place where I no longer have to practise. You cannot get to the "end" of the guitar. Just as you cannot get to the end of Zen practise - that's WHY we practise.

I think that Brad's books are fantastic and I like his teaching style and if he wants to slag off other teachers and call people names then I really cannot be fucking arsed to care, but different teachers will always have different methods but you will find that the ones who have put in year after year after year of practice under authentic teachers have almost certainly penetrated the dharma and have been recognised and authorised to that effect regardless of how anyone else feels about their methods.

Either way, it doesn't really matter what you think Buddhism is "about" because as soon as you start trying to say what it is or is not about, you miss the point. You will always wind up with nothing more than where you are right now facing the same old stuff and that is the way it will be until you die. What are you going to do? Spend your life bickering and bitching about this teacher being better than that one; engaging in childish mud-slinging; labelling some methods as authentic and others as fraudulent, and squabbling about what Buddhism is "about?"

Or are you going to find the way that works for you and go with it in an attempt to live in accordance with the dharma?

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

As someone who has spent a great deal of time labeling people idiots, fakes, frauds, and assholes, I have my own perspective about this name-calling thing and the precepts.

I've personally never taken vows and I also never bought into the precepts...

But i have found that the way i spoke in the past was deeply harmful to myself.

I can ONLY speak for myself on this. Brad or others may infact have found a way to say certain things (line asswipe) in such a way that it does not deeply harm themselves.

It wasnt that way for me, and I'm happy to have (mostly) stopped speaking that way to people.

Aaron

www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

cometboy said...

Oh my gosh. Brad said ass again.

Now all that bowing and Warner radiance basking I've done is for naught.

Guess I'll have to locate another all knowing master of the universe to bow and bask toward (or is it with?).

Oh well, there's always Ken Wilber....

Jinzang said...

Let's stop the sniping and address the issues. Brad doesn't like the Big Mind program and the claims Genpo Roshi has made for them. As he said in his Suicide Girls column:

According to the Roshi, by using this technique, you will have in one day — before lunch actually — the clarity and experience that a Zen master has.

This strikes Brad--and me-- as an outrageous claim. And though mooncat says Genpo is only claiming to offer a glimpse, it sounds like he's claiming quite a bit more on his web site:

Experience states of awareness and spiritual insights that usually take decades to attain... in less than three hours!

So please step up and defend Genpo Roshi's claims about Big MInd. Because if he's taking money under false pretenses, he deserves everything Brad said about him.

vinegar said...

Brad,

Can you, or someone, clarify what exactly Nishijima means when he is referring to balancing the autonomic nevous system? I have a little understanding of what the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems do but to which is Nishimina referring?

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

I am offering a Bubba Dubba Speed Enlightenment course. $9,995 (batteries not included)

Seminar Overview & basic concepts:
* Learn how just 4 basic sutras can eliminate your old karma
* Understand how to "see" - even when you're not in a trance or channeling Seth
* Do you "hear voices"? Find out how this common experience impairs your enlightenment
* The speed koan discovery: how natural "koan punsters" cover master's questions 2 to 3 times faster than the average newbie
* How to use your Zazen as an essential sitting tool; you'll learn basic postures that help keep you on the zafu and zabuton
* 4 smiles to make better impressions at seminars and dharma talks - you'll get all the important vibes without trying to make any impression at all
* Use "lotus root" to maximize your energy in all types of sitting, Seiza matters
* Discover powerful methods that improve your understanding and comprehension of Dharma while actually increasing your chanting speed
* Utilize 10 simple tips for sutra memory and recall; you'll remember sutras longer than the average sangha chanter
* Learn the 6 most common chanting styles - evaluate which three are best for your voice (Irish Tenors need not apply)

gniz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...

Mooncat,

What jinzang said.


To clarify, the reason why I brought up Gempo was because of someone disparaging Brad about his disparagement of Genpo. I said that I think Genpo is fair game for a bit of disparagement because, as Jinzang rightly pointed out, if his website is anything to go by, Genpo is talking out of his arse and charging lots of money at the same time. Which,in my book would discount him as a teacher of real Buddhism.

To tie this in to what gniz wants to talk about, I would expect a teacher of real Buddhism (Someone will probably now attack me for using the term 'real Buddhism'. But I have settled what real Buddhism is in my mind so I feel that I can use that phrase without worrying too much. Others may disagree with my interpretation but I'm not too bothered about that), to make it as clear as possible to anyone on the fence that something like Big Mind completely creates the wrong attitude to have towards zazen. If that involves calling Genpo and asswipe and that results in fence sitters steering clear of Genpo/ Ken Wilber types then I think it was worth it for Brad to call them asswipes.

Of course if you love Genpo you will completely disagree but so it goes.

Mysterion said...

Dan sed:

"real Buddhism"

Dan, you're not REALLY out on a limb until you pick up a banjo.

my 2¢

Chas

gniz said...

I deleted my earlier posts because i didnt like the way they came across...just so Dan's comment about what I said wont seem completely odd.
Thanks for the answer Dan.
I guess my point would be that there are ways of letting people know what I feel works or what maybe doesnt without getting into name-calling or remarks that generally take the emphasis off the substance of what i am saying and put it onto the language i use, etc.

gniz said...

And although i dont necessarily buy into the precepts and am by no means an ordained Buddhist monk, I do feel that there is a significant point to be made about right speech and attempting not to disparage others.
That way of speaking--and this is purely my opinion based on my own lengthy experience--is deeply harmful in general.
It creates anger in others, it fuels verbal violence.
We can see examples of that on this blog as well as many other places in life.
I feel that I can easily accomplish saying everything I need to say, including warning people about things I feel they might want to avoid, WITHOUT resorting to ways of speaking that inflame or hurt others.
There are many ways, creative and not overly new-agey, to accomplish that end.
If it isnt an end worth accomplishing--if right speech and so forth are basically worthless in public discourse--i'd be curious to know why.

Aaron
www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

dan said...

Fair enough gniz you're right. Calling someone an asswipe is probably not the most effective way to get a point across. It's generally best to avoid abusive language.

Anonymous said...

some more gasoline?

stupid dumbass motherfuckin pansy pieces of shit!!!!

ahhh.....

much better now.


get over it folks......

Boonton said...

Isn't that a convenient way of getting around the issue? Couldn't the same be said about any sect, practice or form Brad or you disagree with?

When I meet Brad at his book signing in NY I spoke with him about my experiences with a Tibetan sect. He made a point of telling me that he tries to avoid putting different traditions down. Brad can be very caustic in his writing but that in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. Like he pointed out in the previous post, there are sects where the teacher will hit you with a stick.

It isn't always good to be diplomatic or 'polite'. Fake kindness can often be very cruel. Sometimes its better to speak honestly even if that means some name calling.

He publicly criticizes other Dharma teachers and proclaims that they aren't teaching real Dharma (even though he's never met them, never listened to them teach, etc. etc.). Then he is taken to task for violating his own vows as a Zen priest. If he didn't open his mouth and break the vows in the first place, he wouldn't get shit from people for what he says about other teachers.

If Brad did this then he shouldn't. I think you should tell us what your specific problem is. What teacher did he do this to and where did he do it? If he specifically attacked a teacher then yes he should be aware of what that teacher teaches.

For example, Brad could have used mr. Wipe's leaving to make a valid point about the courtesy and proceedure involved in leaving retreat instead of name calling.

He did make a valid point. Calling him a name, IMO, reinforced the point in a skillful way. To use an analogy you may not like, look at 'name calling' as it is used in boot camp or even by a coach of a sports team. It's often not 'nice' but that doesn't mean it cannot be compassionate in its own way. The important thing is to wake up. Not make all of our speech sound like it was written by the State Department's Center for Diplomatic Communications.

Perhaps sensei ought to apply this teaching to instances where he is inclined to disparage or denounce other teachers or people. Maybe an essay titled: "I am asswipe" would be a good start.

Well the proof is in the pudding here. I haven't called Brad an asswipe yet but what do you think he would do if one of his students did? I don't think he would cry or demand that they be excommunicated from the ranks of all Buddhism. I think he would take it in stride, perhaps even agree if the student had a valid point. In other words I don't think Brad is inflicting a double standard here. He is willing to be criticized just as he criticizes.

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

The thing about the kind of situation we are discussing, is that it's all too easy to argue either side.
Yes, sometimes its possible that calling a person a name could be skillful means with that person.
At the same time, I think its important to be cautious with how we speak to one another.
This isnt a sports forum. Its not WWE. I wouldnt get on a sports forum and ask people to speak more nicely.
This is a forum where practicing Buddhists congregate and discuss Buddhism among other things.
And there are some basic foundational aspects of Buddhist thought (such as the precepts) which clearly state that we should avoid disparaging remarks, gossip, etc.
On top of the precepts, I would clearly say that in my life, the use of name-calling, put-downs and so forth have caused a geat deal of pain to myself and those around me.
So I try to refrain from it if possible.
I also used to say that "fake compassion" is more problematic than "real" expression of emotion.
But the key is in understanding, for myself, that rarely is putting someone down and saying things that insult and demean other people, helpful.
And rather than point fingers, I guess I am more interested in discussing the logic of those who feel that "right speech" and the precepts can be thrown aside or laughed off simply because they seem quaint or phony.
I feel that the cautions against gossip, hurtful speech, and so forth, make a lot of sense.
I just dont see how a pattern of abusive writings or speech is helpful and would be curious as to why it couldnt be expressed in a different way.
Now for those who comment here who dont know me, I spent more time than most trolling and saying nasty stuff...not just here, but in my regular life as well.
I dont advicate phoniness or faux compassion or anything of the sort.


Aaron
www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

Jules said...

Anonymous said... Aren't those the same precepts that you're supposed to follow, Brad? The ones that say never to disparage another teacher of the Dharma? How's that one working out for you?

Yawn... Trolling with the same old crap that's been rehashed over and over on this blog isn't going to get anyone riled up. You have to come up with something new once in a while.

Jinzang said...

It's interesting to see the difference between the Soto Zen precept ceremony and the Tibetan refuge cermony. So I enjoyed watching the video of the precept ceremony. But you left out the part where Ren gets the Heart Sutra tattooed on his buttocks.

Anonymous said...

Rock on Brad. I really enjoy and benefit from your blog, and I really enjoy your sense of humor!

Danielle

Anonymous said...

Jules,

When Brad starts actually following the precepts (which you're supposed to do if you're giving them to others), people will quit mentioning them here.

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

Grow up man.... you're not 14 anymore... nor beavis and butthead

Gerry Gomez said...

Brad: Your postings are funny. Keep it up.

I never read the comments, or commented myself, until the Ass wipe posting. I'm done with the comments; tedious.

Gerry

David said...

Dude, if the Puritans had had as much fun with their religion as you do with yours, this country would be a much awesomer place today. ;)

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

yo anonymous, that was quite the mouth (page) full. keep it up and you'll be publishing your own books soon enough as well!

Anonymous said...

nobody on this blog knows Anything. that is to say that All of you know Nothing most of all MySelf(TM). seriously folks, its All Good, either way really. quit being so FUCKING Serious about yourSelves (???WTF???) and just (b)Be. Or in the immortal words of master warner sensei-san "SIT DOWN AND SHIT THE FUCK UP!"

no really, do it.

flapping mouths sink ships.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah...(ahem) ANONYMOUSE strikes again.


yay......

vinegar said...

I can't find a place to simply ask questions or post a comment other than as a comment to a post so here goes.

I've been surfing on this balance between the PSNS and the SNS within the ANS.

Here is a Psychologist's perspective.

"Brain Balance
All the biological systems of the body work continuously to right imbalances—too much, too little, too fast, too slow. The body gives us prompts as to what we need to do to correct the situation. Thirst alerts us to too much salt in the system. Hunger signals a need for food. Fatigue invites us to rest, tight muscles to exercise. How appropriately we respond to those prompts makes an enormous difference in whether or not we fall off the tight wire of health or safely make it to the other side.


One of the body’s more fascinating balancing acts is the autonomic nervous system. That’s the part of the brain and body that responds automatically to what we experience physically, sensorially, or cognitively. Autonomic balancing refers to the relative dominance of either the sympathetic or parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The sympathetic response is one of arousal and produces the well-known fight-flight response. Too much sympathetic activity can lead to illness and damage to tissues and organ systems.

As humans, we live in our heads more than we live anywhere else. We can activate our sympathetic system by just thinking about stressful events. Whether it’s a real 18-wheeler careening toward you or an imaginary one, your sympathetic alarm sounds and responds.

For instance, most people raise their shoulders the moment they sit in front of a computer and about 30 percent begin to breathe more shallowly, according to Dr. Erik Peper, professor of holistic health at San Francisco State University. He theorizes that computers invoke a low-level fight-or- flight response in many people, triggering an adrenaline rush. This occurs even before the arrival of annoying email or the mysterious crash of a hard drive.

The parasympathetic branch of the ANS is the calming, non-excitatory part. When we feel peaceful, the parasympathetic branch is dominant. Most methods of mind-body medicine that contribute to stress reduction (hypnosis, meditation, biofeedback, yoga, prayer) share a common path of action within the ANS, in that they each foster activity within the parasympathetic branch.

Both the branches of the ANS are always firing. Whether or not we feel relaxed or stressed depends on the dominance of each branch. Stimulation of parasympathetic activity and restoration of parasympathetic dominance can reverse discomfort and symptomatology. When we do those things that help us relax, we are literally shifting the balance of the ANS to ratios that are healing. "

http://publicaffairs.uth.tmc.edu/hleader/archive/Mind_Body_Soul/2005/balancingacts-0726.html

Anonymous said...

I know it is supposed to be all serious and shit, but there is something about that first picture that just cracks me up..

esmerelda_verde said...

Aaron what have done to Gniz? Tied up in your basement? No more troll? That was a very thoughtful series of posts. I know exactly what you are talking about. I don't call people names but I do have a sarcastic sense of humor which is misunderstood a lot. I think a lot of people are sincerely or deliberately misinterpreting Brad’s humor. I also get inpatient with people who are not quick intellectually, it shows and causes problems. Email makes things way worse. I think we all need the internet version of mysterion’s Budda Dubba speed:

'4 smiles to make better impressions at seminars and dharma talks - you'll get all the important vibes without trying to make any impression at all'

Any chance of a group rate Mr M?

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

Hey Esmerelda,

I’ve had a series of lightbulb moments in my life which started in high school and continues to this day.
I used to be an incredible verbal bully, abusing people with words—viciously attacking anyone who I believed had tried to hurt me.
Over the years, it began to die down, little by little.
Even a year ago, I was still prone to incredibly angry outbursts and I also let off a lot of my steam on the internet.
I considered the internet or writing to be “less real” than in person.
But I’ve definitely changed my tune. Insulting others, whether in writing or in person, greatly increased my tension and suffering.
Conflict of any kind cannot help but do so.
If I want to clear my head, it helps to have less confrontation in my life—regardless of what form that confrontation takes.
I see a lot of my old views in the comments expressed on Brad’s blog. And I’m not out to preach and convert anybody, but I certainly do question the wisdom of insulting speech, insulting and degrading writing.
I don’t really think it’s questionable whether this writing inflames and upsets people.
At the same time, I do find a lot of entertainment in what Brad writes, and maybe even some truth from time to time.
But when does it cross the line from merely challenging or entertaining writing, and into something more sensationalistic and cruel?

Aaron
www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

Jinzang said...

That RANT is from HERE

I think someone who doesn't like Brad is trying to bomb the comments section. If it were me, I'd ban the IP.

dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...

"I can't find a place to simply ask questions or post a comment other than as a comment to a post so here goes."


Hi Vinegar,

You can email Brad or Gudo Nishijima directly. Both their email addresses are available on their respective websites (not this blog, brad's website sit down and shut up - there's a link to it on this blog though. Gudo's is available on his blog). i've emailed both of them a few times with various questions and there answers are always helpful.

"I think someone who doesn't like Brad is trying to bomb the comments section. If it were me, I'd ban the IP."

To be honest I don't think the guy who posted that even knows who Brad is. It reads like textbook paranoid schizophrenia.

Mysterion said...

Even a year ago, I was still prone to incredibly angry outbursts...

I might look into "anger management." O.J. has an anger management problem - as do many former football players. On the line, it's all about outbursts of anger when the football goes into play.

Anger may sometimes be traced to changes in chemical brain function. And the changes in brain chemistry are often the result of contaminated mass-produced food. Avoid chemicals by buying locally and buying organic. I'm not being preachie here, I'm speaking from experience. You should avoid pork, beef, and fish - all seriously contaminated. Soy beans, rice, and an infrequent organic egg with your home grown (local) victory garden vegies will keep you in good health.

And above all, do not produce more than one (if even one) child. There is so much competition for a finite pool of resources on this wet space rock that it follows no logic.

Parents of young children need no longer worry about those children dying of old age.

ctl-alt-del

gniz said...

Hey Mysterion,

Thanks for the recommends.
Interestingly enough, during some of my worst angry outbursts, I was a vegetarian.
But i do agree that a very healthy diet, along with exercise and so forth, goes a very long way toward mitigating anger.
If anything, I'd rate strenous exercise higher than diet as a means of releasing aggression...

Aaron
www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

Matt said...

Cool robes....I want some. I went on saw "The Buddha's Lost Children" last night.

http://www.buddhaslostchildren.com/Buddha%27s%20Lost%20Children.html

It was pretty cool, a documentary about a former Thai Boxing champ that becomes a monk and runs a monastery/orphanage.

I don't know who's robes are cooler though...

Jinzang said...

To be honest I don't think the guy who posted that even knows who Brad is.

As Mysterion discovered, the rant is a cut and paste from another site. The dashes are the give away. Somebody doesn't like Brad.

You can email Brad or Gudo Nishijima directly.

This is very kind and generous of both of them.

dan said...

"O.J. has an anger management problem"

lol, understatement of the year?

"As Mysterion discovered, the rant is a cut and paste from another site. The dashes are the give away. Somebody doesn't like Brad."

It could be but I think it's more likely that the guy who wrote it is spreading it around the internet as much as possible in an effort to (in his mind) tell people the truth about what's going on. I don't get the feeling that it's maliciously aimed at Brad. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you though. Do you mean that he deliberately posted too much in order to crash brad's site or something?


"This is very kind and generous of both of them."

It is. When I first emailed Brad I expected him to be too busy to answer but the answer he gave, although brief, was thoughtful and helpful. Thanks again Brad!

Anonymous said...

I <3 comment spam :)

Jules said...

I H8 people posting as anonymous cowards

dan said...

i don't

esmerelda_verde said...

Well some of the anon are just confused about how things work. Some of the really hatefull trolls know how to post as other people ie not all the mysterions are really him and defintely there was more than one Mr Wipe. So there it is, yeah the anons can be banned and this site could be monitored but it's a lot to expect Brad to do. Honestly I'd rather he spent the time writing and hopefully keeping his day job. We can just ignore the noise, it's like having a really good conversation in a crowded bar. Remember college? Ignore the drunk/disorderly and the crazy.

Gniz/Aaron glad to hear that you are getting things together. You did always have some very insightfull things to say. Don't be too hard on yourself. Other people probably liked you more than you liked yourself. They definitely forgot more of the embarrassing moments.

Jinzang said...

You are fucked. Start accepting it.

Thanks, dude.

I <3 comment spam :)
I H8 people posting as anonymous cowards


Hsin Hsin Ming

The Great Way is not difficult,
Just don’t pick and choose.
If you cut off all likes or dislikes
Everything is clear like space.

Make the slightest distinction
And heaven and earth are set apart.
If you wish to see the truth,
Don’t think for or against.

Likes and dislikes
Are the mind’s disease.
Without understanding the deep meaning
You cannot still your thoughts.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Vinegar, try the following Google search: "parasympathetic site:http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/" 27 hits of hardcore Roshi.

Basically, Nishijima Roshi teaches that the balanced state of zazen is a state where the two parts of the autonomic nervous system are also balanced.

Aaron, I wanted to congratulate you. It's easy to be cruel and hard to change bad habits. Or at least I'm finding it difficult. I still love eating rare steak when dining out with vegetarians, it's more delicious that way.

Rob

Anonymous said...

i heart brad

-anonymouse

dan said...

"You are fucked. Start accepting it.

Thanks, dude."


Who said that?

Regarding anonymous comments. They're fine. Even if the anon's did get an identity how would that affect what they write? I takes 5 secs to set up a blogger identity which can have nothing to do with who you are anyway, so it's still anonymous. For all you know mysterion is actually a Russian teenager who's into model car racing and I'm actually Claire Danes.

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

I want to revisit "anger management" for a moment. Martial Arts (shop around) is beneficial to both your Zen Practice and your development of anger management strategies.

I would look into Tai Chi Chuan (especially since Chuan and Zen are cousins). Then, it's up to you whether or not you take Judo or Karate-do. Tai Chi is good for all ages, good for almost everyone (even the partially disabled) even good for phantom pain in amputees.

And Tai Chi is very beneficial for 'mindful meditation' as distinct from Zen Ku Meditation. I sit Zazen before dawn, do Yang Short Form with my dutiful obedient Japanese wife (married since 1984), and go off to work my post-retirement job.

Your local Zendo might have Tai Chi.

Jules said...

dan wrote: It takes 5 secs to set up a blogger identity which can have nothing to do with who you are anyway, so it's still anonymous.

I agree. That doesn't change the fact that I H8 it when people don't use a consistent "identity" to post online, because often (but not always) their posts are of lower quality. In some cases, see above, their posts are nothing more than childish trolls and abusive tripe. I know there's no good solution. One just has to hope these people will eventually grow up.

Matt said...

Mysterion

Tai chi is cool but I don't think I'd ever recommend it for anger management....I'd suggest something REALLY physical where you get a chance to smash stuff....Muay Thai, Kyushin Kai, Boxing, MMA. There is something really satisfying about laying into a heavy bag.

Mysterion said...

Well... here's the National Institute of Health reading of the Tai Chi TEA LEAVES

My M.S. is in cognitive psychology, not clinical. The Clinical Psy. folks were 3rd floor. I evaluated students to determine WHY they had difficulty learning (vs. why they had classroom behavioral problems).

There are about five groups of learning inhibitors of which BELIEVING is most common. Then there are chemical problems, communications and language issues, genetic defects, and retardation.

Genetic defects include a host of variables. I retired from this field 3 years ago because I became really tired of parents with the 'perfect child syndrome.'

How do you diplomatically say 'your kid is intellectually deficient, just like you'? Sad but true - older women should NOT produce offspring and by that, I mean 29 is too late to start! The healthiest babies are born to well nourished 18-22 year old mothers (that is the mother is no younger than 18 nor older than 22 on the day the baby is born).

Behavioral problems (like anger) are most often a reflection of a missing coping skill. Coping skills are like a bag of golf clubs - we all have a few but rare indeed is the full set.

Check out Tai Chi at the local Community Center - but swear an oath upon God's Sacred Words (pick any 'Scripure', any one of several dozen will suffice) that you won't tell anyone Tai Chi Chuan has a completely Buddhist heart.

Cheers,
Bubba Ramma Billie Bobba

esmerelda_verde said...

gee myterion I must be a total retard my mom was 36 when she had me and 39 when she had my sister. No invitro or fancy drugs either.

I think Britany S. is with in your optimum range and look at her parenting skills. Older moms are better at some stuff. It is unfortunately hard to adopt in this country.

I do agree about the maritial arts. Any thing that builds physical focus and balance. People who think Zen is entirely mental are doing things the hard way.

Yoga can be good, if you can find a good teacher. Don't trust anyone who has been teaching less than 20-30 years. Mine is really crabby and older than mysterion. He has exactly the same ideas as Brad and Nishijima Roshi about balancing the nervous system too.

Jinzang said...

I agree with Matt. The hard styles of matial arts are best for people with issues of anger and competitiveness. Just be sure you get a teacher who's wise enough not to feed these emotions. I think the internal styles are best appreciated once you have a base in the external arts. The trouble with the internal styles is that they're so hard to master. It's a lot like meditation. You've got to do the same thing over and over again (for years!) until you finally get what it's all about. Though, like meditation, you get some small benefit fairly quickly.

The problem with martial arts is that if you really want to get good at them you have to dedicate your life to them. My problem is that I wanted to be a great martial artist, and enlightened meditator, and a master homeopath when any of them would have been a lifetime's work. Well, you can guess how well that worked. So my advice is to devote yourself to meditation and skip the martial arts, at least until your teacher gives you transmission.

dan said...

"I agree. That doesn't change the fact that I H8 it when people don't use a consistent "identity" to post online, because often (but not always) their posts are of lower quality. In some cases, see above, their posts are nothing more than childish trolls and abusive tripe. I know there's no good solution. One just has to hope these people will eventually grow up."


You're probably right that post quality would improve if anon's were banned but in a way I like the mindless abuse of anon posts. They're part of what makes this blog so different and refreshing. I like the way conversations can be completely derailed. If it just consisted of thoughtful insights into Buddhism it wouldn't be such a fun place to hang out. That's just my opinion anyway.

renfield said...

Sadly this video leaves out the part of ceremony where Brad goes "Don't live by selling liquor...didn't even know her...this precept was retained by Buddhas of the past. It was transmitted by the Patriarchs. Now I give it to you. Can you keep this precept from now on until the end of your life?" and then I reply "Working on it..."
And then at the end I dance a little jig, right before Brad takes me up into his private Master's suite and tests my faith, if you know what I mean.
Even with a script it's good to improvise, otherwise it's actually a stunningly boring ceremony.

Anonymous said...

"He did make a valid point. Calling him a name, IMO, reinforced the point in a skillful way. To use an analogy you may not like, look at 'name calling' as it is used in boot camp or even by a coach of a sports team. It's often not 'nice' but that doesn't mean it cannot be compassionate in its own way. The important thing is to wake up."

I disagree that this was a case of using skilful means. The lengthy arguing here and the resulting mindset of mr. wipe as reported by himself is evidence of the blatant unskilfulness of the remark. I also am very skeptical of people ascribing skilful means to questionable words or behaviour by buddhist teachers. This same justification has been used to excuse inapropriate sexual conduct, cruelty, greed and self-agrandizement by many teachers. If joe schmoe says it, it's joe just being a jerk. If master joseph says it, he's just using skilful means. I call B.S.

I agree that being compassionate isn't always being nice or diplomatic. But being cruel or thoughtless isn't always being skilful or compassionate, even when a supposed teacher is the perpetrator.

"I haven't called Brad an asswipe yet but what do you think he would do if one of his students did? I don't think he would cry or demand that they be excommunicated from the ranks of all Buddhism."

No, but he does insist anyone that practices zen or buddhism in a different fashion than he advocates isn't a 'real' buddhist or isn't practicing real zen. And why do you suppose he closed the previous thread?..."it's my blog and I can do that."? Too much personal criticism perhaps?

dan said...

No, but he does insist anyone that practices zen or buddhism in a different fashion than he advocates isn't a 'real' buddhist or isn't practicing real zen.

and? so what? what's so wrong about doing that?


"And why do you suppose he closed the previous thread?..."it's my blog and I can do that."? Too much personal criticism perhaps?"

Or maybe it was because people like you were working thenselves up into a tizzy about something that is really quite trivial.

Besides, it's not like that was the only post where people have criticised brad. It was pretty mild as far as personal criticism goes compared to some of the other comments his other posts have generated.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I've been reading your posts here for a long time. I get the impression you would find nothing to criticize about Brad no matter what he did. Perhaps guru worship is your chosen path. It's certainly not mine.

dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...

"Perhaps guru worship is your chosen path. It's certainly not mine."

That's great, what the hell are you talking about? what path?
seeing as I live thousands of miles from Brad and will probably never meet him its difficult for me to imagine a tangible way that I could be worshipping him as a guru.

If you had been reading my posts you would have noticed that one of things i like about brad is he is NOT a guru. He is just a normal guy who fucks up says stupid shit sometimes.

It's not that I don't have criticisms of Brad it's just that I generally don't get angry enough about them to vent them on his blog. If I have a genuine concern or question I email him or Gudo instead of leaving snarky venomous comments on his blog. Besides, to me most of other people's criticisms on this site I find to be mainly bullshit.

Having said that, if you really want to hear me publicly critisise brad then fine here we go. This is just one example:

I disagree with the sexist language he uses in his books (like all the ' I wanna do lucy liu jokes') because, in my experience, this has put off a lot of women I know from taking him seriously. As a married man myself I have trouble understanding how his wife can allow that.

Mysterion said...

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

Most Japanese women are more intelligent than Occidental women. Therefore their intellectual universe tends to be much larger - and I dare say inclusive - than that observed in the Western View.

Just one example: My wife was, for a time, part of Himawari-kai ("Sunflower seeds") here in the bay area. The project for the month was a travel/hygiene bag for their husbands - with a condom pouch stitched on the outside. When I had it out one evening after dinner (toothbrush, etc) one of the Occidental wives was beside herself over the condom pouch.

"You obviously do not care for your own sexual health. Japanese women want their husbands to remain healthy in part for their own benefit. YOU don't provide for your husband in case he has sex while traveling?"

Mooncat said...

Dan,Mysterion

Thank you for your comments. I have absolutely no problem with people thinking that Genpo "is talking out of his arse," and I most certainly do not love him. I must say that I am slightly worried at how widespread the Big Mind thing has become and even more worried with Wibur's involvement but when it started, it was really just considered to be another example of skilful means and was never, ever intended to replace zazen. In this respect I find it hard to accept that anyone could confuse the two. I have to say that it did help me and many others but now it seems to have become altogether more “ambitious.”

I also think that it's necessary to point out that some people "get" this stuff without having ever sat in their lives it's just that for most of us, zazen seems to be the most effective way of seeing our true nature. After all, every waking moment is zazen really it's just that it's much more effective when you're sitting down (and shutting up of course!).

By the way, I take your point about Genpo's website - it is a bit "Amway" isn't it? I hadn't seen it before as Genpo isn't my teacher.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

"Most Japanese women are more intelligent than Occidental women. Therefore their intellectual universe tends to be much larger - and I dare say inclusive - than that observed in the Western View."

LOL :)

I don't equate subservience with greater intelligence.

Steve said...

I thought the 3rd precept was about sex, here it just talks about desiring too much.

Anonymous said...

Remember what Jay and Slent Bob taught us (in "Strikes Back," or whateverthe fuck...) that the Internet is basically a place for guys who can't get laid to talk shit about people they never met. Ok, so that includes me, but I'm old, disabled, and been marriedandivorced twice, so there you jolly well are, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I hate to be Anonamoose, but I can never figure out how to get a named account tag thing. ANYHOW this is Charley Delve. Just keep doing the thing Brad, you've helped me, anyhow. Seriously, tho, I come from Horror and recovery and I use the Practice to help me not BE, and PASS ALONG the contagion of be-ing a monster. That's the REAL hidden danger of abuse, and family addictions--it getS spread like chromo-helix-thingies. Thanks again, to you and yer teachers! SWAK! (In a secure, manly way, of course...)

экскурсии в барселоне said...

Very worthwhile piece of writing, thank you for this article.