Monday, November 26, 2007

NEW SG ARTICLE, DREAMS, NIRVANA DVD

For those who've asked, the part of the song "She Evil Carries Roses" about the dream is the verse that starts off, "Rushing past the mirror on the door." That pretty much recounts the dream casting the protagonist as the "she" of the title, rather than me. There was a mirror on the door of the room I slept in whenever I visited. In the dream, I woke up (though I wasn't actually awake, that was part of the dream) and walked toward that mirror. I noticed my own image inside was crying. So I reached into the mirror and grasped myself by the shoulders to calm myself. At that moment a very serene me peered in from behind the crying me, just quietly observing the scene without any emotion.

There's probably some deep psychological meaning behind that. But who cares? I don't know how old I was when I had the dream. But I would guess between 14 and 18.

I put a new article on Suicide Girls today, that I kind of like. You don't need to be a member to see the articles and you won't accidentally see any naked boobies unless you pay to see them. I know some people can't access SG from various places. I wish I had a solution for you. But I don't. I'm not supposed to re-post the SG articles anywhere else according to my contract with them. It's pretty stupid anyone would block the non-pay portion of their site since there's no "porn" in that part. Such is puritanism, I suppose.

My first teacher Tim wants me to write him an article about the creeping threat of standardization in American Buddhism. Gotta get to work on that. On the one hand, I understand the desire for standards to keep it from being a case where just anybody can say, "Yup, I'm a Zen Master" and get away with it. That's happened before and will probably happen again. But I figure the Sixties and Seventies are over, no matter how much everybody keeps trying to revive them. People in general aren't quite as naive about Eastern religions as they once were. Once we're more acclimated to Zen teachers and other Buddhist types in our midst, we'll be less likely to be so awe struck by anyone who uses words like "karma" and "dharma." Less likely to drop our panties for anyone in a set of robes. Which I admit is a bummer for me, but a boon for the philosophy.

Still, we do have crap like Big Mind® (whose funding comes from Zen Master Rama, referenced above -- big surprise!) and all that still making cash. So there is need for some kind of general knowledge. But I don't think making sure everybody wears the same robes and chants the same chants is gonna help very much. Anyway, I'll give this whole thing some more thought and get down to cases writing the article.

Yesterday I went out and bought the Nirvana: Unplugged In New York DVD. As I'm sure I've bragged before, 0DFx played with the Meat Puppets in 1983. They were without a doubt the band I was most impressed with of all the bands we opened for. The Misfits were close. But the Meat Puppets were better. When their second album came out it just blew my brains out. It's the only record I ever literally wore out by playing it too many times. After several weeks it just sounded like complete shit because the grooves had been worn down. I had to buy another copy.

I liked Nirvana from the start. But when they invited the Meat Puppets on their MTV unplugged show and played three of the songs from Meat Puppets II that clinched them as a truly hip group in my mind. It's so sad Kurt Cobain couldn't get his shit together in the end.

Pretty spiffy DVD. But I agree with the review on Suicide Girls about the extras. The interviews with people who were there pretty much tell you all you need to know about how fucked up things were towards the end. Seeing a buncha fuckin' clueless executive types in the front row all nervous because Kurt invited the Meat Puppets as guests instead of Eddie Vedder or whoever could hardly have been inspiring.

I gotta go. Have a nice one!

31 comments:

Blake said...

My friend, Ashley Younglove's step-brother played with the Meat Puppets when they toured (his name is Matt). I kinda met them when they were in town back in the early nineties (by "kinda" I mean "they were rather pre-occupied and I wasn't the proper gender to keep their attention").

That's all.

Anonymous said...

Not only can we not access SG from certain places, I can't get on to THIS site from my public library! I put in some request to investigate the validity of the site but no dice. What's up with that? I finally have my own computer so it's not huge to me anymore but, seriously, What The Fuck? All I wanted was to remind myself of a Kurt Vonnegut book Brad had recommended (I thought I'd read them all)
But, enough of this tirade.
Brad, I'm sorry for your loss and I'm thankful for your articles. Let's all just do what needs doing.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Brad and friends,
If SG is blocked by your employer or local library, hit it through a proxy browser. These are websites that "pass you through", but without showing the true address, which most filtering software will block.

Here's one to try:
http://anonymouse.org/anonwww.html

Free Speech. 1st Amendment Rules. Love it or suck it!

--Tim

Mysterion said...

dana - page 99-100 area of "Sit Down and Shut Up."

Dana is 'the giving of assistance.'
Physical labor (e.g. sweeping or trimming the trees), mental labor (the giving of advice or teaching) or verbal labor (whether offering kind words during time of sorrow or strict instruction following errant behavior). Dana is also a gift, offering (e.g. rice for an empty rice bowl) or a donation of money or books.

By the way, my wife REALLY enjoys "Sit Down and Shut Up." HERE is her picture, in front of Isetan.

Trivia: 1930's Zazen

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

Meat Puppets are amazing. As was that whole performance. And as was Sit Down and Shut Up.

Jinzang said...

Tim wants me to write him an article about the creeping threat of standardization in American Buddhism. Gotta get to work on that. On the one hand, I understand the desire for standards to keep it from being a case where just anybody can say, "Yup, I'm a Zen Master" and get away with it.

I don't see this happening. What unity there is in Tibetan Buddhism comes from loyalty to a single teacher: the Dalai Lama, Sakya Trindzin, etc. Think people are going are going to be loyal to some committee in Japan? Not gonna happen.

I just don’t give a shit anymore. I’m gonna pretty much say and do whatever the fuck I want from now on.

Someone once asked Chogyam Trungpa how Manjushri (Gentle Voice) could wield a sword. He said that because the sword was so sharp you could cut gently. When a sword is dull, you have to hack.

There's a difference between being obnoxious and incisive.

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

Jinzang said...
"Tim wants me to write him an article about the creeping threat of standardization in American Buddhism."

Yep. Solve a problem that is more than 1,000 years running...

Sometimes standards are necessary. Like when you want to watch television. And even though you and I, and most of the people we know, do NOT watch TV, the standards are still necessary for TVs to work correctly.

Buddhist standards? There are two:
1) "Therefore, Ananda, take the self as a lamp; take the self as a refuge. My friends, commit yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to your self as a refuge to the truth. Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves. Work out your own salvation with diligence."
2) aneka-jaati-saMsaaraM sandhaavissaM anibbisaM
gaha-kaaraM gavesanto dukkhaa jaati puna-ppunaM. 153
gaha-kaaraka diTTho'si puna gehaM na kaahasi
sabbaa te phaasukaa bhaggaa gaha-kuuTaM visankhataM
visankhaara-gataM chittaM taNhaanaM khayam ajjhagaa. 154
I have passed in ignorance through a cycle of many rebirths, seeking the builder of the house. Continuous rebirth is a painful thing. But now, housebuilder [Mara], I have found you out. You will not build me a house again. All your rafters are broken, your ridge-pole shattered. My mind is free from active thought, and has made an end of craving. 153, 154

Shinran Shonin - to chant or not to chant: Japanese Buddhism had been declining into formalism...
"...one should strive to say the nembutsu as often as possible, others insisted that true entrusting was manifested in saying the nembutsu only once... Since genuine nembutsu arises from entrusting Amida's working [the Budh nature] in [every] person, the number of times it is said is irrelevant."

I suggest that in Occidental Buddhism, integrity matters but standards are irrelevant.

Dr. Jim said...

Brad - I am a professional dream interpreter and the meaning of your dream is obvious. You are gay.

sadams said...

"...you won't accidentally see any naked boobies unless you pay to see them."

Unless you take the free tour of the site, in which you can see a few hundred very nice naked boobies. But I wouldn't believe anyone who said they clicked on that link "accidentally".

Thanks so much for your music clips! They remind me of what I both loved and hated about hardcore punk. The fact that you needed to use lyric subtitles on the Zero Defex footage says a lot.

How many times did we hear some band say, "OK, this one's about U.S.-sponsored terrorism in Central America...ONETWOTHREEFOURARRRGHH!!GRRRWOOFWOOFBAAHHSCREEGRRRARGGGHAHH! THANK YOU!" The crappy sound systems at most underground shows didn't help. Sometimes the lyrics were good, often not, but unless you saw a lyric sheet, you'd never know.

James Ball said...

Simple solution for those who have SG blocked at work: set up http://suicidegirls.com/rss/news/ as a feed in a blog feed reader like Google Reader or the one built in to Firefox.

Only downside is that you'll get all the other stories posted on SG, but that's not so bad, is it?

Anonymous said...

Your harping on about Big Mind is getting kind of dull now. We all know you don't approve. Fine.

Give it a hundred years. If it isn't authentic, if its roots are shallow, it will disappear. The same is true of your own lineage, and of all the various schools and sects of Buddhism that have transmitted to the West.

karmatah said...

Wow Zenmaster Rama! I read about him in a Wired article back in the nineties. He apparently drew lots of geeks and IT-guys from Cali. He told them to invest massively in all kinds of hightech-companies and he even told a few of them to work @ the stockexchange in NY to "overcome there attachment to money"!
When the bubble burst and he got into financial troubles, he commited suicide by drowning himself in the ocean. His "disciples" said by doing so "he left his last koan for us to solve. He was enlightened but killed himself to show us the way."

I couldn't believe even back then, how anybody could fall for such an obvious hoax. And his predecessors are now financing BigMind®? Go figure!

Cheers

Anonymous said...

In your SG article, you write: "A bit of zazen in the morning and a bit in the evening radiates throughout the rest of the day and makes everything better. That’s all there is to it." But Dennis Merzel, the "Zen Master" behind the Big Mind process has sat more zazen then most of us will be able to in a long life. He came out of a more or less traditional world (Zen Center of Los Angelos), had legit dharma transmission and now is an enlightenment huckster. So, what happened? If zazen alone doesn't get you there, what is zen?

Blake said...

It's like receiving a black belt in karate. All it shows is that you passed the tests. It doesn't show how much ass you can kick on the street. So what if someone has received transmission or sat more than everyone else? The question is, "can you kick ass?"

Mysterion said...

Blake said...
"It's like receiving a black belt in karate. All it shows is that you passed the tests. It doesn't show how much ass you can kick on the street."

PERFECT!

ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

I'm all for your choice of Canada... how about Fredericton, New Brunswick? Lots of good jobs in IT as well as in the two universities (University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University)... Bilingual community on the beautiful St. John River and a history of punk rock that extends back to the early 1980s!

And a thriving Zen community of, well, 15 or so... But one of them is this Dharma Punk!

Matt said...

There is far more ass KISSING going on as far as I can tell.....

Mysterion said...
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vinegar said...

I wish my dreams were that profound. Mine are always routine like making a PB&J sandwich or something.

Mysterion said...

Dr. Jim said...
"Brad - I am a professional dream interpreter and the meaning of your dream is obvious. You are gay."

I previously thought that only I was from the 'Ministry of Silly Ideas!'

Anonymous said...

Anyone read or know anything about this book "Zen Training" by Katsuki Sekida or the author?
Sincerely,
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know any good books that would help and deals strickly with physical pain of sitting. My back, hamstrings and neck hurt so bad last night sitting at my Zendo I thought I was going to pass out. I stayed with it though and at one point I had no idea where I was. I wiggled my to toes, moved my thumbs, blinked my eyes. I kept asking where am I? I got very scared and then things seem to shift and sitting time was over and the bell rang. Phew.
JBR

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"Anyone know any good books that would help and deals strickly with physical pain of sitting."

Read Brad's previous posts about Hatha Yoga. Flex and stretch those muscles. I am taking 'Yoga for Old Farts' at the local Adult School - $35 for 11 one hour lessons. It really helps.

That's NOT half 'a Yogi.

ScottB said...

Regarding standardization, and the sanctity of transmission, it was common practice in both China and Japan to give transmission from father to son to keep the family temple business going, and also for political favor. So...what "standards" would one use to demonstrate authenticity? Authentically what?

daiji said...
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Jinzang said...

common practice in both China and Japan to give transmission from father to son to keep the family temple business going

In Japan, yes. In China monks were celibate.

Yudo said...

Anonymous a dit...

"Anyone know any good books that would help and deals strickly with physical pain of sitting. My back, hamstrings and neck hurt so bad last night sitting at my Zendo I thought I was going to pass out. I stayed with it though and at one point I had no idea where I was. I wiggled my to toes, moved my thumbs, blinked my eyes. I kept asking where am I? I got very scared and then things seem to shift and sitting time was over and the bell rang. Phew.
JBR"

My take is that I know the problem, and at the beginnings of my practice, asked a teacher exactly what you ask. Upon being answered : "Your knees are your ego", I started looking for someone else.

You shall find on my site some info about the problem and its eventual solutions.
http://zenmontpellier.site.voila.fr/eng/lotus/lotus_intro.html

tienda-erotica.jimdo.com said...

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