Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I put a shitload of stuff on eBay today. Have a gander.

It's impossible to communicate with absolute clarity. But it is sometimes possible to get facts straight. 2 or 3 bravely anonymous posters have implied that "Brad is unable to hold down a job" or words to that effect. Since I am currently looking for a new job, and since it's possible a prospective employer might look at this blog (God forbid!), I thought it would be useful to clarify.

I have worked for Tsuburaya Productions from July 1994 to the present. My current contract ends on Dec. 31, 2007 and won't be renewed. With more than 12 years at the company, I am one of its longest serving employees. In October 2007, Tsuburaya Productions was bought by TYO. The current president of Tsuburaya, Tsuneyuki Morishima, has told me that he campaigned hard for the new board of directors to keep me on, but he was unable to convince them due to their view that there isn't much business opportunity for them in the US right now (they're wrong about that). About half the full-time employees and nearly all of the contracted workers were let go by the new management. Mr. Morishima has also stated he wants me to continue doing work on Tsuburaya's behalf on a freelance basis.

I've only been fired once from any place I worked, and that was a part-time position I had as a teenager. Nearly every other time I've left a workplace, the management has asked me to reconsider and stay on longer. So, in fact, I am very much able to hold down a job, thank you. At least I haven't resorted to using my position as a lineage holder in Zen to sell people phony enlightenment experiences. Yet.

Those of you in Los Angeles who've been begging me to stay may be happy to know that I've decided to hang in here at least another few months hoping I won't go broke doing so. But I may ask you to be a bit more generous with the donations seeing as how about half the money necessary for my use of the Hill Street Center for the past 3 years has come out of my own pocket. And that pocket will become much shallower come January. Those meals Yuka cooks for you on the one-day retreats ain't free.

I view my work as a writer as a job that I should get paid for and I have absolutely no qualms about that. But I do not believe one should operate as a Zen teacher for financial gain. If you're lucky enough to get donations to help pay for that work to the point where you can forgo the day-job, that's fine. I don't see that happening anytime soon in my case. I'm hoping, starting this year to earn most of my money through writing. But writing pays way less than working for Tsuburaya did, at least so far. So there ya go. If you got a job to offer me in the Los Angeles area, let me know.

Feel free to by-pass this posting and continue commenting on the previous thing if you so desire. I just thought I ought to clarify this matter.


Anonymous said...

feeling a bit defensive there, Brad?
If I hire you or recommend you, can I trust that you'll take only one 15 minute break during your workday to hide in a closet and yell at Genpo?

gunderloy said...

Did anyone really believe you couldn't hold a job. Or was it just some dork trying to get under your skin a little bit? I think the latter. I'm always amazed when someone like you takes the bait..

Skid said...

I understand how difficult (impossible) it is to live in L.A. on little or nothing. For those of us who appreciate what you are doing but can't get to the Hill St. Center, please consider setting up a Paypal link.
Your work is appreciated.

Mark said...

"Feeling a bit defensive Brad?"

Why say something so silly? Can a man no longer hold any dialogue without it been turned into a Whitch Hunt? My friend you have a long way to go in your journey perhaps this is the wrong place for you, eh?

I heard Genpo's got a blog, don't kid yourself I you want to speak your mind there! HaHa good luck pal you need it!

The Blubbering Idiot said...

This is just cause and effect working again with the "defensive" post...the anger will wind down if it's not continually provoked. Thank you for being honest, Brad. It's very cool to hear this side of you. I just got done sitting, and was laughing for the last 10 minutes of the period at the prospect of suggesting that you consider residential training with Genpo if you don't find a job...I'm sure he would offer a small stipend, and, while you most certainly wouldn't be able to RIDE the Harley, perhaps a scoot around the block once/week wouldn't be out of the question. Funny shit. :)

Anonymous said...

"My friend you have a long way to go in your journey perhaps this is the wrong place for you, eh?"

nah, I think this place is perfect. Genpo doesn't rant relentlessly at other teachers, calling them names and doing all the other cool stuff. Way to boring, blissed out and sweet.

this here is much better

Blake said...

Can't hold down a job? WTF? I know nobody who is in the same job they got when they turned 16. That's something that's just not done anymore. I honestly can't tell you how many jobs I've had.

Jinzang said...

I think this place is perfect. Genpo doesn't rant relentlessly at other teachers, calling them names and doing all the other cool stuff.

I guess he farms that out to you.

vinegar said...

I'll say it again, I think anonymous posting should be banned. If you have any balls post under a name otherwise go hid in the bushes coward and play with yourself.

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest...

Those posting accusations about Brad's job performance, his relationships and marriage, his mental state and perhaps his personal hygiene ought to get a grip.

Do you really think you know enough about Brad's life to fling the kind of monkey poop you're flinging. Few people know me well enough to draw decisive, definitive conclusions about my life and motivations certainly not someone on the internet.

So, I'll say it again, if the only thing that gives you the courage to post denegrating comments about another persons personal life is the anonymity you have on the internet, go hide somewhere else and grow some balls.

vinegar said...

"feeling a bit defensive there, Brad?
If I hire you or recommend you, can I trust that you'll take only one 15 minute break during your workday to hide in a closet and yell at Genpo?"

That's ironic from someone who hides behind the anonymous posting to stake pot shots at someone who at least has the guts to be out there himself.

jorge. said...

I think we all know "anonymous" is simply...Genpo in disguise.

Anonymous said...

There are two opinions:

a) Yours, that no teacher should take money because he would be telling people stories to come back so they can make a living of it. I totally see the point and agree there is scam, abuse and more bad stuff.

b) The opinion of some other modern teachers: Don't trust a teacher who don't take money.

Argumentation is simple: If people are dedicated it needs a lot of time. Almost all of their time for many. If they don't charge you for a seminar/retreat, how will they make their living in a capitalist worls? By "donations" they make you by "convinving" you? THAT would be a problem for me.

One of my teachers is full-time Zen monk for far too long to return to any jobs. He charges people. You can check how much he gets for a seminar and decide if it's too much. He takes a good share, but he doesn't even suggest people to come back. They still do. Some often, some very seldom. He would make more if he chooses the Genpo track. But even that is within my rang of acceptable commercialism.

So your hate against people making a living of spirituality is pretty biased, unneccsarily shallow and not very helpful in your situation. Many people help people (physicians, counselors...) and I see spiritual teachers in the same area, while totally different, too. Those people charge money and most doctors I met really cared about my health and didn't want to see me again soon.

Whilst some might abuse this, there is NO point in generalizing. Go beyond your pretty slim idea of how "Zen teaching" has to be performed: Like your honorable teacher, and NOTHING else one earth.

There are many different ways for many different people. Any other view is not Buddhism.

The Blubbering Idiot said...

Hi Vinegar, I think that many people feel that Brad doesn't know enough about Genpo's teaching to reach the conclusions he's making. I'm not sure they've even met, much less engaged in any sort of sustained dialogue. It's difficult to do that when there is name calling and such vitriol.
Also, I am surprised by another thing: In a tradition that prides--actually, stakes everything it is--on individual investigation, on knowing for yourself through a firsthand, first person, rigorously complete exploration, so many people here are jumping on the Genpo-bashing bandwagon on seemingly blind faith. They've never met him, never studied with him, much less become a legitimate student of comparative religion, and they somehow feel like they can make judgments on what they have no idea about. Whatever else this phenomenon is, it is the opposite of the Buddhist method and universally deplored by Buddhist teachers, from the Buddha on down, Brad and Genpo included. Why are you so trusting? If I (and all these teachers) are for ANYTHING as far as method is concerned, it's complete, to-the-bone investigation and sane, rigorous, emotionally and intellectually honest dialogue. This is all included in the vows and the sutras. It's a matter of applying it to one's own life. This goes for both the intra and interpersonal realms. How about it? Thanks for reading all. :)

Al Coleman said...

"I'll say it again, I think anonymous posting should be banned. If you have any balls post under a name otherwise go hid in the bushes coward and play with yourself"

I couldn't agree more. It is pathetic that so many here feel the need to post anonymously. Grow some hair in your nether region and show your face. Brad does. What WE think of Genpo is irrelevant. Brad posts what he wants. It is his blog. You don't like it, don't read it.

Anonymous said...

Brad has set the options on this blog to allow anonymous posting, no doubt for his own set of reasons. Your beef (if you have any) is with him, there, li'l chuck-chuck. My advice is to wipe your pussy and figure out when the big, bad world will suit you.

Anonymous said...

And dude, no offense...I'm just kickin' it like Brad does, got a little emulation cookin' 'sall...It's all good haha...everybody knows you ain't got no pussy, 'n' all. :)

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

I'd be more worried about a potential employer reading your blog and thinking that you are a dick, frankly.

Anonymous said...

vinegar: BITE ME

Anonymous said...

Now , this is a great question! Real stuff.
The Lone Ranger said...
I have technical sitting question. When sitting I have a problem that happens on occasions and can become quite uncomfortable and even painful and that is I sometimes sit on my testicles. That is my testicles get squashed slightly under my buttocks. During sitting at home I have no problem adjusting, sort of speak, but at the Zendo, well, that's another thing. I'm sure others must have the same problem. If you have any suggestions please let me know.
The Lone Ranger

12:22 PM

Anonymous said...
" I sometimes sit on my testicles."

It took balls to ask that question.
I've had the same issue though. When I first sit down I'd check to see if everything was in place. If not, I simply raise slightly up and forward while using the zafu itself to reposition things. Of course I always sat in a sitting robe / kimona thing when with a group. Not sure if it works with pants.

This is a very important point, so please make every effort to get your testicles in their proper position. It is impossible to practice real zazen while sitting on your gonads. Dogen said; "He who crack nuts, never grow bodhi tree." Sorry, that's just the way it is. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Al said...


Thanks, Brad.

vinegar said...

"Brad has set the options on this blog to allow anonymous posting, no doubt for his own set of reasons. Your beef (if you have any) is with him, there, li'l chuck-chuck. My advice is to wipe your pussy and figure out when the big, bad world will suit you."

Just because anonymous posting is posible and allowed doesn't mean you have to take the cheap way out and not own up to who you or or what you think.

My beef isn't with Brad, he can allow whatever he likes. My suggestion to him is that I think anonymous posting should be banned.

My suggestion to you is that you own up to your opinions and put a name to the opinions. As I said grow some balls, you obviously already know what it is not to have any.

In the big bad world, cowards and weaklings fail to take responsibility for their actions and words and hide behind anonymity like theives wearing a mask.

At least I put a name to what I say, can't say the same for you.

Oh, sorry, yeah, you were only joking, another pathetic pitiful excuse of not taking responsibility for what you say out her on the internet where you can take a stab and run.

Have fun!

vinegar said...

babbering idiot, thanks for your comments.

vinegar said...

Looks like anonymous can dish it but not take it.

Intelligent arguments those!

vinegar said...

It's also fun to bait the trolls.

Matt said...

i love the comment section on this blog... it makes me feel like a kid again!

Al said...


You realize that anonymous speech is traditional in America (and actually protected), right? The Founding Fathers engaged in it and many have since that time. You can call it cowardly all you want but that doesn't change the fact that it is as American as apple pie (just like being an asshat like Brad is...).

Nello said...

Have you considered getting together with some of the (former) full time staff and marketing Tsurubaya's product in the US?

Just msomething that came to mind reading your post. Hang in there, man.

Jinzang said...

You can post under an alias and be every bit as anonymous as posting as "anonymous." The problem with posting as anonymous is that no one knows which posts come from which posters.

I don't mind people disagreeing with Brad or other people in the comments section, but insults and name calling aren't very enlightening. And taunting Brad because of his problems is just plain mean.

Anonymous said...

what's the problem with anonymous posting? does everyone have a blogger account? if i wrote a silly nickname, would you be able to then hold me any more accountable for the thing i'm writing? why are you so bothered about anonymity?

Al said...


Are you f'ing serious? Brad spouts off and calls people all kinds of foul names on occasion and you complain that the comments section is mean.

Brad created the toxic environment here with his "Brad Knows Best" Zen (tm) and the way that he talks shit. You reap what you sow. It's called Karma, motherfucker.

Anonymous said...

oh yeh, and great post as always, brad. may not have been as zen-centric, but maybe that's why you've got so many visitors. it's great the duality you've got on this site. your words are like the yang to the commentor's yins.
peace homes

Anonymous said...

Hmm, if Buddhism is indeed correct in
saying that self is an illusion, then
aren't the anonymous posters in a way
being more authentic than those who
invest so much energy promoting their
online personas?

Just a thought,

Jinzang said...

what's the problem with anonymous posting?

If you're going to post more than once or twice, having an alias lets us know which posts are yours ans lets us get a sense of who you are.

Jinzang said...

It's called Karma, motherfucker.

Angry much?

Anonymous said...

"what's the problem with anonymous posting? does everyone have a blogger account?"

I think someone else mentioned this problem a few days ago, so apparently it isn't just me:::

I have tried at least a dozen different times to post under my blogger account but it will not accept any post except as anonymous.

I agree it does get confusing. For example, I've criticized Brad's ideas but have never called him names or said anything I thought was mean or hurtful. Certainly nothing approaching the hateful things Brad often writes. I'll be glad to identify myself in future posts. (I'm the anon who gave the testicle reply)

Al said...

Angry much?

Not in the slightest. Tired of Brad's reek of hypocrisy though.

Chris said...

I think anonymous posting can be quite liberating for many...like carnival, you can just be a different person. I remember my first Zen retreat. It was in the mountains, and there was this one fellow who was just so stuck on his psychological stuff. He would use daisan to hash over his things, and was really on a trip. The retreat leader--Sensei--finally said to him on, maybe the fourth night, "Man, why don't you just be somebody else for awhile? Be..be...be Chris," he said, pointing to me, "all he does is sit here with this huge smile on his face [I was new, and smiling all the time then]. Yeah, be Chris for awhile man."

There are whole literatures on the psychology of carnival and anonymity, but it is very cool Zen if you can just "be somebody else for awhile," at least for me.

Also, I think many people are just sick of having their pasts used against them. That was a prime liberating factor of post WWII Existentialism in France; the French were just sopping with the dual humiliation of defeat and collaboration, and, with Existentialism--very much like Zen--Sartre said that actions define your essence in any moment (sound familiar?). That's awesome. It's not exactly Buddhism (see dependent co-arising...not to be confused with co-dependent arising...), but it's awesome.

I can't help but recall Whitman, who asserted some years before that that he could give a whit (no pun...) if he contradicted himself, because he contained multitudes.

Anybody who has had a significant other (or a creditor...?) use the past against them realizes how disempowering and cumbersome it can be...The gig seems to be to start packing in the good stuff in the present...through right action, right speech, etc., etc., while seeing the emptiness of the effects of past causes with our citta, or seeing it as breath and pulling the stories, the engines, out from under them...The Serenity Prayer comes to mind...we do what we can...no? Thanks for the post Brad; thanks for the honesty. Best--


Jinzang said...

Last Sunday I volunteered for the pledge drive at the local public television station. The station replaced the Barry Manilow with Celtic Women at the last minute because they had more tickets to give away. Didn't bother me because I thought the Celtic Women were better looking. But we took all kinds of shit from Barry Manilow's fans. I took more abuse in one night than I've taken all year. So pour it on, because after facing Barry's fans I can take anything.

Mark said...

Al said, I'd be more worried about a potential employer reading your blog and thinking that you are a dick, frankly.

A guesss a difference of opinion is in order but for me I hire people that actaully have balls(metaphorically speaking). I don't need someone else wiping my ass I can do that already! I need people who are real, I need dickheads(metaphor...ya ya!) Dickheads can deal with confrontation, can become great workers and can take an asskicking! Cowards, will probably knife you! My back is aching!

Anonymous postings are fine because it protects the weak and that is fine since you get to fight another day. While we on the front lines with our heads above the trenches get shot at.
Both have there place.
Peace out. Mark

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever asked Gudo NISHIJIMA what he thought of Brad telling people that they should rot in hell or are pieces of shit.

Anonymous said...

is there a way to track anonymous posters on your Blog?

Anonymous said...

Then they wouldn't be anonymous. I'm sure Google can track them. Brad? No. I doubt Brad can fix his own computer, let alone stalk people on the net.

Jinzang said...

Tired of Brad's reek of hypocrisy though.

Maybe if you show a little patience and restraint in the face of Brad's provocations, you can be Brad's teacher.

Al said...

Why would I want the thankless job of being Brad's teacher? Given his natural tendencies, I doubt I would want to hear "Fuck you!!! You can't tell me what to do!!!" quite that often.

Mark said...

Al said...

Are you f'ing serious? Brad spouts off and calls people all kinds of foul names on occasion and you complain that the comments section is mean. Brad created the toxic environment here with his "Brad Knows Best" Zen (tm) and the way that he talks shit. You reap what you sow. It's called Karma, motherfucker.

I don't agree with you Al, but I like your style and that's cool because I can respond to directly to you! Brad created this Toxic enivornment, I couldn't stop laughing at this!! Thats a good line. But what did brad actually create? We are the ones that created this so called "toxic environment" he might of filled up the can, but we tipped if over! We are the ones that react to what he says,no? We could stop coming here, but would good would that do?

Jinzang said...

is there a way to track anonymous posters on your Blog?

Google knows the IP address each comment comes from. Your ISP can match the address with your account. If someone were sufficiently motivated, say by a court order, you would no longer be anonymous. Short of a a death threat I can't see that happening.There are ways to be truly anonymous, but I don't feel like explaining them now.

Jinzang said...

I doubt I would want to hear "Fuck you!!!"

You were thinking too much about getting off your quip and not about what I said. If you showed patience, kindness, and restraint, why would Brad drop the F bomb?

Al said...

Because Brad is an asshole. Why does he pepper his posts with swearing directed at various parties already? Because he feels like it. That's what a Zen priest does in Brad's world. He swears like a sailor and revels in it. Why would he stop?

This is a pointless exchange. Find another angle.

Mark said...

Perhaps brad is trying to make you look at yourself!

vinegar said...

Yeah, blogger accounts are hard to get since they're free and even without a blogger account you can use a consistent nickname. There are so many anonymous' here it's hard to keep up with which anonymous is anonymous and which anonymous isn't anonymous..., uh, wait, uh, hmmm.

Anyway, I guess if the founding fathers were anonymous posters than by jingles it must be in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or somewhere, right.

Then again they all had the gonades to sign their names to the bottom of the Declaration of Independence.

The internet gives people the option of being anonymous, creating their persona and mouthing off at anyone they like. They can say things they would never say in public to to someones face. They can sit there at their keyboards spouting a lot of tripe and telling everyone off in the secrecy and protection of their room.

At least you could give yourself a nome de plume, I mean, at least. And with a blogger account there is an email at least, even if it's a free one.

Al said...

Well, I see someone skipped Civics and American History in school.

Before the revolution started, there was a tradition of anonymous pamphleting in the United States. Many of the fundamental ideas that the U.S. was founded on were discussed by the anonymous authors of these pamphlets. Later, it was found that a number of them were Founding Fathers.

See http://www.bricklin.com/pamphleteers.htm for a discussion of this in relation to the web.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of a Documentary called " Zen Center: "A Portrait of an American Zen Community"

To all you cry babies out there. ONE HUGE SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!

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

I imagine it would probably be best to just ignore those that post as anonymous, with the exception of those rare few who have issues logging in but otherwise sign their posts - hence I suppose they are not totally anonymous.

The way I see it, and take it for what you will, those that post as anonymous want to make noises but do not want to be taken seriously. Which, seems pretty pointless to take the time to post on an internet blog yet have no desire to be taken seriously. It takes at least two people to communicate and if one of those people will not identify themselves in any reasonable way, then communication can not take place. If somebody wants to rant and bitch about things, then more power to them, but they can not be taken in seriousness.

It's just immature and dumb; that's it. There is no need for Mr. Warner to make it required to be registered or not. I don't think there is any 'deeper' meaning when people want to talk shit but do so anonymously. Again, it's just immature and dumb.

Maybe not the most technical or savvy way of describing it, but it does seem apt.

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

"I imagine it would probably be best to just ignore those that post as anonymous, with the exception of those rare few who have issues logging in but otherwise sign their posts - hence I suppose they are not totally anonymous."

Identity on the internet is just another illusion. It is easy to fake the ID of a blogger, so are you saying that you would pay attention to me if I pretended to be you?

The Mighty Boosh said...

"Perhaps brad is trying to make you look at yourself!"


Western Zen is full of these kinds of teachers. Dude, i'm fucking your wife to teach you about non-attachment :) Dude, i'm taking your money to buy myself a fleet of BMW's to teach you the importance of letting go of material wealth :)

Hypocritical bullshit is just hypocritical bullshit. It seems that Brad has a LOT of issues he needs to work through. Or maybe he has some kind of Bipolar condition. It is great that he can work this through in front of an audience of adoring sycophants, but please don't try and convince the rest of us that 'the master' is trying to teach us some deep lesson every time he breaks a precept.

Anonymous said...

Many a guru wants your wallet, your girlfriend, and your asshole (you pick the order). Which of these (or is it all) does Brad want?

LaserJack said...

"WOW is THAT wrong!!! Wipe off your feet, the bullshit is up to your knees."

Oh right, I forgot the 5 commandments of the Church of Brad (oh, it's irony ahead, before you smarties get lost in your personal hell):

1) Enlightment-denial is required. Well, not really, but you have to be soo humble that we just deny and use differerent words for it.

2) The is no spiritual work possible ever without 100% formal Dogen-lineage Soto Zazen all day, every day. Nothing else works, has ever worked, will ever work. Different opinion = you don't have a clue, moron!

3) Anyone who gains money from a spiritual context is a cult creator next only to Osho. Oh, wait, books are okay though.

4) Eating meat and drinking alcohol is extremely bad. Buddha said that and meant that! But checking the net for tits and ass is not soo bad. The Buddhas didn't say that, but it happens to be sooo difficult, we just assume he didn't mean it as strict.

5) Any teacher who don't say he/she is the best is not a real teacher. Yes, read that again.

Do what ever you like, but what kind of impression should one get coming to this place. Yes, I did read Brad's books. No, I don't meant that serious. I am just summing up criticism.

There are many different ways for many different people. Any other view is not Buddhism.

Don't like that statement? While provocative I just used it to recreate the "This is Buddhism, that is Buddhism" style of these postings/blogs. Oh well, yes, someone got transmission and therefore got the exclusive right to define the real Buddhism.

Don't get me wrong:
I do like what Brad does. I feel worried about his current condition. I severely hope he will recover soon.

LJ (Jack Frazier, in case someone dislikes anonymous postings)

Anonymous said...

Anonymity does funny things to people, but so does egocentricity. I appreciate not having to acquire a google or blogger account to post my thoughts here.

I don't need any credit either or people trafficking my blog(don't have one) or e-mailing me(instead question or rage(if you wish) at the reflection on the screen in front of you).

Lastly, the idea that somebody shouldn't be taken seriously because they're anonymous or have no hair on their balls is an ad hominem attack and anybody who makes such an argument shouldn't be taken seriously themselves.

Thanks and keep the blog free!

vinegar said...

Whine, whine, whine!

I want to be free, I want to post without an identity, keep the internet pure!

Give me a break!

Go find Che why don't you!

vinegar said...

To all you cry babies out there. ONE HUGE SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!

6:46 PM

Oh, nevermind, I have been severely chastened and put in my place! Forget everything I've said, you are definitely the superior mind!

Anonymous said...

Actually vinegar I think that 'huge sit down and shut the fuck up' (which is good advice) was aimed at the anonymous people you were arguing against.

Internet hate is so funny. If all you haters haven't seen it yet check this out. this is you


(I too have the problem that on most computers it won't let me sign in as Dan.)

vinegar said...

"Actually vinegar I think that 'huge sit down and shut the fuck up' (which is good advice) was aimed at the anonymous people you were arguing against."

Ah, that's the problem with anonymous. I never know which anonymous is talking. The poster didn't sign his post like you did so it's hard to know the players.

Thanks for the clarification.

vinegar said...

"ad hominem attack"


So, what would you call the attacks on Brad in this stream of diarrhea?

If that's not ad hominem, I'll have to go back to the dictionary.

Irony and hypocricy seem to be running amock with those that make accusations engaging in the very behavior for which they are castigating Brad.

With all the anonymous' running around and generally failing to sign their posts even it's hard to know who is saying what.

But then that's the point isn't it.

vinegar said...

"Internet hate is so funny. If all you haters haven't seen it yet check this out. this is you


So, Dan are you talking about the Internet Haters who hate Brad or the Internet Hater that Hate the Haters of Brad?


Jeez, this gets complicated!!

Jinzang said...

Where did all the trolls come from?

Jinzang said...

Because Brad is an asshole. Why does he pepper his posts with swearing directed at various parties already?

Dude, have you read your own posts?

gniz said...

Jinzang asked:
"Where did all the trolls come from?"

I've been ruminating on this subject a bit based on my personal history as a troll.

I think its pretty simple, almost like physics. The more negative or vitriolic your speech is, the more attacked you become, by others, in turn.

There are so many examples of this, which basically comes back to the old line: "You get out of it what you put into it."

I've noted many times on my own blog that I get much more traffic and comments when i write an angry, attacking post about someone or something. And most of the times the responses will be in kind.

Whereas when i write more positive and hopeful sorts of things, i get similar responses.


Anonymous said...

"With all the anonymous' "

anonymi surely?


Jinzang said...

You're probably right, but there wasn't anything nasty in this post, just Brad defending his job history. It was the first comment that set the tone, not Brad's post.

gunderloy said...

jinzang - there wasn't anything nasty in Brad's post, but there was a bit of fear. the trolls can smell it too. fear and hate being so similar.

gniz said...

I believe if you read through the post, there is a general tone of defensiveness, and a couple of choice lines which could feed the trolls instinct for blood.

And as i've come to see it, ANY commenting that goes on in the midst of a troll-fest will simply add to the noise and so becomes ineffective.

Basically, everything is fuel for the fire.

Once upon a time, my fiance had taught a class and a couple of unhappy students got on an internet message board and began slamming her. She was considering writing a reply and i advised against it.

No matter how good her reply was, it would merely feed the beast. Ingnoring works best in those cases, since there's nothing to fuel the fire.

I am admittedly going against my own advice in this thread by continuing to post...but oh well...i am a hypocrite i guess

Dan said...

Another tactic is to continue to comment but simply ignore the e-thugs. although as everyone knows it's incredibly hard to resist rising to their flames.

It's a bit like that thing the Saxon soldiers did in the battle of hastings. When faced with cavalry charges their tactic was to hold their big fuck off axes in front of them and stand very still in a line. If everyone stood still then the horses would freak out when they got close enough and throw their riders. But if any of the axemen buckled then the whole thing was ruined. So if we all stand very still then the trolls will go away but if any of us buckle and respond to them then they will continue to hate while sipping home made cappucinos and wearing bandannas.

But of course I break rank all the time because it's just too hard not to respond. So does everyone. Even the mighty jinzang.

Actually Aumeye seems to be pretty good at ignoring them. We all need to be more like aumeye.

dan said...

dam gniz beat me to it.

Mark said...

Im sure for most of the posters on here, like me have there own Sangha they belong to. So worshipping Brad is out of the question, I do that to someone else!!!! But it is nice getting a different point of view and Brad brings that to the table. Peace
Out. Mark

Marty_O said...

Brad, if you happen to read this, then trust your gut and don't sweat (*rim shot*) the trolls. Don't you go changing because somebody doesn't like your style.

It's like when King Ghidorah went all "let's kick ass for the good of humanity, yay for me" in "Destroy All Monsters" (1968). That was his chance to go totally ass-whupping crazy and take over the world. But instead he gives in to the UN trolls on the moon. An understanding of Dogen is just as powerful as a life-absorbing toxic gas cloud. So Brad, do whatever the fuck you need to do to teach.

And anyway, we all know that the trolls are friends of Genpo, guys whose books on Zen didn't sell, people with blogs nobody reads, etc.

Someday a friend of Genpo will tell us what's up and explain what we're missing instead of insulting us. Then they'll get all pissed when they find out that there's cheaper ways to learn about Gestalt psychology than by paying a big corporate machine, or that the basis for Genpo's revolutionary new ideas were published fifty years ago by Hal and Sidra Stone. Because everybody knows the Stones stole from Muddy Waters anyway. (*Rim shot.*)

Or if you're a troll and you hate Brad and everything he stands for, then just leave it be. You aren't obligated to get yelled at by him, or to buy his books, or to listen to a word he says. Mr. Troll, step back and yourself, "dude, is spending all this time & energy hating on some guy actually helping anything?"

Ryan said...

Jinzang said...

"Maybe if you show a little patience and restraint in the face of Brad's provocations, you can be Brad's teacher."

Oh snap!!!!!

ScooterLibby said...

Is Gimpo Rashie part of a CIA Mass mind-control experiment?

Just wondering.

Mark said...

Brad, your stuff on ebay, is this a buddhist book burning of sorts?
I do that ever year and im amazed at how much I can accumulate! But I never regret it, hopefully you wont!

I don't think you have to worry about charging people Brad, my Sangha charges a very reasonable price and the food is fantastic, very good beef ribs and other veggie stuff. Money is a way of life, we all need it no matter how much we hate it. Once you pass this point, your worries will dissapear, though im sure people will call you a hypocrite for charging $ and we'll all fight about it on here but it's important man so just do it! As long a you don't take advantage and help those who can't really afford your services who cares?

Every body has to make a living, you books opened the path so follow the rabbit and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. I just wathced the matrix so I had to say that!

Dan said...

"Is Gimpo Rashie part of a CIA Mass mind-control experiment?

Just wondering."

Jesus I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

Kind of blows the whole don't knock it til you've tried 'paying $300 for a weekend with the gimp' argument out the water.

I've never understood that argument. It applies to things like music (how can you say you hate jazz til you've heard it) but I don't need to know too much about something which is such an obvious fraud like Genpo.

Mark said...

Thanks Dan,
I just throw up on my shirt after clicking on your link, fuck what are you trying to do to me man!!

Mark said...

Sorry not Dan but ScooterLibby

Colinski said...

I think it's positively hilarious that someone equated political pamphlets from the 1700s with anonymous troll-posting in a blog about Zen. Fight the power! Down with the Man! Wait, what?

I agree that the Internet can be a powerful medium for societal change, but again, we're talking about ANONYMOUS TROLLING ON A ZEN BLOG! I just don't get the obsession with anonymously posting nasty comments, let alone following the comments so you can post nasty comments in reply to nasty comments you get in reply.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a Zen blog. That's just a pretense.

This is a "Make Brad feel special and convince people to buy his books" blog.

Dan said...

stand firm...

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Why is it OK to call Genpo roshi various names and criticize him, but when anyone here does likewise to Brad they are considered thugs, evil trolls and haters? Double standard.

I'm very skeptical about Genpo's Big Mind claims too and criticizing the content of those claims is entirely valid, imo. But the name-calling and general nastiness is not, whether directed at Brad or Genpo or xyz. I don't care if Dogen did it either. Since I'm not a member of Dogen Sangha or the Soto organization, the special appeal to his authority or quotes has no more meaning to me than if someone were to quote the book of Mormon to justify their position or behaviour.

My skepticism of Genpo roshi's claims about Big Mind also extend to Brad's (or Nishijima's or Dogen's) claims about Big Posture. Nor, as some of you have suggested, is this skepticism due to being too lazy to sit 'properly'. I have been sitting full lotus for years. No more than we should assume Brad's skepticism about Big Mind is due to his unwillingness to spend the money to find out if it works or not.

I agree with most of what Brad writes and appreciate his allowing dissenting and even hostile opinion on his blog comments. It's more than what ESangha allows now.

"Stand firm against the onslaught!"
That's actually hilarious. And not a little cultic sounding. Us vs Them.


Mark said...

That's easy, this is a Brad zen blog not a Genpo Roshi blog. Damm that what easy!

Anonymous said...

"That's easy, this is a Brad zen blog not a Genpo Roshi blog. Damm that what easy."

So, because it's Brad's blog any dissenting opinion is not welcome? If Brad wants this, I assume he could censor it that way. This is the same reasoning that the owners of E Sangha use too, btw. Since they believe in literal rebirh, any assertion that it might be metaphorical is not welcome there. Brad himself is often villified there on that very point.


Odette said...

I like reading what Brad has to say. I think he is one of the more talented buddhist teachers around. But I also think he brings a lot the craziness here at HZ on himself. For a smart guy, he is kind of dumb that way.

Rich said...

When I can take a break from my responsibilties, I have been reading this blog for entertainment and sometimes good information. I am consistently reminded that my opinions and ideas are a big joke. Keep up the good work. In order to discriminate between the anonymous bloggers please use a fake name at the top or bottom.

Dan said...

"Stand firm against the onslaught!"
That's actually hilarious. And not a little cultic sounding. Us vs Them. "

I was referring to my battle of hastings analogy (see earlier post). What i mean is that when people flame, if no one responds to the flame then it will sputter out and die which is good for everyone since arguing about stupid shit is not healthy (right?).

Stand firm just meant don't rise to it cos it will just mean more hate.

It's fine to not agree with stuff and you, ratboy, did it thoughtfully and calmly. fine.
But when people come on here hurling abuse just to try and get a rise out of someone then it's best just to ignore it. that's what i meant by stand firm.

Mark said...


No a difference of opinion is very welcome and necessary. I was just presenting the preference for most of the posters here. Nothing more.

dan said...

brad is calling genpo a dick because genpo is clearly a fraud.

What the fuck is a 'glimpse of enlightenment'? and why is it not a scam to spend $500-$1000 for a weekend to catch this glimpse? Shit, ketamine is only £15 a gram and you can have some pretty mind blowing experiences on that stuff. If someone tried to charge me £1000 so I could catch a 'glimpse' (not even the real deal just a crappy glimpse!) of something cool I'd call him a dick straight away.

The whole idea of a glimpse of enlightenment just seems to me to reinforce this idea that enlightenment is just another commodity to be chased after. a hunger to be satisfied. It's an unhealthy lie to sell to people. It preys on the fact that most people are dissatisfied with their lives and want an easy panacea. The promise that one day everything will be much better for them. That's mean because it's not like that. These people spending their money for this glimpse of a promise that if they meditate really hard and spend ages learning koans that at the end they will get a big reward for all their hard work and then their life won't suck so much. it's just cruel.

anonymi please feel free to flame me up and tell me i'm talking shit and swinging from brad's nuts or what ever. I promise I will try extra hard not to rise to it.

Anonymous said...


You've never heard of the word "Kensho" before, have you?

Try looking it up.

Anonymous said...

Boy, that Dan sure is swingin' from Brad's nuts.

Anonymous said...

Dan said, "a promise that if they meditate really hard and spend ages learning koans that at the end they will get a big reward for all their hard work and then their life won't suck so much. it's just cruel."

Isn't it Brad who's saying this? Genpo says it only takes a weekend?

(nice one anonymusses above...Dan sure does talk shit, doesn't he...talk about up in the night)

Al said...

No one here is bothering to see what Genpo Roshi says about Koan practice, are they? He has spoken about it in at least one public interview in the last year.

Hint: he doesn't call it useless.

People seem to be fundamentally misunderstanding Genpo Roshi's approach to Zen. That isn't surprising since Brad, himself, clearly doesn't follow a traditional approach to Zen and doesn't care for Genpo Roshi's own somewhat non-traditional additions. Other than his Big Mind practice, what Genpo Roshi and the teachers at Kanzeon Zen Center teach is pretty traditional Zen practice. That isn't what Brad teaches since he freely admits to not knowing much about most Zen, just about sitting.

Jinzang said...

You've never heard of the word "Kensho" before, have you?

"Kensho" -- has any other word ever been so misunderstood?

"If someone has an experience and comes and asks me is this enlightenment, I can say definitely it is not."

Al said...

"Kensho" -- has any other word ever been so misunderstood?

Yes. Try "Zen."

Clearly what Brad means by it (and many people here) is pretty different than what it means historically.

He can post about it on the porn site this week though.

Dan said...

kensho schmensho.

Just because there's a Japanese word for it doesn't mean that somehow validates it as something to chase after. From the kensho experiences I've read about (brad's included) I honestly can't see any difference between that and a Timothy Leary style 'ego loss' trip outs or a really amazing k -hole.

Kensho just seems to be something that might happen to your brain if you do certain things to it but I think it's stupid to sit zazen in the hope that you might experience it. You'll come down again anyway and what will you have to show for it? To ascribe any special significance or value to those kind of mystical experiences is silly. That's why i really liked it when Gudo Nisijima told Brad to forget about it when it happened to him and instead told him eating a tangerine was real enlightenment.

Calling that a glimpse of enlightenment... it suggests that there will be a time if you work hard enough when you're just permanently in a blissed out state of kensho (or tripping balls) where there is no time or sense of self and no up or down or any of that other crap.

vow said...

Some idea:

Englightment/Kensho/Satori/Bodhi/Realization can be used for many, many different things and that's one of the main problems...

a) Some sudden new "experience" that comes and goes
b) The fact you have the potential to get some "experience"
c) The realization that you never had an "experience"
d) The comprehension that everyone "is" this "experience" all the time
e) The point where you cannot distuinguish between having/seeing some experience or not any more

And yet more...

Point is that the words are used for so many different "stages" or relative points it actually makes little sense to use them anymore. And even this alleged stages are also interconnected in some strange way.

The whole discussion about sudden or not-so-sudden enlightment, of original or not-so-original enlightment is basically a semantic problem caused by the fact that different people used the words in a different manner for different purposes. The whole context is extremely hard to express therefore I am not really suprised about this confusion any more.

I agree though that initial "shock moment" realizations that can be forced to some people with a certain ammount of trickery is not the point of Buddhist teaching. This "Kensho experience" will never become permanent in that way that the positive, ecstatic aspects you see in it will not appear any more once you integrate it into your daily life. It's actually required to get rid of the bliss in some way.

Many problems with cults arise when people reach some transitory states (and many, many teacher agree that all stages are transitory after all) and make it a fixed target for the devotees/disciples. I was taught that real pratice indeed tries to avoid any permanent definition of achievements (see the Diamond Sutra for some discussion about this) especially in a sense of "complete" or "full enlightment".

As far as I know, Rinzai tradition used shock methods to create some "craving" and to get people on the bandwagon of pratice as soon as possible - it's actually kind of misleading with a purpose. So the monk thinks "Damn, am I enlightened!" only to get crushed in his formal Koan training.

Soto school (as I experienced it) focusses more on observation and maturing. The "experiences/instant kenshos" might or might not come, it doesn't actually matter for Buddhist practice. So you won't get confirmation for some whacked out trip. You are rather moving in the "right" direction if you don't think about it too much.

You might agree or disagree with my post, this sums up my current personal impression, I'd might be on the wrong track.

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

Kodo Sawaki: "You're looking for enlightment? Your're like somone who asks 'Who farted here?' while a piece of shit is hanging under his nose." I like that one - and it illustrates perfectly what vow said.

vinegar said...

Okay, so let's talk about Genpo and not about what Brad says about Genpo.

Does anyone here take him seriously? Or perhaps does anyone take his "Big Mind" seriously? Do you really think it's a value technique to give you enlightenment in one week? Guaranteed?

If you do, why do you think this is a valid approach to Zen. If you don't why not?

If you think it's a bunch of monkey poop why are you busting Brad's chops for calling it monkey poop and calling Genpo a charlatan?

I also don't understand why Brad is considered "defensive" and "fearful" because he chooses to "set the record straight" and show how full of excrement are the people making claims about his personal life which are not true.

If you are being criticised and false accusations and claims are being made and you choose to, one time, state the truth about those claims is that inevitably being defensive.

I think we just have a lot of trolls here who love to stir up trouble and try to get everyones panties in a wad so they can sit back and laugh and feel powerful.

Pesonally if you don't ban anonymous postings that are not signed perhaps we could just ignore them unless they are constructive and have something substantial to say rather than simply displaying the poster's sense of impotence under the guise of arrogant patonizing criticism.

Dan said...

"Do you really think it's a value technique to give you enlightenment in one week? Guaranteed?"

To be fair that's not what Genpo says. He says his big mind will give you a kind of glimpse of what it's like to be enlightened in one week. which is what i was attacking earlier.

Dan said...

sorry not one week one weekend

Dan said...

sorry not one week one weekend

Anonymous said...

"That's why i really liked it when Gudo Nisijima told Brad to forget about it when it happened to him and instead told him eating a tangerine was real enlightenment."

The experience you mention here as described in Hardcore Zen was not kensho. In rinzai zen, it would probably be called a type of makyo. In the book, what Brad calls 'solving the big philosophical questions', his insight on the bridge, that better fits what is usually recognized as kensho.

I'm pretty sure that kensho just means 'to see into'. In zen, it usually means to see into one's nature, but can be used to apply to any sudden realization. It doesn't imply anything trippy. We should also distinguish between the actual insight (solving the big philosophical questions, in Bradspeak) and the accompanying emotional upheavel that may or may not accompany such a realization. Like the high that might accompany a really poor homeless person if she suddenly discovered she had millions of dollars in a bank account, whether and how much a person reacts emotionally to such a realization depends upon the person.

Like any experience or state of mind, the emotional high eventually passes and is a kind of sickness or delusion in itself...especially if we become attached to it. Since the intial glimpse into true nature is usually pretty shallow, ego often reasserts itself and even uses the experience (as memory) to bolster it's self-importance. As in "I'm enlightened, but you're not".

But the temporary nature of the accompanying emotional upheavel should not be confused with the actual realization. Nishijima roshi is correct. If you actually understand then eating a tangerine is enlightenment. Just as sitting in the proper posture is enlightenment. Of course, whether you get it or not, things are as they are. It doesn't change your original nature, it's always right there. The homeless woman always had the money in her account (see parable of enyadatta), but it makes a great deal of difference in another sense whether she actually realizes it's there or not. She can actually spend the money and put it to good use. Similarly, seeing into our nature, kensho, solving the big puzzles, does make a difference. Though some view such an 'experience' as some sort of final goal or endpoint, in my view kensho is the beginning of zen practice, not the end.

There are definite problems associated with holding out kensho as an experience to be 'attained'. But there are also problems associated with suggesting it isn't important or ignoring the importance of realization itself.

Rinzai tends to fall into the first trap while soto falls into the second. Falling into traps has nothing to do with the differences in teachings, but with the individuals. All just my view, of course.

choose_an_identity said...

Sticking my neck out here, becaus some of you slobs will attack me as some White Plum shill. (So be it.) I've had some experience with Big Mind. It is a tool. Genpo teaches this. And, I don't think one should disallow Genpo on Big Mind alone. Read "The Eye Never Sleeps".

I am sick and tired of Brad Warner trashing on Merzel, not because I disagree with him, but because I've heard it. If he thinks he's 'saving' someone from spending their money on some Big Mind seminar, he's free to deceive himself that way. I'm more interested in having him teach: bloviating about Genpo is *not* teaching, it's bloviating. It's a pretentious platform.

vow said...

Ratboy, I agree with much you say, but I can assure you that there a certain teachers and books who see Kensho as something relative and important and see confirmation as crucial despite the negative psychological effects it creates. Whether that is adequate or not, I took my fair share of talking about those difficulties.

Very important to point out again that "something" is the beginning, not the end of Zen pratice. Pratice is integrating realization into one's personal life and nourishing it through techniques like sitting ("creating a Buddha-field").

Shantideva was pretty dogmatic in distinguishing between the will to realize again and again and the actual realization, but I sometimes find it helpful as a metaphor. I think Dogen said in Genjo Koan that any realization that you are conscious of is delusion.

Excellent diagnosis of Rinzai vs Soto (or the misconception) in my opinion, Ratboy. :-)

Dan said...

thought it relevant to bring up this quote from brad about his experience on the bridge that ratboy is calling kensho:

"Just for the record then, the chapter is not about a kensho experience. I have never had a kensho experience. I hope I never do. I've never come across anyone who claimed to have had one of those who could convince me it was anything worth experiencing.

The expression I used in that chapter to describe what happened that day is one learned from my teacher. He never talks about kensho. In fact, when asked about kensho, he'd likely quote you Dogen's famous phrase, "Kensho is the animated activity of non-Buddhists." He does sometimes talk about the experience of "solving philosophical problems." He calls it this because that's all it is. If you practice zazen long enough there may come a time when you see through most of the philosophical problems you've held for most of your life. It's nice if that happens. But it is not the goal of Buddhist practice. At best it's a little perk you might get on the side. And if it doesn't happen, it's no big deal. Consider yourself lucky!"

Anonymous said...

Dan, I didn't say Brad called it kensho, to avoid talking about kensho is nearly an article of faith in soto zen. I said I thought it better fits kensho than the trippy experience he brought to Nishijima roshi. "that better fits what is usually recognized as kensho."
Brad may be averse to calling it that or vehemently deny it, but in my view that is what it likely was. Talking about such things can be tricky. An old master once said; "Any monk who has satori goes to hell like an arrow". May surprise you, but I agree with this too.

So Dogen thought 'seeing into one's nature' ( definition of kensho I'm using here) is the animated activity of nonbuddhists. As I mentioned, that's fine. Quoting Dogen carries no more weight with me than someone quoting Ramakrishna or UG Krishnamurti.

How about a quote from this guy as to what zen is:

"A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence on words and letters;
Direct pointing to the mind of man;
Seeing into one's nature and attaining Buddhahood."


But what would that old dude know of zen anyway?


Dan said...

it is debatable whether bodhidharma even existed or was simply a contruct to provide the lineage link between indian and chinese buddhism.

you could say that quotes from bodhidharma carry about as much weight as quotes from jesus christ or (if one was being cynical about it) father christmas.

Anonymous said...

Dan, why not sit for a few minutes per day instead of (or in addition to) this sort of stuff? Just a suggestion. I'm sure you have many answers for that, and this is your path, not mine, but it's just a suggestion. :)

Dan said...


you could say that about every thing though. Instead of spending an hour eating dinner why not make it 45 mins and thebn spend the 'saved' 15 mins doing even more zazen?

I like commenting on this blog.

vow said...

Well, Brad has a tendency and some of the posters here, too, to totally deny any of these things, but invent "new words" of their own pointing in the same direction.

Many teachers of "modern style" do this, there is no Kensho, no enlightment, no whatever. Then they introduce their concept and call it something. If you properly observe you will recognize it is the same story told by someone different. You don't have to agree, but it's really like this in the spiritual industry. And it's done by good purpose indeed.

While I see the reason for a certain degree of denial I think that really fighting about definition for words for concepts for very special parts of our experience that are not normally shared by a lot of people is pretty much senseless.

I recall when my Rinzai friend wanted to define some of my early experiences as "Deep Samadhi", while I was just puzzled and insecure, nothing more. Years later he wanted me to tell him that it was the alleged Kensho and I refused to... Even I guess it could be called like that.

But it doesn't matter.

It's words. Concepts. Not what really happens or what you feel nor what not happens or what you not feel.

Take care.

Dan said...

I'm sorry that you don't like me commenting.

What makes you think I don't sit anyway?

Anonymous said...

Dan, I like your comments. My comment was just an insight at a particular place and time. If you find it useful along your way, along your personal adventure, use it, if not, feel free to disregard it. Either way, it's much better that we are all here scrapping, weighing and considering. It's all very cool. :)

dood said...

Dan said...
I'm sorry that you don't like me commenting.

What makes you think I don't sit anyway?

dan - I agree with you and I like your comments.

i don't sit very much because i have a little 9 month-old wildman to look after - but he shows me what is real in each moment and that's the whole point anyway...

soto zen
rinzai zen
old zen
modern zen
how about forget words and pull your head out of your own ass for a few moments and have a breath of fresh air for once?

(what would father christmas do?)

take care,

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan. Please continue to comment. Even if we disagree on many points I enjoy the discussion.

You mean Bodhidharma may not have existed! OMG! Next you'll be telling us the Buddha wasn't born from his mother's side and didn't walk around proclaiming himself the only honored one the day he was born.

Seriously, I've read there is some debate as to whether he existed or at least if he really was a patriarch of zen. But if we start down that path we can also question whether the buddha existed or whether Dogen actually wrote all of the shobogenzo (there is actually some debate about that too it seems).

I didn't realize until I looked into the matter further (thanks, btw) that master Dogen himself seems to have discounted Bodhidharma's saying (special transmission, etc) as well as the Platform Sutra. There's a great link discussing all of this from a historical pov. I'll give the address, but for some reason I can't seem to get the links to actually work here. If anyone (mysterion?) can tell me what I'm doing wrong I'd appreciate the help.

If we discount Bodhdhiarma and Hui Neng this begins to also call into question the whole transmission / lineage tradition itself. (I'm not arguing this btw, I tend to greatly question the whole lineage idea anyway) But you also have to discount every chan master of old who taught about 'seeing one's own nature', enlightenment, satori, etc. That's fine as long as it's remembered that Dogen's view is very much a minority view (of satori / kensho) within the zen / chan tradition as a whole. This is very much a sectarian controversy stretching back centuries within the zen tradition and not just a disagreement between you and I or Brad and myself. For example one of my favorite chan masters is master Ta Hui. I found his "Swampland Flowers" extremely helpful. Dogen had a very low opinion of Ta Hui. So it's not surprising those embracing Dogen zen would find my own views unpalatable. But that's ok, to paraphrase Brad, 'some of my best friends are soto'.



Rich said...

You can talk about it all you want, but nobody knows what it is.
I just do what I have to do to keep it going.

Dan said...

I'm aware that Dogen's whole take on zen is very much a fringe view but it makes the most sense to me so there you go. as for the fact that dogen may not have written all of the shobogenzo, that is interesting. I did not know that. Do you know which bits of the shoboghenzo in particular and who it is suggested may have written them instead?

My point about bodhidharma was that I am generally sceptical of any historical figure who has supernatural powers and god like wisdom are ascribed to them 9including the buddha).
what i like about dogen is that as far as i know he definitely existed, there are no weird arse stories of him walking on water or staring at a cave wall for 9 years.

by all accounts he was just a normal guy who (to me) makes a lot of sense. His take on zen is the least esoteric and the most scientific in the sense that he makes no magical claims. he is the least woo woo basically. and i hate (sorry mysterion, really don't prefer) woo woo.

bringin it back to gempo, his claims about big mind sound like pure woo. In fact most of what I have come across that people call Buddhism is (like all religions) full of woo.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with that term, this is a funny but painfully accurate summary of woo thinking:


In fact Brad even slipped a few woo woo ideas into his newest book which I have been meaning to email him about asking him what the hell he was talking about.

Mark said...

watch that link I just got a virus from it.

vinegar said...

My teacher is more Daoist than Buddhist. His perspective is that if you sit you will have experiences either during or after sitting and that the experiences mean nothing.

He says to observe them then let them pass without too much analysis or thought. Otherwise there is a danger of becoming attached or impressed with them. If you do that you seek to replicate the experience and your progress ends.

If I understand Brad correctly he is saying the sitting is not about the experience or any experience. You can describe them but they mean nothing you just need to keep sitting and that is enough.

So, all the discussion of this experience or that experience and what you call this one or that one just brings too much attention to them, more than they deserver. Cataloging and categorizing, naming and dwelling on them is a waste of time.

You can tell you teacher what you experienced and he may be able to tell you, yes, that's fine you are still on the right track, or that you are on the wrong track and need to change something. Otherwise the experience is nothing.

vinegar said...

Further my teacher's position is that the experience can be forgotten and whatever valid insight you might receive is independent of the experience. In other words you don't have to remember or hold on to the experience to embrace the insight. Then too you never know if the insight is complete or not. If you cling to it too firmly you may not progress.

dan said...

"watch that link I just got a virus from it."

really , shit sorry about that. Wasn't deliberate!

Mark said...

I know thanks dan.

Anonymous said...

"In fact most of what I have come across that people call Buddhism is (like all religions) full of woo."

I agree. But simply because someone later attributes miraculous powers to someone doesn't necessarily mean the person didn't exist. I think the Buddha likely existed but doubt he was omniscient or did miracles, etc.
As for the Shobogenzo, that link I 'tried' to give mentioned that the authorship was in dispute. But upon further reading I think they were talking about the fact that Dogen seems to have borrowed heavily from other sources and had many influences in writing it. No biggie, that's probably true of most writers.

That sounds like my teacher too. I'd been sitting about 5 years and was sitting 4 or 5 hours per day on my own at the time when I had what I thought was some big insight. My teacher, while acknowledging the validity of the insight simply said something like; 'So what? Where is that experience right now?'

"Further my teacher's position is that the experience can be forgotten and whatever valid insight you might receive is independent of the experience."

Exactly. That's what I meant about separating the emotional high from the content itself.


Garrett said...

My best teachers have been assholes and I swear unless I'm at the dinner table. Why should some Zen guy be any different? As for the Anon posts, something's wrong with my server because I can never get back into my account from my computer. Please leave the ability to post without a nickname and I'll promise to sign my stuff, Thanks!

Cyan said...

Best of luck brad, if you ever need a place to crash in OKC area; i'll likely be around to catch the note on here.

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