Monday, January 28, 2008


My latest article for Suicide Girls went up this morning at 6AM Pacific Time. Like all of the SG columnists, I am now monthly rather than weekly, as we were for the first half of 2007, or bi-weekly as we were for the rest of last year. It sucks. But apparently management over there figures people look at the site for the titties and not the articles. They're wrong. The articles they have over there are really good. Go read some of them. I'll be posting once a month. Unless they decide to make us all like bi-annually or something.

Anyway, it's up there. I'll be interested to see the reaction to this one. I never know when I'm saying stuff that's controversial. I wish I did. Sometimes I'll put something out there that feels really edgy to me and nobody even notices. Other times I'll put something up that seems ridiculously trivial and everybody goes hog wild over it. I'm not even gonna jinx this one by saying how I feel about it.

Yesterday I walked into a Goodwill in downtown Los Angeles and started looking through a stack of records in the back. Seasoned Goodwill record shopper that I am, I expected to find the usual pile of unknown disco 12 inch singles, polka records and copies of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. But lo and behold what do I find but a stack of like 15 Bruce Springsteen vinyl bootlegs. Most are live shows from the 70s, but a couple are collections of unreleased studio out-takes. I'm not a big Bruce nut, but I can tell these are worth a lot more than the 99 cents a piece I paid for them. Anyone who knows their stuff about The Boss, please write me and I'll tell you what I got. I was enjoying some of them last night. There was also a double LP of a Peter Gabriel show at the Roxy in 1977 and the legendary Who bootleg, Who's Zoo. Pretty neat.

Here's the list of upcoming out-of-town events again:

February 29 - March 2 Retreat at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center. I don't have contact info yet. So just check the webpage & see who it says to contact for info.

April 25 - 27 Retreat at Southern Dharma Retreat Center in North Carolina. Again, I don't have contact info, so check the website.

May 4th 0DFX gig at Kent State University (May 4th, 1970 was the day four students were shot by the National Guard at Kent State, the event immortalized in Neil Young's song "Ohio")

August 9-16 I'll be one of the teachers at the Great Sky Sesshin in Southern Minnesota. The webpage is still last year's info. But it's pretty much the same deal each year.

The annual Dogen Sangha Zen Retreat will be held in Shizuoka, Japan in early September and I'm planning to be there as well.


«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 227 of 227 said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

What I was saying was that Brad does not go onto Jundo Cohen's Treeleaf blog and complain about him there--in Judo's own 'zendo' as it were.
Yes, Brad has commented--not so much about Genpo Roshi but about the re-concept of 'Big Mind' (TM) and the trademarking of it. As far as I know (and I do not purport to know much), Brad has not gone on Gempo Roshi's web/blog/myspace/facebook or whathaveyou to make his remarks.
He has made them from his own 'place,' his own blog/articles whatever.
In the cyber world of things, this is tantamount to a zen master walking into another zen master's zendo and calling him out.
Un peu bizarre, no?
So I wasn't saying Brad has never made his points about aspects he questions with regard to others, but I was saying he didn't go to that person's space to do it.
And I absolutely continue to love it, even though it can be tedious tremendum, that Brad's comments space refuses nothing, refuses no one.

Smoggyrob said...

HI everyone:

We're sitting tomorrow morning (0945 Sat 02 Feb) at the Hill Street Center. If you're around LA, check the website and come on down. We don't bite, we lick.

I've interacted with Jundo over the net a bit, and I've checked out Treeleaf a little. I like the guy, I like his website, and I like his sangha. Harry (Hezb) cracks me up and makes me question myself, and I owe him for it. I think that Jundo is a well-intentioned, compassionate person (like most of the folk here and at Treeleaf).

It's only my opinion, but I prefer Brad's teaching style to Jundo's. But I didn't think much of Brad's post -- I didn't find it particularly well-written, edgy, shocking, or profound. Then the thing with Jundo started.

I so wanted to jump in and give Jundo a piece of my mind. I wrote three different comments, barely managing to delete each one in turn. The 4th one, the one that got away, was just something like 'Weee!' I stayed up late thinking about it, and then had a shitty day at work. It is most appropriate to say, I was disturbed.

What in particular I had to say didn't really seem to matter, in retrospect. I didn't care what I said. I just wanted to do some iDamage (c 2008, tm, pp) to Jundo. Of course, with twenty-four hours of cooling off, I'm grateful to nothing in particular that I reined myself in (I usually don't). I'm sorry Jundo, you didn't deserve even my ill will, and thank you.

Thanks to all of you, I found all of our pot-stirring useful. You know the expression, 'Funny later, not funny now.'? I learned a lot about myself over this stupid little scuffle. It's later, and this has been a great ride.


Anonymous said...

Jundo posted a video comment on his blog


Thanks Jundo. That was awesome. I understand a little better. Sorry if I jumped on you.

HezB said...

I think, in the interests of consistency and as a show of solidarity, there should be pictures of tits posted on Nishijima Roshi's website... just so people are under no illusion as to what they are getting into.

Has Brad made a statement as to what the fluck he sees 'Dogen Sangha International' as being now or in the future anyway? Look at it now... what hope has it when 'Leisure Suit Larry' there gets made?

I think its a front for casinos; Native Americans and Jews trying to take over the world again...oh, and I think it has to do with spaceships in the desert too... Jewish spaceships.



Anonymous said...

I would just like to say


Thanks, I feel much better now.

And now...

I'm going to disintegrate

you with my disintegrator gun.

Happiness is a warm gun,

and some kick-ass porn!

Anonymous said...

Jundo, Brad, Happy Groundhog's day!

dave said...

It seems to me the whole point of Brad's article was summed up in the sentence, "We'll face anything else to avoid the terror of confronting our own hearts and minds". And it seems like we've just proved him right--208 times.

Anonymous said...

209, I'm still reading, still anticipating. Even though I said I wouldn't. What else is there to do? James, Devon, England.

anony mouse-ish bosch said...

no shit.

like you said in the last post brad, Fuck Em.

Rich said...

From Dogen 12 Kesa-Kudoka
"When living beings offend each other, causing ill will to arise and a fight to develop - or when gods, dragons, demons, gandharva, asura, garuda, kimnara, mahoraga, Kumbhanda, pisaca, and human and nonhuman beings are fighting each other - if they remember this kasaya (the robe and symbol of Buddha), in due course, by virtue of the power of the Kasaya, they will beget the mind of compassion, soft and flexible mind, mind free of enmity, serene mind, the regulated mind of virtue, and they will get back the state of purity."

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

For Jundo Cohen:

If you are so interested in ethics and behavior, you may wanna try Islam.

Harry "hezb" said:

"Western youth culture is violent, and sexual and angry."

It is this very "western youth culture" that embraces new ideas like zen.

HezB said...

Hi Philbob,

I'm aware that Islam is the preferred whipping-boy of the day, but we don't have to travel so far East to find strict moral codes to adhere to:

Mormons, Scientology, Evangelical Christians and any number of other Christian sects, Jehova Witnesses, Hare Krishnas... even so-called liberalism has some pretty stringent forms of moral control.

When you can be convinced that your 'freedom' is under threat its amazing just how that 'freedom' can be eroded away.

Humans have always been free to live in fear.



esmerelda_verde said...

Actually Islamic mysticism is pretty interesting. Sufi poetry is worth checking out. There was as I am sure Mysterion is about to point out, a Buddhist tradition in Persia.

I'm with Rich, you guys do fight like brothers. Why not try getting along like sisters? Mr. Cohen has been sick and Mr. Warner has been grieving. You both have something to contribute to those of us who wish to learn.

HezB said...


Sufism isn't as 'touchy feely' as some like to make it out to be I think, but, yes, it is a very interesting tradition and the literature is great.

The references to booze (divine drunkeness) in the literature are often mistaken as a liberal moral attitude. This is not really the case. The music and sacred dance traditons are sublime. I love the music of the ney reed flute (one of humankind's oldest extant musical instruments).

Its also a small part of Islam and is considered heresy by many muslims.



Anonymous said...

An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave.

Anonymous said...

Are squabbling dharma teachers something new?


Zen teachers have been falling out with each other throughout history. Heck, sometimes they get real mad and actually drive other teachers out of the country (or worse).

I hope that rather than take sides the students of these teachers will realise that we are ALL prone to being a Cosmic Schmuck (as Robert Anton Wilson used to say).

Anonymous said...

Well Jundo is on about this again. The soap opera continues


Anonymous said...

The prize for most insightful post goes...
(movie spoiler alert!)
to youdonttalkaboutfightclub for

"Dissociative identity disorder is a common negative side-effect of errant Zen practice."

And the prize for funniest post goes...
to dood for

"KISS sucks - always did!"
"and yes - its official - you do suck like that!"


Mysterion said...

Jundo needs to accept that when he brings his bowl, I will serve him rice. Jundo needs to accept that when he brings his cup, I will serve him tea.

I do not speak for others in the Sangha. I can speak only of the rice that I can serve and the tea that I can serve. Beyond that my voice can only be silent.

Best regards to all,

chahaa said...

I've lived in L.A. for a long time and been to a few strip clubs. Never found one named Tigress. Leads me to believe that the article Brad wrote was fiction.

Koan noir or something like that.

But it sure nuff got some feathers ruffled. At first I was saddened by the monkish animosity but, hey, we're all human and full-a foibles.

Michael Stevens said...

I don't know about the content, but I thought it was badly written and gave up halfway through...

leoboiko said...

If I ever become a respected Zen something, I pray to the nonexistent God to make me think twice before getting all holier-than-thou on other guys.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Ven J.M.Cohen and Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International

Dear All Members of Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International,

Recently James Cohen and I have a talk about our Buddhist views, and unfortunately we have found rather big differences between our thoughts.

And thinking such situations we have decided that it might be better for us to work separately from each other for promoting Buddhism.

Therefore James Cohen will work for Buddhism separately from Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International, relying upon his Treeleaf Zendo. Of course he is one of my Dharma Heir, and so even though he does not belong to both Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International, our communication will continue as before.

James Cohen will report a very miserable situations of Buddhist societies today in his comments, but unfortunately such a miserable situations of Buddhist societies are true now, and so we have established Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International to destroy such kinds of serious situations of Buddhism today.

Therefore I would like to ask you all members of Dogen Sangha and Dogen Sangha International to cooperate with us for destroying so bad Buddhism today, and relying upon Master Dogen's Buddhist thoughts to establish True Buddhism in 21st Century, I hope.

With best wishes Gudo Wafu Nishijima

posted by GUDO NISHIJIMA | 12:24 PM

Anonymous said...

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Announcement regarding 'TREELEAF ZENDO'

Hello All,

Nishijima Roshi has given his permission to my posting the following announcement here. I thank Nishijima Roshi for this idea, and for his recognition of the Treeleaf as its own Lineage. I am hoping that you will join us in celebrating this new birth and potential.

If anyone has any question about this or any matter, please feel free to write me at any time via our online Zendo:

Gassho, Jundo Cohen



At Nishijima Roshi’s suggestion (I had great resistance to the idea for many months, but I now believe that Roshi’s idea is wise), the “Treeleaf Zendo” through which I teach will be a separate Lineage deriving from Nishijima Roshi. Accordingly, we now withdraw and “go our own way” from Dogen Sangha/Dogen Sangha International, another branch of the tree of which Buddha and Master Dogen are the root, and Master Nishijima the core. All things are change, and this change will have no effect on my relationship with and love for my teacher, my position as the head of Treeleaf Zendo, or the nature of the “Dharma Transmission” bestowed upon me by Nishijima Roshi. I hope that Dogen Sangha International and Treeleaf Zendo will sail as two ships crossing the same vast ocean.

So that the reasons for this are not misunderstood, I would like to offer a brief explanation. I have discussed some of these issues before, but they are worth briefly repeating for the record, so that the situation is clear. They have nothing to do with my respect and love for Ven. Brad, who I think stands as a stimulating and positive presence within the many flavors of Zen Buddhism. I think he is, like many in Dogen Sangha, a superb teacher trying to find his own unique voice, a fine successor to Nishijima Roshi, and that he has potential to be a good President of Dogen Sangha International.

There is no need to repeat in detail my reasons, but my objections originated from concern for the organization itself. For a long time, I and others attempted to express these several concerns from within the organization. However, as the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Thus, Master Nishijima suggested that we could each go our own way and each “do our own thing”. It is a wise thought. It reflects the history of the countless branching lineages of Zen Buddhism over the centuries, the reason why the lineages keep perpetually branching!

As expressed in Brad’s fine letter of yesterday, some of us see Dogen Sangha International as an umbrella body uniting all the various teachers who are Dharma Heirs to Nishijima Roshi (and other students of Nishijima’s teachings) in many separate Sangha, in many countries, all of us upholding his teachings, and possessing love and respect for our teacher. However, some of us in the organization feel that, in the 21st century and after the countless cases of power, financial and other scandal within various Zen and other Buddhist Sangha around the world (please see the following) …

… a de minimus degree of checks and balances, and input into decision making, is a fundamental necessity. The idea is now long vanished within almost all Sangha and Buddhist organizations in the West that no system of oversight is required. As a lawyer with quite a bit of experience with Buddhist and other organizations and the problems that can occur within them, I know that there is a middle ground between chaos and disconnection vs. a bureaucratic or rigid organization, and that a certain degree of regular communication and interchange among members should always be encouraged in such a body. To assert otherwise is short-sighted. Decisions should not be rendered on a whim, and especially not on a single person’s whim. Finally, in any Buddhist organization, there should be constant care and attention to the Precepts … they exist for a reason and are not a matter of “do as you feel” or that “the teacher is always right just because he/she is the teacher.” Although I will no long be in a position to say so, I believe that a lack of attention to the meaning of the Precepts within Dogen Sangha, and an over-emphasis on Zazen Practice alone, has been one major cause of various problems that have arisen in the past within the Sangha.

Zen Buddhism is now in a period of rapid change, keeping some traditions while modernizing others. In the views and experience of some members of Dogen Sangha, authoritarian or fuedal thinking on governance needs to be left to the 15th Century. I will not live under such an antiquated system, especially without any checks upon it and without much emphasis on the guidance of the Precepts. For some reason, Dogen Sangha is trying to stay feudal and traditional in its method of governance, but modern, hip, loose and liberal on the issue of standards and the Precepts. The choice should probably be the other way around. In any event, this is just a difference of vision between the new president of DSI and several of its members. While it would have been possible to patch it over, or ignore the issue through silence, the present solution is best.

So, some of us are sailing off under separate sails. Several ships on the same ocean.

Thank you, Roshi. You proposed a very wise plan. I hope to see you again when we are back to Japan, offer bows, and that you will sit again on my daily “Sit-a-Long with Jundo” Zazen netcast.

Nishijima Roshi wrote me today to say that he will continue to fight for needed reforms in Buddhism as it currently exists in our world, and that "I will do my best until to my death".

I responded:

"I will do my best to help you in your work, as your loyal and loving student. That will never change."

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

posted by jundo cohen | 2:03 PM

Blogger HezB said...

Hi Jundo,

Don't you think that the piece on Sex and Violence in Zen that you posted a link to has more than a whiff of 'witch-hunt' off it?

I mean the writer has good and important points re. violence and manipulation by teachers where people have been wrongly harmed; but the argument seems to be coming from a viewpoint of complete ideal moral purity. Should we criticize relatively harmless behavior in this way, where the writer imposes some behavioral ideal of his own on the Zen tradition?

Yes, it seems clear that there could be said to be a tradition in Zen monasticism of transgressing the precepts, or of blurring any strict meanings... but where people are only sneaking out for a smoke, eating meat or having a little consensual sex then big deal. I mean, what business is it of his or ours to judge?

More than a touch of 'overkill' there to my mind.


1:19 AM, October 19, 2007
Blogger jundo cohen said...

Hi Harry,

I agree that the piece was extreme, lumping sneaking a cigarette in with more serious things. It was a 'witch-hunt' perhaps, but the best list I could find of all the various scandals. Thanks for pointing that out.

Gassho, Jundo
6:26 AM, October 19, 2007
Blogger Mysterion said...

Richard Baker is alive and well in Colorado.


If we fail to remember, then we are bound to forget.

Best regards,
5:14 AM, October 23, 2007
Blogger HezB said...


We humans are bound to forget.


9:17 PM, October 23, 2007

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