Monday, January 28, 2008

THAT GIRL SUICIDE and THE BOSS

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.

227 comments:

1 – 200 of 227   Newer›   Newest»
cometboy said...

Nice score. I have a friend who is a rabid Bruce fan, maybe he knows something.

The Gabriel is more my speed, would be interesting to hear.

Keep your needle sharp.

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

It seems possible that the management of SG, who have access to the web traffic data for their own site, are well aware of how many people surft the site for the articles and how many do so to look at some naked emo/goth/punk/alt chicks :)

Graham said...

Er yeah Brad.... that was a bit close to the edge.

That Suicide Girls article kind of sucked, mainly because it wasn't very well written.

Sounded like you just want to shock people and use a lot of cool and risky words... "edgeplay" - woooo! Look at you!

Calling Zen Edgeplay makes it sound glamorous and special - in fact, aren't you always saying that it's boring?

A Strange Day said...
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A Strange Day said...

I can't say I disagree with what you said in the SG article but, as I can already start to see, you're going to get blasted for it over there. It's essentially something we (as Buddhists) know to be true lathered with way too much machismo and smugness. No one who doesn't already sit zazen is going to buy it for a second.

barkymark said...

No offense, Brad, but I'll read the SG articles and save the $4.50 membership and just buy your books and comment here.

I have yet to do a moment of zazen (I place the blame on Hui-neng) but I like to see Zen Essence all around me...especially in overzealous strippers.

outcastspice said...

i loved the article, i thought it was interesting, and well written. as someone who is heavily involved in BDSM and not-so-heavily involved in buddhism, i think that you wrote the truth.

dan said...
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dan said...

Ouch, that suicide girls article was painful to read man. The whole forcing the merits of zazen down people's throats just doesn't work. It's pointless to try.

Charles said...

a strange day,

"No one who doesn't already sit zazen is going to buy it for a second."

I wouldn't be too sure about that. I've never sat zazen and I buy it, or at least that it's possible. Brad's articles at SuicideGirls -- including this one -- have been getting me interested.

ator said...

yikes

element said...

Man, I loved this article. It has this attitude I love and it made me laugh. What do you want more.

ter said...

gawd.. I'm starting to think my favorite zen writer is nothing more than a pop eyed, thrill seeking rube.

This SG piece wasn't one of your better ones.. it felt pretentious and wasn't particularly well written.

The point, once you got around to it was good, but I was ultimately left feeling a little embarrassed for you.

Better luck next time. Every essay can't be golden.

grisom said...

It seems possible that the management of SG, who have access to the web traffic data for their own site, are well aware of how many people surft the site for the articles and how many do so to look at some naked emo/goth/punk/alt chicks :)

Agreed.

Me, I liked the SG article. Reminded me a lot of "Zen is Punk, Punk is Zen" from way back. I can see in both cases why other people wouldn't like 'em, but hey, different strokes.

In my own case, all the "machismo" and "smugness" and "risky words" were precisely what made me sit up and pay attention to Brad in the first place, and ultimately to take up serious Buddhist practice. So I'm glad someone's writing about Zen in this way.

william_snakeshit said...

Oh amusement of amusements,
that disguisen curre
in sheltron hide
'neath estranged skin
to comment thither

Oh, Brit. Oh small. Oh worm.
Of gentilesse devoid,
Thēof be thee off.

Theadora said...

The thing is, when people are talking about whether or not God exists, the only concepts of God available for reference are metaphorical concepts. A guy in a robe making women out of ribs, or a guy with a trident sinking ships, or up in a cloud throwing thunderbolts, or the cosmic totality of everything that has spit us out when we were born, left us to think about ourselves for ninety or so years and will swallow us up again when we die are all the same thing. There are thunderbolts, waves, the cosmos...

As for edgeplay not being as good as Zazen, I'd have to disagree with you there. The act of confronting physical/physiological/psychological fears in action is just as important as confronting them in mind. It is impossible to explore the nature of a fear or a passion or any kind of interest without actually going there and doing it. Maybe someone who doesn't practice zazen has nothing to say to you about God, but you who don't practice edgeplay don't have anything to say to the dancer at tigress about pain. Practicing zazen would certainly facilitate our exploration of ourselves, but it would be dangerous to think that it could be a replacement for adventure, curiousity, or daring. The only way for people actually to learn their own true nature is to BE it, which is a 24-hour-a-day job. Our activites, how we choose to spend our time, whether hurting ourselves or writing symphonies, are just as real as the wall in front of my face while I'm meditating, and just as worthy of exploration, and cannot be replaced by zazen practice.

Nor can zazen practice be replaced by any other activity, and you can't replace snuggling with a fistfight.

dood said...

Brad -

great article here's some free reality for your face:

KISS sucks - always did!

take care,
dood

noiret sym laden said...

Excellent SG article. The part about the Tigress sounds like you've been hanging out with Chuck Palahniuk. "The first rule of Zen Club is: you do not talk about Zen Club." The film version of "Choke" is coming out soon.

Stuart said...

Yet to read the SG article, but I can't help thinking that some dude had a row with his girlfriend and in retaliation she took his treasured vinyl to the goodwill.

I hope there's no bad karma attached to those records.

Mysterion said...
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beginnermind said...

Reading your SG article, I felt like someone out there understood just how scary my practice is right now. Thank you, it helps.

Colinski said...

Now that was some hardcore zen!

cromanyak2 said...

Maybe people haven't read enough of you writing to realize that your not being completely serious. I thought the article was funny and inspiring.

laustin texas said...

So yeah ......... at least you know they're awake over there ... er... at least paying attention! LOL

Jinzang said...

The most important thing in writing is to find your natural voice. The SG piece did not sound like you. When writing, anything that is labored or forced should be struck out and rewritten. Good writing can fancy or plain, but it must sound effortless.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I didn't care much for the SG article, it felt forced. I think Jinzang nailed it.

Atheistically yours,

Rob

mysteriondan said...

style counts for something jinzang.. brad has never written with his natural voice. he likes to jazz it up with macho posturing. if only he could accept his homosexuality. his writing might really come around.

Anonymous said...

A Gamera feature film remix, do you like the idea and would you like a copy?

I've made a feature film-mashup of old Gamera films, and I thought you may get a kick out of it.

I'm not entirely sure Gamera and Kaiju fans will think this kind of thing is kosher. and I'd sure like to hear your feelings about remixing old films.

If you like the concept, then I can supply copies to editors of magazines, etc. for review. And then if you-all like the 1st cut, then I'll get clearance (if/when needed) in order to deliver a final edition for you.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS!

-Dean Lachiusa
"BloodyGoodFilms!" www.bloodygoodfilms.com

Anonymous said...

your sexiest column yet. my body had a reaction of its own, reading.

olive said...

anon said - "your sexiest column yet. my body had a reaction of its own, reading."

so it has come to this for your writing Brad. the porno priest indeed.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but
in my very limited experience,
zazen is like watching paint dry,
except without the paint.

Anonymous said...

It's like getting into a rowboat and rowing straight out to sea. Dilly-dallying in the waves to impress those on shore is edgeplay.
That's this one's opinion. I'm in the waves, yes.

Anonymous said...

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

Roman G. said...

graham said:
Calling Zen Edgeplay makes it sound glamorous and special - in fact, aren't you always saying that it's boring?

Uh, isn't that the point ? Existentially, isn't being bored out of your skull the most excruciating thing an introspective / contemplative person can endure ? And putting yourself through that on a regular basis in order to attain something "higher": Isn't that similar to what edgeplay fetishists do ?

Roman G. said...

dood wrote:

KISS sucks - always did!

And yet they still are only second to The Beatles in the number of gold records they've been awarded.

Gee, I wish I could suck like that. . . .

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I really was tired of going to check SG and that dang old 'Santa Died for Your Sins' was STILL there, and then Wow! New Article, and all I could see before me, in my mind's eye was this woman in this extraordinary 'role' dressed in some quasi 'sexy Santa's Helper' outfit (because, you see, I had become so habituated to the Santa Died for Your Sins right there staring me in the face each time I went fishing for a new article and Oh, Boy, did I get my new article!
It brought back gay bar days. I'm not, but I did go dancing twice a week. These were mild bars, not the wild bars of the after and the after after hour bars. I heard stories--kinda like the one you tell us here.
Did you know what you were getting yourself into?
Was it like a joke "So this buddhist guy walks into a strip bar--only its not a 'take off your skimpy clothes and work that feather boa kind of place, its a strip the flesh off her bones, kind of place...where 'take it off' is a whole different kind of thing..."
I think you liked the edgeplay because you've brought up the term 'straight edge' with regard to your punk days.
Edge--its a very good word, the closest I've come most often is hedge--edge with something to hide in, something to soften the starkness, something to remain close yet still uncommited and indefinite, try to get my bearings--delay...delay...delay...as if another niblet of information or something is going to alter WHAT I ALREADY KNOW
I'm glad there are the places you describe for people who want to be there, for people who can't be anywhere else and for tourists passing through, to never view things quite the same way ever again.

One of my lovers had pierced nipples. He wanted me to grab hold and really give those things a tweak or better. I couldn't, just just couldn't, not even for him, and I loved him mightily. Proof I ain't no boddhisattva, I was more concerned with my aversion--it wasn't about denying him pleasure--but there was a piece I didn't want to ever know--I never, ever wanted to know if I would have enjoyed causing him pain (even if it gave him pleasure).
It's a crazy wild mixed up marble cake of a world out there, and it's a crazy wild mixed up marble cake of a world in here (points to own skull) and they are one and the same place: might as well make friends with all of it.
Years have passed, if my Great Love were to return, a Halley's Comet event, would I now be brave enough to yank on those pierced pink pearlettes? No way--I'm still in the hedge, it's one of the reasons he left--there was a gap between our edges, and I wouldn't/couldn't cross it...
But you, Brad, you're there, right there and you haven't blinked yet--staring it down--unwavering zazen gaze.

Thank you so much, for the sweet tea and the finger pointing straight to the edgeplay.

PA said...

I didn't like the SG article much...sounded a little like a forced reality of sorts, if that makes sense.
But, reading all the comments, some liked it some didn't. And that's good,eh. Brad can help some people some of the time and others at other times. And some people he can't help at all.
Something he wrote a while back really helped me out.
So it doesn't bother me much when he writes what to me reads like nonsense!

Anonymous said...

I read the whole article from start to finish without taking a breath and then went straight back to the start and read it over again. Absolutely fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I do zazen, and I like much of what Brad has written.

However, I did not like the SG article. It didn't seem to show any understanding Brad had come by while doing zazen(in a broad sense, the only reason to do it).

DB said...

Let me chime in or pile on with my take on the SG article.

Jinzang wrote: "The most important thing in writing is to find your natural voice. The SG piece did not sound like you." Agreed. Stylistically, it was like Brad Warner does his Hunter S. Thompson routine. There was truth there, but dressed in gawdy clothing. Kudos for even trying to carry it off. It wasn't a failure as an article, but neither was it a smash hit.

A strange day wrote: "No one who doesn't already sit zazen is going to buy it for a second." Again, an excellent point. Like I said, there's truth there and I'm glad you said it, but I wonder if those new to Zen Buddhism are going to see it or not? Of course, the novelty of the voice you chose to write in might be a lure for people who expect a Zen monk to be all sweetness and light.

Theadora said, "The act of confronting physical/physiological/psychological fears in action is just as important as confronting them in mind. It is impossible to explore the nature of a fear or a passion or any kind of interest without actually going there and doing it."

I really think this is the point of the whole screed. Zazen IS impossible to understand without actually "going there and doing it." I admire your good try at making that point in the SG piece. I'm not certain who the style will appeal to, but the point is valid.

We all seek our thrills or test ourselves. That's the lure and the romanticism of war, for instance (I think James Dickey said something like that). Brad's SG article is a rude shot across the bow of a certain thrill-seeker. I too have been pondering why I often find the most calm clear moments within my most frenetic action. I've sought to find that same clarity in sitting and while I can see similarities, I can't tie the two together, so there's still a disconnect between the clarity of thought and action I experience, say, in a sparring match or a good long run, and the clarity of thought and action I experience elsewhere, including on the cushion.

Brad's article says I should keep trying. Maybe I'll ask in person at the ASZC retreat next month.

roman said...

and i have written a comment at my blog again

KaliDurga said...

One of these days I'd like to figure out how an article that describes sado-masochistic/erotic acts and tells people that they're full of shit can leave me feeling so calm and balanced and ready to deal with whatever life throws at me.

Brad: I'm sure you hate to hear this but, dude, you're my saviour. Got that next book done yet?

old kid said...

Hitting the goodwill stores looking for treasure is always a hit and miss kind of thing.. I used to troll them in the 80s looking for 1950-60s shirts and cowboy boots. it was mostly just a waste of time but every once in a while.. I glad you enjoyed yourself at Tigress. I used to visit clubs in the 80s too but no dancer ever grabbed my Johnson. You hit the bullseye again there.. Turntables are being made now with mp3 recorders built right in to save old music to disc. that might be handy for you when it's time to move. a thumb drive is a lot easier to transport than boxes of records.

Gerry Gomez said...
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Gerry Gomez said...
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dood said...

KISS sucks - always did!

And yet they still are only second to The Beatles in the number of gold records they've been awarded.

Gee, I wish I could suck like that. . . .

and yes - its official - you do suck like that!

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mike Doe said...

Have I missed something? Has Brad discovered the secret of permanence?

Are there two or more Brads?

If Brad sounds more Bradish in one article than another what does that tell you?

I wonder if BuddhistGeeks and SGs should do a tie-in. Every month BuddhistGeeks could host some Emo/Goth ladies. It could provide a differnt kind of piercing insight into Buddhism...

Matt said...

Hey Brad, enjoyed the article. I do think there's an element to singling out atheists in some of your posts, but I feel like I've read you enough to know what you're saying, so it doesn't bother me much.

There's no point in arguing with a true believer, be they atheist, buddhist, christian or other. That said, I come here to hear you.

I also trust you as a Buddhist teacher and author that you are not out to corrupt or score a quick buck, and that goes a long way with me. So even if I hate what you say, I try to hear you, especially since you've written that, well, I'm kinda supposed to hate what you say sometimes.

So even when I hate it, I enjoy it. Thanks for the bloggins...

Jinzang said...

style counts for something jinzang

Style is not something you pour on your writing like syrup on a pancake. If you write in a "style", you become a caricature of yourself.

Rich said...

You can hand someone medicine but you can't make them take it. I don't know if that SG article will motivate anyone to try Zen.
Brad is not your fathers Zen teacher.

icebucket said...

*sigh*

I actually enjoyed your latest SG article much more than anything you ever wrote before. Well the zealots and hypocrites and do-gooders and jinzangs might not agree, but it's really excellent in my opinion.

Please consider do leave the rather "literal" teaching track and go for fiction elements. The 30-something rants you wrote before had their place in your history but I always felt disconnected. This was really a leap.

It's not "artificial" at all, it's the same old story that only well-known and accepted artists are supposed to create a certain style deliberately. You are allowed to do it, too. CONTINUE!

Authentic doesn't mean predictable.

--IceBucket

icebucket said...

Even more entertaining after reading the comments right there on SG. Yeah, never bash an atheist, they were grumpy and depressed right from the start! :-) Quite the opposite of the stuff here. And there is Bard, balancing on the middle of road.

Yet again the problem that people mix up the words you say, that what you mean by them, that you want to explain/express by using them, and that what they make of those words. Looks more difficult every time.

--IceBucket

Anonymous said...

why they always wantin' to call you folk?

i like it when you have the 'lectric plugged in...and loud

Anonymous said...

where ever you find yourself, there you are

with friends, you ended up in a rather kinky place

where will you, in this wide wide world with your friends, or by alone, will you find yourself next?

No matter where that might be, as you put in this article--She is present--The Boss. the bossest boss of them all--

So I guess I want to know, would you go back? and why? and would you not? and why not?
(not seeking /not avoiding)
Tune in for the next post.....on the buddhst blog of blogs!

Dim said...

I know it would be better to post this at your article, Edgeplay With God, on the Suicide Girls website, but I don't have a subscription yet.

Out of all the comments on that article, I guess that d20 was closer to the mark than anyone else. Although when he talks about "a sort of deeply personal drill sergeant" it seems cuter than it really is.

I also feel the urge to say something along these lines: if you are someone who reads these articles on the Hardcore Zen blog, or on the Suicide Girls website and you get the feeling that you know what petty interests motivate Brad or why Brad is saying what he's saying like you know where Brad's coming from, you're probably just making sh!t up and missing the point.

I didn't feel anything macho or smug about that article when I read it. I just kinda felt like sh!t, which is generally the same way I feel when I genuinely practice.

I usually make the mistake of thinking that putting up with that sh!t will make me tough. But it never does. It just gives me a disenchanted feeling, and a sharper understanding of my total stupidity.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a negative view. Negative views are all about self pity in the end. And that goes for all negative views, even the ones aimed at other people.

We're all idiots and there's nothing special about that.

Zenair said...

A Zen Buddhist, teacher and poet Gary Snyder could have possibly had such a experience, check
Dharma Bums , that was a true story.

hilo said...

Brad - That dancer at Tigress sounds like she puts on a good show. But it was only a show. She knows what the creeps in her audience want.

Rich said...

What's Brad like in person? I mean does he tell people to fuck off and that they are full of shit or is that just part of his writing persona? Also, does he teach some love and compassion? He hasn't said much about that in his writings or did I miss that part?

user_friendly said...

I find Brad's books inspiring and enjoy his writings here and on SG. While I don't agree with his going to a strip club, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. It's just thought, my brain spewing opinions. If we pay attention, we should notice the expectation that zen teachers should act (or write) a certain way. Drop it. He's not your daddy, he's not Bodhidharma, Elvis, Pres. George W. Bush, or even Mick Jagger.

vegies said...

.

Roman G. said...

roman g. wrote:
And yet [Kiss] are only second to The Beatles in the number of gold records they've been awarded.

Gee, I wish I could suck like that. . . .


boob wrote:
and yes - its official - you do suck like that!

You're too dense to know what a great compliment that is. It is better to fail with Gene Simmons than it is to succeed with you.

Smoggyrob said...

Rich asked:
What's Brad like in person?

Check out some of the videos of him giving talks on YouTube. He's like that, but without a podium and three-dimensional.

Rob

cait said...

The way you portrayed yourself in the SG article was embarrassing.. Your wife must be a saint. Are you still with her?

Gerry Gomez said...

cait said: "The way you portrayed yourself in the SG article was embarrassing."

Brad portrayed himself as an observer; apparently he likes to watch (like any good writer would, like anyone who might sit zazen and watch the machinations of his thoughts). He didn't do anything but observe. How is that embarrassing?

You asking about his marital status is embarrassing, and none of your business.

Gerry

Chahaa said...

Ol' Brad working the noir in the beginning of that SG article.

Lighten up people. I thought the article was angry for angry's sake, like it was supposed to be.

Nipple Twister Sangha

jundo cohen said...
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jundo cohen said...

Hello,

Several people, including members of my Treeleaf Sangha, have written me with regard to the SG article, seeking my comment. I have responded as follows. It is not easy for me to make a public statement about the conduct of another teacher, let alone another student of Nishijima Roshi, but I feel it is right in this case ...

I agree with you. There are Precepts on Right Speech and Sexuality, and (while I am a exceptionally liberal on the subject) they are not idle suggestions. A Zen Teacher who would radically disregard such teachings is (I am sure) performing no service in doing so, and is likely misleading people about Zen Practice. It is sad, but it happens sometimes. If there is a "teaching" in the article, I believe it is not the one that Mr. Warner seems to have made up while sitting in a strip club.

I have to say this frankly: I often want to say to him, "Okay, we get it ... you are cool, man, you use dirty words." Brad has always engaged in shock for shock's sake. It frequently eludes me, although it was interesting the first 100 times. Particularly, as to this article, I get the sense that there is some confusion in his life right now, and I feel great sadness about that. But I believe it is an embarrassment for my Teacher, and some of us are trying to deal with it within our Lineage.

Unfortunately, every Lineage faces this kind of situation from time to time. Also sadly, my teacher is not now in a position to control it.

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

Treeleaf.org

icebucket said...

Finally, I am convinced. Thanks, mysterion!

Your local Scientology org doesn't think you are brainwashed enough anymore, Brad! Come to the E-Meter!

*frizzle* *frizzle*

All that Zen establishment is just as bad as all those other clubs, well probably not the strip clubs.

I don't know what kind of practice Jundo and his friends are after, but being EMBARRASSED about people giving bad reputation to an alleged lineage is not exactly what sounds like good pratice to me. Ever considered your imaginary concept of lineage and nobility could be slightly invalid - at least for other people?

Yeah, the crazy masters of the past, they were special, they were allowed to kill cats and whack people. And insult them. Skillful means, you know, magic, higher beings. Oh, really?

They are playing the "LOST CHILD" game with Ven. Warner, what is that, Peoples Temple? Better burn some robes.

Being a spiritual freelancer appears to be the only adequate way of existing. I knew that bashing people for drinking, eating meat, having sex, listening to punk rock and sleeping more than necessary wasn't the end.

Still I will continue to endorse what Buddhism teaches in my deluded understanding, read the scriptures and such, even sit Zazen and attend Sesshin. The good thing there is that dogmatic people have to shut up all day long, too.

Unholy men, unite.

--IceBucket

Dim said...

LMFAO!

Nah

Dim said...

I agree some with icebucket.

Anonymous said...

Hello, James from Devon, ENGLAND here. I gather that everyone who posts here is American, but I can't be sure. I enjoyed Brad's article and it's a shame they are now only once a month. I'm at work right now reading these comments and that means I can't get onto the porno suicide girls website to quote my favourite part or my favourite comments. But in my work I honestly just come across someone who has the surname 'Hellzen'! How cool is that? It reminded me of the article and made me want to post a reply. I don't know what all the fuss is about with Brad Warner ruining Zen. It's all nonsense. Read his first book, it makes sense and is less confrontational in it's style than the article. I'm not a Zen practitioner but a Kadampa Buddhist, if you want a label. I don't like the label, like most Buddhists I imagine, as I feel it restricts who I should be when in the company of fellow Kadampas. In my experience I would say that being yourself can be hard when you are part of a religious organisation and I wholly resepct Brad for standing strong and being himself, not editing his speech to please the masses. He reminds me of my best friend when I was resident in a Buddhist Centre for two years. The only sane guy who didn't bother to confirm with the bloody rules. Even my teacher there once said that heavy metal was angry music, implying that I shouldn't listen to it. What on earth (or should that be 'what in the six realms'?) should I listen to , as a Buddhist?! Maybe soft rock or radio friendly pop? It was the most bullshit remark the guy ever made, but I love him anyways. He was a good example of a Buddhist. I like Brad's style and tone and it is a breath of fresh air when there is so much conformity within religion. I read Hardcore Zen to get away from all the (sometimes)seriousness and hypocrisy of my tradition. Brad writes good Dharma.

Anonymous said...

James here again. Just wanted give my story on how Brad's Zen is defintely punk. When living in said Buddhist Centre, one fellow resident was the lone Zen practitioner amongst out Kadampa massive. He was cool, a quiet guy. And, most importantly, he introduced me to...

1)Bill Hicks
2)Bad religion
3)Hardcore Zen

I feel lucky that he got me into punk rock comedy, punk rock and punk rock Dharma. He even gave me all the stuff as well, when he went off to India to become a monk. But he came back, and I saw him, he had a big scar across his eyebrow and up his forehead. A bit like the guy out of the game Kane & Lynch. He looked tough as nuts. And as he wasn't wearing any robes when I saw him, he looked like a thug. So I asked him, how did he get the viscious scar? Was it a fight with the temple guards? Did he sleep with the other monks lover? Did his teacher whack him? No, he passed out during meditation, whilst having acupuncture at the same time, whacking his head on the wooden thing in front of him. Cool.

Gerry Gomez said...

To Jundo Cohen, et al.

"Traveling the world, meeting conditions, the self joyfully enters samadhi in all delusions and accepts its function, which is to empty out the self so as not to be full of itself. The empty valley receives the clouds. The cold stream cleanses the moon."

--Hongzhi Zhengjue

dan said...

"I gather that everyone who posts here is American"

Not me, I'm a Limey :)

Dan said...

" No, he passed out during meditation, whilst having acupuncture at the same time, whacking his head on the wooden thing in front of him. Cool. "


There's a lesson in there somewhere. I think it's something about it not being a good idea to stick bits of metal into random parts of your body. Not very punk of me but there you go.

shemp said...

Remember when Richard Baker was tossed out of SFZC? I can't say exactly what it was that he did to warrant expulsion, but it might have had more to do with residual attitudes in his fellow sangha members than anything that he actually did wrong. A lot of us can't think clearly when confronted with sexual issues. When sex becomes a problem it is because of conflicted thinking about it. Obviously there is nothing inherently evil about sex. Still, use a condom.

Mark said...

Brad,

Good job on the article. Im not sure why people were so affended? At least it will weed some of them away from here. Who is not faced with an article like this in there day to day life? Life is like this messy and full of shit. I just don't know why people comment if they don't like what they read, What becuase of this article there life is ruined and gonna send them into another depression? Grow up people and just live your fucking lives. Who give's a shit about brad? Keep up the good work!

Mark

esmerelda_verde said...

Well, I think Jinzang called it, the SG article was just sort of lame. Shock Zen just like Shock Radio doesn't seem funny or interesting to me, if others like it, that is ok. I assume the SG site having burned thru their startup cash is going to fold soon. Are they pressuring Brad to be more provocative? Maybe, however, if Jundo Cohen, who knows Brad, thinks there is a problem, there probably is. Having people die that are close to you, losing a job, etc has an effect. Grief counselors tell you to avoid major life changing decisions for at least 18 months because your judgment sucks.

By the way, the people I have known well who are into S&M/B&D have been sad and in more mental pain, than most. I think there are better choices to try and heal your self, also worse ones. Actually, I know one woman became a Buddhist before she died, much too young.

What’s with the shoving God down our throats stuff? I thought the idea was we were supposed to sit and work it out for ourselves. I actually have been doing this type of thing as long as Brad has and no God has appeared. In fact one of the reasons I am moving over to Zen is because I am quite sure I don’t have a soul which yoga meditation forms pretty much require.

Anonymous said...

Brad doesn't take criticism well. I'm afraid he is going to tell you people to bite him.

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

"By the way, the people I have known well who are into S&M/B&D have been sad and in more mental pain, than most."

I am not nearly into BDSM at all, and monogamous etc. but to stigmatize those people is silly at best. Great minds like Michel Foucault were into those alleged dark sexual practices and it didn't limit them to create work of high significance, so I doubt that there is an inheritable mental disease involved.

That's the typical pseudo-tolerance you encounter these days: "It's totally okay what you do. But if you would ONLY listen to me, you would know it's bad for you. I will pray for you."

Real tolerance and acceptance ends after the first sentence.

--IceBucket

dan said...

"That's the typical pseudo-tolerance you encounter these days: "It's totally okay what you do. But if you would ONLY listen to me, you would know it's bad for you. I will pray for you."

I think you misunderstood what esmerelda said. She just said that the people she knew into bdsm were sad and in mental pain. nothing about limits on their intellectual capabilities. She just made an observation. You inferred (incorrectly I think) that she was making some kind of condescending value judgement.

Yudo said...

As one of Brad's "Dharma brothers', I have to say that I thought the SG article lame, but all the same, one of the main aspects of the Dogen Sangha attitude ought to be that, if we won't agree with the idea of the Pope's infallibility, we ought not accord it to Zen Masters either.
Which also means that Brad may err, at times, period.
I may be wrong but I often get the impression that, from the point of view of civilisation, in the USA, murder is considered much less bad than sex. Americans get all upside down on the idea of seing anything having to do with sex while never really objecting against gore.
The other is that Americans are much too obsessed with God and always talking about It. Whatever, I'm not even an atheist: I believe in the existence of ALL the gods.

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

Hey IceBucket it was an observation! I try not to make 'condescending value judgements'. It's not true that all my friends are dead or in jail. It's just that if you like punk rock, have tattoos and too many reptile pets, you meet people that are a little different than if you live in the burbs with 2.2 kids.

Yudo I think you are probably right between God and Sex a lot of Americans are screwed up. Pre HIV it looked like we were getter better, hope there is a cure soon!

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

found this on the SG site..

Brad wrote: Thanks for all the comments. I do appreciate them.

You guys might be interested in this e-mail I received from one of my "Dharma Brothers" regarding the article. His name is Jundo Cohen. I'm sure he'd enjoy hearing your opinions on his teachings.

Here's his e-mail to me:

Brad,

You wrote this?

I met a stripper with a Three Stooges tattoo the other night at a bar called Tigress. She bitch slapped one of my companions hard while she gaveher a ferocious lap dance. Threatened my balls with spike heeled platform shoes. Hissed in my face that she was into edgeplay. She got giant fishhooks stuck through her back with which they hung her bleeding body fromthe ceiling till her screams careened off the hard brick dungeon walls. They pierced her labia with five-inch needles.

Ms. Edgeplay stripper wrenched my friend's nipples and stage-whispered to her how wet she was getting. As if I couldn't hear. Humped her leglike a dog in heat. God wasn't far away at all. If I ever doubted Her presence She showed it to me by grabbing my cock and telling me how She wanted to feel it inside Her.

I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you. I will speak out (you can fool others but you can't fool me ... you embarrassment to yourself, our teacher, all of us associated with this). It's not "edgeplay, man ... it's a 12 year old who giggles at the graffiti he drew on a bathroom wall. I will do what I can upon my return to Japan next month to stop the September Retreat at Tokei-in.

You are free to to turn your hanging out in nudie bars, getting "lap dance" from strippers into a profound "teaching" (there are fools born every minute who will buy it too. I think you are just a clown). But you are free to do it, and I am free to take the action I think is right.

You are a joke, and it is not a dirty one.

Gassho, Jundo

Jules said...

Jundo Cohen:
I'm sorry that you feel embarrassed by your Dharma brother. Though maybe it's presumptuous of me to say so, I think you may be unjustly putting words in Nishijima Roshi's mouth by suggesting he is embarrassed by Brad's writing. You should know that some of us are interested in teachings that apply anywhere, in any environment, in the real world. Is Buddha only in the Zendo and the garden? I treasure those places, but sometimes an unpleasant sanctimony grows there.

Jules said...

Oh, huh, I hadn't even read that last comment when I posted mine. Looks like I was right on target.

sanc·ti·mo·ny (sngkt-mn)
n.
Feigned piety or righteousness; hypocritical devoutness or high-mindedness.

anonymous bosch said...

well you've definitely succeeded in ruffling alot of folks feathers with the SG article.

me personally, i liked it. i dont think it sounded like youy were trying to force anything either.

keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Brad ~ I think in your wish to be cool and edgy you are being neither. .

anonymous bosch said...

lyrics to a little song i wrote:

they dont give a shit
but they love to bitch
like its going outta style
like its '76

cause they're anti that
and they're anti this
like they dont really care
but they do

and that attitude
yeah yeah
FUCK YOU!
cause its fun to be pissed
and its fun to piss off
like its '76
like its PUNK ROCK!

and all you posers who dont know shit
yeah, you havent got a clue,
punk's not about spikes, mohawks, or chains its about being true to yourself.

so PISS OFF!

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that anonymous bosch..
Yeah, it's fun to be pissed.. ho ho..
But who is this self you think you are being true to?
just kidding, forget it..
Anyway, there it is in a nutshell Brad. You are leading a revolution of like minded people.

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Dear Jules and others,

I think it is time for an open, fair and "no holds barred" public debate between myself and Ven. Brad on why I raise my objections and consider what he is pulling here a "dirty joke". I am happy to make my stance clear, unless Ven. Brad will run from the opportunity. Let's set it up!

The Dharma includes everything, man, and that includes strippers and sex. Strippers are the Buddha! The Precepts are not "sanctimonious" moral judgments. Quite the contrary. However, neither are they something to ignore when it is convenient.

Anything goes with Jundo, so long as nobody is getting hurt!! Sex (safe), drinking (in moderation) and rock and roll are all cool here. I'm not your mother. But, interesting to me, Brad claims to be straight edge on the subject of drugs and drinking (he's against them I believe), yet conveniently ignores Precepts that don't fit the "badboy" facade he designed and seeks to maintain. There are always people in this world who want to hear that the Zen teachings confirm whatever is their "lifestyle". Sorry guys, it does not (Brad, in fact, always says just that). But nonetheless he goes on to feed that beast. In doing that, he is full of crap.

Where I see the equivalent of a self styled "Teacher" who develops a drug habit or drinking problem and then decides to teach the public that having a drug habit or drinking problem is the "Dharma" and that anyone who challenges that is just "not free" like he is ... well, I am going to expose that fellow as a fraud. To the extent the fellow has a following for his line of bull, and many confused people who take it seriously, I am going to bring him up for sarcasm, ridicule, laughter and public derision (I would also hope he personally works through his problems). I don't think Brad has a drug or drinking problem at all, but what he is doing here is the equivalent. People can accept or reject what I have to say on it, but I am going to call it like it is. Hear me out!

A little boy tries to pass off his 'naughty' scribbles on the bathroom stall as a "great teaching." He deserves to be called out. The stripper has no clothes, and the 'potty mouthed Emperor' has no clothes.

Let's set up that debate.

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

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

ikkyuIKKYU

dood said...

"Roman G. said...
roman g. wrote:
And yet [Kiss] are only second to The Beatles in the number of gold records they've been awarded.

Gee, I wish I could suck like that. . . .

boob wrote:
and yes - its official - you do suck like that!

You're too dense to know what a great compliment that is. It is better to fail with Gene Simmons than it is to succeed with you."

that's cool...

i just find it strange that brad writes in his book that all things are the same - no good, no bad, etc...(mind makes things different)

then he goes on with strong opinions about the Beatles being great and KISS being great etc...

i'm just trying to balance things out - and representing my true nature - which is of course the same as everyone else's...

take care,
boob dood

Jules said...

Jundo Cohen wrote: The Precepts are not "sanctimonious" moral judgments.

I never said the Precepts were sanctimonious. I was referring to your own comments.

However, neither are they something to ignore when it is convenient.

I thought they were guides to set us on the right path, should we choose to walk that path. I didn't realize they were crystalline knives waiting to cut into our souls should we ever stray into a "dirty" place like a strip club.

A little boy tries to pass off his 'naughty' scribbles on the bathroom stall as a "great teaching."

I missed the part where he claimed it was a "great teaching." I would also like to point out that you and your students weren't the target audience of that article.

You accuse him of having an addiction comparable to alcoholism. I don't see that at all. Have you considered that your cultural aversion to nudity isn't shared by everyone? He went to a strip bar once. Big deal. His friends probably dragged him there just to get him out of the house. It's not like anybody got hurt or anything. It was all in good fun. The Mistress cracked her whip and put on a private show. It's not like she called someone a "joke," or threatened public humiliation, though I understand some people go for stuff like that.

Gerry Gomez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you.

Like my teacher once said: "Zazen does not make people better people."

Kat said...

Loved the article - been through tough times recently and found solace in what you wrote - so thanks (once again).

Anonymous said...

Are you all still carrying that stripper? I put her down when I finished the article.

Is there a god? Don't know

Back to the cushion.

What am I? Don't know

So many comments, opinions, etc.

My Zen Master always says Enlightenment, it's not what you think.

Back to the cushion. Don't know.

plaudertaSCHE said...

Gassho, Jundo comment to you reg. latest Suicide article.
I say if he wants to put the energy into this, good luck, fare well and happy trails.
To me his state of practice and getting Buddhas word is much more in question then yours I think.
But that is only me. Actually, he is the only one who is giving Buddhist a bad wrap by being narrow minded and judgmental.
What it it to him what you say? Why is he so threaten? Very interesting :) Keep on doing what you are doing, even I don't agree with all your stunts, but you keep it interesting :)) Thanks!

IceBucket said...

Jundo does the L. Ron Hubbard! Threatening people, how LOW can you go?

Stop pretending you meant this as some friendly advice. As you didn't deny authorship of that very letter Brad released I can only see ONE person in this constellation who should be embarrassed.

Damn, people like that are teachers? What do you have to teach, Jundo?

Oh, you sure have the unique capabilities to bring Ven. Brad back to the right track of the only true way, in the only true understanding: yours. And you have to use those harsh words in the letter you wrote, right...? Or, could that be someone who abuses the alleged merits of direct "Zen speech" for covering his limited conflict strategies? Who knows...

See, I am not supposed to be superior in terms of morality, but at least I don't start my day jacking off on the thought how enlightened I am. And as much shit I've done in my miserable deluded life I never ever fucking threatened someone since childhood days.

Disgust! DISGUST!

--IceBucket

babbles said...

I find it totally mind-blowing that his SG has worked up such a ruckus. I thought it was a good article; not one of his best, but still decent.

I think the atheist crew over at SG appear to get all pissed off if anybody dares to question their belief (or lack thereof) system. Things got really blown out of proportion for what I think is a typical article by Brad.

jundo cohen said...

Hey Jules, others,

None of us should be defensive about criticism. Have the guts to truly hear what is being said about one's conduct and, yes, the Precepts are guides to doing no harm. Ven. Bradley loves to deride others for the failings of their ways (Genpo Roshi and many more ... not to say they don't deserve it now and again, but we should all learn to look in the mirror). Can he take a bit of what he dishes out? I wonder?

Why did I choose to speak out on this?

I think some of the dance he's doing is no truer than the whispered love of a stripper on the hunt for a $20 tip. It's a Zen lap dance, and it ain't no victimless crime (not for the Zen beginners who might get suckered in by it). Thus, I spoke out and, if I am full of baloney, ignore what I have to say.

Anyway, ideas should stand on their own weight, and a teacher should not shy from criticism of his/her teachings. He'll likely run from it. "No need to defend myself, man, I'm too beyond all that. No need to answer to you or anyone else in the Sangha". Whatever. But I will set up a blog for our discussion, only Ven B. and I will be able to post to it. Let's see what the stripper really looks like when the house lights go on.

As to public nudity, I have no problem with it ...

JUNDO & SON

Gassho, Jundo

grisom said...

Are you all still carrying that stripper? I put her down when I finished the article.

+1

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

So now Jundo transforms this into some fake-ass ritualized Dharma battle instead of crawling back into his hobbit cave.

If Brad declines (smartest decision) he can wear that golden Heavy-Weight Championship Dharma belt for another year?

What next? Beating each other with NERF bats?

Calling that harassment letter plain criticism is laughable.

--IceBucket

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

Jundo Cohen wrote: I think some of the dance he's doing is no truer than the whispered love of a stripper on the hunt for a $20 tip. It's a Zen lap dance, and it ain't no victimless crime (not for the Zen beginners who might get suckered in by it).

You imply that Brad is lying. Would you please be more specific? Show me your "victims." If you could come up with a convincing scenario where a real person might actually get hurt in some way, then I could take you seriously.

Honestly, I think people are more likely to be "hurt" by joining Treeleaf Zendo, and then getting disillusioned when they find out how much sanctimony and venom is hidden beneath the flowery, oh-so-very-polite surface.

I fail to see any reason why Mr. Warner would be motivated to engage in a dialogue with you, especially in light of your recent threats.

Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.

-John McCain, US Senator, after being asked by a reporter why he didn't respond to personal attacks from Governor Mitt Romney

Anonymous said...

Jundo wrote:
I will do what I can upon my return to Japan next month to stop the September Retreat at Tokei-in.

You had enough space here to just say: "What I did was wrong, I was in anger, and even I still believe in some things I said - the way I said them is not acceptable."

Nice people do it like that, normal people. What hinders a Zen teacher?

Rich said...

Thank you Brad, thank you everyone.
Nobody can tell me anything, I have to figure it all out for myself. Or not figure it out.

So Brad, if our paths ever cross and we disagree on God or whatever and you tell me I'm full of shit, that would be the funniest thing that could happen.

I hope you work things out with your brothers.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I see that your stimulation of interpersonal conflict draws out sincerity of expression in many cases. Passion. But if that's the first track, what's the third? What opens Side 2? What closes out the album?

Play

anonymous bosch AKA AnonyMouse said...

jundo cohen: if you're looking to make brad a "laughingstock" this is probably NOT the place to do so. find another board.

Anonymous said...

Nice photo of you & your son Mr. J!

HezB said...

Ha! Thank-you Brad and Jundo for this display of hopeless non-transcendicismistismschismisms.

SIT WITH IT! (the title of my new cutting-edge Zen manual based on my experiences as cabaret performer on the Belfast to Liverpool ferry during the drunken, edgy days of the 80's New Romantic pop movement... as opposed to SIT ON IT... get it?... it has to do with...s...e...x...).

Listen to your ass when it hurts in Zazen. Does it say "fight for me, fight for me" to you? That's what I call teachin', Baby! If only mhy ass had a regular column somewhere... oh dear, there I go with the s...e...x... thing again.

Regards,

Harry.

Jordan said...

I vote for Harry!

Roman G. said...

I wonder if Jundo ever considered that the blog wasn't "Edgeplay for Zen Practitioners" but "Zen for Edgeplay Practitioners."

I guess, for Jundo, the dharma isn't for everybody. . . even though the Buddha said it is.

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

Hi everyone:

It's taking everything in me to keep from high-diving into this. Ooo, I want to so bad...

Rob

HezB said...

Jundo is just saying that Brad's an asshole. And, in fairness, Brad often comes across like one.

I'm sure we're all over it by now.

I've met many people who I've mistaken for assholes. I actually have occassion to see and hear recordings of myself from time to time (not in the sex industry... before it is insinuated) and I seem like an asshole to myself on these.

Its funny that. The terrible thing is that all the bluster about some slapper grabbing a nerds tackle will take away from the fact that a grown man of the punk generation bought Bruce Springsteen LPs... I think that stripper was the safest gal in town on the night under discussion.

Regards,

Harry.

Fuzzy said...

You had enough space here to just say: "What I did was wrong, I was in anger, and even I still believe in some things I said - the way I said them is not acceptable."

Nice people do it like that, normal people. What hinders a Zen teacher?


I don't know. But whatever it is seems to hinder Brad too.He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Funny how verbal meanness or wrong speech comes back to bite us in the ass. Maybe Shakyamuni was onto something with all those precepts and paramitas afterall. Maybe more to Buddhism or even more to zen than just staring at the wall every day.

Anonymous said...

I was at the local street market the other day, when a fight broke out amongst some of the vendors.

"But they are Buddhists" everyone exclaimed.

At these words, I became enlightened.

mysteriondan said...

Even Mike Cross is shocked by the behavior of you two beauty queens..

jundo cohen said...

Hi Guys,

I see that in the foul-mouthed and angry Bizarro Bradisto Buddhisto world of this blog, I must now turn to its 4-letter bossman and, with a gentle smile and kind words, proffer "What I did was wrong, I was in anger, and even I still believe in some things I said - the way I said them is not acceptable." How did I get in that position?

But you know what?

That is not 'bizarro' at all!

In fact (and while the thought of learning a lesson in "loving words" and foregiveness from Brad makes me chuckle), that's exactly what SHOULD be done and what I hereby do! I should not have said what I said with anger and sharpness. I apologize.

That being said, I will stand by my criticisms of the 'Buddha-Brado-bizzaro' stuff that spills out of here You do not need to agree with me of course. Keep cussin' & cursin' and calling it "Kind Speech". Think that the Precepts are an option for a Zen teacher, or that viciousness is kindness in disguise. Heed a "Master" (the worst term ever invented for a Zazen instructor) who implies that BDSM is perfectly cool with the Buddha. Do as you wish! (For the record, I believe that folks who are into BDSM are cool with the Buddha, and many alternate lifestyles are cool with the Buddha. But, whips and chains, "giant fishhooks stuck through her back" a pierced "labia with five-inch needles" probably not what the Buddha taught, I think ... just call me a prude I suppose!)

I won't be quiet about it.


Gassho, Jundo

P.S. - I have few options for civil disobedience, but I do plan to protest the holding by Ven. B under these circumstances of the September Retreat at our root temple. Whatever you think of my motivations, I could not care less. I believe it is the right thing to do.

muddy elephant said...

Sorry Jundo Cohen, but you are trying way too hard.

I think Brad has reached a new peak in his skills as a teacher:

He has inexplicably managed to show us how to let go through the simple act of writing.

This is rather momentous and STUPID.

Traditionally, Zen teachers would usually have to do something STUPID like slap their students upside the head with a wet fish to actually get them to stop grasping.

Brad has exploited sex and the written word and replaced the wet fish with "grabbing my cock".

It's a big sloppy lewd modern day koan, folks.

If you hadn't noticed his sublime Bullseye post a couple of days back Brad seems to have had a major breakthrough. He is letting the arrows fly without prejudice, but with true aim.

All of this uproar is important because it shows us all how tight we are holding on to our minds.

SO LET GO!

Telling us doesn't work for shit--so now he is just showing us.

Thanks Brad--I for one have a long way to go. But at least there is the recognition that there is somebody to show me how it's done.

Jules said...

Heed a "Master" (the worst term ever invented for a Zazen instructor) who implies that BDSM is perfectly cool with the Buddha. Do as you wish! (For the record, I believe that folks who are into BDSM are cool with the Buddha, and many alternate lifestyles are cool with the Buddha. But, whips and chains, "giant fishhooks stuck through her back" a pierced "labia with five-inch needles" probably not what the Buddha taught, I think ... just call me a prude I suppose!)

Maybe you read a different article than the one I read. Brad was just telling what he saw, he didn't endorse the practice.

Maybe you think people with alternative lifestyles are cool with the Buddha, but don't deserve to have the Dharma presented to them in an accessible way?

I bet Christians wouldn't be real successful spreading the word of the Gospel by walking into a gay bar and telling everyone there that they're all sinners and that their sexual practices are deviant.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Interesting comment ...

Even Mike Cross is shocked by the behavior of you two beauty queens.

I came to the "Dogen Sangha" after 20 years of Zazen with other teachers. I love Nishijima Roshi dearly, we are on the same page about Zazen, Master Dogen and ... beyond words. But he is one of the few Buddhist teachers I've ever met over the years emphasizing Zazen at the expense of Buddhist ethics and behavior. He doesn't teach much about Right Speech to his students (except for the fact that he, himself, is one of the most soft spoken kind and loving men in the world), he doesn't insist his Sangha abide by any particular code of conduct, or even that his heirs act like nice people to each other. It was unlike anything I witnessed at other places I've trained. Before I was a teacher myself, I did not feel it my place to say so (and I say it now at risk of being criticized for it. I say it because it needs to be said).

I believe that the effects show clearly in the atomosphere of the Sangha, and I have said so any number of times. People there talk about Zazen, but then go on to act like bastards to each other sometimes (Sorry, but I believe that someone's acting like a bastard is not a sign of great freedom and liberation, especially if it goes on day after day ... It is just a sign of person who is acting like a bastard and is missing something within. I think.).

Just my insider's opinion.

Gassho, Jundo

David said...

"we are on the same page about Zazen"

did you make a photocopy?

Anonymous said...

Jundo - I've been thinking that because you feared that some Buddhists could be harmed by Brad's essay, you failed to notice that Brad wasn't writing to Buddhists.
This failure to understand Brad's motivation is how the animosity started. I think you misread the whole thing.
I don't think that SG piece was the best thing Brad's ever written but I assume his intentions were good.
I don't see the same things you do when I see Brad.
Maybe you just saw what you expected to see. That isn't seeing anything. I don’t see why you would want to continue this weirdness.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody actually consider he made up that strip club story? It sounded like fiction to me after all, a little bit too surreal... Could also be true. But doesn't matter after all.

reb

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Howdy,

I so much agree with those folks who believe in "reaching out to people about Buddhism in their own language". That's a great thing! How could I object to that? If you want to reach out to drug addicts, head down to the street corner. If you want to observe, for educational purposes, alternative sexual behavior, visit a sex club with pencil & notebook in hand.

But this is not about either "observing" or "reaching out". Do you know the expression from local newscasts "if it bleeds it leads?" Perhaps you think Jerry Springer's show is meant as a sociological study of human dynamics? It's about shock, man, shock shock shock, ratings and dirty words. And the little fishwrap talk on "Zen and Labial Pins" or whatever isn't any more serious than the pseudo-profound moral talk that 'ol Jerry throws in at the end of the violence and mayhem.

I see what I have seen in Dogen Sangha for many years (the reason I left and asked Nishijima Roshi to recognize Treeleaf as its own independent thing, which he kindly did). I see what I see on this blog week after week. What goes on here is usually none of my business and I keep quiet, keep out of it. But, once in awhile something splashes over to my neck of the woods from Brad's Buddhist equivalent of pro wrestling, midget tossing and porno.

I know Brad is going to try to portray my objections as just "square Zen" or being a "prude" or something. He would be wrong.

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

gasho my nut-sack

laserjack said...

Couldn't spiritual guidance, being a teacher be seen as some kind of expression? While we accept disturbing art, literature, movies we don't like to hear disturbing things from people or meet disturbing people.

I object people really being naughty to others (and AFAIK know Brad is a nice person) I don't see a problem with them just publishing disturbing things. How sober is your world, Jundo?

Funny though, how you project Brad's future behavior. It could happen that he will eat that cake, I surely would. Or he could let you wrap it in and take it home with you and eat it yourself.

Or could that projection be just your wish?

On topic: I think the most revolting and disturbing things I've ever read are not Marquis de Sade or "American Psycho" but rather the endless ancient scripture meditations on rotting bodies and their disgusting liquids. Shock value?

LaserJack

Anonymous said...

Jundo:
Why would you be so interested in monitoring Brad's blog? Coming back again and again to seeth over it? What is that?
Don't you have enough things to do?

On the web (as in the rest of life) people are absolutely free to find that which is of interest to them.

When it comes to teachers: there is no end to them--so many varieties and so many methods.

If you have been following Brad's blog as you say you have, then you have also noticed the many comments by people who have given zazen a try, or a second try after reading Brad's book(s).

To me, this in itself says all I need to know: he's good for something, he's good for someone.

I have to say, of the several previous teachers I have sat with--he is extraordinary--there is no 'teacher' there! I count myself very lucky to spend my Saturday's sitting at the Hill Street Center.

I would not trade off any of my previous teachers, I got to learn from them all and in the end, I get to see Brad for the amazing 'teacher' he is because of the teachers I've had before.
If he had been my first teacher, he would have seemed to me to just be some simple, unassuming, humble guy, making mild jokes, sometimes a bit of a grump, he likes iced smiley cookies, he likes sweet tea. He's a sweetie, but he's no lamby-pie.
Thank goodness a student has some choices--
someone reads an article, picks up a book and it addresses something squarely for them. That's a great thing.

Let the student's who you appeal to, go hang out with you. You can correct them, and inform them, and do the things you do with them.
I wouldn't think it would be Brad's place to jump on your blog and light into your approach to things or question your substance.
And I don't think it's your place to do that here,
although I appreciate more and more the complete free reign Brad gives for the comments to evolve as they do and be what they are.
I agree: let everything find its place.

You've never made your attitude toward Brad a secret. No need to keep harping on it.

As in most cases, problem is within.

HezB said...

Can anyone remember who inherited the ranch in Bonanza?

H???

keishin.ni said...

Sorry, it posted anonymously, but that was me,
Keishin posting above in response to Jundo's latest post.

icebucket said...

"Sorry, but I believe that someone's acting like a bastard is not a sign of great freedom and liberation."

Writing a controversial article - is that acting like a bastard?

Threatening people to ridicule them and destroy their voluntary engagement - is that acting like a bastard?

It's getting slippery, very slippery, Mr. Cohen.

"Civil disobedience" MY ASS!

--IceBucket

dan said...

Jundo people have pointed this out before but seeing as how you've totally ignored thir point I'll have another go.

You misunderstood brad's article. I thought the way he worded it sucked but I didn't see it as any kind of endorsement of BDSM. All he said was:


1. people (like the stripper) do crazy strange things like piercing their labia with metal bars and what not.

2. This is nothing compared to zazen which is truly extreme because it's so hard and 'painful'

3. So do some zazen!

What exactly do you object to?

Anonymous said...

"I didn't see it as any kind of endorsement of BDSM."

I agree. But would that be verboten after all?

The wording? It's rather written as a story, not as high-seat teaching.

"I've heard of people who pierce themselves and do strange things in strange places. They may continue, but Zazen is better."

Not the same, right?

reb

HezB said...

This went to Treeleaf forum. I thought it only fair to post it here:

I was glad that Jundo extracted himself from the lineage which has Brad Warner as its head honcho if only because I thought it would avoid conflict. Unfortunately it hasn't really done that.

I can imagine people with an emotional investment in the lineage feeling worried about Brad's bizarre and irresponsible outbursts (my opinion, of course). Its all well and good for seasoned practitioners who can look at Brad's stuff in context a little, but I would worry about just what message fresh, young newbies might take from his "Zen" burlesque freak sex show and dismissive, infantile language and reasoning (this, of course, would appeal to kids too). But, this sort of consideration gets lost when the big, enlightened egos start sounding off about "trying to control each other" and all that shit... at the end of the day Brad is a second rate writer who has displayed a flair for presenting Dogen... he should consider sticking to presenting Dogen more. But I don't care what he does because his more ridiculous statements have the distinctive marks of being just that; ridiculous, and so I don't think he will fool anyone for long. Its all too insincere for that.

I wonder did Nishijima Roshi, in his 'hands-off' attitude to precepts, misjudge the values and attitudes of young Westerners? What I see is childish tendencies which are been reinforced... or maybe they are working themselves out? I hope for the latter, but things will go as they go I suppose.

Western youth culture is violent, and sexual and angry. I think it may be of more value to young people for a teacher to put this into some sort of context rather than just wallow in it (or give that impression anyway). Maybe we're seeing the birth of another misguided Japanese 'Tantric' sect?

At any rate, it reflects badly on Nishijima Roshi I think. The behavior of his sons makes me want to run a mile from any of them. I thank them for that.

Never doubt that the bullshit in religion is at every turn, it is in every little thing that we feel threatens our wonderful values. In this respect Brad's tight-fitting-lycra-and-piercings-sex religion is much the same as Jundo's counter-tight-fitting-lycra-and-piercings-sex religion.

Explain that to the kids you Zen clown double act.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any good Zen podcasts?
Thank you

icebucket said...

The reaction of Jundo and others appears to relate more to Brad's action before that last SG piece. Funny, he didn't attack any individual or even used more 4-letter words than in many posts. He did refer to sexual practices that are uncommon for some, but the critique targets something else.

The only uncommon thing in that article was an intro and outro setting with a stripper. That's all. The taboo triggered the zealots' reaction overload.

Implying that Brad is an aggressive, uncontrolled "young" (LOL!) cult leader who is about to create a dangerous religious movement is so far away from any impression I have I wonder if you have some information you didn't share yet?

Otherwise it's just polemic misinformation.

I don't know whether Brad has been as verbal at some other place as Jundo is here. I rather thought he released Jundo's mail with the incredulity and confusion it created and let his posse bite that offender to death.

And I like that! *RRROOAR*

Do you guys actually realize what's happening with you?

--IceBucket

Anonymous said...

James here from Devon, England. I was half way down this page reading the comment and I got to the one where an anon poster quotes the SG website where Brad posts his letter from Jundo Cohen, classic. I have never heard of Jundo Cohen before, and I wish to respect him as he is part of Brad's lineage and maybe his equal in the traditional (maybe, I don't know), but he clearly wants to kill brad! But the funny thing is that if you look at Cohen's website at treeleafzen.blogspot then you will see at the top of the page as a subheading the words:

"Although we usually practice Zazen sitting cross-legged, 'facing a wall' ... we can practice 'Zazen' anywhere, even standing in the postal line ..."

How can Cohen clearly be so contradictory and hypocritcal. Talk about not practising what he preaches! In my view so far I believe that Cohen is the weaker man compared to Brad who is merely presenting an experience of his life from his own point of view in his own style. I've yet to read the rest of the posts (88 to 188 overnight- overnight in England anyway!) so my opinion may change but I wholly support Brad against this unfair attack. I hope this comes to a peaceful resolve for all involved. James.

Anonymous said...

Jundo's reply from the forum:

"Hard to tell sometimes whether to stand by silently or speak out. Sometimes, I think, it is necessary to speak out about a matter of personal importance, even if you annoy some folks and lose a friend or two. I spoke out against an article that my brother Brad wrote that was offensive, to some people at least. Perhaps I am more concerned about it than I should be, but I do not think so.

Of course, you would not know this, Harry, because you are not a man of strong opinions and you rarely speak your mind. ;-)"

HezB said...

Hi anonymous,

Strong opinions I have by the bucket load. What that has to do with Zen is apparent when I practice Zazen. They loose their emphasis somewhat. That's an important process I think, I hope it never gets mired in a debate about the relative merits of sub cultures ;-)

Unfortunately, most people who will encounter Venerable Brad will only do it through stuff like his SG articles. I think that maybe this is a pity, because his writing increasingly seems to amplify a part of him that does not seem particularly realistic.

All the best,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Jundo added this on the forum

PS - Call me corny, but I really in my heart believe that Buddhists should be nice to other people, should use gentle speech (something I almost forgot in talking to Brad about this), and that the Precepts (although "suggestions") mean something and should be upheld. I may be a fool for advocating that, cause some folks think its not cool or is "square Zen". And they're gonna resent greatly anyone pointing out that there may be a problem in their conduct.

laserjack said...

Shakyamuni's speech might be noble, involved, caring - but it never felt gentle to me from reading it.

Same with Shantideva, Hui-neng, Bankei, Rinzai... I think all "mild" teachers I have encountered were contemporary.

Old Buddhist scriptures are full of strong opinion, even - some "crazy" Zen masters aside - the language is very distinguished.

My teacher is a really very gentle and mild person (his teacher was not btw.) and he doesn't urge his students to act like him.

LaserJack

youdonttalkaboutfightclub said...

Dr. Cohen...:

Call me corny, but I really in my heart believe that Buddhists should be nice to other people, should use gentle speech (something I almost forgot in talking to Brad about this).

...and Jundo Hyde:

I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you.

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

dan said...

Dam 'you don't talk about fight club' beat me to it. I'm not sure the word 'almost' should be in that sentence.

Jundo, any comment on my three point summary of Brad's article?

Anonymous said...

James from Devon, England here. Sorry I really should register! But I don't really want to. Anyway, icebucket said...

"Threatening people to ridicule them and destroy their voluntary engagement - is that acting like a bastard?

It's getting slippery, very slippery, Mr. Cohen."

Excellent. I find that the more I read of Mr Cohen's posts the less I am convinced of his argument. It is a shame that this is happening. Brad's blog is a source of uplifting writing for me and I always look forward to the next entry. The comments section is a laugh and has some interesting and valid points and takes on the subject matter. Although some comments are better than others. Thing I get so annoyed about though is how the comments section in a blog like this gets labelled as angry by people like Cohen -

"I see that in the foul-mouthed and angry Bizarro Bradisto Buddhisto world of this blog"

It isn't that bad really.

Anonymous said...

Hi, James here, just to make it clear, Cohen takes argument with Brad's traching style when Brad says about seeing God in a strip club, when Cohen's own website includes the heading " we can practice 'Zazen' anywhere, even standing in the postal line ..." Pure hypocrasy. What is the point of his argument apart from being selfish.

HezB said...

We could read Dogen and only see "Pure hypocrisy" if we were in a certain frame of mind.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Hello Hezb, James here. I am aware of the many apparent contradictions within the Buddhas teaching that are not actually contradictions. Buddha himself said something like this regarding his advice. Even the book 'Hardcore Zen', on its very first page, at the beginning Brad says that nothing is sacred but at the end of the page or thereabouts he says everything is sacred. I understand each statement in its context, it's not that hard. Many other Buddhist teachers have made apparent contradictions in the past but I can't remember to quote them. I do not doubt what you say, but my point is that Cohen takes offence at Brad practising Dharma in a strip club when Cohen propogates that one can practice Dharma anywhere. This, in my view, is not a contradiction, but indicates that Cohen is angry at Brad and confused as to the nature of Buddhas teaching. Although I am sure he is not, and is merely angry, therefore confused. What is so hard about practising Dharma in a strip club, or what is offensive about it?

Thanks, James.

Anonymous said...


http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=471


Read Stephanie's post. Smartest comment ever.

fuzzy said...

"I wouldn't think it would be Brad's place to jump on your blog and light into your approach to things or question your substance."

I agree, but Brad has no problem with lighting into other teachers' approach or questioning their substance. Jundo's crticism of Brad doesn't seem any more harsh than Brad's attacks on Genpo, Andrew Cohen (maybe he's related to Jundo? That would explain the animosity LOL!)or other zen teachers.

Jules said...

I so much agree with those folks who believe in "reaching out to people about Buddhism in their own language". That's a great thing! How could I object to that? If you want to reach out to drug addicts, head down to the street corner. If you want to observe, for educational purposes, alternative sexual behavior, visit a sex club with pencil & notebook in hand.

But this is not about either "observing" or "reaching out". Do you know the expression from local newscasts "if it bleeds it leads?" Perhaps you think Jerry Springer's show is meant as a sociological study of human dynamics? It's about shock, man, shock shock shock, ratings and dirty words.


Is that really the bottom line for you? Consider that many people in today's "Western youth culture," as someone put it, have so much exposure to sex and "dirty words" that these are NOT shocking to them. What you (and the clutch of hens complaining to you) see as "dirty words" are simply seen as more expressive words by many, many people. Shock is very much a cultural phenomenon, and what is shocking to some people is not shocking to others. You seemed to joke that you might be a prude in an earlier post. It seems to me that's exactly what all this boils down to. If you're "shocked" by Brad's words, I'm sorry, but maybe you and your students should spend less time perusing the SuicideGirls web site if you're so sensitive.

ratboy said...

I just noticed E Sangha has deleted a link someone posted to Brad's SG article. Here's what the moderator said:

"I edited out the link, simply because that is breaking at least a couple of precepts from what I see - sexual misconduct and abusive language."

I loathe ESangha nearly as much as Brad. They would probably also delete a link if Brad had written that rebirth isn't literal.

dan said...

"I'm sorry, but maybe you and your students should spend less time perusing the SuicideGirls web site if you're so sensitive."

Lol. True. I wonder if Jundo's been temtped by the free samples on offer at SG? ;)

The thing is Jundo, it didn't 'shock' its intended audience: the readers of suicide girls so it wasn't really about shock value it was an attempt to tell the readers of SG about zazen on a level they could 'dig'.

Rocky said...

It's really getting exciting.

I can just say despite the problems that this story might uncover it also shows what kind of great people hang around here, too. Not because they are Bradaholics but rather because they explain what they think in many different ways.

"Jundo's crticism of Brad doesn't seem any more harsh than Brad's attacks on Genpo."

You might have not seen it (can easily happen with 200 comments for sure) but Jundo threatened Brad by e-mail.

Criticism is one thing, abuse another.

The strange thing is that Jundo kept repeating how much Brad and his fans allegedly break precepts and such and he did not honestly apologize for what he had written in that e-mail, he only went as far to say that he almost was not using gentle words.

Jundo wanted to turn the situation into some formal dharma battle and then started explaining his problems he has with Brad's teaching in general, and no longer just his article at Suicide Girls.

For those who missed the most scandalous part of this drama: Jundo's mail to Brad

Rocky

laserjack said...

What shines trough all this discussion about alternative lifestyles is that it is not okay for many people, no matter what they say.

You won't kill them, you don't think it should be forbidden what they do, you think that the Buddha/Jesus/Tom Cruise still loves them.

But what is easy to recognize is how many people feel superior because they are not like that.

The thought that other people's actions are not helpful for their practice, the idea that they will not achieve what you have achieved, the notion of difference between those "who know" and those who don't - I don't think that is some healthy spirituality.

LaserJack

HezB said...

James,

In the scramble to be right we... just scramble.

"Right" is shit. It won't help you on your death bed, and probably anywhere on the journey to it. But, that's just my gig. Go for it and don't listen to my shit.

Dogen gave out crap about other sects, the Japanese in general and 'Non-Buddhists' and 'madmen'(and I think he had certain 'Buddhists' very much in mind when he said this). He also preached complete acceptance, he taught shintoists the method of practice and he took the big risk of trying to express the transmission on paper recognising its importance and potential for humanity.

Either of these bozos can teach the method of liberation regardless of their clowing. I hope, in the scramble, we don't loose sight of what the important part of that equation is.

Regards,

Harry.

mysteriondan said...

Gudo has taught Brad the effective use of revealing interpersonal correspondence to public scrutiny.
Not exactly a dharma teaching but not breaking any precepts either..
If you say what you mean and mean what you say, there should be no regrets on either side.

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

"I edited out the link, simply because that is breaking at least a couple of precepts from what I see - sexual misconduct and abusive language."

What? I was JOKING with the Scientology/Peoples Temple remarks.

I faint.

--IceBucket

Mysterion said...

Among the many teachings Shakyamuni left for his disciples, of particular importance is the digest of doctrines called the Sutra of the Last Discourse containing the Eight Awakenings of Great Beings, which people who know the truth of the world must understand. They are important enough to deserve constant consideration. SOURCE

HezB said...

Yeah, let the dead guy sort it out.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Some old article about the advent of the Porn Buddhist, Brad Warner.

Anonymous said...

I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you.

Shakyamuni said...

#7 Having wisdom.

Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is repeatedly listening, observing, and developing the power to process experiences and make judgments from a comprehensive viewpoint. It is not conceited. It is not controlled by the opinions of others. Firmly possessing this kind of wisdom provides great strength in times of suffering.

Jules said...

Anonymous said...

Some old article about the advent of the Porn Buddhist, Brad Warner.

I didn't realize Brad had already addressed this exact issue in an older article. I find one part particularly interesting. In Mr. Cohen's first post above, he wrote:

I believe it is an embarrassment for my Teacher, and some of us are trying to deal with it within our Lineage.

But in the old article at the above link, Brad wote:

Be that as it may, I want to address my role as the Porno Buddhist. When this accusation was made, my teacher recommended my “friends” to study a chapter in Dogen’s Shobogenzo called “Flowers in Space.”

It seems to me that Nishijima Roshi is not embarrassed by Brad, and that Nishijima made that abundantly clear to Mr. Cohen. Maybe Mr. Cohen can clarify this issue for us.

Plaudertasche said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Brad for bringing people who think they "got it" like Jundo loose their stiffness :))) and have them realize how far away they are still on getting the real thing.
That he is taking this much time off the cushion to explain himself shows only how far he is from the Big Kahuna.
As I see it, Brad is a great teacher of our times and even he doesn't really like be one....I think it's a done deal, it is his calling and his teacher was wise enough to see it even if most of them dusty "Buddhist Masters" don't get it. Keep it up Brad and slap their faces until they see the light :))

Gerry Gomez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eihei Dogen said...

Kuge: Flowers of Space
by Eihei Dogen
translated by Yasuda Joshu roshi
and Anzan Hoshin sensei
© 1999-2000 White Wind Zen Community

Our Founding Ancestor composed this verse:

"A single flower blooms, five petals open, and fruit ripens by itself."

Learn through your practice the moment when the flower blooms, as well as its form and colour in the light. The flower's body is five petals, and the blooming of five petals is a flower. The standard of the single flower comes from [Bodhidharma's verse], "Originally I came to this land to transmit the Dharma and liberate deluded sentient beings." The form and colour in the light are learned through practice. "Fruit ripening by itself" is natural activity. "Natural activity" means causing causes and the affect of effects. This world has causes and it has effects. We cause the causes of this world and are affected by the effects that are the world. The "self" of "itself" is you, those four elements and five aggregates. The "true person without position" is used for this kind of "self" because it is not an "I" or a "someone". "Being so" means approving this. "Ripens by itself" is the moment of flowers opening and fruits ripening, the moment of transmitting the Dharma and liberating the deluded.

For example, the time and place of the opening and blooming of the blue lotus are in the midst of fire and at the time of flames. These sparks and flames are the place and time of the blue lotus opening and blooming. All sparks and flames are within the place and time of the place and time of the blue lotus opening and blooming. Know that in a single spark are hundreds of thousands of blue lotuses, blooming in the sky, blooming on the earth, blooming in the past, blooming in the present. Experiencing the actual time and place of this fire is the experience of the blue lotus. Do not drift by this time and place of the blue lotus flower.

An ancient said, "The blue lotus blooms within fire." To understand "within fire" you must know where this lotus blooms. Do not be attached to the viewpoints of humans or of shining beings or you will not understand this "fire within". If you doubt this, you might as well also doubt the existence of a lotus in the water, or a flower on the branch. If you want to doubt something, you should doubt the stability of an objective world. But you don't. Only the Ancestors realize that "when the flower blooms the world arises". A "flower blooms" is "three by three in front, three by three behind". To fill such numbers is the gathering together and raising up of numberless particles. When this truth comes to you, you can understand how spring and autumn come. It is not that there are flowers and fruit only in spring and autumn. Being-time is always flowering and fruiting. Flowers and fruit are each supported and maintained by their own moments and each moment is supported and maintained by flowers and fruit. The "hundred grasses" all have flowers and fruit, all trees have flowers and fruit. Trees of gold, silver, copper, iron, coral, crystal, and so on, all have flowers and fruit. Trees of earth, wind, water, fire, and space all have flowers and fruit. Human trees have flowers, human flowers have flowers, and withered trees have flowers. In all of this are the "flowers of space" spoken of by the Buddha. People of narrow knowledge and small insight do not know of the form and colour in the light of petals and flowers and so would only understand this to mean "non-existent flowers". Understand that speaking of "flowers of space" in the Way of Awake Awareness is not even known of let alone understood by those outside of the Way. Only the Buddhas and Ancestors realize the blossoming and falling of flowers in the sky, flowers on the ground, realize the blossoming and falling of the flowering of the world and so on; only they know that the flowers of the sky, the ground, the world are the sutras. This is the standard through which there is study of Awake Awareness. Since flowers in space are the vehicle in which the Buddhas and Ancestors travel, the worlds of the Buddhas and the Teachings are simply these flowers of space.

However, when the common dullard hears of the Thus Come One's words "clouded eyes see flowers in space" they imagine that these are the "clouded eyes" of usual people. They understand that diseased eyes can perceive nonexistent flowers in empty air. Through becoming attached to this perspective, they think it means that the three worlds, the six realms, Buddha-nature, and Buddhas have no existence but are seen as existent by the deluded. They think that by eliminating the delusions of clouded eyes we will not see flowers in space because space is originally without flowers. I am sorry, but these people do not know the time of, the beginning and ending of, the "flowers of space" that the Thus Come speaks of. What Buddhas speak of when they say "clouded eyes" or "flowers in space" is a truth that cannot be understood by usual people or those that are not within the Way. It is through practising this flower of space that Awakened Ones and the Thus Come receive the robe, the [Teaching] Seat, and [a Master's] Room, and fulfill the fruition of the truth. The standard of "raising a flower and blinking" is a manifestation of "flowers of space". The unbroken and authentic Transmission to right now of the Eye of Reality, unsurpassable radiant Knowing, is called "clouded eyes" and "flowers in space". Awakening, cessation, the Body of Reality, the inherent nature and so on are just two or three petals opened by this flower of space.

Sakyamuni Buddha says,

"It is like a person with clouded eyes
seeing flowers in empty air.
When the disease of cloudy eyes is cured,
the flowers in empty air vanish."

None of the scholars have clear understanding of what is being said. Since they do not realize space, they cannot understand "flowers in space". Since they do not understand "flowers in space", they do not understand "cloudy eyes", cannot see a person with such "clouded eyes", and cannot become a person of "cloudy eyes". Through meeting one with such "cloudy eyes", we can understand "flowers in space" and can see "flowers in space". Having seen "flowers in space", we then see "flowers in space vanish". The Narrow Path has the opinion that once "flowers in space" vanish, they cannot appear again. But if you cannot see "flowers in space", what can you see? If you think of "flowers of space" as something to be eliminated, then the great matter following from "flowers in space" and their seeding, ripening, and vanishing is never realized. The usual scholar of the day thinks of space as the place where the energy of the sun shines, or that where the sun and moon and stars hang is space; and so they think that the phrase "flowers in space" means that forms appear like clouds drifting in empty air or like flowers blown east to west, up and down, with the falling and rising gusts of wind. They do not realize that the four elements as the creating and created, all of the knowns of an "objective" world, primordial Awakeness, the original nature and so on are all called "flowers of space". And so further, they do not realize that the four elements which configure knowns are also created by knowns, they do not know that the "objective" world abides as a configuration of knowns but only know knowns as things of an "objective" world. They understand "flowers in space" to exist because of "clouded eyes" and do not understand that "clouded eyes" exist because of "flowers of space". Know that the "person with clouded eyes" spoken of by the Buddha is a person of primordial Awakening, a person of ineffable realization, a person of the Buddhas, a person of the three worlds, a person that moves beyond the Buddhas. Do not dully believe this "cloudiness" as delusion and look for true reality elsewhere. This is a small view. If "cloudiness" and "flowers" are delusions, then the attachment to this wrong view of delusion is deluded and that which is attached is deluded. With all of this delusion, nothing logical can be said. Nothing could be true, and so to establish "cloudiness" and "flowers" as delusion would be impossible.

Realization is "cloudiness" and the numberless aspects of realization are each part of an array of "clouds". Delusion is also "clouded" and the numberless aspects of delusion are also an array of "clouds". For now, let us say that "clouded eyes" are balanced and "flowers in space" are balanced; since "clouded eyes" are unborn then "flowers in space" are unborn; when all things are truly known as knowns16 then "cloudy flowers" are truly known. This cannot be said to be a matter of past, present, or future or of beginning, middle, and end because they are not blocked by coming and going. They cause coming and going to come and go. Coming within space and going within space, coming in "clouded eyes" and going in "clouded eyes", coming in "flowers" and going in "flowers". All other times and places are also like this.

The study of "flowers in space" can take many forms. There is the view of "cloudy eyes", the view of clear eyes; what is seen by the Buddha's eyes and what is seen by the eyes of the Ancestors; what is seen by eyes of the Way and what is seen by the blind. There is a view of three thousand years, a view of eight hundred years, a view of hundreds of eons, a view of numberless eons. Although all of these are seeing "flowers in space", there are many kinds of "space" and so there are many kinds of "flowers".

Know that space is a single grass. Space inevitably flowers just as the hundred grasses all flower. To express this, the Thus Come One said, "Space is originally without flowers." Although primordially there are no flowers, now there are flowers. This is how it is for peach and plum, apricot and willow. It is like saying, "Yesterday the apricot trees had no flowers, but now the apricots flower in spring." The arriving of the season is when the flowers bloom, in the blooming of flowers is the time when the flower arrives. The precise moment of this time of flowering is not arbitrary. Apricot and willow flowers always bloom on apricot and willow trees. Looking at the flowers you know that they are apricot or willow, and by looking at apricot and willow trees you can distinguish their flowers. Peach and plum flowers never bloom on apricot and willow trees. Apricot and willow flowers bloom on apricot and willow trees and peach and plum flowers always bloom on peach and plum trees. The blossoming of "flowers of space" is just like this too; they are not blooming on some other kind of plant or tree.

Seeing the colours of these "flowers in space," you can have a sense of the limitlessness of the fruits of space. Seeing the blossoming and falling of "flowers in space", you can learn the spring and autumn of "flowers of space". The spring of "flowers of space" is just like the spring of all flowers. Just as "flowers in space" are myriad, so are there myriad moments of spring. This is how the springs and autumns of all times are.

Understanding "flowers in space" as unreal but other flowers to be real is to be ignorant of the Buddha's Teachings. On hearing the Teaching that, "space is originally without flowers," thinking that "flowers in space" originally did not exist but that now they do is a small and narrow view. We should step forward and take a panoramic view. An ancient Ancestral Adept19 said, "Flowers have never appeared." To unfold this point, the truth is that flowers have never arisen, that flowers have never vanished, that flowers have never been flowers, that space has never been space. Don't be mired in fatuous views of existing or not-existing and thus confuse the time of flowering with a before and after. It is like the colours of flowers; colour is not limited to flowers and all seasons also have blues, yellows, reds and whites. Spring brings on flowers and flowers bring on spring.

The layman Zhangzhuo was a student of Shishuang. The verse he wrote expressing his realization goes like this:

"Luminosity shines through worlds numberless as the sands of the Ganges."

This luminosity manifests "the Monks' Hall, the Buddha Hall, the Kitchen, the gates."22 The "worlds numberless as the sands of the Ganges" is manifested by luminosity and manifests luminosity.

"All beings, common and sages, are my family."

It is not that there are not common people and sages, but that saying "common" and "sage" stains it.

"When no single thought arises, the total body is manifest."

Thoughts arise one by one and each are unborn. This non-arising is where the total body is manifest. This is why he says, "no single thought arises".

"As soon as the six senses stir, they are covered in clouds."

Although there are six senses of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness, this is not just two times three; they should be "three in front, three behind". "Stirring" is like Mount Meru, like the earth, like the six senses and like "as soon as stirring". As "stirring" is like Mount Meru, so "not stirring" is also like Mount Meru. For example, it makes clouds and rain.

"Eliminating disturbances just doubles the disease."

There has been disease up until now. Then there is the "disease" of the Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors. Intellectualizing about disturbances and trying to remove them doubles disease. At the moment you try to "eliminate" there is "disturbance". They come together and yet are not together. "Disturbance" includes within itself its own "elimination".

"Aiming at Suchness is also wrong."

To turn away from Suchness is wrong and aiming at Suchness is also wrong. Suchness approaches and turns away and each moment of aiming or turning is itself Suchness. Is there anyone who can know this "wrong" to be Suchness?

"Going along with the circumstances of the world without hindrance..."

"Worldly circumstances" "go along" with "circumstances of the world" and "going along" is a "circumstance of the world" in its "going along". This is called being "without hindrance". As for being beyond "hindrance" and "without hindrance", we should study the "hindrance" of the eyes.

"Nirvana and birth and death are just flowers in space."

"Nirvana" is Complete and Utter Awakening. This is the place of the Buddhas and Awakened Ancestors and of the disciples of Buddhas and Ancestors. "Birth and death are the true human body." Nirvana, and birth and death are all of these things but they are just "flowers in space". The roots and stalks, stems and leaves, flowers and fruit, colours and light of "flowers of space" are each the blossoming of "flowers of space". "Space flowers" give forth "space fruit" and drop "space seeds". Since the three worlds we now perceive are the "five petals opening" of "flowers of space", "the best is to see the three worlds with the three worlds". This is the "true form" of "all things". This is the "flower form" of "all things". All things and anything that can be imagined are "flowers of space" and "fruit of space". You should learn through practice that these are the same as apricot, willow, peach, and plum trees.

Zen Master Furong of Fuchou in Great Song upon his first encounter with Master Zhizhen of Guizhong-si asked, "What is Buddha?"

Guizhong responded, "If I were to tell you, will you believe it?"

Furong said, "How could I not believe the true words of the Master?'

Guizhong said, "You are yourself it."

Furong asked, "How should I maintain this?"

Guizhong said, "If there is a single cloud in the eye, flowers in the sky tumble in all directions."28

This saying of Guizhong, "When there is a single cloud in the eye, flowers of space tumble in all directions" expresses maintaining the Buddhas. Just remember that this "tumbling in all directions" of "clouded flowers" is what all Awakened Ones realize. And the flowers and fruit in the eye of space are what the Buddhas maintain. Through "clouds", the eyes are actualized. Flowers in space manifest the eyes and the eyes realize flowers in space. You could say, "If there are flowers of space in the eye, then a single cloud tumbles in all directions." On the other hand, "If the eyes are there in space, all clouds tumble in all directions. Thus, "cloudiness" is the "presentation of complete activity", "eyes" are the "presentation of complete activity", space is the "presentation of complete activity", and "flowers" are the "presentation of complete activity". "Tumbling in all directions" is the "thousand eyes" and "the whole body is eyes". Wherever and whenever there is an eye, there are always "flowers in space" and "flowers in eyes". "Flowers in eyes" are called "flowers in space". The expression of "flowers and eyes" should be open and clear.

Thus, the Great Master Guangzhou said,

"How wonderful! The Buddhas throughout the ten directions
are originally just the flowers in our eyes.
And if we want to know about these flowers in our eyes
they are originally the Buddhas throughout the ten directions.
If we want to know the Buddhas of the ten directions,
they are not flowers in our eyes.
If we want to know the flowers in our eyes,
they are not the Buddhas of the ten directions.
If you can understand this,
the Buddhas of the ten directions are to blame.
If you don't understand,
those with only hear-say knowledge do a little dance,
and those who make up their own enlightenment put on make up."

You should know that it is not that the Buddhas of the ten directions are not real but that they are originally "flowers in the eyes". The place where the Buddhas of the ten directions abide is "in the eyes". Any place other than "in the eyes" is not the abode of the Buddhas. "Flowers in the eyes" do not exist nor do not not-exist, are neither nothing nor a substance; they are themselves "the Buddhas of the ten directions". Now if you want to know only "the Buddhas of the ten directions", then they are not the "flowers in our eyes". And if you only want to know the "flowers in our eyes", then they are not "the Buddhas of the ten directions". This "wanting to know" and "are not" are manifestations of the wondrous, they are great wonders. The meaning of "sky flowers" and "earth flowers" spoken of by the Buddhas and Ancestors is "graceful play". Even those who teach only from the sutras or from their commentaries have the opportunity to hear of "flowers of space" but only Buddhas and Ancestors use this opportunity to experience the life-pulse of flowers of the earth. The sayings of the Awakened Ones and the Ancestors capture the life-pulse of flowers of the earth.

Zen Master Huiche of Shimen33 of Great Song was a great Master of that line. A monk asked, "What is the jewel in the mountain?" The point of this question is like asking, "What is Buddha?" It is like asking, "What is the truth?" The Master said, "Flowers of space unfold on the ground. Throughout the country, there is no way to buy."

This saying cannot be compared with other sayings. Usually, Teachers only talk about "flowers of space" as "flowers of emptiness" and only talk about arising in emptiness and going in emptiness. None have yet known "of space" let alone "of the ground". Only Shimen understood it. The meaning of "on the ground" is that the "beginning, middle, and end" are "on the ground". "Unfold" is to "release".37 Right now is the unfolding of the "whole earth", the releasing of the whole earth.

"Throughout the country, there is no way to buy." It is not that "throughout the country" there is no "buying". It is that "no way"38 cannot be bought.

"Flowers of space" unfold from the ground and the whole earth blooms from these flowers. Remember this: "flowers of space" means bringing both ground and space into bloom.

Presented to the assembly at Kannondori-Koshohorin-ji on May 10th, 1243. Recopied by Ejo on January 27th, 1244 at the head monk's quarters in Kippo-ji; copied again on August 28th, 1318 at the Guest Quarters of Eihei-ji.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hezb. You are right about the scrambling to be, er, right. However I won't be offering my 2 pence/cents from now as I don't really like partaking in Internet debate because words can so easily be misunderstood or the meaning not communicated, on my part anyway. So peace dude. But I am interested to see what comes of this, only in hope that Brad is not made to look bad in other Buddhist's eyes as he opened mine to what Buddhism can truely be about. (I don't mean to sound fundamentalist in that!) James.

Dr. benway said...

After Stephanie posted her ten cents on the controversy, Jundo wrote this to the treeleaf zendo forum:

"Hi, No time to read all the posts closely due to doctors appointment. I just want to say that Steph is right in saying there is nothing to dress up. A moment of anger, a too upset email dashed off ... I am sorry for it, like always when angry.

I will write more later. Gassho, Jundo"

Jundo has been sick.. it could be he is on some medications or his brain is a little out of whack from a fever or something. He does seem out of balance and his illness could be the reason. just a thought on his odd behavior..

sitzender Drache said...

As to the topic of Jundo:
Do not feed the trolls.
I am sorry, that you suffer. May you find peace. (Zazen should be a good way, maybe?! ;-)
Beeings are numberless - I vow to save them!
Gassho!

Rich said...

Dear Brad and Jundo,
You have received the great gifts of doubt and faith. Now is the time to reconcile and give the great gift of love and compassion to yourselves, your teacher and the world. You say you are dharma brothers, maybe you could work togehter on something which would be an example for everyone on how to help others and relieve suffering.

I had a brother once. He was one year older than me. Growing up we competed for everything - our parents love and attention, who was smarter, stronger and better. I first learned compassion when I defeated him in a fight in front of his friends. I embarrassed him and I felt very sad about that. We grew up and cared about each other but went separate ways.

Your mistakes of speech are small today, you are both honorable and sincere teachers, but without reconcilation, love and compassion, your mistakes will become bigger.

Ziggie_Freud said...

Dr. benway said...
"Jundo has been sick... it could be he is on some medications or his brain... or something. He does seem out of balance and his illness could be the reason. just a thought on his odd behavior..."

Maybe the 'doc' can drop Jundo's hat size a notch.

HezB said...

Now, all the self righteous, sanctimonious crap we've been spouting can be put brought into reality as we accept Jundo's confession in the spirit it is offered.

Regards,

Harry.

Jules said...

It's funny, the more I write in Buddhist blogs, the more foolish I feel. Which is why I've been writing less and less here over time. I quit posting on Flapping Mouths entirely. It's really easy to get judgmental, even pretentious when writing about Buddhism, because I'm pretty good at fooling myself in pride. It's reassuring to see that I'm not the only one.

Jules said...

Just saw your post, Harry. Mr. Cohen's "confession" seemed insincere to me, especially given his stated intent to continue protesting the upcoming retreat. Not that it matters; he's entitled to his opinion.

HezB said...

And your reference to him as "Mr.Cohen" seems insincere to me. Your/my call and, yes, it doesn't matter.

I wouldn't be involved in a sangha, or any organisation, that did not accomodate protest.

Now, off to watch some GOOD drama.

Regards,

Harry.

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

Harry wrote: And your reference to him as "Mr.Cohen" seems insincere to me.

In what way? What should I have called him? Jundo seemed too informal, especially given my distaste for his recent behavior. I thought "Mr. Cohen" was the most appropriate way to refer to him. He's not old enough for me to call him Roshi. Maybe Sensei would have been better, but he's not MY teacher. Whatever's important to you, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Jundo posted a video comment on his blog

VIDEO

HezB said...

Why, call him 'Mr. Penelope Greasytits' or you will burn in Porna Buddhist hell of course (which may not be as bad a gig as it sounds by all reports).

Regards,

Harry.

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