Saturday, February 02, 2008

BORED OF CORRECTIONS

I was looking at the comments section for the last piece I put up here. What a riot! I’m staying on the sidelines till the dust clears. But I did want to clarify one thing. It seems like most readers understood the picture I was trying to paint with my words of what happened on the evening I was describing at the beginning and end of the Suicide Girls piece. But a couple people took things way wrong, and the fault is mine.

Because of the poor way I worded the piece, some readers assumed that I had actually witnessed the woman in question being suspended by fish hooks and getting her labia pierced. Ugh! That’s way too hardcore even for me. Actually she just hung around after the dance and told us about having done that stuff. She also gave us her MySpace address, which had photos to prove it.

I don’t really give two shits what anyone thinks of my going into that club. What you think of what other people do is your problem, and I can’t help you. But I felt like maybe I ought to at least make that clarification.

Here is the first paragraph again with the corrections I added to it today:

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 gave her a ferocious lap dance. Threatened my balls with spike heeled platform shoes. Hissed in my face that she was into edgeplay. She said she got giant fish hooks stuck through her back with which they hung her bleeding body from the ceiling till her screams careened off the hard brick dungeon walls. Said they pierced her labia with five-inch needles. Said she worked for Lloyd Kaufman at Troma Films for years. I’ve heard what that’s like. The lady could take some pain.

As to the issue of the Precepts that some readers have raised, it is very important to remember that the Buddhist Precepts are never, but never, to be used as a weapon. The Precepts are there as guidelines for us as individuals to judge our own behavior, not the behavior of others. When you observe the behavior of another person always bear in mind that you can never know the true circumstances that led that person to behave in some particular fashion. Of course if that behavior is causing harm or danger to you or someone else it may sometimes be proper to intervene. But in most cases it's probably none of your business.

Buddhism is an attitude. It's an approach to life. The Precepts are meant as helpers to guide us in establishing this attitude. They're not a list of rules that we, the Precept Police, are enjoined to enforce. There are many things in this life that are beyond our knowledge or even our capacity to know.

These days I am discovering how much deep and lasting harm has been done in this world by those who appear to society as the upholders of holiness and morality. The stories I could tell you! Maybe some day I will. But each time I hear one my heart feels like its been crushed. It is our duty as Buddhists to refrain from causing more of this kind of pain ourselves. That is our mission.

My friend Rob, who attends my weekly get-togethers at Hill Street Center and often posts here as SmoggyRob, said that his take on the Bodhisattva Vow of saving all beings was that it was his duty to save all beings from himself. We all need to have that attitude.

ANYWAY. Here, again, is the list of upcoming gigs I’ll be doing this year. Over the last couple years, a few readers have made their way to the sesshins at Tokei-in temple. That’s always very touching. If you’re planning to do this in 2008, please write me and I’ll do what I can to make the trip as painless as possible (unless, of course, like my exotic dancer friend you’re actually into pain).

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.

85 comments:

Matt said...

i for one actually feel pretty good about all the doin's that transpired over the past few days. I honestly feel like everyone is being pretty open and honest and stuff--i have a feeling people are going to actually come out ahead on this one, and that makes me pretty happy.

(first?)

peace, gassho and all that,
matt

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the corrections...duly noted.
However, even without the corrections, the fact is, we do find ourselves in the oddest of places sometimes, not only the reminiscences of an artiste's more grueling acts.
To me, your article is valid either way.

What there is to encounter, when all is said and done, is only ourselves--I can't possible know what your experience was--you write about it--but I can't know for you, I can only know my response as I read it, my experience of what you write about.

Your fearlessness

It has been very interesting, reading all these different responses, and responses to the responses.

Your article took me down a memory lane of my own, that was my response.

Thanks for bringing up the precepts--its one of those 'zen' terms that gets bandied about at zen centers.

I agree with your friend Rob saving all sentient beings from me--it also means I need to save myself from myself!

Anyway, I need to put in at work for my desired vaction time off --a week in September--count me in for the retreat. I'll be letting you know for sure when the time off requested gets approved.

Anonymous said...

As for the precepts:
when do I truly mind mine
if I mind others'?

door knob said...

I briefly glanced at the comments a few times over the last few days concerning the SG article. Quite frankly, it gave me a headache (not literally). For whatever reason, people seem to have this pressing need to be offended or to be worked up about something, anything.

Anonymous said...

"I don’t really give two shits what anyone thinks of my going into that club. What you think of what other people do is your problem, and I can’t help you. "

The lady doth protest to much methinks :)

Anonymous said...

hi brad. i always really love to read your writing. i did not catch the piece. but, it seems people are starting to "get" you. that's a worry eh?
the elusive naturalness, becomes more elusive, because we understand the teaching.
nagajuna said unless our undertsanding/view dissolves itself, we will always just be crazy fundamentalists (or something..)

DB said...

Seems to me upon some reflection, Brad, that as a writer, you'd benefit from an editor with a very light touch. I think some of the stylistic ambiguity in that SG piece might have been tightened up by a good editor. Does anyone edit your stuff there or do they just put it out as written?

Also, you (and Rob) make some good succinct points about the precepts. I'm about to undergo the taking of the precepts ceremony and I've been somewhat reluctant about it because I wondered if I was setting myself up for failure. However reading your attitude towards the precepts (as well as reading Dogen) I feel more comfortable with it.

I don't know if anyone is ever truly ready to "accept" the precepts or whatever the term is. There's this feeling we should make ourselves perfect and then do the ceremony, but that ain't ever gonna happen. I've decided to go ahead and do the ceremony, knowing ahead of time that I won't be able to keep the precepts and trying not to see that as a failure.

leoboiko said...

Every time you use Buddhist trappings to judge others, Nansen kills a kitten.

Please, think of the kittens!

Rasa said...

No object no subject. Not here /not now.

icebucket said...

"SmoggyRob said that his take on the Bodhisattva Vow of saving all beings was that it was his duty to save all beings from himself."

/bow

--IceBucket

Anonymous said...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/porn/view/

gniz said...

Absolutely agree with the newest post.

Using my own view of morality to judge others, to display my own superiority, to play "savior", is a waste of time and very harmful.

I do best when minding myself and my own life--there is PLENTY to correct there on an hourly basis.

Aaron

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

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/porn/view/

Anonymous said...

http://www.newworldlibrary.com/

New age

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPg9DnMP2D4

Same pubisher?

Anonymous said...

$$$$$

mondrian5 said...

"To save all sentient beings from myself"
Brilliant.
Thank you Rob.

gassho

JM

Anonymous said...

http://www.marcallen.com/

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfcZZCl_S7I

I made this visualization tool for anyone wanting to use some wealth building affirmations. I hope it's helpful the music is off a celtic harp cd I own that has no names on it.. sorry. The CD is called Celtic Harpestry. The affirmations came from The Secret, the books Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

Shakti Gawain is one owner of NEWWORLDLIBRARY

babbles said...

". . . his take on the Bodhisattva Vow of saving all beings was that it was his duty to save all beings from himself. We all need to have that attitude.

As it has now been mentioned a few times, this attitude is, in a word, brilliant.

I have never quite thought of it in this manner, and now I hope I can practice this way.

Mysterion said...

'wealth building affirmations'

Ever wonder how many guys carry a wallet in their back pocket and fart on the money that they carry?

ah yes, money -
the sound of a fart,
the smell of shit

Some view wealth differently.

Anonymous said...

is Shakti Gawain publisher of Brad's books?

laserjack said...

My idea on Buddhism the first years and still today was something like being less of an annoyance to the world. Good to see I am not alone with that.

@matt: Do we start that troll "first" thing now? :-)

LaserJack

Anonymous said...

yea go ahead laserjerk

Anonymous said...

Second, the note by me that Brad revealed on his blog was actually the end of a long private interchange between us over a long period time when I tried to be warm and fuzzy, but was told to do various things with my body parts. Nor was I upset just by one essay, but by months (years!) of his shock writings that were getting worse and having effect on the reputation of our Sangha (yes, reputation is sometimes important ... especially when the bad reputation is being earned and is well deserved!). Finally, in a moment of weakness, I dashed off a stupid email flame. I am sorry for the moment of anger nonetheles


Please post all email exchanges.

Thank you

Gerry Gomez said...

"...what we think is less than what we know; what we know is less than what we love; what we love is so much less than what there is. And to that precise extent we are so much less than what we are."

from R.D. Liang, The Politics of Experience

Gerry Gomez said...

That should have been R.D. Laing

Lone Wolf said...

One of the best SG articles yet.

esmerelda_verde said...

S.Rob: your take on the precepts is very cool, I will try that too.

Brad: I do think you need a editor or a least someone to read things before you put them up. The extent of the performance was not at all apparent in the original piece.

PS: I thought Troma only did bad/funny horror, ie 'Toxic Avenger', 'KabukiMan'. I used to know people who worked there. Too bad if they have changed, Working for them is a job Brad could do.

jackalope said...

Four Zen students decided to take a vow of silence for a month-long meditation retreat. All the first week, they maintained silence perfectly. Their meditation had begun quite auspiciously.

But early on the 8th day, a crow somehow found its way into the zendo and became trapped. As the students tried to sit their morning meditation, the bird flew from one end of the building to the other, beating its wings against the windows and calling in its harsh voice. Finally, one of the students could stand it no longer. He jumped to his feet and began to wave his arms in the air, shouting "Get out of here! You stupid bird!"

Rather taken aback by this outrageous performance, a second student reminded him "We're not supposed to talk."

"By chastising your brother for breaking silence, you've broken silence yourself," said the third student.

"I'm the only one who hasn't spoken" concluded the fourth.

Matt said...

Laserjack
"@matt: Do we start that troll "first" thing now? :-)"



Anonymous
"Second, the note by me that Brad revealed on..."


ha! some of us just can't help ourselves! :)

Matt said...

Cryptic of me

Matt said...

(first, second...to me it was funny that the troll "first" comment was almost immediately followed by a sentence that started with "second.." and I found it amusing. i have a talent for hamstringing conversations, bringing them to the ground, and devouring them so no one else gets to play. apologies.)

game on!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm a GOOBERSMOOCH!

Chef Edible said...

when zen bites, chew your food well.

Anonymous said...

"I made this visualization tool for anyone wanting to use some wealth building affirmations."

Mmhh, right... you came to the wrong place.

Jules said...

Jundo's latest video is just further evidence that he just doesn't get it. He says over and over that a Buddhist teacher shouldn't be "mean all the time," or "pretend to be angry day after day after day."

Like I tried to say in the last blog entry, in some cultural contexts, like the culture of the people Brad is reaching out to, the kind of language Brad uses does not seem angry or shocking. In fact, I'd say that goes for most young Americans today. I'm thirty-six, and that's pretty much how I communicate with my friends. Twentysomethings are probably even less inhibited with regard to sex and language than I am.

I imagine if I had the luxury of surrounding myself with peaceful gardens, zendos and people all the time, then Brad's language might seem shocking. But for those of us who spend every day immersed in modern culture, it's just not a big deal. It's not violent. It's not mean. It's not immoral.

I think that the people who find themselves offended by Brad's writing are not going to take him seriously as a teacher; therefore he's not doing them any harm. And I think some of the people he's reaching out to might start to listen to some of the other things he's said about balance, moderation, and practice, and reap great benefits.

So who's getting hurt? That's the part I haven't figured out. Why does Mr. Cohen care? He talks about making the world a less ugly place. Ugly in whose eyes?

Also, I'd really like to hear what Mr. Cohen has to say about his statement that Nishijima Roshi is embarassed by Brad. From what Brad wrote, it sounds like Nishijima made it very clear, specifically to Mr. Cohen, that he was NOT embarrassed by Brad. I'm really curious about that, because it sounds like Mr. Cohen is either lying, or there was a very significant miscommunication.

Jules said...

Jules wrote: So who's getting hurt? That's the part I haven't figured out. Why does Mr. Cohen care?

I don't know whether Mr. Cohen's son appears in all his videos, but the implied answer to my question is, "FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!"

Anticipating that answer, please consider this: if your child is already reading the SuicideGirls web site, would you rather there was a voice there advocating balance, practice, moderation, and abstinence from intoxicants? Or would you rather that voice was silenced?

HezB said...

Yes, Jules.

Probably just a simple misunderstanding due to relative perceptions and values... like World War II!!!

I think you are very close to the heart of the matter there. The world is indeed a big place in many respects.

By the same token, what horrors do you think Attila the Prude can unleash on young Larry Flint there?

Why do YOU care?

I propose a good old fashioned purgative jihad.

Regards,

Harry.

David said...

Well said, Jules.

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

Why do YOU care?

Because I've personally learned a lot, and been helped a lot, by Brad. I don't appreciate it when busybodies who think they know better try to fit him with a ball gag.

HezB said...

I care because the TV is poor tonight, and I am concerned about Nishijima's lineages because I think he is onto something very important.

Ball-gag? Ha ha, in fairness Jundo's not the one into bondage.

I think we should get them both funky little orange jumpsuits and let them sock it out of an island that is just outside of our moral consciences somewhere.

How do you gag a man's balls anyway?

Regards,

Harry.

HezB said...

I suppose one could gag ON a man's balls... I feel an SG article coming on...

H.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen so many people Wasting their time.
Especially Jules. I read one line into his postings and I tune out. As do most people. What a big circle jerk it is in here.

I'll say this: Brad has a talent. He should learn to write. quit wasting time.

Wasting time.

Learn to write. There's a craft involved.
Carved.

Wasting time

Easy to type. Hard to write a good line of poetry.

Time is a wasting.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention,I'm not a Buddhist or a Zen person. I logged onto this by accident? I know very little about Buddhists or the Dalai Lama. It's my job. I have zero interests in your comments to my posting. I do know this: Wasting time is not good.

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

If I were Hugh Hefner I'd be inclined to agree with you.

Regards,

Harry.

HezB said...

...The time-wasting persom I mean.

:-))

H.

David said...

"Board of Corrections..."

booo, hisss...

Kozan Bob said...

If you need contact info for the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, please just do a follow-up comment, it will email to me. I just came back from the February zazenkai there today. It's a fantastic place, and I look forward to seeing you again there, Brad.

Anonymous said...

Jundo posted this. Huh??

As for the precepts:
when do I truly mind mine
if I mind others'?


Yes and no. Generally true, but I will propose a couple of exceptions.

First, there is that proposed by the Great Buddna, Pragmatist Philosopher John Dewey ... you may swing your arm as far you want to, when and where you want to, but I have some concern at the point when it impasts with my nose.

Second, there is the interference in the conduct of another for the sake of the group or society, be it a family, Sangha, school, office or the like. Thus the Buddha proposed very detailed rules for conflict in the Sangha and the resolution thereof.

Third, there is the interference in the actions of another sincerely driven by concern and love for the well-being of the other, such as an "intervention" for an alcoholic loved one.

There may be other exceptions.

But, otherwise, I am a libertarian ... live and let live. I think.

Gassho, Jundo

Jules said...

What a big circle jerk it is in here.

Says the anonymous coward...

mysteriondan said...

hey jules, it seems like only a few days ago you remarked that "Too much time is spent in Buddhist forums."

Ever since then you've been at it more than ever.. and now you're spending your time railing against anonymous cowards.. and this is right after you've spent the last few days trashing "Mr. Cohen" for losing his cool. wtf?

anony mouse dude said...

whoa

Jules said...

the anonymous coward. I'm projecting my own feelings about myself and ohh ewww it feels so good. I'm addicted to projection. It's almost as good as sex. But it's a sticky mess

DJ Voton said...

Jundo's rant was very disappointing; he seems like a cool guy, and a very good teacher, and I sit along with his video blog just about every day. Putting his kid in the video was very cheesy. Buddhists go to strip clubs, some are alcoholics (=cough=Maezumi=cough); they take recreational drugs, some of them are even conservative Republicans.
I've been watching live cams from Mardi Gras in New Orleans for the past couple of days, and you always see those evangelical guys carrying crosses, berating the partiers on Bourbon Street with bullhorns. Do they think they're going to convince anyone? Of course not. They just love to wallow in self-righteous anger. Nobody with a half a brain should be surprised to see pervy stuff on the SG site, and Jundo has more than a half a brain. He just couldn't resist having a good fume.

mysteriondan said...

Like Jules said.. It just feels so good to go off. When jundo is busy seeing Brad as the irresponsible perv, he gets to set himself up as the responsible good guy. He almost needs to see Brad as an a-hole now, especially after his ego was bruised when Brad was named head of DSI. I don't think he could ever admit that though. That would be facing up to a pretty dark place. just a theory.

Kathyjacobson/omaha said...

It's good to see Jules's observation that he's projecting all over the place

element said...

Hi,

At the Antai-ji Website is a new article about Kodo Sawaki and the Zen at war discussion, which I find worth to read for those who are interested.

http://antaiji.dogen-zen.de/eng/200801.shtml

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

FYI, The anonymous coward did the same trick he did to Brad a while back -- registered an account under my name, then linked it to my profile. Classy.

HezB said...

Element,

Thanks for the Zen at War link.

Revisionist history of that nature seems a very elaborate method of attaining the chemical buzz which is 'feeling right'.

On the other hand, the book did get a lot of people thinking about Zen in the war years. I think its good to consider the role of, and attitudes to, the precepts in such extreme circumstances.

This statement, from the not-so-crazt-guy, is interesting:

It seems to me that there are roughly three different approaches to the precepts:

"1) The orthodox or common-sense appoach to the precept as forbidding certain actions. You can either "keep" or "break" the precepts. In some traditions you can stay "clean" by excusing yourself from the percept (by disrobing etc) for the time you want to practice the action that is forbidden, i.e. have sex, kill people during war time etc.

2) The precepts as stating a "universal law". This seems to be the Mahayana interpretation that many Japanese Buddhist were and are still using. When Sawaki talks about the precept throwing a bomb, he is using this interpretion. Here you can not "break" the precept at all, because it is universal. You cannot kill universal life. Thus the precept becomes a tautology.

3) The percept as contradiction or koan, as Hisamatsu Shinichi's basic koan: What will you do when there is nothing at all you can do (and doing nothing at all is not an option either)? So it is not possible to "keep" the precept in the first place, but the function of the precept is to keep you aware of the contradiction of your life, and humble. It prevents the illusion "I am right, because I don't do wrong"."

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

yea okay jules.

Jinzang said...

On the SG piece: Anyone who does something different or controversial (and going to a strip club certainly qualifies) can expect to be criticized. Doesn't matter what it is or whether it's good or bad. Expect criticism.

It's the meat packing mantra: "Keep headed down the chute, there's bound to be a reward at the end."

Jinzang said...

His take on the Bodhisattva Vow of saving all beings was that it was his duty to save all beings from himself.

Refraining from harming others is basis of the pratimoksha vow, not the bodhisattva vow. The bodhisattva vow goes beyond not harming others by actively trying to help others.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Brad uses his 'punk' attitude to try and shock people. I am not convinced this is a good way of teaching. It may be that sometimes giving people a shock can help them along the path, but not all the time.

It also seems odd how different Brad is when writing his blog and actual video footage of him talking.

Brad usually retorts 'I never know when I am being controversial'. Well, maybe (just maybe) you need to bring some awareness to your writing Brad.

Noah Levine ( http://www.dharmapunx.com/ ) seems to be able to maintain a much more consistent attitude in his writing and verbal teaching.

Colorless White Teacher Learns Endlessly said...

Interesting, all this hey-who about god and precepts and bullshit. Yesterday, during a mundo with our Roshi, someone asked if Soto school accepted the teachings of Tibetan Buddhists. Our Roshi is kind, and told her, if she wants to be a Tibetan Buddhist, go find a teacher, and stick with that teacher, and that if she practiced mushotoku in that school,or any school/religion/philosophy, you'll being doing well.

It made me think, don't accept any teachings beyond the zafu. All of these books, all the stuff that Brad writes, is entertainment. And that's really how it functions in my life. I come to this page, I read the articles and comments, and it's just for fun. Nothing makes sitting any easier or harder.

But I think it's hard (for all those cantankerous people on the SG page)to understand that if you don't sit. It's hard to seriously-not-take-things-seriously. So no matter what, no one will understand why a Buddhist would go to a strip club or defend theism or whatever, because their life is so "serious."

That, and zazen hasn't kicked their ass enough to let go.

NellaLou said...

The nail that sticks out gets the hammer but sometimes the nail is sticking out because the house is falling down.

Jared said...

"The nail that sticks out gets the hammer but sometimes the nail is sticking out because the house is falling down."

Thank you for this, Nellalou.

Jinzang said...

It made me think, don't accept any teachings beyond the zafu.

Sitting is important, but so is the reason why you sit. In the Mahayana the reason why you sit is in order to benefit others.

kathy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn86ZAls6_A&feature=related


I would like to see all the email exchanges between Brad and Jundo. On his sight he claims there is long exchange. It would be interesting.

I would like to see Jules stop writing and just post naked pic of him self. Looks like eye candy only to me.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous kathy sed...
"I would like to see all the email exchanges between Brad and Jundo."

I wouldn't. It's dull, like THIS

kathy said...

Mysterion, with further thinking, I agree, it's dull. I guess I'm bored at the moment. I got caught up in the drama of " As Zen turns".

Although I still would like to see naked pics of Jules!

Jules said...

I'm flattered, but I don't think I'm going to be posting any cheesecake pics on the internets anytime soon. Sorry! :-)

kathy said...

Darn! :-)

David said...

"Blogger Jinzang said...

'His take on the Bodhisattva Vow of saving all beings was that it was his duty to save all beings from himself.'

Refraining from harming others is basis of the pratimoksha vow, not the bodhisattva vow. The bodhisattva vow goes beyond not harming others by actively trying to help others."



At first I didn't understand what Brad's friend meant when he said that... I thought "hmm.. maybe don't let other people get to you? Keep yourself nice and peaceful and don't let the world get you down?"

Then I realized what most others probably realized immediately... that it means to not let yourself bring harm to others... which is damn near impossible living in the world as we do. We have egos and we like to use them.

So actively taking a part in helping others by not allowing yourself to impart your own suffering and delusion on other people is a great and important step.

I think that is what Brad's friend meant, and why Brad endorses it as a vital aspect of the Bodhisattva vow.

Please let me know if I've misinterpreted this.

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

Mysterion said...

Anonymous kathy sed...
"I would like to see all the email exchanges between Brad and Jundo."

I wouldn't. It's dull, like THIS



clever. yes, it is indeed other people's underwear.

wipe your own ass!

Colorless White Teacher Learns Endlessly said...

"Sitting is important, but so is the reason why you sit. In the Mahayana the reason why you sit is in order to benefit others."

I'm sorry, but I have no reason to sit other than sitting. When I help people,I help them. When I sit, I sit.

Helping doesn't help me sit, and sitting doesn't help me help.

I think that Mahayana idea is just an illusion, like: "If I stare at a wall long enough, I'll forget my addiction, or write the memoir,or meet that fox who is bound to show up at temple someday."

I'm guilty, therefore wary.

Thomas Amundsen said...

I do think that Rob's comment about saving beings from ourself is brilliant. However, this only touches on a small part of the actual meaning of the first bodhisattva vow.

The version of the vow that I am familiar with goes - "beings are numberless, I vow to free them." Freeing someone from yourself doesn't make too much sense (like saving does), it seems this translation implies to free them from samsara (or at least the conception of samsara). If we are to do this, saving them from ourselves is only one very small part of the picture.

I know Brad gets squeamish when he hears stuff like this, but in order to free all beings from samsara, we must work to perfect the 6 paramitas so that we may achieve buddhahood. A buddha is able to free all sentient beings from samsara by using his expedient means.

That's just my take on it. Good comments Rob and Brad. :)

Colorless White Teacher Learns Endlessly said...

"Buddhahood"?

What is everyone talking about?

Might as well strive for "easterbunnyhood."

HezB said...

Hi,

Re. Rob's statement. Dogen said (and I concur) that the whole universe is just one human body. This is a big view, but one that can be realized quickly when we just drop discriminating thoughts of 'self' and 'other' in zazen.

When Dogen talked about using and receiving the self in zazen I think he meant this 'big self': we accept everything as the self/ or rather we do not discriminate on our usual terms of 'me' and everything else.

I think therefore that its a question of what value we place on 'myself'. As we know our 'little self', including thoughts of vows and precepts, is not a big, inclusive reality.

What is the universe but our self? Are we to save people from some external demon or Bad God?

In this light I think Rob's statement is very useful and meaningful.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

These are (mainly) translations of the Japanese Zen master Dogen Zenji (1200-1253) including some commentaries by Zen teachers. See also the Dogen Studies page under Zen Essays.

Soto Zen Text Project:
Some of the greatest translators of Dogen have come together to translate Dogen under the guidance of the Japanese Soto sect. Translators come from places such as Komazawa University, Stanford, Yale and UCLA. The project is far from finished but the following are now available:

Note: links are at the top of page and include Introduction, the translation and notes.
(See also Carl Bielefeldt's talk:Translating Dogen: Thoughts on the Soto Zen Text Project

arakan (the Arhat) by Stanley Weinstien
jinzû (Spiritual Powers) by Carl Bielefeldt
kaiin zanmai (Ocean Seal Samadhi) by Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich
katto (Twining Vines) by Carl Bielefeldt
kobutsu shin (Old Buddha Mind) by Carl Bielefeldt
raihai tokuzui (Getting the Marrow by Doing Obeisance) by Stanley Weinstein
sansui kyô (Mountains and Waters Sutra) by Carl Bielefeldt
shoaku makusa (Not Doing Evils) by William Bodiford
tashin tsû (Penetration of Other Minds) by Carl Bielefeldt
zazen gi (Principles of Zazen) by Carl Bielefeldt
zazen shin (Lancet of Zazen) by Carl Bielefeldt
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The Dragon's Howl, from Thomas Cleary's Rational Zen, the Mind of Dogen Zenji. (I've interspersed Cleary's comments throughout this essay.)

Gakudo yojin-shu: Guidelines for Studying the Way: gives the first 5 (of 10) parts to this essay. Taken from Moon in a Dewdrop.

Genjokoan:
translations of this seminal text by
Robert Aitken & Kazuaki Tanahashi
Thomas Cleary
Reiho Masunaga
Nishiyama & Stevens
Shohaku Okumura: 3 lectures on different parts of this text
Gary Fuhrman has linked 8 different translations together so comparisons can easily be made between each section of the writing. Recommended.

Tenzo Kyokun: Instructions for the Tenzo; translated by Yasuda Joshu Dainen and Anzan Hoshin.
Commentary on this text by Mel Weitsman

Kuge: Flowers of Space translated by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin

Uji: Dogen's essay on time translated by Reiho Masunaga.
Another translation by Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi from Moon in a Dewdrop by The Moon in a Dewdrop; writings of Zen Master Dogen Translated by Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi
Commentary on Uji by Dharmavidya David Brazier

Zenki: Translation by Thomas Cleary

Gabyo: Painted Rice Cakes translated by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin

Understanding the Shobogenzo : quite a long essay by Gudo Nishijima. Includes his explanation of his SOAR structure (subjective, objective, action and real). Also includes his translation of the Genjo Koan essay. The introduction to each of the essays from Nishijima's translation of the entire Shobogenzo is available here. These introductions give Nishijima's translation of the Japanese titles. Useful.