Sunday, February 17, 2008

SEX ABUSE AND ZEN or MAKING AN ASS OUT OF YOU AND ME

Assumption is a huge part of reading. It’s impossible for any writer to communicate his or her whole life to you. And anyway you wouldn’t want to hear about their painful bowel movement following last night’s Indian dinner or the new toothbrush they just bought at the 99 cent store. Or maybe you would if the writing was really superb. But even if they told you that, they’d be leaving out a whole lot of other stuff.

When you read someone’s writing you fill in what the writer leaves out either with your own personality or with your imagined version of that writer’s personality. Reading the comments section of this blog gives me a sense of the imagined version of me that’s coalescing around the things I write. It’s kind of fascinating because it’s so vastly unlike the kind of person I am. Seeing this has caused me to drop my own tendency to imagine what the writers I like to read are really like. I just don’t know. Dropping that imagined voice of the writer has actually allowed me to enjoy a wide range of writing in a much more satisfying way.

Taking the last piece I put up on this page as an example, all I really gave you was a photo and a very brief description of the events surrounding when it was taken. From that little snippet, several people invented fascinating worlds of debauchery, insecurity, infidelity and all kinds of other juicy stuff. None of it was real. Yet our own thought inventions are very compelling to all of us and we often get completely lost in them.

When you see someone taking action that you cannot understand it may be best not to assume too much. It’s a big waste of time, effort and energy to do so anyway.

I decided today to try and explain publicly a very small degree of what’s been going on in my life lately that has led to me doing some things I’ve been writing about. Once you finish reading this, you won’t really know much more than you did before and you will fill in what you don’t know with various assumptions of your own. That’s OK. I only ask you to be aware of the fact.

When I write about going to a strip club or to a party for the Suicide Girls, a lot of people fill in their own details about why I went there. They assume I was there to get my rocks off, to party hardy, to indulge in debauchery and filth. I won’t try to convince you that’s not the case because, I’m really sorry, but I just don’t care what you think. It’s not worth my time, effort and energy. You’ll probably even think that I’m writing this piece because I want to convince you of something. You’ll make a whole lot of assumptions and you’ll believe them absolutely. There’s no point in my trying to change that.

But I would like to start talking about something that’s become very important to me and the snippy self-righteously holy little tirades I’ve been seeing in the comments section here allow me a convenient “in” to bringing this stuff up.

My work with Suicide Girls over the past year and a half or so has opened my eyes to a lot of aspects of our culture that I hadn’t been aware of before. One of those things is the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and its impact. In the past year I’ve heard some truly heartbreaking stories from remarkable women. Not all of them have been SG’s. But the fact that I write for Suicide Girls has made some of these people far more comfortable with telling me their stories.

In fact, the theme of sexual abuse survivors has recurred a number of times in my Zen practice. One of the members of the first sangha I was part of was a sex abuse survivor. But I was too young and full of myself to be of any help to her.

I’m starting to think a lot lately about the many issues involving zazen practice as a means of confronting the issues sex abuse survivors have. Of course, zazen is good from pretty much whatever ails you. But there are some specific aspects of the practice that sex abuse survivors might want to be aware of should they get involved in zazen.

One of the interesting issues from my own standpoint as a Zen teacher is how incredibly hard it is for someone with these kinds of issues to talk to a meditation teacher. Meditation teachers are generally very straight-laced, sexually repressed people. Even when a specific meditation teacher is not that kind of person, the aura of holiness that surrounds them can be very off-putting for people who need to talk about rather unusual aspects of their sex lives. Many sex abuse survivors have rather non-standard sex lives, not just because they've suffered abuse, but that the abuse they've suffered has made it difficult to interact sexually the way so-called "normal" people do. As a result a lot of people who could use a bit of what meditation has to offer will never approach it because of the mistaken impression that they are somehow too “dirty” to be involved in such lofty things. This is sad.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to sex abuse survivors. I, myself, would have found Zen utterly unapproachable if I hadn’t come across someone like my own first Zen teacher who was not afraid to curse and fart and offend nice people. Though I’m not an abuse survivor myself, I too had assumed I was far too “dirty” for the kind of purity required to do what I saw as pure and holy activities like meditation. I will be forever grateful to Tim McCarthy and all his vile jokes.

I’m going to try to start writing about these issues in the form of a blog in the hope that it will generate material that I’ll eventually be able to digest and put into the form of a book. Because I’m taking this approach, the blog will be pretty experimental and I expect I’ll find myself taking some wrong steps and following a few blind alleys. But I believe this is necessary.

Since this stuff is a little different from what I established the Hardcore Zen blog to do, I’ve started a blog called The Porno Buddhist to address these topics. Who knows if I’ll be able to keep two blogs going at once. We shall see…

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good teacher brings out the students mind so the student sees it. Self awareness







zenair

bazaarofdreams said...

Fine fine idea Brad.

Buddhism without action, and I mean concrete action in the world as it is, becomes a self-indulgent exercise in an isolated ivory pagoda. Everything is sweet scented and flowery and peaceful and delightful without the messiness and ugliness that life also offers.

One can live in a state of denial, or try to, about this fact but that becomes a fool fooling a fool-one's self. It is a mental game and nothing more and a huge loss to the world of a person's talent and gifts when so much of their precious life is wasted on such self-chicanery.

The thing that riles me about certain blog comments is the implication that you should somehow stop what you are doing. What if that happened? What would have been accomplished? Would the world be a better place if Brad shut up? Personally I think not.

We have to deal with here and now wherever or whenever we are. Many have sympathized with monks in Burma or elsewhere. It is real easy to demonstrate a veneer of compassion at such a great distance. To get up close is another story. But I have found in over then 25 years of practice that the more the world is in my face (and vice versa) the more deep the practice and the meaning of the practice becomes. And the ocean of compassion is bottomless. That's the real peace and delight.

Anonymous said...

No anonymous posting on the new blog :(

.alana. said...

you cant help but make assumptions. even why you try not not.

Thomas Amundsen said...

Brad, although you don't care what other people think about you. It might be a good idea to give some consideration. How can you expect to get through to people teaching zazen if they are too put off by making false assumptions. Sometimes it might be right to correct misinterpretations of your actions. Not for yourself, but for the good of the many.

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

I was sexually abused myself when I was four, by my grandfather (I am male). I had about 8 years of therapy in my 20s, and then took up zazen about 10 years later. I found that the therapy was a good preparation to zazen - regarding emotions as something to experience and that they then end, rather than to avoid or indulge in is right out of good mental health practices. Paying attention to how balanced your mind is, and that impulses and thoughts may not necessarily need to be taken literally, but perhaps are a sign of something, was also a big part of my therapy. And the therapeutic process itself is very much a bringing awareness to more of life and to changing things in small increments, not denying what is and not giving up because of the past. So I think this blog will be great. But I'd never post this unanonymously :)

There's an interesting book called "Thoughts without a Thinker" by a psychotherapist who had some of that forest monk training.

Igor said...

Great, im subscribing the other blog now :)

Anonymous said...

When you read someone’s writing you fill in what the writer leaves out either with your own personality or with your imagined version of that writer’s personality.

You should know, brad

the snippy self-righteously holy little tirades I’ve been seeing in the comments section

Not just in the comments section. Both of these comments are great examples of projection. We see in others what we refuse to examine within ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Zen is *not* therapy!

Having read Thoughts Without a Thinker i can say it's mostly an academic take from the author's personal view on how Western therapy is similar/dissimilar to Buddhist models of thinking. It's intellectually interesting, but nothing more. If it helps people to approach Zen, fine. Just don't forget that there is no right approach to Zen and such a "psychotherapy" approach is bound to lead you on a wild goose chase.

Godspeed or Buddhaspeed(?)
:)

Jinzang said...

Nice idea for a blog. But the Porno Buddhist's hot pink background makes me want to claw my eyes out. Can't you change it to a nice, soft, tasteful beige?

Anonymous said...

you're so full of shit!

Anonymous said...

Here is how difficult it can be to 'stop what you have been doing.'

I grew up in a family loaded with secrets and not only lies, but disinformation. I learned many of these hidden secrets just last year.

I have done lots of hard therapy plus ten years of zen practice and am pretty insightful.

But what I discovered was that there are areas of my mind that are beyond the zone of my conscious awareness -- and that actually deflect my insight and influence my actions.

My upstairs neighbor tends to pick noisy inept room-mates. One of them is a chronic alcoholic. Over the years X would wake me up at 2 am crashing around drunk, and twice he lost his keys and rang my doorbell thinking I had a spare set.

I bitched about X to my friends and even my shrink. But...it never occurred to me that I could tell the landlord. It never entered my mind.

Only the other week did I realize, as if waking up from a trance that I could inform the landlord.

I had covered up for these people without them even having to tell me to cover up for them.

I did this 'on automatic' because I'd learned, as a preverbal child to cover things up in my secret ridden family. I learned this before I became capable of self insight.

So this is like a bug or a computer virus that took over my conscious mind. All I can do is try to get and stay very, very curious about this and hope that I can expand my Zen practice to overlap with these areas of unconsciousness.

Another episode:

I was at a friend's house and was her overnight guest for the first time. I was utterly horrified to see how she submitted to her husband. At breakfast, she actually asked her husband's permission to eat crunchy breakfast cereal..and this was the day after Thanksgiving when she'd done 80% of the work while her husband napped, jogged or hid in his den.

I was so horrified that my mind blanked out. I felt crazy angry for the next 4 hours and did not recall the cereal incident until I was 450 miles away, taking the train back home. Only then could my mind allow itself to remember the incident. It was like having a blackout--and it was controlled by something outside my conscious awareness. I blanked my memory because I couldnt face the horror of blow my stack in a household not my own.

So when people re-enact abusive situations, its not because they 'want it' or 'like it.'

There is really and truly a zone of our minds that exists outside the zone of conscious awareness and that can actually deflect insight and influence our actions.
This is amazing to discover, but scary as hell.

Its what we call ancient twisted karma. And...whatever harm I do I must make amends for, while at the same time working as curiously as I can to understand this better and identify the causes and conditions that support this behavior..and hopefully, find a way to deactivate it.


This is a hot topic, Brad. I have stayed out of relationships precisly because I was scared that being in relationships would trigger unconscious programming and make me do hurtful things--either to myself or the other person...or both.

I'm not sex negative. I am glad to see other people being happy. But I am not at this time sure I can be in an intimate partnership and not have it trigger stuff that will cause me to lose my integrity.

Like my mother. I dont want to be like her and fear I would become like her if I were to fall in love.

There may be more of us out there than one realizes. I am trying to use Zen to study this, not run away from it.

Hating sexuality is just as much an abuse of it as going to the other extreme.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Brad, I think it's great that your not allowing any anonymous comments on the other blog.

Perhaps you could ban Mysterion too.

Dearest Mysterion,
DO YOU HAVE A GODDAMN COMMENT FOR EVERY FUCKING THING!

Cheers Chas

-Phil

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

efraining from committing sexual misconduct/practising contentment

But I liked to be spanked. I like to be the spanker sometimes. I like it when my girlfriend bites my nipple really hard. When I orgasm and my girl slaps my face and bites my chest I like it. I like to lick her feet. I like to lick her ass and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

What do other Buddhists like sexually speaking. Got a kink?

rōren said...

Glad you had fun(?) at a bar. Bummer so many care about the details. I'm a zazen newbie. Just checked out the website for the local soto house. It's real pretty and soft. Should that concern me? Is it truth if all of life is seen as a kitten?
I sure could use some cold fresh water.

cold water said...

rōren said...
"I sure could use some cold fresh water."

mizugori 水垢離

Colorless white teacher learns endlessly said...

If Zazen doesn't work out, well, at least I have sweet Jedi costume for the rest of my life...very darth maul...

just_sittin_here said...

I applaud your efforts for the new blog. Hope it works out well!

Roman G. said...

anonymous said...
you're so full of shit!

This is why Brad's new blog doesn't allow anonymous comments -- Too many cowards unwilling to stand behind their own words!

seventyandtwo said...

Alláh-u-abhá! (A traditional Bahá'í greeting)
My name is Ruhi, and I am a member of an interfaith site called AllBeliefs. I have been looking around the blogosphere for a few Buddhists who might be interested in joining and strike me as intelligent people. We have no Buddhists as far as we know, and we need some Buddhists to come share their take on many different religious topics in our discussions. This invitation is being sent out on personal basis to Buddhists who strike me as worth inviting, so please forgive my solicitation.

http://allbeliefs.com/

God Bless,
Ruhi

Stone Bear said...

I've found that some of the stuff I write comes across very differently to different people. When I share my writing with other people, some part of it no longer "belongs" to me. And like you, I don't care.

Al Coleman said...

Brad,

I applaude your efforts. Baravo.

Rock on.

Al

p.maestro said...

i'm sure you can handle the load of maintaining two blogs. you were pretty much doing that before the suicide girls site reduced your writing quota anyway. peace homes.

noiret sym laden said...

Jinzang asked Brad to change the pink background on The Porno Buddhist. Personnally, I think that it's the perfect color for that blog. Pink is one of the few colors that can provoke very negative reactions from repressive dogmatists. It has obvious romantic and sexual connotations. It has the subtlety and nuance that crass Valentine red lacks.

noiret sym laden said...

Philbob-squarehead asked Mysterion "DO YOU HAVE A GODDAMN COMMENT FOR EVERY FUCKING THING!" Apparently he does. He has his own blog "Mysterion's Pustules" that nobody reads or comments on so he comes here for a captive audience. He is a gadfly and a dung beetle. I believe that Brad is being kind to him and cruel to everyone else by not banning him. Compassion always comes back to bite you in the ass, but sometimes it will give you a reach around.

leoboiko said...

> What do other Buddhists like sexually speaking. Got a kink?

I crossdress for fun sometimes (my wife loves it). I hope no one bans me from zazen ’cause I’m attached to improper sexual pleasure and all that.

Imperatrix said...

I like cookies in bed.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noiret sym laden said...

Mysterion-and-on-and-on said, "I delete comments 1 day after they appear over at the mysterion-postulate blog."
Please do us all a favor and delete your comments here immediately after you post them if not sooner. Thanks.

Blake said...

Good for you my brother.

Wizardsmoke said...

Hey Brad,

This is one of the better posts I've read in a while.

Writing about these topics of sexual abuse and how they appear in Zen practice sounds like a good book idea. I think there's a lot you could do with that subject which would help a lot of people.

And more so than the punk rock stuff, which you'll have to ditch pretty soon anyway.

All the best,
WS

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ven B said...

"But more important than what I do or don't do is what you do. It's how you react to what you read that matters most. And not just to what you read from me, it's how you react to whatever you read. You are responsible."

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Mysterion,
I do enjoy your company on this blog, you just remind me of my sister when she use to jack herself up on coke.
You know, blah-blah-blah-blah all night long.
Maybe it's that good ol' Japanese green tea you drink.

Anonymous said...

Zen certainly isn't therapy, but I don't think that is the point of Thoughts without a Thinker. The power of therapy derives partly from the power to pay attention to things. Not that therapy is zen either. But they aren't totally different things.

Re: the unconscious; isn't noticing what thoughts arise in zazen a useful way to peer into the unconscious? And isn't the ability to see a delusive thought as it arises the beginning of noticing when you are avoiding what life demands of you because of fear or something?

Jinzang said...

Pink is one of the few colors that can provoke very negative reactions from repressive dogmatists.

Is being a repressive dogmatist better or worse than being a porno Buddhist?

I've got nothing against pink. I don't have anything against hot pink. But it's a bad idea for the BACKGROUND for a web page. I'd feel the same way if it was lime green, another color I have nothing against. What should stand out on a web page is the content and not the presentation. That's why the background of a web page should be a neutral color or pastel. Bright colors should be used for accents. That's Web Design 101.

HezB said...

Philbob,

'Your sister jacked up on coke', "blah-blah-blah all night long"... I got a good laugh outta that, thanks.

No offence, Charlie, but it was a funny one.

Regards,

Harry.

HezB said...

"Uncle Charlie"???

H.

mysteriondan said...

"I've got nothing against pink. I don't have anything against hot pink. But it's a bad idea for the BACKGROUND for a web page."

We get it jinzang.. you are not liking the pink. But I like it. Brad must like it. Others have said they like it. we all like the pink. Pink is just pink. It can't harm you. Your ideas on pink are just your ideas..

mysteriondan said...

there are no rules in art you know..

Anonymous said...

A dollar for every time you said you didn't care what others thought would probably wipe out poverty in a small village for a day, maybe a week.

Methinks thou doeth protest too much.

No answer required, but admittedly, there is hope for that to be considered. One denies what one fears.

Colinski said...

Wow, I grow weary reading the comments. All of the people trashing Mysterion could just choose to not read Mysterion's comments if they cause them this sort of distress. Of course, anyone subscribing to the comments on this blog and getting worked up over them probably needs to spend their time doing more zazen, if that floats their boat, or just getting some fresh air out in the big blue room. If you have time to write comment after comment on a single blog post of a reasonably obscure blog, perhaps you could be filling your time with more constructive things. I certainly feel like I've wasted the couple minutes of my life I've been writing this. I can't imagine how I'd feel posting over and over on these things. Do people actually get satisfaction from this?

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noiret sym laden said...

Mysterion,
Go lick a dogs ass until it bleeds.
Gosh oh golly gee willickers.

ellen said...

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Pema Chodron talks about abuse or trauma survivors and meditation in her talks on "shenpa."

Some pretty moving stuff there.

I look forward to reading the Porno Buddhist blog - i'm in!

mama said...

sym laden:
Somewhere, there may be a pig that wants to befriend you. I seriously doubt it, but you never know.

Gomer said...

In the South, we look at stuff different.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, gomer, when I was a teenager, I
would have given my left nut to have
had an older woman kindly initiate me
into the world of sex.

Too bad we don't live in a world where
prostitution was legal and teenage boys
could spend their bar mitzvah money at
the local brothel.

Arnold said...

I'll be your friend

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

chopping wood, carrying water...

its amazing how when we take responsibility for our lives, and exercise a little self-discipline, how everything else seems to settle itself in its own natural way i.e. harmony.

p.s. cant wait for the new book, brad.

-anonymouseO)))

Anonymous said...

yet another pretentious from-the- pretentious-zen-buddhist-asshole-statement- department:
(ahem)

"but of course, maintaining that harmony... that sounds to me what Buddha (notice the capital 'B') referred to as "Right Action" or "Right Intention" or something like that.

instead of Knee-Jerk Reactions, let us strive for Knee-Jerk Responses as in wholly Responding to whatever the present moment may bring.
(unquote)

ahh, i feel so much better about myself now... and i didnt even have to make a mess all over myself...

anonymouse dudeO)))

Anonymous said...

suggestion for the title of your next book:

(insert italics)

"Zen and the Art of Masturbation"

(end italics)

kinda fits with the whole Porno Buddhist title.
cause we all know what happens when we watch pornos...

might as well take it as an opportunity to be fully aware while fully participating in the moment.

fully.

just an idea.
that is all.
carry on.


-anony"i swear i'm not a troll"mouseO)))

Anonymous said...

^__^




-anony "i heart brad warner sensei" mouseO)))

my dog spot said...

Gee ZuZ

Dharmashanti said...

I have often thought that if Jesus were alive today, he'd be hanging out with the skaters, the punks, strippers, etc. To bring the wisdom of Zen to those who need it totally rocks!!!

The great thing about Buddhism is that it is up to each individual to decide for her/himself what is skillful and what isn't.

For me, as an abuse survivor and recovering alcoholic, bars and clubs aren't the best place for me. But others with a different history can be a light in the darkness. And that is cool!

Peace out, namaste and rock on!
Dharmashanti

Eusebius said...

if Jesus were alive today...

Jesus is a composite figure of not less than 6 nor more than perhaps 18 mythical, folk-hero, and occasionally historical personages. You might start be reading Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine ... available HERE

Eusebius was there when christianity, as we know it, was invented under constantine in 325. Some of his original writing can still be read behind the later embellishments, additions, and forgeries. A good linguistic analysis can determine when (owing to word usage) the additions were made.

The John Rylands Fragment John 18:31-33 (125-150 AD) is the earliest known fragment of any portion of the New Testament. (P.52)The papyrus is written on both sides and contains small portions of five verses from the gospel of John (18:31-33,37-38).

Anonymous said...

Mysterion is a composite figure of not less than 6 nor more than perhaps 18 cynical, conspiracy-hero, and occasionally wise-ass internet geeks. You might start be reading his blog: ahem

DB said...

Congrats to Brad for being nominated for a few awards for this blog. Check out the full list over at The Worst Horse site or follow this link if I can properly get it into this post:

http://blogisattva.blogspot.com/2008/02/2008-blogisattva-awards-nominees.html

Yudo said...

The delirium about masturbation came about at the end of the 18th C, when a Swiss physician, Dr Tissot (French speaking Swiss and --almost-- therefore Calvinist) published a book about it, which soon became a best-seller. He invented almost all the fairy tales about it, and some historians believe that this was the successful offensive which would lead the medical profession to take power over the clergy upon the civilian society.

Christians are sex obsessed, after the founder of the religion, Saul of Tarsus, aka "Paul". No wonder then, that the Protestants, which propound a radical return to the texts of Christianity, should be even more sex-obsessed than the Catholics.

ellen said...

apropos of nothing, impermanence, clubs. . . cleveland punk music.
Fuck it, it's a total non sequitur --my pal Joe R. sent me this sad notice:

"2/19/07: It is with a heavy heart that we inform you all that Jim Jones has passed away. Jim was our colleauge, our collaborator, our bandmate and our friend.
Jim had suffered through numerous health problems over the past decade or so - but all things considered - seemed to be doing okay. Thanks to his unusual schedule (basically sleeping all day and staying up all night) we haven't gotten to see him very much recently.

Jim was a fixture of the Cleveland music scene - having played in numerous cool bands (Easter Monkeys, the Mirrors, Pere Ubu, H&G, and many others). Primarily known for his guitar work, Jim was also proficient on synths and bass. He was an ardent music fan - with catholic tastes running from classical to free jazz to rock'n roll.

He passed away at home.

He will be VERY missed by numerous friends and fans."

pere ubu rocked. hard.

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

...

Ang Lee said...

Despite THIS review, Pushing Hands is a good movie. My advice is rent it for $1 and watch it for light entertainment - but the film is more than light.

Anonymous said...

Mysterion.. You are a good American fink. Turn in the evil doers to the police. Serves them right for being Cath-yo-lics. I am surprised you didn't run them down first and then narc them out. Lucky for them they didn't exit a Synagogue.

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

I understand very well how you rationalized turning people over to the police. A lot of people were turned over to the police in this century. Especially people of different religious backgrounds from themselves. Your actions saved you at the expense of two others. You were protecting the fatherland from their criminal behavior. Just don't try to claim that their crime was the only cause of their suffering. Because you had a hand in it too.

Anonymous said...

http://feministing.com/archives/003960.html

Anonymous said...

"The kind of person I am" -- ?

Doesn't sound too "Zen," but WTH :-)

Does it seem like with a lot of people who go quite a way with Zen, when they start to get "known" as some kind of Zen specialist or "expert," then there is this pattern where problems crop up with claims that their behavior isn't what it is "supposed to be"? In a word, "scandals"?

It's almost like, this is a regular part of the journey? Another normal, almost predictable "pitfall" for the awakened(ing?) consciousness?

Then, what do "you" do? Like "how does it go in the Zendo?" (Forgive, I'm no "expert" but really liked your riff on that koan.)

No idea what all this fuss is about, since I don't think I wanna go to sites like "Suicide Girls" anyway, sorry :-) But patience, courage, good luck to "you".

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

"I left the old man with his ticket and you persist in carrying him all this way!"

I don't mind carrying him.. and apparently Brad doesn't mind carrying you. You didn't mind recounting to us all how you turned the tables on a cath-yo-lic couple with the help of the police. You are a proud fink.

babbles said...

Mysterion, I think that what makes you an ass in this situation is not that you 'turned over' those people to the police - in fact I think you did the right thing, you should stand up for what is right and when you get called on it you should point out those that did wrong. However your continuous slander of "cath-yo-lick" is, quite frankly, surprisingly immature and not needed. The description of these people as being Catholic - regardless if they actually are or not, hell I have visited Catholic churches and I sure as shit am not Catholic - should be a moot point. If people did something wrong, that is fine, but slandering a set of dogmatic beliefs for no apparent reason at all is completely unacceptable.

What is your point in slandering those people with whom you disagree?

Anonymous said...

okay, who farted?

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

Thought I would share this link to the Buddhist Geeks website (every so often I check it out ever since Brad had an interview on their site). Anyhow, this is a podcast with people talking about Brad Warner's criticism of Big Mind™

Buddhist Geeks

babbles said...

Mysterion,

You new tirade is yet another example of your previous slander. I simply fail to understand how somebody can claim to be practicing Buddhism but chooses to make fun of two old folks for suspecting they are Catholic. In fact I think you went far beyond that just simply making fun of them, but rather you appear to have had a sort of gleeful desire to do so.

Who am I slandering? Opus Dei?
Where was Opus Dei mentioned in the rant that I was referencing? Did I miss it? I fail to understand what your dislike of Opus Dei has to do with talking poorly about two strangers assuming they are Catholic and therefore they are somehow bad people because they are Catholic. Seems as if this is some sort of weak straw man of a logical fallacy.

I am no fan of the Catholic faith. Never was, and never plan to be. However I find it bizarre that when confronted with douche bags you take your anger out on Catholicism instead of the people who are simply being douche bags regardless of their religious point of view.

Anyhow. . . following your straw man fallacy I see you enjoy some senseless appeal to authority, which in a somewhat ironic sense your links are straw men fallacies as well. The Girlfriend™ is a professor of art history at a major university here as she wraps up her PhD. Through history there has been, on occasion, a few intersections of art, history, and religion in Europe - this is slight sarcasm on my part as such a vast majority of art and history in medieval Europe involved religion. I mention this because I have through her such a great resource in which I have learned plenty about religious issues and as such your ranting links to some information is hardly impressing at all.

Finally, even though there are many things out there in which I disagree with when it comes to referencing said thing I typically chose not to insult or slander them by making up 'cute' intentional misspellings. Taking the thought to intentionally insult things through methodological alteration of the spelling is in a word, weak.

For somebody who appears to enjoy claiming they are educated, you sure appear to go about things in a needlessly base way. It would be better if it was at least remotely funny, i.e. at least Brad is funny and entertaining when he does his crazy shit all the while getting some sort of point across.

Mysterion said...
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Dan said...

Babbles, 2 point pop quiz:

Ask the Girlfriend™ to identify the statue Mysterian is using for an avatar.

Kenny said...

Heh, the Bible says Jesus hung out with prostitutes, and according to the Bible, even though he was the "son of God" he was still just as human as the next guy, same hormones, urges and all that. Same "pharasees" watching his every move.

I like to think of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a metaphor, a way of describing that Hero archetype we all share: someone who can tread where ever he chooses, someone who can meet those who really need help and offer them instruction, words of compassion, a little kindness and some respect when they need it the most. As long as he acts selflessly his motive are never in question.

Me, personally, I'm far too busy trying to get my wild ox under control to care about what you do in your free time, but I will say, you write one Hell of a good column!

Cheers!

-Kenny

gunderloy said...

You are hung up mysterion. What is to be gained by constantly mocking Catholics? I'm tired of reading your hate talk. Who do you think you are helping with your links and warnings? What is up with you man?

Anonymous said...

wow

Yudo said...

I spent all my primary schooling years in a school directed by nuns in backward catholic Quebec in the '50ies. They were so bad, mean, petty and nasty that it took me more than fifteen years to get over wanting to punch one of them, specifically, on the nose.
Until someone pointed to me that all the people would see, would be a grown male adult punching an elderly nun on the nose.
It took me more even to realise that I even had two sisters of my father who were nuns and were genuinely good and interesting persons, truly lovable and not only on the grounds of family.
Christianity is indeed control, but not more than Islam or Hinduism or any sort of animism in small preindustrial societies.
Buddhism can also be twisted that way, with ease.
The thing that annoys me most with Catholicism, the various Prostestant denominations, as well as Islam, is their insistence that nobody should be allowed to stray, and that it is the personal duty of the faithful to bring the stray sheep back to the pen.

Otherwise, it is best to leave them well alone. And in this, I have to disagree profoundly with Mysterion.

Mysterion said...
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Rich said...

I am forming the International Buddhists for Catholics Sangha.

May those that pity me please show your support.

I also get really pissed off at jaywalkers and anyone else that gets in my way while driving. It can really degrade my gas mileage.

Mysterion said...
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Seth said...

I think a lot of the BS in the comments following that post are due to peoples' preconceived notions about what a Zen master should and should not be, do and not do, etc. Also I think people should stop being surprised when you write about stuff that isn't just "Zen is good! Zen is good!" stuff - because frankly I'm pretty sure the internets grants you the right to write pretty much whatever the hell you want on your blog..

gunderloy said...

Quoting Mysterion - "I don't hate Catholics.
I pity them in their ignorance."

Mysterion, Pity is usually practiced in silence.

Hate, on the other hand, is a extraordinarily intense emotion. (Intense dislike or extreme hostility = hate.)

People who hate cannot usually be very quiet about their subjects. They tend to go on and on and on about them..

It is obvious to anyone paying attention that you are a hater. But it could be you are unaware of your own aversions and prejudices. In either case, with some practice you might be able to overcome your ignorance.

Get Well..

NellaLou said...
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kindling said...

Matthew 11:18-19
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

kindling said...

Luke 5:30-32

But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Mysterion said...
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Mike Dolan Fliss said...

Brad, I really resonated with a lot of this post...a situation that happens a lot when I read your posts in general. But this

"I, myself, would have found Zen utterly unapproachable if I hadn’t come across someone like my own first Zen teacher who was not afraid to curse and fart and offend nice people."

Really connected with my experience. I'm no zen teacher, and I probably don't know my ass from my elbow, but I've been studying "spiritual stuff", specifically sitting zazen solo and with groups, for much of my life. I also the social justice community, which has its own language for describing crazy fucked-up conditioning that people internalize that REALLY "hurts" them, their families and communities. And where those two experiences are really made ... uh, real, is in working jobs where I'm working with high school students. I find, again and again, folks are more "spiritual" than they think, but can't stand the label that they associate with uptight, "my shit doesn't stink and I've got it right, too" religion. The kind of stuff they see connected to the social oppressions (and REpressions around consentual sexual expression) they don't want any of.

Same goes for the social justice community "at large", or at least my experience of it. I'm getting together with a circle of folks who do work in immigration issues, lgbt stuff, etc. to talk about how spirituality impacts the work we do. One theme has been how folks in that community have often been "wronged" by their previous experience of spirituality - and then get short-changed of meaningful, self-sustaining practices that help their life (and the impacts everywhere else) run with less of a certain kind of shit go down.

This seems like a weird theme in my life, and other folks seem to have shared similar stories: my mind likes to use "label-casting-off" practices and communities to fight each other as a last resort to maintaining itself as an "other" in contrast to some other community. I'm X, so I can't be Y too.

Rambling... it's late, I'm to bed. But thanks for the post, in a sense; a part of my experience resonated with reading what I read... which seems to be the nature of my experience, anyway, "finding itself" in outside things, can't possibly be separate from my experience anyway for me to even recognize them. But, in your case, there's the extra flavor of "folks use a lot of those same words in a row!" heh.

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