Monday, March 24, 2008

NEW SUICIDE GIRLS ARTICLE

My latest article for Suicide Girls just went up. This is an attempt at answering the question I'm most frequently asked. Which is, "Where can I study Zen in my area?" Even people who have read the F.A.Q., where it says I don't have a clue about that will write something like, "I know you say you don't know about a lot of Zen centers. But I live in Bumfuck, Egypt. And I was hoping maybe you know a center in the metropolitan Bumfuck area. By the way, what would be the best bus route to take there because I don't have a car? And can I take my dog with me because I don't want to leave him alone for that long? Plus they have to serve vegan food because I'm a very strict vegan. And the place should be wheelchair accessible because even though I don't use a wheelchair I refuse to go in places that are not accessible. And can I sit in a chair there instead of on a zafu because once when I sat on the floor my leg started to fall asleep? And I don't want them to tell me anything but the stuff I want to hear. So can you ask them to do that too? Thanks! I love your writing. Dharma Punx was one of the best books I read last year!"

Uh, anyway, here's the closest thing to an answer I can muster.

I hope I haven't left out any of the centers I've visited. If I have, then please let me know and I can still edit the article to include you. No slight is intended. I'm just kind of dumb is all.

I just watched a documentary about Bukowski called Bukowski: Born Into This. That guy drank a lot! Good doc, though. And I love the beer shit poem.

22 comments:

Kozan Bob said...

Yep, that's a great documentary. I'm kind of amazed all that footage including the wife got released. I was never aware before that when Micky Rourke played Bukowski in Barfly, he was doing such a precise imitation of Bukowski's voice.

Blake said...

I always recommend people just use their favorite search engine and type in "Zen" and the name of their city or zip code. I'm sure you, Brad, often get people who want to study Soto since that's your style. Unfortunately, they aren't as ubiquitous as many would like. Just see what's in your area and do a little research.

I know in the Kansas City area there are all kinds of Buddhist groups. The only one that is Zen is out of Kansas Zen Center which is a affiliated with the Kwan Um School from Korea. The lineage is Rinzai which means we face each other and do some chanting. There is, of course, a history of Soto vs. Rinzai (might mike a cool video game!) but whatever, man! We can leave that fight to the Samurai and serfs!

The important thing is to find a Sangha near you that isn't too far "out there." You have to weigh the harms with the benefits.

modest mouse said...

Woke up this morning and it seemed to me,
that every night turns out to be
A little more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd wanna be?
God who'd wanna be such an asshole?
God who'd wanna be?
God who'd wanna be such an asshole?

Well we sat on the edge of the river,
the crowd screamed, "Sacrifice the liver!"
If God takes life, he's an Indian giver.
So tell me now why, you'll tell me never.
Who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?
Well who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?

Well see what you wanna see. You should see it all.
Well take what you want from me. You deserve it all.
Nine times out of ten our hearts just get dissolved.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.

But one time out of ten, everything is perfect for us all.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.
Here we go!

If God controls the land and disease,
keeps a watchful eye on me,
If he's really so damn mighty,
my problem is I can't see,
well who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?
Well who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?

Evil home stereo, what good songs do you know?
Evil me, oh yeah I know, what good curves can you throw?

Well all that icing and all that cake,
I can't make it to your wedding, but I'm sure I'll be at your wake.
You were talk, talk, talk, talkin' in circles that day,
when you get to the point make sure that I'm still awake, OK?

Went to bed and didn't see
why every day turns out to be
a little bit more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd wanna be?
God who'd wanna be such an asshole?

Kevin said...

Hahaha, "Dharma Punx", nice. It was only a matter of time I guess. Good post, humor is funny.

5 said...

5

John said...

I wish it were 1870, so I could move west, settle in Iowa and found a city. I'd name it Bumfuck. That way, my ancestors could charge people a fee every time they said, "It's , like, in Bumfuck, Iowa."

Plus, I have no doubt that Bukowski would have moved there, like a moth to the flame.

Matt Hellige said...

Great list! You've never visited our place, but for people in Chicago or Madison, WI, I'd be thrilled if you'd mention the Great Plains Zen Center. There's some overlap between our group and some of the places on your list (we've had visitors from Cedar Rapids, Milwaukee and Clouds in Water, among others), and I think our style is very similar to those places, and some others you mentioned.

As an additional bonus for your most annoying fans, we are wheelchair accessible and our food is 90% vegan food, just like me.

Finally, if you're ever going to be in Chicago or in the Madison area, we'd love to have you come visit!

(Sorry to post this here rather than on SG, but I don't have an account there.)

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

the Rinzai lineage, the bitter rivals of the Soto lineage ...

Why make problems where there's no need to?

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

There is a really thorough list of Buddhist centers located here: http://www.buddhanet.net/wbd/country.php?country_id=2

That's how I found mine.

Kozan Bob said...

That Buddhanet site is OK, but I dunno about the veracity of anything that thinks the abbreviation for Tennessee is "TE"...

the formless form O))) said...

be that which you already are
pure
empty
silent
aware
open and vulnerable
to whatever will be,
will be
behold the nature of the mystery:
everchanging
evermoving
everlasting

to try and grab at
-take posession of
is to drown.
to let go and open your heart,
is to overflow.

let the lines
that separate and divide,
be as fuel to this hearty fire that
has no opinion,
that knows no arguement,
and gladly accepts all of existence
in its warm embrace.

like waves in the ocean, breathing
one breath,
be that which you already are.
without name.
without past or future.
a flame without form,

a faceless face.

The Beatles aka Los Paranoias said...

all you need is Love.

Anonymous said...

Conveniently you forgot Kanzeon. I guarantee that there are other teachers there and your, um ... favorite person ... is there rarely.

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

Conveniently you forgot Kanzeon

I don't think Brad meant to take another swipe at the estimable Genpo Merzel. Brad didn't mention any of the White Plum Sanghas, probably because they do koan practice instead of only doing shikantaza, which is the kind of Zen practice Brad favors.

Jinzang said...

I think the point that Rinzai doesn't distinguish between 'good' and 'evil' while Soto is known to make some value judgments

This isn't so. And Ikkyu is an anomalous figure and not your typical Rinzai master.

Anonymous said...

This is sad.

http://thecentralshaft.blogspot.com/search?q=snuff+art

Please take a look and take action.

Animal Cruelty.

Sad

Mysterion said...

Jinzang said...
"This isn't so."

Well, at least my perception consistently fails me.

The Rinzai, Soto, and Obaku branches of Japanese Zen confuse me. Unlike Soto, Rinzai Zen temples never united under a single Rinzai umbrella so 'uniformity' remains ambiguous. Soto is the child of Rinzai. Tea?

mysteriondan said...

No one thinks your dumb Brad.. You just have middling standards.

olsonsfoodemporium said...

This cannot really work, I feel so.