Friday, May 30, 2008

FEEL THE GREEN SLIME!


Well, we've all had a lot of fun dissecting the true meaning of mindfulness. Now let's move on to serious topics.

I just came across this trailer for the 1968 Japanese/American co-production The Green Slime (ガンマー第3号 宇宙大作戦, Gamma Dai San Go Uchu Dai Sakusen, Gamma 3 — Operation: Outer Space). This has got to be one of the greatest, most over-the-top promo videos I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of 'em, believe you me! Dig the groovy theme song at the end. This tune was covered by my former label mates and fellow garage-psych revivalists The Fuzztones.

Hey, and just by the way, another Buddhist word that should fuck off and die forever is skillful. Have you heard this one yet? In Buddhism there's this idea of what they call skillful means. It's the notion that Buddhist teachers use whatever they have at their disposal to teach in accordance with the audience they're addressing. These "skillful means" often do not appear much like what we usually think of as Buddhist teaching (i.e. lame ass fucks in robes sitting on raised platforms talking in soothing voices about beautiful spiritual things).

These days, though, the word "skillful" has become a trendy way for neo-Buddhists to say they like something. "Unskillful" means they don't like something. So if you do something your average neo-Buddhist these days likes he'll say, "That was skillful." And if he doesn't like the way you do it he'll say, in a sweet lilting little voice, "That was unskillful."

When this happens you have my express written permission to punch the person who says it in the solar plexus. Hard.

Skillful this, motherfucker!

In reality these folks have it all bass-ackwards. If you look at the literature most of the things that get pointed out as "skillful means" are things the person who experienced those self-same skillful means did not like at all, or didn't even get at the time.

Whatever. Have fun. I'm gonna go.

87 comments:

gniz said...

You are clearly trying to get a rise out of people. Its not hard to do and is pretty much just lazy writing.

Anonymous said...

You are clearly posting comments to get a rise out of Brad, it's not hard to do and is pretty much just lazy trolling.

Anonymous said...

ok, this post was skillful ✌

grisom said...

That trailer rocks my world. The theme song is definitely the best part. Green sliiiime! Green SLIIIIIIME!

rokrok said...

Skillful means IS a very complicated topic. Good to mention it.

People misunderstand "skillful means" as:
- primitive arrogance
- deliberate simplification
- some whacked out rhetorics

Buddha does not teach bullshit to simpletons. The Dharma has many aspects and a teacher choses the right aspect by intuition, not by some "oh I am so enlightened and you don't understand" attitude.

rokrok

Harry said...

Could Buddha do THIS!:

..........'............(ouch).

Regards,

H.

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

So are we saying that the words themselves are bullpocky or the modern use of them?

Rich said...

Since Brad is President of International Dogen Soto whatever, why not just ban all existing Buddhist concepts, words and slogans and start over with new ones. This would stop the intellectual feeding frenzy over the meaning of mindfulness, skillful means etc.

But what is the real issue here? Is it correct translation of ancient text? Is it understanding the meaning of a concept that wise Budhists agree on? Is it justifying your opinion because Buddha or his heirs said it? I think not. The root issue is the separation of reality into past, present and future. Once you believe that you'll believe in anything. So maybe Brad is trying to get you to question your beliefs right down to the foundation. I don't know, even using skillful means.

internet troll said...

gniz - writing a daily blog is not much more than the casual sharing of random thoughts. Brad is still writing here after all these years so his occasional laziness, real or imagined, is ok when he is writing 2,3,4 times a week. As a reader of your former blog on mindfulness in meditation, I think you feel that your and Steve's methods could be under attack in Brad's last few posts and hence your backlash. In fact, when I think about it, whenever Brad has written something in general terms that did not fit into my habitual way of seeing things, that is when I felt personally attacked and felt compelled to respond with a troll-like counter attack. You might have done something similar a time or two yourself here. Ironically, What you are accusing Brad of doing in your first sentence is what you and I keep returning to ourselves..

Anonymous said...

'skillful means' is the same as hindsight
that is to say both as useless or less than in the present moment only later--sometimes much later, do you 'see'

Anonymous said...

The Green Slime's Luciana Paluzzi was hot! Now she is in the same nursing home as Mysterion.

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

Sometimes I find myself talking with a very political person who experiences severe brain-cramps when President Bush is mentioned. Just as they're freezing up, I ask them if they know what word the Buddha would use to characterize our leader. They get inquisitive, and when I respond "unskillful, nothing more than that", the understatement usually gets a laugh and I see them loosen up a bit.

Unskillful can be useful too.

Bond said...

Anonymous said...
The Green Slime's Luciana Paluzzi was hot! Now she is in the same nursing home as Mysterion.

And Bond, James Bond.

Anonymous said...

UNSKILLFUL ANAGRAM POEM

Lull us fink
Full kiln us
Flu in Skull

Anonymous said...

I did some Green Slime back
in the sixties. From what
little I can remember, it was
great! Sorta like Purple Haze
or Orange Sunshine on steroids!

Anonymous said...

green slime *IS* mindfulness!!!

think about it!

The Lone Ranger said...

Vimala, the Former Courtesan
[Thanissaro Bhikkhu]

Intoxicated with my complexion
figure, beauty, & fame;
haughty with youth,
I despised other women.
Adorning this body
embellished to delude foolish men,
I stood at the door to the brothel:
a hunter with snare laid out.
I showed off my ornaments,
and revealed many a private part.
I worked my manifold magic,
laughing out loud at the crowd.
Today, wrapped in a double cloak,
my head shaven,
having wandered for alms,
I sit at the foot of a tree
and attain the state of no-thought.
All ties -- human & divine -- have been cut.
Having cast off all effluents,
cooled am I, unbound.

Anonymous said...

Nice poem Loner.

Yes, sometimes it's best to ignore what Brad has written.

Anonymous said...

Who's Brad?

Anonymous said...

Oh that's just silly. Please excuse my carelessness. My behavior has been unskillful, lazy really, evidencing a lack of mindfulness, and I'm not kidding one bit.

Mysterion said...

Rich sed...
"Since Brad is President of International Dogen Soto whatever, why not just ban all existing Buddhist concepts..."

It's not the concepts that need to be banned, it's the jargon and psycho babel the lame use to modify your perceptions about those Buddhist concepts.

babbles said...

Awesome video.

Skillful this, motherfucker!

I think I am going to try to apply this in my work-life.

The Lone Ranger said...

Confessional


There was wine in a cup of gold
and a girl of fifteen from Wu,
her eyebrows painted dark
and with slippers of red brocade.

If her conversation was poor,
how beautifully she could sing!
Together we dined and drank
until she settled in my arms.

Behind her curtains
embroidered with lotuses,
how could I refuse
the temptation of her advances?

Li T'ai-po
tr. Hamil

Li Po

Skill
ful
du
d
e

Rōren - no, that's not my real name, but my 'real' name is not my reality either. said...

Okay,

Just so you all know. Brad is only writing for my edification. It has nothing to do with any one of you.

And if you haven't already figured it out, 'skillfully' is just an coded representation of 'fiskllully', [say no more!].

mindless troll said...

Does Brad understand anything about Buddhism at all? Does he not know that 'skillful means' is the english translation of 'upaya'?

From wiki:

"The term is often used with kaushalya (कौशल्य, "cleverness"); upaya-kaushalya means roughly "skill in means". Upaya-kaushalya is a concept which emphasizes that practitioners may use their own specific methods or techniques in order to cease suffering and introduce others to the dharma. The implication is that even if a technique, view, etc., is not ultimately "true" in the highest sense, it may still be an expedient practice to perform or view or hold; i.e., it may bring the practitioner closer to true realization anyway."

OK, now I get why Brad wants to remove skillful means from zen.

"practitioners may use their own specific methods or techniques in order to cease suffering "

You can't use just any old method, it must be the one, true, orthodox Nishi-brad approved way.

"A famous story from the Lotus Sutra, often given as an example of upaya, is that of a man who comes home to find his house on fire and his children inside entertaining themselves with their favorite playthings. He calls out to his children to leave the house, but they do not believe it to be on fire, and they do not stop playing with the toys. Thinking about how he may use expedient means, the man tells his children that he has arranged for them to receive gilded carts and toy oxen to play with, and that these entertainments await just outside the gate of the house. Hearing this, the children then run from the burning house and are saved."

Tune in next week when Brad removes the concept of compassion from real, true, one-way zen sect practice. Followed by his getting rid of that whole bothersome ethical aspect of buddhism. Compassion, wisdom, ethics, mindfullness, upaya are a bunch of new age jibberish really. Ideas from some dusty old text. Let's ignore them and just sit like dead ashes or stone.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

I have a great idea.

Since it is a given that we all got cell phones, let's all post our numbers here and talk the Buddha shit to each other like 13-year old girls talkin' 'bout Hannah Montana.

Not me first!!!!

B-Rad, what's yo digits?

All you anonymous bitches will definitely STEP OFF!

Anonymous said...

Does mindless troll understand anything about reading comprehension at all? Did he not reat that the phrase "skillful means" is not used in modern context the same way the real concept of "upaya" would be.

Brad may be right, Brad may be wrong. I don't care, I get a kick out his stories none the less. In this case all he is saying is that people have bastardized what used to be a useful term to be distracting from the actual way things are, even according to the way you seem to see them from your quoting.

Brad is not advocating removing the idea you seem so attached to, merely the words used to describe it, since they now carry a hideously deformed connotation with them.

Anonymous said...

You are clearly trying to get a rise out of people. You are clearly posting comments to get a rise out of Brad, it's not hard to do and is pretty much just lazy trolling.ok, this post was skillful ✌That trailer rocks my world.- primitive arrogance
- deliberate simplification
- some whacked out rhetorics
Could Buddha do THIS!:

..........'............(ouch).


In case you haven't noticed, "Sit Down and Shut Up" happens to display skillful means. Had the book not been printed, that would be a display of unskillful means.
I think not. The root issue is the separation of reality into past, present and future. Once you believe that you'll believe in anything. So maybe Brad is trying to get you to question your beliefs right down to the foundation. I don't know, even using skillful means.

Tune in next week when Brad removes the concept of compassion from real, true, one-way zen sect practice. Followed by his getting rid of that whole bothersome ethical aspect of buddhism. Compassion, wisdom, ethics, mindfullness, upaya are a bunch of new age jibberish really. Ideas from some dusty old text. Let's ignore them and just sit like dead ashes or stone.
Skillful this, motherfucker!

All you anonymous bitches will definitely STEP OFF!

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

About reading comprehension:

"Did he not reat that"

Enough said.

Roman G. said...

Some folks need to look at the moon and not the finger that's pointing at it.

It's not the word "skillful." It's the non-Buddhist-context application of the word to Buddhist or even non-Buddhist endeavors.

"Skillful" does NOT mean good and "unskillful" does NOT mean bad; But, apparently in Buddhist circles in Brad's area, that's the context in which these words are being used. And that's just being incorrect.

So, if killing a word is necessary to prevent folks from misunderstanding its true meaning, then that's what needs to be done.

Mike H said...

"Skillful Means" is AFAIC the term used by those not involved who may just have heard of or read or seen the events.

It is flawed in many ways.

It implies cause and effect when there may have been none.

It implies a cunning plan when there may have been none.

The 'instigator' of these 'skillful means' may not consider them to be anything at all - perhaps beyond 'stating the obvious' or 'acting spontaneously in the moment'.

A guy walks along, trips over a rock and knocks his head on a tree. Ripe fruit fall to the ground. Everyone gives the guy praise for using 'skillful means' to harvest the fruit. The tree's part often goes unnoticed.

Meanwhile foolish people will repeat these 'skillful means' and go around head-butting trees that have no fruit thinking that it is some sort of magic thing that makes ripe fruit fall to the ground. Sure, if you head-but enough trees at random eventually something might happen but the head-ache is going to be a bitch...

Moon Face Buddha said...

It seems to me that gniz hit the nail on the head...

"You are clearly trying to get a rise out of people. Its not hard to do and is pretty much just lazy writing."

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how many people bit the bait on this post.

Jesus.

Harry said...

Good point, Jesus.

To feel the green slime is 'Not Buddhist'... *BE* the green slime.

You can read all about it in my new book "Being the Green Slime". Its currently being considered for Oprah's Book Club.

Regards,

Harry.

anonymous beach said...

"All you anonymous bitches will definitely STEP OFF!"

Mr. Squarehead, what part of the world does your family name come from? I can't seem to find any other Squareheads anywhere. And why did mama and daddy Squarehead choose to name you Philbob? Are you named after two favorite uncles or friends? Do your friends call you Phil or Bob? You have my sympathy. With such a strange name you must have received lots of nasty taunts in school. Is there a Mrs. Squarehead?

Artaud said...

"Skillful this, motherfucker!"

Brilliant :)

I'm no Zen guru or anything but it seems to me like this is just Brad's opinion and how he chooses to teach his Buddhism and if you don't like it you can get bent, or find a different teacher that suits what you believe ;-)

I consistantly see people getting really mad and posting huge rebuttals to things Brad will say, usually the same people too. Which begs the question as to why they come back.

I guess it's cheaper than going to see a dominatrix to be kicked in the nuts.

On another note, Phil-Bob inspired me on an idea. I think it'd be pretty cool Brad if you set up a Skype account and do conference call lecturers/discussions. I think they have a system where you could charge a fee for people to join the call. I havent looked into the fine details yet but it seems like a good idea to me.

Just a thought...

Rich said...

Mysterion sed:

"It's not the concepts that need to be banned, it's the jargon and psycho babel the lame use to modify your perceptions about those Buddhist concepts."

You are right about not banning existing Buddhist concepts. I was exagerating. I try to listen to the lame and the wise and somehow the meaning and understanding comes from intuition. I don't feel modified or manipulated. Anyhow, the main point is practice not concepts.

Right now I hear the fog horns,
I look up and lose myself in a cloud.

Lone Wolf said...

The Green Slime looks skillfuly...ouch! That's going to leave a mark!

Anyhoot, thanks for sharing the trailer Brad. I've been on an old horror and sci-fi kick lately. I'll have to keep my eye out for The Green Slime.

I've been also watching a lot of weird shit, Lynch, Cronenberg, Kelly (Southland Tales is fucking awesome). Someone recently turned me on to Jodorowsky. El Topo is amazingly absurd and I love it.

gniz said...

I like a lot of what Brad writes, especially his books, and some of what he writes for SG and Hardcorezen.

The fact that I think he sometimes writes things just to rile people up and then act like he cant figure out what the big deal is, I personally find quite disingenous.

He knows exactly what the big deal is--he's taking a giant dump on everything EXCEPT that which he holds dear.

Just my opine. And btw, its not the ONLY thing he does, a lot of his writings are great.

Yudo said...

Mike H said...

"Skillful Means" (...) implies a cunning plan when there may have been none.

Black Adder!
Black Adder!
With many a cunning plan,
Black Adder!
Black Adder!
You horrid little man!

andronymous said...

Gniz - What do you mean by saying that Brad is trying to get a rise out of people? That could mean a hundred different things both positive and negative. Are you saying that he is just trying to anger people or confuse things like a troll might do when bored. Don't you think it is possible you are misunderstanding Brad's intentions?

gniz said...

Andronymous, I guess i do think Brad's sort of trolling in a way.

I dont believe that what he wrote in this latest piece was very constructive, and i'm not convinced it was meant to be.

I'm all for tearing down conventional ideas, sacred cows, etc.

It just seems to me that many times (such as in this latest piece) he tears down EVERYONE ELSE's sacred cows.

Now, let's see Brad have a go at Dogen, Nishijima, or the lotus posture.

Now, that would be something...but i'm willing to bet my savings account that never happens.

mindless troll said...

Rereading Brad's take on skillful means I see where I might have misunderstood his intent. As someone pointed out, he seems to be surrounded by all these new-age neo-buddhist types spouting politically correct jargon. I've never encountered anyone using 'skillful' in the way he describes. I have to remember Brad lives in California.

My apologies to Brad if he didn't mean to actually denigrate the whole concept of upaya itself. It was late here and my reading comprehension may well have been off as suggested.

Mike H said...

MindlessTroll:

Brad makes the point that to be on the receiving end of Upaya can suck [ - as can being on the giving end of Upaya]. He also makes the point that as Ronan picks up on that people Brad meets incorrectly use 'skillful' to mean 'nice' or 'pleasant' and 'unskillful' to mean 'unpleasant'.

ISTR an old story of a monk coming to see a Zen Master. As the monk walks through the door the Zen Master slams the door on his leg and breaks it. The monk became enlightened as his leg broke.

When you contemplate a story like this do you think that the monk was particularly happy about having his leg broken? Do you think the Zen Master was particularly happy that the most skillful means that he could find was to deliberately harm a fellow human being - causing him six months of physical pain and many weeks of sleepless nights.

Having been on the recieving end of Upaya I can attest that it sucks. In fact it tends to suck more than unskillful means.

Perhaps if people realised how much Upaya can suck they wouldn't be so hooked on it as an idea and it's the idea that is the problem not the Upaya itself.

I'm already sat down so now I'll shut up!

andronymous said...

Gniz - One thing that Brad seems very consistant on, is if that he thinks he is on to something important enough to spend his time on, he stays with it to the exclusion of all other distracting ideas. He has stated before that, why would he be involved with a project unless he thought it was the best possible thing to be doing. conversely, If he thinks that pointed attention or breath counting is a waste of time, he comes right out and tells us so. personally, I would like him to provide the whys more often, but I guess that sometimes he doesn't really know why himself at times. If people get involved with some dead end discipline, I would think that as a zen teacher, Brad would and should let us know how he feels about it. It is really not about personal beliefs or sacred cows no matter how it feels to you.

mindless troll said...

"If people get involved with some dead end discipline, I would think that as a zen teacher, Brad would and should let us know how he feels about it."

Sounds nice, but it can get murkier than that. Almost all the christians I know believe every other religion and most other sects than their own constiture 'some dead end discipline'. Same is true of most muslims. They too will tell you that it is their duty to spread the good news and point out how you are on a dead end path...since only thiers is the one true way to salvation, etc.

Say I was an addict or drunk and found freedom from this via becoming a born-again xtian or converting to islam...I would likely think that I'd found 'the one true way' since it worked for me and go on to put all other faiths down as inferior to 'my way'.

Zen teachers aren't necessarily free from these very human ways of thinking either. No doubt Brad has found greater insight and relief from suffering by following Nishijima's and Dogen's brand of zen. It does not follow that all other paths, sects or desciplines are dead end practicies...even if they were dead ends to him personally.

andronymous said...

any discipline is better than no discipline but all disciplines are not equal. some things point towards the truth and some things point away from it. but the above only applies when you believe there is such a thing as truth. I know some people don't.

Rich said...

Skillful words of TRUTH
I know that I don't know the truth, but right now I feel very close to the truth.

Brad's view is one among the infinite. I respect that. But please don't break my leg, that only worked once and that was hundreds of years ago -)

Koudelka said...

i like talking about buddhism instead of doing it.

Anonymous said...

I think koudelka would prefer a blog where no one spoke.. except him. :)

gniz said...

Earlier someone mentioned that I felt personally attacked by Brad's post about mindfulnes, etc, in that he was saying that something I believe in (and my teacher "Steve") was worthless...
Well, my teacher Steve has occasionally told me that he thinks "zen" and sitting meditations which dont factor in breathing are worthless.

I find it pretty strange and a little disconcerting when my teacher has said those things.

Hey. its great that you've found something that works for you, but crapping on other ideas or practices just seems immature at best.

And doing it over and over again, without good explanations, seems like a waste of time.

So, this isnt really all about Brad. To me, its about a methodology that basically appears very insular and closed minded.

But thats just based on some of the presentation...

Anonymous said...

Here's what Dogen says in Eihei Koroku regarding breath counting:

In our zazen, it is of primary importance to sit in the correct posture. Then, regulate the breathing and calm down. In Hinayana, there are two elementary ways (of beginner's practice): one is to count the breaths, and the other is to contemplate the impurity (of the body). In other words, a practitioner of Hinayana regulates his breathing by counting the breaths. The practice of the buddha-ancestors, however, is completely different from the way of Hinayana. An ancestral teacher has said, “It is better to have the mind of a wily fox than to follow the way of Hinayana self-control.”

Anonymous said...

my teacher Steve has occasionally told me that he thinks "zen" and sitting meditations which dont factor in breathing are worthless.

I find it pretty strange and a little disconcerting when my teacher has said those things.

Hey. its great that you've found something that works for you, but crapping on other ideas or practices just seems immature at best.

And doing it over and over again, without good explanations, seems like a waste of time.

So, this isnt really all about Brad. To me, its about a methodology that basically appears very insular and closed minded.

"I guarantee you that every decent Zen teacher believes that his or her conception of Zazen is the only one that matters. In fact I’d even say that if you find a teacher who does not appear to believe that you should stay away from that person. That’s one of the clearest telltale signs of a teacher who’s no good and will probably rip you off. All my teachers have been self-centered know-it-all pricks." - BW

babbles said...

gniz said...

Hey. its great that you've found something that works for you, but crapping on other ideas or practices just seems immature at best.


Why must every idea and practice be acceptable? If somebody, anybody, disagrees with something why can't they make a point in giving their view? This sort of concept seems to go into the "Buddhism is everything goes" belief, which is quite silly.

Anonymous said...

All my teachers have been self-centered know-it-all pricks." - BW

No wonder you received dharma transmission. It is said that a good student should surpass his teacher. Attaboy bradley.

Anonymous said...

Let's see a show of hands: how many of you groupies think some guy saying "Bite me!" started a religious movement that has lasted 2500 years? Don't waste your one and precious life. This may get Brad laid a some $$ but it isn't going to do anything for you.

Jinzang said...

Whenever Brad says something, a couple of people get bent out of shape. It seems to me that if your practice was strong, you wouldn't care whether Brad agreed with it or not.

Anonymous said...

60!

Urban Bodhisattva said...

Skillful means isn't something invented in California - it's a fundamental Buddhist principle. It means acting in a way that reduces suffering.

It's the pretty much sums up both teaching and practicing Buddhism. It is the Bodhisattva vow. So the fundamental matter here is: what are the effects of Brad's teaching? This is complex and there are different perceptions of course but this is what we need to observe clearly. What does arguing about who is right and wrong achieve? Its all delusion and attachment.

Urban Bodhisattva said...

Whenever Brad says something, a couple of people get bent out of shape. It seems to me that if your practice was strong, you wouldn't care whether Brad agreed with it or not.
Probably true but you could say that about Brad's post too. The only reason someone with a strong practice would say something would be to help as opposed to attachment to opinions and beliefs of the personal mind.

Moses said...

What does this mean? Anyone have a translation?

SHO SAI MYO KICHIJO DHARANI

(X3)



NO MO SAN MAN DA MOTO NAN OHA

RA CHI KOTO SHA SONO NAN TO JI TO EN

GYA GYA GYA KI GYA KI UN NUN SHIU

RA SHIU RA HARA SHIU RA HARA SHIU RA

CHISHU SA CHISHU SA CHISHU RI

CHISHU RI SOWA JA SOWA JA SEN CHI

GYA SHIRI EI SO MO KO

Anonymous said...

Auspicious Dharani For Averting Calamity

mysteriondan said...

Brad has mad skills at getting people bent out of shape. Sometimes it seems like that's all he's good at..

Mysterion said...

"Shosai Myokichijo Dharani"

SHOSAI MYOKICHIJO DARANI
Dharani of Good Fortune That Averts Calamaties

NO MO SAN MAN DA MOTO NAN
Veneration to all Buddhas!

OHA RA CHI KOTO SHA SONO NAN
The incomparable Buddha-power that banishes suffering.

TO JI TO EN GYA GYA GYA KI GYA KI UN NUN
Om! The Buddha of reality, wisdom, Nirvana!

SHIFU RA SHIFU RA HARA SHIFU RA HARA SHIFU RA
Light! Light! Great light! Great light!

CHISHU SA CHISHU SA SHUSHI RI SHUSHI RI
With no categories, this mysterious power

SOHA JA SOHA JA SEN CHI GYA SHIRI E SOMO KO
saves all beings; suffering goes, happiness comes, Svaha!
source

also:
Veneration to all Buddhas!
The incomparable Buddha-power that banishes suffering. Om! The Buddha of reality, wisdom, Nirvana! Light! Light! Great light! Great light! With no categories, this mysterious power Saves all beings; suffering goes, happiness comes, Swaha!
source

Anonymous said...

"Whenever Brad says something, a couple of people get bent out of shape. It seems to me that if your practice was strong, you wouldn't care whether Brad agreed with it or not."

"Probably true but you could say that about Brad's post too."

Exactly.
Is that why Brad gets so bent out of shape when some other teacher writes or says something he disagrees with? Is it because Brad's practice is weak that he gets bent out of shape and rants about others with different views of zen?

Dogen's practice must've been pretty weak too by this criteria. Nah jinzang, you're a pretty smart, insightful dude (more so than brad in many ways, imo) but you're mistaken on this one. It has nothing to do with whether a practice is strong or weak...besides trying to judge such things about yourself is pretty useless.

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

Look, getting "bent out of shape" doesnt automatically make anyone's opinion irrelevant. Maybe I did get "bent out of shape."

Does that make my opinion automatically invalid?

Also, is the only reason to write a comment on this board, to simply say "great post Brad, keep it up"?

Seems to me we are here to at least partly have a conversation.
I agree with Justin who said that it is the effects of the teachings of Brad, and the methods of Brad, that needs to be looked at.

I know that many feel helped by Brad's teachings, no denying it.

At the same time, I do think Brad and Nishijima foster a very narrow view of Zen and meditation practice, that either dismisses or even ridicules other kinds of practices, as well as the people who disagree with them.

Fine. They can do that.

I guess what I feel is particularly disheartening and disingenous is that Brad talks a lot about seeing through delusion, seeing through how our behavior effects others, taking responsibility, etc.

He wrote a very solid post awhile back about how a real Buddhist would be a nice person, not rude, not a dickhead. He actually talks about that stuff a lot and I like what he has to say most of the time...

But then I read some of Brad's posts and if he said those kinds of things in real life, he would be considered a total dick. Now, the fact that he's "only writing" is not a credible excuse of it, imo.

If anything, I agree with those who say a lot of deeper aspects of our personality comes out on the internet, because of the lack of tangible consequences.

I'm not trying to be the Buddhist police. I'm just having the conversation.

grisom said...

I'm not trying to be the Buddhist police. I'm just having the conversation.

*bows*

Anonymous said...

Gniz - Your opinion is not irrelevant. We just disagree on the possible motivation for Brad's button pushing. I don't know what you were feeling when you wrote the your first comment but having read your posts here before, I have thought more than once that you might be unconsciously writing to yourself when addressing Brad.

Matt said...

I think now may be as good a time as any:

Since we're talking about the over-use of terminology and how they lose their meaning with each mis-use, might I suggest that signing off with some coy variation of "I'm sitting down and shutting up now" or "I sat down, shat up, and now I'm fine" or "I used to be a Roman Catholic, then I sat down and shut up" might be overdoing it?

Watch I'll show you:

::sits down, shuts up, looks more enlightened than everyone else::

If only you'd all sit down and shut up, you wouldn't have these problems! I'm going to go sit down and shut up now!

Anonymous said...

To gniz:

108 bows
hands together in the dreaded gasho
Amen brother

ursus said...

Last couple of posts are fucked up. In a fully mindful wacky skilfull way. I am proud of you guys, You too, Brad. Now, can you come back and write about everyday stuff, so that we could show off to our wives and co-workers how - skillful and mingful we all are. HA! Seriously though, there are always going to be real teachers and impostors. Or, rather, it will be a everchanging range from "power of now" to "Fuck orgnized Buddhism", with sparkly (and prickly) gems in the middle. Brad, you must be out of your midlife crisis. C'mon now, your congregation needs your wisdom. Tell us how to chase the middle, how to clean the room, tell us about SEX, for fuck's sake! Someprock thinks he is mindful - let him mindful away. We know what you mean. Tell us about frustration, about being unhappy with oneself, feeling unappreciated, unloved... And what Nishijima and Dogen said about that. And what to do, what to do, the most importsnt thing. Cool trailer, Brad, yey!

Anonymous said...

How to Cook The Green Slime

Anonymous said...

How to Not Eat The Green Slime

Anonymous said...

What was mindful today,
May seem deluded the next.
What was skillful today,
May seem dumb the next.
The sky is blue today,
Tomorrow it may be grey;
Whatever the weather,
The words just are -
But tomorrow they are gone,
Just clouds passing through.

Anonymous said...

How to Kill The Green Slime?
DAIKAIJU!!!!

courtesy flush said...

I'm always surprised by how many people-- not just here in this comments section-- just can't or won't try to understand why those words can be so frustrating.

Here's my acid test: replace "skillful means" with "TPS reports." If the sentence still makes sense, then it's BS.

Anonymous said...

Dude, Noooooo...!

Daikaiju and TPS Reports
only make The Green Slime
STRONGER!!!

The only skillful means for
KILLING The Green Slime is
Teenage Kicks and Ukuleles!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! All this Green Slime
is making me dizzy. Arrgh!
Must... get... some...
therapeutic psychedelia...

Or maybe just some
Marvin Gaye?

Erg said...

My old man loves the green slime. I don't understand it.

Colinski said...

God that movie looks like just about the greatest thing ever! Alas, not available on NetFlix. I'll probably have to buy it or something.

Anonymous said...

This article made me laugh my ass of!

Thomas Bradford Newhall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"When this happens you have my express written permission to punch the person who says it in the solar plexus. Hard."

I think you might be a little off the deep end with that comment, Brad.

Maybe this is bullshit pop-buddhist jargon too, I don't know, but "nonviolence."

Yes, I know this comment was meant as sarcasm, but in all seriousness, be careful what you write.

On the other hand, that trailer is badass.

gniz said...

"Yes, I know this comment was meant as sarcasm..."

Wait you didnt read the post where Brad claims he can no longer use or understand sarcasm because of his Zen practice?