Thursday, May 22, 2008

GUESS I'M DUMB

I've spent pretty much my whole morning staring at my computer and scratching my head. I bought this thing called Fab Four, by East/West. It's a virtual instrument thngamajig with samples of all the instruments The Beatles used. The demo sounded really cool and I had good fun with M-Tron, a virtual Mellotron plug in. I figured I'd give this a go. I read the specs & they said you need 13 gigabytes of hard drive space to install it. Well, I don't have that much space free on my laptop or desk top, but I do have an outboard drive that I used to make Cleveland's Screaming and it has plenty of space left. So OK.

When I tried to install it on the outboard drive, I got a message saying it can only be installed on the "running hard drive." Ugh. So I sat and tried to figure out a solution. Here's what I came up with. But I don't know if it'll work or not. I dumped all my iTunes stuff from the desk top computer since I never listen to music on it anyway. That freed up the needed space on the HD. I'm now installing it there. When it's done I can (I hope) copy everything onto the outboard drive. Unless it's got some kinda restriction against that. Looking at the nearly useless FAQ on their site, they recommend in several similar (but not exactly the same) circumstances copying stuff to other drives.

If it doesn't work the way I hope I guess the worst scenario is the thing is forever on my desk top & whenever I need to use it outside my house I gotta move that. It's easier than moving a Hammond organ, so I guess that's not so bad.

Anyone out there smarter than me about this stuff is invited to write me with a better solution.

Some random thoughts for the day:

I was reading a few of the responses to the previous post. I find it remarkable how I'll say something, then someone embellishes what I've said with their own imagination, then that person proceeds to comment upon the stuff they've imagined as if I said that stuff. That's such a weird thing to me.

On this blog I've opened up my life to a tremendous degree. But there's no way I could possibly report everything that happens to me. I had a really good poop this morning, for example. But I don't usually report those details. Even when I report what's going on, you're really only getting like a millionth of a percent of what actually happened. When I described that meeting, for example, I didn't tell you about the strange dude who came up to me in the lobby saying, "Kenny! How ya doin'? Don't you remember me? I went to school with you. Yale, class of '76!" I didn't tell you about the weird security system in the lobby & in the elevator that screamed of intense post 9/11 paranoia. I didn't say much at all about what the meeting was intended to accomplish. And so on and on and on and on. You'll never know any of that stuff. And, if you're sane, you probably don't care.

I'm just wondering how much trouble we human beings cause each other by reading into things, by embellishing what we hear and see with our own invented details and then acting upon what we've invented. A great blessing/curse in my own life is that I'm too stupid to do that to any great degree. I mean if you intend to insinuate something to me, watch out because I probably will not get what you're driving at. Stuff has to be spelled out really clearly.

One thing that's helped in my practice has been that I no longer try as hard to figure out what people "really mean" when they say something to me. I just take nearly everything totally at face value. I don't usually "get" sarcasm, for example. I can tell when people are using it. But more often than not I have no idea what they're implying with it. And I won't usually put in the necessary effort to try and work it out.

I think Zen practice tends to make you more like this over time. I've noticed my teachers do it even more than I do. You develop a kind of dumb approach to life.

Anyway. Whatever.

My friend Leilani who's staying up at Tassajara says that girls tend to leave the place quickly, more so than guys. She asks if Zen is a macho thing. It's a good question. I don't think it's inherently macho or masculine. Yet I do see more guys take to it than gals. Like heavy metal or punk. I don't have any real comment about that. I wish more women would show up to the classes and suchlike. Any suggestions on how to make Zen more user-friendly to women?

70 comments:

Jordan said...

Nope.

Bret said...

Heh. My teacher told me that Zen is the religion of ugly, dull men.

Blake said...

Good poops are good.

Sometimes, when I poop, I play bowling on my cell phone.

H. L. Mencken said...

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.

Jinzang said...

I've noticed that there are more women than men in Tibetan Buddhism and more men than women in Zen Buddhism.

Maybe you could quote Bankei more and Dogen less.

David said...

GI Gurdjieff once said something along the lines that women are already perfected, it's men who need the practice.

I'm just throwing that out there as an interesting statement.

grisom said...

At Shasta Abbey (a Soto Zen monastery) the numbers are about equal gender-wise, in terms of both the monks/nuns who live there and the laypeople who come for retreats. On the other hand, at our local group, which is affiliated with Shasta, men are noticeably the majority. I don't know what, if anything, can be deduced from these facts.

jinzang: Interesting about the Tibetan/Zen difference there. Any idea why? I don't know much about Tibetan Buddhism...

Also, Bankei sounds like my kind of fellow :)

Al said...

One thing that's helped in my practice has been that I no longer try as hard to figure out what people "really mean" when they say something to me. I just take nearly everything totally at face value. I don't usually "get" sarcasm, for example. I can tell when people are using it. But more often than not I have no idea what they're implying with it. And I won't usually put in the necessary effort to try and work it out.

And yet, when people do the same thing to you, you seem to get upset. We don't "get" your sarcasm. It just comes across as you pissed off at the world, which is a bit odd for Zen teacher. The same goes when you talk shit about other teachers or groups.

You have a lot of negativity and maybe you think you're being funny but if we follow your example of just reading surface meanings, all that is seen is a pissed off guy bitching about other people or groups.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Noiret Sym Laden said...

"Maybe you could quote Bankei more and Dogen less."

I prefer Benkei to Bankei.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G15ik7JV6LA

Chicago Andy said...
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Mysterion said...
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JB said...

zen attracts more men than women because of the way people stuff it up. when people get zen wrong they are overly intellectual with it. because they think it seems to focus on emptiness. tibetan buddhism attracts more women than men, because when people get it wrong they think it is all about compassion.

andyrchicago said...

"I've opened up my life to a tremendous degree..."

Yes you have, Brad, which is why I read your blog everyday. I don't know of any other zen priests out there who are so open and candid about themselves as human beings. Most prefer to maintain their mystique.The stream of consciousness of your writing and your (ahem!) salty language,however, definitely trigger (I think) many of your readers to try and one up you with some tough and often reckless language of their own. I've heard some of your interviews on other web sites and podcasts, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't know that you are actually a kind man and a very insightful one at that. Based on only reading your blogs alone, one might mistake you for an angry punk poseur in a zen master's robe, but I can tell from those interviews that that is not what you are really about. Have you considered making available any of your dharma talks, so that folks could see there's alot more to you than meets the eye of the blog?
I feel you're selling yourself short by not showing more sides of yourself in terms of your knowledge of zen and how it relates to the foibles of life that you so humorously depict on your blog. My fear is you'll get discouraged by the negativity your blog often inspires and throw in the towel. Please don't, it would be a loss.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Zen!

Anonymous said...

NEZ!

gniz said...
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Anonymous said...

If only I could realize how stupid I am when I assume that I know what is really going on, then maybe I could cut out the cr*p and stuff might go a lot smoother.

If you want more chicks to come, start lifting weights, get a tan and some tattoos? Maybe an expensive car... say BMW/Lexus... Offer free yoga pants? Be more liberal or less liberal, who can really know 1/10th of what is going on.

Maybe this isn't even a problem, unless you're making it one... you aren't, are you?

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering how much trouble we human beings cause each other by reading into things, by embellishing what we hear and see with our own invented details and then acting upon what we've invented. A great blessing/curse in my own life is that I'm too stupid to do that to any great degree.

No Brad, you are not too stupid to do that. Trust me. You've done it numerous times.

I've read that women get satori quicker than men. (I realize you're soto, so satori doesn't count.) I've also read on good authority that soto zen (in america) attracts more women than men. So, maybe your lineage or the centers you visit are an exception. Rinzai zen tends to attract more men than women though.

Funny what bret said. I've heard male zen students complain that zen seems to attract ugly, dull women. Maybe both are right. Ha!

Mike said...

I had a conversation with a Buddhist woman today, and the gist of it was: I for one don't understand the breathing out sorrow, breathing in happiness and visualizing deities crap that's in Tibetan Buddhism, and she can't handle just sitting there doing nothing.

It's an impasse.

Anonymous said...

or maybe some are just commenting on your writing, and you're assuming otherwise.

Anonymous said...

@mike: that crap is actually breathing in sorrow and out happiness.

Anonymous said...

"crap" was sarcastic. (just re-stating the obvious..)

Moon Face Buddha said...

Another vote here for Bankei.

diarmuid said...

Re: Fab Four: You'll probably have to keep it on your main drive, on whichever drive you intend to use it the most. "It's lighter than a Hammond organ." That's a good way to look at it.

Internet sarcasm is a disease open to misinterpretation. Some have suggested the return of the irony mark in order to denote meanings other than those given by the text. It's likely this will go nowhere, and we'll have a future of muddy snark to deal with. It's difficult to approximate the true degree of one's irony without a tone of voice to attach to it. Or we'll develop a new language, whichever comes first...

I'd hate to think that Zen results in the loss of subtlety, however. Subtlety can be the spice of life. Unless it's someone subtly implying their idiotic biases, in which case you can respond by implying that they are subtly alone.

Women in Zen. Touchy subject -- what's your position on drama again?

Anonymous said...

the women/men ratio at various groups I've sat with.....yes, there tend to be more men--I think it's the shaved head business.
There are more women interested in Tibetan Buddhism, I could never figure that one out--'it's the compassion' as remarked upon above does make sense to me.

There seems to be some kind of wholeness happening (male and female aspects of the individual person 'marry) in a long-time practitioner. It seems to come from the top down (teacher to students). At one Rinzai group the women were all hard asses and the men were wimpy--it was the first time I'd seen that.

Folks seem very balanced at HSC, 'the men are good looking, the women are strong and all the children are above average' (Isn't that the way Keillor describes folk from Lake Woebegon?)

At one group (I really don't want to mention the lineage) people seemed more status conscious than anything else. They're well endowed, and are in a good position to keep on keeping on, but what is this something missing legacy they will be perpetuating?

I'm beginning now to not only look at the teacher, but the teacher's shadow. The teacher has to have worked with this dark material we all have. I don't think this is work everyone can stomach and I think a lot of teachers just keep adding to their 'teacher resume' list of all the 'good deeds'--the socially, politically and buddhistically correct things they've done. Many have taken on jobs in which zen is their business, (and I'm not talking about being a zen teacher)specifically I've seen this with 'buddhist psychotherapy' (I guess it's a response to the christian based psychotherapy out there).
Seems for them somehow zen is 'something special,' and they are somethin' and are special because they practice it.
I like it when zen is nothing special, it's just what is done. I like it when I have no way of knowing if someone practices or not: their clothing, their demeanor, their t-shirts, their jewelry, their car, their home furnishings, I have no clue. Then I get it, and it is very very cool: this quiet, not squawked about, no blowing one's horn, on and on ad nauseum, and when it comes to the 'e' word--laughter!

Anonymous said...

will you ever stop bitching about your readers? its way annoying. This is like the fourth post you talk about the perils of reading between the lines. what did you expect when you started a blog? this is the fucking internet! get over it!

HezB said...

Don't know about Zen, but this case may apply in some way:

Q. Why do women watch porno movies right to the very end credits?

A. To see if anyone gets married.

Regards,

Harry.

Craig O'Brien said...

I don't know about this macho Zen idea. At my sangha, there's lots of women. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the majority of regular sitters. As a statistician, I'm betting no one knows if/how women are under-represented in American Zen, since I'm betting no one has ever done a real study on the issue. Everyone just has their annecdotal evidence from their own experience.

canuckavlle said...

Many women have had experience with bullies prior to coming to Zen. Surprise, surprise...many teachers feel it's their duty to belittle, degrade and generally bully their students...don't sit like that, don't breathe like that, why would you think that, what a stupid thing to say...yup...I can guess why many women leave.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I'm completely flummoxed as to why more men than women are attracted to "Hardcore Zen." It's a mystery.

I also don't know if there are any spots open for the one-day sesshin tomorrow at HSC, but allow me to encourage you to ask, ladies.

Rob

Anonymous said...

" As a statistician, I'm betting no one knows if/how women are under-represented in American Zen, since I'm betting no one has ever done a real study on the issue."

Craig O'brien, there actually have been studies / surveys done on this subject. The stats are in the book; The New Buddhism by James William Coleman if you care to look. Lots of other stats about buddhism (esp zen) contained therein too. Can't vouch for the accuracy of the studies, but there have been studies.

"don't sit like that, don't breathe like that, why would you think that, what a stupid thing to say...yup..."

Sounds like you're quoting Brad above. You forgot "what a stupid thing to say...you asswipe. And, What a stupid thing to say...you dickhead.

canuckavlle said...

Anonymous - "sounds like Brad"...NOT. Here's a case of presumption or skewed perception.
I was giving examples of what I've heard from many women who've experienced exactly what I wrote.
There are a slew of teachers out there! My experience with Brad during retreat was rather benign...no flailing of arms, loudness at all! Humor, good intention, devotion to Dogen. That's it.
BTW, where does right speech come in here?

P.T. said...

Sarcasm is an expression of anger.

I remember reading somewhere that people get angry when things aren't the way they think they should be. ;)

Maybe it's harder to "get" sarcasm when your not angry, or you can't understand why someone else is angry.

Blake said...

Tibetan Buddhism is aesthetically pleasing... maybe there's something behind that?

buddha-builder said...

canuckavlle, I think you've hit a major point as to why most women don't sit zen. Well said!

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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HezB said...

Maybe we could make Zen more accessible to women by extracting it from our Western male A-holes?

Regards,

Harry.

Mettai Cherry said...

As a woman who does sit zazen and is very involved with my zen center, I would have to say that they way to get more women interested in zen is to quit concerning yourself about it.

TMcG said...
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TMcG said...

Brad- With all of the suicide girls following your blog, I'm sure you could set up a nice zen-harem!

Whatever happened to the porno buddhist blog anyways?

Anonymous said...

"BTW, where does right speech come in here?"

Good question. Definitely not from Brad.

I have no idea how brad talks or behaves in person with his students. I was referring to his writings here where he refers to others (including other teachers) in rude, disparaging terms like you describe women hearing from other zen teachers. If you don't see the resemblance to what you quoted in Brad's words on this blog you either haven't been reading here long or have been drinking the kool aid. He may be a total wimp in person for all I know. (probably is, most who bravely skewer others on the net are complete wusses irl)

Mysterion said...

on "right speech"

How is suffering to be extinguished?

The awakening of wisdom is the basic path for overcoming suffering. Craving is backed by ignorance and will only fade away with the inculcation of knowledge, experience, and opportunity.

Therefore, that speech is right which either - as a wind clime - gently awakes the sleeping - or - as a mallet on a gong - shatters the dream of the slumbering.

Moon Face Buddha said...

"Therefore, that speech is right which either - as a wind clime - gently awakes the sleeping - or - as a mallet on a gong - shatters the dream of the slumbering."

And name calling is a skillful way to do either?

Tom said...

Absurdity is the anguish of realizing that underneath the apparently logical pattern of a more or less "well organized" and rational life, there lies an abyss of irrationality, confusion, pointlessness, and indeed of apparent chaos. This is what immediately impresses itself upon the man who has renounced diversion. It cannot be otherwise; for in renouncing diversion, he renounces the seemingly harmless pleasure of building a tight, self-contained illusion about himself and his little world. He accepts the difficulty of facing the million things in his life which are incomprehensible instead of simply ignoring them. Incidentally it is only when the apparent absurdity of life is faced in all truth that faith really becomes possible. Otherwise faith tends to be a kind of diversion, a spiritual amusement, in which one gathers up accepted, conventional formulas and arranges them in the approved mental patterns, without bothering to investigate their meaning, or asking if they have any practical consequences in one's life.

babbles said...

He may be a total wimp in person for all I know. (probably is, most who bravely skewer others on the net are complete wusses irl)

I just wanted to point this out as an example to essentially summarize the arguments that people throw at Brad. It adds a nice flair coming from an anonymous individual on the net . . .

And name calling is a skillful way to do either?

Sure why not? Sometimes people need a kick to the balls to see something, and if it necessitates name calling, then that sure as hell is a pretty skillful way to go about it. Or, as Mysterion noted it is the verbal equivalent of a gong.

This idea that one has to always be concerned with proper decorum is a portion of what I like to affectionately call "Fluffy Bunny New Age Buddhism" where everybody has to nice and one is not allowed to be mean to somebody, even if it was for their own good. I think that sort of mindset is rather useless and is concerned with the wrong thing.

Mysterion said...

Faith - where the inmates guard the asylum.

Pali pasada - which is often translated into faith - is actually closer to emotional inclination or, in some contextual cases, belief.

A test of western faith becomes another reason to believe. (Circular reasoning)

'Credo quia absurdum'
'I believe because it is absurd.'

That is hardly Buddhist.

"We, venerable sir, go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma for refuge, and to the Community of Bhikkhus for refuge." source

'O, teach me how to make mine own excuse!
Or, at the least, this refuge let me find:
Though my gross blood be stained with this abuse,Immaculate and spotless is my mind...' from

That being Lucrèce Borgia.

A refuge is a place where one finds rest (no faith or belief about it). Consider the term game refuge.

Asylum: From Latin asylum meaning "place of refuge," which is itself derived from the Greek word asulon.

zen girl said...

I don't think Zen fails to attract women. However, I do think the tendency towards macho Zen cowboy Duddhists in some sanghas are a bit off-putting. The whole pissing contest atmosphere of "I sit half lotus!" "Yeh, dude, well I sit full - for 50 minute periods!" and the "I'm the oriyoki king" type discussions just come off as childish and take away from where the focus should be - namely the dharma and zazen practice.

At Green Gulch Farm (part of SFZC sangha including City Center & Tassajara) it is pretty equal between women and men. In fact, at least half of the senior teachers are women.

Anonymous said...

Hard to say. There are lots of women at our Zen Center and legions of them are first rate, senior teachers.

Though it is interesting that three of the women I know who are senior teachers are top notch at problem solving and scientific thinking.

I am a middle aged geek girl, loved Hard Core Zen, but a lot of the things I like are in line with what boys like--I adore insects, excellent potty humor makes my day, I rejoice in taking a dump and consider it compliment when someone's dog slobbers, paws me and gets me muddy.

I will confess that what I find difficult about Zen practice is that often I want to bitch and piss about something and get asked, 'But how does this relate to your practice?'

Its the right question. But God, I hate being asked that.

In Zen, there may be some social economic matters that affect whether women can do longer retreats.

One, time and economics. One needs money and social support so you can get away from home long enough to practice at a place like Tassajara. If you have kids or are a caregiver for elderly parents--that's tough.

Aesthetics. Zen is elegant and barebones, aesthetically, but by many people's standards, it is drab.

Tibetan Buddhism is full of color, pageantry, gadgets,fab costumes and bling.

Zen used to be chic in the 1950s till about the 1970s.

Now its Tibetan Buddhism that is chic. If I had a dollar for every time I see a Tibetan Buddhist celebrity, lama or rinpoche on some magazine cover or in a news story, I'd be as rich as George Soros.

Bryan said...
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David said...

"

Mettai Cherry said...

As a woman who does sit zazen and is very involved with my zen center, I would have to say that they way to get more women interested in zen is to quit concerning yourself about it.

"

Sounds right to me!

HezB said...

That's good, but let's develop this while we're rolling: how can us sad fuckers use Zen to get girls?

Regards,

Harry.

tom said...

@mysterion

saddha [saddhaa]: Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice.

Tom said...

@mysterion

Choosing to go to the refuge (which is fundamentally the unknown) versus the tried-and-false diversion (the known) can only be taken on faith, since it had not been experienced directly yet. this is saddha, or faith. I believe that Merton is touching on this point.

Mysterion said...

The Five Spiritual Faculties
1. Faith; saddha (Pali)
2. Energy; viriya (Pali)
3. Mindfulness; sati (Pali)
4. Concentration; samadhi (Pali)
5. Wisdom; panna (Pali)
source

Faith and confidence are simplistic westernizations of more complex comcepts.

"The Buddhist term (in Pali) that comes closest to faith is saddhā, a virtue to be cultivated by householders (Anguttara Nikāya 786ff.). Although rendered as faith by early translators (e.g., Max Muller, Mrs. Rhys-Davids, etc.), coming perhaps as they do from Christian backgrounds themselves, or perhaps even reflecting the later varieties of Buddhism in which faith becomes a central component, the term confidence (born of understanding), suggested by Saddhatissa (1970, p. 58), captures its sense more accurately because neither the freedom of thought nor the freedom of will is sacrifced at the altar of a superior being. Man retains his fierce independence in saddhā."
source

to paraphrase further -
Buddha in his last words stated each was to be a lamp unto oneself. The only basis of accepting or rejecting teaching was to be personal informed verification. So if there is to be any saddhā in the Buddha or the Dhamma, it would be to have confidence in knowledgeable verification. Finally, saddhā is posited in opposition to vicikiccā, baseless doubt. This clearly is not faith in the theistic or the ordinary sense of the term.

tom said...

@mysterion

yes, exactly, nice volley. but we live here now, in the west, so we can use the term faith correctly.

Anonymous said...

" Sometimes people need a kick to the balls to see something, and if it necessitates name calling, then that sure as hell is a pretty skillful way to go about it."

And sometimes calling buddha a shitstick is the correct thing to do. Sometimes hitting someone with a stick is a wake up call. Sometimes being rude or shouting is skillfull means.

On the other hand, such behaviour as above may mean the person is simply an egocentric jerk. If I call you a dickhead, I'm being mean and practicing wrong speech. When someone with "dharma transmission" or claims to being a zen master calls you a dickhead, he must be using skillful means...couldn't just be an ordinary rude person...right?

If I call you an idiot, I'm out of line and arrogant. If Brad does it, he's exhibiting enlightened behavior and compassion. Riiiiight.

There's a sale on black tennis shoes right around the corner and while you're at it, pick up some kool aid.

And unless you are using your full real name as your moniker here, we're all anonymous in some way or another.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous sed...
"If I call you an idiot, I'm out of line and arrogant. If Brad does it, he's exhibiting enlightened behavior and compassion. Riiiiight."

Too simplistic.

If you shout 'stand up' to someone who is standing, it is not 'right speech.' If you shout 'coffee is ready' when, in tea is served, then this is neither right, wrong, elated, or angry. It s just humor based on sarcasm.

More to the point: 'right speech' is a choice of words and tone based upon the immediate situation, the intended audience, the intended effect, and the experience of the speaker.

In any hypothetical situation:

You - Wrong --- Brad Wrong
You - right --- Brad Wrong
You - Wrong --- Brad right
You - right --- Brad right

remembering that the words right and wrong have no absolute meaning - they only contain some meaning relative to each other (and in context, at that).

David said...

"HezB said...

That's good, but let's develop this while we're rolling: how can us sad fuckers use Zen to get girls?

Regards,

Harry.

"

Yea, that too!

DB said...
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Mountaintop Rebel said...

I'm sure some people do unfairly go out of their way to twist things Brad says or take them out of context, which sucks. However, I remember a couple years ago when myself and other people occasionally politely took issue or even just asked questions about certain very strong things he said. He was arrogant and dismissive, often to the point of rudeness, and continues to be so much of the time. Which is what it is, but I don't think he can write off every piece of criticism he gets as just angry, unenlightened people deliberately misunderstanding him. That actually seems like a really un-zen way to avoid ever having to take responsibility for one's own proclamations. I think it's perfectly valid to call Brad on his shit, the same way he's been more than comfortable to call other people, sometimes with insulting invective, sometimes including Dharma teachers who were practicing whole heartedly when he was in a second rate, "Killed By Death"-fodder HC band. I guess if it just began and ended there I'd be less critical of the guy but he seems almost pathologically incapable of accepting anything short of praise (remember his response to a bad review of hcz in Buddhadharma?), and despite his anti-authority, questioning message (which I think is a good one), a lot of his little zen groupies seem to think he's above all reproach. Hey Brad, maybe you just said something bone headed? Maybe you're NOT ALWAYS CORRECT? Crazy idea huh?

I kinda get sucked into bashing the guy myself, which really isn't my intention. Truthfully, I actually agree with him pretty often and just never bother commenting in those cases. I probably should just stop commenting here, and I may well do so. I will say; when I first discovered Brad's old site, a little over 5 years ago, right after I started getting into Buddhism, I was really impressed. He seemed like a teacher who was saying a lot of things that needed to be said. Then through his books, blog, and responses to email, I've kind of gotten the impression that a lot of it was bullshit. Authority is great if he or Nishijima is the authority in question, everything besides Zazen is stupid and he magically knows this apriori, drugs are bad (I agree there), but an exploitative arm of the sex industry (as if there's any other kind) is awesome, etc etc. Plus the endless name dropping, but that's a fairly minor issue. And then he acts like a dismissive shmohawk to anybody who takes issue with his public statements and pulls the whole enlightenment routine he declaimed earlier? I think Brad honestly acts a lot like many of the same figures he criticized earlier on for their excesses. Maybe success does that to you, or maybe it's always been there.

Al is also right on, it's a bit bizarre to assume people are digging through your words at one point and then just taking them at face value without enough digging at others. I appreciate that there can be times when one wishes to convey something subtly, and times one doesn't. Not everything has to be kindergarten. But sometimes if people think you're being a dick, it's not just them. Sometimes, you're being a dick.

Anyway, not that I think anybody cares, but unless I'm responding to a response to this, directly or indirectly, pretty sure I won't post here anymore. Brad and his disciples are free to have a space where they can just say "yeah!" and "right on!" all the time. Peace out.

D.T. Suzuki said...

"The idea is to unfold the Zen psychology in the mind of the uninitiated, and to reproduce that state of consciousness of which the statements are [merely] an expression. That is to say, when the koans are understood, the master's state of mind is understood, which is satori and without which Zen is a sealed book."

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, D.LITT.

andyrchicago said...

Yeah, MOUNTAINTOP REBEL!
You brought your point home really well. Not everyone who reads this blog/post is either a post- pubescent jagoff or a a dreamy BradGroupie. You actually put a little time and thought into what you had to say and I hope you'll keep saying it, 'cause I got a feeling there are plenty of us out there who are tired of reading adolescent ramblings on how to score zenchicks, or the quick cheap shots taken at Brad by those who use blogging as a masuturbatory subsitute for writing a thought that has some thought! Brad deserves a licking at times, and no matter what he may say in print, I'm betting he will (on his own time) take in well argued criticism. But, it's like karma, your words and actions plant a seed but who knows when they will ripen? At some point Brad will come to understand that the feedback he gets is directly a function of the scattershot vibe he puts out. I'm guessing that, above all else he values no bullshit honesty, even if he shows it in a lovely way by being testy and nasty to those with the temerity to stand up to him fair and square. I've never met the guy but I'm just doing my armchair psychoanalysis, for what it's worth! Hope to see more of more thoughts in the future!

Anonymous said...

Mountaintop Rebel:

You conveyed my own thoughts perfectly. Well said.

Anonymous said...

thoughts--
mountain top rebel: I'd love to hear more.

zen and men/women--even on blogs and 'e' zendos--my limited experience shows more men than women at about a 3:1 ratio or more.

Zen isn't for a girlie girl, fo sho.

Zen women have an unsinkability to them--like those dharuma dolls

I do think the new age stuff and healing nonsense has (for the moment) claimed many a woman and when they've left that kick, their too jaded for something else
what a shame

To spend time going after something because you think there is something to get and then when you get nothing
you don't want to spend anymore time
especially not with those who propose there is nothing to get, and never was

Michel Billaud said...

[Laptop disk full]

Put a bigger HD into your laptop ?

Anonymous said...

Make sure the 'silence' and militarism (posture, sticking to the clock, etc.) are not misinterpreted as mere aesthetic choices. Most guys go for them as aesthetic choices and use a self-personalized and bastardized "hard practice" as a way inflating their male egos. Which are 'already conditioned to be inflated, compared to most girls.