Friday, July 04, 2008


And let's hope Will Smith can save us from whatever aliens attack.

I'm back in Santa Monica and hard at work on book #3. We will be having zazen on Saturday in spite of the fact that no one in their right mind would stick around on the big holiday weekend.

The fires near Tassajara are still burning away. The place got evacuated almost as soon as I arrived. Those of you looking for up-to-the-moment reports can check out the "Sitting With Fire" blog they set up.

Someone wrote me while I was away bemoaning the fact that people were posting numbers in the comments section of this blog. Like if their comment is #175, they just post the number 175 and the next guy posts 176 and so on. I've seen that too. What is that? I'm not even interested enough to bother deleting it. I'll never be able to comprehend most of what people do on the Internet anyway.


There was a big parade here today. Dah-dah-dah-daaaahhhhhhhh!!!!


Anonymous said...


Wake Up and Smell the Dharma! said...

I've been listening to a lot of SFZC podcasts on iTunes over the last few months and I've grown rather fond of them. I particularly like listening to Edward Brown and Steve Weintraub. Great stuff. I hope Tassajara is OK.

three said...

3 !!!

it's your koan, dude! said...

4 !!!

Moon Face Buddha said...

Be humble.
Only fools take pride in their station here, trapped in
a cage of dust, moisture, heat and air.
No need to complain of calamities,
this illusion of a life lasts but a moment.

- Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir

Jinzang said...

Like if their comment is #175, they just post the number 175 and the next guy posts 176 and so on. I've seen that too. What is that?

It's just an example of phatic communication.

Anonymous said...

happy 4th & good luck with the book!


Anonymous said...

phallic communion 8!

Anonymous said...

don't you mean book # 4?

I thought you'd already completed book # 3

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be Happy Co-arising Dependence Day?

Lone Wolf said...

What's the new book about Brad?

Lone Wolf said...

I'm guessing either impermanence or sex.

z0tl said...

it's about zen is bullshit, being in the moment should be banned along with mindfoolness, because what the fuck is out there but the moment, so by understanding that you will never again worry about being outside IT.

anyway, it's gonna hopefully be a whole lotta cuss w0rds and more conceptual whining about the way the sapiens are going to shit in a hellbasket.

i think i'm gonna start sitting with the monkeys at the zoo and i mean that literally.

Anonymous said...

I have read half the book and its amazing. =]

Anonymous said...

When is it going to be released?


16 !!!

Monkey See, Monkey Do said...

I sat with the monkeys once. They seemed quite advanced in Zen practice, but they will never reach enlightenment due to incorrect posture :)

Anonymous said...

Independence Day in Santa Monica.

Mysterion said...

His Bradness sed:
"Someone wrote me while I was away bemoaning the fact that people were posting numbers in the comments section of this blog. Like if their comment is #175, they just post the number 175 and the next guy posts 176 and so on."

Well 'someone' ought to lighten up. A geek mentioned that post #200 world roll-over the odometer and start a new comments page. WE just had to know, we, your faithful and dutiful followers just had to test it for ourselves. Would you have us behave otherwise?

You know what the Big Guy sed: "Do not believe... &c."

"The miracle virus that can transverse operating systems from different worlds, was made on a Mac naturally." (Hint, computer geniuses don't use Macs, they use Play Station 3).

Even an Astrophysicist uses PS3s.

(retired Sony guy)

Vicki said...

It's good to have you back, Brad.

noiret sym laden said...

Mysterion writes in the same manner as homeless schizophrenics speak. The only difference is that the homeless guys make more sense. Turn off the computer and take your meds, Misty.

Anonymous said...

noiret sym laden, do not throw your verbal matches onto mysterion. the homeless do no deserve incineration and neither does he.

Jinzang said...

I thought you'd already completed book # 3

Even when a book's finished, it's not finished. That's the zen of publishing.

Anonymous said...

I am the someone who wrote to Brad about the numbers posts. I prefer not to out myself here, as this place has grown increasingly hostile, but I do want to explain it a little bit.

The correspondence to Brad was just a mild request on the off chance he could block those posts. I never expected he would delete them. Why do I care? Simply because whenever I check the blog and see there are several new posts, I am excited to see what's been offered, what some of the great minds here - those who always make me think, whether or not I agree with them - such as Justin, and Gniz, and moon face ... , and Harry, and yes, even sometimes Mysterion (who has just dissed me); and several other less frequent but still vibrant players have to share.

Then, I open the comments section, check the box that asks me if I want to proceed (some security thing) and bother to scroll down for what feels like a very long time until I find where I left off, only to discover all my time and energy were given for the eventual reading of a bunch of numbers posted by people (or one person) clearly just enjoying creating "clever" identities for their count posts. It's hardly a big deal; it's just a drag, an annoyance and a bit of a drain. And it has prevented me from enjoying my time here the way I used to. I may be alone here, but I figured asking Brad about it was worth a shot. So be it.

Anonymous said...


Mtroll said...

I agree about the number posts. Their just a pain in the ass. I don't agree with the idea that brad should censor posts here, at least not those that pertain to zen or himself in any fashion (critical or encouraging), but I do think all off-topic material shoud be deleted..including numbers, demons, 9/11 junk and mason conspiracies.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly confident that many (though certainly not all) feel the same way, or close to it, about the numbers posts, but would prefer not to say so here. I understand that. And I am not so stupid as to expect my voice in this will affect change. I am also fully aware that should it continue unabated (and perhaps I have encouraged it, at least temporarily?), when it bothers me enough, it will be up to me stay quietly away. Again, I just felt it was worth the effort. It's often only effort that leads to change, right? Oh well.

Justin said...

If it is small talk it's the most tedious and meaningless form of small talk I've personally experienced.

Lauren said...

Anti-odometer anonymous....

I am so jealous. You emailed Brad and he responded! How the heck did you pull that off?

I was all down in the dumps about my practice. Signed up for the September sesshin, and then uncertain about what all this Zen stuff is really doing for me.

Wanting a living, breathing, engaged, concerned, teacher (desiring too much?) and bemoaning a lack thereof on my blog.

An anonymite by the handle of "Back At You" baits me in my own blog's comment section to write Brad for advice, on whether a Japan sesshin would be advisable at this time, assuring he would respond. (Lucy sets up the football and Charlie starts running?!)

Patiently waiting into the second week now for a response and nada. Yes fires in the hills. Yes new books to write, but come on!

I feel like a dupe. I feel like "damn, I gotta do this all myself." I feel like "Why the hell can't I get access to some great or lousy Zen teacher?" I feel like "Fine, Zen's supposed to be just about sitting, so I can do that." I feel like "I can do a sesshin, and I can't wait to bow down on the tatami with a heart-felt 'onegaishimasu' and look Brad in the eye and say 'why the fuck don't you reply to my emails?', or maybe it will just be 'katsu!' and dead silence."

My fantasy is that Brad's saying nothing 'cause he wants me to find the moon, not his finger.

What the hell is the truth? Now, Now, Now is so empty and so vast. And my garage needs cleaning so I gotta go. Too much desire, too much damn desire.


mysteriondan said...

if you get aggravated by some silly person putting up numbers on a blog then you might have a problem sitting still for a half an hour. just a guess..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No, wait, THIRTY-TWO!!

Anonymous said...

Turty-Tree and a Turd
(That's the RPM of an LP for you kids out there...just Google it.)

Anonymous said...

mysteriondan - In case you are awaiting acknowledgment of your guess . . . you are mistaken; I have no problem sitting still for half and hour (and, typically, longer) each day. But thank you for your concern.

Lauren, based on your comment here alone, I cannot imagine ever ignoring you. I find your style quite compelling! If only I were Brad . . .

Anonymous said...

that would be an, not and. yikes.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard directly from any zen master.

You make your plans to sit a sesshin.
You go.
In small ways there are encounters with various persons at the retreat, but 99.8 percent of the time is following the schedule.
Zen is a self-selected path. There are a coupla flavors of zen out there Rinzai and Soto for two, there's that melange a trois deal called the White Plum Asangha.
You takes your pick.
What suits you best?
It doesn't really matter in the end.
But in the beginning, it seems very important. (And because it seems that way, it is; and because it is that way it seems so).
Brad is a teacher.
There are many.
Now more than ever--so you're in luck!

Cleaning out the garage! Now there's real practice for you!

NellaLou said...

Sometimes people who resort to phatic communication (thanks jinzang)by way of injecting themselves into the stream of conversation may be simply shy or too self-conscious to say what's really on their minds. They would like to be acknowledged as present but to take the risk of putting forth their actual opinion is daunting.
I used to be this way and said a lot of stupid things that meant nothing. Now I still say a lot of stupid things that mean nothing but its authentically stupid. And I don't care.
If I'm going to be rejected I'd rather it be an authentic rejection based on what I actually feel and think and say. Oddly that rarely happens. The paradoxes of reality remain.

Anonymous said...


What is this blog but a mirror of the participants here?
As such it refuses nothing and no one.

The experience you write about: seeing there are numerous comments, arriving at the comment section, scrolling down for ever and ever, getting to the bottom of it all to conclude why bother.

Disappointment means you expected something.
What were you expecting?
What was this blog/comments supposed to do for you?
What would have 'satisfied' you? and for how long?

New annoyances, that's life!
Just when you've got things the way you like 'em, there they go a-changin'
What are you going to do?
You can take the vow to 'never waste your time again' by coming to this crummy joint on the www, but tell me, where aren't you 'wasting time?' When it comes down to it LIFE is one big Waste Of Time.
That is a cul de sac
it's a dead end and it's a cornucopia
the end of the line and the point from which everything emerges
whatever experience allows this cul de sac to be explored--well, what a gift that is!

Yeah, be annoyed with how pointless the count comments are. Be irritated that your piqued interest in something 'worthy of your efforts' or 'worth your time' wasn't found.

Believe it or not, it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people who resort to phatic communication (thanks jinzang)by way of injecting themselves into the stream of conversation may be simply shy or too self-conscious to say what's really on their minds.

SO TRUE! And sometimes they are just immature, inconsiderate jerks.

Anonymous said...

Everything is satisfying!

Satisfying: there is a blog to check and the means by which to do it

No change in the number of comments since the last look: Satisfying there is nothing new to check
Ah ha, higher number of comments since the last look: Satisfying there is something to check
Like we said before, satisfying: there is nothing new to check, or satisfying: there is something new to check


Satisfying to make no comment, or satisfying to add to the comment sections. Satisfying to add to/respond to thoughts of others, Satisfying to add non sequiturs

and then? after the blog?

the laundry
or dishes,
or picking my nose
whatever is to be done next, worthy or unworthy of my precious time

here I come to do it!

Mysterion said...

I once asked an internationally very well known Zen Master a question.

Mysterion said...

Long ago, at a celebration for an auspicious occasion near the Nakatsu River, I approached a quite senior Zen Monk.

"If one is invited to attend a celebration on an auspicious occasion, how is one to acknowledge the celebrant?"

His answer: "If one finds some comfort in a bow, then perhaps a bow might be appropriate. If one finds some comfort in a nod, then perhaps a nod might be more appropriate."

"If one chances upon a common mendicant, how is one to acknowledge the mendicant?"

His answer: "If one finds some comfort in a bow, then perhaps a bow might be appropriate. If one finds some comfort in a nod, then perhaps a nod might be more appropriate."

"What then is the difference between the celebrant at an auspicious occasion and a common mendicant?"

The Master was silent.

Thus, his answer was clear.

tarob said...

I met a famous zen master on the sidewalk while I was carrying a load of laundry. I couldn't bow, so I wondered how I should greet him. I smiled and said 'Good Afternoon". He did the same.
But if you happen to meet the buddha on the sidewalk by all means kill him as suggested.

Don't fret about Brad not answering your emails. He's said he gets lots of them now that he's famous and it may take him awhile to get to yours.
But if you're in a real hurry, you can send me lots of money and I'll play zen master and even answer your emails n stuff.

Lauren said...


Wanting a teacher and wanting a master seem like two very different things.

Buddhist shams could certainly be a dime a dozen, but if I don't open myself up to some senior path-walker I'm likely to end up a bit of a sham myself.

I doubt anyone is practicing zazen except they listened to some sort of teaching not of their own.

I trust myself, and I trust myself to make mistakes. A "living, breathing, engaged, concerned, [Zen] teacher" would be a good thing to have.

Should I shop on this blog, or from the yellow pages....kana?

Moon Face Buddha said...

A very wise man may once have spoken these words...

"An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave." said...

Re: Internet stupidity.

It's because people are stupid, Brad. It's because people are stupid.