Monday, July 14, 2008

VH1 ROCK HONORS and DYING BUDDHISM

Before I forget, here's where I'll be at the end of August. Should be interesting...

So I went and saw The Who last Saturday at their VH1 Rock Honors thing over at Pauley Pavillion, the basketball stadium at UCLA. It was a pretty amazing show. The opening bands included The Flaming Lips, Pearl Jam, The Foo Fighters, Incubus, and Tenacious D. Adam Sandler, Sean Penn, David Duchovney and the hot black-haired chick from That 70s Show also appeared. She's got blonde hair now, a major disappointment. Each band got about 10 minutes to do their own versions of Who songs.

Flaming Lips were the best beyond any doubts with their medely of songs from Tommy. Wayne Coyne did the thing where he goes into the audience encased in a giant transparent rubber ball. I've always felt some affinity for the Lips. Back in the 80s, my band Dimentia 13 and the Flaming Lips were both so-called "neo-psychedelic" bands on indie labels. Probably sold about the same number of records to roughly the same audience. Wayne and I both worked tedious day jobs to support our bands, both lived in the middle of nowhere,etc. I first heard of the Lips when I saw their name appear in reviews of Dimentia 13 records. Sometimes I look at what they're doing and wonder what would've happened if instead of moving to Japan in 1993 I'd gotten a touring line-up of Dimentia 13 together and really put my efforts into that.

Pearl Jam was much better than I expected. I was never a big fan of that band. Not that I dislike them. They're just sort of there, y'know. Like linoleum. They did some Quadrophenia tunes backed by a string and horn section. The bass player even did a note perfect rendition of John Entwistle's part from 5:15. The Foo Fighters also were pretty OK. Incubus had the world's worst light show to accompany a well done version of I Can See For Miles, not an easy song to play.

The Who themselves were in fine form, although Townshend did stop a performance of You Better You Bet in the middle because he couldn't hear the monitors or some such thing. But he made up for that with a rousing version of My Generation in the style of the version on Live At Leeds. I first saw them live on the first tour they did after Keith Moon died. They seemed so old and tired. When I saw them again in Japan in 2004 they looked and sounded 20 or 30 years younger than they had in the 80s. They're still rocking. On stage that night Roger said they'd keep doing it till they were 90. I wouldn't be surprised.

Anyway, they're showing this thing on VH1 Thursday night at 9. If anyone can tape or put that on a DVD-R, please let me know. I'll pay or trade for it. I don't have cable TV myself. Write me at doubtboy@mac.com

Below is an article my friend Ren Kuroda sent me for the NY Times. Enjoy:

July 14, 2008
In Japan, Buddhism May Be Dying Out
By NORIMITSU ONISHI

OGA, Japan — The Japanese have long taken an easygoing, buffet-like approach to religion, ringing out the old year at Buddhist temples and welcoming the new year, several hours later, at Shinto shrines. Weddings hew to Shinto rituals or, just as easily, to Christian ones.

When it comes to funerals, though, the Japanese have traditionally been inflexibly Buddhist — so much so that Buddhism in Japan is often called "funeral Buddhism," a reference to the religion's former near-monopoly on the elaborate, and lucrative, ceremonies surrounding deaths and memorial services.

But that expression also describes a religion that, by appearing to cater more to the needs of the dead than to those of the living, is losing its standing in Japanese society.

"That's the image of funeral Buddhism: that it doesn't meet people's spiritual needs," said Ryoko Mori, the chief priest at the 700-year-old Zuikoji Temple here in northern Japan. "In Islam or Christianity, they hold sermons on spiritual matters. But in Japan nowadays, very few Buddhist priests do that."

Mr. Mori, 48, the 21st head priest of the temple, was unsure whether it would survive into the tenure of a 22nd.

"If Japanese Buddhism doesn't act now, it will die out," he said. "We can't afford to wait. We have to do something."

Across Japan, Buddhism faces a confluence of problems, some familiar to religions in other wealthy nations, others unique to the faith here.

The lack of successors to chief priests is jeopardizing family-run temples nationwide.

While interest in Buddhism is declining in urban areas, the religion's rural strongholds are being depopulated, with older adherents dying and birthrates remaining low.

Perhaps most significantly, Buddhism is losing its grip on the funeral industry, as more and more Japanese are turning to funeral homes or choosing not to hold funerals at all.

Over the next generation, many temples in the countryside are expected to close, taking centuries of local history with them and adding to the demographic upheaval under way in rural Japan.

Here in Oga, on a peninsula of the same name that faces the Sea of Japan in Akita Prefecture, Buddhist priests are looking at the cold math of a population and local fishing industry in decline.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that the population is about half of what it was at its peak and that all businesses have also been reduced by half," said Giju Sakamoto, 74, the 91st head priest of Akita's oldest temple, Chorakuji, which was founded around the year 860. "Given that reality, simply insisting that we're a religion and have a long history — Akita's longest, in fact — sounds like a fairy tale. It's meaningless.

"That's why I think this place is beyond hope," Mr. Sakamoto said at his temple, which sits atop a promontory overlooking a seaside village.

To survive, Mr. Sakamoto has put his energies into managing a nursing home and a new temple in a growing suburb of Akita City. That temple, however, has drawn only 60 households as members since it opened a couple of years ago, far short of the 300 said to be necessary for a temple to remain financially viable.

For centuries, the average Buddhist temple, whose stewardship was handed down from father to eldest son, served a fixed membership, rarely, if ever, proselytizing. With some 300 households to cater to, the temple's chief priest and his wife were kept fully occupied.

Not only has the number of temples in Japan been dipping — to 85,994 in 2006, from 86,586 in 2000, according to the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs — but membership at many temples has fallen.

"We have to find other jobs because the temple alone is not enough," said Kyo Kon, 73, the head priest's wife at Kogakuin, a temple here with 170 members. She used to work at a day care center while her husband was employed at a local land planning office.

Not far away at Doshoji, a temple whose membership has fallen to 85 elderly households, the chief priest, Jokan Takahashi, 59, was facing a problem familiar to most small family-run businesses in Japan: finding a successor.

His eldest son had undergone the training to become a Buddhist priest, but Mr. Takahashi was ambivalent about asking him to take over the temple.

"My son grew up knowing nothing but this world of the temple, and he told me he did not feel free," he said, explaining that his son, now 28, was working at a company in a nearby city. "He asked me to let him be free as long as I was working, and said that he would come back and take over by the time he turned 35.

"But considering the future, pressuring a young person to take over a temple like this might be cruel," Mr. Takahashi said, after giving visitors a tour of his temple's most important room, an inner chamber with wooden, lockerlike cabinets where, it is said, the spirits of his members' ancestors are kept.

On a recent morning, Mr. Mori, the priest of the 700-year-old temple, began the day with a visit to a rice farming household marking the 33rd anniversary of a grandfather's death. Bowing before the home altar, Mr. Mori prayed and chanted sutras. Later, he repeated the rituals at another household, which was commemorating the seventh anniversary of a grandfather's death.

Increasingly, many Japanese, especially those in urban areas, have eschewed those traditions. Many no longer belong to temples and rely instead on funeral homes when their relatives die. The funeral homes provide Buddhist priests for funerals. According to a 2007 report by the Japan Consumers' Association, the average cost of a funeral, excluding the cemetery plot, was $21,500, of which $5,100 covered services performed by a Buddhist priest.

As recently as the mid-1980s, almost all Japanese held funerals at home or in temples, with the local Buddhist priest playing a prominent role.

But the move to funeral homes has sharply accelerated in the last decade. In 1999, 62 percent still held funerals at home or in temples, while 30 percent chose funeral homes, according to the Consumers' Association. But in 2007, the preferences were reversed, with 28 percent selecting funerals at home or in temples, and 61 percent opting for funeral homes.

In addition, an increasing number of Japanese are deciding to have their loved ones cremated without any funeral at all, said Noriyuki Ueda, an anthropologist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and an expert on Buddhism.

"Because of that, Buddhist priests and temples will no longer be involved in funerals," Mr. Ueda said.

He said Japanese Buddhism had been sapped of its spiritual side in great part because it had compromised itself during World War II through its close ties with Japan's military. After Buddhist priests had glorified fallen soldiers and given them special posthumous Buddhist names, talk of pacifism sounded hollow.

Mr. Mori, the priest here, said that after the war there was a desire for increasingly lavish funerals with prestigious Buddhist names. These names — with the highest ranks traditionally given to those who have led honorable lives — are routinely purchased now, regardless of a dead person's conduct in life.

"Soldiers, who gave their lives for the country, were given special posthumous Buddhist names, so everybody wanted one after that, and prices went up dramatically," Mr. Mori said. "Everyone was getting richer, so everyone wanted one.

"But that gave us a bad image," he said, adding that the price of the top name in Akita was about $3,000 — though that was a small fraction of the price in Tokyo.

Indeed, that image is reinforced by the way the business of funerals and memorial services is conducted. Fees are not stated and are left to the family's discretion, and the relatives generally feel an unspoken pressure to be quite generous. Money is handed over in envelopes, and receipts are not given. Temples, with their status as religious organizations, pay no taxes.

It was partly to dispel this bad image that Kazuma Hayashi, 41, a Buddhist priest without a temple of his own, said he founded a company, Obohsan.com (obohsan means priest), three years ago in a Tokyo suburb. The company dispatches freelance Buddhist priests to funerals and other services, cutting out funeral homes and other middlemen.

Prices, which are at least a third lower than the average, are listed clearly on the company's Web site. A 10 percent discount is available for members.

"We even give out receipts," Mr. Hayashi said.

Mr. Hayashi argued that instead of divorcing Japanese Buddhism further from its spiritual roots, his business attracted more people with its lower prices. The highest-ranking posthumous name went for about $1,500, a rock-bottom price.

"I know that, originally, that's not what Buddhism was about," Mr. Hayashi said of the top name. "But it's a brand that our customers choose. Some really want it, so that means there's a strong desire there, and we have to respond to it."

After apologizing for straying from Buddhism's ideals, Mr. Hayashi said he offered his customers the highest-ranking name, albeit with a warning: "In short, that this is different from going to a shop in town and buying a handbag, you know, a Gucci bag."

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who?

leoboiko said...

Funeral buddhism is dying? Excellent! :D

> "In Islam or Christianity, they hold sermons on spiritual matters. But in Japan nowadays, very few Buddhist priests do that."

And that’s supposed to be a bad thing? Dudes are so out of touch they think today’s generation needs more sermons?

keith moon faced buddha said...

Sounds like it was a good show..

Moon Face Buddha said...

Interesting article. Some Western buddhists have a rose tinted view of Japanese buddhism, and it this article does open ones eyes to the day-to-day reality.

Of course it has often been the case in the past that buddhist teachers have bemoaned the lack of 'real' 'authentic' dharma :)

Roman G. said...

Hmm. I've forgotten which Japanese-born Zen master said it but it appears to be true: "The flower of zen has taken root in America."

Anonymous said...

someone might wannta check with david chadwick, but i think suzuki had an idea about exporting buddhism from amerika back to japan. and maybe
peel zen back to a more chinese form, whatever that means.

*rubs lucky fortune buddha keychain
while munching cheetos*

barry

Simon said...

Is that Brad with the final bass riff?

As far as the sermon went, I also understood 'goat excrement.'

Anonymous said...

did you like it!?!

Jinzang said...

Quoting an entire article is considered bad form. Netiquette says you should post an excerpt and link to the article. Here's the article in Asahi the Times article is based on.

Moe (PBUH) said...

Jinzang gave a great example of "attachment to form" when he said "Quoting an entire article is considered bad form." Thank you JZ!

Lone Wolf said...

Brad - If I am not in the process of moving back to Ohio on Thursday at 9, I'll record the concert to DVD-R.

In case anyone missed the prior post, I thought the podcast below with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche advocating Shikantaza was pretty cool.

The link below is a podcast with Dzogsar Khyentse Rinpoche (Director of The Cup and Travelers & Magicians) giving a talk about Zen Buddhism while in Japan. After speaking and sitting with a Zen Monk and doing some reading on Zen, Dzongsar talks about his admiration for "Sitting" and advocating people to practice the "method of no method."

Check it out:

http://www.siddharthasintent.org/podcast/

z0tl said...

enough to sit through it till the end.

Anonymous said...

jinz - it was a short article. maybe Brad doesn't have the net savvy that you do. you might know your netiquette but your etiquette is rough.

Anonymous said...

"Quoting an entire article is considered bad form."

Is that because if you don't link to the article search engines don't recognise that the article has been read?

Anonymous said...

if I were west coast it would be fun to hang, sit even! ah well...

Anonymous said...

http://mingle2.com/blog/view/dating-tyrannosaurus

z0tl said...

yeh but rubber godzilla and t-rex would have no pro'lem with #9.

lest we ignore a great post that shows the teacher knows how to live his own life pretty well in spite of daydreaming about dying buddhism (ps: all concepts are already dead, why the fuck worry about another one dying in this dream?-)

where were i, oh yes, it should resurrect itself as zen taoism, which historically speaking should be rightfully so.

1 more thing everymind, rush to japan, transmissions are on sale a dime a dozen and they may even throw in the temple along with the first born daughter as an incentive to buy.

translation said...

In his last post, Warner sensei was daydreaming about not having gone to Japan in 1993 and then having become a rock star. He regrets missing out on all the hotties that he could of had like that black-haired chick from that 70s Show. the rest was just filler.

Anonymous said...

Here's a nice song for a dream...


this one too...

translation said...

behind every sensei, there's a wife with way more smarts...

there's an army on the dance floor
it's a fashion with a gun my love
in a room without a door
a kiss is not enough in
love my way, it's a new road
i follow where my mind goes
they'd put us on a railroad
they'd dearly make us pay
for laughing in their faces
and making it our way
there's emptiness behind their eyes
there's dust in all their hearts
they just want to steal us all
and take us all apart
but not in
love my way, it's a new road
i follow where my mind goes
love my way, it's a new road
i follow where my mind goes
love my way, it's a new road
i follow where my mind goes
so swallow all your tears my love
and put on your new face
you can never win or lose
if you don't run the race

Anonymous said...

naah, you haven't dreamed until you've contemplated the meaning of Roshi Duff's teachings.

big puppet said...

My dream within a dream - to boogie thru the halls of Eiheiji in the early hours of a winter sesshin with THIS SONG blasting on a boombox.

z0tl said...

thank you hilary, i mean case in point, lookat mike_h's expose on the real real z0tl.

which 1 is he?

because we wouldn't want all these suicide grrls to fall in love with the wrong 1, would we now?

Garth Brooks said...

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores.

(chorus)
And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry.

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
Has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide.

*chorus*
And there's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take some falls
But with the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all.

*chorus*
Yes, I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
'Til the river runs dry

Pirate Maddox said...

It's a slow news day and nobody cares if your puns were intended.

People who point out their puns are like comedians who explain their jokes: they both think you're too stupid to get it. The only good thing about the phrase "pun intended" is that it saves you time when you want to say "hello, I'm going to be at the bag convention this weekend, please be sure to stop by and say 'hi.' I'll be at the douche exhibit." Here's the deal: when you point out your puns, you're making a value judgement on me, the reader. You're saying:

Hey reader, you see that play on words I just made? Yeah, well that wasn't an accident. In fact, I thought it was so clever that I didn't think your simple mind would be able to comprehend the brilliance of my play on words, and I wanted to make sure you know that I'm not only smart enough to use homonyms, but that I'm smart enough to point them out.

The sheer level of narcissism it takes to think that anyone gives a shit about whether or not you meant to write your pun is mind boggling. If narcissism were measured in units of mass, the skulls of people who pointed out puns would crush in on themselves in a giant black hole of stupidity.

The other variation of calling attention to a pun is the pun denial, or "no pun intended," which is a less formal way of saying:

Dear Reader,

Please direct your attention towards my pun. Admittedly I do think it's clever, but I think that you think so highly of me, that I want you to know that I would never resort to using such a commonplace literary device in my prose. Therefore, I would like to formally renounce my attempt at humor and assure you that I am above making puns as a writer, as a pupil of language, and as citizen of Earth.

Sincerest apologies,
D. Baggerson

The phrase "no pun intended" makes me want to band saw my dick off just in case I'm the last man alive and I have to risk repopulating Earth with some moron's incapable vagina. There's no such thing as an unintentional pun; the act of typing the phrase "no pun intended" makes it intentional. If your pun truly wasn't intended, then why didn't you erase it and write something else, asshole?

I read an exchange the other day between some loser flirting with some lonely single mom on a message board for lonely single losers (not to preclude one from the other, no reason you can't be both). The guy's avatar said "IRISH 4 LIFE," and his profile stated that he's a "Dave Matthews Band" fan, so already his face is high on my list of places I would like to rest my feet (Dave Matthews fans are like the trans-fats of fandom: oversaturated with obnoxiousness, found everywhere, and impossible to get rid of; for example, they only refer to the band as DMB... you can't abbreviate the word 'band' assholes, it's a band by virtue of the fact that there is more than 1 person in it, and for the record, adding the word 'band' to your name doesn't make you any less of an egotistical shit head). Man, you know what I hate? Dave Matthews.

It's the whitest band ever, which is saying something considering 3 of the members are black, and Dave Matthews is literally an African American (born in South Africa). His music can be heard in Whole Foods stores, Live Earth concerts, or blasting from the speakers of open-topped Jeeps parked on curbs everywhere. The typical fan is either some dude wearing khaki cargo shorts replete with dangling rock climbing hooks, even though he doesn't hike because he can't afford to drive his gas-guzzling Jeep, or some chick with huge boobs, buck teeth, and an ankle-length floral skirt that she twirls around like an idiot because she thinks her awesome boobs give her enough social capital to make up for the buck teeth and hairy toes (they don't):

So anyway, I signed up for an account so I could send this guy hate mail for being a "DMB" fan since that was enough, but what I read next made me so mad that I headbutt myself in the face.

He was trying so hard to impress this chick, that he made a pun and followed it with "(and yes, pun intended!!)" So not only did he point out his pun, but he took it a step further and answered an imaginary rhetorical question that nobody was asking. Here's how the conversation played out in his head:

IRISH4LIFE: "Fighting global warming is cool." Hmm, I wonder if people will get the subtle association between the word "cool" and the concept of "global warming," since global warming has to do with heat, and the word cool has to do with cultural attitudes and perceptions as well as how chill something is. Holy shit, another pun! I'm on fire! HOLY SHIT! Three puns in a row?! I'm so getting laid. But what if she reads it and doesn't get it? I can picture her in my head:

Lonely mom: "Wait! Did you intentionally--"

IRISH4LIFE: I'd better cut her off mid-sentence while she's thinking by adding the parenthetical: "(yes! yes, that was intentional)." You've still got it, Irish.

Ho ho ho! Laugh it up, dickwad. People who point out their puns should be put to sleep (gassed).

None of the 539,840 uses of the word "pun" on this page were unintentional.

maddox@xmission.com

Back to how much I rule...

© 2008 by Maddox

spyke said...

Oh man, don't talk to me about puns! When I was a kid the local paper had a pun contest. The grand prize was one of those kick ass Raleigh Chopper bikes. I sent in ten of my best figuring I'd win but no pun in ten did.

keith moon face buddha said...

some really bad writing being shown off here lately.. gee, thanks for sharing.

z0tl said...

the Way must be hard for you then, bad writing, good, good...

keith moon face buddha said...

your way is hard for me. pick a username..

Koudelka said...

Spyke...

I love you.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

OK Brad, I think it's time to turn on the "no anonymous" comments. Fuck the punk attitude.

www.mihaipopescu.com/en/ said...

Mihai is 24 years old, lives in Romania, and he needs 40,000 euros for a brain tumour surgery in Hannover, Germany. Let's help him...please visit his site mihaipopescu.com/en/ and make a Paypal donation for him... Don't let him die

Anonymous said...

Let him die.

John said...

You went to a rock concert. The D played. You wrote a review of the concert, with hardly a word about their no doubt most rocking set!

Have you lost all sense of rockingness?

rock critic said...

tenacious d are shit.

moon face said...

Lest anyone think I was referring to Brad when I mentioned bad writing, I was not..

Anonymous said...

>>© 2008 by Maddox

There's no need to copyright your rant. No one in their right minds would steal it anyway.

Anonymous said...

here we go again, every fucking minute someone's gotta bring up the "fix the comments" section braddy-chan, exert the Power of Delete Button and ask for w0rd validation, then make sure the user name is ferreal.

take this literally, master phillystakebob:

click the real real user z0tl in the previous two posts (above this one). both are legit blogger user accounts. both are different.

CAN WE FUCKING GIVE UP THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN CONTROL THE GODDAM FUCKING INTERNET ALREADY AND DEAL WITH THE FUCKING LIFE THAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU RATHER THAN CONSTANTLY WHINE AND WHINE AND WHINE ABOUT LOOKAT THAT MEANY MOMMY HE POSTED SOMETHING NASTY WHAAAA WHAAAA SENSEI COME KICK 'EM IN THE BALLS...

i cannot fucking believe my goddam eyes i have to see this every day in a blog about zen.

you guys are so fucking zen lollipops up my ass.

Anonymous said...

and one more thing, y'all have the attention spans of fruitflies.

so much for your fucking zazen practice, if you don't have enough focus to deal with a comments section, what the fuck can be expected of you on the cushion man?

absofuckinglutely waste of sitting.

change your teacher now, this 30 years of whatever braddy-boy has practiced evidently isn't cutting a goddam log and filling a paper cup of water.

Anonymous said...

and one more thing, y'all have the attention spans of fruitflies.

so much for your fucking zazen practice, if you don't have enough focus to deal with a comments section, what the fuck can be expected of you on the cushion man?

absofuckinglutely waste of sitting.

change your teacher now, this 30 years of whatever braddy-boy has practiced evidently isn't cutting a goddam log and filling a paper cup of water.

Anonymous said...

and one more thing, y'all have the attention spans of fruitflies.

so much for your fucking zazen practice, if you don't have enough focus to deal with a comments section, what the fuck can be expected of you on the cushion man?

absofuckinglutely waste of sitting.

change your teacher now, this 30 years of whatever braddy-boy has practiced evidently isn't cutting a goddam log and filling a paper cup of water.

Anonymous said...

that above came from the buddha, fucker, 3 times so maybe it gets thru your thickness.

z0tl said...

moon, lest you explain your posts/jokes/puns after you read maddox's bad writing...

Cliche Bob said...

the problem with winning the rat race is you're still a rat.

chiquitita said...

I Heart You Bird!

Matt said...

attention span of comment section deteriorating in 5...4...3.. oh, it's gone...

pie face said...

jesus.. now peoples are tryin to imitate z0tl's peckings. this blog is crazy. oops.. sorry I said the blog was crazy pillbob. maybe we should ban anonymous postings or kick somebody's ass.

Anonymous said...

What a whore. The Maezumi Institute? How many of his sangha did he sleep with? How young was he when he died of alcohol poisoning? Jesus Christ Brad.

z0tl said...

any1 care to elaborate what does sex have to do with zazen and freeing your ass from bondage?

they crucified that poor fucker baker roshi after he made sfzc BIG even after suzuki kept begging him all along: 'but why so big, gonzo, why so big?'

i don't give a shit bill clinton stuck a cigar up an intern's vagina unless he tied her up and did it against her will, then he needs to have his balls cut off, but other than that, look at the state of this fucking country after another president with moral fiber took over...

fucking puritans.

the people who keep pointing around at zen teachers who fuck around with students in their spare time need to point a finger up their asses.

do i give a shit if my teacher makes a hot mama scream in sanzen room before me?

not as long as i don't stick my forehead in a puddle of sperm when my turn comes to prostrate.

& even then, i'll prolly do something wiseass, like lick it and say, shit sensei, you ate meat again!

!!!! ABANDON HUMAN CONCEPTS MOFOS OR YEH SHALL NEVAH EVAH WAKE UP THIS TURN AROUND IN ORBIT !!!!

Mike H said...

Philbob:

The ancient motto of the internet was "Do not feed the trolls". Of course this dates from the days when trolls had standards.

Basically Trolls want people to notice them and want people to be upset by them. They basically want to feel like there existence matters in some way - even if the only thing they are capable of is getting a rise out of someone.

Standards for trolling have fallen so much that How-to guides now exist that didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago (see below)

It used to be the case that internet access was so difficult to get that you either had to be at university or be a geek just in order to get access to Usenet. That basically meant that Trolls did at least have IQs and could type and think. Since Bill googled the Internet it's become easy for any stoner to walk into a netcafe and peck at a keyboard.

There once was a time when a statement "I am a Troll" was an admision of failure. Trolls pretended to be ordinary people and not trolls. That was the point.

These days standards have fallen so far that some poeple think that using silly names or sp3lling words in g33k actually counts as trolling.

Most trolls grow out of their antics when either they hit puberty or they discover women (whichever comes first).

The sad thing is that some people think they can be part-time trolls - have people take them seriously one moment and then have those same people be trolled another. It's never really been like that.

A Zen blog is kinda like Troll heaven. It's a place where they can go to attempt to annoy people who they think should be above such things. If you try to stop them it becomes a challenge to their fragile little egos. If you try to moderate then you can just end up like Mike Cross who allows comments through based on what he feels like on any particular day.

Anyway, I think standards have fallen so far that it wouldn't hurt for some Trolls to read the FAQs. That's depressing in itself - that FAQs exist, that wannabe Trolls don't seem to know they exist or how to find them.

Troll FAQ

Anti-Troll FAQ


The final irony of it all is that Brad does basically earn a living by being a Troll. His books piss people off as do his articles. In part being a Zen Master is about knowing how to piss people off to show them that there is a problem with becoming pissed off in the first place.

If you look at some Zen Koans from the past you will see that a lot of them are actually about Zen Masters trolling in the original sense of the word - seeking to get an emotional response from someone to show their true nature.

Trolls used to train and support each other. Nowadays Trolling is dying out as an artform and the only place where it is properly taught is inside of Buddhism. Go Figure.

Some days I miss the old Gniz. Lauren and Steve have a lot to answer for.

z0tl said...

you know what bothers me, mike_h-san?

when people who apparently are engaged in [beyond serious] work that transcends the great matter (of life and death) go out there acting all parental guidance and master a la tv portrayals of them, replete with "skilled action" and all.

i've spelled it out clearly for you (& the adhd fruitflies) in this sangha, braddy-chan is a practitioner of snarky zen.

thusly, if 1 is to get through to his enlightened ass, THIS is the way: rip his fucking guts out the way he thinks he shows the zen establishment worldwide the way things are.

it is not an irony that brad is a troll (and btw, can you kindly box us both, him as the Original Troll and my sorry ass as the trollpa ribpoke sorry-self-aggrandizing 1)?

here, please tell us which kinds we are of the 4 your fucks expounded on: the drivel Troll, the destructive Troll, the nasty Troll, the evil and illegal Troll?

once you're comfortable that you've put your chi loaded finger on our being, can you now please proceed to elucidate for yourself which theory needs be used to rid the world of our pestilence?

6.1 The Infant or Attention Seeker theory
6.2 The retired bitter old person theory.
6.3 The insane person theory.
6.4 The just evil theory.
6.5 The sad git theory.
6.6 The loser theory.

ok then, i posted a while back a sad but very true analysis of the homo sapiens species, not written by me, but by a guy labeled as a schizophrenic on alt.zen, who used the user id jod da'ath.

#2 weakness as a species is: always seeking validation in higher or lower forms, but never their own.

when you point out a troll and think you understand supremely their unenlightened actions, you are validating in lower forms.

ie, you think the other is STUPID, thereby you promote your EGO as being wise.

when you point out a teacher who's "got it," that is called validating against a higher form.

both are bullshit.

your inability to pierce the veil of chit-chatter and get to the CRUX of the matter (other than saying so in your post, that masters of the old did employ "troll tactics" in order to wake people up) is a sorry state of affairs.

do something about it, because we're talking life and death here, not fucking dancing moves for the happy happy joy joy hippo out there.

one thing that braddy-chan says in one of his exposes on bad teaching that goes around in zen is that he is sorry he apologized and acted meekly for so long.

walking on fucking eggshells, so the establishment calls you SKILLED.

fuck that shit.

take their guts out.

they do more damage in this world (cloaked under "positive action" and "do good" always compassionate people) than trolls like me who tell you go fuck yourself now before you end up in unspeakable hells of your own making.

Jules said...

mike_h: word.

Anonymous said...

About 6 years ago I was in Japan for 10 days, attending a 7 day sesshin. There was only one other Japanese person in the entire monastery: French, German, Swiss, Dutch, Indian, with US Americans making up half the participants.
During each daily teisho the roshi leading the sesshin kept piteously asking whom of us would take his place, who would be his successor?

He was in his 60s, well educated, a recognized calligrapher, his knowledge of history, his lifetime study of koans made it impossible for anyone to fill his shoes: no one could ever take his place. Maybe somewhere there was someone up to the task, someone who could fill the
role...maybe a group or a committee of people together would end up doing what he himself did...

I asked myself "How about me?" and I immediately saw this was the wrong question and I knew this man was not the teacher for me.
The real question wasn't who is going to be my heir--that's like asking 'will I meet my true love'?
You meet people everyday...do you truly love them?

I wanted to let this roshi know: in this room, in the zendo affiliates around the world: seeds and saplings in abundance, one that will bear fruit? Who can say.
zen is like the generations of stone masons working on cathedrals like Chartres: you never get to see it 'finished'

Anonymous said...

mike, For what it is worth, I have always considered you a troll with a high standards. But you are a real pest. you need to get married.

Jinzang said...

fuck that shit. take their guts out.

The test of a genuine practitioner is how kind they are and how self-effacing they are. One unfortunate effect of how Zen was presented in the West in the previous generation is that some people understood it as letting their egos run riot, which is exactly the opposite of how it really is.

Z0tl, you have more to learn. The question is, are you willing to listen?

Rich said...

It's OK. Say what you need to say. Get it all out. We are listening.

The action was truth, but then I checked myself and created a mess.
Then I had to experience and feel the mess so I could understand what is. Now I am OK. So say what you need to say. Don't worry about me, right now I can just listen.

z0tl said...

i sit with a [sitting method] teacher, does that answer your question?

i listen to every comment with the same attention i listen to my teacher in sanzen, does that answer your question?

this world is my teacher, every instant i manifest it, does that answer your question?

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

O.K. anon, troll away. But at least resist the temptation to log on when ya' been robbin' Daddy's liquor cabinet.

Mike H said...

z0tl has a Myspace page featuring 5 friends and a James Bond theme cover. z0tl (aged 37) is shown with a cone on his head smiling gormlessly.

A 37 year self-proclaimed beach-bum who's only goal in life seems to be to try (not very well) to piss people off that he's never met.

Just another guy looking for meaning in life and not finding it.

Anonymous said...

Anon-post blogs are destined to become Derail-o-mania hell.

Did you guys ever realize that you are just practice fodder for Ven. Warner?

He can stand maya's army of internet trolls, insulting each other 24/7.

HAIL BRAD!

Yours,
[MilkUziDissection]

Rich said...

"It is patently clear.
Stop searching back and forth for something behind
the semblance of the plum blossom.
In the becoming of rain and the becoming of clouds
the past and present is naturally there.
The past-and-present being empty, what end-point could there be."

Perceiving and accepting the present moment is the practice. Who can be deceived?

Anonymous said...

i pointed people to zotl's hilariously sad myspace page last topic. never mind.

zotl: fuck off and die. no one cares.

Anonymous said...

actually, you don't have to die but you definitely do have to fuck off.

Anonymous said...

http://a729.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/5/m_8e6521aed2017a23d497bad73da655b8.jpg

Harry said...

... so, whattabout that group hug?

Ha ha, we're so fucked up its funny. I love 'Zen' in that (in its better moments) we're allowed to be fucked up, everyone's allowed to fuck-up, and that's ok.

I always thought many, many people were drooling idiots... and after several years of practice I still do, but, that seems more 'ok' as time goes on.

We're always trying to control people.

Have I 'got Zen'? Hardly, I'm a control freak too.

I liked the 'Sex in the Zendo' story BTW. That was funny, if a bit fucked-up.

Regards,

Harry.

gniz said...

Mike H,

For the record, I miss your blog.

I like that you seem to whistfully look back on my trolling, as the "good ol' days."

For whatever it's worth, I've never really aspired to be a troll--it has been something thats sprung from my own internal misery.

Alphonzen said...

The test of a genuine practitioner is how kind they are and how self-effacing they are. One unfortunate effect of how Zen was presented in the West in the previous generation is that some people understood it as letting their egos run riot, which is exactly the opposite of how it really is.

Z0tl, you have more to learn. The question is, are you willing to listen?


Its almost become something "radical" almost fasionable to break all the rules( even moral) as a zennist. Obviously they are using zen for the wrong purposes, just as the samurai had used zen in Japan to dissipate their fear of death.

The ego is a trickster. It can trip you up and throw you off practice for the rest of your life if you're not careful.

Of course, there are many people who wouldn't dare trading their ego for living and experiencing reality. Thats sad.

So Tired of Waitin' For You said...

66 !!!

Mike H said...

Gniz:

I like that you seem to whistfully look back on my trolling, as the "good ol' days."

It's true. Often it was difficult for people (including me) to work out whether or not you were trolling. That's quite rare these days.

I learnt so much from you.

Still, the current Gniz is a lot more fun to be around.

As for my own blog: I ran out of things to write. I'm just getting on with my life in my way. What else is there to do?

z0tl said...

the only thing that's still happenin' here is:

i've a bigger dick than you (validation in lower forms).

my teacher's got a bigger dick than yours (validation in higher forms).

the reason mylamespace (as if having a myspace doesn't make everyone lame automatically) has the oo7 theme is because you fuckers are so lame AND lazy that it's been weeks now you think of yourselves as deep shit sherlocks for figuring my anony status out and can't even see my full real fucking name (and then what i do IRL and where exactly, in case you want to send a transcript of my posts to HR) is easier to find than 1 click and typing whois.

dear blowholes, i am not looking for meaning in life. i used to.

i'm looking to make fun of the fucked up teachers who feel they've got it and go around "imparting the way to do it" to others, when they're shitting in dipers at every corner someone goes up in their face and really tests them [ps: the internet isn't testing].

for you guys, let me know when you wanna practice a "my suffering has a bigger dick than your suffering" contest OR i sat 8701942837401 more hours and my dick is just that much bigger than yours contest, because i'm ready to get down with that childish type of mud with you elevated beings as well.

do i need to fuck off, absolutely.

do you (and this isn't generalizing, fucker, because YOU know who you are and if you aren't, then you won't read this the way YOU fucker are reading it, get IT?) need to get a life, before you really start asking yourselves why/how am i here or at least before judging others' by text posted on the introwebs, there is no w0rd to describe how much you need to do that, but okay, i'll use absofukkenlutely.

Anonymous said...

Don't be embarrassed z0tl.

I liked your hat.. :)

z0tl said...

i'm embarrassed that after my teacher said point blank that brad and his teacher are practicing shallow zen lite [which is what americans tend to drool over] i'm still here.

see the thing with brad is that when he writes he's all hardcore, but his presence is fucking awkward.

i have no clue how my presence is, but people tend to be fucking scared of me, even tho i'm a little one by body configuration.

in other w0rds, brad can take you out in writing.

i can take you out period.

z0tl said...

oh yeh, okay little ladies, i of course meant to dinner.

not to emptiness and back in 1 piece, shit, who woulda thunk of that, some bitch with a gangstazen page?

like snoop says, be independent, niggah!

Mike H said...

The point that z0tl originally made and has illustrated quite nicely is that these are just words on a screen.

If you don't like them it's not exactly the fault of the words.

Maybe someone throws insults at you. So what? If they start throwing bullets then maybe there is a problem.

Shantideva once wrote in the Bodhicharyavatara that the biggest problem that he had in his monastic practice was that he was finding it more and more difficult to find people who could piss him off.

z0tl did also bring up another important point. The size of my dick. But of course if I had a larger dick it would ruin the line of my skirt.

Mike.

translation said...

zot, You seem very youthful in attitude for someone near 40.

translation: you are about as mature as my 14 year old brother.

z0tl said...

you know how jesus liked to say become ye all kids or something b4 you can enter heaven or some such shit?

try hanging more with your 8 year old bro, bro, cushion turned you into a boring ole fuck b4 your time!

applauds for mike_h over here in this corner, he's cummin' around the line of my skirt quite nicely.

what's next on the agenda? figuring out the rich cat and finally throwing wanna-be-zen-alphonso to wipe the drool of kindness of his face before his forehead will need sperm treatment in order to get rid of all those deep lines of envy/hate/holding grudges on random losers, such as immature z-dawg.

z0tl said...

i meant a b0ne, alphy, here's a bone from me, i know you tried hard to get me to notice you...

z8tl said...

this 1 time @ bandcamp, this idiot z0tl gave away his blogger password in his blog title in a futile attempt to get morons to realize that I who speaks through a blog shell is as real as who you think speaks through your ass.

but no, goddam idiots could not see through the analogy.

okay, well, there ain't no more z0tl.blogspot, so someone quickly go make it into a p0rn site, after all it gets like millions of hits every small kalpa / ksana.

traLaLa, man you guys are sloooooooow. but that's okay, we'll keep the light on (& the sheets clean) for you, like motel 6.

Anonymous said...

i FOUND OUT THAT THE AMERICANS WERE TRYING THEIR BEST TO DEFAME IN MY OWN MIND--IT SEEMS LIKE THEY KEEP FORGETTING THAT I DIDNT PLAN SEPT 11 OR THE WHITE HOUSE BOMBING THAT IS PLANNED TO TAKE PLACE IN THE FUTURE--WELL BOTTOM LINE I MET 3 WOMEN YESTERDAY--2 I HAD SEX WITH AT THE SAME TIME-THE OTHER OFFERED ME 1 MILLION DOLLARS AS ABRIBE TO ARRANGED IN THE FUTURE IF I MARRY A GIRL FROM COLLEGE..I TOLD HER I DIDINT HAVE INTENTIONS TO BE PURCHASED AND SHE SAID "ARABAS AND ISLAM ARE PART OF YOU --THING>>ANYWAYS I BELIVE THE BEST THING TO DO KNOW THAT ALL THE INFORMATION THAT IS GATHERED TO BE VIEWED AS FACTUAL AND TO BE CAUTIOUS WHAT ACCORDING TO TDD"THE MUSLIMS FIGURED OUT THE WEST WAS TRYING TO USE THEM AND DUMP THEM" ANYWAYS I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO DISCUSS POLITICS WITH ANYONE NOR ASSOCIATE WITH THE "ELITE" AND THEIR TRACK HOMES..THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THEY DONT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO FUND WHAT I WNT IN LIFE AND ARE TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FACT THAT I AM NOT IN PAKISTAN...THE GAME PLAN IS TO REMOVE MUSHRAFF AND THN TO ENCOURAGE FUTURE NEGOTIONS "PRICE" TO SEE WHO HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO PURCHASE ME--ANYWAYS IF THEY CANT COUGH UP A ISLAMIC REVOLUTION AND MAKE ME PART OF THE SUPER RICH WHO HAS AMNY 100000'S OF PEOPLE BENEATH HIM THE CIA AND FOR THAT MATTER ANY OTHER "GOVERMENT" COULD FORGET ABOUT MARRYING ME TO A ASSOCIATE OF THEIRS IN WERE THEY CAN CONTROL 50% OF MY RESOURCES....THEIR IS A "CHI' A NEW FREIND OF MY MOTHER WHO ALSO IS FEELING SUPERIOR TO MOST PEOPLE SHE MEETS AND HAS BECOME VERY CHARSMATIC WITH WORDS--SHE IS NOT OF ANY IMPORTANCE SHE IS MORE LIKE A BI-POLAR PATIENT WHO BECOMES WHATEVER SHE DREAMS TO BECOME IN HER MIND AND FINDS IT TO BE REALITY--THERE IS SOME PROBLEM IN MY MOTHERS FINANCIAL SITUATION BUT WE HAVE TO SEE HOW LONG THIS "ROUGH TIME" IS GOING TO LAST--THE REAL ESTATE MARKET HAS CRASHED ONCE AGAIN AND ITS A BUYERS MARKET IN VEGAS--SO IF ANYONE HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO INVEST THIS I THE BEST TIME TO LOAN MONEY AND BUY PROPERTY IN A TOWN THAT CAN DO NOR MORE THAN GO UP AFTER A HUGE SLUMP IN THE MARKET--AS FAR AS PAKISTAN IS CONCERENED THEY SIMPLY DONT HAVE THE FUNDS TO MARRY ME--ITS NO MORE A MATTER OF POLITCAL THINKING OR RELEGION--IT IS COMING DOWN TO HOW MUCH MONEY AND I WANT AND WHAT THE PAKISTANIS CAN AFFORD--REGARDLESS THEIR IS NO PROMISE I WILL BE PURCHASED AS A HOME "SLAVE" AND SHARE MY OWN WEALTH WITH A SPOUSE..I AM STILL PUMPING CLOSE TO 1000.00 DOLLARS A MONTH INTO MY MOMS FINANCIAL AFFAIRS TO PAY FOR MY RENT AND BILLS WHICH I AM BEING INDIRECTLY CHARGED FOR. IF YOU FIND A DEAL WERE YOU BELIVE I WILL AGEE TOPLEASE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT I DO WANT AT SOME TIME BE HEAVILY INVOLVED IN PAKISTANI AND ISAMIC POLITICS AND WANT O HAVE A HEFTY BANK ACCOUNT TOO...ONCE AGAIN THEIR IS NOTHING THAT WILL CONVINCE O MARY A AMERICAN WOMEN BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY CANT AFFORD ME--SO IF YOU AE A MUSLIM WOMEN FEEL EASED ABOUT THE FACT THE IF I DO MARRY IT WILL BE OVERSEAS TO REMAIN OVERSEAS--THE IDEA OF GETTING MARRIED AND MOVING BACK TO AMERICA IS NO LONGER ARGUED AND I HAVE DECIDED TO ON DAY LEAVE THE STATES PERMANAETLY TO MARRY--HOWEVER THERE WILL BE NO RETURN TRIP TO AMERICA--MEANING IF YOU ARE A RICG GIRL IN PAKISTAN AND HAPPEN TO BE BEAUTIFUL AND WANT TO MARRY ME THEN WE ARE NOT GOING TO LIVE IN AMERICA AND WILL RESIDE IN PAKISTAN PERMANENTKY WERE I WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BEING A MALE AND IS THE ONLY REASON I WANTTO LIVE IN PAKISTAN UNDER THE CONDTIONS I PREVIOUSLY STATED.

Jinzang said...

Another cut and paste job. Begone, troll.

Jinzang said...

Z0tl, I hope some day that you find peace. And I mean that most sincerely.

alphonzen said...

The point that z0tl originally made and has illustrated quite nicely is that these are just words on a screen.

If you don't like them it's not exactly the fault of the words.

Maybe someone throws insults at you. So what? If they start throwing bullets then maybe there is a problem.


True.
However, as someone who wants to preserve the entirety of buddhist truth, I have a slight problem with this.

If Buddhism in the west just becomes an "anything goes" philosophy then it isn't buddhism.

In fact, if dharma is lost in the west, I think the world would lose it forever.

For someone who has experienced some of the truth of buddhism, I feel strongly against stupidity classed as buddhism.

Whether it is a zen master or internet geek, if you see them acting inappropriately- point it out. It may be the most compassionate thing to do.

Ghost of Mu said...

SOMBUNAL

(1) Almalgam of Some But Not All (SomBuNAll). Applied to value statements such as,
"Most furries are gay" or "Humans are stupid." You can only really speak with any
authority about SOME of a group, and not ALL or even MOST. Therefore, "Sombunall furries
are gay," or "Sombunall humans are stupid."

Sombunal folks here are looking for meaning in life. Sombunal Zen teachers are fakes. Sombunal people should just sit down count breaths :)

Mike H said...

Alphonzen:

In fact, if dharma is lost in the west, I think the world would lose it forever.

I'm not a Buddhist - so Buddhism is safe. I'm currently reading Russell Brand's "My Booky Wook" but that doesn't mean I'm a Brandist.

I think Dharma has never been more alive - especially in the west. It's just not going to look like it did in the past - monastic practice. There are many sincere Buddhists around who are providing excellent information on the internet for free. Many people will use that information, and then based on the truth of those words seek out teachers. This is not how it has been in the psat. It is however the future. I don't think oral tradition will not survive the internet age for much longer - it only can exist when knowledge is rare.


Whether it is a zen master or internet geek, if you see them acting inappropriately- point it out. It may be the most compassionate thing to do.

Or it may not be. 'Inappropriate' usually means that someone is not behaving how you want them to be.

Some people are fed up with Trolls on Brad's blog and feel the trolls should be made to go away - as if the world works like that.

Other people including myself say that trolls are people too.

Often because people don't like Trolls and are easily upset by them they imagine that Trolls are some sort of really powerful badass dudes.

There seems to be these days an unwritten assumption that some people are trolls and some people are the trolled.

The appropriate responses to trolls from the Usenet days have been as follows:

1. KillFile (not available on Blogger). It was once possible just to add users to a 'never read' list and they were gone - you'd never know if they had posted anything because you never read it. The problem was that everyone had to maintain their own killfiles.

2. Don't feed the trolls. This is the one that is best. The best thing you can do with an attention-seeker is ignore them.

3. Troll them. The one thing a troll hates more than being ignored is being trolled. It's really the only way that trolls and wannbes can understand the consequences of their actions.

But Troll/Trolled/Anti-Troll is to classify people rather than behaviour at a particular moment.

Not everyone in the world will play by the rules that you choose.
It's always been the case that people who are seeking teachers will often test the teachers and their students. Trolling can sometimes be like this.

There is a small problem that 'inappropriate' usually requires an absolute frame of reference when in fact Buddha taught that 'appropriate' may be defined by a particular moment in time.

You can easily argue a case for my own behaviour being inappropriate and some have already dropped hints about that to me - which I have noted. Before you rush to that conclusion it might be worth reading through very carefully what Was said and when. It might also be worth considering whether you think I am lying over some things or telling the truth. Whichever call you make is an assumption. It might be that everything I wrote was true or there is a mixture of truth and lies. You cannot actually know.

There is also the issue of when I started to troll z0tl. Was it the first repsonse or the second? There is the issue of why I chose to do that. What was my intent? Do you know? Do I?

I usually choose to live by a Christian code of ethics simpyl because that's how I have been brought up. Usually I think it's appropriate to do that. Sometimes I think it's appropriate not to do that.

I think Buddha taught a lot of useful stuff. I just don't think any one person or group have a divine right to interpret what he said and to declare "This is True Buddhism".

Often I start a course of action without knowing that such a thing has started or where it will end up.

Some people vow to save all sentient beings but really only want to save the nice cute fluffy ones or the ones that will worship them and just wish the others would FOAD.

[Of course you may have been trolling me, but you may not. I choose to assume not in order to respond.]

Mike.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I'm confused. Is zotl more than one person then? HAS HIS ACCOUNT BEEN HACKED???!!!? OMG!

alphonzen said...

Or it may not be. 'Inappropriate' usually means that someone is not behaving how you want them to be.

In dogens zazen, both idealistic and materialistic halves are balanced to the point that you don't need to think about whats right or wrong. It comes naturally that you avoid whats "wrong" and do whats natural and in line with the universe. Its simple actually- the balance that you attain in zazen will falter if you are doing something wrong.
However, if you grasp to thought processes like a fish on a hook, you will never know the way of dharma.

What the nazis did was not in line with the "way" of the universe, in that action was created out of delusion. Although it was reality and you must accept it- You must also act if you can see the negative consequences.

Paradoxical? Yes, but do zazen and you understand what I mean. Just stop thinking.

Mike H said...

Alphonzen:

In dogens zazen, both idealistic and materialistic halves are balanced to the point that you don't need to think about whats right or wrong. It comes naturally that you avoid whats "wrong" and do whats natural and in line with the universe.

In fact the Shobogenzo does not talk about Idealist and Materialistic viewpoints. Gudo Nishijima holds these views.

'Right' and 'Wrong' as talk by Buddha and Master Dogen are cultural relatives.

The closest analogy to Blogging is Usenet - which is where people used to go before blogger. Usenet had its own culture and this has largely been brought over into Blogger.

So, in a Zen Blog you potentially have two culturures that might pervade - A Zen one and a Blogger/Usenet one.

The Zen one as often imagined is a "We are all one and love the same things and want to be nice to each other". The other culture is a more robust one in which certain behaviours - such as Trolling often received a robust response.

Its simple actually- the balance that you attain in zazen will falter if you are doing something wrong.

Mostly true but 'wrong' depends on culture and we might have different cultures.

However, if you grasp to thought processes like a fish on a hook, you will never know the way of dharma.

Also true. In fact I've been teaching that recently to some people.

What the nazis did was not in line with the "way" of the universe, in that action was created out of delusion.

Is your action also arising out of delusion? You have made many, many assumptions about who I am, what my intent was, what my emotional state was and so on. Do you know these things? Perhaps all you think you know about me and my actions are in fact nothing more than the projections onto me of your own delusions.

Although it was reality and you must accept it- You must also act if you can see the negative consequences.
Is that so? [Koan] Which time-frame do you wish to use to assess the consequences? The last few days? The last week? The next month?

Clearly you've decided that the correct approach for a troll was to ignore them. I've decided in this particular case to act otherwise based on my own perceptions/delusions about z0tl.

Paradoxical? Yes, but do zazen and you understand what I mean.
Is there any indication I don't understand what you mean? Could it merely be that we disagree?

Just stop thinking.
Can you see whether or not I am thinking?

...

One aspect of all of this little dialogue is that people have made assumptions about how I should act and about how z0tl should act.

People think that z0tl is a troll and so for him troll-like behaviour is considered acceptable.

People generally think that I am not a troll and that I am a Zen Buddhist for some reason and so consider that I should have some other defined set of behaviour.

But I think most of all you've missed the irony of all that I've done by interacting with z0tl.

z0tl started off by trying to disrupt a blog about zen and I've used z0tl's very own actions to create a dialogue about a realistic practice of zen in a Blog which can at times be rather idealistic.

Is that not just about the worst thing that you can imagine that an anti-zen troll might wish for?

Paradoxical? Maybe. Just sit Zazen and you will understand.

Rich said...

Hey Zotl
You made me laugh. A good laugh is just one of the reasons i read some of this blog.

Anonymous said...

unless i'm not really understanding what a troll is, i personally believe zotl thinks he is doing us a service. teaching a lesson if you will. its quite possible that he thinks he's a brad warner blog revolutionary and he's going to save us from brad's/our own incorrect practice and even our hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

"Paradoxical? Yes, but do zazen and you understand what I mean. Just stop thinking."

:: inserts tongue in front of lower teeth ::

alphonzen said...

Is your action also arising out of delusion? You have made many, many assumptions about who I am, what my intent was, what my emotional state was and so on. Do you know these things? Perhaps all you think you know about me and my actions are in fact nothing more than the projections onto me of your own delusions.

I was merely regurgitating something I had learnt recently. I find that it helps to document things I've learnt. I wasn't giving you a personal lesson.

I didn't read the rest of your post. It was becoming too intellectual and less realistic.

Mike H said...

I was merely regurgitating something I had learnt recently.

Hmmm.

I find that it helps to document things I've learnt. I wasn't giving you a personal lesson.

Hmmmm.

I didn't read the rest of your post. It was becoming too intellectual and less realistic.

Hmmmmm.

I guess there's nothing left for us to chat about then.

alphonzen said...

I guess there's nothing left for us to chat about then.

Erm....So what kind of music do you like?

Mike H said...

Alphonzen:

"Erm....So what kind of music do you like?"

It varies.

When I'm working I quite like birdsong (window open). Sometimes I quite like silence. This week has been a mixture of silence, traffic noise and current radio pop.

If I want to put on music to listen to then it might be Pink Floyd or Metallica or Handel or Bach or Madonna or any of a couple of dozen other bands.

Sometimes I like Testament. At other times I like Neil Diamond.

I also seem to quite enjoy Mike Oldfield and Jean Michelle Jarre.

I'm less keen on Anthrax and Sepulcter and I'm less keen on Dolly Parton

My ipod is rather full with 'unrelated' stuff.

What about you?

Do you come here often?

Mysterion said...

EXACTLY

O-Cha-Ryu