Sunday, August 24, 2008

CNN FACES OF FAITH

Here it is:



I had a haircut the day before. I'm wearing a Godzilla T-shirt under my robes. Anyone who knows how Buddhist robes are supposed to be worn could see I'm wearing them all wrong. Also I don't, in fact, work for the company behind the Godzilla films. I work for the company founded by the guy who did the special effects for the classic Godzilla movies of the 50s and 60s. But the company I work for doesn't actually do the Godzilla films. No biggie. Even in Japan people make the same mistake and I probably wasn't clear enough with the guy who did the pre-interview. I'm really impressed that's the only thing they got wrong. Kinda restores my faith in TV news.

Big thanks to the guy at CNN I talked to for about 12 seconds who read my books and got me on the show. Write me some time. I was too nervous to remember your name and that's a shame.

I was surprised and glad they asked about my supposed "obscene speech" or whatever all those people who have nothing better of their own to say always carp about me doing. Truly I would never have bothered with Buddhism had the first Buddhist teacher I met been reluctant to say "fuck" or to call certain Buddhist teachers dildoes.

It takes all kinds, as they say.

30 comments:

practitioner said...

Surprisingly down-to-earth interview about this subject of Zen. Thumbs up!

Artaud said...

In my RSS feed for this site, I could have sworn this post was called "CNN Faces of Death"!

I chuckled a bit when I realised my mistake :)

Nice interview Brad, thanks for posting it, I didn't think I'd get to see it as I'm in the UK.

Speaking of which, the Dalai Llama recently toured here, when are you doing yours? :)

dtvaroha said...

It's awesome that you're wearing Godzilla under the robes lol. I did see the interview on CNN and I think you did a good job. I just wish they'd spent more time with you.

oxeye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oxeye said...

That was a enjoyable interview. You didn't look nervous at all.

Interesting that you said you weren't interested in becoming a clean, pure, spiritual person. Maybe you just had your own ideas about spiritual purity.

I agree with what you said about people being offended by anything. Especially if the anything doesn't fit in with what we Really believe.

michael bardan said...

if you have obscene speech lemme go get some holy water from rock church and use that for mouthwash henceforth. I would comment on CNN but I'm not interested enough to watch it before breakfast. before morning bowel movement or more likely on iPhone during, sure.

michael bardan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike barking said...

I am a douchebag :)

Rich said...

I just watched the CNN video but this computer doesn't have sound so Brad's smile and the sub captions and sidebar info made an impression.

It referenced this blog as a blog about Buddhism but I think it is a blog about the ramblings (both conscious and sub-conscious) and occasional bit of insight and wisdom of people who practice Zen or are interested in Zen.

Which leads me to the Michael Bardan story.

To whom It May Concern at SDSU:
It is true that MB wrote controversial statements here. It is true that he was impersonated here. It is true that he is a person of courage and is trying to help others by using shock statements to wake them up. In the great tradition of SDSU free speech and the many surfer dudes you have educated, please cease and desist from investigating, harassing, and punishing him.

earDRUM said...

Great interview Brad.

I want you to know that I have enjoyed your writing here a lot more lately. It has been helpful for me.

I find it interesting and inspiring that you inject a little zen into unusual areas like CNN and SuicideGirls... where it might help someone who actually needs it.
I know I'm generalizing, but I suspect that many CNN viewers are fearful fundamentalist types... and that many SuicideGirl folks are attracted to escaping from life (rather than delving deeper into it).
I have noticed that most zen teachers "preach to the converted"... and end up only attracting the butterfly crystal zen crowd. It becomes a self-perpetuating mess.
And that is why I like your approach. You don't fall for all of the usual crap. You try to get people to see reality for what it really is.

Mysterion said...

.

Anonymous said...

!

professor said...

The guy let you talk and everything. Nice!

Jinzang said...

Brad, you looked real good. Good interview.

PA said...

In person you always come off as very nice, open guy. By in person, I mean, in the clips I've seen and a couple of emails.
Seen against this background even your rubbish posts have a charm :-)
But...just a thought - if I'd been through the harsh times you had in 2007 I wouldn't have spoken to anyone, let alone written a blog throughout it!
I only blog/talk/communicate when I'm happy!
It's admirable that through all that pain, you just kept going...

Lone Wolf said...

Nice fucking interview!

Yesterday, I jumped back on the horse and sat Zazen for the first time in a long time. Let's see how consistent I'll be this go round.

Mtroll said...

"but I suspect that many CNN viewers are fearful fundamentalist types"

Not so many. Most of those watch FOX News. Maybe Brad can go on Fox next and be interviewed by Hannity or Bill O next.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why some Zen practitioners, even priests wear Japanese robes from hundreds of years ago. It would be like seeing Baptists coming out of Sunday morning church wearing peasant garb from 30 AD......it makes us look like geeks from a Trekkie convention. It also has nothing to do with the practice. Oh well. As someone who was never really impressed with Brad.....I like him now....sans the robe ;0

Doug said...

Good work "Zen Master" Brad. XD

Interesting to hear you speak after only reading your words for a while now. Thanks for the link!

Stephanie said...

Good interview, I particularly appreciate and agree with what you said about the importance of having religious figures who don't project a sense of unattainable purity.

My only quibble is with the increasing use of the word "monk" to describe people who most definitely, at least in my understanding of the word, are not "monks." To me, "monk" implies a commitment to a particular sort of lifestyle--one removed from the secular world and with rigors of its own--that I certainly wouldn't class Brad as living. But then again, words are words, people do with them what they like. I think it's confusing to use the term "monk" this way, but what can ya do.

Anonymous said...

"I still don't understand why some Zen practitioners, even priests wear Japanese robes from hundreds of years ago. It would be like seeing Baptists coming out of Sunday morning church wearing peasant garb from 30 AD"

yeah, I feel about the same.. But anything you pick out to wear is making some kind of statement. Like Brad's CNN clothes were saying..

So what if I'm wearing this weird guy, I have a cool t-shirt on underneath and I'm wearing the robe all wrong so it's obvious I'm not your typical buddhist geek costume. :)

a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a said...

A monk is a person who has dedicated their life to understanding god, or the spiritual life.

They don't have to live in a monastery or shave their heads.

Anonymous said...

i only blog when i'm deceased

Lauren said...

Lone Wolf said...

...sat Zazen for the first time in a long time. Let's see how consistent I'll be this go round.

Good luck with your sitting. Seems like the most consistency I can must is that when I sit, I sit (well, almost, there's often a lot of fidgeting, day dreaming, etc...)

Stephanie said...

..."monk" implies a commitment to a particular sort of lifestyle--one removed from the secular world and with rigors of its own

Maybe if one can pull off "in the world but not of the world" it qualifies as "removed from the secular world" and one can be a monk, out and about?!

Cheers,
-Lauren

Anonymous said...

I object to the secularness of that psychotic show Monk, I bet it's on commie network Fox, I object to you guys poseurs of zen practice, all day long bickering about what isn't, anything to escape what is, which is the more you bitch, the less you sit, the more you freak about everything, especially the trivial, insignificant stuff.

Lone Wolf said...

Thanks Lauren.

dan mitchell said...

Brad Warner -- Post-Modern Zen Master

First, I want to say that the previous post I did in 2007 on my blog had nothing to do with Brad Warner, but rather with that Liv girl that did the Ron Paul videos and also the beer diet video. She is sexy. Brad Warner, as far as I can tell, is not. At least in my estimation. However, I did read Warner's website, and without question, he seems to be on the right track. Zen is looking at the tracks of fish in a dry riverbed. It makes no sense. It can't be intellectualized or explained. There is no specific set of rules to follow. During zazen, we are just sitting, nothing else. When we are hungry, we eat. When we are sleepy, we sleep. When we have to take a shit, we just sit (preferably with something good to read). It doesn't mean anything, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we are on the way to enlightenment. The only thing on which I disagree with Warner is his apparent aversion to drugs. Attachment and aversion are to be avoided, right? What about the zen monks getting drunk? Isn't there a satori in that little anecdote? Chop wood and carry water. Eat rice on Mang Peak. Do what comes naturally, but don't place a lot of significance in it. If we believe otherwise, we are intellectualizing, and that is not zen.

Erik said...

Wow Brad! What an awesome piece. You seemed a little nervous but you were very real and came across with a great personality.

Were you implying that Tim would call other Zen priests dildos? HAHA, I don't believe it.

Congratulations on this piece and I'm looking forward to your new book. I've been giving out copies of your second book as prizes on an online show I produce and they have been really well received. I look forward to meeting up with you next time you're in Ohio.

Erik

Anonymous said...

heh..you said "dildo".