Sunday, August 17, 2008

GREAT SCOTT! GREAT SKY! 2008 edition


So I'm back from the 2008 Great Sky Zen sesshin. I wanted to write all about it. But there's a sale at Rockaway Records in Silverlake I gotta get to. So this'll be short.

Oh! Before I begin, I checked my zillions of e-mail when I got home. I saw there that someone posted a thing on one of the YouTube videos of me saying (I kinda wish YouTube wouldn't send these to me):


Jimmy Swaggart, TD Jakes, Brad Warner. Anyone can cash in on religion. People will line up to buy their books without examining the kind of lives that these people lead. Swaggart with his hooker, Jakes with the money, and Warner with the fame. I mean come on, a Zen priest that listens to punk rock music and is into recreational drugs????


I don't really care if this guy thinks I'm cashing in on religion (if so, where, oh where, is the cash? Wish I knew!) or if I'm too famous for his liking. But when he says I'm "into recreational drugs" I have to draw the line. I've been pretty clear that I'm not, I think. If anyone out there is still unsure about it, check this blog occasionally for my recurring anti-drug rants or read Hardcore Zen (I forget which pages, but it's almost an entire chapter). Or better still buy the Zero Defex CD! "Your drugs suck! Don't push them on me! Your drugs suck! Get 'em out of my face!"

Here's the briefest summation of the sesshin I can give you:



Yes, that's right folks, this was the tune going thru my brain for a good deal of the sittings. We did seven days with nine 40-minute periods per day starting at with a wake-up bell at 4:30 AM and ending with lights out at 9:30 PM. Which was, by the way, 2:30 AM and 7:30 PM respectively for me since I came from the West Coast and Minnesota is Central Time. The teachers there this year were me, Tonen O'Connor of the Milwaukee Zen Center, Zuiko Redding of Cedar Rapids Zen Center, Myoyu Anderson of Great Plains Zen Center in Illinois, Rosan Yoshida of the Missouri Zen Center and Dokai Georgeson of Hokyoji itself (where the sesshin was held, in southern Minnesota). We each took one day as dohsi (practice leader), on which day we had to deliver a dharma talk and lead services. Leading services is a challange for me because in my tradition we do very few services. So I've no idea what all the dance steps required are. But Tojun Cobb, resident priest at the Milwaukee Zen Center, helped out a lot with that.

Thirty people showed up including a few readers of this very blog who found out about it from what I'd written. I think three people came solely because of that. Thanks for being there! It was a very nice sesshin.

I got hay fever. At least I hope it's hay fever and not a cold. But, ironically enough, my nose, throat and lungs seem to be functioning much better in the pollution of LA than they were in the wide open spaces and clear air of Minnesota. Maybe I've spent too much time in cities! I'm still sniffling some, though. At least I didn't get Lyme disease from the dreaded deer ticks that inhabit the area.

As in 2007, the best talk was the final one of the sesshin delivered by Dokai. He's a genius. But you had to have been there. I noticed they digitally recorded the talks this time. Maybe they'll get put up on a website somewhere someday. But even if you listened I don't think you'd really get a feel for what actually was said. You have to get steeped in zazen for eight hours a day with a group of people all working and living in close proximity for a few days before you'd really grok it. You hadda be there.

I think I had more to say. But I can't recall right now what it was. Maybe the lingering after-effects of the sesshin. I also made a point of not keeping a journal, which I did last year. If I come up with some more stuff to write, I'll put up another post.

22 comments:

Mysterion said...

Allergies are proof of life.

Ga-sho-nuff

Osama Van Halen said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2HM6_tkQhw

Jinzang said...

Dueling videos? Here's Joy Division's Isolation, to fuck up your next session of zazen.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back

Lone Wolf said...

Was the "I Dream of Jeannie" theme as vivid as LZ's "Kashmir"? I can't recall ever hearing music during Zazen, but I did have a pretty detailed vision of Tucan Sam once.

Dan said...

I literally lol'd when I heard that theme song just then. ahh.

Nice choice of video jinzang btw.

Anonymous said...

wow
this is the first time I've experienced a blog entry (I look forward to new ones, mind you)
as an interruption to the comment section!!!!
is michael b growing on me?!!

michael bardan said...

"I would add a fourth question: have I said it before? I think you've been repeating yourself for the last fifty or so posts. You've made your point. No need to hammer it into the ground."


When did Michael B ever make a point? I must have missed that bit.

Blake said...

I am impressed that someone has compared you to Jimmy Swaggart and TD Jakes! You are movin' on up!

Barbara said...

I can't imagine why you would have that song going through your head.

George W. said...

As far as the drug stuff? You also went into it in Sit Down and Shut Up. Doesn't take to long to find out what your stance is on the subject. Once again, folks talking about stuff they don't know (hmm....kind out what we all do....) It would be nice if they did it in isolation. (like in a cave in some mountain range somewhere far away... but how would I learn that when folks say stupid s*** about me, anger, or whatever, gets stirred up).

michael bardan said...

Why am I an idiot? Why can't I just shut up? Why do I need attention so badly? Why am I so rude? Maybe my mum didn't love me enough.

michael bardan said...

here's movie script dialogue for your upcoming zen noir sequel:

braddy-chan: I got hay fever.
mikey bee: Fuck your guilt trip.

braddy-chan: So I'm back...
mikey bee: Like we noticed you were ever gone...

braddy-chan: I kinda wish YouTube wouldn't...
mikey bee: You kinda wish you put an end to your suffering.

braddy-chan: I don't really care if this guy thinks...
mikey bee: How many more fukken time:z I tell ya, you do or else no need to tell us.

braddy-chan: You hadda be there.
mikey bee: We all were, didja see Us?

braddy-chan: *pouting*
mikey bee: ASSHOLE MAKE ME VOMIT!

qbitty said...

see here lissup you gots to try better than that if you wanna do more than 1 post per 1 michael bardan per day per funny ass, for the love of all gawdsNdaemon:Z of N directions, please first go ask your mommy, is this funny? then yo daddy, than yo sissy, than yo buttler, than yo tranny mentor, THEN fukken go put up a post with mikey's label on, because like otherwise man, a few years down the line when you realize how unfunny you were on this blog, you'd turn bulimic for another couple years before actually realizing how terribly pathetic you actually are for imagining the shit you spew out is something that would even in passing cross mikey's head.

loser^n-th.degree

grammar nazi said...

!!!! lissn up !!!! because otherwise people would think i have a small dick that can't spell content without form.

infinite trifecta said...

IT's @play again, hooT-hooT!

braddy-chan said...

Shit, maybe the less I say, the less I give away how much deeper I have to go into my practice, perchance even get another teacher to show me, rather than waste my life talking about what I'm not understanding yet?

Blake said...

BTW, new SuicideGirls article is up,yo.

http://suicidegirls.com/news/culture/23266/

Anonymous said...

"You have to get steeped in zazen for eight hours a day with a group of people all working and living in close proximity for a few days before you'd really grok it. You hadda be there."

Lost of people can seem like a "genius" in situations like those. Unfortunately, outside of the event they all look like mad-men. Sometimes I'm glad i don't get it.

Vent said...

@blake: "I am impressed that someone has compared you to Jimmy Swaggart and TD Jakes! You are movin' on up!"

Popped in here to say the exact same thing. Nice job!

The last song I got stuck in my head was, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone....," which actually wasn't so bad. I kinda danced my way thru the whole afternoon. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!...now the theme song is running through my brain in a loop :))
Wonder why this happens and how come somethings get transfered from one mind to an other?
I think science call it Meme..and humans need to name EVERYTHING.

Virus of the Mind - Richard Brody Good read.

Mberenis said...

Great blog, thank you for posting!
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