Tuesday, January 06, 2009

MY ZEN PEDIGREE


The subject of my Zen pedigree has come up a few times recently. I’m sure some of you will remember when Bruce Lambson, Director of the Big Mind Big Heart Institute said I was “not yet even a Sensei” whereas his boss was a Roshi*. While I’ve been making the rounds trying to set up some speaking engagements it came up again. A Zen center someone was trying to talk into booking me for a speaking engagement asked to know if I had permission to teach and said my blog wasn’t very informative about such matters.

OK. Well, now it is. The little profile over to the left now includes a brief rundown of my Zen breeding chart. I do have “permission to teach.” In fact I was actually kind of strong armed into teaching when I didn’t really want to. But that’s a whole other story that I’ve already told in my first book. I have Dharma Transmission from Gudo Wafu Nishijima, who in turn received Dharma Transmission from Renpo Niwa, who was at the time the head of the Soto sect in Japan. My papers are all in order should the Zen Gestapo ever collar me and demand to see them. I wear my brown rakusu and kesa with full impunity. Not very often. But I do. And contrary to Mr. Lambson’s assertions, I am officially a roshi.

Although I’m being kind of snarky about this stuff, I do understand why it matters. The institution that asked about my permission to teach has various affiliations as well as its own good reputation to uphold. They wouldn’t want just any old riff-raff to stink up their hallowed halls. And there are indeed a number of colorful characters running around designating themselves as Zen Masters and suchlike who claim to have received their transmissions in dreams or from disembodied spirits or who, when asked about their lineages simply decline to answer at all. No reputable Zen center would want to suffer the embarrassment of having invited someone to speak at their place who later turns out to be a phony.

The matter of lineage is a serious thing in Zen with a very long history. The legends say the line of Dharma Transmission has been unbroken since Buddha himself transmitted to his student Mahakashapa 2500 years ago. There’s certainly no way to prove the historical accuracy of that story. Nonetheless most folks in the scene believe it. I believe it too.

But what does it mean? That’s a whole different matter. Because there are duly transmitted Zen teachers who have all the proper paperwork but who are truly awful. I won’t name names here. And there are people who don’t claim any Buddhist lineage at all who can run rings around most of us with credentials, like U.G. Krishnamurti for example.

I’ll tell you what it means to me. It means I’m part of the club, whether the club wants me or not. I’m also part of the club whether I want to be or not.

The club, as a club, functions pretty much the way the Elks or the Free Masons or the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo function. There are little secrets known only to members — none of them very interesting in the case of Zen, by the way. There is a social network available only to the higher ups. There are little perks you get for being part of the administration rather than a mere member of the rank and file. There are favors the other members of the club will do for you. There’s a chummy atmosphere when everyone gets together. And so on and on.

While some folks who’ve attained the rank I have within the club are pretty proud of that fact, I tend to be fairly embarrassed about it. I’m not the only person who doesn’t wear his Zen status like a shiny red badge, by the way. I’d say most Zen teachers are pretty humble and try their best not to get too cocky about the whole thing no matter how much their students would prefer them to. Those who enjoy rank and status tend to make themselves more visible, as people who enjoy rank and status are prone to do. But I don’t pay them too much mind myself.

As for myself, I feel it’s important to own up to what I’ve done. Whether it was a momentary lapse of good judgment on my part that caused me to accept a position of rank or whether my teacher was senile and had no idea what he was doing (as some have implied, unfortunately it's not true) or whether it was a real step in the direction of establishing the Dharma, the deed was done. I didn't ask for it. But I said "yes" to it, which makes me just as guilty. I had the ceremonies and signed the certificates. I’ve been pretty public about it, I think, having written a trio of books on the subject. Yet I’ve tried not to hammer people over the head with it every chance I get, for example by having folks address me as “His Holiness” or “the Venerable” or any of that stupidity.

Hierarchies are a fact of human life, as silly and as phony as every last one of them is. Zen has them too. One hopes that hierarchy is Zen society is followed only to the extent that it is logical and practical. For example, when you need someone to lead a chanting service or you want to acknowledge the hard won spiritual growth of a particular individual so that you might better learn from that person. Unfortunately there’s always a certain amount of silliness involved when you get into this business. Hopefully we remain as aware of this as we can and make efforts to transcend it. In Zen there are some traditions established to try and cope with this matter. For example, when a monastic student rises to the rank of shuso or “head student” he or she also becomes the monastery’s official toilet cleaner.

Since there are people out there who wonder about my rank, I’ve decided to make that information more easily available than I have in the past. I do so because it’s expedient and useful. Ultimately these designations don’t mean shit.

I remember when I realized this very clearly. I’d just started working for Tsuburaya Productions and was pretty amazed to be in the company of people I had admired from afar for a very long time, people like Noboru Tsuburaya or Koichi Takano. Yet when I traveled with them I noticed that when they were inside that body of people who knew who they were they’d be treated like royalty (and milked every minute of it for all it was worth), whereas when they stood on a crowded subway platform they’d be bumped and jostled just like anybody else.

I feel sorry for people who get so well known that they transcend that experience and are always treated deferentially. Celebrity spiritual masters must lead a very surreal life, in which it’s a daily struggle just to maintain their simple humanity. I wonder if anyone can really do that? It’s not something I think will ever concern me personally, thank you Jesus. But I am very wary of our current crop of Buddhist superstars. They seem about as valid to me as Top 40 rock bands. Occasionally a bit of truly worthwhile music makes it into the big leagues, like The Beatles for example. But most of what makes the top of the charts is just calculated schlock. It’s the same with the world of Buddhism, sadly.

So there you have a long-winded and probably fairly useless justification for why I’ve suddenly started mentioning my Zen rank on the top page of this blog.

Big deal.


*Here’s the quote in full in case you don’t want to look it up: “I find it ironic and bizarre that a kid like Brad Warner, with a few years of Zen experience, puts himself out there as a ‘Dharma Punk’, which is to be taken I guess as some revolutionary new thing, and then goes on to rip on a guy who has 37 years of Zen experience, and is a Roshi, (Brad is not yet even a Sensei). Genpo Roshi has literally thousands of students, has written 5 books, and is well respected throughout the world.”

131 comments:

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

certified? uh...
Come on, who do these people think they're kidding with the silly robes and fancy zen boy-scout badges pinned on their nice clothes. Those "zen badges" are great to wipe your butt with when you run out of toilet paper in the woods, but to go around showing it to strangers trying to prove you're worthy? - Yawn - Anybody with half a brain will cut through that front like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps the only use of a pedigree is to con a leery student who is lazy. In which case, I hope said student somehow chose a worthy teacher.

Anonymous said...

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705274717,00.html

Rick said...

The guy in the club, or the guy who steadfastly sits by himself everyday without fail who puts in every effort into his practice - is one any further "ahead" than the other? Does it matter?

What's in it for the "teacher" except the temptation for getting a big head? Of course the guy sitting by himself can swell with his own pride in his practice too, I guess.

In my own practice, I'm in it to work on myself. I have not inclination to ever try teaching anyone anything. Am I offbase here?

Rich said...

I read your books so I already knew you had the pedigree and I respect that. Gudo's book is a classic and in his prime was at the top of his game. All the zen teachers i've listened to in person seem like happy peaceful people. Demystifying the zen culture and institutions will be helpful to those that depend on it.

Mysterion said...

It's the old Gurdjieff Meditations in which Ouspensky asked: ”Who am I?” and all the answers were false and irrelevant.

And I digress to Ikkyu.

As a reckless youth, a teacher once asked me: "Why do you burn your bridges BEFORE you cross them?"

My answer: "Perhaps I will adjust to the coldest rivers."

I have no 'certification.' My certification is a lifetime.

Ga-sho-nuff
Cha-ryu

Mysterion said...

Link to Gurdjieff Meditations.

Link to Ikkyu. Ikkyu Sojun (1391-1481) Rinzai school Zen Buddhist monk.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. RON ASHETON

Stooges 4-ever

JB said...

the deeper you dig, the more solid you get.

Al Coleman said...

"R.I.P. RON ASHETON

Stooges 4-ever"

Truer words were never spoken.

Anonymous said...

Brad - Great post! Just when I think you a retard you write something great. Thanks!

grisom said...

Just seen your Picasa album over there. Okay. I went to Ghana International School and I am totally jealous. They DIDN'T MAKE YOU WEAR UNIFORMS??!

Ned said...

"The legends say the line of Dharma Transmission has been unbroken since Buddha himself transmitted to his student Mahakashapa 2500 years ago. There’s certainly no way to prove the historical accuracy of that story. Nonetheless most folks in the scene believe it. I believe it too."

Actually, I don't think that has anything to do with direct mind transmission. You are the Buddha. Mahakashapa is the corpse you are dragging around. You hold up a flower and the corpse smiles. That is direct mind transmission.

What can a Buddha teach a Buddha?

Anonymous said...

The term roshi is not something one decides to call oneself. It is a title of repect given by students to a beloved teacher. It means roughly 'old master' and was traditionally bestowed posthumously. It's as tasteless and arrogant as referring to yourself as a zen master.

Zach said...

Roshi or not, do you want a gig at Reed College in Portland Oregon anytime soon? I would be happy to hook you up, as you mentioned in your previous post wanting a stop in Portland.

drop me a line:

zach.jh@gmail.com

Flor de Nopal Sangha said...

At least he called ya a kid. I wanna be called a kid at such age. ;)

Anonymous said...

Mr Warner is not a sensei nor a roshi. He received monk’s ordination a few years ago in Tokei-in temple but he never performed the step-by-step process to be a soto zen teacher (hossen shiki, dempo and zuisse). During dharma transmission, each member of the club receive the secrets books of the soto sect. The first words are : 伝法の夜、三更の初めに至りて
Mr Warner, what are the next words ?

A member of the club

kassab said...

I was wondering anyone check the Buddha's paper work. I'm mean if were checking as per
Anonymous said...
Mr Warner is not a sensei nor a roshi. He received monk’s ordination a few years ago in Tokei-in temple but he never performed the step-by-step process to be a soto zen teacher (hossen shiki, dempo and zuisse). During dharma transmission, each member of the club receive the secrets books of the soto sect. The first words are : 伝法の夜、三更の初めに至りて
Mr Warner, what are the next words ?

A member of the club

Mike H said...

Anonymous:

Are you saying that Brad has the wrong kind of lineage?

Are you saying that maybe Gudo Nishijima has said the 'wrong' words to Brad and so his claim to Roshidom is invalid?

From my limited understanding of tradition it is sufficient for Gudo Nishijima to declare that Brad has permission to teach after giving him Dharma Transmission.

Do you actually know how silly you sound?

I'd love to see you fit these ideas into Nagarjuna's philosophy.

It seems like you are saying that there is a certain magical set of words that must be said in order for Brad to call himself a Roshi and that if those words have not been said or if Gudo Nishijima got some word wrong then magically he cannot now be a Roshi.

This sounds more like World of Warcraft than Buddhism to me.

I don't really care what Brad calls himself. Sometimes I learn from him and sometimes not. That's sufficient for me. I can also say the same of Dennis Genpo Merzel and U.G. Krishnamurti.

kassab said...

More power to Mike H, bring out the big gun Nagarjuna there was a man that can really mess with you. But all joking aside a teacher by word or action is only teacher if he has the student. No amount of paperwork or words can make him one.

Rich said...

"temple but he never performed the step-by-step process to be a soto zen teacher (hossen shiki, dempo and zuisse). During dharma transmission, each member of the club receive the secrets books "

For american zen, transmission is enough, secret words and books won't cut it. But Brad, are there next words or is that anon just bullshitting and busting your balls? Did the Soto school turn into a fraternity?

proulx michel said...

Another stouthearted anonymouse wrote:

"Mr Warner is not a sensei nor a roshi."

The Right Venerable Brad Warner is, by decision of Gudo Nishijima roshi (HE is a really old master!), the present "leader" of Dogen Sangha International, and therefore, my beloved "leader" (lol).

For that reason, Sotoshu rules don't apply here.
When Nishijima roshi gave me Dharma transmission, he asked if I wanted to be registered by the Sotoshu and I replied that I didn't care.
Later, when I had a doubt, I asked Nishijima roshi if it wouldn't have been better, had I consented to be registered in the Sotoshu, and his reply was particularly abrupt, so much so that I won't reproduce the words here.
So it may well be that Mr Anonymouse belongs to such a club as he is implying, but that immediately calls to Groucho Marx's saying, that he wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would be foolish enough to have him as a member...

Thing 2 said...

How freaking crazy. Special words. What a crock! No words, or clothes, or hand signals matter. Until you can stand naked, unashamed, before the world, you have not accepted that you are part of a universal whole with no meaningful differentiation from clump to clump (read person to person).
No, I'm not there yet, but I'm certain I don't need to know "the next words" to get there.

Besides, Buddha did not speak Japanese. What ever the next words are the whole idea is a social invention intent, obviously, on differentiating, not joining, so it is essentially worthless to the path.

proulx michel said...

Besides, Nishijima makes his transmission ceremonies for Westerners in English, precisely because he doesn't believe in the use of words that are not understood.

As for the Japanese that Anonymouse quoted, the two first caracters, denpou (伝法)mean:
"teaching Buddhism", but also "rough person", "bullying", "ostentatious bravado". I think this is what we had here.
The whole phrase just means "Feeling deeply, at the beginning of the third watch of the night of transmission..."

Big deal...

Thing 9 said...

Thing 2 advocates "Magic."

The "Magic" doesn't work unless you speak the SAME dialect of Sanskrit that the Buddha spoke.

Well, Thing 2, there is a Santa Clause.

The 'formulas' or mantras of the sutras are not translated... Why do Pali Mantras complete Chinese, Japanese, and other translations of the Sutras?

Master Ku Shan said: "The secret mantras in Sutras should not be translated."

Blake said...

I once saw a black-belt in Karate get his ass kicked by some random dude on the street. Of course, that's impossible since he has a black-belt, isn't it?

Secrets and Such said...

Sealab 2021: Season Four
Episode 39. "Neptunati" (Illuminati pun) - The crew discovers that Captain Shanks is a member of a world-manipulating secret society, "the Brotherhood of Neptune." However, this means that he has to put them all through the initiation process (including long-winded oaths and drinking human blood through a crazy straw). This soon proves to be a mistake, as they start using the Captain’s new mystical trinket, the Trident of Neptune, to fulfill their petty whims. When Stormy takes the trident for a joyride (literally and figuratively), can Shanks get it back before Stormy awakens the dreaded Kraken, AND before Shanks gets in trouble with his superiors?

Jack Warner: American film producer and one of the Warner Brothers. Freemason, Mount Olive Lodge No. 506, Los Angeles, CA.

Noah Webster said...

It's Ven. Brad... or something else (call him Brad - that seems to work)

veneration - ven·er·a·tion
Pronunciation: \ˌve-nə-ˈrā-shən\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century

1 : respect or awe inspired by the dignity, wisdom, dedication, or talent of a person
2 : the act of venerating
3 : the condition of one that is venerated

Anonymous said...

“My grandmother always said: ‘God has a plan for all of us.’ I should have went along with his, not mine, my plan sucked.” - Mickey Rourke

Thing 2 said...

Thing 9 said... "Thing 2 advocates "Magic.""

Howdya get that?!

I advocate...well I don't know what, but certainly I think truth is simple though not always easy.

Strange oaths and secret meetings are not truth.

At The Moment said...

When are anonymous posters gonna have the big ovums to confront a teacher with their real names or web personality rather than hiding behind the "anony" tag. I mean. Sh**. If you gonna act all punk coming over to this blog to comment, then man up, be open, hock a loogie, and get ready to get hocked back in public. Don't hide!

Anonymous said...

Please Brad:
What is the difference between a zen teacher, and a Roshi,, I know of many zen teachers who arn't yet a Roshi, and have been teaching for years.
This till isn't clear

NellaLou said...

As a kid my cousins and I built a clubhouse in the back yard. There were secret words, rituals and initiations. The latter involved eating dirt.

Zen Bitch said...

Zen, to go.

Anonymous said "The first words are : 伝法の夜、三更の初めに至りて Mr Warner, what are the next words?"

Perhaps an 'anonymous' among many is seeking mitigation of a "passive-aggressive personality disorder" through Zazen while obviously avoiding a good slapping down. I wonder...

Mysterion said...

Roshi means “venerable old one”

At this point, Brad is “venerable.”

ROSHI, in the Japanese tradition, literally meant "old or venerable master."

However, in the West, "venerable master" could be the cognitive equivalent of Roshi. So Warner-roshi, while 'acceptable' in the West, might be a bit uncomfortable to someone as young as Brad. My perception... subject to consistent failure.

Ga-sho-nuff,
Cha-ryu

Jinzang said...

Mr Warner, what are the next words? A member of the club

Is that you, Gempo?

Thing 9 said...

The truth is rarely simple though always obvious.

"The Truth is never simple, and rarely pure" (Oscar Wilde)

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

sheesh

You could've posted that stuff without all the sideshow crap. Drop the f-ing ego, would ya?

You and Ann Coulter.

Eagle said...

head student is also head toilet scrubber? that is most interesting.

Brad Warner said...

Annonymous said: Mr Warner is not a sensei nor a roshi. He received monk’s ordination a few years ago in Tokei-in temple but he never performed the step-by-step process to be a soto zen teacher (hossen shiki, dempo and zuisse). During dharma transmission, each member of the club receive the secrets books of the soto sect. The first words are : 伝法の夜、三更の初めに至りて
Mr Warner, what are the next words ?


You are absolutely correct. I have not done hossen shiki, dempo or zuisse through the official Soto-shu of Japan. I have never made a secret of that. But doing those ceremonies through the Soto-shu is intended only to register with Soto-shu the transmission given you by your teacher in person. The ceremonies themselves are not the transmission.

These ceremonies cost a lot of money, by the way. I believe it was on the order of $10,000 to get it all done. And nobody in the Soto-shu asks you to prove anything except that you have enough cash to pay for it. If your teacher vouches for you, that's all they need.

My teacher happened to have done all of that himself and thought it was a big waste of time and money. As Michel said, he is very much against his students doing any of that just to feed the Soto-shu machine.

Gotama Buddha was not a registered Master within the Soto-shu, nor was Eihei Dogen, Bodhidharma, Nagarjuna, etc. etc. Nor, for that matter, are a whole lot of totally legitimate Zen teachers in the US, in Japan, and elsewhere. Entire lineages have chosen not to register with that organization.

Nonetheless some kind of actual recorded transmission from a teacher is a necessary step in the process, and I have all of that. Whether that transmission is on the books at the headquarters of the Soto-shu Religious Corporation of Japan or not is a whole other matter.

As Zen becomes more established in the West as it's own thing, the issue of whether or not non-Japanese teachers should register with Japanese organizations has become a matter of heated debate. These days the idea that one must be registered with some gigantic foreign religious institution in order to be seen as legitimate has largely faded away.

I'm not so sure it ever made much sense. I can see where, when this was just beginning to filter into the West it might have. But these days it makes no sense at all to require registration with Soto-shu or any other such institution unless one wishes to be part of that institution.

The Soto lineage and the Soto-shu Religious Corporation of Japan are two very different things.

Anonymous said...

Please again Brad
what is the title of zen master is this Roshi or something else. What are the zen teachers who teach but have no title. But are sanctioned in some manner.






zenair

Cynthia Choi said...

Hi Brad, thanks for the update on your life and I'm so happy that you've spent it so fabulously well. These comments are an interesting peek at Zen society :-)

Rich said...

Thanks for explaining that.

NellaLou said...

The religious-industrial-complex claiming to speak for any religion or sect is by its very nature dogmatic, authoritarian and narrow. Rigid codification of the activities of the Mind is a rather pointless exercise. That there might be some curriculum possibly of use to students is likely but just as in any "school" what really matters is how the student makes use of the matters that are taught. Memorization of texts and rituals (whether in madrassas or Soto-Shu) does not awaken anyone to the truth behind those activities. And when indoctrination (consider that word carefully) is complete it certainly doesn't mean it is in any way useful to either the person or the world. Whether one is Sensei, Osho, Roshi, Yogi or whatever is not too much different than a lot of people who have PhDs and the like and end up driving cabs for a living. Its what you do with what you know that makes all the difference. Static knowledge is useless.

@Anony. Here is information about titles of Zen teachers Zen master There are a few links in there that explain more.

Anonymous said...

$10,000?!!! Dang, for that kind of cheddar you could buy a new motorcycle -- or even have Lucky Charms with Gempo Roshi in your hotel room!

Uku said...

I've always loved this haiku by Basho:

Eaten alive by lice and fleas -- now the horse beside my pillow pees

Everything is just as it is. Or like Joe Strummer said "Feeling lucky punk? Oh, good."

Thanks, Brad. Great post!

Uku said...

Shit, like this:

Eaten alive by
lice and fleas -- now the horse
beside my pillow pees

Rich said...

For Info on The American child of Soto-shu Religious Corporation of Japan follow this link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Soto_Zen_Buddhist_Association

I can understand why they want to keep imposters from teaching but you can't use it to put down genuine teachers. Anon are you reading this. Are you the reincarnation of that guy that was chasing Huineng after Hongren gave him the robe and bowl and transmission? they wanted to kill that poor bastard (Huineng) because they were jealous and couldn't accept a poor uneducated wood cutter as a Zen Master.

Mysterion said...

50

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koudelka said...

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2X2TB3S4O5I60?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Tracker said...

Aah Brad, you have not paid your fees - now I finally understand why they are after you!

Anonymous said...

koudelka!!
long time no see
wishes for happy 2009 to you.
How is your brother doing? (Am I correctly remembering from blogs long past?)
any way
wishing you the best on that other coast (the East one)

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You're not cocky but you call your blog 'Hardcore Zen.'

I don't get any of this. Personally, it seems like just another extension of the Big Dick, you guys debating who's a real sensei and who's not, like a bunch of kids in the school yard fighting over who gets to be Iron Man.

Good luck with it.

Mysterion said...

Hardcore Zen

hardcore - as a noun
1. broken bricks, stone and/or other aggregate used as foundations.
2. (music) Hardcore punk or techno music.

as an adjective
1. Having an extreme dedication to a certain activity; diehard.

Also: Resistant to change, explicit.
(In music) Faster or more intense than the regular style.

Zen: Although one translation of 'Zen' is 'contemplation,' Zen Buddhism is based on a single, esoteric idea: all humans have a Buddha nature inside them and all a human being has to do is to realize it!

The post immediately above is off-base.

If the umpire sees you, he'll call you 'out.'

Anonymous said...

this lineage and registering stuff reminds me a lot of
teaching credentials and licensed day care.

Just because you took courses and got marks and your teacher passed you (as a good student learning to be a 'teacher') doesn't mean you are a good teacher.

However, a good 'teacher' without credentials, without education may be teaching their students outdated or outright wrong 'stuff', but doing it in a way students respond well to.
The well liked 'teacher' who taught you wrong stuff!!

People can't always afford a licensed day care for their little ones--it can be expensive. But that license is supposed to mean something--it is supposed to mean the place meets certain standards (the standards it must meet or exceed in order to get that 'license').
But granny has little ones at her house and she's not licensed.
Granny might actually be the far superior place to be for a multitude of reasons (granny is the best), but she could be a nightmare too--unknowingly letting that weird uncle take pictures of bathtime for the internet....
a licensed place might be more vigilant with regard to riff and raff because they want to keep their license

what has this got to do with zen teachers?

lineage serves as a guide and a guide only.
and may be helpful
interactions between humans is a unique and mysterious thing
a 'great' teacher to one person might be a good one to avoid for another person
we bring out in each other what we bring out in each other

experienced teachers (experienced humans) know how to knead this stuff,
but the cooking is a mutual thing: teacher/student is a mutuality
there is intimacy in this exchange: not pretty!
reminds me of that scene (Tom Jones?) when both sit down to a meal and claw and gnaw and tear at it without self consciousness (but it's not prelude to the bedroom--at least most of the time it's not).
no certification on file anywhere lets you know if a teacher can accompany only you know, very intimately know--this line of faith and doubt, trust and uncertainty
I studied with a teacher who once recommended to another student that he join a residential monastary; on another occasion telling one person that he had nothing to offer them there (at this particular zendo).
It is healthy when a teacher knows their own limits.

How long do you stay with a teacher?
Well....how long do you stay with anyone, anything? I'm not talking about flitting from teacher to teacher or getting caught up in the infinite cul de sac called the 'search for enlightenment.'

you stay as long as you stay, and when you leave, you haven't left a thing, not that there was anything to take with you from the very start

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tattoozen said...

I liked this post a lot Brad, there seems to always be that tug of war between 'formal-ism" and "going with your gut" in Zen and I think thats what keeps it honest (in the folks who are looking for honesty, that is).

Youre not supposed to just bow to any authority that presents itself and yet you are not supposed to do it completely solo without a teacher, the tug of war between being a lone wolf and a blind sheep feels honest and that is why Zen appealed to me in the first place.

Zen Trixter said...

Slammin', Brad. I've been waiting for you to write this...

Anonymous said...

Here is the very best book on this topic "Zen Master Who?" by James Ford. It is about all this crap, and how 99% of all Zen teachers in the West do not have every i dotted and t crossed with Soto Japan. Of course they don't, because they are not in Japan and things are done differently here.

Search "Brad Warner" at this link, and look on page 140

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0861715098/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

The book is about spotting the fakes and phonies too who just throw on a bedsheet and call themselves a Roshi.

Anonymous said...

I think all this pedigree stuff is b.s. It's as lame as the rinzai certificates of enlightenment. If zen master A is a deluded dipstick and he gives official dharma transmission to student B, then student (now zen master) B gives transmission to C, the whole house of cards falls. If any master anywhere along the chain is deluded then her judgement affects the whole chain on down.

Brad places too much importance on such things as well. A zen teacher is someone who teaches zen...whether that teacher has the right papers or official transmission or not. If you think Zen is some kind of dogma passed along, then this is a problem. (and Brad seems to think this to some degree) But if you think that Zen is the direct perception of Reality, Truth needs no stamp of approval. The perception is either there or not. Gotama didn't seek anyone's permission or approval to teach and neither did many of the zen ancestors...despite the official dogma of transmission.

kassab said...

so what makes Mr. Ford or you the authority on spotting who is a fake Zen master, if Brad had all the qualifications you wanted, you still be on the attack and then in your second piece you say it doesn't really matter. So which one is it 'spot the fake zen master' or no need for papers. Hey you don't like Brad jump off the blog and have a nice life.
In fact you can make it your mission to spot the fake teachers but first look at your self!

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Brad, I'm just waitin' for ya to wake up and dispel with all this zen buddhism bullshit. There's NOTHING to teach. Fuck people. Let 'em figure it out for themselves.

diarmuid said...

"Koudelka said...
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2X2TB3S4O5I60?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_rdp_perm"

That was great a link, thank you.


I'm surprised this turned out to be a controversial post. How many Zen Blog readers are hiding in the woodworks waiting for a chance to swipe at the man? I guess their manuscripts were rejected. How petty.

A teacher is one who teaches. Being an "old teacher" requires that one has been alive longer than most of one's students by some debatable margin. Some of the students have probably lived longer than the individual in question. Those are the guys who get to decide what to call you, right?

Mike H said...

Anonymous:

There are several arguments over "permission to teach".

AFAIC the oldest argument is that if you can teach from direct experience then that is all the permission you need.

There is a parallel argument that Dharma Transmission guarantees quality.

There is also the more modern (CPW 2,500 years) argument about only going to teachers that are approved by some organisation.

It's all a crock really.

Some people have a burning desire to teach and will do so regardless of whether they should.

Some people have no desire to teach but might make good teachers.

A lot of it is about 'students' being able to find a 'good' teacher as if there was some way to guarantee this.

More often it's the case that a student and a teacher create each other. In a Sangha of experienced people the line between student and teacher can naturally become quite confused anyway.

There is a Koan about this stuff. It's in Blue Cliff and the title is something "Bill awakens the sleeping Sue". The essence of the Koan was that the world's greatest teacher couldn't awaken this person but some fresher could. How? was the heart of the Koan.

Garrapata Red said...

"But most of what makes the top of the charts is just calculated schlock. It’s the same with the world of Buddhism, sadly."

Yup....cream rises to the top.....and so does hot air. The trick is knowing the difference between the two, and finding a true teacher who knows it, too. The hard part is spending 30 years learning not to fool yourself into believing the hot air blowing past your ear.

Zenfant Terrible said...

Once again, I think it's all about the middle way. A situation in which every idiot can pass himself off as a zen master is highly undesirable. Unfortunately this practice attracts a lot of mentally unstable people who deserve to be protected from fake gurus with wrong intentions.
On the other hand intricate hierarchies and unquestionable authority are a disease of Japanese society rather than the essence of buddhism. As western buddhists, we would be wise to steer clear of these. Brad's approach to the subject matter is one of the sanest I've come acrosss.

Mysterion said...

Zenfant Terrible sed:
"this practice attracts a lot of mentally unstable people who deserve to be protected from fake gurus..."

THAT contains more than three truths:
1) mentally unstable people
2) people deserve to be protected
3) fake gurus

At least a few of us were entertained by Brads take on "Big Butt, Big Mind Instantute, Incooperated" (no misspellings)

And I set up hooyathinkyaR (Swami Hoo ya Think ya R) as a parody.

Brad has repeated:
1) You should CHANGE teachers and sanghas if "the fit doesn't fit"
(or words to that like)
2) You should SIT with a teacher as a matter of POSTURE (straighten your back - THWAK)
3) You should shop arround

To which the swami added (without permission of the Ven. Master)
4) Sit with a Yoga Group if you have neither Soto or Rinzai Sanghas in your neck of the woods
5) Visit the Shin (new) Temple (Jodo Shinshu) a couple of time a year - the equivalent of Xmas & Easter.
BTW, technically speaking, I am a Jodo Shu Buddhist and follower of Ikkyu, the Rinzai Rebel.

And THAT is why I appreciate a somewhat 'lose kannon on deck' like Ven. Warner. I'm telling you, if there is a Brad book event or other Brad event within 50 miles (but not in the dead of winter), GO.

Class dismissed - oops... sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

"In fact you can make it your mission to spot the fake teachers but first look at your self!"

kassab,
Why don't you direct this to Brad as well? Doesn't it apply to all his criticism of fake zen teachers (gempo, cohen etc)?

You shouldn't assume all anons are the same person. Many of us just share similar pov. And remember, unless any of you are using your real full name here...you too are anonymous.

jamal said...

"Fuck people. Let 'em figure it out for themselves."

Phil, That is a direct quote from the Buddha isn't it? BTW, You are one good looking dude with your hair combed back like that.

Sebastian said...

Bunch of knee jerk reactions. Its just use full to keep new students from signing on with Mc-Sangas.

professor said...

I have always considered anybody I learn something from to be a sensei.

Anonymous said...

"Bunch of knee jerk reactions. Its just use full to keep new students from signing on with Mc-Sangas."

Goes back to the same problem. You, Brad and myself may all consider Gempo's place a McSangha. But other's consider Dogen Sangha a McSangha. (Those that assert that real buddhists must believe in literal rebirth, for instance.)

Those that diss Brad may believe they are simply being helpful by pointing out that he is some sort of heretic that breaks precepts openly and not a real zen teacher. And round it goes. It's up to each of us to sort it out and not just follow what master X or master Warner says is or isn't a McSangha or fake teacher.

diarmuid said...

"Those that diss Brad may believe they are simply being helpful by pointing out that he is some sort of heretic that breaks precepts openly and not a real zen teacher."


Certainly there should be some system of checks and balances. Criticism is important to a thriving debate. Usually it helps to have some evidence before you go running your mouth like Mr. Lambson did.

Some people just can't be troubled by such trivial things as facts, I suppose.

If one is thrown out of Zen, are they "disrobed"?

Rich said...

Phil-bob says:
"Brad, I'm just waitin' for ya to wake up and dispel with all this zen buddhism bullshit. There's NOTHING to teach. Fuck people. Let 'em figure it out for themselves."

Fuhgetabout buddhism. Have you been sitting half hour morning and nite like the doctor ordered?

Jinzang said...

There's NOTHING to teach.

There's nothing to teach. But until people can put their minds that are constantly seeking to rest, they need to be taught that.

Jinzang said...

What I wrote above was poorly expressed, so let me try to say it better.

We all are Buddhas from the very beginning. So there's nothing we need to do to make ourselves Buddhas. In particular there is nothing to learn. "What comes through the front gate can't be considered the family heirloom." But we are not satisfied with what we have and are always searching for something more precisely because we don't see that we're Buddhas. We're like a beggar with thousands of dollars sown into the lining of the coat he is waering.

Still there is the problem that though we hear the word "buddha" we haven't understood it. It is because of that lack of understanding that we substitute our mistaken interpretation of who we are for the truth. So from one point of view, how things actually are, there is nothing to do. But from another, how we perceive things, there is something to do. Our confusion needs to be removed. And so there is the practice of meditation, the teacher and his teaching, and all the various ceremonies.

What gets called enlightenment is crossing a border between more and less confusion. We travel through a flat and monotonous landscape, and come to a gate. Going through the gate seems like a big deal at the moment, but after we pass, it's much the same monotonous landscape as before. Hence the gate was no-gate. There was nothing to fence off or protect.

It's lately beome popular is some circles to say that there is nothing to learn or achieve and nothing to practice. All we need to do is let go of our striving. This is only half true, for the reason explained above. And it is easily misunderstood, resulting in a false enlightenment which equates our untrue and confused notion of how things are with the truth that we have not yet seen or understood. For all conceptual notions of reality, even saying reality is beyond concept, are only flapping the lips and tongue.

ratboy said...

Jinzang hits another home run. Although I liked your first post 'nothing to teach' the best. I think the ancients called this false enlightenment you speak of; 'mistaking a thief for your child'.

Suzuki roshi said something like we have to put forth an effort, but we must forget ourselves in that effort. We practice, but don't view it as practice. Nothing special. There's nothing to practice and nothing to attain, but most of us must practice long to attain this non-attainment.

The Neoadvaitans and others think simply labeling delusion as enlightenment is enough. Delusion IS enlightenment, but to grasp this is more than a verbal trick.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"The Neoadvaitans and others think simply labeling delusion as enlightenment is enough. Delusion IS enlightenment, but to grasp this is more than a verbal trick."

what a pile of verbal excrement. It smell like roses though..

Anonymous said...

it is interesting that before you can 'go it your own way' in zen you have to first do it exactly like your teacher likes to do things--and for a long time usually, too.

kinda like in art--you have to prove you can do it the way the 'masters' did it
before you can strike out on your own and strut your own stuff out there.

I don't mind, really the long way round is usually the scenic route.
and it really is good training/good practice

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I'm sorry, I may have posted this before. It's from ...

Cordle couldn't understand why this should be, until one midsummer's day, when he was driving through the northern regions of Spain while stoned out of his mind, the god Thoth-Hermes granted him original enlightenment by murmuring, "Uh, look, I groove with the problem, baby, but dig, we gotta put carrots in or it ain't no stew."

"Carrots?" said Cordle, struggling for illumination.

"I'm talking about those types who get you uptight," Thoth-Hermes explained. "They gotta act that way, baby, on account of they're carrots, and that's how carrots are."

"If they are carrots," Cordle said, feeling his way, "then I—"

"You, of course, are a little pearly-white onion."

"Yes! My God, yes!" Cordle cried, dazzled by the blinding light of satori.

"And, naturally, you and all the other pearly-white onions think that carrots are just bad news, merely some kind of misshapen orangey onion; whereas the carrots look at you and rap about freaky round white carrots, wow! I mean, you're just too much for each other, whereas, in actuality—"

"Yes, go on!" cried Cordle.

"In actuality," Thoth-Hermes declared, "everything's got a place in The Stew!"

"Of course! I see, I see, I see!"

"And that means that everybody who exists is necessary, and you must have long hateful orange carrots if you're also going to have nice pleasant decent white onions, or vice versa, because without all the ingredients, it isn't a Stew, which is to say, life, it becomes, uh, let me see.…"


Rob

the EGO said...

I Am that I AM. Period.

...lucifer's ignorance is huMANity'S ignorance....

... said...

quote unquote

p.s. Mara loves you!

JOURNEY said...

...the wheel in the sky keeps on turning...

Anonymous said...

I think Brad should put his foot down with these pedigree seekers
he should give them all a zen pedometer for measuring calories burned during kinhin
or at least make sure all zazen students of the female persuasion have zen pedicures--so they be stylin' during kinhin
let us all put our best foot forward now

and m o v e on

Anonymous said...

If Brad is the "new generation of leadership" I predict there will not be very many new-generation followers!

Anonymous said...

your 'prediction' seems to be more of an indication of your own preferences

in the long run, no one 'follows' anyone

that doesn't mean there aren't transmitees who don't teach, teachers who don't transmit,
teachers who teach and transmit and fall into scandal, teachers who teach without tabloids 'cause there's nothing to tell

you sir (or madam as the case may be) don't care for the Bradster-san

ok

whomever it is you study with, at some point all of us, in our different sects, our lineages, no matter what language our root teacher spoke, we do say

" may we all realize the Buddha Way together "

Anonymous said...

your 'prediction' seems to be more of an indication of your own preferences

in the long run, no one 'follows' anyone

that doesn't mean there aren't transmitees who don't teach, teachers who don't transmit,
teachers who teach and transmit and fall into scandal, teachers who teach without tabloids 'cause there's nothing to tell

you sir (or madam as the case may be) don't care for the Bradster-san

ok

whomever it is you study with, at some point all of us, in our different sects, our lineages, no matter what language our root teacher spoke, we do say

" may we all realize the Buddha Way together "

Anonymous said...

...unbroken since Buddha himself transmitted to his student Mahakashapa 2500...

dude you said 5 years ago - shouldn't it be 2505 years...

fucking time bandits!

Mysterion said...

the EGO said...
"I Am that I AM. Period."

PLEASE, do not reveal the shallow ignorance you possess of biblical scholarship...

I'll cut to the chase - THAT is a pun.

Mike H said...

Anonymous:

After that initial flower twirling it seems to have gone a bit downhill.

If two people who have flower-twirled need to see a pressed flower to identify each other then one suspects something might be amiss.

We've no indication in this Koan that there was any secret gesture buried in the smiles that were exchanged.

Mysterion said...

Mike...

CBT? Group?

I had to do a practicum 15 years ago and easily decided "Clinical Psychology" was NOT the place to be...

REALLY strange clients. Just one of many was a young woman who inherited great wealth from her father. She had an abusive boy-friend who would NOT move out of HER upscale Condo. (e.g. what was hers was HIS). Police intervention, restraining orders, and eventually prison for him (when he put her in the hospital by beating her to the verge of death) turned out to be her solution - events displayed on the front page of the local newspaper as they played out over six or seven months (not counting the trial). I only met her once, in an early session before things got nasty.

Where IS David Carradine when all some guy just needs a good bloody ass-kicking? Oh, Kung Fu is pink-unicorn mythology and this young woman had to deal with something other than pink-unicorns.

CBT... are you a clinical psychologist?

Jinzang said...

Maybe someone reading this blog works for Google and can get Brad a gig at their School of Personal Growth.

Mysterion said...

I'm not shy.

Ask.

They can say:
1) Yes
2) Give us some time
3) We'll think about it
4) We'll get back to you on this...
5) No.

98 said...

98

Mike H said...

jinzang:

I'm not anything. CBT is something I've personally found useful, that's all.

YMMV

Anonymous said...

Jump down the rabbit hole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGHyqd_MYWk&feature=channel_page

ratboy said...

"On the other hand intricate hierarchies and unquestionable authority are a disease of Japanese society rather than the essence of buddhism"

That is true, zenfant. But so is endlessly bashing other sects and teachers while holding your own up as superior. There's very little of this in chinese buddhism or chan. Japanese buddhism tends to be sectarian and triumphalist. Unfortunately, it seems Brad has absorbed some of this tendency too. One problem seems to be that Dogen himself embraced this sectarianism and it's therefore taboo to question it. It goes back to the authoritarian tendency. Dogen did it, so it must be ok. It's the same reasoning that some fundamentalist christians and muslims use.

Mysterion said...

ratboy said... (in essence)
"endlessly bashing other sects and teachers while holding your own up as superior."

"Japanese buddhism tends to be sectarian and triumphalist."

"Unfortunately, Brad has some of this tendency too."

"Dogen himself embraced this sectarianism..."

Which is EXACTLY why every Buddhist worth their salt should say "Fuck Zen certification and the high horse it rode in on." (as I did back in 1974, as Ikkyu did back in 1409)...

I might not 'label' calling out obviously fraudulent Buddhism (e.g. A. Watts) "bashing." But repeatedly calling out some pop sect DOES wear thin (on some - I honestly don't give a rat's ass).

The point is THIS: Buddhism is what YOU do, Buddhism is NOT what Brad, Gimpo, Watts, Dogen, Suzuki, of Ikkyu did.

If even a few of you learn nothing more than this alone, then my passing through this cycle had value. If not, then passing through this cycle provided me with a modicum of amusement. Either is fine with me.

Ga-sho-nuff
Charyu
Sodé no furi-awasé mo tashô no en

desotofloridaCIRCLE said...

great discussion

Ego said...

Isaiah 14 vs. 12-14: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High".

AAaRA said...

2 Corinthians 4:4

By blinding the minds of men to the true gospel of God, Satan has set himself up as a counterfeit of the Creator God. As the prince of the power of the air, he broadcasts his evil, rebellious attitudes to all humanity, and except for a few whom God has called out of his deceptions, the whole world lives under his sway (Ephesians 2:1-3; I John 5:19; Revelation 12:9).

siddharta vicious said...

therefore, be a light unto yourselves, and question everything!

Sapho Juice said...

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Moon Face Buddha said...

As Saint Bob (Robert Anton Wilson) may have said...

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

Jinzang said...

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

This is a clever quip, but the truth of the matter is that if someone has been practicing for twenty years and you have only been practicing for a few months, you would be well advised to listen to the person with more experience.

Moon Face Buddha said...

It appears you may have missed the meaning of what he actually wrote.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

"This IS a clever quip, but the truth of the matter IS that if someone has been practicing for twenty years and you have only been practicing for a few months, you WOULD be well advised to listen to the person with more experience."
(Use of caps MAY BE my doing)

Jizang, you MAY do well to study 'Bob' A. Wilson's "Maybe Logic".

No "IS". Just "MAYBES".

proulx michel said...

Moon Face Buddha wrote:
An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave.
Interesting. The normal etymological pair, with master ought to be "pupil", not "slave", since master stems from latin "magister", a teacher.
However, the roman magister had a delegation of power from the "paterfamilias", the "dominus", who could even kill his children if he so wished, and this sense of domination came to be felt even in the word for the teacher.
In modern day Italian, however, "maestro" still only has the meaning of "teacher" and never that of a "boss". (The word for that is, surprisingly enough for you anglosaxophones, "padrone", or patron.)
French has both meanings, an ambiguity which is not that surprising in the country of the Great Military Dictatorship, and it's gusto for short statured dwarves perched upon high heels...

Rich said...

"The point is THIS: Buddhism is what YOU do, Buddhism is NOT what Brad, Gimpo, Watts, Dogen, Suzuki, of Ikkyu did."

This is good speech.

"No "IS". Just "MAYBES"."

this may be don't know mind.

"if someone has been practicing for twenty years and you have only been practicing for a few months, you would be well advised to listen to the person with more experience."

Sudden enlightenment

Mysterion said...

EGO, AAaRA:

The 27 books of the New Testament constitute the scriptures of Christianity. Without the Gospels of Matthew, to Mark, to Luke and to John, Christianity is null and void.

Recent discoveries of old Sanskrit manuscripts in Central Asia and Kashmir provide decisive proof that the four Greek Gospels have been translated directly from the Sanskrit - word by word, sentence by sentence. The Christian Gospels are Pirate-copies of the Buddhist Gospels. There is no person, no event, no locality mentioned in the four Christian Gospels not present in the Buddhist Gospels which are far earlier in time to the Christian copies.

HERE

(link 1)
(link 2)
(Link 3)

10 Commandments are from "Egyption Book of Coming Forth By Light" Chapter 125
Deuteronomy is from the Code of Hammurabi
The Noah Flood if from Gilgamesh, Tablet 11

The entire Judeo-Xtian-Islam chain is borrowed, without interest.

Rich said...

'The buddha-nature is right before me.
It was not bequeathed to me by the master,
And I am also without anything that is attained.'

Mumon said...

Yeah, I'm not part of the club, myself.

But neither were a bunch of folks anyway, some of whom were posthumously admitted, sort of.

Like Hakuin.

I've said it before (most recently here): To get a good corrective to this roshi-as-deity-incarnate nonsense you need a good dose of Stuart Lachs, though there's obviously a sanity check corrective:

2 Parts Stuart Lachs to one part Stanley Fish.

No, you can't swallow the whole fish.

Jinzang said...

Jizang, you MAY do well to study 'Bob' A. Wilson's "Maybe Logic".

I haven't read it, but it sounds like he was preceded by Jain logic. Buddha referred to people who argued this way as "eel wrigglers."

Hoo_U_Tinka said...

UPDATE:
Item not yet shipped: Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma

Delivery estimate: February 5, 2009

Best cheerfully:
Hoo U Tinka, U.R.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Who doesn't wriggle their eel?
;)

Sorry for the omission of 'n' In Ji_zang.

Anonymous said...

i think that a pedigree when properly administered in a good thing to keep a teaching somewhat "pure" the problem is if the pedigree is infected with "false" teachings, it mucks up the whole system (for example Christianity being infected with hatred). what i like about Buddhism is that Buddha himself said, "I could be talking shit for all you know so verify it your own damn self and light a match for your own lamp while youre at it".
Im not inspired by Brads writing because he is a 33rd degree masonic zen poobah, im inspired because his shit checks out in the end

Anonymous said...

where the buddhist tires hit the pavement on the middle path is this:
what is practice in everyday life

forget your perfect posture, you're sitting behind the wheel of your car now
you in front of your computer screen at work
you're sitting alright, but you're working

your eyes are open/half-open, you aren't facing the wall boddidharma style,
you're facing clients, customers, heavy machinery

what does this practice look like in practical application of everyday life?

doesn't matter what color your rakusu is now, that and the color of your underwear are unknown to those immediately around you

it's just this moment and you

Justin said...

Maybe there is some use in having official certification, but for me the most important pedigree a Zen teacher can have is the capacity to help others with their suffering.

Rich said...

"what does this practice look like in practical application of everyday life?"

I think the Soto school says that the just sitting mind with practice (sitting) naturally happens in everyday life. The Rinzai school uses koans to remind you of your just working, just driving, just thinking mind.

I think each moment is an opportunity to practice regardless of style. I'm interested to hear more about this.

Jinzang said...

Who doesn't wriggle their eel?

You're forgetting about half of humanity.

Ego/Mara said...

mysterion, i knew i could count on you to square and level away the sense from the nonsense.

good job! ;)

Mysterion said...

Mara:

Gudea of Legash had two sons.

To one, he gave the matters terrestrial "state" (e.g. the crown).

To the other, he gave the matters celestial "the heavens" (e.g. the shaved head). Today we might call that astrology as the ancients thought there were messages in the sky.

From 2150 BCE, 'church' and 'state' were separated.

A BOOK to read, if interested.

fancy wimp said...

That's nice that the other guy has written ". . . 5 [sic] books, and is well respected throughout the world."

But can he play a bass?

Anonymous said...

Bruce's nonsense about Brad not being a Roshi because he didn't pay for some useless ceremonies from Soto Shu, neglected to mention how Genpo seems quite happy to set up as teachers or teachers in training, students that he's slept with such as Shozen McNamara, or people that turn a blind eye to his other unethical atvities and give him lots of money but frankly have no ability to teach whatsoever. At the same time, Genpo, through his frontman Bruce, denounces as not really monks or teachers those who criticise him or have left him precisely because of Genpo's lack of ethics. Interesting how convenient it is for fake teachers such as Genpo to try rewriting history but cling to the letter of non relevant 'rules' when it suits them.

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