Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've Hit the BIG TIME!!!

Oh my God! I made the cover of SCENE magazine in Cleveland. Click here for the on-line version of the story. SCENE is the local NE Ohio free weekly rock'n'roll paper like LA Weekly out here or The Reader in Chicago or The Observer in Dallas or whatever you got in your town. I read every issue when I was a teenager, hating it sometimes but often being surprised how good it could be. The legendary Crocus Behemoth, leader of Pere Ubu, was once a columnist. So that's cool. And they did a story about Dimentia 13 in 1991. Not the cover, though...

Also, Deborah Harper interviewed me for the Psych Journey podcast. Click here
and scroll down a bit to listen for yourself. She was very nice and asked some real good questions.

I did a talk in Ventura yesterday that went very well. Much better than I could have hoped for. My books all sold out! That's the first time that's ever happened. I'm starting to wonder if this new book will actually turn out to be popular...

I hit on something during the talk that I'd never thought of before it popped out of my mouth. This occasionally happens and it's very interesting when it does. My new book is, in part, about a lot of times when I stopped following the Buddhist precepts. And yet I always came back. And the reason was because when I stopped following the precepts things only ever became worse.

A lot of people present the precepts as a way to become holy or "pure." They're seen as ways to be more austere and clean, a straight arrow, like a Fifties guy with a crew-cut and a bow tie, less fun. But lately I've come to believe that what Buddha really wanted was to show us a way to live a life that is as fun as it possibly can be. All the ways society tells us fun is to be had are, in fact, wrong.

I'd never thought of it that way before. I'll probably expand on that theme for my next Suicide Girls piece, which is due up on March 16th.

Also, in other good news, I just received the only review of Zen Wrapped in Karma that really matters. This came in an e-mail from Nishijima Roshi, "By the way, thank you very much for your kindness to send me your valuable book Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate. Reading it I feel very happy that your Buddhist thoughts are almost completely the same as mine fortunately. Therefore utilizing Dogen Sangha International, we can spread the True Buddhism, that is, the Buddhism as Realism, throughout the world. Therefore reading your book I have become very encouraged."

Yay!

162 comments:

Stephanie said...

:)

Rick said...

I've got the book on order. It should arrive Tuesday. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PhilBob-SquareHead said...

"But lately I've come to believe that what Buddha really wanted was to show us a way to live a life that is as fun as it possibly can be. All the ways society tells us fun is to be had are, in fact, wrong."

Fuck Buddha. Why would anyone care what some spoiled prince said 2500 years ago? I'm losing my religion.
Good bye folks.........

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

awfully quiet in the blog-o-sphere today.

what did ya'll go off and do now, hurt each others feelin's?

oh suffering...sufferin....suffer-in.

man.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad
I'm so glad
I'm glad I'm glad I'm glad

me too!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad post is in response to reading Brad's new entry and Nishijima's happniness with Brad and Brad's happiness with Nishijima's happiness
it had noting to do with the other comments here
(I posted first, then read the comments)
sorry

Tony said...

Good stuff Brad.

Your new book's good stuff too - I got it yesterday and am halfway through it

jumbo shrimp said...

Cool.. I'm encouraged too. Don't have a clue why though. Scene mag is pretty cool for the price. I read it every week. I'm not sure about your take on fun though. Fun is very over-rated. I quit looking for fun about twenty years ago.

nondual said...

Yes, Brad, you're in lock-step with your teacher.

Wait, why are we celebrating this?

jamal said...

Nondual, How do you know that is not the perfect nirvana. Whatever Gudo say, Brad just go with it now. He trusts the dude. When you think your teacher is right.. The motherfucker Is right! You can just kick back.

Phil, You crack me up! "I'm losing my religion.." Hehe. Copyright that shit man!

nondual said...

"Yes, we can spread the 'True Buddhism'!"

Kinda scary.

mtto said...

nondual said...
Yes, Brad, you're in lock-step with your teacher.

Wait, why are we celebrating this?


We aren't celebrating, Nishijima is.

I've only taught a little bit (music, not Buddhism) but it was a great feeling the first time I saw my student on stage playing in a band. He understood what I taught him, not just in an academic way, but in a practical way. It sounds like Nishijima feels kind of like that about Brad's book.

re: "True Buddhism", according to Nishijima in Brad's last post, is just Buddhism that one has tested in their daily life. I guess you are free to find that scary...

Anonymous said...

Reading it I feel very happy that your Buddhist thoughts are almost completely the same as mine fortunately

In that case are they really your own and your own experience or are they the echoes of an old man.

Anonymous said...

You're easy to satisfy; a free, weekly rock-and-roll paper in Cleveland is the big time? Geez...

Anonymous said...

Reading it I feel very happy that your Buddhist thoughts are almost completely the same as mine fortunately.

Now we know for sure Nishijima's nuts

Anonymous said...

Yet another sign of retarded adolescence... The domination porn thing, the "punk rock" thing - even though punk has been dead for decades, and now the 15 minutes of fame in a nowhere town thing...

Moon Face Buddha said...

Philbob is on to something...

Oh, life is bigger
It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I've said too much
I set it up

The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around


Fuck Buddha! Fuck REM! I'm in the corner, losing my religion, and finding the dharma.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why so many whiny morons comment here, what's the lure?

Lauren said...

Congrats, Brad.

Now that you're big time...well, now what?

Bradzilla, the atomic punk rock priest lays waste to Los Angeles! CROOONK!

Anonymous said...

anon@6:08 - It's worms. They are the lure.

pupster said...

"Zero Defex Bassist Brad Warner Says Zen Can Stop You From Being A Dick"

BWAHAHAHAHA!

That's the most precious headline I've ever read.

Stephanie said...

I recommend this beverage to many of the people posting here:

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i2/ksp113/FOX%20Sports%20Blog%20Images/Haterade.gif

Stephanie said...

And y'know, it's interesting to me that the people from Treeleaf who post here either openly or anonymously take Brad to task for every last perceived fault in his character or statements, but are so credulous when it comes to Jundo's claims whenever Jundo points his finger at someone else or comes on here and acts like a dick.

Maybe the reason Brad and Nishijima don't want anything to do with the guy is because of his grating personality--his passive-aggressiveness, his need to control and dominate and then act as if his angry / controlling actions are done in the best interest of others.

I'm obviously biased against Jundo but it's precisely because I experienced his crap firsthand. I don't think Brad is a saint but I think he's a million times more honest and realistic than Jundo, who wants to be excused / forgiven for the exact same faults he finds so inexcusable and unforgivable in Brad.

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4104/megaeyeroll6oq.gif

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph!

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i2/ksp113/FOX%20Sports%20Blog%20Images/Haterade.gif

No?

Anonymous said...

"[...]but are so credulous when it comes to Jundo's claims whenever Jundo points his finger at someone else or comes on here and acts like a dick."

And you also pick and choose Brad's comments to fit your views of him and Jundo. So. What's new?

Anonymous said...

Steph, you've got a fixation. Let it go.

Stephanie said...

Certainly, I raise my own glass of Haterade in toast to Jundo.

The difference is, when I became irritated with Brad's writing style and didn't find anything useful in it, I stopped posting here.

I would certainly be sympathetic to detractors and critical of Brad if I saw Brad acting like a dick. I haven't seen any evidence of him doing so lately, however. The best people can come up with these days is... criticizing him for being in agreement with his teacher? While Jundo is praised for trying to turn public opinion against Brad by slandering him and Nishijima both--and on Brad's own blog, no less? It's fair to say that I am biased--I am, and admit it--but the people turning a blind eye to or rationalizing Jundo's shit don't seem able to say the same of themselves, when it is obviously so.

True, I probably shouldn't care so much and will likely run out of my own Haterade supply on this matter eventually. But for now, as long as I see people posting unsupportably biased praise of Jundo and his hijinks here, I'll be happy to continue to represent the other side.

Anonymous said...

Steph, Im afraid that your never ending psychobable is making you the fool of the blog.

Social worker? Get some help for yourself before thinking you can help anybody else.

Anonymous said...

Sorry babe, Haterade and buddhism had nothing in common. Perhaps you should choose. I don't know, but to me you looks like Brad's groupie...

Anonymous said...

"You're easy to satisfy; a free, weekly rock-and-roll paper in Cleveland is the big time? Geez..."

Hasn't anyone here ever heard of sarcasm?

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I don't have a 'side' in this whole thing between the Friends Of Brad and the others who subscribe someone else's views, but I gotta say I do find all the posts from those who ostensibly ought to know better genuinely amusing.

I mean, if one learns anything at all from Zen, one has to know that all the ego-driven back and forth crap is just that--crap. "What" or "Who" are you protecting or promoting? Isn't that the highest form of delusion?

Stephanie said...

Social worker? Get some help for yourself before thinking you can help anybody else.

Ever heard of the archetype of 'the wounded healer'? Many people, if not most, who are in the helping professions are highly troubled themselves. It's what spurs many of us to do what we do, and what keeps us from relating to our clients as if we were superior. It is very possible to help others and oneself even when one is not perfect.

Sorry babe, Haterade and buddhism had nothing in common.

Are you suggesting that I am the only practicing Buddhist here who is currently drinking Haterade? If one cannot be a Buddhist and be angry or dislike someone, then no one posting here--and pretty much no one anywhere--can actually be a Buddhist. So problem solved! No one can actually really be a Buddhist while also being human, so we don't have to argue about it any more. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

I don't know, but to me you looks like Brad's groupie...

LOL!

I'm defending Brad here because so few who post comments to his blog actually do. I am a long-time reader of Brad's who was disillusioned with him for quite some time but have a newfound respect for him thanks to this new book and his choices to address Zen to people who don't quite fit in to the growing expectation of what an American Zen practitioner should look like (e.g. crunchy granola upper class academic who likes to go camping and never gets angry). I would not defend Brad just for the sake of defending him; however, at present, my views and experiences are quite similar to his. Typical you would turn my support for someone whom I respect into fuel for an ad hominem (and a sexist one at that)--that I'm defending Brad because I'm his 'groupie' and not because I happen to agree with the guy. Sheesh.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I agree with a lot of what Stephanie says (and you do say a lot! 8^D). I'm kind of disillusioned with Brad at the moment myself, and still think a lot of the criticism against him is way off the mark. It's just what happens on the internet though -- take any position and someone will roast you for it. I don't mind defending the guy to balance things out a little. But here's some criticism I do consider valid (because it comes from me!).

It's odd. I have a very strong faith in this practice, this teaching, and yet I think Brad is being something of a dick. I've been avoiding sitting with him for a few months now. This is painful because I really love sitting with the people that come to Hill Street.

My opinion is that his and Leilani's relationship has had negative effects on our local sangha, though I like Leilani a lot and am happy they're happy together. But I don't even like the idea of two fellow students dating (pre-existing couples aside). Has anyone ever heard one of these Buddhist teacher/student relationship stories that has a happy ending? All the ones I know end with broken sanghas and people being hurt.

I also think Brad should incorporate DSI as a non-profit because that's what groups of people in our situation do, it's how our society works. Organization is inevitable when dealing with a large group of people, we're social creatures. Even if Brad spends his whole life without formalizing the loose group of people called DSI, it will eventually happen. The only question is whether Nishijima Roshi and Brad will have anything to do with what it looks like. I doubt Dogen ever intended to create the Soto-shu, but it happened. And I'm glad of that, because I think Nishijima's teaching deserves some formal organization to ensure that it's offered to those interested, long after all of us are dead.

Finally, I'm sick of hearing about how he doesn't like groups, and his "fear and loathing" of cults. He's even fired up his laptop to show a video about some whacko who claimed to be the Messiah and the people who believed him. Really, I find it a little insulting. I'm in no danger of becoming a cult member. Cult leader?.... Maybe. Cult member?.... No. 8^D

In his book Brad said that the problems people have with his behavior are in their heads, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. But I think he's forgetting about his own head. And I'm still working out what to do with mine.

Rob

Moon Face Buddha said...

..."to people who don't quite fit in to the growing expectation of what an American Zen practitioner should look like (e.g. crunchy granola upper class academic who likes to go camping and never gets angry)"

Have you considered that this "expectation" is you projecting onto reality? You want to feel like a rebel, an outsider, and so you create a fiction to fight against.

What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.

The buddhist teaching of Right Speech exists for a reason. You can choose to ignore it, keep talking trash, and tout your imperfections as an important part of the path to enlightenment. Or you can take the advice of Gotama and practice Right Speech. Why keep putting your hand in the fire?

"Right speech, explained in negative terms, means avoiding four types of harmful speech: lies (words spoken with the intent of misrepresenting the truth); divisive speech (spoken with the intent of creating rifts between people); harsh speech (spoken with the intent of hurting another person's feelings); and idle chatter (spoken with no purposeful intent at all)."

Does this comment follow the teaching?

Anonymous said...

YES! I can just feel your popularity rubbing off on me too! Oooo... I think it'll rub off more if I read those books you're always talking about! This feels great, i'm so excited! Good luck to my fellow followers!

;)

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

Smoggyrob said:

"Even if Brad spends his whole life without formalizing the loose group of people called DSI, it will eventually happen."

Why do you think so Rob?

I practice with a dharma-heir of Nishijima's in a sangha. I meet people and have a teacher who I trust. He has introduced me, among other things, to Dogen and can clarify his writing for me. My zazen is my own business. What more do I need? What might DSI one day provide me with that I don't currently have?

You say "Organization is inevitable when dealing with a large group of people".

My sangha, like most, is a small group of (real, physically present) people. We manage all the organisation that's needed.
I have no experience of this large group of people you speak of.

At the end of his life, Nishijima seems to feel it necessary to spread the word by somehow embodying his message. He feels DSI is the way to do it.

But I really don't get it.

I'm even more confused because it appears that Brad doesn't get it either, but has agreed to be it's leader.

So - in safe hands, I hope.

Anonymous said...

More from. Jundo's blog. It's the Jewish conspiracy


Re: Why so much anger?

Postby Jundo on Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:29 am
Hi Guys,

Okay, let me try to jump in here.

1- I believe that, over the last couple of years especially, my teacher has exhibited qualities common in some elderly people such as a frequent paranoia about some around him who care for him deeply, selective memory, confusion. This is coupled with an amazingly brilliant mind that still shines at age 90. But the fact of the matter is that half of his "Dharma Heirs", including people who have been with him for decades and who love him, cannot talk to him (by my count, about 15 or more people, although some went their own way for other reasons. Most of the rest of the "Dharma Heirs" are safely on the other side of the world, and just stay out of his way). He is in his "you are in grandma's will/you are cut out of grandma's will" stage. This IS NOT the Nishijima Roshi I have known for years, although he always was a very strong-willed and stubborn guy. I have not even gone into all of what was involved here, but what the hey! Some of it includes the fact that he began to emphasize more and more with me that he thought the "Jews run the world economy", and he was suspicious that they were trying (through me, it became clearer) to take over his legacy, copyrights to his books and such. This belief about the Jews having excessive power over the banks and media is very common in Japan, especially among people of Roshi's generation (it is just a kind of quaint ignorance, usually said in admiration for how "smart and hard working" the "hard working and smart" Japanese think about the Jewish people, so I usually laugh it off.) But this was getting to be excessive, and he really was starting to think that world-Jewry, vie Jew-ndo, had nefarious plans on his books and such. I have been told that it was one of the reasons, in part, that other Jewish Dharma heirs of Roshi have split, including the translator of his books into Hebrew.

I say that as but --one-- example, and not the only example, of changes in Roshi. And I emphasize again, this is NOT HIM as I have known him, just the workings of a 90 year old dried out, oxygen deprived senior brain. The real man I have known for years is not like that.

2- About 2 years ago, Brad Warner broke off all communications with me. I would write again and again to him saying that, even though we disagree, we should be friendly and share a cup of coffee. He refuses, and the last two e-mails I received from him told me, quote, "Go F--k yourself" (he did not put hyphens). Fine and good. Personally, I believe all people, including people who disagree (and especially Buddhists who disagree) should remain friendly and be willing to share tea from time to time. But, it is his choice, not mine.

However, in one of my last clear communications with Nishijima Roshi, about 6 months ago, he told me that "Brad, as the head of Dogen Sangha International, had decided not to communicate with [me] anymore, and that Brad was now the head of DSI and if Brad had made a decision not to talk to me, then [Nishijima] was not going to talk to me." There was a witness to the conversation. I wrote to Brad and asked him to please ask Nishijima Roshi to keep communication open with me, Brad told me to go "F" myself again. I have heard from sources that Brad has, in fact, asked Nishijima Roshi not to talk to me and has pushed for it.

And, Nishijima Roshi, as the loyal "Samurai" and retired emperor, will do as the current emperor (Brad) commands (It is a very Japanese thing that 90 year old Japanese samurai do.). Couple this with his present mental state, and I am unable to talk to my teacher. I do not enjoy that, no.

3- Brad's book comes out, and I think it is a twisted lesson (I thought that the book was a very clever means for him to excuse his lifestyle, and turn it into a profound "Buddhist Lesson", by admitting to some of it ... he hides a lot, and prevaricates quite a bit). He puts me in it (pretty much all of Chapter 14 is about me and another 'Dharma Heir" who was critical of rumors we were hearing about him at the time), and invited me to respond (p. 223). I did. I thought my comments fair and truthful. No other Dharma Heir of Nishiijima has come forward to contradict anything I wrote about this terrible situation.

4- To those who would like this kind of thing swept under the carpet so that they may keep their dreamy image of perfectly tranquil Zen Masters in pristine mountain temples ... I say, GROW UP. Nothing about this should be hidden or need be hidden. Do you want a Sangha Leader who keeps things in the closet? I am sorry if your image is sullied. There is nothing particularly less human about a monastery or Sangha than an office or commuter bus. That is the one message in Brad's book that I applaud him for, and which he is right to say.

If you want a phony guy who tells you he never gets pissed off once or twice a year, go look for him/her. Look real hard. Lots of gurus out there who sell that image and, who knows, a few of them may even be for real.

Zen monks have conflicts, like anyone. A monastery is very tight quarters, people living elbow to elbow. The one thing that Buddhists should do is talk to each other and work out their conflicts, or learn to live with them. That is now impossible in my Sangha, and that lack of ability of folks to be able to sit down and share a cup of tea is one of my major objections.

6- I believe in speaking out when there is something wrong. I may be a bit frustrated, and a little angry, at people, but when did I ever try to teach that Zen Practice means never being a little pissed off sometimes? I just did two talks about this. Check 'em out:

Zazen Meditation with Jundo : Even Buddhas Get the Blues
http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... do-ev.html
Zazen Meditation with Jundo : Still Off My Game
http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... do-ze.html

7- A couple of housekeeping points:

And it seems that one of the side-issues in this whether zazen is sufficient, automatically leading you to behave in such a way that you don't break the precepts, or whether you also need to consciously follow the precepts.



We're were you during the Precepts training? Did I ever say "Zazen is sufficient to allow us always to be sweetness and light"? Did I not say that we try, as we can, to abide by the Precepts? But I also believe that my speaking out as I did was, for me and my Sangha, the right thing, or better, lesser of two evils. Keeping silent had its good points too, but I felt that speaking out was the more honest course.

The real teaching is to see HOW these teachers accept and deal with their human failings . . . so, like the sign says, life is our temple.



Absolutely.

I think what surprises me most is the fact that they're doing this in public, in plain sight of their students and others, rather than sitting down and talking things out (well, sitting down virtually...).



Nobody is more surprised, or regretful, than me that that has been made not an option. I can't get these guys to even take a phone call. So, my option was to talk or keep my mouth shut (and all this under the rug). I understand which way many of you would prefer.

For the quote above (sorry to snip it) Taking the precepts doesn't bind you to anyone Teacher or otherwise. .



That is my interpretation too.

One more thing I learned: that Jundo has edited some forum posts, and has banned at least two people from the forum. Now there may have been reasons for this, but it's especially surprising considering that Jundo made a point of mentioning how he was banned from the esangha forum...



In the two years that this Forum has been here, I have deleted (in my memory) three posts by others. One was an unfunny really dirty joke (I might have kept it if it was funny), and two involved two members getting into a name calling fight here. Stephanie also reminded me that I shortened a couple of her posts when I was trying (I thought it was skillful means) to show her that her mind was running on and on with words. Harry left here (and is always welcome back) because he was picking fights, and verbally abusive to some people. Stephanie was asked to bring a doctor's note (and I recommended she follow his instructions), because I cannot have people around here I think may be a danger to themselves. That is how I felt at the time. She never complied, although I offered to pay myself for the visit.

I will say that my understanding is that one former treeleafer was asked to leave because he was using abusive language toward another. The second person was simply asked to leave temporarily until they sought professional help (many of us thought this person might be suicidal as their posts were almost always about how bleak the universe was). I think Jundo was simply trying to force this person to seek the help they needed, and to avoid enabling a downward spiral. Hindsight says this person was not suicidal, but at the time it seemed like the lesser evil would be to use tough-love rather than read about their suicide.



Yes, that is my recollection.

I think that covers everything.

If you guys don't know who I am yet, or that I'm just flesh and blood ... well, I do not chase people into this place, and I do not run after them when they go.

I always say, the only Golden Buddhas and Perfect Zen Teachers are the dead ones ... cause they dropped all their bad habits out of the old Buddhist story books.

Any questions? I am happy to answer.

Gassho, Jundo

PKB said...

",re: "True Buddhism", according to Nishijima in Brad's last post, is just Buddhism that one has tested in their daily life. I guess you are free to find that scary..."

That is what they say. I don't think it's what they mean. In my daily life I have tested Brad's contention that 'there is no zen without rituals and ceremony' and found it is not true. ( I was head of devotions at my local zen group for years).

I've found that his assertion that 'attachment is not a key buddhist concept' to be false by observing my own mind and life.
I've seen that attachment (not always the objects of attachment) brings suffering exactly as the buddha stated.

Having practiced shikantaza and worked with koans (under a teacher) I've found his ideas about koans to be false. Having experimented with various zazen positions, I've found Brad to be mistaken about many of his dogmatic assertions. Having met people from other buddhist sects and other religions I find that Brad's idea that only his brand of zen is best to be absurd. I could go on for many paragraphs.

By Nishijima /Brad's own criteria I practice True Buddhism, since I have tested this extensively in my own daily life and practice. Yet they declare that you must follow their narrow ideas as to what real zen is and isn't or you're not practising real buddhism. This is a contradiction.

No, what they are actually teaching is a narrow-minded dogmatism, a form of buddhism every bit as fundamentalist and authority-based as those they despise at E Sangha. I find dogmatic sectarianism, distortions, countless straw-man arguments and simple ignorance about some of the basics of buddhism and zen.

If True Buddhism is just what you have tested and found true in your own life and practice, there is no need for an authority / teacher to constantly point out 'this is real zen' and 'this is not real zen' or to continue to make blanket, dogmatic statements about what zen is or isn't.

Anonymous said...


Re: Why so much anger?

Postby Jundo on Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:27 am

Eika wrote:The anti-semitic thing is a bit of a surprise, but I don't know much about the sub-narratives of Japanese culture.

Thanks for your openness. Gassho,
Bill



Look, my own grandmother, who died at age 94, was convinced in the end that my mother was trying to poison her breakfast coffee every morning. I am pretty sure that was not the case. My mother, in the last stages of breast cancer, had a series of strokes and was living a new imagined story every day, many of which involved being kidnapped and held for ransom by pirates. I am pretty sure that did not happen either.

Sad as it is, I have been through this before. Nishijima is not anywhere near as bad as other older folks who get like that, but I am pretty sure that is what is going on with him too. I do not attribute his words and thoughts to the man I have known and loved for years. Okay?

Frankly, there have been many recent cases of elderly Zen teachers getting a little confused in their old age. Soen Nakagawa basically locked himself in a room for several years, crying and wetting himself, and his students would slip meals in to him. Old Zen masters are no different from old anybody. His students have now written a very honest book about that. (No, Nishijima is no where near that stage either, and I hope he never is).

We all get old. Hope you guys are as patient with me 40 years from now.

Gassho, Jundo

Ps- Yes, the whole thing is very unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

And a Witness to the crime


Re: Why so much anger?

Postby Taigu on Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:49 am
Hi everybody,

I met Jundo for the very first time last summer for the rakusu videos. Although we sometimes did disagree in the past I made the decision to come and help him with this jukai because I really believed he is genuine and sincere. We instantly got on like a house of fire.

Being myself in the midst of this terrible Dogen sagha non-family as a dharma heir of a teacher that disowned me, Mike Cross, a roshi that doean't want to see me,Nishijima (I must be a kind of bastard, son of a non-Buddhist, Mike in his own words) and knowing a lot about the dirty laundry and various issues of many teachers over there, all I can say, is that Jundo is telling the truth. I witnessed a conversation between Nishijima and him, even spoke to roshi,and had a look at Brad's emails...Jundo is telling the truth and he has every right to try to make things clear. Most of Nishijima's Dharma heirs do know about Nishijima issues and expressed concern in private many times, I was also there and did communicate with them.

Brad Warner has made terrible mistakes which he wants to be perceived as virtues.His arrogance and hubris are phenomenal and his understanding, sometimes brilliant, can also be very shallow and twisted. He represents in my eyes a tendency of Western Zen these days to promote a teenage-like vision, sooooooooo coooooooool, who wants to make a big revolution, have a god go at everything and sparkle a good amount of bad language on dharma discourses. When I read those blogs, with all the fights, the swearing, the cool attitude and disruptive behaviour, I am right back in the English London schools where I tried to teach French to a lost generation a few years ago (who did not do and didn't want to do anything to get out of where they were). Am I conservative? No I am not. I just believe in kindness, in the possibility to disagree without turning wild and provocative.

The amount of racism found in some teachers is really a cause for concern, Nishijima is openly against Jews, so is Mike Cross calling Jundo names or adding other forms of racism to his repertoire, disliking French for instance...Sad but true.

I was telling Jundo recently that I can see two styles of Zen practice, one that turns people into tigers, mighty, abusive, arrogant... the other on that turns people into cats. Having met many Zen teachers in my short life, I noticed that they could either be mild and very gentle, or go in the opposite direction. Both are great teaching styles. It depends what you are shopping for and how much abuse you are preapred to take. For me now, it is zero tolerance. No more abusive teachers, thank you. That is why I walk alone, seing life as it is and the numerous human beings I meet and work with as my teachers. I believe Jundo belongs to the second one. But a cat has paws and sometimes uses them. Your disappointment is an ideal picture being trashed. The collapse of your own illusion as some of you pointed out so clearly.

So...let's go back to the cushion. And we can still respect Nishijima, Mike, Brad and the likes, but it does not mean we have to allow them to throw their tandrums and be abusive to us or others. May I remind everybody that in a bullying situation that takes place in a school between two kids, there is a bully who needs help and a victim who also create the bullying and needs to learn to handle things in a different way, learn to say no or that's enough or seek for the help of somebody in charge. Well, Jundo has done exactly what was necessary to openly say stop. In itself, it is a great teaching and takes a lot of courage.

Gassho

Taigu

Anonymous said...


Re: Why so much anger?

Postby Jundo on Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:12 am
Me again,

I will tell you, with a couple of days to look back at this, where I think I was really wrong.

I started off with a strong, but fair critique of Brad's book (being a character in the book and all).'

I let it gradually get to be about Nishijima Roshi and his personal problems, especially as I do not think he is responsible for that. On that, I should have respected the man's dignity and not made him the issue. I should not be talking about his health issues and foibles.

Gassho and Mia Culpa, J

nondual said...

Smoggyrob:

I found your post to be incredibly fair-minded.

Steph:

You're holding a grudge. I love you, but you're holding a grudge and I don't think you're seeing things clearly here.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord. Save us blog space and just post the Tree Leaf links. The forum is open to anyone to read. You don't have to cut and past ALL the friggin' thread from another forum!!!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie must be the kind of social worker that tells her prinson inmates that it's fine to shank the other gang members....as long he recognizes it, let's the anger out, and reads Brad's articles in SG.

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

Thank you to all various the people getting the disputes amongst Nishijima's heirs out in the open. It is very sad that this is happening, but I'm glad that it's happening in public rather than behind closed doors. This way, everyone can learn from it.

grisom said...

Uh, "all the various people", I mean...

Stephanie said...

I agree with a lot of what Stephanie says (and you do say a lot! 8^D)

Guilty as charged :D

Sometimes this happens... I go a while without writing that much and then feel inspired to write lots and lots... not that my postings to HCZ blog have been that 'inspired' on average. I truly am tiring of flailing on this same dead horse and am ready to drop it. I've said my piece, and stand by it, but I don't need to continue tilting at these same ol' windmills, because people are gonna think what they're gonna think.

Anyway, I agree with nondual that your comment is a fair and thoughtful one, smoggyrob. I'm curious in what way you find Brad to be acting like a dick about his relationship with Leilani? Certainly, most relationships built on a power imbalance are unstable and don't last, and often end poorly, but hopefully however things play out between Brad and Leilani, it won't have to rip the Hill Street sangha apart.

MFB: To whatever extent I see myself as an 'outsider,' it is not because I want to be one. The extent to which I have found myself at odds with those around me is not a choice I have made for it to be so. I've embraced my fate and life and try my best to celebrate it but if I could choose to be accepted more by others, I certainly would. So I try to turn this around and practice acceptance of others as much as possible. Of course, where I run into problems is how I deal with people who have an easier time passing as normal and who mock and shun those who do not, who use that 'pack mentality' to set upon or ostracize the sick, vulnerable, crazy, and weak. Maybe someday I will be more accepting of such people as well.

nondual: Sure. And part of why I keep holding onto it is because few others seem to be holding Jundo accountable for his own bad behavior and hypocrisy. IMO, I'm no more guilty of bias in my attitude toward Jundo than you. Perhaps if more people were willing to hold Jundo up for criticism my own position about the guy would be less extreme. But, again, I already am tiring of this and believe this will all catch up with him eventually without any need for my help in the process.

PKB: I share many of your criticisms of Brad, which is why I've been encouraged by this recent book--some of the dogmatism and idealism about sticking to particular forms seems to be fading. Maybe I'm wrong, but either way, the fact that Brad and Nishijima are so sold on the value of full lotus, for example, doesn't bother me, even though I disagree. I'm encouraged by Brad, for all of his failings and weaknesses, because I think he presents a way of integrating the essentials of Zen practice into the idiosyncracies and contingencies of modern life. The biggest thing I take away from his books is not how one should sit in a certain position or hold to a certain dogmatic belief, but rather the value of seeing nothing lacking in everyday life or in any number of messy conditions.

Anon @ 3:35PM: I lol'd. In all seriousness, though, taking a moralistic approach and telling people what they should and should not do is effective neither as a form of therapy nor as a form of social control. The Motivational Interviewing approach, which has been empirically validated as effective with substance abusing and criminal justice populations, emphasizes a nonjudgmental approach. You simply examine the reasons a client has to continue a certain behavior and the reasons not to continue, and help them work through the ambivalence they feel toward changing their own behavior. The approach is based on the understanding that people only sustain change when they are motivated to change for their own reasons, without external pressures forcing them to do so.

The very problem with many people who are repeat criminal offenders is that they lack the inner equipment to regulate their own behavior without external enforcers; it's almost as if jail is a refuge for them, because outside of jail they do not have anyone or anything outside of them keeping them 'in line.' So the solution--and it is a slow, fraught process that may not always be fully realized--is to help them develop the ability to reflect on, direct, and regulate their own behavior. This cannot happen as long as one lectures or moralizes.

that's it said...

This IS NOT the Nishijima Roshi I have known for years, although he always was a very strong-willed and stubborn guy. I have not even gone into all of what was involved here, but what the hey! Some of it includes the fact that he began to emphasize more and more with me that he thought the "Jews run the world economy", and he was suspicious that they were trying (through me, it became clearer) to take over his legacy, copyrights to his books and such. This belief about the Jews having excessive power over the banks and media is very common in Japan, especially among people of Roshi's generation (it is just a kind of quaint ignorance, usually said in admiration for how "smart and hard working" the "hard working and smart" Japanese think about the Jewish people, so I usually laugh it off.) But this was getting to be excessive, and he really was starting to think that world-Jewry, vie Jew-ndo, had nefarious plans on his books and such. I have been told that it was one of the reasons, in part, that other Jewish Dharma heirs of Roshi have split, including the translator of his books into Hebrew.

this place is sick

Anonymous said...

knowing a lot about the dirty laundry and various issues of many teachers over there, all I can say, is that Jundo is telling the truth. I witnessed a conversation between Nishijima and him, even spoke to roshi,and had a look at Brad's emails...Jundo is telling the truth and he has every right to try to make things clear. Most of Nishijima's Dharma heirs do know about Nishijima issues and expressed concern in private many times, I was also there and did communicate with them.

Steph, your retort? Attack the witness?

Anonymous said...

"In all seriousness, though, taking a moralistic approach and telling people what they should and should not do is effective neither as a form of therapy nor as a form of social control."

"No. No. Don't worry. The Man says shanking is wrong. But that's a moral position. When you shank.....just shank."

Anonymous said...

Well here we go.. It has come down to this.. Jundo pulling the Jew card. Taigu the French Toadie, bending with the wind.

But, when I think about it all, Warner is a German name..

KIDDING!

Stephanie said...

Anon @ 4:35 PM:

I have no doubt that Brad and Nishijima are not all good and that Jundo is not all bad. It does sound like there are some sketchy goings-on that implicate all involved as less-than-perfect individuals.

Anon @ 4:50PM: I know you're being facetious, but the point is that we no more tell them 'that's wrong' than we tell them 'that's right.' Not because we may not have personal beliefs about right and wrong, but because we are interested in doing effective work. What we focus on is helping them connect their choices and actions to the outcomes of those actions. Almost invariably, the perceived benefits of a criminal act are far outweighed by the negative consequences, both in terms of legal and personal / emotional outcomes. If someone has a problem with violently aggressing toward others, the point is to help them reflect on the beliefs, thoughts, and motivations behind the act and to help them question them. If a violent individual can develop the capacity to stop and reflect before acting, violent incidents usually decrease.

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

I can confirm what someone said about anti-jewish racism being common amongst japanese men of nishijima's age. Yasutani roshi was also a right wing racist as well as many others. This shouldn't surprise us, this generation of japanese were allies of fascist germany. I have no idea if nishijima holds such views, but it wouldn't be unusual.

Palin Republican said...

Jewish Conspiracy???

another FRAUD ???

kudra said...

How quick you are Stephanie to jump to the defense of a man who so clearly lacks any sense of integrity. (in the "olden" days being declared to be a person of integrity was considered the highest form of a compliment). Have you not carefully read his last book? Instead of nattering on and on about meaningless non-sense why don't notch up the conversation a bit and talk about issues like "not so subtle sexism" and the blatant disrespect of women in literature; like the kind your Mr. Wonderful just puked up all over everybody in his latest book. For christ sake girl. Pick up an issue with some redeeming value and run with that. go ahead now, try and defend him.

Stephanie said...

kudra--

I seriously do not recall finding anything in Brad's most recent book that I found to be sexist. Would you care to enlighten me as to what sexism in it I should be railing against?

BTW: For all allegations to the contrary, I don't see Brad as a pure and clean "Mr. Wonderful." I just respect him and what he's trying to do, warts and all. And what 'warts' I do see seem to be different than those others see. So it goes.

Rumsfeld said...

However, "He who lives on hope, dies farting." source

Mysterion, are you like one of those Iraq dead-ender Bush supporters who still love the guy to the end? Stll looking for the WMD?

salvador dali parton said...

mutual admiration societies are not punk rock.

sorry.

these folks think that they are the true buddhists
as well.

www.tbsn.org

i wish all you fuckers would sort this out.

barry

nondual said...

I know I've said this, but can't we just give Brad a 'pass' on dating a student? In what I've seen, Brad doesn't run his scene as a 'guru'. Both times I went to his place in Santa Monica, there was a 'hangin' out with Brad' session afterwards wherein he was just a music geek. Or an art geek. He wasn't the 'teacher' outside the Zendo. I realize my experience is limited here, but I just didn't get that feeling about Brad in person. Not only that, but you really can't choose who you fall for (or at least I never could...).

Anonymous said...

pere ubu roolz

Anonymous said...

nice name-drop...

definitely not michael gira... said...

swans - slash - angels of light are also great

Anonymous said...

I know I've said this, but can't we just give Brad a 'pass' on dating a student? In what I've seen, Brad doesn't run his scene as a 'guru'. Both times I went to his place in Santa Monica, there was a 'hangin' out with Brad' session afterwards wherein he was just a music geek. Or an art geek. He wasn't the 'teacher' outside the Zendo. I realize my experience is limited here, but I just didn't get that feeling about Brad in person. Not only that, but you really can't choose who you fall for (or at least I never could...).


With all due respect, that's a stupid thing to say. Brad may want to not be the teacher outside the zendo, but that's not the way the students see him. There's rules in colleges about teacher-student relationships for a reason; any intelligent teacher of something like zen would know to uphold the same rules just because things can get very, very cofusing otherwise. He may think he's just a music geek when he's "hanging out", but I'm sure that's not the way all the others see him.

nondual said...

"With all due respect, that's a stupid thing to say. Brad may want to not be the teacher outside the zendo, but that's not the way the students see him. There's rules in colleges about teacher-student relationships for a reason; any intelligent teacher of something like zen would know to uphold the same rules just because things can get very, very cofusing otherwise. He may think he's just a music geek when he's "hanging out", but I'm sure that's not the way all the others see him."

Brad's not entirely responsible for how his students see him and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with a teacher/student relationship. A teacher/student relationship does not guarantee impropriety. It does not have to be predatory or improper in any way, and unless it is, then we should butt the fuck out of this one. A sangha is not a college in many important ways. I shouldn't really have to point them out to you.

Brad's and Jundo's (and Nishijima's) role in the schism in the greater Dogen sangha are much more problematic. IMHO.

Moon Face Buddha said...

Anyone who does not understand the teacher/student dynamic should not be teaching.

Any schmuck can set up a sangha. Any schmuck can come and join a sangha. Any schmuck can claim to be too punk rock for the precepts. Any schmuck can hand over their power to a zen master. And any schmuck can post a comment here.

nondual said...

"Anyone who does not understand the teacher/student dynamic should not be teaching."

Well, that cuts out Trungpa, Maezumi, and I've heard rumors of Suzuki. These are Foundational teachers in the West, regardless of apparently not understanding the teacher/student dynamic.

I repeat my insistence that Brad's more important breaches have more to do with contradicting demonstrably useful and accurate Buddhist teachings on topics that he either plays down or dismisses as 'unimportant to True Buddhism'.

I don't care who Brad fucks as long as he/she's not married, underage, or non-consenting, and I don't know why anyone else should care either. Personally, I think some people who have already made up their minds about Brad are using it as ammunition. To me, it sounds much worse than it probably is, and I won't believe anyone is actually being harmed by it until I see some sort of evidence of such harm. Until then, it's just gossip and a clear breach of Right Speech, one of the guiding principles of Buddhism that people are attacking Brad for breaching.

Brad needs to be criticized, in my opinion - but not on his love-life.

Moon Face Buddha said...

Have you ever read of a western buddhist teacher/student story that has a happy ending? I'm sure there are some, but I can't think of one right now.

And as Brad has been vocal in his dislike of buddhist cults, it would be remiss of the peanut gallery not to flag up the early warning signs. Fucking your students is a classic first step on the road to 'guru' cult leader :)

This has happened in the UK as well as the US.

http://nicklbc.wordpress.com/

http://www.fwbo-files.com/

I have attended some FWBO classes and events locally, but whilst the 'ordained' people and lay members are very nice people they are also a group which I choose to keep at arms length. There is something about groups and groupies that makes my third eye tingle :)

“Senior Buddhists (non-FWBO) have been worried about the FWBO for many years … they had feared … and believe that (the FWBO’s) interpretation of Buddhism can be used to licence sexual and psychological abuse.”

and

“The process of abuse in the FWBO was facilitated by familiarising adherents with a thought process, purportedly Buddhist, (though not locatable in any of the orthodox Buddhist traditions), which gradually leads adherents to break away from extant social mores and subsequently conform to behavioural patterns peculiar to the FWBO.”

Sound familiar?

Just to be clear, I do not know Brad and so I am NOT saying he is a running a cult. I am pointing out some reasons why people are uncomfortable with the whole teacher/student relationship being blurred.

Anonymous said...

Points for nondual.

Me, I'm just happy to hear the Brad & student case works/worked out. The book left the story kind of inconclusive.

Anonymous said...

Jundo, the Ned Flanders of the Buddhist world. The thing about Jundo, is that he isn't interested in seeking the truth, whatever that may be. He isn't interested in uncovering the reality at the heart of this moment. He is interested in building a large sangha, pursuading people to follow him, becoming renownded for his ridiculous on line sitting. He wants to be a Zen Master. He has no sense of sincere enquiry, he just wants to be famous and wise, but he doesn't get it, and he doesn't realise that he doesn't get it. Wanting fame and power leads to nowhere, other than to stupidity and unhappiness.

Gasshokely dokely.

Anonymous said...

"Wanting fame and power leads to nowhere, other than to stupidity and unhappiness."

Hence the title of this blog post?

FWIW, I hand out with Treeleaf, not having any sangha near where I live, and Jundo has never seemed to be interested in fame or power. After all, what kind of fame or power can you have with an on-line sangha? At least there's no worry about him porking his students...

Anonymous said...

Anon @4:51,

Replace 'Ned Flanders' with 'John Lydon', 'Jundo' with 'Brad' and 'on line sitting' with 'books' and you've got the other side of the dispute.

Both sides have reason to be angry and both sides have reason to be sorry. The only difference that I can see is that Jundo has been extending an olive branch and Brad has been extending his middle finger.

james said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nondual said...

MFB:
"Just to be clear, I do not know Brad and so I am NOT saying he is a running a cult. I am pointing out some reasons why people are uncomfortable with the whole teacher/student relationship being blurred."

So....let's ignore the reality of the situation in favor of the appearance? Unless there's truly unethical behavior here, people will need to just deal with their discomfort.

Anonymous Coward @ 0451:

"Jundo, the Ned Flanders of the Buddhist world. The thing about Jundo, is that he isn't interested in seeking the truth, whatever that may be. He isn't interested in uncovering the reality at the heart of this moment. He is interested in building a large sangha, pursuading people to follow him, becoming renownded for his ridiculous on line sitting."

You can't possibly think you know what Jundo's motivation is, can you?

Say what you want about my criticism of Brad, but I don't recall attacking his motivation. You know why? Because I can't know his motivation. Honestly, I think his motivation is probably sincere and his unconsciousness gets in his way. He's exactly like all of us in this regard. The only thing that makes our flaws fatal is an inability to listen to criticism.

So unless my secret paranoia is true (that everyone else is telepathic except for me and everyone's keeping it a secret from me), can we NOT presume to know what one another's motivation is.

He wants to be a Zen Master. He has no sense of sincere enquiry, he just wants to be famous and wise, but he doesn't get it, and he doesn't realise that he doesn't get it. Wanting fame and power leads to nowhere, other than to stupidity and unhappiness."

Jundo's got ONE online Sangha/forum. Brad's got two blogs, three books, and a few appearances on national television - and you're accusing Jundo of craving fame?

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

andro said...

Nodual, You should have quit while you were ahead. Your early posts came off as thoughtful. Now you are starting to show symptoms of HCZ blog sickness. The only known cure. Total abstinence.

Anonymous said...

It's rather disgusting how easily people throw around expressions like "fucking his students" and "groupies". As if this woman in question was a mindless follower and wanna-be without any volition of her own.

A sign of cultivated Buddhist compassion for sure. "Hey, let's degrade this girl's love life in public as well!". Never mind the potential effects of it...

Maybe Brad's not reading this, but other people might be. Such *malicious* venom some people are spitting forth. Maybe you should focus on yellow press?

Anonymous said...

Well maybe it's just the kind of Buddhist compassion that people develop following Brad, with his language, attitude and abnormal way of dealing with the world...

jamal said...

Brad put up with all the shit on this blog because it sell a few more books. Never mind that it put out more pollution than a greyhound bus.

proulx michel said...

Eric Rommeluère, a French Dharma brother of Brad, wrote this recently:

At a given moment, Luc (I change his first name) tells me his interrogations : he practices meditation under the direction of a rather known Dharma teacher and feels some sort of a discrepancy : between what he says and what he does. Geez ! In a few words, his remark plunged directly to the heart of the master/disciple relationship and the presuppositions of said relationship. By discretion, probably, he says no more. I couldn't therefore give him an advice but invite him to reflect upon it. If the person were a crook or a scam artist, all would be quite easiern but I don't think it is. His interrogation rises a double problem, that of his own expectations and that of the specific attitude of the teacher. Obviously, we tend to idealise the master, we hope a lot from him, we can even expect him to be perfect in everything. But perfection is only a view of the mind. The master remains a human being, which by necessity includes imperfections. If you believe today in the absolute perfection of the master, you invite future grave disappointments. The question is therefore not « Is he perfect ? » but more « How does he live his imperfections ? » One ought to feel his aspiration and his sincerity. I f said aspiration and sincerity flow incessantly beyond himself, if he opens everyday to his imperfections through that aspiration and that sincerity, then yes, he sure deserves to be followed as perfectly as possible

May I add that, although I'd rather that Brad did not have that relationship, I notice that he is divorced or in the process of being so, that the girl is a consenting adult, and that, therefore, everything else is pretty much a matter of fantasizing over it.

My general opinion is that Anglo-saxons are much too easily disturbed by sex.

jamal said...

"My general opinion is that Anglo-saxons are much too easily disturbed by sex."

Right on!

Anonymous said...

It is common in zen for a student to have 3 teachers in their lifetime. Brad has studied under 2. I know Brad has received dharma transmission, but if I could offer Sensei Brad some honest and heartfelt advice, I would suggest that he try to find another zen teacher to complete his training. A pilgramage to china to study chan or to korea to study son would be probably be best.
gassho
Nomiso

proulx michel said...

jamal said...

"My general opinion is that Anglo-saxons are much too easily disturbed by sex."

Right on!

If I wanted to be nasty, I'd add: "All those nations which insist upon snipping their boys foreskins in early childhood"...

Anonymous said...

"If I wanted to be nasty, I'd add: "All those nations which insist upon snipping their boys foreskins in early childhood"..."

Or better yet, all those nations that insist in mutilating women's genitals.

Jinzang said...

have tested Brad's contention ... and found it is not true
I've found that his assertion ... to be false
I've found his ideas ... to be false.


Maybe it's not a matter of true and false, but rather a matter of difference of opinion? You've got yours and Brad and Gudo have theirs? And if Gudo calls it True Buddhism (tm), what's it to you? Buddhists have been calling their own sect the best or truest way for a long time. I would think a long time Zen student would show more equanimity when challenged.

I thought this blog existed so we could discuss differences of opinion like yours peaceably, calmly presenting the reasons why you hold them. Apparently people would rather hurl insults and accusations. That's pretty sad.

PKB said...

"what's it to you? Buddhists have been calling their own sect the best or truest way for a long time. I would think a long time Zen student would show more equanimity when challenged."

Jinzang, I was merely pointing out the contradiction. If I had only read that Brad & Nishijima teach that True Buddhism is something we each must prove or discover in our own lives I would have wholeheartedly agreed and believed that we shared this pov. But reading Brad's (and Nishijima roshi's) other comments I know this is far from their pov.

Please do not fall into the common internet trap of assuming someone's mindset based upon reading a few words. I say things like 'strongly disagree', etc. I do not call Brad or anyone dickheads, asswipes, frauds and such. And I thought I had presented my reasons for disagreement on many of these points already.

If long zen practice always produced equanimity, we would not be having this discussion about this soap-opera involving Jundo, Brad and Nishijima. I freely admit that my disagreements with their pov are differences of opinion. I do not believe my views to be identical with some idea of True Zen or Real Buddhism that all must share. Your comment strikes me as similar to fundamentalist christians who object to secularist intolerance of their own intolerance. I am happy to discuss any of these points with you or anyone at anytime, but I have little regard for an approach that simply states 'facts' as a matter of dogmatic assertion.

Anonymous said...

Um...didn't anybody notice Nishijima said "almost completely the same as mine." Nishijima doesn't seem to be too concerned about the differences that do exist. Maybe they aren't so dogmatic after all.

Anonymous said...

fundamentalist.

exactly. the "true buddhism" stuff
reminds me a great deal, in tone,
to the true christian blabber i heard
while growing up in a southern baptist
deathcult.


i appreciate the aspect
of brad's paring down of practice

but it comes across
as "my way or the hiway."

scary stuff. i predict that
dogen sanga will become
more and more insular.

barry

Anonymous said...

barry, dogma sangha international maybe?

Anonymous said...

"Good Lord. Save us blog space and just post the Tree Leaf links. The forum is open to anyone to read. You don't have to cut and past ALL the friggin' thread from another forum!!!"

I second that. If I wanted to read all the Treeleaf shit I'd go over there!

Anonymous said...

Dogen Sangha In-da-Hood?

Anonymous said...

PKB said (re Dogen Sangha, Brad/ Nishijima):

"I do not believe my views to be identical with some idea of True Zen or Real Buddhism that all must share."

I've never heard, or read anyone of Nishijima's lineage say that "all must share" - just the opposite: 'here's what we think; take it or leave it'.

And Barry said:

"but it comes across
as "my way or the hiway.""

Maybe...and you're at perfect liberty to take the highway.

That, imo, is very different from "fundamentalism".

The Waves said...

We have three choices if we are to see reality clearly:

Let us use the analogy of water:

Materialism and science most often call us carbon-based life forms, but in all simplicity it is much more commonly understood that we are water-based life forms.

Water has three seemingly distinct natural states of energy on this planet. Crystal(Ice), Liquid, and Vapor.

In actuality water frequently exists simultaneously as a combination of all three forms.

Our “logic” tells us that water can only exist in one state or another not both or three at the same time! But go and observe some water for yourself and you will see this simultaneity to be true. Where does, for instance, the liquid end and the vapor begin? Only in our minds.

Such is the true state of our mental and physical awareness. Freezing, melting, evaporating, boiling, condensing, sublimating, expanding and contracting.

The illusion that most of us choose to live within is one in which we do not accept and allow our minds and bodies to be in simultaneous flux. We try to convince ourselves we exist in only one discrete state.

Back to our three choices:

1)To live withdrawn from both physical and mental sensuality. Desire is unnaturally suppressed.

2)To live withdrawn from either physical or mental sensuality, but not both. Desire is unnaturally suppressed.

3)To live withdrawn from both physical and mental sensuality. Desire is naturally allowed to pass.

The first two of these choices like being in at distinct state:
either crystal, liquid, or vapor. This awareness is stuck in the illusion of a discrete reality.

The third choice is free of division and simultaneously aware of all levels of existence. It is to be in constant flux. It is to be water. It is to be what has always been.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble (see what I did there) but your water analogy doesn't hold up. Solid, liquid and gas are discrete states of matter. The point at which liquid becomes gas can be determined quite easily.

The Waves said...

You remind me of plantings flowers in a rock.

Rich said...

Hey Wavy, is that story part of your religion or did you make it up?
Did you ever see a tree growing from a rock?

OsamaVanHalen said...

Is it possible that Nishijima Roshi gave Mr. Cohen the name "JEWndo" because he's anti-Semitic?
Don't be ridiculous.

The Waves said...

Well Rich, I would have to say it is based off of a shoddy zazen practice and time spent reading/ reflecting.

Ok,ok you got me. I was inspired by the section titled "A Quest For Awakening" at
access to insight.orgy and an appreciative interest in thermodynamics.

A tree growing from a rock? My good friends got one on her coffee table. IKEA baby. Ugh. That place makes me dizzy. Consumer overload!

oi said...

the "punk rock" thing - even though punk has been dead for decades,

punks not dead. no 20th century sub culture is.

Jinzang said...

I do not believe my views to be identical with some idea of True Zen or Real Buddhism that all must share.

But you said ...

In my daily life I have tested Brad's contention that 'there is no zen without rituals and ceremony' and found it is not true.

And more statements like it. Sounds to me that you've got your own ideas about what's true Buddhism.

Which is fine. Differences of opinion can be discussed if we approach each other with respect and not as frauds to be unmasked. You're correct that you never called Brad names and I commend you for it. Certainly you're far from the worst here.

But still, "I have found it not to be true" leaves little room for discussion. Perhaps if you expanded on the reasons why you feel this way. Or if you read Brad's remarks a little more charitably you might find some sense in which they are true, perhaps historically.

Maybe it's more a matter of tone than anything else. But tone is important. Like you had to get in a dig by comparing me to fundamentalists at the end of your reply. I don't mind that terribly, but what was the point of it?

All I'm saying is that this has become a very strident, bitter place lately. Not your fault, obviously. But you had an opportunity to make things better or worse and I think you missed it.

Anonymous said...

If Nishijima's point on his blog today about Zazen naturally balancing the ANS is true, how come Brad seems so out of balance sometimes in his book and Nishijima crazy and racist? Serious question, I am not just being funny.

Jinzang said...

Solid, liquid and gas are discrete states of matter.

I think the point is all three phases of water exist simultaneously, their proportions differing according to the temperature and pressure, Water is pretty miraculous stuff. We just don't see that because it is so common.

Jinzang said...

How come Brad seems so out of balance sometimes in his book and Nishijima crazy and racist? Serious question, I am not just being funny.

You can only judge how balanced someone is by hanging out with them for a while. Not just my opinion, but also said in the sutras. Which is why I withhold judgement on Brad, Nishijima, and Jundo. I'm not trying to be cute or coy. Those of us who haven't met them have no way of knowing.

gniz said...

Jinzang, I asked this question before....about all the angry and hateful posts in this blog. You mentioned the age demographic. But let's not forget, a lot of the folks writing on this blog claim to be fairly ardent practitioners of Zen. Shouldn't it rise to a slightly higher standard than a mixed martial arts forum like Sherdog.net? I'd say on average, the mixed martial arts forum has more intelligent, sane and composed disagreements with only the occasional flame throwing. Whereas on this blog its just flames all day long. Is there a reason beyond age demographic?

Sincerely

Aaron

Harry said...

Hi, Aaron.

If there's one thing that world history emphatically proves it is this:

Religion is much more deadly than mixed martial arts.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

I would write again and again to him saying that, even though we disagree, we should be friendly and share a cup of coffee.

Complete Bullshit.. Need I remind everyone of:

I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you. I will speak out (you can fool others but you can't fool me ... you embarrassment to yourself, our teacher, all of us associated with this). It's not "edgeplay, man ... it's a 12 year old who giggles at the graffiti he drew on a bathroom wall. I will do what I can upon my return to Japan next month to stop the September Retreat at Tokei-in.

You are free to to turn your hanging out in nudie bars, getting "lap dance" from strippers into a profound "teaching" (there are fools born every minute who will buy it too. I think you are just a clown). But you are free to do it, and I am free to take the action I think is right.

You are a joke, and it is not a dirty one.

Gassho

Jundo

Anonymous said...

Gniz,

While waiting for Jinzang's reply, might I put forward a possible explanation?

I suggest: People.

I suggest you need look no further to account for the mystery.

But I suspect you may already have an answer to you're own question, which will satisfy you far more than anything the angry, hateful posters here could come up with.

Perhaps I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7.37pm:

"Need I remind everyone of...[old angry Jundo mail]"

The answer is no. In fact, I'd go so far as to say you shouldn't.

i'llpickanameoneofthesedays said...

A few irrelevant thoughts:

1. "What happens when [Brad stops] following the precepts..." = "nana korobi, ya oki"...it's all about getting back up again.

2. At least flaming can be funny--better than sitting around like a bunch of Anglicans squelching their farts.

3. What's up with Jundo's "grandma" comments? My grandma lived to be 99 and was razor-sharp, right to the end. Grandpa on the other hand looked and sounded like "Shrek" and made a lot less sense.

4. Speaking of Jundo, I've been confusing him with Gempo for the longest time--my bad. Not that it matters, as I will probably never meet any of these people.

5. Mysterion rocks my world!

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

Since there is without a doubt but One Mind from which all the forms and also the Great Void are created, there is no fundamental difference among these Paths of Meditation.

I'm pretty sure this 'one mind' idea has been thoroughly, and famously, trounced.

gniz said...

Anon,

You said "While waiting for Jinzang's reply, might I put forward a possible explanation?

I suggest: People.

I suggest you need look no further to account for the mystery."

Anon, that actually doesn't quite answer my question, which relates to the fact that a site like Sherdog.net which is full of young, testosterone fueled fight fans seems to have more civil conversation than a blog of practicing Buddhists.

If it's just "people", then every place would be exactly the same. But in fact we do find differences in how people behave from one place or forum to the next. And of all places, one would expect that a blog which caters to Zen practitioners would have a higher standard of behavior rather than a lower standard. Because the participants in this blog mainly are comprised of people that do zazen or meditate, why is it that the comments and atmosphere here are more angry and hateful than some of the most acrimonious places on the web?

Aaron

Anonymous said...

My general opinion is that Anglo-saxons are much too easily disturbed by sex."

Mr. Proulx

You think that that sexual relationships between a religious teacher and student is not ripe for abuse very easily? You do not think there is very often a power dynamic that can upset a Sangha when the teacher is sleeping with members?

Smoggyrob who is a member of Brad's Sangha posted

My opinion is that his and Leilani's relationship has had negative effects on our local sangha,

Justin said...

And of all places, one would expect that a blog which caters to Zen practitioners would have a higher standard of behavior rather than a lower standard. Because the participants in this blog mainly are comprised of people that do zazen or meditate, why is it that the comments and atmosphere here are more angry and hateful than some of the most acrimonious places on the web?

Five reasons come to mind:

1. The demographic of people who find Brad's work appealing, interesting, and/or objectionable
2. The culture/standard of appropriate behaviour established by the example that Brad sets
3. Most people who come here have not been praticing very long in the great scheme of things. Any effects of zazen on behaviour have been minimal
4. Perhaps zazen alone has no effect on people's conduct
5. People can post here anonymously

Compare this place with Zen Forum International. There's a big difference.

This doesn't mean that the debates that go on here have no value of course. I think they do, especially recently.

The Particles said...

Where does, for instance, the liquid end and the vapor begin? Only in our bongs.

Anonymous said...

Justin, can you please provide some hard data for point 1 and 3.

Point 5 is (as always) meaningless because an internet ID can be 'faked'. I can create a new blogger ID at the drop of a hat.

proulx michel said...

An Onymus wrote

Mr. Proulx

You think that that sexual relationships between a religious teacher and student is not ripe for abuse very easily? You do not think there is very often a power dynamic that can upset a Sangha when the teacher is sleeping with members?


I do think it is delicate matter. But, if you admit that a teacher be married and his wife will take part in the sittings, then, once teh marriage is split, especially when it is the wife who leaves, then you cannot be too harsh because the teacher has a new girl friend.
The problem of abuse would be if the teacher deliberately used his status to seduce the girl, but still, this is a matter which is personal to the teacher.

A serial seducer would be quickly identified. But if you jump on the first thing to say that there is abuse, you are jumping into that politically correct for which the USA are infamous, where a mere gesture of friendliness will be taken as "harassment".

It is not easy to draw a line between correct and incorrect behaviours, but any attempt to draw that line once and for all is generally counter productive, just like Prohibition did nothing to put an end to alcoholism.

There is a matter of true compassion at stake, here, I think.

Rich said...

"A tree growing from a rock? My good friends got one on her coffee table."

Hey Wavy, thanks for the Therevadan link, I've been putting them off for a long time, maybe this will get me over the top.

I know I've seen this tree growing from a rock with no dirt at all but can't remember where or when.

Anonymous said...

Gniz, respondinding to my reply @ 7.40pm said:

"Anon, that actually doesn't quite answer my question, which relates to the fact that a site like Sherdog.net which is full of young, testosterone fueled fight fans seems to have more civil conversation than a blog of practicing Buddhists."

Fair enough, Aaron. I'll qualify my slightly facetious reply, "people", with "all sorts of...". For by no means all the people who contribute to this blog are "angry and hateful". Many are thoughtful and reflective.

The fact that this blog has its fair share of mischievous, excitable types may attest to Brad's non-reverential approach to Buddhism and refusal to moderate this site. I don't think that's a bad thing.

So, as well as flaming, and sometimes irresponsible, knee-jerking there's a lot of sincere truth-seeking going on here - evidence of the very different types of people attracted to and, perhaps, practicing Buddhism of one sort or another.

FWIW, what's found here, infuriating as it sometimes can be, is more my kind of (honest)"right speech" than the often hypocritical namaste/gassho-ing found generally on the Buddhist interweb.

(anon @ 7.40pm)

Rich said...

gniz said
"Sherdog.net which is full of young, testosterone fueled fight fans seems to have more civil conversation than a blog of practicing Buddhists."

As a former brown belt in tae kwan do, I always had the utmost respect for my opponents because I knew that no matter how good or right I was, one kick or punch could humble me. This attitude spread to my other relationships. Maybe some Buddhists need a good smack sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Rich:

Prodigy Remix - "Smack my Buddhist up" Original

Perhaps also

Makyo Prodigy - Funky Shit

and of course

Awakening Prodigy - Voodoo People

Anonymous said...

I forgot:

Zazen: Prodigy - breathe

These Techno-Punks know their stuff!

Anonymous said...

And Buddhist Teacher - Prodigy - Fire starter twisted Fire-Starter.

mick said...

gniz, While you sound very reasonable today, you're being a bit coy here. YOU wrote the book on angry and hateful posts on this blog. Just last week you were in vintage gniz form going off on Jundo. You might try being a little more HONEST with yourself on the question. You really don't need to ask around. This is what zazen is for.

Rich said...

Prodigy Remix - "Smack my Buddhist up" Original

That's the pace I work up to after my morning zazen.

mick said...

"why is it that the comments and atmosphere here are more angry and hateful than some of the most acrimonious places on the web?"

It might be like this.. People starting zazen are possibly confronting themselves for the first time. Rather than making them more like whatever their idea of a zen buddhist was, it might slowly reveal to them who they are in reality. Which if they had any expectations of a quick zen fix, might be a little frustrating. It might make them a bit angry. The anger could be directed at their neighbors, at Brad, or at themselves.

Anonymous said...

I am still waiting for the Noah Levine vs Brad Zen Wrassling Match.

Justin said...

Justin, can you please provide some hard data for point 1 and 3.

I mad some suggestions as to possible explanations and you want 'hard data' (knowing that I couldn't possibly have any). No, don't be silly. I didn't state these as facts, I made some suggestions based on my experiences here over a long period of time.

Point 5 is (as always) meaningless because an internet ID can be 'faked'. I can create a new blogger ID at the drop of a hat.

Maybe so, but on forums that use names peope develop relationships and reputations. You can see it going on here where someone like Jundo, Stephanie or myself may be called to account for something they posted previously - even months previously. Anonymous posting is more like the dynamic of living in a big city with a transient population - people in this situation don't develop trust or relationships or a reputation. They are immune to being 'shamed' by their own actions.

Anonymous said...

"1. The demographic of people who find Brad's work appealing, interesting, and/or objectionable
[...]
3. Most people who come here have not been praticing very long in the great scheme of things."


On 1, he & publisher have marketed the books to the X and Y geners in the same vein as Noah Levine. Punkers. Rockers. 80's children. Tattooed Buddhist miscreats ;), Etc. You only have to look and compare Brad's appeal to let's say Joko Beck or Thich Nhat Hanh. It shouldn't surprise anyone.

On 3, anecdoctally, based on other forum (even Tree Leaf where there are good number of blokes who have read Brad)postings, most of what I have read tends to be blokes who either had started and gave up and have returned or folks who took the challenge as newbies to Zen based on Brad's two first books.

Anonymous said...

Justin said, re the Anonymi:

"They are immune to being 'shamed' by their own actions".

True.

Do you mind?

For some of us, blogging, while we can't resist it, lacks something very important that's only found in RL.

I mistrust the (virtual) "trust/reputation" you speak of, and the need of some bloggers to cultivate it. So, on balance, I choose to remain anon.

Anonymous said...

Justin,

2nd thoughts -

Maybe I'm immune to being shamed by my own actions - by you. Doesn't mean I'm not shamed by my own actions.


Anon @ 9.12

Harry said...

Has anyone done 'New Romantic Zen' yet?

"Oh, Vienna...!"

Regards,

H.

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

@ Harry
I think I still have an Adam Ant style pirate shirt in the back of the closet. LOL.

Moon Face Buddha said...

"You only have to look and compare Brad's appeal to let's say Joko Beck or Thich Nhat Hanh. It shouldn't surprise anyone."

Oh, silly me. I was born in the 70's and yet I have read and enjoyed books by Noah Levine, Joko Beck and TNH.

mtto said...

Smoggy Rob wrote:My opinion is that his and Leilani's relationship has had negative effects on our local sangha, and others who aren't local are writing about it... so I will throw in my two cents.

I disagree strongly. I think the problems (if any) are the result of idealistic views by some (maybe only one person) on #1 zen teachers and #2 romantic relationships. Mostly #2. It saddens me to write this in a public forum, but since Rob brought it up, I am.

I've witnessed some interactions that Rob has not. Yes, I am being vague.

I love all the people involved and it is my idealistic dream that everyone would cut the crap and come sit with me again.

Brad and Leilani are adults. Brad is not using magic zen master powers to keep her under his mystical sway. Leilani is not corrupting Brad, the holy teacher. Leilani is a more serious zen student than any of the rest of us local folks. In fact, she spends a good bit of her time at a monastery, far away, which should make her relationship with Brad even less of a big deal. It is just none of anyone's business except theirs. I think her experience at the monastery, which translates to her knowing the chants and rituals better than the rest of us, causes jealousy. I obviously can't prove this and I hope I'm wrong.

Also, the "no couples/partners" attitude spreads in unconscious ways. My wife has felt unwelcome at our after zazen lunches. I think this may be part of the idealistic relationship views I mentioned earlier. Admittedly, it also has to do with her own personal issues.

Rob, I know you want to support the spread of Buddhism. It is something we share.

If two Buddhists can't date or get married, it doesn't bode well for the spread of a lay sangha. A sangha is just a community. There is no reason for people in the sangha not to date each other. Committed, "romantic" relationships are just a specialized category of friendship. Yes, all of those relationships will end: breakup, divorce, death... impermanence. We will lose everyone we love, we will get old, we will die.

At the start of my rant I wrote "problems, if any". Tensions in the Buddhist sangha go back to the time of the Buddha. I think these tensions are part of what makes sangha important. Without them we do not grow out of our comfort zone. So, as long as we are willing to sit with these tensions and learn from them, no problem.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, silly me. I was born in the 70's and yet I have read and enjoyed books by Noah Levine, Joko Beck and TNH."

No. You are not silly. Just an ass. Anywho. If Joko Beck and Brad are being marketed the same way, then it's in another country. Here. In the US. The marketing dept. is marketing to the X and Y gen'er Brad as a misfit Zen.

mtto said...

As far as DSI incorporating, organizing or whatever, that is not a discussion that has ended. It is a discussion that continues. But the practice has got to be the main thing. A non-profit would exist to support the practice, not the other way around.

Saturday mornings aren't so mobbed that a massive organization is needed. If 50 sincere people started showing up every week, more organization would be needed immediately, like it or not. I hope that happens, but the only way to make it happen is to show up and sit. Brad has books and websites. Saturday mornings are not a secret. Everyone is welcome. We even had a Tibetan monk a few weeks back who looked JUST like the Dalai Lama!

Rob, if you want to discuss this further, you know where to find me on Saturday morning. Unless my gig with the shpil at the unity project is so crazy that I sleep through zen class.

mtto said...

This is how "Hardcore Zen" is marketed. Tangible proof, not my opinion.

Rich said...

Mtto, thanks for clearing that up. It's exactly as I thought. When I go to a zen center my only expectation is having a place to sit.

Anonymous said...

...and the cover and name of the book has not been changed. That's part of the marketing. So they put it here or there. In the end, it's not just your particular nook, it's how the book gets marketed, etc nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Oh my.

So Brad throws gobs at Gempo and all the lil' Brads get all nirvanish.

Folks point out the foibles of Brad and the lil' Brads get all worked up.

If you throw a gob at the wind, you'll get it back. Live w/ it.

Anonymous said...

I realize why I like Brad... even he is at times full of him self righteous, loud, egocentric,a bully, contradicting: He is real.
I take him any time over any Zaffu-Rider who lost him/herself in rituals and trying to become a Ueber-Human. At the end that's what we all are...humans.

Anonymous said...

I realize why I like Brad... even he is at times full of him self righteous, loud, egocentric,a bully, contradicting: He is real.

Why....you just described this guy that Brad loves:

http://www.youtube.com/user/govinda107

proulx michel said...

mtto wrote:

Also, the "no couples/partners" attitude spreads in unconscious ways. My wife has felt unwelcome at our after zazen lunches. I think this may be part of the idealistic relationship views I mentioned earlier. Admittedly, it also has to do with her own personal issues.

It has to do with the "club" mentality. Outsiders are felt as such, and they resent it.

jamal said...

"It has to do with the "club" mentality. Outsiders are felt as such, and they resent it."

Yeah Michel, It's like being in prison or in the military. Outsiders almost need a translator to unerstand what's being said.

Anonymous said...

So many very wonderful comments here, excellent discussions
One is the widely held perception of anonymi posters as blog thugs, but there are many of us who are 'responsiblely' anonymous, who do consider carefully the thought proffered to the participants here. In fact anonymous posters if they do post something they later regret would have to live with that shame--and it's not a lesson that takes too long to learn: all it takes is once--you can not retract what has been posted, 'comment deleted by author' is not available as a later option.
The option for Mr/Ms Anonymous is to not 'publish your comment' and as a result there are quite a few I write and do not send
This exercise is instructive: letting thoughts arise and letting them go
I recommend doing the same with the thoughts that arise when thinking about posted thoughts
My view is that all these thoughts are from 'one big brain' as it were. I don't want the 'personality' of 'my posts' to elicit reaction to 'me' I would rather in a more 'pure' (for lack of better word ) have comments directed to the point being offered and not to the 'me' making it. It's a way for me to have less ego involvement with my posts.
It is true some folks seem to get into a 'tourette's syndrome' mode, well that stuff is part of this 'one big brain's mental functioning as well
We should thank such posters for letting us see the difference in letting some thoughts go and recording others.

Even anonymous posters must live with themselves

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the tourette's posters.

Anonymous said...

Fuck off.

Anonymous said...

mtto
You only observed what you observed things were said which you did not witness there are flawed communications between the parties concerned and one chose to withdraw completely for the preservation of harmony in the sangha until things found their way to work out.
Leilani is not the most serious zen student at HSC going to live in a monastery is going to a monastery it is something but it is not proof of a darn thing
Give her 10, 20 years of practice
Just like anyone else in this practice

mtto said...

Leilani is not the most serious zen student at HSC going to live in a monastery is going to a monastery it is something but it is not proof of a darn thing

This comment only proves my point. Competitive attitudes about a practice that is inherently non-competitive. We stare at the wall and walk in circles! But perhaps "serious" was a poor choice of words. Whatever you call it, her practice has resulted in her knowing the chants and rituals because she lives in a place where they do them all the time. To be clear, there are no senior students and no officially titled roles at Saturday morning zazen. There is just showing up and not showing up. Either is fine.



What do you get at the end of a lifetime of zen practice?
......
You die!


Of course I did not witness all of the interactions. I'm not claiming omnipotence. But you are right, I did observe what I observed, one day while setting up the alter, shaking from the angry vibes and strange tones of voice poring out of the kitchen. Ms not-so-anonymous-to-me, you do not need to justify yourself to me or anyone else. Do your thing. Part of me wanted to reply to your previous posts on this subject and I decided not to. I only posted in response to Rob, and even now I wonder if I should have left it alone. I miss you.

-John

P.S. I'm done with this topic as far as this blog is concerned. If you have something to say to me, I will not answer here.

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

And the most serious zen student award goes to...

Anonymous said...

"As Baby Boomers from the "little" Suzuki era face their mortality (in larger numbers more recently) we are lighting sandlewood to Brad's success - the Buddhist equivalent to tipping a glass of scotch, neat."

How punk....

Anonymous said...

mmmmmmm, Dalmore....

Koudelka said...

Good lord, there is some serious drama up in this bitch.

Cynthia Choi said...

Scene magazine having an article on Zen? whoa. Buddhism is truly becoming mainstream if it's hit Cleveland. Strangely, other high school friends have also become buddhists.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to shut the fuck up. Brad's gonna live his life regardless of
anything good or bad anyone says. He'll do what's right---or not! Everyone just needs to worry about themself and whether they do what's right in their life, and not waste so much time typing b/s.
Gassho...