Friday, March 06, 2009

BODHI TREE, DHARMA PUNX and BIG QUESTIONS

The Dharma Punx thing in Santa Monica on Monday was fun. I'm guessing between 0 and 3 of the 70+ folks who saw my talk there will show up at Hill Street Center tomorrow at 10am (see details on the link over to your left). We shall see...

I keep forgetting to mention my talk/book signing at Bodhi Tree Books in Los Angeles at 7pm March 12th. The address is: 8585 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90026. It's free and open to the public.

Also, I'll be at the Dharma Punx place in Hollywood (they got more than Starbucks I tell ya!) leading zazen and talking on Sunday March 15th at 11am. See the post below for the link and other details.

Ventura College was loads of fun last night. Thanks to all who attended! The conversation kept drifting into Big Questions of Life, The Universe and Everything. That's understandable as it was the college's philosophy club after all. The problem with Ultimate Answers is that every last one of them, no matter who it comes from, is sheer speculation. Zen training seeks to get students out of the area of speculation and back to reality. So we don't really address those questions.

I'm a bad Zen teacher, though (as I know many people will vouch for). See, sometimes if you know a teacher very well, on rare occasions that teacher, when she is alone with you and no one else is looking, will indulge in such speculations. This is a very private thing. I've even had teachers openly deny the things they speculated on with me in private when I've brought them up in public. I, on the other hand, often speculate a bit too much in public. I need to stop that. Anyway, I doubt anyone takes me very seriously so it's probably OK. Just remember if you hear me speculating about those kinds of big questions I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground.

And neither does anyone else.

33 comments:

Buddhist geek said...

"And neither does anyone else."

Thats still further speculation.

Mysterion said...

My ass IS a hole in the ground.

Chance said...

Watch out for the rocks.

Anonymous said...

speculation, speculum, sputum

it all has to do with where it is aimed

Jinzang said...

Here's a database of Buddhist comic book characters. It's a pretty sad crew, except for Bulletproof Monk. Wolverine gets tagged as a sometimes Buddhist, probably of the Sam Harris / Stephen Batchelor variety IMO. THe Shadow and Mandrake the Magician learned their magical arts in Tibet. It seems that in the minds of comic book authors Tibetan Buddhism and sorcery are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

my book will be called "nerdless zen". sorry jinzang, mysterion, trekkies and such

Floating_Abu said...

Why would you assume that the limitations within your area are shared by everyone? Seems like quite a speculation indeed.

_/\_

Really? said...

Floating Abu said:

"Why would you assume that the limitations within your area are shared by everyone? Seems like quite a speculation indeed."

What are you talking about????

I mean: to what issue is your point addressed? I'll take a guess that it's this: "Just remember if you hear me speculating about those kinds of big questions I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground.

And neither does anyone else."

Did you read the whole post? Are you aware of anyone who knows the 'answers' to the big questions - of life the universe and everything? I assume Brad means Qs like 'why are we here?' 'how did we get here?' and 'where are we going'?

I wouldn't have bothered with your comment, Floater, but having read some of your work on another blog, I somehow couldn't let it go.

In future, please include references, and sources, if appropriate.


Love and peace,
Gassho,
All the best,
Yours sincerely,

Really?

Stephanie said...

Looks like the Zinns really like Louis CK... if only Jimbo knew what this guy's typical material was like!

Suck A Bag of Dicks

Saddest Handjob in America

Rough Sex

Anonymous said...

"Looks like the Zinns really like Louis CK... if only Jimbo knew what this guy's typical material was like!"

Steff to Earth! Steff to Earth! Put down the meth pipe.....and tell us what the hell you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

DO keep up 8.09am!

The comedian Louis CK was mentioned in the comments to Brad's previous post.

"Jimbo", unless I'm much mistaken, is a reference to Stephanie's erstwhile confidant, 'Jundo' James Cohen, the soto zen priest who, suggests Steph, might be outraged by the comedian Louis CK's foul language and (arguably) shameless precept-non-observing material.

To "Zinn", according to the Urban Dictionary:
"To Zinn Ones Self, known to happen to guys who are not socialized and have females rub on them through their jeans, only to make them cum in their pants." OR

"Emily Zinn" -
A sexy, beautiful, smart girl
that gets some when she wants some
and DGAF's it all the time." OR


Perhaps Steph, employing a humorous stylistic device that she recently featured on this blog, is referring to those who practice Zen Buddhism - using a Joycean pun to simultaneously suggest and include those (all?) of us who are prone to sexual indulgence.

Steph?

Anonymous said...

Correction:

It was Brad himself who included a clip of Louis CK in his previous post.

Please accept my apologies if you've been misled.

Rich said...

Those CK's were funny. Jimbo, where have you gone? Gudo's been pretty active and clear lately. he doesn't sound senile or on meds to me.

Anonymous said...

Re: Steph, Jimbo and the zinns.

Jundo has also posted a link to Louis CK's "Everything is amazing, no one is happy" clip on his Treeleaf site (fair enough). That, presumably is the impetus to Steph's post.

Stephanie said...

All y'all are correct.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1457

Except I've never heard of this strange "Zinn" sexual practice before--lol! It does seem to work rather well as a metaphor for us Zen practitioners, though ;)

Anonymous said...

Rich said:

"Gudo's been pretty active and clear lately. he doesn't sound senile or on meds to me."

But you, Rich, like me, don't know Gudo Wafu Nishijima. Some who do know him very well, and have done so for a long time - not only James Cohen - say that he's not the same man at 90 as he was when he was 20-30 years younger. And they say that some of the recent changes have made relations with him difficult, even unpleasant. You like him and find his teaching useful. Great. So have I. But that has nothing to do with the real problems that people we don't know have with other people we don't know.

Shall we keep our noses out of what's not our business?

Anonymous said...

"Jimbo", unless I'm much mistaken, is a reference to Stephanie's erstwhile confidant, 'Jundo' James Cohen,

Ah. Well. Then say so. Less meth. More truth.

Rich said...

"Shall we keep our noses out of what's not our business?"

The important point is that right now Gudo's written communications are clear and helpful. There is no evidence to support the recent negative comments about his mental state.

Jinzang said...

my book will be called "nerdless zen".

Nerds have buddha nature too.

Anonymous said...

any thoughts

http://seedmagazine.com/news/2006/10/on_my_mind_vs_ramachandran.php

Anonymous said...

"The important point is that right now Gudo's written communications are clear and helpful."

That's what's important to you, Rich.

"There is no evidence to support the recent negative comments about his mental state."

Not that you've encountered, Rich. No one is suggesting he's crazy.

I don't understand why you feel it necessary to defend Gudo. He can look after himself.

Anonymous said...

Louis CK is not a Zen teacher. Louis CK has not publicly accepted the responsibility of being a bodhisattva. He is funny. Jundo is no prude. I'm sure he thinks a lot of shit is funny. Brad, however, is no comedian. HE IS A ZEN TEACHER. THE LEADER OF DOGEN SANGHA. When he calls someone an asshole or tells them to fuck off it is not funny--there is a difference. It might even be entertaining in a perverse sort of way, but it is not funny.

Stefffffany needs to LET IT GO. Jundo hurt ums feelings . . . but let it go, for her sake and his.

It's all a bit "Allison Reynolds," both in tone and maturity.

Floating_Abu said...

Nerds have buddha nature too.

Have? :)

Stephanie said...

Stefffffany

lol!!!

And I had to look up "Allison Reynolds"--The Breakfast Club? Yer killin me! I flick my dandruff flakes at you! :P

Anonymous said...

Rich said

The important point is that right now Gudo's written communications are clear and helpful.

you mean like this from Gudo's blog

At that time reading Master Dogen's interpretation, I have had much doubt whether it is inevitable for us, if we want to understand the meaning of Buddhism, is it actually necessary for us to utilize four kinds different philosophies to use, or not? Such a kind of doubt has occured in my mind so strongly.

But after having read Shobogenzo so many times, I have gradually begun to understand the necessity for us to think about all philosophical problems on the basis of The Four Noble Truth, or the Theories of The Four Philosophies, if we want to consider any kind of philosophical problem on the basis of Realism.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"you mean like this from Gudo's blog;"

[slight edit for cognitive westernization]

At that time - reading Master Dogen's interpretation - I had much doubt whether this is inevitable for us:

"If we want to understand the meaning of Buddhism, is it actually necessary for us to utilize four kinds different philosophies, or not?"

This strong doubt occurred in my mind.

But after having read Shobogenzo so many times, I gradually began to understand the necessity for us to think about all philosophical problems on the basis of The Four Noble Truths, or the Theory of The Four Philosophies, if we want to consider the Realism of any philosophical problem.

BTW, Anonymous Anonymous, how is YOUR classical Japanese? Fluent?

Mysterion said...

correction:

"If we want to understand the meaning of Buddhism, is it actually necessary for us to utilize (the four kinds of) different philosophies, or not?"

idealism, materialism, realism, action

or

idealism, realism, pragmatism, & existentialism (non action)

Rich said...

"I don't understand why you feel it necessary to defend Gudo. He can look after himself."

On many points, Gudo's thinking and mine are the same, so maybe I'm defending my self.

"you mean like this from Gudo's blog"

Yes, exactly. Once I was able to understand the 4NT's and the connection to the the 4 Philosophys, I felt I had a foundation of understanding of Buddha and a very real emotion of gratitude. I would reccommend reading "To Meet the Real dragon" when Gudo explained it all with the help of a translator.

Anonymous said...

Respect your teacher.

Who cares if he´s 90 or if he´s out of his mind? It´s your teacher after all. If you´re 90 you´re not the same person you were in your 50s or 20s, of course not.

If you don´t care about precepts, don´t call yourself a Buddhist.

Anonymous said...

Respect your teacher.

I'm confused. Why can't we discuss Nishijima's age and mental state in the open and not still respect him? That's real. I do not see anybody making fun of him, just talking about some problems.

Harry said...

Rich said:

"On many points, Gudo's thinking and mine are the same, so maybe I'm defending my self."

I think this is a very good point.

A lot of 'Internet Buddhism' seems to be about people advancing and defending aspects of themselves, which, to me, seems to stand in considerable contrast to the gist of the essential Buddhist practice (the real 'standard' of Buddhism as Master Dogen styled it...)

Oh, I'm as guilty as the next twat of course, but I thought it was a good observation is all.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

What shit. Fuck you. You suck zazen.

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