Monday, March 30, 2009

HAD A BALL IN BALTIMORE, NOW ON TO KNOXVILLE


I had a great time last night in Baltimore visiting my friend Laura Rachel, tattoo artiste extraordinaire. Laura and I shared the scuzziest house in all of Akron about a zillion years ago. Then a couple years back Laura flew all the way to Japan to attend one of the retreats I led at Tokei-in temple (guess which one in the photo is Laura). That was a big surprise. She liked my first book and got into zazen because of it.

Back when I shared a house with her I didn't really talk about my practice. I asked her last night if she was even aware of it in those days, and she said she wasn't. Even now I'm a little reluctant to talk about Zen unless someone specifically asks about it and seems sincerely interested. There's no sense in trying to convert anyone. It's too hard. You have to really want to do it.

And speaking of people who want to do zazen, what an audience I had at the Traditional Chinese Cultural Institute in Washington, DC (actually Potomac, MD)! I was primed to expect a bunch of middle-aged Chinese people who wanted to hear about the Chinese origins of Zen. Instead most of the audience was young punk rocker-ish types who wanted to hear about the finer points of zen practice! The kinds of questions they were asking were things I rarely get asked outside of Zen centers. Amazing. Plus they all dragged themselves out of bed to show up at ten in the morning! Thanks!

So far the tour has been going great, but I am really, really tired. Talking takes a lot out of you. The woman who organized my talk in DC told me it's because talking takes a lot of chi energy. I'm inclined to believe that's true. It takes a lot of something! That's for sure! Plus all the dragging around of big boxes of books.

If you want a review of one of my talks on the tour, take a look at Stone Darth's Live Journal page. Yes it's true. I told all those Zen nerds at San Francisco Zen Center that I hate zen. I do. Sometimes. It's important not to love it too much, I think. If you love it too much you have a tendency to get a bit too idealistic and dreamy with it. Hating zen is no impediment to practice. It's what drives me sometimes.

I got two days off. Well, not quite two anymore. I'll be with my sister and my niece Skylar. I wonder if she'll put me on her YouTube show again. Sock Monkey is traveling with me. I know he'd like to be on the show.

My brother-in-law (my sister's husband) is doing up some T-shirts for me. So I'll have those on some of the later dates on the tour (see full info about upcoming dates to your left). Buy them so I can buy gas and eat!

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

#1
Haha

Anonymous said...

"I told all those Zen nerds at San Francisco Zen Center that I hate zen. "

Glad to see someone else hates zen too.
Fuck it.

outcastspice said...

i want a tshirt too!! but you're not coming to canada :( i hope they'll be available for sale online!!

Mark said...

I also would really like a shirt but alas you are not coming to Canada!

Eric said...

I'm in Knoxville, TN. When and where are you going to be here?

Anonymous said...

I can see it now "Brad's World Tour T-shirt". It's totally black with nothing written on it.

buddhist geek said...

"I told all those Zen nerds at San Francisco Zen Center that I hate zen. "

Why do you need to have an opinion on zen anyway. I personally, think that you are making stupid remarks because it makes you PUNK ROCK and RADICAL, DUDE.

Fuck me, you posers make me sick.

Brad, you are as punk rock and Radical?!1 as this guy;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qan6fG_Z70I

Anonymous said...

Well, Buddhist geek, I don't know that it was a 'silly' remark - I see the point Bradley is making. You don't like the way he makes it. Ok.

I also can see why folks expect to Brad to have an opinion on "Zen". I think you do too, really ;-)

I was more concerned that Brad referred to 'nerds' - a little insulting. But not a big deal. I wasn't there, and such people do exist. Still, I'm over it now.

Anon @ 3.16pm said...

...and I just had a look at the site your name links to, "Deviant Art". It not very deviant, is it? Most of the pictures look very nice; if rather derivative and dull to my eye. Don't take it personally, though,I'm no art critic.

When it comes to style - whether of painting or Buddhist blogging - it's nice to know there's something for everybody :-)

Jinzang said...

I hate zen. I do. ... Hating zen is no impediment to practice. It's what drives me sometimes.

I don't understand this AT ALL. Why would you do something you hate?

I see the point Bradley is making.

Take a stab at explaining it to me.

Anon @ 3.16pm said...

Ok, Jinz,
Re: hating zen, Brad said:

"I do. Sometimes. It's important not to love it too much, I think. If you love it too much you have a tendency to get a bit too idealistic and dreamy with it. Hating zen is no impediment to practice. It's what drives me sometimes."

To me, this is not so different to what Shinryu Suzuki said:

"Zen is not something to get excited about...Do not be too interested in zen, When young people get excited about zen, they often...go to some mountain or forest in order to sit, That kind of interest is not true interest...Our unexciting way of practice may appear very negative. This is not so."

That's just the first example I found in Zen mind, beginner's mind - there's more like it throughout the book.

Anonymous said...

zen isn't easy...he does it anyway...that's hardcore.

Anon @ 3.16pm said...

And I guess being driven to do something you hate is realizing the value of making yourself do something you don't feel like doing. That's when you might learn something new about yourself; something you weren't expecting to learn

Anonymous said...

Buddhist Geek and Grow some legs are the same troll...just some kid who thinks he's really punk as fuck just being obnoxious...ignore the little gnats and sooner or later they buzz away...
When I thought I was a hardcore kid we had better things to do then troll the internet insulting people...like doing crimes...ordering Sushi and not paying...

Anonymous said...

Continued form 5:07 PM...
...hell, when I was a hardcore kid there was no internet...damn I'm getting old...

Chance said...

Anonymous, I like your idea of the black t, but what if it were an invisible one?
Twenty bucks for the shirt which is no shirt.

Matt said...

LIGHTEN UP EVERYONE, HOLY CHRIST!

Joshua B. said...

But if we lightened up we wouldn't be able to take our selves seriously...then what??? The horror, the horror...

Mr. Reee said...

I doubt that anyone at SFZC took offense. Most zen nerds already know that zen is stupid

Joshua B. said...

Stupid is the new Zen...

Chance said...

A whole new meaning to "I'm with Stupid".

Joshua B. said...

"The only Stupid you bring to the tops of mountains is the stupid you bring there."

Mr. Reee said...

'Via meditation, we can find out just how bat-shit crazy we really are!'

--Patrick, in Episode 100 : Zen

Anonymous said...

jinzang:
love/hate mean you are in a relationnship with it. It's like marriage. If you don't hate it sometimes you can be sure something is unseen and wrong.

Regardless of love or hate you do it because either deep down you know you have no choice and/or you know it's good for you.

The ego often fights with zen and one way is by manifesting hate of it.

Regardless, you just do it.

Alphonzen said...

I agree with Buddhist geek, and although I used to like Brad-o-chans literature, I think his new stuff is just superficial and shit. OOhh, look at me, Im so punk rock, I hate zen, I hate people, I am so anti-social blah blah blah

What a wannabe!

Buddhist geek said...

The ego often fights with zen and one way is by manifesting hate of it.


Thats what Brad misses, he isn't actually the ego. But hes too invested in being a punk rocker to notice. ROCK ON!! YEAH, I HATE THE WORLD!! FUCK ZEN!!

mtto said...

But hes too invested in being a punk rocker...

You clearly haven't heard Brad singing show tunes in the zendo before class!

I agree with Buddhist geek, and although I used to like Brad-o-chans literature, I think his new stuff is just superficial and shit.

This is classic!!! It's like some band, maybe Jefferson Airplane or Genesis: "I just like the early stuff, they sold out, the new stuff sucks." Hilarious! That's zentertainment!

Anonymous said...

"I just like the early stuff, they sold out, the new stuff sucks."

Why is that weird? Happens all the time to people whether they are musicians, artists, writers or zen masters. I agree. Brad's early stuff was great. He needs to find beginners mind and get back in touch with his inner doubtboy. jmo.

Anonymous said...

jinz--

Perhaps it is everything that zen stands for. Like why we have to talk about it and think about it. Maybe he hates that part. That we can't just do it without all this other crap springing up with it that has nothing to do with zen, but more to do with institutions and organizations and ethics morals, all the stuff that you could call desire

No name/No rank said...

Buddhist geek said:

"The ego often fights with zen", like that's a bad thing. Like there's an "ego" we all need to "get rid of". Like there is an "ego" that Brad, or you and I "are not".

Show me someone without an ego. Better still, tell me what an ego is.

Alphonzen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buddhist geek said...

Show me someone without an ego. Better still, tell me what an ego is.

Problem is, sadly, that Brad can't seem to differentiate his ego from awareness (true self). He seems to associate with his ego rather than being aware of it. This is the mistake that many dumbass westerners make.

Anonymous said...

Buddhist Geek...you are seriously projecting stuff on Brad.

How you think you know him so well that "he can't seem to differentiate his ego from awareness" is beyond me and a delusional insight.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about awareness and stuff, but I think buddhistgeek has a point. True buddhism is humility and not trying to say fuck you to everything as well as being an indifferent douchebag.

Does anyone remember Brad talk shit about Obamas victory? What good is zen when you are fucking up so bad?

Mr. Reee said...

The ego is merely our self-concept. An idea.

I've met people without self-concept. There's actually millions of them. They're called children and they usually display this quality from birth to about age two or three.

I agree with the projection comment too--those who are nailing Brad for his hidden motives yet who don't know him personally are also working with a self-concept. They're using their own wardrobe to clothe Brad.

Anonymous said...

BG:

"Problem is, sadly, that Brad can't seem to differentiate his ego from awareness (true self). He seems to associate with his ego rather than being aware of it. This is the mistake that many dumbass westerners make."

Show me an ego without a person attached!

Many dumbass westerness also make the mistake of splitting themselves and saying "this bit is me and this bit is not me".

Whatever is coexistent and codependently arising and is never seen otherwise cannot be different things. Or something.

Jinzang said...

Show me someone without an ego. Better still, tell me what an ego is.

Ego is seeing the world through the concepts of me and mine. It's responsible for the difference in the way you feel when someone you don't know is criticized and you yourself are criticized.

No name/No rank said...

That's a very good example of our sense of self, or ego, Jinz. I think. Now show me someone without one.

Mr. Reee said...

Perhaps Brad could hire CADIE to moderate the blog comments? (be sure to visit CADIE's homepage.)

Or maybe Google could create a zenji CADIE? That'd be cool.

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