Wednesday, March 25, 2009


OK. Don't forget about the gig at the Interdependence Project tonight at 7-9 pm at 302 Bowery, (Buzzer #2) New York, NY 10012. Be there!!

Plus there's other gigs out here "back East" as they say on the West Coast at East/West Books, Monmouth University, the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Traditional Chinese Cultural Center in DC. All details are on the link over there to your left. You must come to all of them!!

Also, back out West, there will be an all-day Zazen sitting at Hill Street Center this Saturday led by the wonderful and great Kevin Bortolin. Kevin is also a dharma heir of Nishijima Roshi. And not a drama heir of him, as there seem to be a few of! Or at least one very loud and highly dramatic one of... (I can't believe the incredible bullshit that is being put out about Nishijima these days, though can anyone really wonder why the old man isn't talking to the person spreading this deceitful, self-serving ugliness? The supposedly "antisemitic" Nishijima Roshi has done 2 or 3 speaking tours of Israel at his own expense. And that's all I'm saying about that! Except that I sometimes wish I had the wild sex life this joker wants folks to think I have! But if it sells books, I'm all for letting those rumors stand! Oh calm the fuck down! Nobody can take a joke anymore.).

There will be another one of these all-day deals at Hill Street Center in April. But I can't recall the date so I hope either Kevin or John Graves will e-mail that to me. In any case, there are sittings with the Dogen Sangha group there every Saturday while I'm on tour. Don't miss them!

I'm all wound up from traveling and being on the radio at two in the morning in New York City. So you should ignore me at this point. I gotta get out of this room. It's almost noon (i.e. 9am to my internal clock)!

I promise I'll try to talk some Buddhism here one of these days instead of just being a dork (which is also Buddhist practice sometimes).


Anonymous said...


Mr. Reee said...


Anonymous said...

From what I have read, no one has actually said that Nishijima is anti-semitic, merely that he has become increasingly paranoid over the last few years (a view that several of his students (not just Jundo Cohen) have expressed over the last few years) and that one of those delusions is centered on a Jewish conspiracy. Ironically, it was Cohen that was defending Nishijima from attacks on his mental fragility a couple of years ago.
I wonder how Brad would feel if Nishijima suddenly turned on him like he has done with Cohen, Luetchford, Cross etc. I'm sure none of them expected it to ever happen to them either.

mtto said...

All Day Zazen @ Hill Street while Brad is gone
led by Kevin Bortolin
March 28 and April 18
please bring your own lunch

Saturday Morning Zazen @ Hill Street
while Brad is gone
all other Saturdays

The schedule is pretty much the same as when Brad is in town. Although if you haven't sat with us in a while, the chanting will be new for you.

Brad will be in L.A. on May 16 and there will probably be all day zazen on that date.

Mr. Reee said...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to getcha.

I like cheese.

mtto said...

The Interdependence Project

Anonymous said...

Man. For a guy that hangs out with SG girls and writes for a porno web are uptight. Chill!

alan said...

Hey There,

The Santa Monica All Day "retreat" is this Saturday, March 28th.

That's what it said in my E-mail.

I assume that it will start at the usual time and that you will need to provide your own lunch.

Kevin says that he will be running the show.

Jordan said...

Hey Brad, not only is there an interdependence project here in Portland we also have some gardens:

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Plus some great water falls!

Anonymous said...

Nobody, including Jundo, has said that Nishijima is anti-semitic or a bad person. However, Nishijima Sensei is now very prone to paranoid spells and delusions of conspiracy against himself and Dogen Sangha International, which he views as a mass movement at the vanguard of world Buddhism. He has good spells and bad, and I notice that these last few weeks he seems to be more together in his writing again. It may be his anemia, because he always comes back to himself for a time when they give him a transfusion of new blood.

Most of his dozens of remaining Dharma Heirs are staying out of this because they do not want to incur the old man's wrath and retribution themselves. Some do not care, and just go about their business rarely in touch with Sensei.

How do I know? I am one.

. said...

He has been to Israel so he is not anti-semitic?

Is that like trying to prove someone's "not anti-semitic, cause he knows many Jews and loves bagels"

Harry said...

It's telling of how turbulent the situation in Dogen Sangha is when you have to go to the middle east to relax.



Anonymous said...

Brad -

You do yourself a disservice to rant, however briefly, at Jundo. The discussion some of us are having on your blog - and thanks for the opportunity - about Gudo may've been instigated by Jundo's public ventings when rejected by his teacher, but it's moved on.

Clearly you have issues with J Cohen that most of us are not privy to. You don't like the guy. Fair enough. He's not my favourite, either, though he seems to be fulfilling a role at "Treeleaf". You've had a smooth ride with Gudo, but that doesn't mean that all your dharma-bros who haven't are lying - that they are ALL putting about "incredible bullshit...deceitful self-serving ugliness..." Do you think they're just being spiteful? Or maybe eaten away with jealousy of your high office?

And the "he's been to Israel" argument is truly lame.

I'm just someone who came to DOING Buddhism through Gudo and one of his dharma-heirs. I'm a Dogen Sangha guy. It's looking like I'll always be grateful for that. So, as Gudo's successor, and leader of something called Dogen Sangha International (what the hell IS that?) may I respectfully suggest you try and step outside your own relationship with the old man. Or something.

This is all just a silly drama to some, but I reckon it's history in the making. Buddhism goes west. Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

"It's telling of how turbulent the situation in Dogen Sangha is when you have to go to the middle east to relax."

That is pretty funny, Harry.

Mr. Reee said...

Kewl. Violet Blue interviewed Brad and it's in the SFGate.

You think the commenters here are tough? LOL. Watch what the trolls at SFGate have to say--and they don't know dip about zen.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Oh my. Against my better judgment, I am going to jump in here just for a moment to say that Nishijima Roshi is not an "anti-semite" (meaning someone who hates Jews) and he does not have a racially discriminatory bone in his body.

He does have some strange and uncomfortable ideas about Jews that he has sometimes expressed privately and in lectures, and an irrational confusion and suspicion about many, many of his Dharma Heirs that extends to at least a dozen people right now (no one will contradict any of this, of course, except for two tushy kissers ... one with a vested interest in having things appear otherwise, and one who I still think is well meaning in his doing so). Roshi is wrong in both regards, but this is something I attribute primarily to his health, which seems to come and go, and his being raised at a certain time in Japanese history. I wish he would reflect on this, but it is probably now too late.

However, he is not an "anti-semite", and does not have a hating bone in his body.

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

PS - Mr. Mysterion, perhaps you are smoking some of that "golden pot"? :-)

jundo cohen said...

By the way "tushy" is a Jewish word ...

Tushy was usually applied to a child's anatomy, and was
always "tukhas" in a Yiddish sentence. "tukhas" has got to
be from the Hebrew, "takhas"(under).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
> he always comes back to himself
> for a time when they give him
> a transfusion of new blood.

Whoa, sounds like some sort of
freaky vampire cult!

Rich said...

Dogen Sangha is a dysfunctional dream because it doesn't have a place for people to function. If the characters in this drama had a place to occasionally live face to face most of this shit would have been worked out in a non public way and we would be Buddha talking philosophy and experience instead. Reality = ideas + material. One instantaneous action can make Dogen Sangha a reality.

Harry said...

They get the entire transmission of the Buddha-Dharma off Nishijima and now they expect him to give them more?

Grow up, children.



Anonymous said...

Mysterion said:

"Nishijima didn't turn on Cohen or Luetchford. Recheck your history on that. The concern over Cross was 'planted' in Nishijima as a way of eliminating Cross 'from the running' for Dharma Heir by others who, through greed, sought the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (when there was no running or gold to begin with)."

You were there, were you, M? No, you were not. I'm afraid this is just another of your 1+1=73 theories, sprouting from your fondness for Brad, compiled from titbits of information you've gleaned on the net. With a little less respect than previously - you don't know what the hell you're talking about, mate.

Anonymous said...

I like the tin man.

I like the wizard of OZ.

Get it?

Anonymous said...

Dogen Sangha is a dysfunctional dream , said Rich.

True, Rich. It's a name. It's a concept...perhaps. Like all names and concepts we flesh it out with our dysfunction. (Pretty pleased with that, praps I'll save it for the book ;-))

Certainly DSI, a bigger name and concept, is an even bigger dream. What is it? It has no function I can discern, except to offer a label for those that need membership cards, secret handshakes and such (not that there are any secrets worth knowing in DSI) - and as something to type into google, before you bookmark the link.

I do zazen daily at home. Once a month I attend a retreat led by one of Gudo's dharma-heirs. If there is any reality to "Dogen Sangha", that's it, not some imagined alliance with people I'll never meet.

Most of Gudo's teaching, and that of his heir resonates with me. I read thier stuff and read Dogen and Nagarjuna. It's the kind of Buddhism that makes most sense to me. It's a wonderful thing. Truly. Am I 'a member of Dogen Sangha'? No. Or of DSI? No. Would anything change if I was? No. Does it matter? No.

Really? said...

Jundo James Cohen said:

"[Gudo] is not an "anti-semite", and does not have a hating bone in his body."

Thanks for the clarification Jundo.

TBH, you're not my favourite Nishijima dharma-heir. Your teaching style is not my cup of tea, and I often find you irritatingly condescending (yes, even me, Josh!). But, fwiw, I think you're doing your best in this world and your motives are honest. If you've ripped anybody off, or been a complete c**t, I don't know about it.

As usual, this debate has been full of "he just said", when in fact he didn't. So your clarification confirms what I thought you'd been saying all along. Of course, you may be a complete liar or fantasist who is attributing views to Gudo that he's never, ever expressed. That would be unfortunate.

IMO it's perfectly possible to have views, sometimes critical, about racial/ethnic/cultural groups without being 'a racist' or a hater. I don't know anybody who doesn't - although many are in denial about it. They needn't be. It's ok. So I think much of the knee-jerk rush to defend poor old Gudo was completely unnecessary.

That's all.

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

Mysterion you dont normally get riled up like this. What gives?

Rich said...

Anon at 5:41
"Certainly DSI, a bigger name and concept, is an even bigger dream. What is it? It has no function I "

I think the correct function of DSI is to help build community / sangha.
To do this, it needs a place.

"I do zazen daily at home. Once a month I attend a retreat led by one of Gudo's dharma-heirs. If there is any reality to "Dogen Sangha", that's it, not some imagined alliance with people I'll never meet."

That's great practice, mine is similar and I've committed to improve it. DSI may be a dead issue, but if Brad really wants to help people then at some point he will need to establish a place for people to get that help. Books and the internet is just half the picture. My original point was that if the so called dharma heirs had more direct experience of each other a lot of the conflicts may have been resolved differently.

"Does it matter? No."

DSI doesn't matter now because it isn't real. The point is to do something to make it real, then you would feel part of it, a place you could actually visit, a place where all DSI teachers and students would be welcomed and accepted and respected. I guess I'm just a real idealist spewing the internet with my idealistic thoughts.

Mr. Reee said...

Ah! Upon deep reflection, I have found that perhaps we should just refer to informal, non-institutionalized, owned-by-no-one zen simply as "sitting."

Anything else is therefore "not sitting"...


Anonymous said...

OI! Guys -

there's a new post up...some of the discussion is getting split between 2 places. I can't handle it - it's upsetting my need for order and familiarity.

Mr. Reee said...


Mysterion said...

gniz said...
"Mysterion, you don't normally get riled up like this. What gives?"

I apologize (though I am really not riled). I'm a bit tired of the same old tune on the same old violin in a place where 'masters' persist in throwing pies at straw Brads.

E.g. it's the same old attack on Brad's flank based on the supposition that Nishijima make a bad decision. Words like good and bad have meaning only in some relationship to each other and 'we' are supposed to deduce the remaining good through the elimination of the bad (as if there were validity to that approach to begin with). Take away all the answers except one and you may still be left with one incorrect (even bad) answer.

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