Thursday, March 26, 2009


Those of you in San Francisco may have already seen Violet Blue's article on me in her Open Source Sex column for the SF Chronicle yesterday. Those who haven't can click on the link above. I noticed most of the comments are from deranged haters. So if you have anything nice to say, please leave some decent ones.

Tonight (3/27/09 Fri) at 6pm I'll be speaking at Monmouth University 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ 07764 at Magill Commons, The Faculty Dining Hall. Tomorrow at 11 am I'm at the Brooklyn Zen Center. All relevant info is linked over to your left<<<<<<<

Also, tomorrow at Hill Street Center in Santa Monica there'll be all-day zazen hosted by Kevin Bortolin, a fellow Dharma Heir of Gudo Nishijima Roshi.

This is my last day in NYC proper, so I'm gonna go out and enjoy it instead of spending the day typing on this lap-top.

Thanks to my friend Marc Catapano for taking me on a groovey tour of Greenwich Village yesterday. And thanks to Ellen Scordato, Ethen Nichtern, author of the fabulous One City: A Declaration of Interdependence, and all at the Interdependence Project for kindly hosting my stay here.

I'll be in Brooklyn tomorrow (as I said) and then I'm outta here and on to D.C. on Sunday. Will Obama stop by to catch my talk? We both have connections to Kenya, after all!


Hatch said...

So if someone disagrees with you, they are a deranged hater?
Explains a lot.

Moon Face Buddha said...

Sex sells. Putting the word Sex on the cover of the new books seems to have got at least one extra sale. Good work Brad.

Anonymous said...

shut up, deranged haters!

Really? said...

"I noticed most of the comments are from deranged haters."


THAT silly remark will win you NO friends. A very foolish thing to have said, Bradley. You clearly haven't been reading carefully. There's been a lot of respectful, relevant considered stuff going on - at times, it's got passionate, but that's ok. This is the one place folks feel free to do that.

Try reading it. Properly - and then thinking about some of it. You just might learn something. Unless you really are starting to believe you're above it all now.

If that's your attitude, son - Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Yours, now full of hate (see what happens) an ex-admirer.

Really? said...


My bad, as I believe yall say across the pond. I do believe young Brad is talking about the comments over on Violet's site. As long as he's not talking about me/us it's ok. I shoulda followed my advice and read more carefully.

Still, he does have a tendency these days to, sometimes, dismiss dissent in ill-considered I just assumed...hmm...

Really enjoyed the rant, though!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

so quick to hate, and then realize youre hating for the wrong reasons 10 minutes later !!! LOLOLO

Mr. Reee said...

Yeah, the SFGate is known for the right-wing loonies who login from all over the country and spew bile. Don't take it personally.

If an article ran about the difficulty of selling Girl Scout cookies in today's economic environment, in about 5 nanoseconds there'd be about 100 posts blaming Obama and the gay agenda and the paper for being biased against employers and for unions. I'm not kidding either....

Anonymous said...

actually, its probably just a bunch of angry San Francisco people.... its a cute little town with an angry little underbelly

mountaintop_moisture said...


Brad does not read the comments here on this board (his) anymore. (wink, wink)

He does not call the people on this board that disagree with him deranged haters.

He refers to us as mindless trolls. Please get your facts straight.

Really? said...

Yes, now you mention it, mountaintop_moisture, I do recall.

I stand corrected - twice.

Mr. Reee said...

Quote anon: "actually, its probably just a bunch of angry San Francisco people.... its a cute little town with an angry little underbelly"

Well I don't think most of the angry comments on the SFGate are from SF. A lot of the same people who login there also login all over the country using the same names--and some of the online news forums they post on will show where they're posting from, via the IP block they're coming in on. Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, etc.

Sometimes the SFGate gets really lucky--ol' Rush Limbaugh will quote something in the SFChron and say 'see how wacky these SF heathens are? Nuke gay whales for Obama!' and then his minions come down and post away.

A typical example (addressed to another columnist):

"Ever stop to think Marky that your Obamessiah might be hitting the accelerator, rather than the brakes on the road to hell? Oh I forgot! He "inherited" war and debt. What's his solution? Quadruple the debt, and send 17,000 troops into Afghanistan. I suppose Code Pink will be protesting, right? I'll give Obama this, he did in 8 weeks what it took Bush 8 years to do: become the worst, most loathsome president ever."

Somehow I don't think this reflects the views of most people in SF. Most people around the Bay Area actually know about this secret place called reality (despite appearances to the contrary.)

Anonymous said...

"BE BUDDHA" -- The Dicks

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I'll say it. F**C New Jersey!

Mysterion said...

"deranged hater" is just an 'in your face wake-up call.

1) Perceptions frequently fail.
2) Expunge the concept of hate from your lexicon.
3) See, Hear, and Speak no Evil.
4) &tc.

Hating something only adds to your own suffering.

Jinzang said...

Always Love, Nada Surf

Faceless Anon #74 said...

I dunno, Chas, praps I'm missing the point, but so often my response to your posts is:

1) What?
2) Why?
3) Well...duh
4) Whatever

Please don't hate me.

Vin said...

Brad, I saw you tonight at Monmouth. I was the kid who came up to you after with a nose ring. Just need to let you know again how great it was tonight. ...And it made me have to pop in my DVD of American Hardcore, while searching for yours and other books like it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's best to do your hating, and get it out of your system, rather than repress it or beat yourself up about it.

Certainly endeavour not to act out you hatred, but to hate yourself for hating surely isn't a healthy approach. Hating often burns itself out pretty quickly. If it doesn't, see your doctor.

Anonymous said...


Hi Mysterion -

I was scrolling back through the recent archives and, with apologies for re-opening wounds, saw that you'd written this, in reply to a question as to why you'd got annoyed with someone who'd strongly criticized your version of events in D/S:

"'s the same old attack on Brad's flank based on the supposition that Nishijima make a bad decision."

I think you misunderstand. I didn't read what was said as an attack on Brad (or his flank) at all. Neither was there any reference to Nishijima's decision to appoint him until you brought that into the debate, by way of explanation for the concern some dharma-heirs have expressed about Nishijima's behaviour over the past few years. But those concerns were expressed before DSI was announced (and, as I understand it, there was no discussion about "DSI" within DS before the announcement Gudo made on his blog). So their concerns and opinions cannot have had anything to do with Brad, or Nishijima's decision to appoint him his successor. It's true that some of those same heirs weren't happy with the whole DSI thing when it was finally announced. (Jundo's issues with Brad are a seperate matter). But I think you're conflating and confusing different times, issues and people, which makes your conclusion: "it's all about attacking Brad", just wrong, IMHO.

I see no one attacking Nishijima simply because he appointed Brad. I see no one attacking Brad. (Except Jundo, and he's made no secret of his reasons). I see no one attacking Nishijima. I see no need for you to defend either, or attack anyone.

Re the anonymity - I'm no one special. You don't know me. I am not a 'master' or anyone's dharma-heir.

Joshua B. said...

Wow man! Whats up with the rant??
-J. Rant man B.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Hatch said, "So if someone disagrees with you, they are a deranged hater? Explains a lot."

Welcome to my wife's life.


Joshua B. said...

I gotta say, reading the comments over the past three days have kinda sad .I can’t believe that I got sucked into it. Some of you, not all of you, but a good percentage, play this one up game with each other wherein you try to out Zen the next cat. "I'm more enlightened then you are!" It's really something... It’s this bizarre form of spiritual/philosophical materialism. We don’t own this stuff kids. It’s older then we are. Remember we are ALL standing on the shoulders of giants. Seems like a lot of cats get very proprietary when it comes to Buddhism and what’s funny is that many of the folks that do this, have told me that I shouldn’t buy into so and so’s “thing” but I should listen to what they say because, well, you know better then I Who I should and shouldn't respect and/or look up too, with out knowing the first thing about who I am or where I come from. At least I am not posting anonymously. But I guess that’s part of the charge right. Some cats can sit back and feel superior with out taking any responsibility for what you say. The whole situation reminds me of those "haters" that post in the name of Lush Rimjob....Rush Limbo, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity or who ever is vomiting mud all over another person’s good name that week. Some one sort of made that point in an earlier comment regarding Brad’s interview on SFgate but I think it fits what’s been going on here over the last couple of days if you look at it in the right kind of light.
I was under the impression that one of the three jewels was to honor the Sangha, and the Sangah was ALL other Buddhists. Haven’t we progressed passed the notion of Big Vehicle Little vehicle? I may be new to this, but it would seem to me that we need to unify. If you cats haven’t noticed, the world is pretty fucked up right about now. This might be a good time for ALL Buddhists to come together and try to start and help others? Don’t we have a spiritual and philosophical responsibility to try and awaken all beings? Generally I would say that we need to heal ourselves first, but I don’t think we have time. Am I wrong? Well, I’m sure that if I am some one will feel the need to point it out. But Remember, if you feel the need, you are missing my point entirely. I hope you see that. Some one sort of made that point about the SFgate but I think it fits what’s been going on here over the last couple of days if you look at it in the right kind of light. I don’t think that I know more then anyone. I don't want to. I am studying in order to free my self from suffering and it seems to me that a lot of folks are just prolonging their own suffering. The desire to be right all the time, the need to prove ones point, it’s hard to clear your mind when it’s full of so much information, right? Hey, don’t get me wrong. I fall prey to ego food on the regular; I am no better then any other cat. I bust my ass every day to deal with my shadow. The truth is, we get didactic when we feel insecure. I think that’s just human nature. The question is, what do we do to change it? Sit. Be real, with others sure, but most importantly with our selves. That’s what I am trying to do.
You know how they always have those pledges that they make the kids take, the pledge to not do drugs, the pledge to stay a virgin unto death... I say lets start a pledge to be real. Fuckin step up and be real. It would seem to me that these days being real is an act of bravery.
Joshua B

Anonymous said...

You say a lot of sensible things, here, Joshua - by which, I guess, I mean I agree. I have to assume you're talikng about the DS/Nishijima debate, coz you're not specific - but that's the only debate I can think of that's being going on for the past 3 days (and longer, of course).

Maybe in the greater scheme of things none of it matters one jot. There again, imo, it's surely what we people do; we discuss stuff. We disagree. The history of Buddhism is full of it. I think it's ok. No one's getting death threats or having their public reputation or livelihood trashed. I don't see the problem. This is the public debating foum of the leader of Dogen Sangha International. I see no other.

So, forgive me, but I have a suspicion that all you're saying, when you accuse folks of not being "real" is that you disagree with what they say.

Far as the 'anon' thing goes, Unless you WANT to send personal death threats I don't see that it matters :-) There are ways of referring back to anon posters. There are valid reasons for not having an internet id/rep other than cowardice, I think. It doesn't make what's being said any less "real" - in fact the cloak of anon may increase the chances of us hearing what someone REALLY thinks.

Anon #75 said...

JoshuaB -

You've just done what you've accused others of doing. Rather aggressively and condescendingly, IMO. Saying you know it doesn't make you exempt. It just might make you a hypocrite.

Us anonymi have to live with our shame. We don't have the luxury of removing our posts. Or the buzz of being a big-noise on the net. It's a heavy cross to bear :-(

This is me fuckin steppin up and bein real, K?

Joshua B. said...

Yes. In part I am talking about the DS/Nishijima debate. I for one, dig good healthy debate. In a way, the way the good ideas, for lack of a better term, foment is when they can be argued about. Pushed around. Not only does it afford the person who has put forth the idea/statement a chance to solidify, reconsider, and review where they stand. It gives the folks on the other end of the argument to do the same. In the long run folks can have a deeper understanding of each other and perhaps of them selves.
Let em try and be a little clearer about where I am coming from.
There are a number of cats that only post on here to tell Brad that he's not a good Buddhist. Now, though I have a lot of respect for Brad, I don't by any stretch think that he is above reproach. I found his last book to be really refreshing. He's just some cat trying to find his way, just like I am, just like you are. People can disagree all they want. I just think that folks should be more respectful. Not because he's Brad Freakin Warner, but because he's a human being. Just like folks should treat you with respect and compassion Anonymous, because you are a human being that deserves it.
The other thing that I have an issue with, and to be blunt it does make me a little angry. Is that folks feel the need to talk down to others. Again, argument is good. But no one has to be a dick about it. Hey man, I’m a straight shooter. But I really try not to be an asshole about it. Sometimes, I fail. But my name is on it, so I have to sit with it. I think failing publicly is good for the soul. It humbles us. I think some cats that post comments here forget that being humble is good. I think that maybe when we step away from being humble, we get caught up in desire. The desire to idealize our selves. That can't be good, right?
So to reiterate. I think that disagreeing with others is actually a good thing. But I think talking down to people is not. I see people on this blog talk down to others. In my opinion any one that needs to talk down to others, is trying to elevate themselves. It might not be clear, but I see a connection between talking down to folks and not being real. Maybe I am not being clear on this point. You will have to forgive me; I just finished a 12 hour overnight shift so I am in desperate need of sleep…so I am going to pass out…gotta do it again tomorrow night.

Joshua B. said...

Anon #75,
Sorry you feel that way. Tkae care of your self.

Mr. Reee said...

I think Josh make a number of good points overall: (1) no one owns zen (little 'z' zen) anymore than they own the sky, (2) folks let their public persona stand in the way of communicating, rather than making a genuine effort to speak clearly (OMG how boring!) and when they do speak, they let their persona take what ought to be presented as-is and turn it into a blanket to keep them warm.

I've found the convo here interesting, if for no other reason than people are saying things here about each other when they really ought to know better--especially if they claim to have any knowledge of zen. And that's not a 'zen' observation on my part--that's just plain common sense. (oops, did I just wrap myself up in common sense? Dang!...)

Anyway, I do agree with the main point--why the hell are people spending so much time and energy tearing each other down when there's real work to be done? I was listening to an in-depth report on the latest battles in the middle-east, and if even one-tenth of what was reported is true, it's still too much. Fathers seeing their children being blown up and shot right in front of their houses. This is a truly terrible thing--so, what value does zen have in such a world? I think it'd be up to the living 'masters' to show this--petty arguments are not only worthless, but somewhat insane when viewed against the reality of suffering as it is happening, right here and right now.

And man, I know I don't have to say it--but right here and right now includes everything. There is suffering and if you know anything about how to help ease that suffering, then maybe it'd be a good idea to *do* something about it?

Anon #75 said...

A lesson in condescension from Joshua:

"Anon #75,
Sorry you feel that way. Tkae care of your self.

My point is not to trade ad hominems, Josh. Truly. I'm trying to say that you've missed the point of the debate you say you've no problem with, by hearing yourself being condescended to all the time.

Anon #75 said...

Ok Mr Reee, let's move on.

"And man, I know I don't have to say it--but right here and right now includes everything. There is suffering and if you know anything about how to help ease that suffering, then maybe it'd be a good idea to *do* something about it?"

Any suggestions? - please don't say SIT! ;-)

Mr. Reee said...

Yeah, I got an idea.

The very first thing we need to do is kill the Buddha.

Then go down to the soup kitchen and give a starving man a bowl of soup. I can promise you this--the moment you do that, something will arise in the real world that is worth far more than all the words ever written or spoken about zen. Worth more that all the dad masters, or what they said, or every temple or scroll or statue.

Those things are dead. The starving man and the act of compassion is real. And it is best to do so without a word.

Mr. Reee said...

LOL! 'Dad masters!'

I meant 'dead masters,' but maybe 'dad masters ' are the real problem. :D

Everglade said...

What I don't get is why people who seem to really dislike Brad and his books/philosophy etc.. Hang around and read his blog. I don't like death metal music, but I'm not going to find a death metal blog and bitch about it non-stop. Jeez people, it's a great big world and all Brad does is run his mouth about what he believes (just like most of us) The way some of you go on about him, you would think that he is killing kittens or something. I don't agree with everything he says, but he is one of the few people in American Buddhism that is willing to be honest and speak in plain english.
Enough with the hate, go get a hobby.

Jinzang said...

The very first thing we need to do is kill the Buddha. Then go down to the soup kitchen and give a starving man a bowl of soup.

Feeding the hungry is a worthwhile thing, obviously. But what you can discover through sitting is even more valuable because if more widely appreciated, it could transform the world. That's because it takes everything you know or think you know about the world, stands it on end, and gives a good shake.

Really? said...

That's a real suggestion, Reee.

I confess I've never done the soup kitchen thing. I may do. Perhaps I should do. More likely I won't.

"Compassion", I feel, moves in very mysterious ways. It can even be seen at work in the condescending, but totally honest way one truth-seeker speaks to another.

Mr. Reee said...

Jinzang, I agree that sitting is valuable, because it uncovers the sham of thinking in place of doing.


"But what you can discover through sitting is even more valuable because if more widely appreciated, it could transform the world."

The problem is the practitioner is relying on an idea of something happening in the future to validate what they may be doing right now.

This cannot be gained because is no future.

Really? said...

Hi Everglade -

You say: "The way some of you go on about him [Brad], you would think that he is killing kittens or something...Enough with the hate, go get a hobby."

When was the last time someone was "hating" Brad on this blog? Give me his name and I'll send the boys round. (You did see that my post way back^ was a mistake - which would have been justified had he been talking about the comments here. And, even then, my sign off "Yours, full of hate..." was meant to be ironic. I immediately apologised).

Where else has anyone been hating on the Bradster lately? Chapter and verse, please.

Anonymous said...

Reee said...
"give a starving man a bowl of soup".

After you give him a bowl of soup,
don't forget to teach him how to fish,
unless you want to be a babysitter all your life.

And if he doesn't want to learn how to fish,
then don't give him any more soup, unless
he agrees to a vasectomy.

No use in bailing water out of a leaky ship
unless you also fix the leak.

Mr. Reee said...

oh yeah, it's true. However, teaching someone how to fish is useful only if they have a pole and there are some fish to catch.

And again--that relies on ideas about the future. There is no future that one can act upon--ever. The only pace one can act is right here and right now.

Mr. Reee said...

Another way of looking at the relative value and functions of "here and now" vs "somewhere else:

You're standing on a street corner, waiting for the light to change. Someone wanders into the intersection and is hit by a car and is now lying at your feet, bleeding profusely.

Do you:

(1) lean over them and softly say to them everything is going to be alright, because an ambulance is on the way to take you them to the hospital, and the hospital is a good hospital because it's managed by an HMO that is solvent and has the best doctors around and the EMTs who are coming are also professionally trained and BTW, your brother is an EMT and boy does he really know his stuff...


(2) without a word or a thought, you lean over and stop the bleeding.

The person may die either way, no matter what you do. They may also survive, with or without your help. You have no way of knowing, and no control over the outcome. You just act, and you act with compassion. That's the best you can ever do--right here and right now.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hi Mysterion -
"I think you misunderstand."
"I see no one attacking Nishijima simply because he appointed Brad..."

I think I may not misunderstand. This blog has become a good 'case study' for the detection and analysis of Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorders. I put a couple of (DECADES) old former classmates onto this blog (and comments at Nishijima's) and a few students occationally use it when they get stuck looking for some obtuse bits of case study material.

It may go beyond PAPD, Jung allso had some interest in religion(s) and eroticism.

Few, if any, of the comments ever amount to more than a hill o' beans to Brad. We chatted about such nonsense before his spiel at Diesel. Comments exist, there is no more that needs to be said.

I happen to be more amused by the comments section here than most casual readers (Having once been a Jung man, myself).

Ga-sho-do-work-for me.


Mysterion said...

Blogger Jinzang said...
"Feeding the hungry is a worthwhile thing, obviously."

When the planet has 6.77 BILLION people and resources for 2.25 billion, there is the pragmatism of starvation to seriously consider.

Rich said...

"Few, if any, of the comments ever amount to more than a hill o' beans to Brad. We chatted about such nonsense before his spiel at Diesel. Comments exist, there is no more that needs to be said.

I happen to be more amused by the comments section here than most casual readers (Having once been a Jung man, myself)."

So Brad has this blog so people can make comments which he ignores and you are amused by. That's fine with me but as Zen Master of the Moment, I encourage everyone to sit morning and evening - whatever you can but a half hour would be nice. You'll still have many 'passive/agressive' thoughts or maybe even worse but your prajna wisdom will grow and you will know what to do, and best of all nothing will be able to yank your chain, not even Brad or Mysterion. Oh, and fuhgetabout enlightenment.

Anonymous said...


theguildedpage said...

Hey, there's really much effective information above!