Friday, March 20, 2009


For those of you who missed my interview on Pirate Cat Radio yesterday with DJ Scooter Stalin, an MP3 of it is up here (click for link). It'll only be there for like 2 weeks or something. So listen up while you can. It was a pretty good interview, I thought. It took a little while to settle into something. But once it did things got pretty deep. Surprisingly so.

I'm still in San Fran-sissy (oh, calm down!). I got a few more dates (not those kinds of dates, you sillies!) up here, which are:

TONIGHT March 20, 2009 (Fri), 6:30-9 pm - San Francisco Zen Center Dinner & Talk - 300 Page St. San Francisco, CA 94102 (the talk will be at about 7:30, but you can come eat dinner before)
•March 21, 2009 (Sat), 4 pm - Green Apple Books 506 Clement St. at 6th Ave. San Francisco, CA 94118
•March 22, 2009 (Sun), 1:30 pm Copperfield's Books 140 Kentucky Street Petaluma, CA

I will also be on Channel 4, KRON's Sunday morning news/talk show on March 22nd with Henry the Gardener. I'm not sure what time I'll go on yet. But I'll make a note of it once I hear. Last time I did the show I was on at about 9 or 10, I think. The one I did previously is the show I referenced in Zen Wrapped in Karma that one of my Dharma Brothers said I looked like a weirdo on. Maybe I'll do better this time.

Last night a guy I know up here took me to this place called One Taste where they teach Orgasmic Meditation. You can read an article in the New York Times about them on line. I didn't really get enough information to draw any firm (heh-heh) conclusions. But I can tell you it ain't Zazen! That's for darn sure. I think I'd like to save my opinions on this for a later piece (heh-heh).

I'm a pretty liberal guy. But I was raised mainly in the backwoods of Northeast Ohio and certain things still make me blush.


zendawg1 said...

A random comment/question - after a big time-gap, I am trying to sit zazen regularly again. There is no sangha in the area in which I live so I practicing by myself. My question is on form - should I re-train myself using a traditional Japanese seated position or 1/2 lotus (I am fairly stable in either). When I do move to a place with a sangha I want to keep the form that is customary - is there 1 position that is more "common" in American Zen Centers?

Skipper Kim said...

Wow. One Taste, huh? I definitely look forward to your blog post about that.

Big Earl said...

Ho Ho! San Fran-sissy you say.. Maybe me and my friend will come down to Green Apple Books Saturday night and I will grab you by the nose and pull you around the room for a while and then you can tell me who the sissy is. See you Saturday..

Anonymous said...


Not that I've conducted a statistical survey, but I'd be surprised if sitting zazen in half-lotus was unacceptable to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Lotus is what Gautama and every other pictured Buddha throughout history did.

Anonymous said...

Is one just stuck with oneself or can zazen
make one less of a creep?

Anonymous said...

Does one who attends an orgasmic meditation get free wet-naps for post-meditation mop up?

Jinzang said...

I was raised mainly in the backwoods of Northeast Ohio and certain things still make me blush.

So empowering female sexuality makes you blush, but you're fine with man on fish action. Explain that, Mister Zen Master.

Jinzang said...

I will grab you by the nose and pull you around the room for a while and then you can tell me who the sissy is.

I always felt the distance between the Zen Patriarchs and the Three Stooges was not great.

"What kind of fool do you take me for?" "Why? Is there more than one kind?"

Anonymous said...

Dear zendawg1

If you sit zazen there is no problem.


will answer your questions on form.

Suzuki Roshi, a recognised Master in our tradition, did encourage taking care of posture.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

But once it did things got pretty deep. Surprisingly so.

If you've got deep, it means you've got shallow.

Don't settle for such rubbish.


Big Earl said...

"I'm a pretty liberal guy."

That is very trite. Who the fuck doesn't think that thought.. Rush Limbaugh?

liberace rock hudson said...

wear latex, them san fran-sissies might be infected

Anonymous said...

Floating -

If you read zendawg1's question again, you'll find it's very simple: " there one position that is more common in American Zen Centers?"

I got the impression that zendawg1 used to sit zazen regularly, in both 1/2 lotus and seiza. His question: is one or the other now "customary".

And if you feel like it, tell me what "If you sit zazen there is no problem" means. Also "...taking care of posture". Thanks.

Matt said...

^ party poopers XD

Alphonzen said...

"I'm still in San Fran-sissy"

"I got a few more dates"

"you sillies"


Are you turning gay on us, Mr Warner?

Gay punk rocker, zen buddhst, former monster movie worker, film maker and full time poser?

Weasel Tracks said...

Forty years ago, my first teacher, a fusty Japanese Soto priest, insisted his direct students learn full lotus. Others were urged to whatever cross-legged poses they could manage, and chairs were provided to those who could not manage that. Seiza was also allowed. In my travels, it seems that the practice groups I've visited are still largely populated by those of my generation, and the incidence of benches and chairs has accordingly increased. Perhaps also the laxity of teachers -- I commend Brad for his promotion of stricter standards.

My impression from sitting with various Zen, Vajrayanist, and other groups is that everybody accepts the padmasana of the typical Buddha statue as the ideal, and no one suggests any other posture as preferable to that, if you can do it. So that posture closest to it is best. On the other hand, I've never sat in a group where any posture is forbidden, so long as one can maintain the relaxed tension of alert calm necessary, including seiza and chair-sitting. Sometimes, people are even allowed to lie down, though in my experience that often means the others in the group are given the challenge of not being distracted by snoring.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Japanese seated position" -- do you mean seiza, zendawg1?

Here is my advice: continue both in seiza and 1/2 lotus -- it is useful to change positions for long sitting, or if circumstances make one or the other difficult. Try to learn full lotus as well, but you may want to reserve that for your private practice, as it does tend to make your legs fall asleep -- you don't want to hold up joining the walking line in between sittings. If you can do full lotus, you can do any looser cross-legged form as well.

Anonymous said...

Can you pass me the pickles?

Runeskald said...
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Anonymous said...

I tried Orgasmic Meditation.

I struggled to keep it up!

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Runeskald said...

Belittling others is such a great sport. Truly you have proven your greatness today.

Thanks Mysterion

Graydancer said...

Wait, you blush? When you're a columnist for Suicide Girls? C'mon, I was raised in the midwest too, and now I'm a rope bondage expert traveling the country. You don't have to be from S.F. to be sexual.

I've written about One Taste and their nude yoga, as well. I figure that hey, if it gets you closer to your center, it's all good. Sometimes we need to be distracted from the distractions in order to get to something real. I'll be interested to see your take on it.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

P.E.A.C.E./WAR is a great album! I highly recommend it. At $9.99 from iTunes with 60 tracks that's less than 17¢ per track, and worth every penny. And if you don't want to buy the album you can listen to all 18 seconds of 0DFX's contribution during the 20-second preview.


Flowing in the Darkness said...

Thanks everyone. Weasel - I was speaking of seiza. Yes, i used to sit on a regular basis. In the spirit of Sunryi Roshi, I am re-approaching practice with a Beginner's Mind.

Flowing in the Darkness said...
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Stephanie said...

OMG, that One Taste "Orgasmic Meditation" practice is hilarious! And sort of awesome... weird-awesome... it's certainly the most high-falutin' hand job I've ever read about!

Something has always struck me as a bit weird about these practices that try to make sex seem more idealized and 'spiritual.' Would a tantric sex guru praise a student for having 'owned her sexuality' or 'embraced her feminine essence' or whatnot if she found that what got her off was rough and dirty sex with anonymous strangers? Is having a clean-cut yuppie avoid eye contact with you while stroking you to orgasm any more 'pure' or 'spiritual' than starring in ass to mouth porn flicks with dumb-looking jocks? Though I have to say, from reading that article, that people seem to have gotten something out of the practice that was different from more ordinary varieties of sex, so who knows.