Friday, April 10, 2009


The guy who organized the talk in DC put up this report by a guy who was there. Click here to read it. He also put up some photos. Click here to see them. It's an interesting perspective. Thanks!

My sister's bird is going spazz-o downstairs.

The Avenger made it the whole way from Chapel Hill (actually Efland) to Knoxville without blowing up. But I can't find my sunglasses anymore.

I gotta run or I'll be late for the retreat in Nashville.


Anonymous said...

**(((({{{{ ONE! }}}}})))**

Anonymous said...


Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

Cute account of what happened. It looks like the road is fun. I'll see you in Santa Monica in September if you come back.

Mr. Reee said...

I was looking over the photos--a red teddy bear attended the reading? Whoa.

The old zen masters were right about inanimate objects having buddha nature... but a red teddy bear? C'mon. Someone's fooling with us.

Anonymous said...

It is cool your sports car is named "Avenger".

Ben Smythe said...

I just slipped into the Borders in Union Square here in SF, grabbed a copy of ZWKDC, tossed myself into a corner and read it with great delight.

For years I have thought the most impressive teaching the Dalai Lama could give would be to disrobe and work as a cashier at Wal Mart. You write something similar to this in the latest scribble.

I have been sitting zazen for 14 years, mostly alone, mostly staring at the back of my closet door.

Thanks for writing a book for the rest of us. It was great. It was reality.

Jinzang said...

It is cool your sports car is named "Avenger".

Only if Emma Peel is in the passenger seat.

Jinzang said...

For years I have thought the most impressive teaching the Dalai Lama could give would be to disrobe and work as a cashier at Wal Mart

Chetsang Rinpoche, head of the Drikung Kagyu, worked at McDonalds. Close enough?

Anonymous said...

"The Avenger made it...
without blowing up."

Anonymous said...

Diana Rigg can't
hold a candle to

Jinzang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

It looks like a fun time was had by all in DC.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Thanks for posting this. It's really provides a fascinating and unique take on things. Sorry I missed you when you came through DC. Maybe next time....

Anonymous said...

Ink, Combats and Karma. You godda love that combination.

I just love the re-education that's going on - not all 'serious' buddhists are square.

Not sure what's going on with Zen Master Red Teddy Bear however.

Anonymous said...

'I just love the re-education that's going on - not all 'serious' buddhists are square.'

Actually, yeah, most are.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Beat Haiku

Tattoos and motorcycles
and what all are square
without a ukelele.

Harry said...

{[{[{[{[{[{[{NoT OnE!}]}]}]}]}]}]}

Nice 'ONE', Anon. Very baroque.

Now, you see, that's what I mean: somebody putting a bit of fucking effort into their existence despite all this blasé Buddhist bitching and half hearted ass biting.

Nerds rule!!! (...running as to avoid wedgies).


Really? said...

Just back from the pub I see, Harry. You angry Buddhist, you ;-)

Harry said...

"Really?" my Dear boy, girl or boy/girl,

It is (or just was) Good Friday, this is Ireland, the pubs do not open on Good Friday in Ireland. Aren't we a devout lot (in reality this is widely taken as an invitation to get smashed on cheaper booze at house parties).

A few years ago this publessness might have made me a little angry... but I think I'm even worse now as I'm sometimes a little offended by something as trivial as people skirting the issue of trying to call each other sub-Buddhist twats on crummy web blogs...

For Christ's sake: "Mine's a large one" (whisky I mean, not penis... or maha Buddhist vehicle).



Really? said...

You're right, Harry.

You fucking twat.

Pope Polka said...

Angry Buddhist? Nahhh...

Disappointed, perhaps. Another decent day (Friday) was turned 'bad' by cathaholics who closed the pubs so Irish drunks would have nowhere better to go than the Local Roman Church. Ash Wednesday (Oden's Dae) smudged out their 'third eye' (if any) so that their blind faith would carry them into a 'good friday' (Frejyasdaeg) amassing of the boozers and floozers.

Harry said...


The word possibly originates from the Old Norse þveit meaning cut, slit, or forest clearing.[1]

Historical usage

Robert Browning famously misused the term in his 1841 poem "Pippa Passes", believing it to be an item of nun's clothing:[2]

Then owls and bats
Cowls and twats
Monks and nuns in a cloister's moods
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry

Its meaning was in reality the same then as now, Browning's misconception probably having arisen from a line in a 1660 satirical poem, Vanity of Vanities:

They talk't of his having a Cardinalls Hat
They'd send him as soon an Old Nuns Twat

Another mistaken (or perhaps dialectal) use was in Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1870 science fiction novel The Coming Race, in an apparent satire on Darwin:

Among the pithy sayings which, according to tradition, the philosopher bequeathed to posterity in rhythmical form and sententious brevity, this is notably recorded: "Humble yourselves, my descendants; the father of your race was a 'twat' (tadpole): exalt yourselves, my descendants, for it was the same Divine Thought which created your father that develops itself in exalting you."


(from wikipedia)



Anonymous said...

Harry wrote:

"I'm sometimes a little offended by something as trivial as people skirting the issue of trying to call each other sub-Buddhist twats on crummy web blogs..."

Are you referring to (one of the) Really?'s friendly jibe about the pub, Harry? I didn't hear it that way. Since when did going to the pub make one a sub-buddhist? I don't think that was meant. I ought to know. I wrote it.

Your round, mate.

Anonymous said...

"Really? said...

You're right, Harry.

You fucking twat."

OK. Joke over. There is more than one twat posting as "Really?" It was funny yesterday. It isn't today. All that will happen is that people will get upset.
So, you silly tit - STOP IT. OK? Or it will very likely end in tears. And none of us want that, do we?

I began posting as Really? some days ago. I will no longer post using that name. Anyone posting as Really? is, FAIC, a flaming prick.

That was me at 4.48pm (no offence was meant, just a poor joke, Harry - apologies) and 7.33pm. Yes, I'm a Brit and I'm up waaaay past my bedtime.

Anonymous said...

Brad is looking pretty tired, I think a break is in order.

Really? said...

Harry, I don't know what a twat is.. Never seen one.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I wrote here when I lost faith in Brad a while back. It seems fair to write again now, now that I'm okay with that. A few things happened that had upset me quite a bit. I referred to it as my spiritual crisis and stoked some righteous indignation. I never lost my trust in what Brad was teaching, I just didn't want to be around him, and stopped sitting at HSC (cue violin).

I've never established a daily practice, but had sat weekly with DSLA for a few years. I wondered what the hell I was going to do. I credit Dogen Sangha with turning me from a book-store Buddhist to a practitioner, and I want to sit with a DS local sangha and a DS teacher. But these things are not as common as Starbucks, and I ain't moving to Japan.

I sat privately with some friends I'd met at DSLA and, over time, we stepped that up to three mornings per week. I recently started sitting with another Soto group, from the Matsuoka lineage. Their teacher told me I was in a Buddha-void for lack of a teacher. Thundered it at me really, dramatically lit as he stood over a fire pit. I'd never heard of a "Buddha-void", but his point was obvious.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that, while my opinions about "a few things" hadn't changed a bit, I just didn't care any more. What had bothered me more than anything in recent memory now just lay there. Brad's an asshole -- alert the media. Everyone I know is an asshole now and then. People I love dearly are assholes. I'm an asshole. I left a short apology on Brad's voicemail and sat with DSLA last Saturday. I'm very happy to be back, they're a great group of people. We chant now, in English and Japanese, and do some prostrations. Okay.


Anonymous said...

welcome back

Harry said...


Don't worry anon/Really?

No offence taken, and it was me who posted the 'fucking twat' post under the name 'Really?'... pretty funny, eh? I've always liked the word 'twat'.

It strikes me that, for this reason, anon users are not really that safe at all. (tee hee)

I can't guarantee that I won't do this again.



Anonymous said...

Who are you Really?
Don't know.

Rich said...

Rob, your post had much honesty and sometimes we need a little courage to accept the truth of this moment.
I think having a personal relationship with a teacher is important but being in the "Buddha-void" does not mean that one cannot have a strong practice. when Buddhism flourished in China, it was typical to meet a master and practice for years before meeting again. The fact that you are near Brad is a great opportunity, but your practice is yours not Brad's.

All bets are off said...

HARRY!! You NAUGHTY boy!!!

What have I done?
What monster have I created?

Clearly an investigation into the nature of identity, the self, mental formations, duplicity, emptiness and the virtual world is called for.

(Previously Really?)

Anonymous said...

Look...quickly....Mr. Brad had his robes on. It looks like he just rolled out of bed in them but at least he is trying to look the part of a zen master. For those of you that don't remember there occurred a blood bath in here over the issue of his robes a few months back. Perhaps the young man took it to heart.

Anonymous said...

Harry said...

Harry, you nitpicking twit,
that twat rant was

Harry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry said...

I suppose I'd rather be a nitpicking twit than a gnat-packing twat.



Anonymous said...

Speaking of twits and twats,
why not tweet Brad on twitter?

Stephanie said...

Oh Lordy, the comments section of this blog never fails to deliver.

If Hell is where all the crazy people go, that's where I hope to go when I die...

Also, thanks to whomever assigned me a wooden Vespa as my Dharma vehicle a few comments sections back! Can I get a Harley next kalpa? ;)

Also, I have to say, I was disappointed at first after having taken the time to download these photos... I was like, 'Boorrrinng...' until I got to the first few of the last set! Now those are some dudes! Damn! They can take a free ride on the back of my Vespa any time! :D

Anonymous said...

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Rich said...

"If Hell is where all the crazy people go, that's where I hope to go when I die..."

I think we are already there sometimes. I hope I can die as well as my crazy cat did.

Mysterion said...


It's the dog that caught my eye...

Flaming Prick said...

I will no longer post as Really? every again. Really. You twits and twats are nerds and frauds but sticks and stones can't hurt me.

Really? said...

Hi everybody,

Been out of town. Just got back.
What gives?

Jinzang said...

I'd never heard of a "Buddha-void"

It sounds like dereferencing a null pointer in Java, only worse.

Mysterion said...

"dereferencing a null pointer"

MU = nothingness

KU = emptiness of nothingness

existentialism - n
a modern philosophical movement stressing the importance of personal experience and responsibility and the demands that they make on the individual, who is seen as a free agent in a deterministic and seemingly meaningless universe. (e.g. a prisoner).

ex`is`ten´tial`ism - n (1913 def.)
1. (Philosophy) a philosophical theory or attitude having various interpretations, generally emphasizing the existence of the individual as a unique agent with free will and responsibility for his or her own acts, though living in a universe devoid of any certain knowledge of right and wrong

From one's plight as a free agent with uncertain guidelines may arise feelings of anguish.

Existentialism is concerned more with concrete existence rather than abstract theories of essences; is contrasted with rationalism and empiricism.

mtto said...

Kevin Bortolin will be leading the Sunday morning meditation group at the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.

Sunday, April 12, 11 AM - 12:30 PM.

This is Brad's regular gig that he just started
last month and Kevin is the substitute teacher. Kevin is a dharma brother of Brad and dharma heir of Nishijima Roshi. He teaches Philosophy, religion and stuff at Ventura College. Also in the Ventura area, he leads a philosophy discussion group, Cafe Philosophia, and teaches a zen group once a month. He is leading the one-day retreats at Hill Street while Brad is on tour (including next week, April 18).

4300 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029