Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I got the following e-mail from Nishijima Roshi yesterday:

Dear Ven. Brad Warner,

Recently I am afraid whether you have entered into a too much tired condition, and so I would like to ask you to take a rest as far as possible.

Sometimes I feel that even taking a rest can be a human duty, and so we should be sometimes necessary to do our human duty.

Fortunately our important job of translating MMK in English is going to arrive at the aim in near future, and so it is not so bad for us to take a rest for a while.

With best wishes Gudo Wafu Nishijima

Following his advise, I am deliberately doing nothing of consequence today. Well, I am doing my laundry. But that's it! I swear!

Taking a rest is obviously important to human beings. So much so that the Bible mandates it as a direct order from God (all that stuff about the Sabbath, you know). It's also important in Buddhism not to over-exert yourself. Our tendency to overwork comes from an indulgence in idealism. We see what's possible -- or at least what seems to be possible -- and we overwork ourselves trying to accomplish those things.

Anyway, I'm back in Knoxville. I'll be flying out to Tex-Ass tomorrow. Got plenty to do there! Take a look at the tour schedule on the link over to your left if you don't believe me.

There is definitely a growing interest in Buddhism in the Bible Belt of the American Southeast. I think people are frustrated with religion. We can no longer believe in things that contradict science. Of course there are plenty of people who say they believe in such things. But that's an intellectual game. You can't read tirades against science on your laptop computer without feeling some sense of irony, even if you don't acknowledge it. Science obviously works.

And yet science can't provide all the answers. We used to think it could. It seemed to be moving in that direction. But it never got there. And it's clear by now that it never will. We need a philosophy that is neither idealism nor materialism.

Whatever. Writing about that stuff is too much like work for me!

I gotta say, I am very impressed with my sister. She's a public defender and does a lot of good for a lot of people.

The Dodge Avenger survived the trip. I gotta make sure Ben checks out that squeaking noise, though. And cleans out the car. He's a teenager for God's sake! How can you make out in the back seat if you can't even find the back seat?

Oh! Sounds like my laundry is finished! Bye!


Anonymous said...


Harry said...

awwww sheeeooooowwwwt!

PA said...
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PA said...

4's the new 1! (edited :-))

(oh, bugger,now even I'm doing it...)

In the Japanese cartoon Ikkyu san - his catchphrase is 'Awatenai, awatenai, hitoyasumi!' - Take it easy, I'm having a rest! Brad is the new Ikkyu san!

proulx michel said...

If any of you would like to offer something to our beloved Zen Master, needing only an envelope and a stamp, please write to me privately.


Anonymous said...

Tex-Ass? Now you are really trying to get in trouble. At least you should have said it is the biggest and sweetest ass you know of:-)

Now go rest.

Anonymous said...

The stars at night,
are big and bright,
deep in the heart of Texas!

Lauren said...

Anon@12:28 you forgot

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

come on now, represent!

mulamadhyamakakarika said...

I do hope you're ready, willing and able to tell it like it is to old Gudo when you "arrive at the aim" of completing the MMK translation with him.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan and true believer, but Gudo's manuscript, as presented recently on his blog, needs a lot of work. I don't know that there's a man alive who can bridge the gap between his dubious sanskrit, unique reading of the text and poor English. I truly hope you succeed. I want to read it.

Good luck, Bradley San!

Anonymous said...

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

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

"Our tendency to overwork comes from an indulgence in idealism. We see what's possible -- or at least what seems to be possible -- and we overwork ourselves trying to accomplish those things."

To put it that way makes sense and I will try to rest more but I also need to stay ahead of the bills.

Anonymous said...

as good as it gets

Anonymous said...

wu weiyeah, I heard robert and alison on the radio
and until the DJ set me straight thought
it was gram and emmylou.

Anonymous said...

When you go to Texas,
don't forget your passport.

Anonymous said...

Loosen up that Bible Belt!

Jinzang said...

Texas ... That's where I belong it seems to me
Texas ... Lonesome star shine on the big country
Texas ... With open skies and you for company
Texas ... Oh prairie rose how happy I should be

Prairie Rose

Anonymous said...

I deeply regret missing your signing in Ashevegas, didn't know who tf you were...Visited Malaprops a couple of days after you were here. I did, however, discover you... accidentally, most likely on purpose. Better late than never.

Dori said...

I always called myself an 'atheist', naturally avoiding buddism due to the religious aspect. But after reading Hardcore Zen, my perspective if very different. If all we're talking about here is just facing reality, then I'm totally into it. I'm totally new to this, and I don't want to feel as if I just got myself into a religion. I was just told by someone "well now you are a believer, because you believe in zen" I did not have a good retort.

The definition in wikipedia states "atheists are frequently assumed to be irreligious or unspiritual. However, religious and spiritual belief systems such as forms of Buddhism that do not advocate belief in gods, have been described as atheistic."

Labels are so tedious. All I know is that I am very excited to read your next two books!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, noticed you haven't posted in about three days, hope the kibble didn't make you ill. :) :(

Thanks again for showing up.

fkwan said...

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