Thursday, August 20, 2009


I did not go to Frankenstein Castle today :-( But I did go to every record store in Frankfurt. Found the CD edition of Zappa's 200 Motels. It came out in '97, but for reasons that escape me I never bought it. Now it's out of print. So it was a lucky find.

The Zen significance of this is that my first Zen teacher, Tim McCarthy, used to quote from this all the time. "Manuel, the gardener, slid his mutated member into her quivering quim!" Yes, folks, I come from a long and glorious Buddhist tradition!

Tomorrow is the start of yet another darned sesshin. 34 people signed up for the thing! Can you believe that? Who in their right mind would put themselves through such torture? Three days of wall gazing and sleeping on thin futons in a group on the floor in the Buddha hall then waking up at nothing o'clock in the morning. But it looks like the food will be good.

Uhhhhhh... I wish I had some great philosophical gem to leave you with. But they're watching Pimp My Ride or some such thing in here where the Internet access is and it's scrambling my synapses too much.

Next report, from Finland! See you there!

(PHOTO CAPTION: Great Sky 2009. This was the first time I've ever been served macaroni & cheese oryoki style at a Zen Sesshin! But it was held in Minnesota...)


Anonymous said...

a good thing about zen:

you can´t lie while sitting zazen.

another good thing:

you can´t troll around while sitting zazen.

but there are downsides, too...

robjones said...

A real nice place to raise your kids up.
It's really neat!

amanda said...

To carry on from the last entry's comment section, thanks for the responses to my question.

And to Mysterion and Mr. Reee,regarding Cannery Row,I wrote one of my favorite papers about this book years ago.

"Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing."

samsara is nirvana.

Also, the Log from the Sea of Cortez is about the most beautiful testament of hetero male-male love I've ever come across, and elucidates the hell out of Cannery Row.

Mumon said...

Have fun.

Anonymous said...

Yes, folks, I come from a long and glorious Buddhist tradition!

That's a funny name for a penis

Mr. Reee said...

Amanda, my regret is that Ed Ricketts didn't seem to leave much of his philosophy behind for the rest of us (though I haven't had the opportunity to read all the books on him--some are hard to come by.)

What little he did leave is fascinating, and his impact on Steinbeck shows. It's fun to imagine what he would have done with Zen.

In any case, it's a real treat to visit his old lab in Monterey--when you go behind and look at the bay you can a feel for some of this stuff. If anyone ever has the opportunity, go early in the morning, before the tourists get up, and take a walk... :)

kayoteq said...

Good score on the 200 motels. Truly a koan of audio. Don't forget to drop it in the computer cd drive- there's quicktime movies on there! (at least mine does)

(aNONYMOUSE) said...

thanks Brad. You Rock!!

)))aNoNyMOUSe((( said...


Mettai Cherry said...

In Atlanta, we often have grits oryoki style (the tenzo likes to call them polenta, but that's just so he can get away with not having salt, pepper and butter),

PhillySteveInLA said...

You think mac and cheese is odd, try getting a buttered ravioli between those chopsticks...I ended up just stabbing mine:)

Anonymous said...

Frankenstein's mutated member
pounded Lady Liberty HARD!

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael James Gibbs said...

I finally finished reading Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. It was quite entertaining as well as insightful.

Chris Andrews said...

Hey Brad, I'm currently reading Zen Wrapped in Karma (and so on) and just started reading your blog. Sooo late in the game, but it's the eternal now, right, so you can't even call me late. I live in the Twin Cities so I was pleased to hear about Cloud in Water--I'm going to look it up and see about heading over there. I've hated this city up until the present but my eyes haven't really been open. I will look for that mac & cheese, though! Hope to catch one of your speaking engagements at some point.


Harry said...

Right, while things are quiet, can I just say that that is NOT Frankenstein: IT'S FRANKENSTEIN'S fecking MONSTER!

'Frankenstein' was just the name of the sicko twisted doc who made the fleshy ragdoll electro zombie freak. It's like mistaking a George Foreman grill for the big man himself (...em, right?)

If Brad had taken the trouble to closely examine the original text by Shelley (instead of being swayed by questionable latter day interpretations) he would be aware of this indisputable and untouchable literal fact of watertight literary dogma. Shame on you, Brad, you phoney!!!

(*I am very grateful for the work of Dr. Alan Partridge in particular his energetic pointing out of this common mistaken view).



Really? ("?" re-instated) said...

You wouldn't let it lie, would ya Harry?

"If Brad had taken the trouble to closely examine the original text by Shelley (instead of being swayed by questionable latter day interpretations) he would be aware of this indisputable and untouchable literal fact of watertight literary dogma..."

Brad wrote: "I did not go to Frankenstein Castle today." I understand that. It's a damn fine sentence. Tradition, textual integrty, Master Shelley's teaching, and most importantly, meaning, all remain intact and ceaselessly transmitted following Brad's decision to release that sentence into the velvet glove/iron fist of posterity. Unless you're suggesting it's Frankesnstein's monster's castle? Or that Brad is responsible for Aurora's kit packaging?

Nice try, Harry.

No cigar ;-)

Harry said...

Happiness is a cigar called 'Shamlet'.



Harry said...

Brad is merely a mindless pawn in transmitting the mistakes of others; in this case the offensive 'Frankenstein' model image. He should have at least editted it or pointed out the obvious error to us brainless sheep. In fact, given his profile, he is in a perfect position to correct all such errors everywhere so that the world doesn't hurt me so much.

Hurt in Hamlet,


Regina said...

Hi all,

Brad is on the plane to Helsinki and I hope he arrives there well. We've had a great time with him....


Alphonzen said...

Brad, why do you look so awkward and nervous in photos?

Really? said...

I'm sorry, Harry. I have been very insensitive.

This is a clear example of Brad failing to correct, or point out, an obvious error. He had the chance - and he blew it.

Misreading your post as an attempt to ridicule those, including me, who had previously expressed provisional concerns about Brad and Gudo's translation/version/interpretation of the Mulamadhyamakakarika of Nagarjuna (do you remember?), I became absorbed in defensive point-scoring, thinly disguised with smarty-pants humour, and failed to acknowledge the simple truth of your remarks.

I hope Brad is proud of what he's achieved here.

It hurts me too.

Harry said...

I was clearly ridiculing you, and me (who is certainly also guilty of small mindedness) but, being human and small minded, I was mostly ridiculing you and others.

If point scoring is at least disguised with smarty-pants humour then it may render life more tollerable... humour takes more effort than a mere crap opinion at least!

Yes, your opinions seem worthless... now if only I could see my own in the same light maybe I could be said to have done something.

Alas, the truth may not be so simple after all.



Really? said...


I was still taking the pee, Harry...are you?

Many a true word spoken in jest, eh?


Mr/Mrs R?

Harry said...

Jesting is a very serious business, it's no laughing matter! :-)



Really? said...

"People used to laugh when I told them I wanted to be a comedian. Well they're not laughing now!"

- B. Monkhouse
(UK comedic legend)

Harry said...

Monkhouse was in the habit of jotting down his 'my mother-in-law' quips and 'my wife...' one liners in old jotters which he always had to hand. A few years ago his car was broken into and some of these cherished note books of his material were stolen. A big hue and cry went up and there was an appeal for the return of Monkhouse's priceless joke books.

As a sharp-witted rival comedian said at the time: 'If indeed someone does find them, how will they know that they're joke books?'



Chance said...

Ah Harry, where did you come from?

Where ever it was, thank you. :D

Dionys said...

Mac & Cheese Oryoki's fun -- I had that a couple of times (most assuredly a midwest thing). You should try pancakes with (rice) syrup Oryoki style. That's fun. Or at least fun to watch.

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