Friday, August 07, 2009

ON MY WAY TO THE EDGE OF CIVILIZATION

I'm sitting at Chicago O'Hare Airport waiting for a flight to the edge of civilization. Actually it's a flight to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where I will be picked up and driven to the edge of civilization. Tomorrow is the first day of the 2009 Great Sky Sesshin in Hokyoji monastery near Echizen, Minnesota. For the next eight days or so I will be inaccessible to Internet, cell phone and most other forms of communication with the outside world.

I heard that some people are deeply concerned about the forthcoming translation of Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (aka MMK) by Gudo Nishijima as rewritten by me. That's so cute! You guys are funny!

When you look at Gudo's blog, what you're seeing is pretty much the raw material I had to work with. The book that's coming out from Monkfish is not that version. I had to have a lot of discussions with Nishijima Roshi, as well as sit around scratching my head and puzzling over his prose for many, many hours before arriving at the version we're publishing. Please don't worry your poor fevered brows that it's going to be a big long string of crazy Engrish. It won't. Haven't I said this about three times already?

I may publish the intro I wrote sometime prior to the book's release. But I'd need to get clear with Nishijima Roshi and the folks at Monk Fish before I do that. Translation is a funny thing. I used to be a translator and there is no way to translate even the most dirt simple stuff without interjecting your own interpretation. In fact the word "translation" is probably misleading. I don't think there is any such thing. It's all interpretation.

In the world of religious texts, one really good example is Baghavad Gita: As It Is by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is reportedly the most widely read translation of Bhagavad Gita in the world. Yet it is a highly interpretive version of the text.

Still, who is to say it doesn't mean what Prabhupada said it meant? It certainly meant that to him.

I was personally very interested in discovering what Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way meant to Nishijima Roshi. I made it my task to try and convey the meaning he found in the text as clearly as I possibly could. If you want a standard interpretation that follows all of the established patterns, assumptions and prejudices of Sanskrit scholarship, there are other versions available. I see no reason that there ought to be one more of those. They do not interest me.

Whether the Nishijima version of Nagajuna's masterwork is "correct" in the eyes of the Sanskrit scholarship community is just not something I can even bring myself to care about. People keep trying to get me to care, though. And I swear to God I really have tried. Maybe I'm kind of retarded or autistic or something in that way. It's like when I used to tell the folks I mentored at the Summit County Board of Mental Retardation to zip up their pants or whatever and they just couldn't see the point at all. That's how I am. It's no use trying to get me to care because I just don't.

The big difference between Nishijima Roshi's MMK and the others I've read is that, once I got through all the Engrish, the Nishijima version actually spoke to me. The others did not. They were intermittently interesting and contained the occasional good idea. But they didn't move me. This one does.

Blah-blah-blah... Now even I'm getting bored with this discussion!

So anyway, after I get done in the backwoods of Minnesota I'm flying straight to Frankfurt, Germany (via Chicago again). After just under a week in Frankfurt I'm off to Finland. Then back to Germany. Then to England, and then to Japan. Yikes!

This will definitely be my last post for a week or so. Maybe longer than that. But I'll report here whenever I can.

280 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 280 of 280
Anonymous said...

200!

Anonymous said...

what was I thinking?

what, was I thinking?

what was, I thinking?

what was I, thinking?

what was I thinking?

Anonymous Dharma Heir said...

Mysterion, you really are ignorant. Gudo has loads of Dharma heirs, about 40. Most of them you have never encountered and are unlikely to as they don't post on these daft exchanges. I have only seen 3 postings I recognize as dharma heirs on this blog.

I just want to make clear that the above statement by Dharma Heir Anonymous was not in face a statement by this Dharma Heir Anonymous.

Anonymous Dharma Heir (Again) said...

However, I should add that this Dharma Heir Anonymous (the one immediately above, not the one above that) does agree with the description of Harry and Mysterion as ignorant toadies.

Anonymous said...

Haaaarrrrrrreeeeeee

haaaah reeeeeeeeeeee

haaaaaaa reeeeeeeeee

harry

harry

harry

goooooo dough
goo dough
goo dough

haaaaaa reeeeeee

Anonymous said...

They are really coming out of the woodwork now.. calm down boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

wood

work

would work

bois

gerls

Harry said...

Sorry, Anon.

I no longer give a hoot about the musings of some dead guy, and the musings of some old guy about the musings of some dead guy. Well, I do a bit on other days, but let's keep it real here.

I think we've cut to the quick somewhat here. The Anon abuse affirms it. Pray continue.

Here's another pet theory... just for da mix:

What Gudo did was prezent the possibility of normal skinny white folk like me and you becoming Zen priests/Masters and, somewhere along the line (maybe everywhere), he gave certain people transmission for being full of zest and strut in order to encourage them further even though they hadn't learned enough about themselves, and hadn't clarified their intentions, through direct Buddhist practice.

This situation produced a bit of a scramble among aspirant skinny white people who wanted/want to get close to Gudo, prove themselves to him, feign complete agreement with his ideas etc etc etc. It also caused serious in-squabbling among the skinny white aspirants as they vied for a piece of the painted rice cake.

That seems risky, giving serious toys to non-big girls and boys. No?

And now it's pay-off time and the boys and girls, not having clarified themselves nor accepted responsibility for themselves, need someone else to blame.

What say ye?

I often chuckle, and shudder, at those who received the full Buddha-Dharma yet seem to want more, more, more.

Regards,

Harry.

/ˈkiːziː/ said...

Myst said: "I suspect Nishijima-roshi picked the ONLY Zen Buddhist among his following to be his dharma heir. It's only a suspicion, but it is being nurtured by postings I read here."

Myst, I can't believe that is true. There has to be a few other sincere Buddhists among the heirs. But I believe Brad might be slightly less ignorant than the rest of them. Which is something.

Anonymous said...

looks like this blog will be enough to last for a week to 10 days after all!!

Anonymous said...

Harry doesn't give a hoot but then proceeds to go on and on.

Harry said...

Yes, and go on I will. Hootlessly, hootfully, hootlessfully, hootfulessly... whatever.

Getting scared, Buddhaboy? Ant in your pants?

Regards,

Harry.

gniz said...

"Are you not entertained?"

I, for one, am.

Anonymous said...

ummm...
that was a different anon person Harry.
Lauging My Fucking Ass Off!!!

proulx michel said...

If there was one thing for which I would hold eternal (!) reverence for Old Gudo, it is the idea that a Zen Master is NOT in any way a perfect being.
Personally, I won't challenge him on things I'm no expert in, and I intend to wait till the publication of the book to judge of its value (or lack thereof).
Even if, from a scholastic point of view, the book were complete b...t, I'm not sure nothing could be gained of it.

Besides, I have witnessed in the past some scholars mix up things to a complete b...t just because one meaning of one word was too unsophisticated for them, so, even there, I'll be quiet.

All those criticisers seem to know very well what is the fundamental mentality of the Old Man, getting worse with the years. So why the hassle? I think it has more to do with Brad, whose sheer ignorance of certain subtilities has always allowed him a spontaneity which is by no means useless.

Huineng was illiterate (he hadn't learned the hanzi) that probably set him free in more than one way.

amanda said...

More like dhrama.

Mr. Reee said...

Dharma drama lamas splitting Gudo heirs over a book that hasn't yet been written?

Now I finally know what "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" means.

Pretty cool.

Harry said...

...Maybe Brad will open the door to his bathroom tomorrow morn to find Jundo getting out of his shower and putting his embroidered "Head of Dogen Sangha" bath robe on... "what, the last 18 episodes were just some crazy dream!?"

Regards,

H.

Mr. Reee said...

... or maybe he'll wake up with Hickory, Hunk, Zeke, Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and of course Professor Marvel, all hovering around his bed...

Stranger things have happened.

Anonymous said...

That's it exactly. Wake up from Oz, then walk right off the Kansas movie set, past the career, adn onto thesasda

dsad
a
tr


goooooo doooooooooo

GUUUUUUU DDDOOOOOOOO

GOOOOOOOOOO DOOOOOOOOE
GUDO

Aaron said...

Tune in next time, for another episode of "as the sangha turns"

annoying anon said...

Anonnnnnnnnnnnnn

Anonnnnnnnnnnnnn

YEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW R

YEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW R

ANOYYYYYYYYYYING

ANOYYYYYYYYYYING

ANOYYYYYYYYYYING

U R U R U R U R

Anonymous said...

Vedanā

Vedanā is a word in Sanskrit and Pāli traditionally translated as either "feeling"[1] or "sensation."[2] In general, vedanā refers to the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sensations that occur when our internal sense organs come into contact with external sense objects and the associated consciousness.

In Buddhism, craving for and attachment to vedanā leads to suffering; reciprocally, concentrated awareness and clear comprehension of vedanā can lead to Enlightenment and the extinction of the causes of suffering.

Rich said...

You are arguing about and discussing no. 5, which is entertainment itself.

"2. The Real Truth as four are Reason, which is pervading through the
Universe,

The external world, which is hanging in front of us, and the present
moment, at which our action is always done,

And the Reality, which seems to be the Ruler of all things and
phenomena.

But the Real Truth, which is No. 5, does never exist anywhere at
all."

Anonymous said...

Here's to NumberFivism!

Rich said...

Here's to No 5 and Auld Lang Syne.
Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man".

Anonymous said...

Nice anectdote. I've heard this sentiment referred to as 'nostalgia for samsara'.

Harry said...

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be" as they say.

Regards,

H.

You're doin a heckuva job Brownie said...

Michel one of the 40 wrote

I intend to wait till the publication of the book to judge of its value (or lack thereof).
Even if, from a scholastic point of view, the book were complete b...t, I'm not sure nothing could be gained of it.
Brad, whose sheer ignorance of certain subtilities has always allowed him a spontaneity which is by no means useless.


Absolutely right, and all of us are keeping our fingers crossed.

Brad's a good enough writer, he might actually get lipstick on this pig. It won't be what Nishijima wrote in the original manuscipt

It will also have to be very different from Brad's first draft, which we already have seen. We have seen the early post Brad version already.

http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2008/03/help-me-somebody.html

As Brad wrote then

Nishijima's translation is unlike any of the others which, he believes, are all basically incorrect. He does not want his version "corrected" into something more resembling the standard translations.Three native English speakers have worked on making Nishijima's English version comprehensible to native speakers of English. The first two walked off the job in frustration. Somehow I managed to complete the task to his satisfaction and now he would like to publish it. However I have found that I cannot do this alone

So, we have seen it and it was pretty much a mess, unless the additional outside editor worked a miracle. It is possible that some great transformation in the manuscript was worked between then and now.

Anyway, even a car crash can have unexpected positive Karmic effects. There can be a certain beauty in the twisted metal.

Some of this is like watching the Bush administration, with whom Brad shares a shared outlook in many ways. For all their disregard of facts and information which contradicted their stubborn faith based religious world view, you had to hope they would nevertheless pull off Iraq and save the people of New Orleans in the end.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! You've all stuck in the Jeweled Net of Inter!

proulx michel said...

Although I suppose I would do better to let go, I just remembered an occurence of very respected and dignified scholars declaring something really stupid.

There is a French expression which is "autant pour moi" (so much for me) when one realises one has said or done something in error. You think you are right and are demonstrated the contrary, and so you say it as a form of apology.
However, the Académie Française and some other dictionary authorities have declared that it ought to be "au temps pour moi" (at the time for me) which makes no sense at all, although both sound exactly the same. Thus, for some time being, we have been graced in papers and books with an "au temps pour moi" because of the scholars caution.

I happen to stem from a family of highly reputable persons, some of which on a very international level (I mean more than one or two different -- and neighbouring -- nations). This has given me an opportunity to realise that being stupid does not preclude intelligence, that being learned does not preclude stupidity, and the more so because the more learned we are, and the more we tend to neglect other fields of knowledge, some of which we will clearly despise.

Therefore, I have more than once seen scholars give a wrong interpretation to things just because they wanted it to fit within their own field of knowledge, even though a less learned person would have, given the opportunity, demonstrated to the contrary.

Really said...

Those of you who think "the concerned" amongst us are motivated by a desire to humiliate Gudo, or by jealousy of Brad, or are merely, god forbid, sravakas blinded by the myth of Saint Nagarjuna and his untouchable text...can I beg your indulgence to read yet one more bit of sanskrit analysis? It isn't long, and may help to explain the "concerns" some of us have.

Gudo translates the last phrase of chapter 1, verse 2 as "But the Real Truth, which is No. 5, does never exist anywhere at all."

The is a very good example of a simple mistake, perhaps not in the sanskrit this time, but maybe in the English, or both, which, to me, suggests might something very different from what Nagarjuna wrote.

The verse of which this is the last line lists 4 "pratyayaa" (usually translated as "conditions"- Gudo choses to translate "pratyayaa as "real truth"...well, ok). The last phrase "...pratyayo naasti pancamah"
literally means "condition" [or Gudo's 'real truth'](pratyayo) "there is not" (na-asti) fifth (pancamah)".
SO - "there is no fifth condition".

This a a very simple expression in sanskrit. There is no room, no need, for interpretation: there are 4 conditions, they're listed, Nagarjuna then states that there is no fifth condition. My guess is that had N meant to say what G has written, he would have used a correlative clause ("The real truth - which is the fifth; that truth does not exist" is how the sanskrit would literally translate).

Gudo's translation suggests something very different; that there is a real truth; it is the fifth (after the four conventionally listed), and/but it is non-existent. If that's what Gudo meant to say, great; fascinating; interesting, maybe even true - I'm looking forward to reading about it, BUT it's not what Nagarjuna wrote or, dare I say it, meant. That's all. ("The real truth is that there is no truth"? Maybe - but that's not what N wrote, not here! He wrote that there is no fifth "pratyayaa" - which doesn't mean "real truth" - but that's another debate).

No Gudo or Brad hating is required to be aware of similar examples, continually, throughout Gudo's version.

Dear Harry... mate!
I know you're angry, but please stop talking to those you disagree with as fools - it's not helping.

PS - coz some of you keep forgetting - I, and I'm confident, most of the other "concerned", - are looking forward to Gudo and Brad's book.

Really said...

I enjoyed writing and thinking a bit. I'm now going out for a walk. Some might say that by doing so, I'll be penetrating the dharma; confirming the middle way in action; experiencing, rather than reading or writing about, sunyata...

+/- = 0

Tara for the nonce :-)

Really said...

...I forgot balancing my ANS - no sarcasm intended.

Anonymous said...

That's a great quote Rich. Thanks for posting it.
That was funny Aaron, "as the sangha turns."
Very appropriate what with all the melodharma!! ;)

Kyla

Scientific Method said...

Michel's point is that, because a sober surgeon will sometimes make a mistake, while a drunk monkey with a knife might sometimes get things right by chance, we should leave heart transplants to drunk monkeys.

The previously published
"Introduction" to the MMK, after Brad fixed it, makes a fascinating read regarding Gudo's description of his "scientific" method of translation, as he calls it, and his "utter confidence" in his understanding.

http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/MMK00.pdf

It also puts in new light rumors and claims made from time to time about the making of the Shobogenzo translation

Mike Luetchford said...

Dear Sensei

Please stop posting these critical emails about your students on your blog. They contain lots of claims which are completely untrue. I think this is because your memory is playing tricks on you in your old age. Your readers have no way to evaluate the statements you are making, and in this way you are creating a completely false view of your life as a buddhist teacher.

This email about Mike Cross’s contribution to your joint Shobogenzo translation is a very sad indictment on your present state as an old man. I have hard copies of the whole of your own original translation of the Shobogenzo here in a box beside me as I write this. Your original translation that you completed yourself was not readable, because your English at that time was very poor. In 1978, Jeff Bailey, Larry Zacchi and myself started to rewrite it with you. After 3 or 4 years, Mike Cross joined us. All four of us produced rewritten versions of the chapters that you later used in your Saturday seminars. I rewrote a large number of the chapters of your original translation (Volumes 3, 5, 8, 11, 12 of your Gendai Goyaku books), and I have the original typed up versions of those chapters here in front of me on my desk.

---

It is important for me to state clearly that your comments about your cooperation with Mike Cross are untrue. They are distorted by your failing memory of events. Although Mike has turned against you in recent times, he always cooperated with you in the translation, and would never go against your wishes with regard to the content. He produced a final translation that was the result of your joint effort over so many years, and he would never let us publish anything until it had been approved by you. Never. Both Jeremy and I were constantly impressed by Mike’s loyalty to you. Your description of the process of the translation is distorted and unacceptable.

Jeff Bailey left you in 1989 because he told us that you were too cold. I took that to mean that he could not feel any humanity from you. You were not loyal to his efforts to serve you. He seemed to feel you didn’t care any more. Mike Cross was not the reason why Jeff Bailey left you. Mike and Jeff talked about the situation before Jeff left, and will confirm what I say. Jeff left you because he didn’t want to continue studying with you. A similar situation has been repeated more than 5 times since then with later students.

Please stop this kind of posting on your blog. You are destroying your life’s work. I strongly urge you to close down your blog as soon as possible. You are misleading people who don’t know you and have never met you.

Michael Eido Luetchford
Chief Dogen Sangha Whistleblower
And your student for 30 years

The flaws in the diamond have been covered by dust for too long.


http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/2007/08/our-translation-of-shobogenzo.html

The flaws in the diamond have been covered by dust for too long.

Anonymous said...

love your post "you're doin a heckuva job brownie"

Anonymous said...

"Huineng was illiterate (he hadn't learned the hanzi) that probably set him free in more than one way."

Thank goodness Huineng never tried to translate any sutras as far as we know. He always had the texts read to him and then he'd give his interpretation. If Gudo did that, it'd be ok. I know it's hard to grasp, but zen masters get old and lose their faculties too.

Anonymous said...

Gudo is a normal old man in many ways. In reading over his blog it seems like there are many instances of him completely misunderstanding what is being asked of him. This had to be a problem with the MMK translation also. He reads something and then responds to what he misunderstands or just wants to talk about. It makes for some rather confusing dialogue.

But, I wish his MMK had his original translations included also.

Anonymous said...

All of this harkens back to the fact that people are just people no matter if they are a Zen Master, The President etc.
People in positions of power whether real or imposed are set to higher expectations and perhaps wrongly so.
In the end everyone is just as human as anyone else. We can choose to read their books, blogs etc. and choose what we take from them and what we discard. I have no knowledge of sanskrit but I think that if i were to try to read a translation I might also look at other translations as well. As it has been stated, there can be various interpretations.
In the end it is our own responsibility to choose.

Kyla

Anonymous said...

okay, Obama should be held to a higher expectation given what happened with Bush. Not that there were expectations of Bush, he just didn't meet many of them, perhaps deliberately and of his own greed.
But that is another blog.

Kyla

Harry said...

Hi, Really.

I don't know who you think I disagree with. I don't at all disagree with you pointing out what you feel are flaws in Gudo's 'translation'. I think that's very good, substantial, and very valid, and useful.

I disagree with sutra scholars who think that the realised universe can be uncovered in Readers Digest, or in their own precious words/views/opinions. Lots of that.

I disagree that there is one right translation of Nagarjuna, particularly when that position is offered by those who have not displayed the slightest real knowledge of what he and the Buddhist patriarchs point to.

I certainly don't agree with those people with very dubious agendas who want to humiliate an old man. And we've certainly seen that here. We know there is some jaded history in Dogen Sangha; in-fighting, jealousy, disagreement, squabbles... I am all for exposing the shit out of it, holding the mirror up to it. All concerned are to blame no doubt, but we should be careful not to push the overkill switch on people with the likes of this:

"...is a very sad indictment on your present state as an old man."

I'm not saying that Gudo Nishijima does not have serious, naturally occurring issues that many older people have to deal with, I am saying that treating those issues with contempt, as above, is not dignified conduct befitting Buddhist patriarchs. I'm certainly not perfect in thought and deed myself (obviously!) but this malignancy in Dogen Sangha is too much should be stopped and that will involve acceptance and people taking responsibility for themselves/ their own actions. The holding up of a mirror is called for, not some useless crusade (it has been tried and it failed).

Like I said earlier; I think the venom in this is all down to the designs and ambitions of people who need to fuck off up to a mountain cave on their own a bit more or whatever... that we have ambitions and feel put out when the Master seems to go against us is understandable. But in this case, there's too much of it afoot methinks.

I'm glad I don't know all the jaded history of the past, but I can see the jaded present, and it requires a bit more effort on certain people's part methinks.

GROWSIE UPPY TIME, DOGEN SANGHA!!!

Grandad isn't even the one on the throne any more.

Regards,

Harry.

Bowser on opium said...

"I am saying that treating those issues with contempt, as above, is not dignified conduct befitting Buddhist patriarchs.


But of course the same does not apply to calling other buddhist masters fraudulent scumbags. That contempt is perfectly acceptable. Just don't criticize MY master. I didn't notice anyone here calling gudo a scumbag, harry.

Harry said...

Oh, Bad Boy, Brad! You said a boo boo about the psycho babble antics of a Real Patriarch... I feel so puffed up and Right just now... mmmmmmmm, and it's giving me a little semi... I knew this self righteousness was good for something!

None of my business + my little self righteous semi errection= good argument for the interconnectedness of all things!

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

BTW, Is Gumbo, or whatever you call the BigMind bald guy with the pointy head, in frail health due to old age? It would explain a lot.

Regards,

Harry.

Tenzo said...

Whether the Nishijima version of Nagajuna's masterwork is "correct" in the eyes of the Sanskrit scholarship community is just not something I can even bring myself to care about. People keep trying to get me to care, though. And I swear to God I really have tried. Maybe I'm kind of retarded or autistic or something in that way. It's like when I used to tell the folks I mentored at the Summit County Board of Mental Retardation to zip up their pants or whatever and they just couldn't see the point at all. That's how I am. It's no use trying to get me to care because I just don't.

I have heard Zen teachers preach non-attachment and diligent, but I have never hear a Zen teacher teach "I just don't give a fuck, and just don't care". I seems a little different from this other old man's words

After that, ready the next morning's rice gruel. When washing rice, preparing vegetables, and so on, do so with your own hands, with close attention, vigorous exertion, and a sincere mind. Do not indulge in a single moment of carelessness or laziness. Do not allow attentiveness to one thing result in overlooking another. Do not yield a single drop in the ocean of merit; even a mountain of good karma can be augmented by a single particle of dust.

The Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries says, "If the six flavors are not provided, then it cannot be said that the cook has served the assembly."6 When examining the rice, first check for sand; when examining the sand [sifted from the rice], first check for rice. If you pay careful attention to detail, watching when coming and watching when going, then your mind cannot be scattered, and [the food] will naturally be replete with the three virtues and endowed with the six flavors.

When Xuefeng resided at Dongshan [monastery], he served as cook. One day when he was sifting rice [master] Dongshan asked him, "Are you sifting the sand and removing the rice, or sifting the rice and removing the sand?" Xuefeng said, "Sand and rice are simultaneously removed." Dongshan asked, "What will the great assembly eat?" Xuefeng overturned the bowl. Dongshan said, "In the future you will go and be scrutinized by someone else."7

In the past, eminent men in possession of the way practiced in this way [as cooks], working energetically with their own hands. In this latter day, how can we who are so late getting started [in our practice] be negligent about this? The ancients said that cooks regard tying up their sleeves [for manual work] as the way-seeking mind. Lest there be any mistakes in the sifting out of rice and sand, you should examine it with your own hands. The Rules of Purity say, "When preparing meals, one should reflect intimately on one's own self; [the food] will then of itself be pure and refined."


That's a quote from the

Tenzo Fuckit Kyôkun
Instructions for the "I don't give a fuck" Cook
by Eihei Dôgen

Harry said...

Well, in fairness, the guy did completely rewrite it and is putting the fooking thing out... not exactly the sin of sloth is it?... d'uh!

Regardless, you have to admit that working hard on something, and putting your name to something that you're not really that sold on, takes balls... or stupidity... or both!

Jesus said: "Let ye not cast the first stone ye who doeseth notteth liveth uppeth to every word written in my latest translation of Ye Oldeth Testament... I calleth it 'Shobogenzo', and it is good". Or something like that.

Regards,

Harry.

Hendrik said...

Hello Really,

Nishijima-sensei told me not so long ago, in person, that Nagarjuna had "very bravely stated there is no fifth". So I guess this is just a problem with his English.

Rich said...

I'm sorry but I don't care if the translation is 'correct'. If I read it and think something is incorrect, I'll let you know. It's all in the motion anyway.

"3. A Real Act to go belong to the motion of going,

And so how is it necessary for a Real Action to have any kind of
different name at all.

The states of going on have always have the two kinds of going, that
is, the motion of going, and the other is the progress of going. ,

Therefore in that case there is no new appearance at all."

Anonymous said...

2 5 0

Anonymous said...

think about what 'therefore' implies.

Caveman said...

Like I said earlier; I think the venom in this is all down to the designs and ambitions of people who need to fuck off up to a mountain cave on their own a bit more or whatever... that we have ambitions and feel put out when the Master seems to go against us is understandable. But in this case, there's too much of it afoot methinks.

Harry, if all this annoys you, perhaps you had best fuck yourself off to a cave. Maybe you have too many idealistic expectations for how Buddhist masters should behave.

Anastasia said...

Why does any of this matter, anyway?

Anonymous said...

It could be one guy writing most of the weird anti-Gudo shit appearing here. It rings different from the people who are just worried about translation problems. I think it is a cowardly troll.

Anonymous said...

You know who you are..

Really said...

Hi Hendrik,

You say, re that last phrase of verse 2 , chapter 1: "Nishijima-sensei told me not so long ago, in person, that Nagarjuna had "very bravely stated there is no fifth". So I guess this is just a problem with his English."

I think you're right. And I think Brad will certainly know this too. So this error will most likely be sorted in the final version. But comments like Rich's, and the anon who said "Here's to NumberFivism!", indicate that Gudo's mistranslation/poor English may lead folks to conclude things that certainly not Nagarjuna,and maybe not even Gudo, meant. There are SO many similar examples. Throughout. Continually.

Really said...

...and Rich -

It's clear that none of this matters to you; you're getting a lot out of Gudo's work, whatever he writes, and however he writes it. I understand that; whatever you think it means is not my business.

Harry said...

"Harry, if all this annoys you, perhaps you had best fuck yourself off to a cave. Maybe you have too many idealistic expectations for how Buddhist masters should behave."

Well, I'd love to be able to fuck off up to a cave for a while but, no dice. A day or two here and there will have to do me.

It doesn't really annoy me that much, but there are recurrent 'themes' in all this that, well, seem more than a little tragic... lots of people, Dharma brothers and sisters, who can't stand the sight of each other let alone talk to each other. That's a pity.

I certainly don't expect Buddhist patriarchs to be perfect, but a Buddhist patriarch is a Buddhist patriarch entirely because he/she makes efforts.

Families are families and we should expect a certain amount of turbulence... a certain amount.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

You know who you are..


Yes I do

Harry said...

And what have you learned from knowing yourself?

Speak! Speak!

Dharma Hair said...

Okay, okay. I admit it. I'm not in a good place about this.

I am actually, and always have been, gay for Gudo. He spurned my amorous advances on occasions and I just hate both him and myself for it.

I'm sorry, I'm just a bitter old unrequited fag. Sorry to all.

Anonymous said...

Finally.. A little honesty.

Rich said...

Really said
" ...and Rich -

It's clear that none of this matters to you; you're getting a lot out of Gudo's work, whatever he writes, and however he writes it. I understand that; whatever you think it means is not my business."

First of all, I know I am playing a small role in this soap opera. The point I want to make is that I don't think everything Gudo says is true for me and he is not infallible. However, I respect his efforts and he rings my bell enough that I enjoy reading him. Nargarjuna's and Gudo's words are way different, but is the meaning that differnt? Some will say yes because Gudo is misinterpreting and others will say no because his interpretation stands on its own. I always liked the living ones, because the dead ones words are often changed. the Sanskrit guy may not have been so great.

m said...

Best. LARPing. Message Board. Evar.

Not Uninvolved Observor said... said...

I think that what some of the other "anonymous" people who have known Gudo personally for a few years are trying to say is that Gudo

for all his small size, and "Zen Master" title, an little voice and smile, and oh so polite Japanese kindness and manners

is not always a very nice person, and is sometimes extremely paranoid and egotistical and angry right under the surface

This is especially true the last few years as he has gotten older and confused and some demons have come to the surface

Or say say many or most of his students who have known him personally for 10 to 30 years

Much of it is his age, but some of that was always there, barely (barely) kept in check by his constant efforts to "balance his autonomic nervous system".

Don't get fooled by his little size, little smile and polite Japanese manners

In the next generation of Dogen Sangha people, I hope we all learn to avoid that same "meanness" and ego hidden just behind the title and facade of "Zen Master" Otherwise, it is all bullshit.

Anonymous said...

In the next generation of Dogen Sangha people, I hope we all learn to avoid that same "meanness" and ego hidden just behind the title and facade of "Zen Master" Otherwise, it is all bullshit.

Haven't you been reading Brad's blog? Too late.

Rich said...

"In the next generation of Dogen Sangha people, I hope we all learn to avoid that same "meanness" and ego hidden just behind the title and facade of "Zen Master" Otherwise, it is all bullshit."

If you just take care of yourself everything will be fine. Buddhism is about you finding the truth not Gudo. And he doesn't have anything for you.

Anonymous said...

If you just take care of yourself everything will be fine. Buddhism is about you finding the truth not Gudo. And he doesn't have anything for you.

Find your own Truth, Rich, and get your own head out of your own ass

Anonymous said...

Oh you nasty anon you..

Mumon said...

Forget about Nishijima-roshi, for a while; at least his heart and other organs are in the right place.

Why kvetch about his translation when you can kvetch about paying $200.00 to Dennis (Genpo) Merzel’s presentation of “Shadow Voices of American
Buddhism,"
and other such things as those who are feeding at the estate of the late Frederick Lenz are celebrating their grant money.

Or so it seems.

Stephanie said...

The hijinks of the Dogen Sangha crew do a lot to support my theory that "enlightenment" doesn't mean anything worth much in terms of personal transformation. I can't tell you how many "enlightened" folk I've met who are vindictive, petty, small-minded, grandiose, self-serving, etc. Jackass before, jackass after. Go wash your bowl.

Another Not Uninvolved Observor said...

Dear Not Uninvolved Observor

Rich is right, there may be a lot of small mindedness and hijinks around Gudo and others, but just practice your practice. There are also many very good people and teachers associated with this Sangha, and that keeps me involved with it. Forget Gudo, forget Brad or whoever and just sit your sit.

Anonymous said...

From Clouds in Water Zendo, Cleveland
this translation of the Five Remembrances,
otherwise known as 'Verses on Impermanence'

good for everyone to consider, really:

The Five Remembrances

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My deeds are my closest companions.
I am the beneficiary of my deeds. My deeds are the ground on which I stand.

Birth will end in death.
Youth will end in old age.
Wealth will end in loss.
Meetings will end in separation.
All things in cyclic existence are transient, are impermanent.

The Buddhas cannot wash our sins with water.
They cannot remove our suffering with their hands.
They cannot transfer their insights to us.
All they can do is teach the dharma.
I am my own protector

Anonymous said...

This mind, understanding it's nature and its vaporous aspects does not prevent us from experiencing the deterioration of its 'hardware' so to speak.

I know one Roshi who has had to remain in Japan, while the feeble and feeble minded former abbot lives out his senility. The former abbot lives in separate living quarters and has care around him full time, he is not capable of participating in any of the temple life he headed and directed for years.

It is important to fully appreciate how we meet each moment, not take for granted the abilities we have while we have them

Anonymous said...

seriously.

Jim Dickinson dies said...

"I thought it would impress my children."

"It's some pretty off-the-wall stuff. Especially in the punk rock days."

Al said...

It seems to me that most here did not read what Nishijima wrote on his blog. He wrote "Interpretive Translation". Not literal.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that most here did not read what Nishijima wrote on his blog. He wrote "Interpretive Translation". Not literal.

The story of that is it is a late imposition by some of his students to put lipstick on this pig, and he does not understand the meaning. He believes his is the only accurate and literal translation.

Anonymous said...

279

Marleen said...

Pretty effective material, much thanks for your article.

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