Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Sickest Buddhist

Sickest Buddhist from GenerateLA on Vimeo.

Something like five people have forwarded this video to me. So I guess I'd better post it. I've met guys like this. More often, though, it's much more toned down. When you visit a retreat center right after a practice period all the young studs are just shining Enlightenment all over you. It's not quite as obnoxious as the guy in the video. But they are kind of like teenagers the way they now understand absolutely everything. It's cute. I remember my first kensho too...*

Anyway, I guess some people are upset that this video makes fun of Buddhists. That's kind of cute as well.

My favorite line is, "I make the Power of Now look like the Power of Then!"

Oh and to all the commenters planning to write, "The guy in the video is just like Brad!" Ha! I beat you to it! (And he's not. I dress much better.)



* This is a variation on the standard comeback line comedians use to hecklers, "I remember my first beer too." Don't read anything more into it than that.


ADDENDUM:

The folks who own the rights to "The Sickest Buddhist" are apparently asserting ownership claims about it & getting it taken off the Internet. As is their right. I used to do this with illegal Ultraman stuff that showed up on eBay. Though if they want my advice (I doubt they do!), it's probably a smarter move to leave it up there to generate interest in the young unknown comedian who made it (which is why we never complained about Ultraman on YouTube). Whatever.

Anyway, here are some other funny Buddhist themed videos. "Facebook Buddha" is genius! The Dharma Tweet crowd could learn a lot from that one.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

won

THE PoPo said...

There is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they lose it, for that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using mind to grasp Mind. Even though they do their utmost for a full aeon, they will not be able to attain it. They do not know that, if they put a stop to conceptual thought and forget their anxiety, the Buddha will appear before them, for this Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is all living beings. It is not the less for being manifested in ordinary beings, nor is it greater for being manifest in the Buddhas."

dirthuffer said...

Isn't that the guy from Flight of the Concords?

Really said...

Brad: "Oh and to all the commenters planning to write, "The guy in the video is just like Brad!" Ha! I beat you to it! (And he's not. I dress much better.)"

Fraid not, mate. If you'd read your previous comments section, you'd know that Anon @1.49pm posted the very same link, then Justin, @12.17pm re-posted it, with the following comment "As soon as I saw it I thought of Brad's post here. Killer."

So you come in a poor 3rd on this occassion.

Shame you didn't read the comments this time (maybe you'll catch up), there was some interesting stuff, including concerns about your forthcoming collaboration with Nishijima on Nagarjuna's MMK. Like it or not, we're your audience ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's a great video. If you can't laugh at yourself, then you need to grow up.

And all you wanna-be teachers, stop using this video as a launching pad to show how enlightened you are... Or could it be you're missing the point of the video entirely????

Really said...

I'm at least partially wrong.

Anonymous said...

See, all of you whiny bitches who say that zazen has no benefit? Check the video...
Nonattachment? MASTERED IT!

Seriously, that video rocks. And by the way, a general "thanks bunches" to all the whiny-ass intellectuals and whacked-out hippie potheads who constantly fuck up the general population's conception of Buddhism in the West. Makes me wonder how many Asian religious teachers just assume Americans are retarded...

This video is the fruit of that karma... BITCHES!!

~C4Chaos said...

Lama Boy could whoop the Sickest Buddhist ass any day :)

total consciousness for yooouuuuu~~~

~C

Mysterion said...

Yeah... Evelyn Wood speed meditation.

Do 30 minutes of Zazen in just 5 minutes.

“Glimpse” nibbana by fast tracking to the last step of enlightenment without having to do any long-form meditation. This program will save you time and money by bringing you Full Monte in just 5 minutes. Detach from everything! Pawn it all and send in your money. It's that easy.

Become a wandering mendicant in just FIVE minutes. Thousands have and they are waiting for YOU.

LOL

Mysterion said...

Anony:

Academic (anemic) link 1.

Academic (anemic) Link 2.

and I like Sandy Beck.

Mumon said...

Ah, if you won't let others make fun of any religion or no religion, not only are you inhibiting others' right to expression, but you're missing out on a mother lode of joke material, regardless of the religion.

Mr. Reee said...

I thought the video was pretty cool (don't care for the music)--but his hair is all wrong.

He needs to get that Yul Brynner thing going to do it right. And smaller shades.

Brian said...

Cheer up!

Mr. Reee said...

hmmm... yanno, on second look, that looks like Spirit Rock MC up here in Marin.

the herd said...

yep

gee said...

Dear Dirthuffer
Yep to Flight of the Concords pick-up...his name's Arj Barker, and he hangs around in Australia a lot...despite what the FotC guys say about us...

Paul Liberatore said...

Marin Comedian

HERE

After paying his dues in comedy clubs and festivals for a decade, Marin comedian Arj Barker finally has his first big break with a part in the comedy series "Flight of the Conchords," a cult hit heading into its second season on HBO.

"Conchords" follows the exploits of a clueless New Zealand folk/rock duo trying to make it in Manhattan.

On the show, Barker, who will do his stand-up act on Feb. 24 at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, plays Dave, a loser friend of the band's who lives with his parents and works in their pawnshop. He was in nine of the first 12 episodes.

"It's a small part, but to be a small part of something that's so well received, and to be on a show I actually believe is funny, is really fortunate," he says from his Aunt's house in Fairfax, where he stays when he's in town. "This show is unique, and I couldn't feel luckier that I'm on it. It's a great feeling."

Barker, who performs for several months every year in Australia and has a growing following there, met Clement and McKenzie at a comedy festival in Sydney and became friends with them when they all played the same club in New Zealand in 2004.

Anonymous said...

oh, i have to give up websurfing. i've been websurfing since lynx. done, please.

The Real (here we go again) Really said...

Welcome, Imposter Really @6.26pm,

You say "I'm at least partially wrong."

I am flattered by your attentions, and by the fact that what draws you to my work is a tendency to make mistakes, and to admit them. This is a very rare quality. It confirms that I am a rather special person, and full of zen.

On this occassion, however, my 5.05pm post achieved complete and unsurpassed perfection - apart from the mispelling of *occassion*, an intentional error included for the sake of authenticity...and apart from the fact that Justin didn't exactly say "The guy in the video is just like Brad!", and even if he had, that would make Brad a poor second, not third...although he is the third to have posted the link...or tried to post the link (I cannot be held responsible for the fact that anon @1.49pm's youtube link has since been removed by the owner)...

Feel free to impost me again. For I, like all realised individuals, have no ego. I understand that you are me, I am you, and we are all just this wonderful universe. So bring it on, dickwad.

Yours - and mine,
Really @5.05pm

Jinzang said...

The video has been taken down. But I suppose pointing people to a non-existent video is even more Zen.

Jinzang said...

Here's another bit of stupid Buddhist marketing: Karmacar! Turn your car into a traveling prayer wheel by putting mantras on the hubcaps.

The company's customers include Buddhist monks as well as young consumers searching for ways to easily but powerfully customize their cars and add to their lives and those around them.

Blake said...

Here's a list of other videos. Good times... good times...

http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=11402

Anonymous said...

"all the young studs are just shining Enlightenment"

....that's why they are young studs!

BTW, at 40....r u noticing the young studs or are they heavy competition on the zen virgins?

Anonymous said...

Karmacar rocks.
www.karmacar.com
According to the site, Buddha says: "Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement."
Put these on your Prius immediately and achieve a state of oneness with all things.
This is true Buddhism...
(*vomits*)
ONENESS... MASTERED IT!!!

Chan said...

Blogger Jinzang said...
"The video has been taken down. But I suppose pointing people to a non-existent video is even more Zen."

Yes, but use care. That finger has a nail in it.

Mysterion said...

One of the best YouTube Videos.

Mysterion said...

sorry HERE is the unmangled link.

poo happens

Mysterion said...

I think something to consider, just consider:

"Every time I hear a Buddhist friend calling some teacher a Charlatan or a poser (As my friend Brad Warner sometimes likes to do on his blog) or a Yoga friend talking about how yoga has lost its purity now that Lululemon covers every single tush in every yoga studio (I love those... pants), I want to tell them to stop. Please just stop. Stop right now. I want to say "Hey guys, did you read the paper today, the part where Goldman Sachs and Exxon screwed the entire planet 100 million times as badly as any confused Buddhist or yogi ever has? Did you hear the lyrics of the latest corporate rap song that reduces humanity to its most superficially glittering impulses for millions of young people to consume without a thought? Did you see how Republicans stonewalled on healthcare reform again? Then please stop talking about Buddhists and Yogis.""

This is the relativity argument - compared to a big evil, a smaller evil is not as big. Well pointing to mote or beam is still an attempt to overcome a flaw.

So a comment like: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye...? (Matt. 7:3)
is meaningless in relative terms.

wikipedia

Thank whatever gods may be, we all have flaws. Some of our flaws are large - genetically encoded - and passed, as a gift, from generation to generation. Hemophilia is just one example.

We are such stuff as desire is made of, and our little illusion of a life is rounded with a sleep.

alan said...

Sometimes when I hear about the latest Enron or Goldman-Sachs (ie the evil greedy thief de-jour) I start to get myself all worked up at the magnitude of some peoples rottenness.

It's all just a matter of degree, though.

I steal office supplies because that's what I can get away with.

They steal billions because that's what they can get away with.

My goal is clear to me. I've got to stop stealing pens from the office.

Seems doable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks mysterion. Here's some more from that link:

"When the great Buddhist master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, he didn't write it to make people talk sh-t about practitioners or teachers whose motivations we question as overly self-involved or rife with profit-motive. It was meant to be instructions on how to self-reflect on the dangers of the "ego" (a badly translated word, but no time here) in ourselves, on both superficial and subtle levels of life as a Buddhist practitioner. It was never meant to be a manual for going around pointing fingers at others and tearing people down."

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh, I missed the video!!! :(
That's what comes of not monitoring Brad Warner's every move!! :)

Love and hate seem to be two sides of the same coin as far as the comments on his blog goes.

Kyla

Mysterion said...

"Love and hate seem to be two sides of the same coin..."

Apparently that's one coin that I lost somewhere back...

Pardon me if I don't look for it.

P.S. If, by love, you mean "god," then he did not appear on a US coin before 1864. Then we cheapened god down to a couple of pennies.

Anonymous said...

I feel fortunate I was able to see the video before it got removed. It was very funny. Sometimes seeing a lampoon of yourself can make you realize if there is a disparity between how your think you appear to the world and how the world sees you. Usually there is!

I have to admit that when I look back at when I first started developing an interest in Zen I am shocked at some of the preconceived notions I had. "Attainment mindset" was the least of my concerns. Initially I thought Buddha was that fat-guy statue outside the Chinese restaurant! (Yes, I know now it's Buddha Hotei).
I thought that Buddhism was about being a pacifist doormat.
I thought the four noble truths were the ultimate expression of pessimism.
I couldn't tell the difference between a Shaolin monk and a Hare Krishna if you put a gun to my head!

It's interesting that Buddhism doesn't emphasize "conversion" as do so many other religions (Islam, for instance...)
This may be somewhat unfortunate because I think it can be so helpful to everyday people.
Recently, someone very close to me was bawling in a panic over some difficult situations in her life. A relative was diagnosed with cancer, bills had come due and there was a lot of pressure at work. In a genuine expression of anguish she said "I just want everything to be OK!!"

How could I not have compassion? Who HASN'T felt this way at some point or another?!
"I just want everything to be OK" could be the "tagline" for what it means to be human!

I really had to bite my tongue. Wasn't this the perfect time to proselytize the benefits of Zen Buddhism? Isn't zazen good for exactly this kind of feeling?!
I ended up just being sympathetic and I avoided the "sales pitch".

I'd be curious to know from those who follow Brad's blog:
1) What kind of stupid stereotypes about Buddhism and Zen did you carry into your practice initially?
2) What are your opinions on "converting" or "selling" others on the idea of Buddhism? Is it something you avoid sharing or do you actively attempt to "awaken all beings"?

Really said...

Kyla - re love and hate...

I strongly doubt that anyone here loves, or hates Brad. Some take issue with him, or do not find him credible. Some tease, correct or criticize him if they feel he's made, or about to make, a mistake. Some defend him. Some feel that his approach to Buddhism, as inherited from his teachers, is very human and quite profound - certainly big enough to take on criticism, but they don't love him. Others feel that his approach is superficial, ignorant even, and lacking any true insight. But I don't think they hate him.

What we all have in common is the opportunity to say so on his blog. Coz he lets us.

Perhaps that's what you meant?

Mysterion said...

Brad is a clinical case for me. His second book: "Angry in Akron" tweaked my interest. Then in his third book, when I discovered the gift his mother MIGHT have given to him (e.g. a genetically transmitted disease - Huntington's?), really brought out his Zen message of "handle it" - as I (Brad) am forced to just handle it.

In a sense, Brad is just trundling along a path, writing reports, and we, as readers, are no more than voyeurs of his journey.

You know what "THEY" say:
"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on."

Take a walk... a long walk.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Zen Master: "To ask this question is to deny your own chicken-nature."

teddie boy said...

The good news is therapy will not "fix gays." In other words, the vast majority of gays are BORN gay and not MADE gay by environment - that means nature and not nurture is indicated by a preponderance of research. Now, perhaps, the fundies will move on to some other erstwhile cause.

Anonymous said...

Well, Really, it is actually accurate that you were wrong about a few things in your post. As you as much admit: no one said the guy in the video was like Brad before Brad did. As you admitted, Justin didn't. I certainly didn't in my first anony-post linking to the now gone youtube video. (I am Anon @1.49pm) I posted it to share with folks here, not as a critique of Brad or anyone else. The guy in the video is nothing like Brad, maybe your imagination of what Brad is like, but not Brad in real life. Brad is Mr Un-Flashy. The video was funny and I look forward to the film of which it is a piece.

Also, the speculation on the MMK translation does not qualify as interesting, as it is all fantasy. None of the posters have seen the post-Brad version. And no one outside the publisher (I think) has seen it after whatever editorial work they have done. Anyone actually interested in Nishijima's take on Buddhism should read "To Meet the Real Dragon" and compare the English and grammar to his blog. Clearly there is a difference between what ends up in a published book and a blog.

I have read about half of the MMK translation after Brad's reworking. A few points based on actual facts, not speculation. 1) Brad only reworked the English and ideas of the commentary only, not the translation. Some of the commentary reads very much as his work, but without pop culture references or jokes. His style of conveying the dharma still comes through. 2) This translation includes transliterated Sanskrit of each verse followed by dictionary definitions of many key vocabulary words. This "holds the readers hand" through their own translation process, and allows the reader to critique the Nishijima's translation. In some places I noticed he used a word other than the literal translation in order to convey his interpretation. In another place I noticed he translated the same word differently in different verses. I noticed this because he included the literal dictionary definition as well.

I particularly like the chapter on fire, flame and combustion. I look forward to the final book. It will not be an easy read, but, hey, it is Nagarjuna, what do you expect?

Is Nishijima's interpretation as valid as Chandrakirti's? I propose that it is. Buddhism is a tradition including the lively debate of ideas and different interpretations. There was an article in Shambala Sun or one of the other mags a while back stating that that's what Buddhism is: a continuing philosophical debate within a certain framework. I certainly don't see any value in trying to recreate the Buddhism of ancient India, Tibet, Japan or anywhere else. That's like attending a Civil War re-enactment or a Renaissance Fair. I am more interested in the Buddhism of this here now. If Nishijima's translation supports and encourages our practice, then it is good even if it isn't what Nagarjuna intended.

Anonymous said...

Heads (idealism)
Tails (materialism)
The coin has two sides (action)
There is no coin (reality)

The weather's fine so I'm taking my niece to a theme park. It's not a Buddhist theme park but hey...

Have a nice day :)

Really said...

Hi anon @2.12 am -

If you check Hey-nonny-nonny-mouse's posts on the previous blog entry - for those were the comments I was referring to when I wrote "...concerns about your forthcoming collaboration with Nishijima on Nagarjuna's MMK" - I hope you'll see that no one is attacking Brad or Gudo here, just expressing concerns. So there's no need to defend. We're in complete agreement that the Brad/Gudo MMK may be a valuable contribution to Buddhism. But it may not. We can say that, can't we?

I've read just about everything that Gudo has published in English, including his blog, daily. His (and Brad's) Dogen-zen is what I do (what does that mean?). It's changed my life. It's clear that his editors and collaborators have played a major role in rendering his Jenglish comprehensible. On this occassion (!) I see a possible problem, in that Brad's lack of sanskrit must mean that his choice of expression
will be based on criteria other than the original text. If Gudo can make his intention clearly understood, we may get a book we can understand. It could be a mess. That's all. Well see.

You've taken my remarks about Brad's video posting very seriously. Don't. Perhaps the jokes also get lost in translation. I'm a fan. I think the man can take a little teasing.

I respectfully ask you not to make so many assumptions, difficult as it is on the net, about who I am and what my intentions are. I'm writing as a friend.

Really said...

...If your familiar with the history of Dogen Sangha, you'll be aware of the problems Mike Cross had with Gudo while working on Shobogenzo, and the problems Mike Luetchford (originally) had working with him on MMK. Fortunately, Shobogenzo turned out fine (although MC is dissatisfied with aspects of it), but in that case there's no doubt that Gudo was an expert in his field, and MC a gifted translator and editor. In the case of Gudo's first attempt at an English MMK, Mike Luetchford found it "increasingly difficult to deal with the problems that naturally arise in working with three radically different languages(Sanskrit, English and Japanese)..."* and the collaboration ceased. ML, with Gudo's blessing, published his own version.

I'm sure Gudo has insights into Nagarjuna, and I want to hear them. He could have chosen to write a book offering those insights, freely. But he's chosen to make a translation from sanskrit into English. For a poor sanskritist with a limited command of English, that's a questionable thing to do. But what the hey...

* from the introduction to "Between Heaven and Earth, from Nagarjuna to Dogen - a translation and interpretation of the MMK, by Mike Luetchford. 2002, Windbell Publications.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean love and hate in the literal sense, just making a joke about how much attention he attracts. I totally agree it's great he allows us to make comments and rant and rave. He doesn't come in and edit out those he doesn't like or agree with. Perhaps he stays quite detached from them?
For myself I just practice zazen and read some books, including his.
I did meet one "teacher" years ago that implied that I was an alien (yes, from outer space!) and i went home laughing and told the story to my new-agey roommate at the time and she said, and I quote, "Oh Kyla, people who are aliens KNOW they are aliens!"

Kyla

Mumon said...

1) What kind of stupid stereotypes about Buddhism and Zen did you carry into your practice initially?

I remember the first time I went to a Zen temple, in NYC, and saw Eido Shimano Roshi make a full prostration towards the Buddha/Boddhisattva during service.

And I thought, "Bowing to false gods!"


2) What are your opinions on "converting" or "selling" others on the idea of Buddhism? Is it something you avoid sharing or do you actively attempt to "awaken all beings"?

According to the vows I took, I'm a) supposed to be practicing the Dharma continually, and b) if someone asks about Buddhism I should explain it, and I try to, though it's difficult to do so and maintain nonattachment.

So at a recent visit to a temple in China, my family kept asking "What's this?" and I'd explain it to them.

The most amusing thing here, was when they asked, "What's the name of this temple? Does it have some special meaning?" But alas, the name of the temple was the pretty pedestrian "Lin Ji Feng Chan Si" or, "Rinzai Style Zen Temple."

Anonymous said...

Christopher Hitchens explains why God is not great.

Anonymous said...

Really,

The meat of the book is the commentary.

Jinzang said...

Is Nishijima's interpretation as valid as Chandrakirti's? I propose that it is.

Compare his translation of the fifth chapter to a more standard translation. Nishijima is obscure and hard to follow, not virtues in an already difficult text.

Space does not exist at all before the defining characteristic of space (akasalaksana).
If it would exist before the defining characteristic, then one must falsely conclude that there would be something without a defining characteristic.

In no case has anything existed without a defining characteristic.
If an entity without a defining characteristic does not exist, to what does the defining characteristic apply?

There is no functioning of a defining characteristic in a case where there is already a defining characteristic or where there is not a defining characteristic.
And it can function in nothing except where there is a defining characteristic or where there is not a defining characteristic.

When there is no related function (sampravrtti) (i.e. defining process), it is not possible to have "that to which a defining characteristic applies."
And if "that to which a defining characteristic applies" is not possible, then a defining characteristic cannot come into existence.

Therefore, "that to which a defining characteristic applies" does not exist (i.e. independently); and certainly a defining characteristic itself does not exist (i.e. independently).
Now, something does not exist without "that to which a defining characteristic applies" and the defining characteristic.

Anonymous said...

Nice day at the theme park - although a little damp at times. How on earth did we manage without independent defining characteristics? We had hotdogs and Coke instead. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

Jinzang said...
Is Nishijima's interpretation as valid as Chandrakirti's? I propose that it is.


You quoted me, then responded with something not quite a response to the issue I brought up. The translation you prefer is of course not Chandrakirti's interpretation, it is someone else's English translation of Nagarjuna. By interpretation, I meant commentary. Chandrakirti wrote in Sanskrit, so he didn't translate MMK.

Honestly, I have no idea how different Chandrakirti's and Nishijima's interpretations of MMK are, as I haven't read Chandrakirti's commentary. But I have read a good chunk of Nishijima and Brad's commentary and I found it helpful to my practice. Also, I have no idea how different what Nishijima is posting on his blog is from what is in the text that I read, as I haven't compared.

Really said...

anon -

You say, "The meat of the book is the commentary" and "I have read a good chunk of Nishijima and Brad's commentary"...

Could you please point me to, quote, or link an example of this "commentary"? So far, apart from an introductory paragraph or two to the complete translation, Gudo has published no "commentary". What you see on his blog is "translation" only, verse by verse, in its current state often incomprehensible, and full of errors. Errors like taking the word "asamskrta" to mean the absence of a sanskrit word. Samskrta means formed, conditioned, put together (and hence came to be applied to the perfected language, samskrta, or sanskrit), and "asamskrta" means unformed etc. In the context of the MMK there is NO WAY it refers to the language of sanskrit, or a sanskrit word. This is a schoolboy error. Gudo's translation abounds in such errors. I could take you through them. This means that Gudo has simply got it WRONG - not always, but quite often, and in important places. Brad now has the job of taking those errors - which he won't know are errors - and the frequently meaningless english, and moulding it all into a coherent book.

But you're talking about a non-existent commentary, and I'm concerned about a non-existent book!..Shall we just wait and see?

p.maestro said...

hey brad

just read the wrapped in chocolate, it was great! i got to the end without realizing i was there. good read anyhow.

enjoy your "trip around the world"

Anonymous said...

Could you please point me to, quote, or link an example of this "commentary"?

I can sort of point you to it. It is sitting on a chair in the other room of my home. I have a physical copy, you know, paper and ink like the old days. You will have to trust me for now when I say the meat of the book is the commentary. It was given to me in confidence; I won't copy and paste it onto the internet. But given the speculation in the comments section of this blog, I thought I would post my 2 cents since I've actually read the thing.

Just because something isn't on the internet, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :)

Really said...

AAH! inside info - why didn't ya say, lol! My concerns are somewhat eased :-)

Really said...

...but only somewhat.

Jinzang said...

Chandrakirti's commentary on the MMK is Clarifying Verses, partially translated by Mervyn Sprung. Unfortunately out of print, but you may be able to get it through a library. It is not an easy read.

The MMK was written to convince an imagined opponent who held the view expressed in abhidharma. Without understanding abhidharma, you will not understand the MMK. In the fifth chapter, Nagarjuna is arguing against the abhidharma concept of dharmas, each with their defining characteristic mark (lakshana). He's arguing this concept is incoherent and contradictory. If you don't know the concept he is refuting, you won't follow the text. This is not something you can glean from a word for word translation from the Sanskrit.

Jinzang said...

Okay, I haven't read Nishijima's commentary, but even if it's good and helpful, it doesn't follow that it's an accurate commentary on the text. I could write a nice commentary on Buddhism and tie it to my misunderstanding of quantum mechanics. It might be helpful to a fellow Buddhist, but any physicist would tell you it had nothing to do with quantum mechanics.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Heads (idealism)
Tails (materialism)
The coin has two sides (action)
There is no coin (reality)"

The coin lands on its edge.

Zen

and THAT coin has Columbia - goddess of America. Reality.

Some Brit said...

THAT coin , being an English penny, we can safely assume features Brittania, not Columbia:

http://www.romanbritain.freeserve.co.uk/britannia.htm

also:
http://trad.appspot.com/song/Columbia,_the_Gem_of_the_Ocean_%28Britannia,_the_Pride_of_the_Ocean%29

Anonymous said...

Just say 'The Coin' 500 times, no, 5000.

Anonymous said...

Sickest Buddhist Freestyle Response Video

Anonymous said...

The coin on it's edge?
Not heads
Not tails
But still a coin
The CONCEPT of something...
Zen? Chan? Dhyana? Meditation?
What's in a word?
Reality? Ineffable me fears.

sad;jkcasdljc'alkdsj'clasdcln/nc sdalnc'sdlc'lKMDCLKSCDK /,Sndc/#PDCWIEJFnwlnmcz,mzx\vc,na'ldisv'lansdvn

Now that's wisdom...

Matt said...

I didn't get a chance to see the video, but I'm sure I would have been offended if I had.

Had Matter said...

Can someone explain to me or speak to why they so readily abandon their own culture and heritage for a foreign system? I guess I find this and the love affair with yoga (which has turned into pseudo-athleticism) quite pretentious at times. Watching you guys dissect this Zen guy and that guy's translation.. blah blah. It's completely effing mind-numbing. It's like you purposefully chose a difficult, frankly tangled-up and semi-dogmatic system to stumble over and choke on in order to satisfy the deep-seated self-loathing, somewhat contradictory urge that many affluent young Americans and Europeans share, to dissect themselves from any affiliation with their own culture, in order to assuage some held-on subconscious guilt or disdain of their family's Christian, Jewish, or whatever background. Or perhaps simply to feel better about themselves in some way, or exclusive, cool. I truly don't understand it because it comes from a place of refusing to explore the possibility that there remains anything inside your own ethnic / genetic framework of the enlightened sort.

You're probably assuming I am about to bust out the 'Judeo-Christian' word. WRONG!
There is a deeply embedded tradition in our Western roots.. a perennial undercurrent. As far as I'm concerned, just as rich and thorough in its teachings as Buddhist philosophy. Maybe you've heard of it? Hermeticism and Hellenistic philosophy is one main aspect of it. Yeah. I suppose I like it because it is clean in translation, within my own cultural framework, simple, generally straightforward to understand, and conveys many if not almost all of the same messages.

I'm not dogging on Buddhism like it's inferior to the above, but it saddens me to see such a gaping hole of ignorance concerning the knowledge surrounding our own roots, and the subsequent rejection of it for a philosophy that, at least in it's purest most traditional form, is not relevant to the West. I like the guy who said he wants the Buddhism of today, not of the times when it was created. That I truly respect. Create your own philosophy out of your surroundings, upbringing and environment. Do not rely on others sayings, texts as core references or guides to/for your behavior. All they are is perspectives and pointers.

Beliefs are playthings to try out and experiment with, learned from, nothing more. The force some people attribute to being 'God' is formless and contains no qualities inherently, to give it a quality is to impose a limitation on it. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Cultivation of NO belief, and intermittent paradigmal piracy allow for real gnosis. Am I suggesting anarchistic hedonism with no regard for others? No.. Not at all, one can in fact live harmoniously with his fellow man and be devoid of all belief; because physical existence is based in give and take transactions.. To be motivated by the powerful self-preservation instinct a human lives with, AND be kind and loving to his neighbor are not contradictory impulses, if understood properly. From a holistic view of the big perspective they are one and the same, at least a symbiotic relationship.

I guess I don't see what all the hubbub is about with Siddhartha and all the Buddhas.
Hell, there were earlier wise sages.. Ashtavakra was something like 3000-5000 years before Siddhartha's time. Advaita Vedanta nearly said it all as far as I'm concerned. Still Indian, yes, but my point is, Buddhism gets all the limelight, and I'm not really sure why. It gets old, really.

Put down your Zen texts, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chogyam Trungpa and Ken Wilber books that you rely on so much. Give your own culture a chance for Chrissake. (Heh.) At least once. Or reject it all and formulate your own. /rant over

Mr. Reee said...

Regarding Hermeticism, in reading the following I was struck by the con pulled upon John Dee by his fellow alchemist Edward Kelley.

"During a spiritual conference in Bohemia, in 1587, Kelley told Dee that the angel Uriel had ordered that the two men should share their wives. Kelley, who by that time was becoming a prominent alchemist and was much more sought-after than Dee, may have wished to use this as a way to end the spiritual conferences."

Some things never change, eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee

Had Matter said...

It's true.. Kelley was a bad guy. Aleister Crowley claimed to be his reincarnation. Not the most savory character either in many respects. All three men happened to be spies as well, which entails a certain alliance towards duplicitous practices.

So, I'm guessing you're attempting to use one bad apple as a way to discredit the movement.

Propagandist, and likely effective, considering the site we're on, but some know better.

I somewhat regret my tirade in defense of one of the philosophies I give much credence to. I suppose I've had a lot of backlash, especially in my town, surrounding it, people give shit about something they inherently don't understand, and usually in their reaction or assessment I find people to be misinformed on the subject.

Besides what I said in the previous post, I think what I'm saying boils down to the idea that it is quite valuable for each individual to examine the esoteric core of any exoteric religion or system they are following, since this core is more alike to the center of other traditions than any of the exoteric elements, and that entails something very important. Buddhism certainly has that element in there and inside there is rich territory.

Mr. Reee said...

No intention to discredit. Just showing that it's quite possible to trade in one set of illusions for another if you're not careful.

The primary thing I like about Zen is that it's self-evident from the git-go. Nothing supernatural about it (hence not being a religion.)

Or like the Buddhist masters of old used to say: "What you see is what you get, baby! huh! good-gawd-yall!"