Wednesday, September 16, 2009

日本に帰りました!


Yep, that's right cats and kittens, I'm back in Japan! And boy are my arms tired.

The flight I was on was full of junior high students so I got bumped up to business class. Classy!

Actually I've always had complete contempt for people who ride first or business class*. It just seems to wasteful and elitist. Yet there I was, up front with all the wasteful elitists. They even close off the doors between the two classes so those of us in business don't have to be bothered by seeing the suffering of the riff-raff in back of the plane. I did an interview in Montreal once where I was asked, "They say the Dalai Lama does meditation when he flies on planes. Do you do that?"

To which I answered, "The Dalai Lama probably flies first class. There's room to do meditation in those seats. I'm always in coach!"

But no, I did not do zazen in my giant wasteful seat. Couldn't have if I'd tried! The "full bed" function on those is better than you get in cattle car class, but not all that great. It's sorta tilted forward so you're always just about to slide out.

Anyway, that'll probably be my last chance to fly business class unless I get another plane full of pre-teens someday.

My European Tour of 2009 is now over. But it looks like there may be another in 2010. I'll keep you posted as news develops.


*Oh stop getting your panties in a twist! I don't really hate those people. It's just a reaction I have that goes way back. It's hard to get rid of these things.

152 comments:

Dummy said...

What can I say..

Lee said...

Come to Australia next time, please! :)

alan said...

Gotta go to Target and get me a pair of Ronco Panty UnTwisters(tm).

Or a set of titanium panties.

Chris Andrews said...

The body, mind, universe are all one, and coach and biz class are all one. Try telling that to my knees, Buddha!

ben said...

welcome back, sorry i can't make it out for the sesshin this year.
Next time!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, don't take Jundo up on his offer to sit together and share a glass of tea! Why is he asking such a simple request to you in public on your blog? Smells of politics and power with two very large Ps.

By the way, did he ever say sorry for the vicious things he said about you publicly a while back? I guess not, since he seems to think that practising zazen gets rid of everything bad he did in the past, ha ha ha!

Watch out for Jundo -- although his avatar seems to be friendly and conciliatory, in person he is a power-monger and will make capital out of any concessions you grant him.

A well-wisher

Anonymous said...

Congrats for your promotion to the rank of business class zen master!

eda said...

情趣按摩棒,自慰套,角色扮演,按摩棒,跳蛋,情趣跳蛋,

.,
情趣,G點,性感丁字褲,情趣,角色扮演服,吊帶襪,丁字褲,情趣用品,無線跳蛋,男女,
按摩棒,電動按摩棒,飛機杯,視訊,自慰套,自慰套,情趣用品,情趣內衣,

潤滑液,SM,內衣,性感內衣,自慰器,充氣娃娃,AV,

Justin said...

Zen is reality - things just as they is.

Some situations and some postures make it easier to be present with reality than others, but there is no reason why we can't meditate on a plane - it just won't be in zazen posture or in a nice quiet zendo.

anon #108 said...

Re: Jundo v Brad...(In the sure and certain knowledge that this post will convince no one).

"By the way, did he ever say sorry for the vicious things he said about you publicly a while back?"

Yes, he did. Publicly. On this blog,in fact. Guess that confirms he's a power-monger.

"I guess not, since he seems to think that practising zazen gets rid of everything bad he did in the past, ha ha ha!"

Source?

"in person he is a power-monger and will make capital out of any concessions you grant him."

I assume you know Jundo...well, and have done for some time, personally. If that's the case, I'd be interested to hear an example or two. You seem to have no concerns about keeping your views on this private (I doubt that Brad needs your input on the "tea with Jundo" invite).

I don't know the guy, and I don't like his style of presentation (I mean his writing and appearances on Treeleaf). By his own admission he is inconsistent and prone to righteous outbursts. He has issues with Brad and snipes anonymously here (not so clever). So, like quite a few of Nishijima's Dhrama-heirs, he's flawed.

But the Treeleaf project is a good thing, helping a lot of people who can't otherwise access a sangha to maintain their practice with some kind of community. No, it's not the same as a 'real live sangha', but for many sincere, decent people it's a lot better than nothing. Yes, Jundo gets 'famous' as result, but so does Brad and anyone who 'teaches' or publishes books successfully. I don't believe Jundo makes a cent out of it. And what he teaches is informed, insightful Buddhism. When was the last time you visited the site and read any of it?

I'm saying that the man may be a prick - I don't know - but that doesn't mean that everything he does is done with nefarious motives.

proulx michel said...

Anon #108 said: I'm saying that the man may be a prick - I don't know - but that doesn't mean that everything he does is done with nefarious motives.

I think you might be right here, (or whatever, I'd like to think you are right here).

Anyway, and I'm pretty sure Brad won't contradict me here, we all tend to be pricks at one time or another. Some for longer moments, but still.

The problem is not our being pricks, it's our not acknowledging it. But I suppose you have already guessed this, and it is one of the "prides" of most of Nishijima's heirs, I believe, to be able to acknowledge this fact, at least partially.

Anonymous said...

Jundo might be a prince among men, I don't know, I've never met the guy. But his post here seems a little fishy to me to use Justin's phrase. What is the real meaning of him coming to Brad's blog and inviting him to 'sit Zazen together and share a glass of tea.' when it would be more efficient to e-mail Brad or contact him in a less public way. I think the answer is that the invitation was not really for Brad. It was a political device for the benefit of the readers of this blog to show us all what a decent and good fella Jundo really is..

Anonymous said...

Justin, As Brad as stated here a few times.. he doesn't meditate. He sits zazen. So while it is possible to contemplate eternity while flying to Japan, apparently it was impossible for Brad to properly sit zazen. That is all he said.

Jundo, on the other hand, likes to make a big show of video-taping himself meditating while flying in a trans-pacific jet or lying down in bed or sitting in the back yard with a bucket on his head. Different strokes..

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

We're doing our monthly zazen retreat at HSC in Santa Monica this Saturday (Sep 19). 5 zazen periods, 3 kinhins, oryoki, samu, and talk. You're welcome to join us.

Next week (Sep 26) Kevin Bortolin (a dharma heir of Nihijima's) will come down to do a guest teacher gig. Kevin's a great guy and his visits are rare, so don't miss it.

Rob

anon #108 said...

..."or sitting in the back yard with a bucket on his head" HAHAHA!!!

Meanwhile...

I agree that Jundo's public invite to Brad seems to be "a political device for the benefit of the readers of this blog to show us all what a decent and good fella Jundo really is.." But even so, if I was in an overly generous mood I could see the same invite as a publicly conciliatory gesture, an apology, to make up for those less than conciliatory attacks...Whatever. My final remark about motives not necessarily being nefarious wasn't directed at the invite, but to this warning:

"Watch out for Jundo -- although his avatar seems to be friendly and conciliatory, in person he is a power-monger and will make capital out of any concessions you grant him."

Jundo Fan said...

Maybe he was just inviting the guy to sit Zazen and drink tea while he is in Japan. After all, if there have been disagreements in the past, that seems as good a first step as any to make things better. Seems a nice enough gesture.

I like jundo's presentations on Treeleaf. To each his own.

Anonymous said...

Jundo fan: Yeah, maybe.. It does seem like a nice enough gesture. I think maybe it was supposed to seem like that..

Of course Jundo also wrote this to Brad..

'I am going to go public, with every resource I have privately and on the internet to make you a laughingstock, to tell folks what I think of you, to embarrass you. I will speak out (you can fool others but you can't fool me ... you embarrassment to yourself, our teacher, all of us associated with this)"

That one wasn't such a nice gesture.
So, you see, there is a lot of water under the bridge. But who knows.. maybe they will get together over there and become best pals.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I don't see Jundo being a prick to many people. People are so cynical.

That email was discussed here many times too. It ends

I will speak out (you can fool others but you can't fool me ... you embarrassment to yourself, our teacher, all of us associated with this). It's not "edgeplay, man ... it's a 12 year old who giggles at the graffiti he drew on a bathroom wall. I will do what I can upon my return to Japan next month to stop the September Retreat at Tokei-in.

You are free to to turn your hanging out in nudie bars, getting "lap dance" from strippers into a profound "teaching" (there are fools born every minute who will buy it too. I think you are just a clown). But you are free to do it, and I am free to take the action I think is right.


And Jundo apologized and explained it


Believe it or not, until very recently (when I really decided to wash my hands of the situation), I was very protective of our teacher Nishijima, who I thought was really in a fog, really getting confused, and really unaware of what was going down with Brad (the rumors of sleeping with students and all that). This was the time many of us were hearing rumors about all the stuff going down described in his book (I don't think the book tells the whole story), and I was upset about what I perceived as his complete disregard for the shame he was casting on our teacher (believe it or not, I once cared about that. I don't care so much anymore). I think the trigger was some article he wrote about getting a lap dance in an S&M club or something as a "Great Buddhist Teaching". Something like that was the spark.

Thus, in a moment of passion, I wrote him the above stupid irate e-mail.

Anonymous said...

It was only after the 'stupid irate e-mail' was released for everyone to read, did Jundo show any kind of remorse. But hey, that's fine, everyone has made mistakes when angry.

What bothered me is how he continued to throw Gudo under the bus to justify some of the things he said and did. He has a habit of saying the people who distrust him are somehow deranged. That kind of stuff bothered me then and still does now.

Anonymous said...

"日本に帰りました!"

Don't forget to say "こんにちは"
to Yukihisa Fujita, one of the few
politicians in the world brave enough
to speak openly about The Big Lie.

Anonymous said...

He has a habit of saying the people who distrust him are somehow deranged.

Can you provide a quote? An example? Or is it that maybe you just don't like Jundo so imagined it.

Maybe you ARE deranged!

Anonymous said...

Anon@11:08
Jundo certainly thought Brad was deranged when he wrote his 'stupid irate e-mail.' He has insinuated that Gudo is suffering the effects of dementia when it became convenient. He has also claimed the Mike Cross needed psychiatric counseling a few years back. I will not provide you with the quotes because I will not go looking for them. But they are out there as most blog readers know. Jundo isn't a bad guy but he will say some things are not necessarily true to exaggerate a point. IMO

James said...

Why are people getting pissy about the whole Brad-Jundo saga again?

Jundo asked Brad to sit zazen with him and have a cup of tea. The only thing that can be reasonably drawn from that invitation is that Jundo would like to sit zazen and drink tea with Brad. Anything else is mindless speculation expressed by people who need to sit more and think less.

Ultimately, anything that happens between Brad and Jundo has nothing to do with anyone but Brad and Jundo.

Justin said...

"he doesn't meditate. He sits zazen."

Well that makes all the difference.

Harry said...

Hey,

Where tha flip did Jundo's message go? It's disappeared!

I swear ta fook, this is a strange and spooky place sometimes.

Regards,

Harry.

Rick said...

Yea... ain't that some shite!

amanda said...

"The problem is not our being pricks, it's our not acknowledging it."

I'm making this my new e-mail signature.

Lauren said...

Harry,

Tanks fur "I swear ta fook". Seeing that accent transliteration put a big arse grin on me face.

Hitler said...

He has also claimed the Mike Cross needed psychiatric counseling a few years back.

Well, Nishijima-Cross Mike Cross did need counseling, and finally got some, thank gawd

The spark for this insight came from noticing people’s response to a recent Dharma-heir of Gudo Nishijima’s called James Cohen -- a New York lawyer called Cohen... the mind already begins to put him in a certain class, to reach for the filing cabinet and pull out a stereotype marked “New York Jewish lawyer.”

---

Why did Adolf Hitler manifest such overt hatred for Jews? The answer was provided, to my satisfaction anyway, by a reader of this blog who pointed me to the work of Alice Miller. According to Ms Miller, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Adolf’s father was the illegitimate son of a Jewish merchant, that Adolf’s mother was the Jewish merchant’s housemaid. Thus, the mirror principle may have been working again: what Hitler feared within himself -- his being a dirty Jew -- he saw reflected outside himself, and hated it.

Hitler said...

url

http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:JH0GOSlpLH4J:the-middle-way.blogspot.com/2007/01/mirror-principle.html+mike+cross+hitler+jap&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk

Hitler said...

Blogger Mike Cross said...

Mike got a page of a Buddhist sutra glued to his left hand. When he tried to take it off with his right hand, the page got stuck to his right hand. But by shaking just his right hand, he could finally throw it off.

Thus, when Mike read's Gudo's blog, Mike does not believe even one word of it. Mike thinks that Gudo is just a little yellow liar, whose only legacy on this earth might be a very meagre band of little white liars.
4:21 PM, May 18, 2006


(4c) Fearlessly being yourself
Who guided non-buddha to realize himself as non-buddha?

A conniving, treacherous little yellow bastard.

posted by Mike Cross at 9:57 AM 0 comments

http://the-middle-way.blogspot.com/2007/02/4c-fearlessly-being-yourself.html


The inflated ego of a small vain man turned him into a liar and revealed me to be a foul-mouthed Zen bastard.

To hell with you, Gudo, you vain bag of shit.

That I was attracted before such a mirror, says what about me?

And yet, even a vain bag of shit, by devoting itself to daily investigation of Fukan-zazen-gi, can experience the body and mind of a vain bag of shit, dropping off.

And now, when I investigate it, the persona of a foul-mouthed Zen bastard suits me quite nicely.

Perhaps instead of insulting the old man, I should really thank him for leading me to this realization? No, fuck him. Fuck you, too Gilles. What do you know about it? In the old man's view he translated Shobogenzo and I just revised the English. That's how he sees it and that's what he says. But he is lying, to himself and to others. What do you know about it? Pretentious French twat. Fuck you. Fuck the lot of you. Bunch of know-alls giving your useless Zen opinions on the basis of no real knowledge. Fuck the lot of you.

http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/2006/09/dogen-sangha-7-truth-is-just-one.html

tea house said...

Perhaps he would serve: tea

Break yo mama's back...

Anonymous said...

Something oddly pathetic about the public gesture of having Brad over for tea.

we are coming upon the Highest of High Holy days, it makes sense to me, in the deep rootedness of these things, to be making amends--for putting to rest the unrestful material still smoldering within himself--
apologies after all are more for the benefit of the one making them.

12 steppers know this terrain very well--when 'making amends' is a self-serving thing more than a service to/for the other...

There is no need for paths to cross, just letting each other move freely/function fully without either judging the other.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jundo Fan said...

Something oddly pathetic about the public gesture of having Brad over for tea.

Yes, two Zen teachers offering each other tea seems very threatening and political.

Mike Cross, in one of his more balance moments, also talks about the "mirror principle", which is a Buddhist version of "people see in others what is inside themselves." Anyone who thinks that making peace in a public statement is about "Politics and Power" is probably a very political and power conscious person.

Good night

Anonymous said...

Buddhists are trying to get their foot in the door ahead if the catholics!

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rojola said...

Think about including Amsterdam in the 2010 tour! ;-)

Long Time Mike Fan said...

Oh you missed some classic Mike Cross

But sometimes the use of the word "fucking" is not gratuitous. Sometimes it expresses the negation of idealism, the negation of the Buddhist tendency to try to look and sound like Buddha. If you want to see that tendency in action, try looking up on the internet some of the things that Jewboy Jundo James Cohen has posted up on the subject of keeping the precepts and "politeness." Cohen has written several emails to me and other of his seniors in Gudo's order requesting us always to sign off with "gassho" or some such nicety when we write emails. Cohen, you are a jumped-up, pretentious, meddling, precept-peddling pest. Fuck off, you fishy-smelling, hairy cunt. If you wish to uphold the precepts, then fucking well keep them yourself, you pushy two-faced cunt.

http://catalogueoferrors.blogspot.com/2008/05/reaching-up-not-fucking-with-sun-moon.html

Venerable Master Cohen! In Buddhism, is to be polite a choice, or is it an obligation, like a commandment?

If you say that it is a choice, then I would like to say to you, Venerable Master Cohen: Fuck you, you poser.

If you say that it is a kind of commandment, then I would like to say to you simply: Fuck off, jewboy.

anon #108 said...

Yep. That's (a few of) Gudo's Dharma-heirs for ya. Flawed pricks. And publicly so. It seems that Gudo himself may be a flawed prick.

But each one of them (I mean Gudo, Mike Cross, Brad Warner, Jundo Cohen - and others who don't create so much of a stink) is, IMO, sincerely doing his best to realise something honest and useful. And, of course, making mistake after mistake.

Not everyone's cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

For latecomers, "The Invitation" went something like this:

*Dear Brad,

Now that you are in Japan, please come and share a glass of tea.

Gassho,
Jundo.*

Perhaps those with photographic memories can recall the exact wording? That ALL trace of it has been removed from the blog indicates (doesn't it?) that Brad, not Jundo, removed it.

Not taking sides...just saying.

Anonymous said...

...Oh, The Invitation included sitting:

*...let's sit zazen and share a glass of tea...* or similar.

Anonymous said...

I still maintain that Jundo posted the invitation publicly to show everyone how magnanimous he is rather than as a sincere gesture. Apparently Brad thought so too..

But even before Jundo composed the 'stupid irate e-mail', he had accused Brad of being a plotting fink working behind his back to turn Gudo against him. That is a fact.

Anonymous said...

It seems pretty clear that Brad removed it so he wouldn't have to acknowledge it. And it seems equally clear that Jundo posted it publicly in an attempt to push Brad into acknowledging it; Jundo has previously asserted that Brad no longer responds to his emails.

It's a pretty shitty thing for Brad to do, really - he could have ignored it or refused it, but deleting the comment (especially when you consider the kind of comments he doesn't delete) makes him look like a petulant child.

Brad, it's just an invitation to tea, stop being such a douche!

Anonymous said...

Brad isn't a douche. Jundo isn't a douche. The guy that called Brad a douche isn't a douche. And strangest of all, even a douche isn't a douche.

floating_abu said...

True zazen is the samadhi of all postures.

And reactions do change over time with genuine practice.

Hope you are having wonderful travels. Safe journey, as always, Brad. And true practice.

Thankyou for your entries.

Best wishes,
Abu

zen for dummy said...

True practice.. Half of the formula for false buddhism.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I have some news for those of you who attend the DSLA Weekly Zazen Classes and Monthly Zazen Retreats on Saturday mornings in Santa Monica. I know some of you live far away and only come for the monthly retreats (kind of an end-gaining attitude IMO, but that's another discussion). In the past we've done the one-day retreats whenever they seemed most convenient, but from now on we're always going to hold the Monthly Zazen Retreats on the third Saturday of each month. I hope that helps some of you with your planning. Don't forget, our September retreat is tomorrow (Sep 19) and Kevin Bortolin's our guest teacher next week (Sep 26). If you have any questions you can email me at myusernamehere@gmail.com.

Rob

P.S. My verification word today is "whads". Yea, baby.

Anonymous said...

My take


a)The blog goes through it's own ups and downs.
At the moment, it's doing quite nicely and the active anonymi these days seem a responsible lot--some discussion actually happening (as opposed to just noise and Tourette's)

b) There's the cyber cyangha guy and the expunk giant ancient lizard afficianado. These two don't see things eye to eye and despite one wanting an encounter the other has made it clear there will be no toe to toe mano a mano. Just ain't gonna happen fugghetaboutit.
Why? because the pointlessness of it all is self evident for one
Just go about life, no need to heighten any drama
some people just don't get along
take the bowl and robe and leave already

why would one continue to pursue another?
and in public?

so let's not open up a non discussion here
of something that doesn't belong here
has overstepped bounds multiple times by coming here

enuf is enuf already

let thy blogs be thy blogs
and my blogs be my blogs

anon #108 said...

Amen.

Mumon said...

RE: Business class: there's actually often a good reason why folks fly business class.

Because the perceived value of their business of their trips.

If you have a meeting the next morning, business class is a must, if you're going to talk about business worth potentially millions.

Alan_A said...

Mike Cross is quoted as saying:

If you say that it is a kind of commandment, then I would like to say to you simply: Fuck off, jewboy.

Anon#108 says:

But each one of them (I mean Gudo, Mike Cross, Brad Warner, Jundo Cohen - and others who don't create so much of a stink) is, IMO, sincerely doing his best to realise something honest and useful.

I say:

Uh, right. Sure. Honest and useful. Yes. Of course.

anon #108 said...

We disagree?

That's fine.

(a jewboy)

Leaf Dharma said...

Warner is a douche.

Alan_A said...

Anon#108 said -

We disagree?

That's fine.

(a jewboy)


Me jewboy too.

But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a Zen person.

Moving on...

anon #108 said...

"But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a Zen person."

Aww, don't be that way, Alan.

I simply meant that even though I'm jewish I'm not offended by what MC wrote. (If it was directed at me, I'm sure I would have been, but it wasn't). I read the whole thing at the time, and I've followed what MC has written since on the net. I think he's trying to deal with his "demons" in the best way he knows how, and has done some very valuable, useful and yes, honest, work since then. I undestand that he's not everyone's cup of tea. I don't applaude his offensive remarks - perhaps they were unwise - that's why I wrote, at the end of the paragraph you (almost) quoted:

"... doing his best to realise something honest and useful. And, of course, making mistake after mistake."

I was making a general point about the more controversial of Gudo's dharma-heirs..."flawed pricks" was the phrase I used. We can agree there can't we?

Anonymous said...

"But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a Zen person."

Pretty good attempt, Al!

anon #108 said...

To resolve any confusion (when will it end?): I am not condemning flawed pricks. As Proulx-Michel wrote -

"The problem is not our being pricks, it's our not acknowledging it."

I think we can learn a great deal from other pricks' sincere efforts to acknowledge themselves.

anon #108 said...

...or perhaps we learn nothing; perhaps it simply makes us feel better to know we're not alone.

proulx michel said...

Anon # 108 wrote:
...or perhaps we learn nothing; perhaps it simply makes us feel better to know we're not alone.

Aye, I do wonder at times...

And the control word is "arster"... Ugh

Rick said...

Alan_A said...

"But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a ..."

Rick says...

Alan, being good at "clever tricksy upmanship" has nothing to do with being a Zen person.

Let it go said...

Brad, for Christ's sake, accept the fucking offer for tea and crumpets, make peace with Jumbo already if he is offering. The man is offering peace, take it.

Let the grudge go, man. You are supposed to be a frigging Buddhist teacher, for god's sake.

Anonymous said...

Let it go:
Let it go.. you're having way too much fun. There is a book I think might help you. It is called Zen for Dummies.. Rick recommended it to me. I found it very useful.

Anonymous said...

THE SHADOW!

Letting Go of Celery said...

Ricky: Let it go. Let it all go or you'll end up a dharmabum. A pseudobuddhist erudite dilettante.

Anonymous said...

Brad isn't a douche. Jundo isn't a douche. The guy that called Brad a douche isn't a douche. And strangest of all, even a douche isn't a douche.


if that´s true, why is it necessary to delete jundo´s invitation or to have tea?

Anonymous said...

Proto-pseudo-Buddhists Unite!!!
Well, I can't complain. Well, I can, but no one would listen. Do you Know that you ARE God? Do you know why? It is not the diety you have to worry about...it's these damn frothing raving lunatic gestalt followers.
Where is there to go? No matter where you go, you are here.

Anonymous said...

Those who have great realization of being a douche are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about not being a douche are sentient beings.

Mr. Reee said...

Sometimes this blog is like listening to your fellow riders on the N-Judah on a Saturday night discussing the relative merits of business class, shouts of random profanity, invitations to tea, matters of feminine hygiene, enlightened pricks, etc.

Dylan Thomas could write another "Under Milk Wood" with this material. :)

ackmolm

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

A while ago I got tired of Jundo involving himself with Dogen Sangha after Nishijima Roshi had asked him to leave. I believe his continued participation does a disservice to DS, as some might take his un-objected-to presence as a tacit approval of his ideas. That assumption is mistaken. What Jundo teaches is completely different than what I've learned in Dogen Sangha. It's my opinion that what Jundo says usually sounds true, but none of it ever sounds true.

I believe Nishijima erred in giving transmission to Jundo. I believe that dharma transmission is generally handled poorly in Japan, as a title rather than a recognition. There's no such thing as taking back dharma transmission. But if transmission means a teacher's recognition of a student's authentic understanding of Buddhism, if I see a teacher telling that student that their understanding is completely wrong, then I'm going to consider that student's transmission effectively revoked.

"But in your [Jundo's] case you do not follow Master Dogen's teaching SHIKAN TAZA, or just to practice Zazen, at all, and so you do not agree with Master Dogen's important teachings at all. Of course you have your perfect freedom not to follow Master Dogen's teachings at all, because you are not a believer in Master Dogen's Buddhist theories at all. In such a situation it is very clear that your Buddhist thoughts are perfectly different from my Buddhist thoughts. But you have written already so many your Buddhist ideas, which are perfectly different from Master Dogen's thoughts..." -- Nishijima Roshi

Rob

A Very Naughty Boy said...

Like this rob?...

"Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People's Front?
Reg: Fuck off! We're the People's Front of Judea"
..............

Or this?...

"Brian: Please, please, please listen! I've got one or two things to say.
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I'm not...
The Crowd: Sch!"
................

Brian's mother: He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!

NEW POST, BRAD - QUICK!!!

Smoggyrob said...

Hi AVNB:

No, I meant like this:

"Frankly speacking, I [Nishijima] have clearly noticed that your [Jundo's] Buddhist thoughts are completely different from mine, and so I think that even though we have discussions on Buddhism, we can never arrive at the good conclusion at all. Therefore I want to stop our Buddhist discussions completely." -- Nishijima Roshi

Rob

alan said...

What in hell's name is a Buddhist thought?

The words just do not make any sense to me except as "my way or the highway".

Idea lost in translation?

This train of thought (I know!) brings up my recurring question of why the *%^# do I need a teacher anyhow?

Anonymous said...

Always look on the bright side of life!

Jinzang said...

What in hell's name is a Buddhist thought?

Thoughts about what Buddhism is. It's clear that Gudo Nishijima's way of presenting Buddhism is his own and differs from more traditional presentations. So people are going to argue about it. No big deal.

why the *%^# do I need a teacher anyhow?

The principal point of Buddhism is realization of the nature of mind. Before realization you not only don't know what realization is, you can't know. So without the guidance of a teacher who has some degree of realization, you're stumbling around in the dark.

Old Brain said...

it is very clear that your Buddhist thoughts are perfectly different from my Buddhist thoughts. But you have written already so many your Buddhist ideas, which are perfectly different from Master Dogen's thoughts..." -- Nishijima Roshi

Yes, but Nishijima Sensei is a bit out of his mind. So maybe that means that being completely wrong is being completely right?

Mr Luetchford's criticism against me

Dear All Members of Dogen Sangha International,

I received a rather strange letter from Mr Michael Luetchford yesterday, and I thought that it might be necessary for me to write my answer to him openly utilizing Dogen Sangha Blog. Because even though the address is written to Ven Brad Warner, but I feel that the main object of criticism might be Gudo myself, and so I would like to express my opinion clearly in my blog.

(M.L.) Have you perhaps started to believe that the old man is somehow infallible, and that although you say you can't think why he would want you to take over something that doesn't really exist, that somewhere he has some magical knowledge of the future and your inherent capabilities to lead us all? Do you perhaps believe that somehow Sensei is acting from a deep and pure buddhist intuition that may be infallible? Because it seems to me that is what Sensei has started to believe about himself in his old age. But that's doesn't seem to be how most of Sensei's older students feel about him.

What does your "many months of working out the decision mean? Do you mean that it took you many months to convince yourself that the old man knows what he is doing, as against the feeling you write of that "you knew for certain he was crazy"? Have you not heard what happens in the brains of some very old people. Have you not heard that they become strange and do strange things and make strange decisions while seeming to be perfectly lucid at other times? I and others have been the recipient of so many strange decisions from Sensei over the last few years, that it is the only conclusion that makes any sense. Why do you want to believe in Sensei's infallibility so much? Is it because you believe it will then pass mysteriously to you?

Old Brain said...

Link

http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/2007/07/mr-luetchfords-criticism-against-me.html

Stephanie said...

Lord knows I'm not Jundo's biggest fan, but I don't really get this attempt to exile him from Dogen Sangha. From what I've read, what Jundo teaches is basically the same as what Brad and Nishijima teach. IIRC, the whole chain of events that led to that statement of Nishijima's was Jundo's attempt to get Nishijima to agree with him that Brad was wrong backfiring. All this is basic Politics 101. But at the end of the day, I see three guys teaching shikataza as the main practice and revering Dogen and the Buddha as the main authorities on how to practice Zen. What is the major doctrinal difference we're supposed to be aware of here, that sets Jundo apart from Brad and Nishijima?

another DS guy on the "outs" said...

a couple of interesting quotes from that blast from the past. the first is so true. thanks for digging that old Mike Leutchford up

we have been witness over the years to the events that have taken place in our sangha through Sensei's poor judgment and ambition. Some of us know how stubborn Sensei is and how over the years he has sometimes manipulated, bullied, enticed and plotted to get what he wants irrespective of the effects on his students. He may justify it as being buddhist "action". But I think it is just the character of the man, and it is one reason why so many of his students have left him over the years. But do everything he wants and you get a smooth ride. That seems to describe your experience with him. The persona that he is now presenting on his blog is very different to the man who we have come to know, revere and love over a period of 30 years.

interesting gudo comment

(Gudo) It is necessary for us to have only one successor of Dogen Sangha International, because Dogen Sangha International exists only one, but in the case of successors of Dharma, there can be so many, because I have given Dharma so many times to my students already. Therefore it is necessary for us to remember that the leader of organization, which is only one, is just only one, but in the case of Dharma, which can be given many times, can be many.

More interesting Mike Leutchford

I worry about your mental health because of the strange things you have said and done in recent years. I have kept quiet as much as I could, but when you seem to be leading us into chaos, I feel the need to speak up. I had no intention to do it publicly, but you have forced that situation.

But I have stuck with you for 30 years. I will continue to stick with you, so please don't try to expel me from the sangha as you did last year. You need to make some concessions so that we can unite our work. I don't need an infallible leader - I need a human being who admits to being human, who says sorry when he is mistaken

Leaf Dharma said...

Oh I'm a Douche, but Warners bigger.

Anonymous said...

Join a group with multiple teachers, or get a therapist to focus your projections on, or at least find a single teacher aware of their own tendency to project. Or don't, it's your ride.

Anonymous said...

So, this means that if smoggyrob thinks Jundo's Buddhism is wrong because Gudo said so, but Gudo is senile, so Jundo's Buddhism is right, then smoggyrob's buddhism is wrong?

James said...

I think it means that Rob has been drinking Brad's kool aid for so long.

Didn't Jundo and Gudo have a summit (probably involving a glass of tea) where they resolved their issues to both their satisfaction?

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I've never seen anything that makes me doubt Nishijima's teaching ability. The only evidence Ive seen are statements by Jundo and Mike that don't jibe with my own experience. Everything I've seen makes me doubt Jundo's ability to teach. Jundo seems to speaking about something he's heard and read about, where Nishijima and Brad seem to be speaking from experience. That's what I've experienced. If your experience makes you trust Jundo, then great, knock yourself out. But please, do it on Treeleaf, cuz' I'm tired of listening to his crap. When Nishijima asked Jundo to leave, Jundo said, "I hope that Dogen Sangha International and Treeleaf Zendo will sail as two ships crossing the same vast ocean." Since then he has repeatedly crashed his boat into this one, and I think it's because he doesn't know how to sail.

Rob

Dallas said...

Wow... This is like a soap opera - Everyone thinks the father is insane, the eldest son is trying wrest control of the family business from the youngest son (who is the current favorite), and the middle son just wants dad's approval.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob -
So that's your opinion, based on your experience.
Others have different opinions, based on thier experiences (in the case of Mike Luetchford, about 25 years experience of a close working realtionship with Nishijima; in the case of James Cohen, about 15 years, I think). I know you know this. I don't believe you have, or have had, a personal relationship with N, so I'm a little confused as to what you're trying to achieve, other than to express a personal distrust of Jundo. If that's it, you've succeeded; I think we all understand your position.
My only contribution is to express the hope that we make up our own minds about who to trust based on our own direct experience, and not on rumour or hearsay.

Experience said...

The only evidence Ive seen are statements by Jundo and Mike that don't jibe with my own experience. Everything I've seen makes me doubt Jundo's ability to teach. Jundo seems to speaking about something he's heard and read about, where Nishijima and Brad seem to be speaking from experience.

Rob, when where and for exactly how long have you experienced or even met either Nishijima or Jundo?

Anonymous said...

Dallas - it may be a soap opera to us, but it's real to the people involved. Your analysis of what's going on, while attractive and maybe containing some elements of truth, is of course simplistic and therefore mistaken. It ain't all about wresting power in the family business. (BTW, Mike Luetchford only 'spoke out' when Gudo published his private response to an email he received from Brad, and hasn't said a public dicky bird about it since).
I appreciate you were being flippant, but some folks are easily influenced. And remember, this is all very old news. All that's happened is that Jundo publicly invited Brad for tea and zazen. An invitation that no longer exists.

Anonymous said...

Leaf Dharma said:

"Oh I'm a Douche, but Warners bigger."

Dude, everyone thinks they're less of a douche than the other guy. That is only one notch above thinking your shit smells good.

Robert said...

Everything I've seen makes me doubt Jundo's ability to teach. Jundo seems to speaking about something he's heard and read about, where Nishijima and Brad seem to be speaking from experience.

Wouldn't this also cast doubt upon Gudo's judgment since he gave Jundo xmission? Or do you just have to hear & read alot about Buddhism to get Gudo's stamp of approval?

Is it because Jundo doesn't talk about his non-kensho kensho like one of Gudo's other heirs? Seems like lots of assumptions, beliefs and conclusions floating around. I don't know any of the parties involved other than tbeir blogs and writings, but I find Jundo's teaching to be clear.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I deal with mechanics every day. When one of them knows what they're talking about, I can tell. When another knows the words but doesn't really know what they're talking about, I can tell. I can do this in person or online, and I trust my intuition and experience. And I trust them in all my interactions with people. You should too.

If Jundo wants to teach, fine. If you want to listen to him, fine. But he was asked to leave Dogen Sangha, and so he fucking well should. I think he hangs around because, deep down, he considers his transmission revoked too, and he's desperate to regain Nishijima or Brad's approval.

Rob

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

By the way, I meant you should trust your intuition and experience too.

Rob

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Rob, A lot of what you are labeling as trusted intuition might be your emotions at work.

Robert said: "I find Jundo's teaching to be clear."

Me too Robert, very clear. Like he wants to be everyone's daddy..

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

In other words:

"Jundo is untrustworthy because I don't trust him"

Sorry SmoggyR your 'intuition' isn't evidence for Jundo's unworthiness, it is just your own limited, biased feelings. Nothing wrong with those, but don't imagine them to be any more than they are. You don't have access to any privileged information or experience that the rest of us don't have. I trust my intuition and experience - and I have a very different impression of Jundo from you - but I don't consider these feelings to be a source of objective facts. The laws of human psychology certainly suggest that you'd be likely to be favourably disposed toward Brad and Master Nishijima and unfavourably disposed towards Jundo. And so it is. I'm not sure that anybody's feelings really adds much to the debate.

As for Jundo staying away, it seemed like a pretty harmless peace gesture to me. I didn't read Brad's last book, but apparently he used it to criticise Jundo and invited Jundo to respond. That was why he was here the last time. Brad could restrict the comments here to 'everyone except Jundo' I suppose.

Dynasty said...

"...it's real to the people involved"

That is so ironic. And, there's the whole problem in a nutshell. People thinking this soap opera is real?!?!?!?!?!?

Maybe the people involved should sit more!!???!! Yeah, that seems to be the classic avoidance mechanism offered here. Just sit everything away.

"..but some folks are easily influenced."

Well, there's another problem. But not much we can do about other people who are easily influenced - other than take advantage of them.

"..remember, this is all very old news"

Then leave it alone.

Experience (again) said...

The only evidence Ive seen are statements by Jundo and Mike that don't jibe with my own experience. Everything I've seen makes me doubt Jundo's ability to teach. Jundo seems to speaking about something he's heard and read about, where Nishijima and Brad seem to be speaking from experience.

Rob, when where and for exactly how long have you experienced or even met either Nishijima or Jundo?

Anonymous said...

Anybody here into Jung? Disowned parts of self shoved into subconscious & projected onto others? conscious expression of 'whatever' style non-involvement masking unconscious barely repressed rage?

Anonymous said...

100

Anonymous said...

But he was asked to leave Dogen Sangha

When? Where? Provide a quote. Now you are just plain fibbing, Rob.

Dynasty said...

Smoggyrob probably means this, although it does not really seem like anyone was "asked to leave".

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Announcement regarding 'TREELEAF ZENDO'

Hello All,

Nishijima Roshi has given his permission to my posting the following announcement here. I thank Nishijima Roshi for this idea, and for his recognition of the Treeleaf as its own Lineage. I am hoping that you will join us in celebrating this new birth and potential.

If anyone has any question about this or any matter, please feel free to write me at any time via our online Zendo:

http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

Hello All,

Nishijima Roshi has given his permission to my posting the following announcement here. I thank Nishijima Roshi for this idea, and for his recognition of the Treeleaf as its own Lineage. I am hoping that you will join us in celebrating this new birth and potential.

If anyone has any question about this or any matter, please feel free to write me at any time via our online Zendo:

http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/

Gassho, Jundo Cohen

_______________________________



Hello,

At Nishijima Roshi’s suggestion (I had great resistance to the idea for many months, but I now believe that Roshi’s idea is wise), the “Treeleaf Zendo” through which I teach will be a separate Lineage deriving from Nishijima Roshi. Accordingly, we now withdraw and “go our own way” from Dogen Sangha/Dogen Sangha International, another branch of the tree of which Buddha and Master Dogen are the root, and Master Nishijima the core. All things are change, and this change will have no effect on my relationship with and love for my teacher, my position as the head of Treeleaf Zendo, or the nature of the “Dharma Transmission” bestowed upon me by Nishijima Roshi. I hope that Dogen Sangha International and Treeleaf Zendo will sail as two ships crossing the same vast ocean.

So that the reasons for this are not misunderstood, I would like to offer a brief explanation. I have discussed some of these issues before, but they are worth briefly repeating for the record, so that the situation is clear. They have nothing to do with my respect and love for Ven. Brad, who I think stands as a stimulating and positive presence within the many flavors of Zen Buddhism. I think he is, like many in Dogen Sangha, a superb teacher trying to find his own unique voice, a fine successor to Nishijima Roshi, and that he has potential to be a good President of Dogen Sangha International.

Dynasty said...

There is no need to repeat in detail my reasons, but my objections originated from concern for the organization itself. For a long time, I and others attempted to express these several concerns from within the organization. However, as the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Thus, Master Nishijima suggested that we could each go our own way and each “do our own thing”. It is a wise thought. It reflects the history of the countless branching lineages of Zen Buddhism over the centuries, the reason why the lineages keep perpetually branching!

As expressed in Brad’s fine letter of yesterday, some of us see Dogen Sangha International as an umbrella body uniting all the various teachers who are Dharma Heirs to Nishijima Roshi (and other students of Nishijima’s teachings) in many separate Sangha, in many countries, all of us upholding his teachings, and possessing love and respect for our teacher. However, some of us in the organization feel that, in the 21st century and after the countless cases of power, financial and other scandal within various Zen and other Buddhist Sangha around the world (please see the following) …

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsamplechapters/zen.asp

… a de minimus degree of checks and balances, and input into decision making, is a fundamental necessity. The idea is now long vanished within almost all Sangha and Buddhist organizations in the West that no system of oversight is required. As a lawyer with quite a bit of experience with Buddhist and other organizations and the problems that can occur within them, I know that there is a middle ground between chaos and disconnection vs. a bureaucratic or rigid organization, and that a certain degree of regular communication and interchange among members should always be encouraged in such a body. To assert otherwise is short-sighted. Decisions should not be rendered on a whim, and especially not on a single person’s whim. Finally, in any Buddhist organization, there should be constant care and attention to the Precepts … they exist for a reason and are not a matter of “do as you feel” or that “the teacher is always right just because he/she is the teacher.” Although I will no long be in a position to say so, I believe that a lack of attention to the meaning of the Precepts within Dogen Sangha, and an over-emphasis on Zazen Practice alone, has been one major cause of various problems that have arisen in the past within the Sangha.

Zen Buddhism is now in a period of rapid change, keeping some traditions while modernizing others. In the views and experience of some members of Dogen Sangha, authoritarian or fuedal thinking on governance needs to be left to the 15th Century. I will not live under such an antiquated system, especially without any checks upon it and without much emphasis on the guidance of the Precepts. For some reason, Dogen Sangha is trying to stay feudal and traditional in its method of governance, but modern, hip, loose and liberal on the issue of standards and the Precepts. The choice should probably be the other way around. In any event, this is just a difference of vision between the new president of DSI and several of its members. While it would have been possible to patch it over, or ignore the issue through silence, the present solution is best.

So, some of us are sailing off under separate sails. Several ships on the same ocean.

Thank you, Roshi. You proposed a very wise plan. I hope to see you again when we are back to Japan, offer bows, and that you will sit again on my daily “Sit-a-Long with Jundo” Zazen netcast.

http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2007/08/sit-long-with-gudo-jundo-kashaya.html

Nishijima Roshi wrote me today to say that he will continue to fight for needed reforms in Buddhism as it currently exists in our world, and that "I will do my best until to my death".

I responded:

"I will do my best to help you in your work, as your loyal and loving student. That will never change."


Gassho, Jundo Cohen

Anonymous said...

Asked to leave Dogen Sangha.
Your ideas about Buddhism are different from mine.

To an outside observer it just looks like another religious group shunning or expelling a heretic. Mike C., Jundo and others after years of practice started to form their own ideas about Buddhism and how to teach zen. Nishijima couldn't stomach the heretics. If he were still alive, I can easily see Kodo Sawaki expelling Nishijima for teaching his own unique ideas about Buddhism and Dogen. Same as it ever was, just like the Muslims and Xtians. Orthodox and heretics.

Kodo Sawaki said...

I can easily see Kodo Sawaki expelling Nishijima for teaching his own unique ideas about Buddhism and Dogen.

Kodo Sawaki could not "expel" Nishijima because he never accepted Nishijima as his student. Nishijima asked Kodo to be ordained for years until Kodo's death, and Kodo always refused. Of course, there was no xmission from Kodo either.

Dogen said...

You all misinterpreted what I was saying! Including you, old Kodo. None of you got my dharma. You are all disowned! I hereby expel all of you from Zen. Stop using my words to support your strange ideas!

Anonymous said...

What will they be saying about all this in 3267? In 2155? Later today?

Shakyamuni said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! You are all mistaken....including Mr. Dogen. How you have twisted my dharma teachings. I expel all of you. What a bunch of icchantikas!

Original Mind said...

Just shut up - the lot of you...

oxeye said...

Jundo said: "I hope that Dogen Sangha International and Treeleaf Zendo will sail as two ships crossing the same vast ocean."

Shunryu Suzuki said: Life is like stepping onto a ship which is about to sail out to sea and sink.

gniz said...

LOUD NOISES!!

Scream Thy Last Scream said...

Aw.... do loud noises scare you?

Original Mind said...

trying to get some kip here...

Alan_A said...

Anon#108 wrote -

"But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a Zen person."

Aww, don't be that way, Alan.

I simply meant that even though I'm jewish I'm not offended by what MC wrote. (If it was directed at me, I'm sure I would have been, but it wasn't). I read the whole thing at the time, and I've followed what MC has written since on the net. I think he's trying to deal with his "demons" in the best way he knows how, and has done some very valuable, useful and yes, honest, work since then. I undestand that he's not everyone's cup of tea. I don't applaude his offensive remarks - perhaps they were unwise - that's why I wrote, at the end of the paragraph you (almost) quoted:

"... doing his best to realise something honest and useful. And, of course, making mistake after mistake."

I was making a general point about the more controversial of Gudo's dharma-heirs..."flawed pricks" was the phrase I used. We can agree there can't we?


Yes, fair enough. More than fair enough - and you're right about my selective quoting.

I take your points.

Apologies - was feeling a bit worn down, which sometimes happens when I visit here in the wrong frame of mind.

Rick wrote -

Alan_A said...

"But am learning here that I'm not good enough at clever tricksy upsmanship to be a ..."

Rick says...

Alan, being good at "clever tricksy upmanship" has nothing to do with being a Zen person.


Yes, and on my better days I get that, too.

Again, apologies for my irritability.

And now, back to it...

Reginald Denny said...

Why can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

Rob,

Does Brad's inability to let go of an old grudge not suggest that he has much to learn about Buddhist teachings himself? Frankly, seeing clear evidence of Brad acting like a dick make me doubt his ability to teach.

Jundo has apologised to Brad in public, multiple times. I would expect a grown man, Buddhist or not, to accept that apology and move on. I guess Brad is too enlightened for that kind of behaviour.

But it's nice to see that Brad is passing on his asshole like qualities to his disciples.

Anonymous said...

You have all missed the point entirely!
This is part of a bigger picture:
Jundo, Brad, Nishijima, Mike Cross and Mike Leutchford all conspired together years ago to put this together. By fighting with each other over who's got the best understanding of Zen they are attempting to demonstrate that samsara cannot be separated from nirvana. Simply put, the end to suffering can only be found in bickering like a bunch of girls.

No, wait. I think the message is that true Zen can only be found in punk rock. No wait; it can only be found in Alexander technique by keeping your spine attached to your pelvis. No, wait; it can only be found in the tautologous logic of Nagarjuna. No, wait; it can only be found in getting a lap dance, er, writing a book, ah, meditation with a webcam, uh, BLOGGING! I mean...

Aw fuck it:
MU!!!

Anonymous said...

“For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love - this is an old rule.”
"He who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot, him I call a real driver; other people are but holding the reins”
-Dhammapada

Unonymous said...

"You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of [Zen] men. - Max Beerbohm"

"An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it. - Jef Mallett"

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. - Anatole France"

"There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking. - Alfred Korzybski"

Anonymous said...

"Bickering like a bunch of girls."

You boys are more bitchy than any group of girls I've ever been around..

Anonymous said...

Why is it funny that it pisses Brad off to be continually described as an angry asshole by a bunch of nerd bloggers who have never met him?

Anonymous said...

Dang, while y'all were bickering,
nobody seemed to notice the news
about Jim Carroll:

Those are people who died, who died!

(He could've been a friend of mine ;)

Anonymous said...

Two more celebrities to go
in order to make a triplet.
Looked like Leonard Cohen
was supposed to be one of
them, but no, not yet,
not yet...

Anonymous said...

Welcome to LA!
Have a nice day!

alan said...

I saw this today in the free section of the Ventura County Craigslist. I thought it funny.

//////

Small box of pagan items.

Books..candle holders..insense and statues. (Kali,Buddha and Kwan Yin) In mid Ventura.

//////

I wonder if they are going to have an exorcism afterwords....

Dolly Llama said...

Looked like Leonard Cohen was just groovin on the guitar solo and spaced out...

Jundo Apologize said...

Here is where this all started. Jundo should apologize to Sensei, Brad and Peter

--------

jundo cohen said...

I've been reading the translation on Nishijima's blog and it's seriously flawed. I don't see how any commentary on such a flawed translation could have much merit.

Yes. Our 89 year old teacher, Nishijima Roshi, has not been himself for quite some time. The other 'Dharma Heir' of Nishijima quoted in the book (Groucho, Harpo or Zeppo, I forget which ... not to be confused with me, Gummo) said so long ago (page 83 of the book; Brad laughs it off in the book), others have said so, and I say so. (In fact, all you have to do is read his postings on the blog to know that something is sadly slightly askew. It is not all his poor English).

However, it is in a few peoples' best interest to brush that under the carpet, or just to ignore the fact. Don't get me wrong, this is not quite the situation with the late Howard Hughes and the people surround him, nothing like that (except on a very small scale). This is small potatoes. But, I think, it is not unlike the scenes in Brad's book where everyone just tolerates Grandma's elderly babblings, imagined events and "disinheritings" because, gosh, nobody wants to face the situation and 'she will be dead soon' anyway!

I remember, when Nishijima Roshi was working on the translations, I bought him as a gift a copy of Jay L. Garfield's translation (he told me previously that he had not read it, seemed never to have heard of it, nor the Kalupahana translation, which are both standard in the field). Nishijima Roshi refused my gift. He told me that he did not need those, because (as I understood Roshi's words) Nagarjuna himself was either channeling through him or speaking to him in his dreams or the like.

Maybe so.

And maybe, too, the people who were in charge of editing the book (that's Brad) fixed all the problems and mistranslations before it went to the publisher. We will have to see (I do not think so though).

Anyway, Nishijima was not happy with me for telling him that the translation had some problems, and much happier with the people telling him that everything was right as rain.

Gassho, Jundo

http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2009/02/run-for-border.html?showComment=1233814020000#c4265134608969951983

Anonymous said...

scheeesh

I don't visit for a couple of days and....

let's do the time warp again!

what's wrong with this blog, It seems to have gone back in time to 2, 2 1/2 going on 3 years ago

eeeee gads

boils and gerks the only way to move forward is to

*gasp* put some things behind us

may we please let all those who have been given permission to teach, teach

and those who have not been given permission, but still teach--well, it's like going to a non-accredited school, you can learn a lot, but you won't be recognized by the 'legit' folk--that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile or valid, just that it won't get acknowledged by the big boys downtown.

But the daily experience of your practice in your life doesn't have to have a documented pedigree (unless you want to teach) and even then there are folks aplenty who have taken their pedigree, robes, incense, zafus, bells, whisks, rakusus and all and left it all behind.

If you sit with any group for any decent period of time and if you sit with a variety of different schools, different lineages, from different countries
things show themselves as just what they are.

the dilemma of teacher, needing one and getting over it (and not thinking you need one, and getting over it)
enlightenment: the concept vs the experience
life as it is

So much discussion here about what boils down to differences in personality

In my experience teachers have different personalities
to say one is better is like saying blue is better than
orange; or stripes are better than polka dots
there really is nothing to discuss

teachers not only have personalities but they have strengths and weaknesses and depending on what circumstances befall them and how they address the situations which arise they meet events as we all do: by finding out about their character.

No amount of practice, or wisdom or compassion ever places someone beyond the vicissitudes of existence.

Gratitude to all teachers
the good ones and the good ones who have gone through 'crappy' periods
the crappy ones and the crappy ones who have gone through 'good' periods

For me the bottom line is this:
someone has to keep the porch light on
someone has to have a space where people so inclined, can come and find this thing called 'zen' and start this practice

it really doesn't matter where you get your start, as long as you have a means by which to enter.

Sure, with time, you get a sense of what you need, and then you start looking at these folks who call themselves teachers

some of them actually are

Ven. Quang duc thein said...

This history lesson that we are getting here, regardless of how interesting some may find it, is not FACT as we are being let to believe, it is, at most, partial fact. Therefore this history we are talking about DOES NOT EXIST. It's NOT REAL.

How blind we are to our own attachments, but so clearly see others. My attachment is to see the Way clearly. I refuse to waste my time complaining, and talking about should or should not have beens, and might or might not happens. That's not the Way.

Stephanie said...

The scriptwriters for "As Dogen Sangha Turns" need to get some new material.

And all this stuff over "who is the true heir" or "who teaches the True Dharma" is just male ego crap. Kiddie comic book superhero fantasies. The guy with the biggest sword swoops in and kicks the ass of all the guys with littler swords. The thing is, in Zen, there is no sword. Not just in some cute "wink wink" way, but really, there is no sword. No Conan the Barbarian, no Godzilla, no "True Master of the Dharma." All of that is mind-fabricated, grade A horseshit.

What are we to make, then, of the fact that all the major DS players are knee deep in this grade A horseshit? Perhaps that no amount of realization or training eradicates our human foibles. The spiritual journey is a personal one and the "rewards" don't translate into anything anyone else can do anything with or give us anything for. It's really only an inner state and a knowing that we develop along the way. It is its own reward. The ego will never be able to fashion it into something "sellable." Which is why this whole Zen & spiritual teaching industry is such a big part of the "cosmic joke." It's just a bunch of hoopla over nothing.

No matter what Brad, Nishijima, Jundo, or any of the rest of 'em ever say or do, it will not change the fact that they have no tangible thing they can sell or even give away. We can't get anything from them. No one will ever get anything out of any of this. We can sweat, and strain, and sit a million sesshin and we're never going to crap out the golden egg. It doesn't fucking work that way.

Anonymous said...

the mixing of film, fairy tales and spiritual fallacy or phalluses
just doesn't say much about anything

like a tasty doughnut: little substance, a morsel without nutrition, but the sprinkles look pretty

Anonymous said...

And all this circus because Jumbo asked Brado over to tea and to sit Zazen together when he's in Japan?

What's the big deal? Why are people taking sides here and attacking either one? It is just an invitation, for cryin' out loud.

Anonymous said...

And all this circus because Jumbo asked Brado over to tea and to sit Zazen together when he's in Japan?

What's the big deal? Why are people taking sides here and attacking either one? It is just an invitation, for cryin' out loud.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, looks like they've changed something in the matrix!

Uh-non-a-mouse said...

Anonymous @ 7:10...

It sickens me the way you try to be rational and bring sense to this insanity.

I suggest you stop.

Rich said...

For the serious students of Buddhism, I think Gudo, Brad and Jundo have a lot to offer. But your real everyday teachers are guys like Rob's mechanics who 'dont know what they are talking about'. This situation presents a real opportunity to learn about listening, understanding, compassion and love. Dogen sangha is just an idea in your head and letting someone in or out is your choice. The most important choice you make is to practice and do the things needed to support that practice. If a zen teacher helps one person with this they have done their job.

alan said...

I am curious if anyone out "there" has any down-to-earth examples of what their own personal experiences have been with the zen teacher/student relationship.

I'm not after pithy zen anecdotes, just real personal examples.

Do you sit down to tea and talk about what's happening in the world? Do you trade impressions of how sitting is going? Discuss plans for world domination?

I'm being flippant with the last example, but I'm after a understanding of what a student/teacher relationship might be.

Anonymous said...

Alan
If you are the amazing photographer of projectiles through vegetables, jello and whatnot
then any Saturday you can join for lunch after sitting at Hill St. would make for a lively forum.
Quite a few have had/still have relationships with different 'teachers' all under the umbrella of buddhism.

alan said...

Anon @ 12:21

Thanks for the invite.

Yeah I'm the vegi assassin. Thanks for the compliment.

I guess Kevin is hosting. I'd go, but am planning on a backpack this weekend.

Have a good sit.

Anonymous said...

alan, dude, you really should read
"Ambivalent Zen", the best book
on your topic of concern.

Zen teachers are like boyfriends or
girlfriends (but hopefully without
the sex -- that just makes things
uber-complicated). That is, each
"relationship" is different and
unique, and has its weird quirks
and delightful charms...

alan said...

Thanks. I'll try reading that book.

I know that there is no one-size-fits-all zen student/teacher guidebook.


I'm just curious about other peoples direct experience. I have some ideas of what it isn't. And lots of ideas of what I think it might be.

The stuff I read about in most book is describing a more formal monk/master thing based in the Orient. That's not me.

Anonymous said...

My teacher likes to talk about
world domination, but, frankly,
I'm getting a little tired of it.

Anonymous said...

I was in a bookshop once and a couple had just bought a copy of 'The Power of Now'. As I left the shop they asked the owner 'Actually, do you have any more books about this?' I guess that the answer could have been 'Yes, lots' but I didn't hear...

Anonymous said...

one way to get to know the self while studying the self to forget the self is to experience the self as it bumps up against/interacts with other selves experiencing ranges of harmony/disharmony in doing so

it is a chance for ideas about how things are or how things ought/oughtn't be to reveal themselves in ways which spontaneously arise between people which might take a bit longer if things are left to just you and the wall you sit in front of.

A practice combining work with others and solo is after all what human life is composed of: being social and being single.

Ease with one aspect does not 'save' you from difficulties with the other. Humans move back and forth between these states.

My take on this is that this is where the function of teacher lies: between these two states, and always working with paired opposites: where rigid, bring flexibility; where blocked, bring openness.


Most tend to prefer one state over the other.

full functioning acknowledges tendencies and preferences, is not blinded by them

to my way of thinking, a teacher is a means by which one's functioning capacities are widened; improved.

at least that has been my experience

another way to state it is that teachers have been what have kept things warm enough while I've been hatching out of my own egg

on the other hand I have also encountered what I will call 'trainers' as opposed to 'teachers'

need I say more?

Anonymous said...

one way to get to know the self while studying the self to forget the self is to experience the self as it bumps up against/interacts with other selves experiencing ranges of harmony/disharmony in doing so

it is a chance for ideas about how things are or how things ought/oughtn't be to reveal themselves in ways which spontaneously arise between people which might take a bit longer if things are left to just you and the wall you sit in front of.

A practice combining work with others and solo is after all what human life is composed of: being social and being single.

Ease with one aspect does not 'save' you from difficulties with the other. Humans move back and forth between these states.

My take on this is that this is where the function of teacher lies: between these two states, and always working with paired opposites: where rigid, bring flexibility; where blocked, bring openness.


Most tend to prefer one state over the other.

full functioning acknowledges tendencies and preferences, is not blinded by them

to my way of thinking, a teacher is a means by which one's functioning capacities are widened; improved.

at least that has been my experience

another way to state it is that teachers have been what have kept things warm enough while I've been hatching out of my own egg

on the other hand I have also encountered what I will call 'trainers' as opposed to 'teachers'

need I say more?

Anonymous said...

not that there is anything wrong with good training!

PhillySteveInLA said...

RE- Brad V. Jundo:

Why should I care?
I sit with one and not the other. No big deal. The sitting is the same.
When I think I attain something, either one is perfectly capable of telling me I'm full of shit and from what I've seen, either of them probably would.
Why can't I just see their petty bitch slap party for the teaching that it is-a teaching independent of the personal motivations of either player.
A lustful teacher teaches you to avoid lust, a deceitful teacher teaches you not to deceive, a power hungry teacher teaches you not to crave power....if you are a good student.
Maybe it's time we looked at the quality of the keen eyed pups(that would be us, the students) and forgot about the old milky eyed lions?

PhillySteveInLA said...

Oh, and I also wanted to clear up a matter that's been bothering me for a while. I tried to clear it up before, but my computer crapped out on me.

I gave a talk at Hill St. Center recently with my teacher Paul and Rob advertised me as a teacher...I'm not.
Not yet anyway.
I am a Dharma Teacher In Training in the Kwan Um School of Zen.
My Guiding teacher has approved me to teach (which is not even close to inka or transmission-the Kwan Um Scool has a number of levels of teachers) but I still have to meet the larger schools requirements, which means I won't be a full fledged "teacher" for about a year.
In our school, anyone who has taken at least the five precepts is considered able to give a talk with a teacher accompanying for Q&A and to clear up anything the speaker said that's way off the mark...On some occasions we are allowed to give talks without the teacher, as long as there are teachers in the audience to keep us on our toes.

Stephanie said...

Formal meetings with a teacher vary in style and content based on the student, teacher, and practice center.

When I did dokusan at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY, it was very formal, with a precise ritual of bowing. My personal style was to ask personal, heartfelt questions about practice on and off the cushion; I never barged in with questions like, "What is the meaning of life?" because I didn't expect any answer to them. The answers I got from John Daido Loori (I did dokusan with him only once, he just advised me to start gently and not overwhelm myself), Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, and Konrad Ryushin Marshaj were very real, I was never given some curious "Zen" statement as a response (but I may have if I was asking different questions, who knows). Sometimes the responses were intuitive, some very nuts and bolts about the practice.

When I did dokusan at Zen Mountain Center (near Riverside, CA) it was formal but not as formal as at ZMM. Charles Tenshin Fletcher has a very down to earth and practical style and gave me some very simple answers (we're always going to make mistakes, all we can do is do the best research we can before undertaking a situation, and atone for it later if we still get it wrong) that were helpful in circumventing my tendency to look for some mystical calculus upon which to base my actions.

Ken Byalin at the Zen Community of Staten Island, with whom I have just started sitting, has a highly informal style. No bowing, no ritual, you just sit in chairs opposite one another and talk about practice. He has a nice mix of practicality and intuitive emotionality in his responses.

At the end of the day, a good Zen teacher reflects your own experience back at you in a way you would not be able to see yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yeah... I don't waste my time attaching importance to who I sat with, and what we discussed. That's for people who need to post shit on their walls to impress the ignorant.

Stephanie said...

Hee hee anon...

I was responding to what seemed to be an honest question about people's actual experiences in Zen sanghas. It's nothing special to sit with a 'Roshi So-and-So.' Just show up at a retreat and pay yer $$ and you'll get an audience. How could a person think to "impress" others with something that took no personal merit? It is a worthwhile experience, however, to do a face-to-face interview with a teacher, IMO, and I highly recommend it. Zen without the experience of face-to-face teaching is like a sundae without the hot fudge. Or something.

Leaf Dharma said...

You miss the point. Not all shit smells the same, some really stinks, like nasty Hitler shit.