Friday, September 11, 2009


My first talk in Great Britain went swimmingly. I managed to answer questions asked in deep Geordie dialect with not too much difficulty. Sold some Zero Defex CDs as well!

Tomorrow at 2pm I'll be speaking at King's College. Lots of people have already confirmed but there are still spaces available. So be there.

Then on Monday I'll be in Bristol where the kids are sharp as a pistol when they do the Bristol stomp. Does anybody remember that song? Also open to all comers. So come, you comers!

Anyway here's where I'll be and how to get info:

• September 12, 2009 (Sat) 2 PM King's College London, Strand, London WC2 in Lecture Theatre 2C for details contact
• September 14, 2009 (Mon) 7 PM Oddfellows Hall, West Park, Cliffton, Bristol for details contact

Good night!


Anonymous said...

Ha #1!

Anonymous said...

So either:

1) Brad was covinced to re-instate the down-trodden anonymi OR

2) The ban was a mistake OR

3) The re-instatement is a mistake


And TWO!!!!!!!!!!, you smug "names".

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted

Anonymous said...

I think the ideas are to be considered, the banalities to be bantered, information to be shared and for those who need a pissing contest, well whiz kids, then make a go of it and this is a dog park on the blog where you an come in and do it.

what has been helpful for me, reading those who post vitriolic stuff--is that my own mind has plenty of these passing petty crap thoughts running through it--I just don't post the stuff, don't even like stoking the fires (internally or externally)--but that doesn't mean those kinds of thoughts are not there.
When I see folks (anonymi or other moniker) post shit, it just reminds me of my own--all tidy and safe behind my own skull but skulking there nonetheless.

I have found it encouraging to watch here how, just as in my own mind, the crap stuff plays itself out,
and then the blog/my mind gets on with it free to be everything else too: playful, informative, silly, etc.

anyway anonymost is the only way to post (for me)

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


Anonymous said...


uhuh, another anon said...

More'n'likely the anon "ban" was part of an attempt to get rid of those decorative, but apparently dangerous, posts by oriental "smallawei", coz we now have to demonstrate that we're at least human and can be bothered to do some fancy word verification.

Am I right? Am I?

Zenleo said...

In the recent past I was feeling sorry for Brad a bit. But it looks like he is having such a splendid time in Europe that I will cease my pity and return to my self-loathing and constant bitching... well not like stopped that for very long anyway.

signed Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Does the Zen tradition have any teachings on compassion?

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

This to Anony @2:55. Does your tradition have any teachings on being a two-faced fucktard? Do you bite, little doggie, or do you just bark?


Jinzang said...

Well, that was uncalled for.

Jinzang said...

I haven't had much exposure to Zen teachers, but I once heard Daido Loori make a remark on compassion in Zen. He said that after enlightenment, compassion was as natural as one hand helping another. Or something similar to that, my memory is hazy.

Anonymous said...

a good question--does the zen tradition have teachings on compassion

my various teachers over 25 years of sitting have taught me compassion, either by how they expressed it in actions toward others,
or by how they did not express it in actions toward others.

just as 'zen isn't what you 'think' it is, compassion also is beyond what is our common use of the word.

and in the end, the best way is to just be around your teacher in ordinary setting, in daily activities.

the thing about zen tradition is as much the living of the tradition, as the knowing about the tradition.

Anonymous said...

rather the 'philosophy of action' (Nishijima Roshi's definition of zen buddhism--philosophy of action) IN ACTION, as opposed to the philosophy of the philosophy of action

Anonymous said...

thanks for the feedback. I'm looking to read & listen to inspirational stuff regarding compassion for what I'm dealing with this week in this life. My reading background is mostly in Tibetan and Theravadan teachings. Just curious if there was a particular text or teaching in the Zen Tradition that addresses compassion directly.

Rob, what do you think was behind my words?

Jinzang said...

I looked in my small collection of Zen books and found this story, which seems to me to express how compassion is views in Zen. It's originally from the book "The Enjoyment of Dharma Without Hands" (Musho-no-Hoetsu.)

"In my treasure box I have an Eleven Faced Avalokiteshvara image which was transmitted to each of my family's ancestors. Originally it was given to an ancestor when she married from the wife of a lord. When my family faced the misery of poverty I almost determined to sell it, but when I was having the last worship for our separation somehow my mind opened and I could be taught something. Finally I could not sell it, and brought it into this dirty room. It seems very impious treatment, but I am depending on this Avalokiteshvara and saying my greetings to many mistaken men at the morning as a real Japanese woman, whole-heartedly. I will send them off hoping they will not lose their way to live correctly again, hoping they will not enter into this kind of world deeply. Their ears would not hear the cautions from their parents or brothers, but they could hear my advice, a girl in a brothel. People say that prostitutes are lowly beings, but no one can say that so easily. Since olden times there were many excellent people among the prostitutes, not only in Yoshiwara. Thinking I was sold into this place by my father-in-law makes me sad, but I want to serve sincerely as the training of a Bodhisattva with this body, and I want to have worship for the happiness of my dead parents and family and all people. You also serve people with Buddha mind. Our Shakyamuni Buddha taught us kindly. Especially his teaching about Avalokiteshvara is thankful because according to his teaching, Avalokiteshvara can save us, whatever our sufferings are, by changing its form to our form. Whatever the life is, it is not suffering at all. Happiness and unhappiness are depending on the bottom of one's mind. Let' train in the Bodhisattva Way hand in hand!"

PhilBob-SquareHead said...


Lets imagine that "enlightenment" is real,
a) How would one know if he or she were "enlightened"?
b) How would one know if another person was "enlightened"?

Anonymous said...

Jinzang, thank you for your time, much appreciated here. The last few sentences... (!)

2:55 Anon

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

One more QUESTION,
Jinzang....why would you consult a book on how "zen" views compassion? In all dearest, due respect, why would it matter what someone else has to say on the matter? What does Jinzang think about compassion?

Mysterion said...


did someone mention compassion?

compassion is... uncovered. That uncovering enables one to be humble, compassionate, and grateful.

"Realizing that we are kin to one another becomes the basis for that natural outflow of that heart of compassion. It It's not something that we have to conjure or try to attain, is simply uncovered as something already there at the core of who we are." source

Remember your Greek. "Mysterion" does not mean "that's deep, it's beyond words." It means something concrete that is meant to be uncovered.

Jinzang said...

why would you consult a book on how "zen" views compassion?

The question was asked and I couldn't answer from my own perspective, so I pulled a quote from a book.

What does Jinzang think about compassion?

To save time, let me repost what I said on another forum:

Love is the wish that others be happy and compassion the wish that they not suffer. You suppose that no one ever feels that way except for self interested reasons, but it's easy to show that's mistaken. Haven't you ever cried during a movie or cheered when the main character triumphed over their problems? Then you've felt compassion and love for that character. Those feeling can't possibly be self interested, because there's no possible way the character can interact with you. They're purely a work of fiction.

Where do love and compassion come from? They are the expression of the deepest, truest part of our nature, what is revealed if the process of meditation is carried to its conclusion.

Jinzang said...

How would one know if he or she were "enlightened"?

The experience is self-validating.

How would one know if another person was "enlightened"?

Often they won't. When they do, they'll infer a similar experience based on their speech and behavior.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Once UG Krishnamurti asked himself the same two questions from my above post, he realized that he had wasted the better part of his (then) 49 years searching for enlightenment and following others who claimed to have it.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck with the UK tour, Brad. Best wishes, Bo.

Anonymous said...

Phil -- Enlightenment is not a myth. Best wishes, Abu.

Jinzang said...

he realized that he had wasted the better part of his (then) 49 years

Then I'm feeling pretty foolish. As in so many arguments. it all comes down to how you define your terms.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Ok, ok...UNCLE!!!!!!!

As I said long,long ago on Brad's blog....Nishijima Sensei and Brad defined "enlightenment" best as a "solving of 'philosophical' problems".

I can roll with that, yo! I just worry (and why, I don't know why... "compassion"?)about others wasting money, money to be made, and precious, sweet precious time looking for a "mystical" experience.

Maybe the past week being "Beatles" week and watching "Beatles Anthology" on VH1 again with the talk of the disillusionment with the Maharishi got me thinkin' about people chasing ideas that don't exist. :)

Comedian said...

Brad said:

"Britain went swimmingly."

So, he's across the channel.
(drum roll, rimshot)

dove said...


Did Blogger PhilBob-SquareHead say:


Yep, the Beatles had more dollars than sense. Maharishi remains one of my favorite targets in the 'fools on parade' boulevard of clowns.

Jinzang said...

I just worry about others wasting money, money to be made, and precious, sweet precious time looking for a "mystical" experience.

Just practice every day and don't worry about what's going to happen. You don't have to go looking for enlightenment, it knows where you are.

Zayin said...

I like Zen. I have started doing zazen and I like it.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang said...
"Just practice every day and
don't worry about what's going
to happen. You don't have to go
looking for enlightenment, it
knows where you are."

Nicely said, but it reminds me
of playing hide-and-seek as a
kid while the other kids went
off to do something else. At
what point do I stop hiding,
realizing that I've been duped?

Perhaps Zen is for losers
in more than one sense...

No eyes, no ears, no nose,
no tongue, no body,
no consciousness...

Sore knees are for the
fucking birds. This zafu
can kiss my ass!

Anonymous said...

Smoggy wrote: Does your tradition have any teachings on being a two-faced fucktard? Do you bite, little doggie, or do you just bark?

Rob, I might have missed something but this seems like an over-reaction to the question asked. And thinking about it, this type of reaction seems to be a Dogen Sangha thing. Or was this just another example of your sense of humor? I didn't get it.

Anonymous said...

Losers and winners.. That is stupid.

Smoggyrob said...

Hello everyone:

You can all take it however you want. I'm an asshole. I'm sorry I said anything. I regret doing it and I'm not going to engage any further.


Anonymous said...

I think it manly of you Rob, to own up for your assholines

I am glad the questioner continued the quest and I think those who have taken the question and tried to respond in the manner they are able have entered into the right spirit of it: do not answer beyond your knowledge/ability

otherwise keep silent

if you want Brad's take on this (view of compassion in zen tradition) then I suggest e-mail to him directly, because he states he does not read the comments on the blog.

Different lineages/flavors of buddhism have different approaches to compassion.
One thing to consider is not to get too precious about it all, not to overthink
just as you are going about your ordinary daily life, moments present themselves for response.
We think of 'compassion' as being gentle and kind and all embracing and but compassion can also be very direct, very to the point--a punch in the nose so to speak--
kicking someone out of the house can be compassion...
just as much as taking someone in to your house can be compassion...

Only the doer and the donee can know, sometimes the donee not for a while...

what appears on the outside to others to be unkindness can actually be great kindness, great compassion

at any rate words about these things are all we have, it is better to see living examples, but we don't always understand what takes place in front of our very eyes--we judge the actions of others--similar to the discussion a while back about precepts and blowing a whistle when we think others aren't keeping them, when, in reality, for a fact only we can know for ourself if we have or haven't kept a precept--as far as others go, it is speculation, conjecture.

Anonymous said...

Now we all know that's not true. If Brad didn't read them, why would he have taken away the anonymity for those few days? I just want to know what it was that got under his skin. People seem to be debating his faults all the time, why was that day special?

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtto said...

For teachings on compassion in this particular branch of the Zen tradition, please see Brad Warner's "Buddha Never Metta Man He Didn't Like", chapter 9 of "Sit Down and Shut Up" page 96, which is a commentary on "Kannon", chapter 33 of "Shobogenzo" by Dogen Zenji, and can be found in Vol II of the Nishijima/Cross translation, page 179.

Justin said...

For me, compassion is about giving up egotistical (selfish) attachment - not martyrdom, but caring for everyone. It's pretty much central to the Zen that I've been taught.

And as for enlightenment, I think it can be an obstacle. There are shifts in the way we see things, sometimes dramatic ones. I don't know whether there is such a thing as final, perfect enlightenment (I suspect not) but the value of the practice should be self-evident at least after a couple of years of regular practice.

Justin said...

Bowing to Buddha (ie. the cosmos) is abandoning egotistical attachments,
bowing to the cushion, bowing to the room, offering incense, dedicating the ceremony, chanting the Heart Sutra, dedicating meals, offering a share of the food to 'hungry ghosts', doing samu (work) dedicated to the sangha and all beings.

It's all abandoning egotistical attachments. It's all about compassion.

yet another anon said...

an anon wrote:

"If Brad didn't read them [comments], why would he have taken away the anonymity for those few days?"

It's clear that Brad does sometimes read the comments, he's said so, and has now and again written stuff refering to them (see next post).

The anon function disappeared for only a few hours, not days. It coincided with the introduction of the word verification thing. Maybe Brad was seeking to get rid of the spamming (links to cute oriental chicks and wotnot). Maybe the prik (IMHO) calling him/herself "Not Brad's wife" (see also next comments) who posted some pretty inflammatory thing about Brad's personal relationships got to him. Maybe it was something else, or a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtfull post on enlightenment. It should be very much helpfull

Karim - Mind Power

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