Saturday, September 26, 2009

I HAVE NOT RESIGNED AS PRESIDENT OF DOGEN SANGHA

As I’m certain most readers of this blog are aware, Mr. James Cohen (aka Jundo), President of Treeleaf Zendo, has recently uploaded a number of comments to this blog regarding my status as president of Dogen Sangha International. These comments appear in the post below this one entitled “Bye Bye Tokio.” There are only two people who can erase any of these comments, me and Mr. Cohen. I have chosen to allow them to stay up permanently. If you check and they have been removed, this is the work of Mr. Cohen. I am keeping this material in the form of a PDF file in case the original versions are altered later.

First of all, allow me to assure everyone that I have not resigned as president of Dogen Sangha International. In fact, just the opposite has happened. On Friday September 25, 2009 at around 11:00 AM Japan Time I made a personal promise to Nishijima Roshi that I would remain president of Dogen Sangha International (DSI) at least until Nishijima Roshi’s death. Putting aside, for a moment, exactly what it means to be president of DSI, I intend to honor my promise to my teacher.

I must say that I was quite shocked to see Mr. Cohen’s comments on my blog. The emails between me and Nishijima Roshi that he posted appeared to me to be quite clearly sent to Mr. Cohen in error. Remember that Nishijima Roshi is now 90 years old. Even I have sometimes forgotten that an email from someone else was appended to one I was sending to a different person. And I was far less than 75 years old when I first began using email technology!

Furthermore, even if Mr. Cohen would have us believe that he did not know these emails were sent to him in error, I believe they were absolutely unambiguously and unquestionably private emails that were never intended for public consumption. I believe there can be no doubt at all about this fact.

This extreme breach of privacy is the most utterly inappropriate thing I have ever seen carried out in the name of Buddhism.

I have no idea why the president of one Buddhist organization would feel it necessary to make public such private correspondence concerning the president of another Buddhist organization. I can think of no reasonable cause to do so. This seems to me to be a highly unethical and immoral act.

Mr. Cohen is not a member of Dogen Sangha International and has no authority to make public statements on behalf of the organization. He certainly has no authorization at all to make public statements on my behalf.

For the record, the private email from me to Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen made public was part of a much larger discussion between myself and Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen was not privy to, and which I do not find any compelling reason to explain here.

Furthermore, I have not spoken to or communicated with Mr. Cohen except in a few very brief emails for the past two years. I chose to break off my relationship with him at that time because it became clear that every interaction between us always went very badly. There are times in life when the only thing you can do with certain relationships is put a stop to them. Sometimes, if the people involved stay away from each other for a while, they can resume some sort of relationship later on. In my own life I’ve recently been able to reconnect with an ex-girlfriend with whom I’ve had a rather stormy relationship for the past 15 or so years. We’re friends again now and it’s nice. But we would not be friends now if we had not stayed away from each other completely for several years.

In that case, she and I were once very close. We went through a lot together including an attack on the streets of Akron by a pair of men who seemed intent on killing me for no apparent reason (they appeared to be high on some kind of drug -- drugs suck). In the case of Mr. Cohen and myself, we were never anywhere near that close. I can clearly recall meeting him only three times. Once at a Nepalese restaurant in Tokyo called Mt. Fishtail, once at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo called Raj Mahal and once at an overnight trip to Tokei-in Temple in Shizuoka. I suspect we must have met a handful of times other than this, but I do not clearly remember those meetings. It is entirely possible he came to some of Nishijima Roshi’s talks at Tokyo University. But I do not recall seeing him there. As far as I can recall he was not one of regulars who came every week. Be aware that my memory is pretty dodgy. But this is my honest recollection. In any case, we were never friends.

When Mr. Cohen left Dogen Sangha International in 2007, I sensed that the time was right to end the relationship between us. As I said, it never seemed to go very well and once he was no longer part of the organization I could see no compelling reason to keep up what I found to be an utterly fruitless relationship with him.

And, yes folks, I did once send Mr. Cohen an email that said, "Go fuck yourself." But this was not a hastily scrawled missive sent in anger. In fact I first wrote him what I believed to be a very reasonable email stating why I no longer wished to carry on our relationship. But then I reflected on the fact that I'd sent him what I believed to be very reasonable emails before and they never seemed to work. I thought that one very rude statement might convey what I wanted to say far more effectively. So I scrapped my longer email and just sent one sentence. I reasoned that most people who received an email saying "Go fuck yourself" would sense that the person who sent that email no longer wished to carry on communicating with them.

Personally I’d prefer to cease all communications with Mr. Cohen for a period of five years. If, sometime in September of 2014, it seems that we might be able to have a reasonable conversation with each other, I’d be willing to do so. I think it will take at least that long for the current series of emails to become mere “water under the bridge” for me (you are only seeing the very tip of the iceberg here, there must be a couple dozen emails from Mr. Cohen similar to the ones he posted on this blog sitting in my inbox).

The thing that worries me most about this situation is the effect it is having on the health and well-being of Nishijima Roshi. I firmly believe there is only one person who can put an end to all of this, and I believe that person is Mr. Cohen. All he needs to do, I think, is to keep “Noble Silence” on the various issues that seem to be bothering him. I really hope he chooses to do so for Nishijima Roshi’s sake. Nishijima Roshi is a very old man and when I visited him last week I could see the visible toll all of this was taking on him. It was the cause of the only argument I have ever had with Nishijima Roshi in the many years I have known him.

This post is not intended as the beginning of a discussion with Mr. Cohen or anyone else on this matter. It is my final word on the subject. I am going to be quite stubborn over the next few weeks about this. Even if the comments section of every article I put up is filled with nothing but hundreds of postings about the supposed “Jundo vs. Brad War,” I will steadfastly ignore them. I’ve just traveled all the way around the world and had a lot of really interesting adventures I’d rather talk about.

But there is one last thing I would like to add. I have noticed a few comments over the past weeks from someone who identifies him/herself as “another DS guy on the outs.” I have no idea who this person might be. I would very much appreciate it if he or she would send a brief email to me at brad.warner@mac.com so we can discuss whatever the issues he/she has with Dogen Sangha and see if some solution can be worked out.

246 comments:

1 – 200 of 246   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Awesome! #1

Anonymous said...

quite the ramble there, Brad

Anonymous said...

I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you , Brad

gniz said...

Actually, I thought it was well-written and I appreciated what Brad said here. It kind of makes sense to me. I could well imagine Brad's email inbox being full of dozens of jundo's attempts at communication.

Posting those emails, no matter how tempting it might have been to do, was clearly a bad move on Jundo's part and doesnt reflect well on him.

I'll try to honor Brad's wishes and not bring this shit up...
But its hard not to rubberneck while passing by an accident, unfortunately.

Aaron

Anonymous said...

Welcome home Brad
Sorry you've had to attend to a mess first off.
It'll be good to see you if your not too jet lagged.

James said...

I think Jundo made a mistake by making the emails public, but I think I understand why he did it.

If I was trying to patch up a tense past with someone and they pulled the kind of shit Brad has been pulling, I would be mighty pissed off and people do stupid stuff when they are angry.

That said, Jundo's bad behaviour does not excuse Brad's bad behaviour.

Brad is right, if Jundo keeps 'noble silence' on the matter, then the problem wont escalate further, but Brad is wrong in saying it's the only way to end this drama. Jundo wasn't asking Brad to marry him, he was asking for a meeting (refereed by Gudo, no less) so they could clear the air. Had Brad not been so petty about it, none of the recent trouble would have occurred.

I've managed to forgive people who have caused far greater injury to myself than Jundo has ever caused Brad.

It seems that Brad's ego wont allow for forgiveness or civility. I hope that Jundo can accept that Brad is never going to get over it and leave the matter alone.

gniz said...

Hey James, you make a really good point. But remember, we dont really know all the back and forth thats gone on over the years--attempts at reconciliation, patching things up, whatever.

Brad's point seems to be, hey me and Jundo dont get along and never will so i decided not to bother with him anymore. Course, he does take a lot of public shots at Jundo in his book and blog, so that probably isnt the best way to let things die.

I dont know, it all so confusing!!

Aercean

Anonymous said...

I have another theory. In reality Brad and Jundo are bff and all this drama is just their clever ploy to shake up our fixed notions of what buddhism is or how buddhist masters should behave!

Anonymous said...

#1, I'm so happy for your glory :)

Anonymous said...

c'mon sing it boys...

"This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering."

Anonymous said...

second verse, same as the first...

"This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination."

Anonymous said...

and now the chorus...

dorkman said...

Great post, brad. Now can we go back to talking about the war between you and jumbo?

It looks to me that the email was genuince but out of context. I think it is likely that Brad threatened to resign (via email) unless gudo concelled the meeting or if gudo insisted that he meet with jumbo. That seems like a petulent child as well. Give me my way or I'll take my toys and go home! The actions of brad, gudo and jumbo all seem pretty petty and childish.

Anonymous said...

Brad, you come across as petty and cold. Where's the peace? Where is the compassion?

Exactly what kind of unbalanced Buddhism is this that your represent?

Anonymous said...

Brad is a totally flawed human being.. Imagine that. Did you see that wart? Gross.

Anonymous said...

I think Jundo should not have released the email. That was not right. But he is always reasonable, warm and soft spoken in his posts here. Maybe I saw one post from him ever that seemed really angry. He should post here if he is reacting to being portrayed in Brad's book or protesting that Brad stood up a meeting arranged by their teacher. I mean, Brad found time to meet with that bigot Mike Cross, so not meeting Jundo was just personal.

Anonymous said...

You take the high road, I'll take the low road. We need people like Brad Warner like we need people like Me. Can't we all just let it be?

Apuleius Platonicus said...

I much prefer Brad's honest and up-front style to the smarmy passive-aggression that the vast majority of American Buddhists seem to prefer.

Anonymous said...

All of this is quite pathetic and is just another sign of why religion is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong I love the principles behind Buddhism, but in the long run people just can’t help to fuck it up. I think a part of us and even a part of me is in love with this notion of the learned and mystical Eastern teacher who can reveal the secrets of the universe, but in the end these are still men that are trying to hold on to their power and influence over people and the second someone challenges their position; they are going to lash out. It’s natural law of religion that every priest, guru, roshi, rabbi, or whatever has to have an opposite so he can point out to his/her congregation how that guy over there is fucking everything up for the rest of us. The 1st Avenue Baptist church pastor will always think that the people that go to the 2nd Avenue Baptist church are doing things all wrong. Brad and Jundo are no different

The people that comment on this stuff too cannot see that they are trapped in the same religious recursive way of thinking. “My teacher said bad things about him so I’m going to say mean things about him on his blog.” If you can’t stand Brad than don’t read his fucking blog and if you can’t stand the people that Brad doesn’t like than don’t read their shit either! These men are the cause of this problem and they should be the ones that settle and it and it should have been settled privately, but unfortunately we have the internet where can broadcast to the world that we stubbed our big toe on the desk which of course is just another way to make us feel like we are special and important. These men should either have one big cage match to settle their differences or they should just fuck one another take out all of their aggression that way. Either option is more entertaining than this senseless bickering that is going back and forth.

So the moral of the story kids is that religion is stupid and it makes people stupid. If two Zen teachers or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves can’t settle their problems like adults than what hope is there for rest of us?

James said...

Gniz, It certainly takes two to tango, neither man is free from blame...my one issue with it all is that Brad doesn't see it that way. What I infer from his posts is that he believes the whole thing is Jundo's fault - now thats delusion!

I call six to one, half a dozen to the other, but I'm sure Rob will be over in a minute to call me or moron or such; I mean how could Jesu...I mean Brad be even remotely at fault for allowing the situation to degrade this far.

Anonymous said...

you're focusing too much on what the brains of these organisms are doing. remember, everyone has ass holes. visualize that.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

The blame doesn't always fall equally on all sides. That's just idiocy.

Anonymous said...

"The people that comment on this stuff too cannot see that they are trapped in the same religious recursive way of thinking."

I liked your whole comment. But does this include you too?

"So the moral of the story kids is that religion is stupid and it makes people stupid. If two Zen teachers or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves can’t settle their problems like adults than what hope is there for rest of us?"

This is what organized religion does. I agree with Aaron. I liked Brad Warner's early writing and books. But right after Gudo made him king shit of DSI island something changed. In my opinion he should resign from DSI and go his own way.

bandit said...

So, what kinda music ya play?

Anonymous said...

I started practising zazen after reading Brad's books; I continued at Treeleaf. Now I see that the whole Nishijima lineage is a joke. Balanced automonic nervous system my arse.

Stephanie said...

Good post, Brad (to an extent, but I'll address my objection in a minute here). I too have found it absolutely necessary at times in my life to completely cut off and end communication with certain people. It is a very harsh and painful process but can often be the only healthy way to proceed. Right action doesn't always feel right or good. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a relationship, sometimes you have to sacrifice an idea or belief about who you are.

From what little I can tell sitting in the same peanut gallery as everyone else, it definitely seems that not talking is the best route for Brad and Jundo, especially now. Not that my ten cents really matters but I do agree that the dynamic does not seem something that would ever go well. I've had the same realization about my personal style and Jundo's--there have been times I've wanted to go back to Treeleaf to post but even if I was permitted back by Jundo, I just realize that, as Nishijima put it, "we can never arrive at the good conclusion at all." I don't see any way to both be honest and avoid conflict there. I don't think that practicing kindness and understanding means that we make sure everyone likes each other and enjoys one another's company. I think peacemaking includes realizing when to leave well enough alone.

All that said--Brad, it may be unfortunate that your personal correspondence with Nishijima was posted, but to address it without stating what it was that made you ready to resign as Dogen Sangha president leaves a strange aftertaste. You give lip service to Zen teachers being willing to give full disclosure as to their weaknesses, foibles, and mistakes, but sometimes you seem to be making efforts to hide or minimize yours.

As to Dogen Sangha--it might be on the less functional end of the functionality spectrum when it comes to sangha politics, but all sanghas, as all human institutions, have some form of similar bullshit going on at any given time. Even enlightened Zen masters can't get around it--and if they think they can, they just fool themselves until they eventually get reborn as foxes.

Allison said...

Hey everybody:

who cares?

Aaron said...

Hey Allison,

You do.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a feeble minded moron but how about those who fancy following Brad follow Brad, those who fancy following Jundo follow Jundo, those who want to follow someone else follow someone else and those who want to follow no-one follow no-one. They may both be right, they may both be wrong, the first may be right and the second wrong, the second right and the first wrong. Those who follow the right may become right, those who follow the wrong may become wrong, those who follow the right may become wrong, those who follow the wrong may become right. Such is life. Now can we all go back to the Zazen thing?

Rich said...

I have very cordial and respectful relationships with my fiercest competitors. About a year ago I had a blowout with one of them and vowed to have no dealings with him ever again. That attitude didn't last very long and I don't think Brad's 5 year no contact rule will last very long. Gotta go eat then sit.
/Rich

Brad, its OK to take a vacation. Visit your father in Mexico.

grubbery said...

I'm not a member of Dogen Sangha, nor even a Soto practioner. I very much appreciate Brad's teaching however as I believe his to be a very unique voice in American Zen that speaks to many of us who came to Zen of a certain age.

The truth of the matter is American Zen in any number of schools and styles have fallen prey to the damage that personality cults can cause.

Brad's teaching is consistent with many keen eyed ZMs who taught that becoming overly attached to them will only hinder one's practice. I'm sure Brad is also keenly aware that many of these same ZMs saw there Sanghas damaged when politics and infighting intervened.

These things are natural whenever you get two people in a room - the history of Zen is fraught with stories of angry monks and acolytes taking up arms not over the dharma being taught, but over the authenticity of the teacher.

These stories always end up teaching the sincere practioner something important about their own practice. No doubt the same will happen here.

For myself, I see this as an opportunity to avoid attachment. My cushion, my dog, my ZMs all have something to teach me. It's our decision whether and what we pay attention to.

Everything else seems very silly.

Stuart said...

Truth and Practice is whatever appears in front of us just now. I like harmony and I dislike conflict... these are my likes and dislikes. Still, when conflict appears, it's my truth and my practice.

My Zen teacher said something like, "A correct Zen school includes people arguing about their different opinions."

In government, checks and balances and democracy are vital. This is because no one chooses where they're born. The laws of their country are thrust upon them, and leaving the country can be difficult or impossible.

In the case of a Zen school, people choose to be part of it voluntarily. The authorities of a Zen school hardly force things on anyone, as members can always switch to a different school (with FAR fewer barriers than leaving a country).

Therefore, I don't have a problem with Zen school with few checks and balances, in which the authority makes decisions with a certain amount of take-it-or-leave-it. I personal will choose to be part of a school with a minimum of authoritarianism, but I wouldn't assert that this is the only correct way.

In the school I practice with, there are certain minimum forms and rules that the Zen Masters must follow if they want to teach as a formal teacher in the school. They're free to teach as a Zen Master, outside the school, in other cases. This seems to work out OK.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Jinzang said...

So the moral of the story kids is that religion is stupid and it makes people stupid. If two Zen teachers or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves can’t settle their problems like adults than what hope is there for rest of us?

Brad and Jundo don't get along and Brad has chosen to deal with it by keeping away from Jundo. In a perfect world, should they get along? Obviously so. But Zen makes you a better person, not a perfect person. If he still gets angry over stuff, that only shows he needs to continue to practice. This sort of stuff happens even to advanced practitioners. You're calm, peaceful, even blissful, and then something comes along that pushes your button and it's as if you never practiced. That's not a problem, let alone a refutation of Zen. It's an opportunity to deepen your practice.

I can't judge Brad because I only know him through his books and this blog. Same goes for Jundo. You only know a person when you've looked them in the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Well, I know Jundo well for a long time. I have written him about his, and you can too [http://www.treeleaf.org/contact.html]. He wrote me back several times.

The only thing he wanted was to share tea, sit Zazen and make a little bit of peace with Brad. He knew that he could never be friends with Brad, because Brad does not want to be friendly. However, he thought he could look Brad in the eye and do something to settle down the situation a little. Nishijima Roshi wanted that too.

All Jundo was asking for was tea, Zazen and a chance to talk. Having a chance to look each other in the eye and talk calmly and positively is always a good thing. It is what a Buddhist teacher should do when there is conflict.

In this forum too, people make up all kinds of stories about Jundo, and yell at him. He answers calmly and peacefully. That is what a Buddhist teacher should do.

Those people here who say "both are to blame" should look closely at Jundo's real actions, Brad's defensiveness and refusal to talk peace, and their own motivations. Jundo has been acting like a real Buddhist teacher should act, which is to drink tea together and settle a matter.

Even if releasing the email was stupid, look at what he has been saying and what he was trying to do.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you've known Jundo for a long time
Perhaps you can point out to him that he has his own temple and his own treeleaf sangha to attend to

to come over here and 'reveal' information is tantamount to a minister from one church, uninvited going into another minister's church and talking from the pulpit

it just isn't done

Brad accords this forum the freedom to run itself, but Jundo has overstepped bounds of propriety: he does not belong here.

He is welcome all over the place, why would he insert himself where he is clearly not invited?

Whatever the issues are, the causes of the issues, the misperceptions or miscommunications or errors of speech or errors of perception, ultimately it does not require an audience.

These kinds of things happen between people no matter practicing zen or not.
When someone says 'I wish no further contact' what about that is not understood?
Why would someone who wishes no further contact meet eye to eye with someone to state again "I wish no further contact with you."?
We don't have to know the why
we don't have to know the wherefor

When one person says to another "I don't want to have further contact" then as hard as it may be to fathom, one honors the request.

What else can one do?

To do otherwise is to become something else--a bully--and no one appreciates that.

As sad as it is, some things just have to be dropped sometimes there is the opportunity to take them up again after a while...one moves on with ones life.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I asked Jundo about that twice. You can too and just write him. He always answers, very nice and open man.

He said he only posts on Brad's blog when Brad mentions treeleaf in a post, or writes about Jundo in Brad's book. In this case, it was because Brad cancel a very important peaceful meeting with him and their teacher after promising to come, then leaving the country.

Brad and Jundo share a teacher, and are both Buddhist teachers, so for Brad to say "I will not meet you" is strange. Jundo asked to meet for coffee or tea one time a year to keep some communication about their teacher's affairs.

I think yuo should look at what Jundo was saying and doing here, and not make assumption because there are two people necessary to make dispute, so "both are at fault". If one person offers to extend olive branch, and other person refuses, there is not quite same attitude and responsibility.

Should not a Buddhist teacher extend the olive branch to someone who is his teacher's other student again and agian? Is that "making a dispute"?

Anonymous said...

Hey, if somebody writes about me in their book, or intentionally doesn't show at an important meeting he promised, or makes a snide remark about me on their blog, I would post a comment on their blog if I could to respond. Where is that a breach of "blog ethics?

Jundo released the email that Gudo sent cause it showed that Brad last minute cancelled the meeting their teacher wanted, and to call Brad on it. I think Jundo was right to call Brad on that in public.

nihilocrat said...

Half of these comments read like some kind some bizarro Buddhist 4chan.

Anonymous said...

Brad found time to meet with that bigot Mike Cross, so not meeting Jundo was just personal.

ROFLOL So true

Kathy said...

Okay. I give a "10" to Stephanie's post, because it made me laugh.

bizarro Buddhist 4chan said...

I often think of going to a monastary...even as a boy the thought of living the monastic life had great appeal to me...Not becoming a priest...but the simplicty, devotion, work, quiet. Now, I like breastfeeding as much as any man. I have never had a formal living teacher that I can REALLLLLLY relate with. I'm hopping around still. Mostly it is because I am a social outcast, one of those on the fringe...Sitting alone is much more rewarding for me. Bottom line then..Ya gets whacha pays fo!!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't all of this second and third hand surmising and guessing of things fun?!!

Even if we know one or the other or BOTH or all of the participants--let's say we know everyone--each and every anonymi as well.
We know their families we know their pets, too!

We know all of their foibles
we know, we know, God help us, we know it all--all of it!

it still boils down to:

one person wants to
one person doesn't

and isn't this what it always boils down to?

Our sympathies lie more with one than with the other--for whatever reason, they just do.
Or let's say we see both sides exactly equally.
They both are right!
They both are exactly equally right!

Now what?

One doesn't want to
The other does

Now what?

good question In fact this is the basic question between humans most of the time...when one wants to, and another doesn't.

Anonymous said...

one person wants to
one person doesn't


Good point maybe. Although when one person is extending an olive branch and the other is refusing, you cannot say they have equal responsibility for maintaining the fires of dispute. Olive branch person has olive branch, other is keeping dispute alive.

When both are Buddhist teachers sharing the same teacher, and the teacher wants them to meet, the one who agrees and the one who refuses are not the same.

Someone who just went all over the world, meeting everyone including the "Gudo you yellow bastard" ex-monk Mike Cross, should find time for a tea to settle a matter. If one cannot find time for a short meeting requested by the teacher, the one who comes and the one who stamps feet and refuses to come in are not both keeping the fires of dispute burning.

If Brad claims he barely knows Jundo, why does he write so many pages in his book about him? You cannot write something in book about someone and then say, hey, don't respond and comment (especially since Jundo says the version in the book is not accurate and Brad invited him to respond in the book).

To say that "sometimes best way to end fight" is not to meet is true. But if the teacher asks, and if the two persons are Buddhist teachers sharing a same teacher and need to talk about teacher and such, then this is the strange attitude.

Anyway, Brad is a Buddhist teacher and Jundo is Buddhist teacher, and they share same teacher. The fact that Brad met almost every other teacher, including bigot Mike Cross, shows he is not real.

You can see Jundo on his treeleaf forum, people love and respect him as teacher. He abuses no body, he is level headed. Here, people write terrible things about him, he is calm and level headed, trying to make peace.

Can you say that people who yell "f-you Jundo", and peopke who say "I refuse to even talk to you once a year about our common teacher, I will not sit Zazen with you" and calm level headed, peacemaker Jundo are handling the situation the same? If you were not prejudiced, which is seemingly most Buddhist attitude?

People here are so keen to defend Brad that they forget that Buddha teaches kindness.

Where's the Buddha? said...

Yes, the only thing Brad or most of the other people around here forget to mention on this supposedly Buddhist blog is the Buddhist attitude toward reconciliation. Beware of any so-called Buddhist teacher who would discuss such a sensitive topic with focus only on "what would Brad do" instead of "what would Buddha or the other ancestors" do.

Whatever harm has been done to me by another,knowingly or unknowingly, through mind, speech or body, I freely extend forgiveness

Whatever harm I have caused another, knowingly or unknowingly, through mind, speech or body, I ask forgiveness

Whatever ways I have harmed myself, knowingly or unknowingly, through mind, speech or body, I freely forgive myself.

Verses from the suttas can be used to recall the Buddha and evoke the qualities of a mind filled with peace and forgiveness: He is a reconciler of those who are in conflict and an encourager of those who are already united, rejoicing in peace, loving peace, delighting in peace, he is one who
speaks in praise of peace.
Digha Nikaya, Sutta No.1

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

There is no situation, they each have their own websites and sanghas, live and let live. I don't comment at Treeleaf because I don't have anything nice to say and my Mother fucking raised me right.

Rob

Anonymous said...

leave off taking sides

there are no sides

we are all on the same side

maybe that's why it feels like we're about to tip over!

please won't some folks go back over to Treeleaf side so things can be balanced out again?

Thanks!

Sean said...

Brad, per your request here's a good tool for converting pages to pdf files:

http://www.web2pdfconvert.com/

Anonymous said...

Yes, the only thing Brad or most of the other people around here forget to mention on this supposedly Buddhist blog is the Buddhist attitude toward reconciliation. Beware of any so-called Buddhist teacher who would discuss such a sensitive topic with focus only on "what would Brad do" instead of "what would Buddha or the other ancestors" do.

That is a good indicator that something is off on this Buddhist site with this Buddhist teacher. The Buddha almost never gets mentioned, and even Dogen is pretty hard to find. What Brad posts about is Brad. The Buddhist teachings, and mention of Buddhist history is hard to find. What you find is what Brad is pissed about today.

Anonymous said...

please won't some folks go back over to Treeleaf side so things can be balanced out again?

I hope they stay, it is a nice and polite discussion. In fact, is seem to be the treeleaf people (if that is who they are, I am not so sure) who seem to be bringing some class to this joint, and are acting reasonable and polite. It is all the Bradites who are the ones who seem to be the irate and insulting name callers who can't have an adult discussion.

Anonymous said...

I guess you haven't been over to Treeleaf in a while.
it's not quite the way you make it out to be.

Maybe 'cause Hardcore folks have taken up over there?
In which case things are balanced out!

Anonymous said...

olive branches are usually offered

you usually don't go chasing after somone with it, insisting they take it

and certainly you don't go running after someone, olive branch raised in the air as if you are going to strike them with it

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

1004, you make valid points. If anyone senses "that something is off" then they should trust their intuition. 1009, maybe Treeleaf can host a topic on this, if they're interested.

If you don't care for the Dharma passed down rightly from the Buddha to the Patriarchs to Brad Warner Roshi, trust your intuition.

I'll talk to you guys later.

Rob

Anonymous said...

this'll learn me not to skip a day on this blog. holy crap! In a way I'm glad it's come to his. Maybe you guys can finally sever ties and we can talk about our respective Sanghas again?

Anonymous said...

Nishijima Roshi is a very old man and when I visited him last week I could see the visible toll all of this was taking on him.

If Brad really cared about Nishijima Roshi's peace of mind, he would have come to the little peace conference as Nishijima first requested, and not pouted and threatened to quit Dogen Sangha.

If you don't care for the Dharma passed down rightly from the Buddha to the Patriarchs to Brad Warner Roshi, trust your intuition.

If Brad and his best buttboy Rob can't take a little constuctive criticism and sane discussion without name calling, then it is their problem (although, gosh, I just name called. It is rubbing off).

I guess you haven't been over to Treeleaf in a while.
it's not quite the way you make it out to be.


Examples please. Are you the same guy who accused Jundo of having been some mad Korean pretender?

Don't blame Gandhi said...

and certainly you don't go running after someone, olive branch raised in the air as if you are going to strike them with it

From what I hear through the grapevine from someone there, Jundo is not the one doing the striking. Jundo was engaged in a peaceful attempt to talk to people in DS and sit Zazen together, and some Karate guy threatened to punch his light out, and then another guy did. No names need be mentioned. I have seen a photo though of the damage to Jundo.

It speaks well of Jundo that he kept his cool and did not resist. The person there says he did not even raise his voice when he was getting pounded on.

Rick Shaw said...

Fuck me Freddy...I though we were all past the point of getting a little pissy when someone disagreed with us...

Alice N. Wunderland said...

Brad Warner is certainly an interesting man. On the surface, his teachings appear to be genuinely Zennish. He powerfully attacks much of what humanity believes and cherishes, and is extremely critical of religious teachers, whom he calls frauds. While his words are sometimes pretty good, his actions and his lifestyle are a different matter altogether. They provide too much nourishment for his deluded followers and nullify all the good that may come from his words.

To my eyes, he is merely an actor, albeit a very ingenious one. He conforms to a role, that of the anti-zen teacher, and as such is no different to any of the other thousands of run-of-the-mill gurus which litter this sorry planet. And just like all these other gurus, his role-playing only serves to strengthen the delusions of his listeners. His words might be full of fire and brimstone, but deep down everyone knows he is just a harmless puppy.

There is no escaping the fact that the quality of his followers is very low. This more than anything else is a damning judgment upon the man. The type of people who are attracted to him are of the worst kind - submissive, worshipful, and sado- masochistic.

The root problem with Brad, the one that underlies all the other problems, is that he has no bodhicitta. By this I mean he has no desire to become perfect. He is not willing to go all the way and eliminate his delusions completely. He holds onto a portion of his ego in order to enjoy life. Out of this lack of bodhicitta arise consequences of the worst kind.

All the evils of egotism - war, violence, rape, ignorance, etc - are in large part caused by people like Brad. For they set themselves up as zen masters and therefore must assume a far greater responsibility for the world than ordinary people. And if these masters are not really genuine, as is the case with Brad, then the harm that is caused by them is simply immense.

But Brad seems to be utterly unaware of this kind of thing. Indeed, his frequent claims that he has no teaching, that he is not a zen master, that he does not believe in the "perfect person", etc, allows him an easy escape route from all responsibilities as a teacher. He can use these discourses to deflect anything which is directed too close to the bone. It enables him to obscure the fact that he is, at bottom, just a common egotist hell-bent on enjoying life and who just so happens to have some decent verbal skills.

proulx michel said...

I find it rather remarkable how the various brad-bashers on this comments page will consistently hide behind anonymate.

I think the indifference in which the owner of this blog holds his enemies is a sure sign of what he is truly.

I, for one, could never be so lenient, which doesn't speak much in my favour, but there again, I don't think many of those brad-bashers are willing to go as far either.

Anonymous said...

From what I hear through the grapevine from someone there, Jundo is not the one doing the striking. Jundo was engaged in a peaceful attempt to talk to people in DS and sit Zazen together, and some Karate guy threatened to punch his light out, and then another guy did. No names need be mentioned. I have seen a photo though of the damage to Jundo.

BULLSHIT

Jinzang said...

Finding fault with others is a disease. One of the few things I remember reading from Gurdjieff is, "if you are criticizing someone, you are asleep."

Buddhism without Buddha = Bradism said...

That is a good indicator that something is off on this Buddhist site with this Buddhist teacher. The Buddha almost never gets mentioned, and even Dogen is pretty hard to find. What Brad posts about is Brad. The Buddhist teachings, and mention of Buddhist history is hard to find. What you find is what Brad is pissed about today.

This is a keen observation. It is a reasonable analysis based on the written record, and not "finding fault". One can search back for hundreds of blog posts and videos with this "Buddhist teacher" and "Zen Master". You will find a passing reference to the Buddha's name here or there, but almost never a quote or discussion of basic Buddhist teachings in any depth. There are even less references to other Buddhist and Zen ancestors other than Dogen, and even only a rare discussion of anything Dogen said (except for his second book, which might have been subtitled "A Fluffy and Superficial Discussion of Bits & Pieces of Shobogenzo Mentioned in Passing Only When Somehow Connected To Brad's Life").

In most cases, when the Buddha or Dogen are mentioned on this blog or in his books and talks, it is not about their teachings except as it connects to whatever Brad is pissed about that day. The Buddha is mentioned barely in passing, and then stretched to fit whatever odd idea is passing through Brad's head that day.

As you say, what Brad posts about is Brad. Even then, the pissiness, bile and angry words are far from anything in the Buddha's teachings. Dogen did not talk and act like this, even on a bad day. There is nobody who knows anything about the life of those men who would think they ever acted like that.

Yes, the missing references and discussion of Buddha and Buddha's words are a very good indicator that something is off on this purported Buddhist site and this Buddhist teacher. Nor is it the case that Brad's words and behavior conform to any image of Buddhism 99% of Buddhists of any school would recognize. His last book is a fine example: Search the word "Buddha" in the book, and one finds a few passing mentions, no serious discussion, and all justifying or supporting Brad bitching and moaning about his problems. There is almost no mention of any words of another Buddhist teacher.

Oh, and the unmoderated chaos of this comments section? Yes, Brad might be applauded for allowing that, but I often get the sense these days that he is more trapped into it now than anything. If he tries to change it, people will yell "sell out", and it does not fit with the "Bradism punk" image he pushes.

Anonymous said...

"... Dharma passed down rightly from the Buddha to the Patriarchs to..." ???? to WHO???

All seems to be an illegitimate branch from what's been presented the past few days.

Mr. Reee said...

Man. It's all junior high.

Somewhere I read something along the lines of the following, which seems to be pretty good advice:

"Do what needs to be done."

"Don't do what doesn't need to be done."


So, how might that precept work in this situation? (Given what's been written about the matter thus far)

J: 'Hey Brad, you're in Japan? Lets get together for some tea.'

B: 'No thanks.'

J: 'Oh, OK. Bye.'

Click.


Totally Zen, man.

Rick said...

Here's something that kinda make this whole thing seem really smalland inconsequential, .

Rick said...

Alice N. Wunderland said...

A lot of interesting stuff.

I find your point about bodhicitta very insightful (hopefully it doesn't insight a riot). I don't know if it's really true, in Hr. Warner's case, because I do not follow him very closely, but I can see how you would make that connection based on some of his behavior that is discussed here.

Another poster mentioned something about little or no "Buddhism" or "Dogen" mentioned here.

But this is a blog, and not a teaching platform. Brad has made clear his thoughts on web-based Zen teaching (not that I agree at all with it), so it stands to reason that he's not going to use this in that manner.

But it does tie in nicely with your comments, Alice.

Anonymous said...

wow buddhist internetz drama! what a delicious phenomenon. just imagine what these guys would be like without 20+ years of zazen =D

Fugen said...

Hi.

Great to see so much care about others amongst you.

But isn't it more important to think about your behaviour than others?

I personally think both mr Cohen and mr warner are good teachers, and they have learned me a lot (or have they?). But i do not want to carry their ladies for them, they have to let them down themselves, now that they have crossed the stream.

May the force be with you
Fugen

Rick said...

An Anonymati said...

"Balanced automonic nervous system my arse."

No... not your arse. A little higher and in the frontish. Somewhere centered around the solar-plexus, but including the mid-brain and the medulla as well. Though your mid-brain might be your arse... I don't know... in which case, you'd be partially correct.

This isn't something new in the world of Chan (yes, Chinese Chan still exists, though the word Zen is used since it's more known in the West) and Taoism. Gudo didn't develop this.

The relation between the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) during meditation is very important and usually overlooked in the Japanese Zen traditions that focuses only on zazen.

In meditation, avoidance of pain is paramount so an not to trigger the SNS - which is the source of the body's "fight or flight" mechanism. Instead, the PSNS should be developed through specific techniques. The PSNS "controls" such activities as digestion, and sex (WAHOOO!!).

Lauren said...

What is a "follower" of Brad?
--
Bradism said "Dogen did not talk and act like this, even on a bad day." I wonder... the guy wrote rules on how to use a shit stick. Ya gotta wonder about the personality of someone who is so upset about how others care for there on asses that he had to lay down some rules for it. My impression is, since he was human, he probably had some pretty lousy, judgmental, pissed off, can't-stand-those-XZY-people days himself.

Anonymous said...

"Finding fault with others is a disease. One of the few things I remember reading from Gurdjieff is, "if you are criticizing someone, you are asleep."

Does this apply equally to Brad and all of his diatribes against the various people who don't agree with him?

Stuart said...

Jinzang said...
5:11 PM
> Having a chance to look each
> other in the eye and talk calmly
> and positively is always a good
> thing. It is what a Buddhist
> teacher should do when there is
> conflict.

Zen practice is to meet each situation with a clear and compassionate mind. Our action will then arise based on the just-now situation itself... rather than from an idea or opinion we carry into the situation.

The virtue of this practice is this: this world is always changing, changing non-stop. Each situation is fresh and new. We cloud that aliveness if hold fixed ideas about the correct way to act.

I'm more interest in Zen teachers that practice in this way, rather than one who holds ideas about "what a Buddhist teacher should do."

"We should be calm in the face of conflict"... that may be a good idea that's helpful in many situations. But it's still an idea, and is different from meeting each situation with clarity. Maybe sometimes we meet a situation in which the most helpful response is jumping up and down and screaming. Why not?

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

PhillySteveINLA said...

Anyone who hasn't sat with or met Brad certainly isn't qualified to comment on his "bodhichitta"(not stressed in any Zen school I ever heard), or his lack there of.
Bodhichitta, after all, is the will to compassion, or the compassionate heart.
Brad is, to an extent, antisocial. He also doesn't particularly like being a teacher or having to be "in charge".
Nevertheless, he gets out there every Saturday and teaches, sits with people and leads a group he would rater just be a member of(or maybe not even that, who knows?). He goes on book tour and teaches and talks with strangers. Almost every day. He accepts a mantle thrust on him by Nishijima that he doesn't really want simply because it MIGHT help someone, it MIGHT help Nishijima and DSI.
If you ask me, doing that which you don't want for the sake of others is a perfect example of the compassionate heart, and therefore a fine example of bodhichitta.

Just because you know a fancy Sanskrit word, don't think you have a lock on the meaning.

Also, I don't think it's a fair statement to claim that Brad can be judged by his students and his students are poor examples.
Do you live in LA? Have you come to HSC?
If you have, then I am more likely to listen. If you have not, you have no place.
The people who sit with him are his students. The people commenting on the blog are just fans....sometimes. the rest of the time they're the opposite.

Point is, you can't really comment on someone's sangha till ya seen it.

Stuart said...

Sean said...
> ... something is off on this
> Buddhist site with this Buddhist
> teacher. The Buddha almost never
> gets mentioned

An eminent Buddhist teacher said, "Even to mention the word 'Buddha' is like dropping a load of shit on your head."

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

From what I hear through the grapevine from someone there, Jundo is not the one doing the striking. Jundo was engaged in a peaceful attempt to talk to people in DS and sit Zazen together, and some Karate guy threatened to punch his light out, and then another guy did. No names need be mentioned. I have seen a photo though of the damage to Jundo.

BULLSHIT


As I said, I have seen a photo and Jundo was pummeled pretty good.

Lauren said...

"Only Myōzen had received the authentic transmission of the supreme Buddha-Dharma..."

"I will leave this record to people who learn in practice and are easy in the truth, so that they can know the right Dharma of the Buddha’s lineage."

“There are many gates to the Buddha-Dharma. Why do you solely recommend sitting in zazen?”
I say: Because it is the authentic gate to the Buddha-Dharma.

"Further, do you know for yourself any virtue that is gained from practices such as reading sutras and reciting names of buddhas?"

Wow! This guy is really close minded and critical towards other forms of Buddhist practice. How arrogant to think he's got the handle on "true" Buddhism.

This guy was, of course, Dogen.

My impression is Dogen thinks zazen is the proper expression of true Buddhist action. There can be no judgement of a proper Buddhist or not if there is zazen. Everything else is just everything else?

Perhaps all this Brad-Jundo stuff is just part of everything else?

"We should not think that the learning of these intellectual ideas is the right path of Buddhist practice.When we solely sit in zazen, on the other hand, relying now on exactly the same posture
as the Buddha, and letting go of the myriad things, then we go beyond the areas of delusion, realization, emotion, and consideration, and we are not concerned with the ways of the common and the sacred."

Anonymous said...

Can you post the photo and give some corroborating evidence?...Maybe the details around it? Or at least a brief why/how? Don't need gore, just a little something to work with.

...It's not that I don't believe you, but....okay, I just don't believe you.

Mr. Reee said...

I'd like to see a photo too. Mostly because I've never seen the results of Dharma combat. I thought zen master dudes had amazing powers and could avoid any blow by chanting special words, then they'd just fly up in the air, out of reach (I saw it in a movie.)

Also because I don't believe it either. Sounds like mershen to me.

Kyla said...

I've been doing my regular sitting practice and it is going well. Many things have happened in my life as of late and zazen has proved invaluable in addition to some other things that I like. At my work (with the homeless and mentally ill), a client hung himself right outside one of our houses and another client attacked me. It has just been one thing after another and I am glad I discovered zazen, which happened to be via Brad's first book, some years ago. Also, I've developed a real respect for the power of silence.
Off now to eat some green jello.

PhillySteveSteak said...

Brad's actions off the cushion speak volumes. Much more than the hour or so you spend with him...

And as to judging the sangha based on the members who comment here... well, that speaks for itself give your antagonizm and smoggyRob's.

Mr. Reee said...

Hmph. No pics of the battle, but someone forwarded an audio file of the encounter.

"Ed Gruberman, you fail to grasp Tae Kwon Leap..."

Waaay persiarb.

Anonymous said...

This being the case, Chan is not something utterly distinct from the sutras, much less antagonistic to them. For it embodies the very insights that the sutras seek to express, allowing for a profound complementarity between the two: What is stated in words in the Buddhist scriptures will be confirmed in fact in the course of Chan practice, while what is experienced in Chan practice will resonate immediately with what is written in the sutras.


Today one hears many American students say that, as practitioners of Zen or Chan, they don't need to learn or think about the Buddhist sutras and their teachings. Just sitting in zazen is the real practice; reading and studying written words is for soulless pedants and academics. In China, Korea, and Japan, where knowledge of the Buddhist teachings was widespread, such a rejection of the written word makes poignant sense. But this is a very dangerous attitude in a culture that has no native traditions of Buddhist learning to speak of. For silence, in and of itself, is anything but innocent or neutral, much less free of ignorance. How the more problematic it becomes when it is blissful!

If you started to look into this Chan or Zen literature you would soon discover that it is more extensive than any other school of East Asian Buddhism, even the doctrinal ones! Indeed, to be a good priest or Zen master in Japan, one must be trained in this literature through and through. You would also find that the ancient Chan masters and patriarchs were themselves highly literate individuals, whose teachings were deeply imbued with the language of the Buddhist sutras.

Chan Master Shen Yen

Rick said...

Amen Anonymati @ 11:07, amen.

Kyla said...

OMG. I never said I didn't read about Buddhism. And just because I find value in silence doesn't mean I'm illiterate or blissed out and ignorant.
In these sorts of forums it seems there is nothing but endless streams of assumptions about people one doesn't even know. So many mind readers who perhaps could list everything I've ever read or studied?

Rick said...

Feeling guilty? Why in the world would you think this was directed at you?

It might have been, but it could just as well be pointed at others.

Kyla said...

Guilty for what? Talking about silence and how MY life is going in regards to zazen? I was trying to skip over the whole Brad/Jundo issue which doesn't involve me so I decided to say something else. People seem not to let others just be can they. People always have to one-up someone etc.

Kyla said...

The comment deriding silence came right on the heels of mine talking about valuing silence.

Rick said...

The comment made about reading sutras, etc, (Anonymous @111:07) I believed was directed towards (supporting of) Lauren's post (quoting Dogen).

But you responsed as if it was directed to you.

I was confused... I'm old. It happens.

Safe Sects said...

From Crooked Cucumber:

"Later a number of Suzuki's students started studying with Trungpa [...] Suzuki was comfortable with this and even suggested to some students that they go study with Trungpa. He communicated to Trungpa by letter and through students who went back and forth. Suzuki was interested in Trungpa's ideas of exchanging students, starting a Buddhist university, sharing tapes and transcripts of lectures in their libraries, and founding a center to work with what Trungpa called "mentally extreme" students. [...]

As austere as Suzuki's own lifestyle was, and as controversial as Trungpa was, Suzuki did not reject him for his ways but always related to him with love and acceptance.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (as quoted in the same book):

The way you can struggle with this is to be supported by something, something you don't know. As we are human beings, there must be that kind of feeling. You must feel it in this city or building or community. So whatever community it may be, it is necessary for it to have this kind of spiritual support.

That is why I respect Trungpa Rinpoche. He is supporting us. You may criticize him because he drinks alcohol like I drink water, but that is a minor problem. He trusts you completely. He knows that if he is always supporting you in a true sense you will not criticize him, whatever he does. And he doesn't mind whatever you say. That is not the point, you know. This kind of big spirit, without clinging to some special religion or form of practice, is necessary for human beings.

Rich said...

Kyla,
With your regular sitting practice you are doing more right than a lot of the people here. Your respect for the power of silence is right on.
/Rich

PhillySteveInLA said...

PhillySteveSteak,
Ignorance shows again, but that's okay-ignorance can be removed! :)

Full disclosure time: Brad and I are friends. Not incredibly close friends, not bffs- maybe close acquaintances would be the most apt description of our relationship..I dunno, maybe if he reads this he can chime in. In other words, I do have some experience of Brad outside the "Zen arena".
My point is, I have spent more time with him than an "hour or so" and have seen many of his actions "off the cushion". In fact, I've probably spent more time "off the cushion" with him than on.
Frankly, in my experience, he's a far better teacher off the cushion than on. On the cushion, he talks ideals, off the cushion he lives his life honestly. Mistakes and all.Is there a better teaching than that?

PhillySteveInLA said...

And as to me being antagonistic, well, read it that way if you want.
I originally came into this saying Brad and Jundo were equal. Then Jundo posted those private e-mails. Dirty pool my friend, dirty pool...And I blatantly disregarded Brad's advice when I got involved.
That's my problem- not his.

I try to be fair and balanced, but the Philly in me often comes out. Which means I'm blunt. Sometimes to a fault...I get that from my dad, not Brad...Oh, and from Seung Sahn. He was a brash old bastard;)

PhillySteveInLA said...

Safe Sects at 11:51,
Amen brother, amen.

Anonymous said...

Bodaisatta-shishōbō (Four Elements of a Bodhisattva’s Social Relations): Bodaisatta means “bodhisattva,” a person who is pursuing the Buddhist truth; shi means “four”; and shōbō means “elements of social relations” or “methods for social relations.” The four are dāna, free giving; priya-ākhyāna, kind speech; artha-carya, helpful conduct; and samāna-arthatā, identity of purpose, or cooperation. Buddhism puts great value on our actual conduct. For this reason, our conduct in relating to each other is a very important part of Buddhist life. In this chapter Master Dōgen preaches that these four ways of behaving are the essence of Buddhist life. He explains the real meaning of Buddhism in terms of social relations.

Rick said...

Yep!! Amen. Good stuff from that Shunryu Suzuki.

Anonymous said...

Actually from an introduction to a Chapter of Shobogenzo by a certain Gudo Wafu Nishijima - Dharma Daddy of Brad and Jundo I believe...

Rick said...

My comment was in reference to Safe Sects post.

But your's is good too, Anon12:46 and Anon12:53.

Hah... word verification is "glamisto."

Anonymous said...

Shunryu Suzuki it is Rick
And I've just written a chapter for a book about short term memory...
Anony

Word verification: progenym (a synonym for one's children?)

Anonymous said...

http://s3.amazonaws.com/giles/bot_093008/attention_whore.jpg

Anonymous said...

"Kyla,
With your regular sitting practice you are doing more right than a lot of the people here. Your respect for the power of silence is right on."
/Rich


Rich, are you assuming that those who disagree with you or Brad do not have a regular sitting practice? It's funny, but years ago if I'd read some of Brad's posts to this blog with all the name-calling, comparison and vitriol, I would probably have assumed he didn't have a regular zazen practice either.

Justin said...

EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!
- Buddha

He also taught the path to the extinction of that fire - the noble Eightfold Path.

Buddha also taught that there are 10 perfections (paramitas) that develop in Buddhist practice:
1. Dāna parami : generosity, giving of oneself
2. Sīla parami : virtue, morality, proper conduct
3. Nekkhamma parami : renunciation
4. Paññā parami : transcendental wisdom, insight
5. Viriya parami : energy, diligence, vigour, effort
6. Khanti parami : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
7. Sacca parami : truthfulness, honesty
8. Adhiṭṭhāna parami : determination, resolution
9. Mettā parami : loving-kindness
10. Upekkhā parami : equanimity, serenity

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Judge Brad by his students? Works for me. Dogen Sangha Los Angeles is made up of intelligent, creative and compassionate people. Visitors comment that we're the friendliest, most-welcoming group they've ever sat with. They also often remark on the openness of our discussions. One new person recently listening to a rather average engaged exchange between a student and Brad said, "I thought you were going to throw [the student] out!" I view my fellow sangha members as one of the immediate fruits of practice, a circle of mutually-supportive good friends. I love the members of DSLA and am grateful for their company. Online... different animal all together. If you don't like that I cuss, fine. If you think of me as angry, again fine. If you think I reflect poorly on Brad, also fine. If you don't like what Brad teaches, that's fine. If you think Buddhism is about making yourself better, it's all completely fine. There are lots of places where you can go and find teachings (and students) more to your taste. Brad is in no way everybody's ideal teacher and people that don't care for him should find someone else. But there is not time enough in the world to give a damn about your opinions. We have some Dogma, I mean Dharma, about the world's only True Buddhism to discuss. Descriptions of Brad's travels in dusty lands to hear about. Non-buddhists to be pointed-out. Deep commentaries on all the major sutras to be debated. The whole World Domination thing.

Rob

Rich said...

From anon 2:23
"Rich, are you assuming that those who disagree with you or Brad do not have a regular sitting practice?"

No, its just that some of the people who comment here have stated they don't sit regularly. Disagreeing with me is not a problem.

PhillySteveinLA said
"Then Jundo posted those private e-mails. Dirty pool my friend, dirty pool...And I blatantly disregarded Brad's advice when I got involved.
I try to be fair and balanced, but the Philly in me often comes out. Which means I'm blunt. Sometimes to a fault...I get that from my dad, not Brad...Oh, and from Seung Sahn. He was a brash old bastard;)"

I shouldn't get involved either but a couple years ago Brad released some of Jundo's private emails right here. But it doesn't really matter who's to blame or who did what to whom. This is between them and watching it I may learn something. I really respect Brad for all the sitting, teaching and traveling he has recently completed. I also deeply respect Jundo for the tremendous effort, teaching and support he provides to the Treeleaf Sangha. As SS would say 'only go straight, try try try'

Zago said...

Is this what I can expect after 25 years of meditation? Fuck that!

Jinzang said...

"Finding fault with others is a disease. One of the few things I remember reading from Gurdjieff is, "if you are criticizing someone, you are asleep."

Does this apply equally to Brad and all of his diatribes against the various people who don't agree with him?


If you take what I said and hurl it at someone else, you missed the point of what I was saying.

Jinzang said...

Jinzang said...

Actually it was Anonymous @ 5:50 PM.

Jinzang said...

Is this what I can expect after 25 years of meditation?

After 25 years of meditation you can expect to give up your expectations.

Anonymous said...

Does this apply equally to Brad and all of his diatribes against the various people who don't agree with him?

If you take what I said and hurl it at someone else, you missed the point of what I was saying


Got it. It only applies to those that "re-hurl" it, not to the original hurler (you). Naturally.

Zayin said...

Really bizzare behaviour from Mr Cohen. May you honour your promise to your teacher.

Jinzang said...

Got it. It only applies to those that "re-hurl" it, not to the original hurler (you). Naturally.

One of the best dharma teachings I ever got was from a Communist. A group of Communists was on a talk show and of course everyone in the audience was hurling abuse at them and telling them how terrible things were in the Soviet Union. (This was before the fall of the Soviet Union.) A woman replied, "I don't see how your eyesight can be so sharp to see all the problems on the other side of the world and not see the problems right in front of your face."

Almost the only person whose problems you can solve are your own. Talking about someone else's problems is only a way of avoiding your own.

Zago said...

After 25 years of meditation you can expect to give up your expectations.

Huh. Brad clearly hasn't given up his expectations.

Anonymous said...

Nor has Jundo. Both these guys sound like total asshats. On top of it Cohen is suing a message board. Holy Buddha on a stick...it's the farking interweb. Calm down.

Anonymous said...

"Almost the only person whose problems you can solve are your own. Talking about someone else's problems is only a way of avoiding your own."

Yep. Sounds right. But you'd have more credibility if you had also posted this sort of thing when the author of this blog engages in similar behaviour...criticizing others. When Brad says something mean, it's justified because he's a zen master...or he's only human...or he's showing his warts....or he's being really upfront and honest and punknstuff. When others do the same to Brad you and the choir never fail to chime in and be all righteously indignant. Why don't you tell Brad the same thing?

When you direct it here to people commenting on the blog, you are still 'hurling' it at someone and guilty of the same offense you accuse others of. But yeah, it is good advice...we should all take it....maybe you too.

total asshat said...

Brad is not a True Buddhist?

From Esangha files:

"Brad Warner's Soto Zen teacher; Gudo Nishijima, has a stance on Buddhism which is in conflict with Esangha's Terms of Service; namely he refutes post-mortem rebirth, so this should be a good enough indication as to Brad Warner's grounding with regards to the authentic Buddhism as found in the scriptures (which mention post-mortem rebirth at length), and which this Buddhist Forum is concerned with adhering to.

Brad Warner's teacher doesn't teach him authentic Buddhism, and therefore Brad Warner is not an authentic Buddhist and doesn't teach authentic BUddhism himself. Period.

.Just because Brad Warner hasn't seen the toothfairy doesn't mean he is advocating the tooth fairy's existence. He is a apparently a nihilist by his "Dead, dead, dead" approach - and therefore not a true Buddhist.

Looks like Brad and co. have much in common with the fundamentalists of Esangha. "No! You are not a True Buddhist!" Yes! I am a True Buddhist, YOU are not a True Buddhist!" Asshats all around.

Ob1 said...

1. Recognize that gossip doesn’t undo the situation you’re talking about. It only puts in motion another situation based on negative feelings.

2. Know that comparing yourself to others is useless. Everyone has his or her own talents. In this way, give up jealousy and the wish to put others down.

3. Be aware of and transform your own thoughts, words, and deeds rather than commenting on those of others.

4. Train your mind to see others’ positive qualities and discuss them. This will make you much happier than gossiping ever could.

5. Forgive, knowing that people do harmful things because they are unhappy. If you don’t make someone into an enemy, you won’t want to gossip about him.

6. Have a sense of humor about what you think, say, and do, and be able to laugh at all of the silly things we sentient beings carry out in our attempt to be happy. If you see the humor in our human predicament, you’ll be more patient.

7. Practice saying something kind to someone every day. Do this especially with people you don’t like. It gets easier with practice and bears surprisingly good results.
(from Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron’s “The Truth About Gossip,” Tricycle, Summer 2006 )

Mysterion said...

His Bradness sed:
"For the record, the private email from me to Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen made public was part of a much larger discussion between myself and Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen was not privy to, and which I do not find any compelling reason to explain here."

Mr. Cohen may only be green with envy. That is his problem to deal with... There is no identified marker (yet) with green.

As for Brad, well, I think he is a big boy and can get by.

Jinzang said...

But you'd have more credibility if you had also posted this sort of thing when the author of this blog engages in similar behaviour. ... Why don't you tell Brad the same thing?

I intended what I wrote as general advice for everyone: you, me, and Brad, if he reads my comments. I tried to avoid calling anyone in particular out, because what would be the point in that?

I've disagreed with what Brad's written often enough in the past. But I like him, just as I like all the regular (named) contributers to these comments.

Religiously Right said...

never argue with a cohen...

e.g. there was no exodus from Egypt.

"from Ha'aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999)

"Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn't want to hear about it."

CHESS FOR ROSHI said...

.

CHESS FOR ROSHI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CHESS FOR ROSHI said...

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author.

Mysterion said...

Brad:

why not avoid 'what's his name' for five life cycles?

His roots are: "He missed the boat."

*****************************
Life Stages in Buddhism

It is difficult to provide an overview of Buddhism's approach to the stages of human life. This is because in most cultures the observances of the life cycle were developed before Buddhism entered the region. Buddhism forms more of an additional layer or veneer on top of older rites than the rites' cores. Often, Buddhist monks do not even officiate at these ceremonies; the rites are instead performed by some sort of lay "folk priest." The monk's role may consist of doing nothing more than saying a few blessings. In addition, the local character of these ceremonies causes them to vary widely from culture to culture and from country to country. So Buddhism usually plays a secondary role in the rites of life passages, and a role that shows no consistency across the many cultures to which Buddhism has migrated.

Death stands out as the one area where Buddhism plays a large role and where the monks are most intimately involved. This is because it is death that most obviously marks the suffering of samsara. It is a time for discussing the impermanence of life, the journey towards rebirth, and the importance of merit.

Indeed, funerals, some of which may last for many days, include rites transferring merit to the dead, ordinations of monks, and funeral processions.

In Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana), it is believed that it is possible for a person to attain nirvana between their death and their rebirth. The Tibetan Book of the Dead provides an elaborate description of the stages through which a soul passes on the way towards rebirth. The stages parallel the three aspects of the Buddha, beginning with his ultimate cosmic character and then, as the soul gets closer to rebirth, works towards the earthly character of his appearance on this earth. Passages from the Book of the Dead will be read to the deceased, helping them recognize the stages through which they are passing and instructing them in the choices that will lead to nirvana rather than rebirth.

In southeast Asia, Theravada Buddhism also plays a key role in the passage of young men from adolescence to adulthood. These young men will temporarily enter the sangha for a period of time ranging anywhere from the three-month period of the Rain Retreat to a year or more. While in the monastery, they will learn about Buddhism, undertake to follow the Ten Precepts of the monks and other regulations for the sangha, and essentially live the life of a permanent monk. When they complete their time, they will be considered adults by the community and be eligible for marriage.
source

Anonymous said...

I shouldn't get involved either but a couple years ago Brad released some of Jundo's private emails right here. But it doesn't really matter who's to blame or who did what to whom.

He also put them in his latest book too, and from some other people (page 83 and 84). But like you said, it really does not matter who did what to whom.

Still, would that also be, in Brad's words, a breech of privacy that is the most utterly inappropriate thing I have ever seen carried out in the name of Buddhism??

door knob said...

Ignore all the BS in the Comments section, because here's some truly important news: the original Ultraman TV series is being released on DVD in North America on September 29, 2009. Be there or be square.

Mysterion said...

It can't be tit for tat.

Few Buddhists have nice tits and even fewer have nice tats.

"The original was Tip for Tap, a very old expression that evolved into tit for tat in the mid-16th century. Tip meant a hit, a shove. Tap was a retaliatory hit. The meaning is a punishment meted out to pay back an offense, measured to be equal and proportionate. You hit me, I hit you, tit for tat. By the way, tit for tat turns out to be the optimal strategy in Game Theory to guarantee cooperation from an opponent." source

also here

The Aitken-Shimano Letters said...

This is not the only crazy Sangha. Check out what was just released today on thezensite.com. Holy sex scandal, Batman.

In May of this year, we received a CD collection of letters held at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Library Archives. Robert Aitken Rōshi, the founder of the Diamond Sangha, an international Zen sangha, has donated his extensive files to the university library. The letters were, until recently, part of the sealed section of Aitken’s voluminous papers. The collection is accompanied by a signed letter dated August 14, 2008, from Lynn Ann Davis, Head of the Preservation Department of the library attesting to their authenticity, and every page of each letter is stamped with the library’s stamp. The letters cover the period of 1964 through to 1984 and are devoted to the interactions, directly and indirectly, between Aitken Rōshi and Eido Shimano Rōshi of the New York-based Zen Studies Society. Although there are some letters between Shimano and Aitken, and between Aitken and his Japanese teachers Sōen Rōshi, Yasutani Rōshi, and Yamada Rōshi, many are to others in the wider American Zen movement. The letters are concerned primarily with the “Shimano problem”, a problem about the alleged sexual misbehaviour of Eido Shimano Rōshi that first arose in 1964 in Hawai’i, where Aitken Rōshi is based.

Following is a summation of the extraordinary story, as explicated in the Aitken letters, of a Zen master teaching in America for some 35 years, who has been accused of sexual misconduct numerous times and yet was never called to task nor properly investigated. A thorough, open and public inquiry into these accusations is long overdue. It is inappropriate that in today’s climate, when many religious figures have been accused and found guilty of inappropriate sexual activities, that Zen Buddhist teachers should be exempt from similar inquiries and not be held to the highest standards of propriety.


http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/Aitken_Shimano_Letters.html

Will we someday see the Brad-Jundo-Gudo letters on the zensite?

Anonymous said...

Jundo acted in very decent way, if we judge by his words and actions in all this. Did any of you actually read what he was saying, or only what you want to hear? Did you talk to the guy? Man, blame the peacemaker, why don't you?

I think some of you are upset at Jundo for having acted in an obviously Buddhist way, while the actions of your Brad are more ambiguous and seem wrapped up in himself.

PhillySteveInLA said...

Rich, my friend, I certainly am tryin'...Just seems I got a few years left on my ten thousand.

And as for Brad posting private e-mails here, well, that was before my time, and I didn't know about it. But it would indeed be a case of dirty pool on Brad's part if it was done in the same fashion.
Everything in his book, however, referred to "Gummo". And, yes, if you know the players it is easy to guess who Gummo is, but until this whole series of unfortunate events I had no idea Gummo was Jundo Cohen.I would guess it's the same for the average reader.


But I don't know...all I can do is go straight, try try try for 10,000 years non-stop, save all beings.

Blowjob for Buddha said...

Yes, Brad releases private emails from time to time. The most famous was this one from Jundo where Jundo was protesting Brad's "lap dance for the Dharma" article and its effects on their teacher. This is what Brad printed at Suicide Girls. Brad later changed his article, by the way, to make it seem less like he was getting a blowjob.

http://suicidegirls.com/news/culture/22947/Edgeplay%20With%20God/page4/#commentStart

========================

Brad_Warner
Brad_Warner
NEWSWIRE
Los Angeles, CA
JAN 31, 2008 09:14 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I do appreciate them.

You guys might be interested in this e-mail I received from one of my "Dharma Brothers" regarding the article. His name is Jundo Cohen. I'm sure he'd enjoy hearing your opinions on his teachings.

Here's his e-mail to me:

Brad,

You wrote this?

I met a stripper with a Three Stooges tattoo the other night at a bar called Tigress. She bitch slapped one of my companions hard while she gaveher a ferocious lap dance. Threatened my balls with spike heeled platform shoes. Hissed in my face that she was into edgeplay. She got giant fishhooks stuck through her back with which they hung her bleeding body fromthe ceiling till her screams careened off the hard brick dungeon walls. They pierced her labia with five-inch needles.

Ms. Edgeplay stripper wrenched my friend's nipples and stage-whispered to her how wet she was getting. As if I couldn't hear. Humped her leglike a dog in heat. God wasn't far away at all. If I ever doubted Her presence She showed it to me by grabbing my cock and telling me how She wanted to feel it inside Her.


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). 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.

You are a joke, and it is not a dirty one.

Gassho, Jundo

proulx michel said...

In honesty, considering the posters who hold that Jundo is perfect and Brad is not, I have often tried to serve as a peacemaker between Jundo and others of the Sangha. Once, Jundo clearly insulted me for trying to do that. The second, he just blatantly refused to acknowledge what I was saying.

Password was "aphorici"...

More Blowjobs for Buddha said...

by the way, Jundo has since explained and apologized for that email several times here.

=============

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.

http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2009/02/more-snappy-answers.html?showComment=1234964280000#c5409501746894881011

Philly SteveInLA said...

Well, it appears there was some dirty pool here. A poor choice and I don't condone it, however the feelings evinced by Jundo are far more disturbing.
What can I say?
In this world of shit NOONE comes out smellin' like roses.

Also, it was done on his own blog- he didn't invade another's, and I can see the choice to post it as a warning. Me, I'd of probably just gone with excerpts of the important stuff...I mean, if someone promised to make a laughingstock of me- basically destroy me- I'd probably warn people not to listen to them too.
Does that make his choice right? No. But in my mind (and remember, this is my OPINION) it is an understandable mistake under the circumstances.
I'm sure, as evidenced by some of the comments here, that there are also people here who feel Jundo made an understandable mistake. I'll concede this may be the case. I don't know the man and probably never will.
I honestly gotta say, I'm over it.

I probably haven't given up enough ego-clinging yet to stop defending myself, but I'm sure as hell done arguing sides in this.

L'Chaim!

In Jundo's Words said...

Jundo posted "his side of the story" over at Treeleaf. Seems reasonable and rational to me, and much simpler than Brad and some others are trying to make it. Maybe they should have just sat down and had tea, been done with it.

=========================

Now, this is a good time to also mention the situation with Brad Warner and me. Those who know me by now, I hope, will take what I am about to say as the straight story, at least as I see it through my eyes. There is really not much to it.

Every year, when Brad comes to Japan to lead a retreat for Dogen Sangha, I invite him to have tea with me, sit Zazen together. He refuses each year. I believe that Buddhists, especially when there has been some tension in a Sangha, should sit Zazen together, break bread, try to have a positive discussion and try to put it behind them. There has been some conflict between us in recent years, mostly because I also thought a few years ago that he was involved in some behavior that was not appropriate (no need to go into details), and I criticized him for it at the time and for how our teacher, Nishijima Roshi, was being impacted by it. Part of the story (or, at least, an inaccurate version of it) ended up in his most recent book. But this was now many years ago, so I thought we should put it behind us, sit Zazen and let it be water under the bridge.

Truly, that is my attitude: Buddhist Brothers should share a glass of tea, and sit Zazen together once in a long while ... and especially if there have been problems between them. This was a missed opportunity. Buddhists should not be hard hearted, and should let all hard feelings float away, like water under a bridge. Whatever people feel, it is just a viewpoint. It is all just thoughts, and passed time.

I hope people around Treeleaf long enough can feel they know me well enough to think that, naive or not, Jundo really believes that.

This time, Nishijima Roshi agreed to host the tea and Zazen in his apartment, and twisted Brad's arm a bit to get him to come. At the last minute, Brad changed his mind and did not show up.

Now, where some people might fault me is that I did a bit of "acceptance without acceptance", and felt a token Gandhi-like protest to this state of affairs was in order. People within a Sangha, sharing a common teacher, should speak to each other even if (and especially when) there is some tension. My "protest" was I said that I would come and sit a day of "protest Zazen" somewhere at discreet distance so as not to interfere with the retreat (at a corner of the temple property where I would not disturb others in any way), and chant Metta and have the tea cups ready for others to drink, just to show that not meeting is not good. In the end, I did not do so as I thought I had gotten my point across. My "non-demand" in the protest was that people in Nishijima Roshi's lineage should make the effort to share a meal, have a couple of hours of civil conversation, and sit Zazen together, once per year.

And that, pretty much, is the whole "Udo(Brad)-Jundo" story from my side. There are a couple of other things that happened, but not worth talking about.

If there are any questions, I would be happy to address them. Whatever else there is to say, all this was based on my naive belief that, whether they are friends or not (and I, for my part, wish to be friendly), Buddhists in the same Sangha should meet once a year and talk in a civil way about their common interests.

Gassho, Jundo

PPS - In a post on his blog about this, Brad is upset because I disclosed an email he wrote to Nishijima Roshi apparently threatening to quit as the head of Dogen Sangha if Nishijima Roshi insisted he (Brad) meet with me. I am not sure if I should have released the email, but I did want to publicly wag my finger at Brad for canceling the meeting and then leaving Japan. I am sorry for the situation.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1997&p=28383#p28383

Michael Hafner said...

omg...

I considered joining a sangha in the past months. I'm so glad I didn't...

Thrities Guy UK said...

I remember the overwhelming impulse to commit suicide, the continual pain, the exhaustion, the anger, and that there was no escape.

I remember at these times the feelings of resentfulness for the love for my wife which came up like an echo of the pain, which seemed to bind me from doing so, and the misery of that too.

You would not believe me if I told you how right I had been about some things, how I was the only person who could have done something about these things, how much it cost to attempt to prevent them, and how they happened anyway, for all the reasons I had seen. Nor, I imagine, would you believe me if I told you that doing nothing would have been just as awful.

I remember the despair of finding out how many people, especially those I thought were there to be there for such painful times, turned away, at the very times one reached out for help. It appears the pain of confronting pain can often be too painful. My wife and I could hardly bear each other's pain.

At this time, going across the road to buy a paper each morning, and saying a polite thanks to the shopkeeper-- a quick mile and a glance-- who returned in kind, felt like the most honest value in the world.

Even as I write this, the burden of being right: the burden of mistakes, the burden of failure, the burden of being wrong, groups in my gut like a huge, still undigested meal. And that will pass when I stop writing.

I had that feeling when I went to some buddhist websites and when I glance through some of these messages. What I would like to say is I how found reading Mr Warner's blogs and books have-- kind of-- the opposite effect, as do the efforts in words of Katagiri, S.Suzuki, Mr Nishijima, Steve Hagan, Robert Aitken, Stephen Bachelor and translations of Dogen I have read.

I interject a 'kind of' there becaus, I still get that feeling, but in these cases, that feeling seems approachable and acceptable.
When I have read the words of these writers, I seemed to be being reminded that the reading itself needs to stop, that I've chewed on too many of these sorts of words-- better go and read a John Ashbery poem instead, perhaps, if I want to read something.

My wife read Brad's latest book a while back, and quite out of the blue came into me one day, and apologised for where she had not loved me enough, and not taken care of herself/us, enough. It took a like courage her to do that. She has been and felt a victim of many cruelties in her life, and that can make feeling responsible for things and taking responsibility for oneself enormously difficult-- it makes one fearful even of happiness. She now sits for ten minutes in the morning each day, and sometimes she feels the benefit of it pop up out of the blue too.

I, however, have some work to do before I sit down again. I did it all wrong for a time... So I'm doing what Dogen seemed to say and having a good honest look at why not. Painful.

So much mistake and failure! And funny how some mistakes make the world seem OK and liveable, and others just seem to provide more food for my own undigestededs to want to feed on.

I suppose I let them nibble enough this time to write this, which now feels a bit stupid, but I'll post it anyway.

Like I say, I like they way Brad seems to get things wrong-- if indeed he does-- and have found some small, but substantial benefit in chewing over his words, with my own sense of integrity and fallibility watching over as I do so.

With no Sangha and no else anywhere close who finds as I do that the heart of Zen teachings point to the best way I have come across to deal with life and the difficulties we wrap ourselves into, I understand the importance of the tiny, often splashed-up, oasis such distant and 'mis-takeable' voices provide.

I am very much looking forward to the up-coming Nagarjuna translation, and to glancing now and again at this site to remind me of something I already know in my gut, so to speak-- I have had it sussed in my head for a long time and that's done me no good!
Thanks

Lauren said...

Thirties Guy UK

- enjoyed your post...thanks.

Anonymous said...

I did too thirties guy.

Anonymous said...

me too..

gniz said...

Anyone who has read the Aitken-Shimano story, Shoes Outside the Door, or this saga, among many many others...Who can really believe that these Zen teachers are really different than most power hungry politicans?

Brad, Gudo, Jundo and the many others trying to insinuate themselves at the top of some bizarre religious food chain.

When you step back and look, it becomes so obvious that this religious stuff is a farce. Our wishes and desires to find someone to trust, someone who has discovered the answers, keeps us rationalizing and defending these folks.

I do believe meditation has some value. I'm not sure how much value. But i dont believe the value of Buddhism or Catholicism or any religious teaching can outweigh basic human decency.

And most regular folks i know, muddling through their lives, appear far more decent and kind and honorable than 99 percent of these so-called Zen teachers.

End of soapbox rant.

Anonymous said...

One of the most troubling points of this weirdness is that both Brad and Jundo have implied that the other is being less than honest in retelling the story and that does in fact seem to be the case for both of them.

Anonymous said...

I think the two men have different motivations even though they both are probably true believers in Buddhism. Jundo seems to want Buddhist fame (This is probably why he seems desperate to attach himself to Brad's rising star) while Brad seems more interested in success/fame outside of Buddhism (This is could be why he has come off as such a groupie at times).

Anonymous said...

Of course the above view might might only be an expression of my own cynicism.

mtto said...

From the top of this page:

WHO WROTE THIS?


BRAD WARNER
UNITED STATES
...I enjoy getting your e-mails. But please be aware, if you send me e-mail, I may use it in a blog either here or on Suicide Girls.


If you email Brad, he might use it in a blog either here or on Suicide Girls. This notice has been on this page for years. The difference in the situation last week (as described by Brad) is that Nishijima apparently replied to an email with Jundo CCed by mistake. Nishijima is very internet savvy for an old dude, but he is an old dude.

Rick said...

gniz,

Ah, such a cynic. Unfortunately, most of what you say is dead nuts, so I guess I am a cynic too.

I don't know about 99% though - I don't know 100% of the teachers out there. But most of the ones I do know are very humble. They don't take on the mantle of "teacher" willingly, and usually just prefer to be called "friend." But generally these aren't the ones heading of some huge international sangha, write books, and who have no use for fame or fortune. They just want others to be happy.

(And I know some who are the king or queen of their little sangha and if you don't like it, go take a flying leap.)

regards,

patindoc

Anonymous said...

Jundo, if you are reading this, I think your explanation of your motivations was clear and lovely. Some of these people want to read dirt into anything. I think that you are acting like a Buddhist teacher should act, and that several people here sense that and it is driving them crazy. They need to find some ulterior motive in your actions because they are secretly afraid of your being for real.

Anonymous said...

One of the most troubling points of this weirdness is that both Brad and Jundo have implied that the other is being less than honest in retelling the story and that does in fact seem to be the case for both of them.

You see, I don't get this. I can see a couple of cases where Brad has been stretching the truth here, like how the explanation for why he canceled the meeting smells a little. Then one minute he denies he knows Jundo, then it turns out he wrote pages about him in his books.

But I don't see what Jundo has been caught lying about here. Can someone fill me in? He's been up front about how he got the mail, and his explanation of his motivations seem in keeping with his actions. I think that people are just finding what they want to find because it scares them that he might be acting for sincere reasons.

Boy, wouldn't that frighten people around here to find that Brad's nemesis is actually a decent guy not trying to pull a scam.

Rick said...

Isn't that often the case when we find out the boogie man was really the tooth fairy?

Christ, we shot and killed the tooth fairy.

The reverse side has a reverse.

hydant

Anonymous said...

Here's what I'm reading:
Jundo: Meet with me!
Brad: No thanks!
Jundo: Daddy, make him meet with me!
Gudo: Brad, let's all sit down.
Brad: Um, really, no thanks!
Jundo (now screaming): Dammit, why won't you meet with me!

Yeah, there are no clean hands on either side.

But demanding that someone meet with you after they've refused in the past is stalking/bullying, IMO.

If Jundo sent a polite, private request to Brad to meet every year, and Brad politely declined, that would be one thing. But posting the request on Brad's blog -- in other words, trying to publicly pressure him into carrying out an action which he had previously declined in private -- is highly manipulative.

Gizmo said...

"Boy, wouldn't that frighten people around here to find that Brad's nemesis is actually a decent guy not trying to pull a scam."

I liked Brad's writing but had never heard of Jundo Cohen until I started reading this blog. Though I disagree with both teachers on some points, judging from their writings (I know neither man personally) I tend to see Jundo as having a better grasp of the dharma and being a decent fellow. Brad writes well though.

Anonymous said...

And here's what I'm reading:

Jundo: Brad, meet me for tea.

Brad: No thanks...and btw fuck off!

Jundo: Daddy, please insist that Brad meet with me!

Gudo: Now boys, can't we just sit down and meet over tea?

Brad: No daddy! I hate him! He was mean to me. If you try to make me meet with Jundo I will run away and never speak to either of you!

Gudo: Oh, I'm so sorry to bother you with this my son, nevermind. Please don't run away, I take it all back. You don't have to meet with the bad man afterall. You get your way now, so don't cry anymore.

Spoiled brad...er...brat.

mother earth said...

Anony 8:51

Your summary is pretty close.

I think it is blaringly obvious that Jundo is manipulative but like most manipulative people they are just expressing their feelings and are oblivious to themselves.

Re: Radiohead

"You do it to yourself, yeah you, you and no one else, you do it to yourself.. thats wahat really hurts.. you do it your yourself....

And like most manipulative folk Jundo is a button pusher.

Unfortunately and somewhat disappointingly so Brad did not have the substance to brush off Jundo's emotional tactics at the time of his outburst to Gudo.

Sometimes, when there is a more emotional person in the room they cannot be dealt with face to face and the only sane thing to do is to leave the room. But Brad is flawed and he couldn't just do that--he had to whine and be a little bitch about it--reflecting precisely Jundo's little bich. Brad let his buttons get pushed for the umpteenth time and that is something that is his problem. Too bad. But we all have stuff to work on do we not?

But Brad does have a solution: stay away. This is clear and bluntly known to Jundo. Unfortunately manipulative people do not understand how to take no for an answer, It is their overinflated feelings that get in the way of accepting rejection.

Sometimes cutting all contacts with a person that is all that can be done.

Peace y'all. Time to get out of this bitch cave.

Anonymous said...

"Boy, wouldn't that frighten people around here to find that Brad's nemesis is actually a decent guy not trying to pull a scam."

No actually. What would be frightening about that?.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Ginz who wrote:

"Who can really believe that these Zen teachers are really different than most power hungry politicans?

Brad, Gudo, Jundo and the many others trying to insinuate themselves at the top of some bizarre religious food chain.

When you step back and look, it becomes so obvious that this religious stuff is a farce. Our wishes and desires to find someone to trust, someone who has discovered the answers, keeps us rationalizing and defending these folks.

I do believe meditation has some value. I'm not sure how much value. But i dont believe the value of Buddhism or Catholicism or any religious teaching can outweigh basic human decency.

And most regular folks i know, muddling through their lives, appear far more decent and kind and honorable than 99 percent of these so-called Zen teachers."


When I was in some difficulties, I found one day that reciting the Lord's Prayer gave me some considerable peace of mind. I am not and wasn't then a Christian. It had just lain there in the back of my mind from having recited it at school. It didn't even matter what the words meant, and when I thought about it I felt pretty daft. But it worked. But only for a bit.

Later in life when I felt off-balance, I recited the Heart Sutra, instead, whose meaning seemed completely bonkers at first, but seemed at the same time to make some peculiar sense.

Now the lines "No ignorance and also no ending of ignorance to no old age and death and also no ending of old age and death" amongst many others grow in meaning as I muddle through days and days muddle through me.

These days, I try to say nothing and just accept what comes up in the silence, acknowledge it and then let it go. And keep failing at it, and keep acknowledging that failure as OK. And go on.

I've got myself into a great muddle relying on basic human decency as much as a notion, including any assumption of the good or decent in myself. I've seen people who were basically decent do some ugly things, and then I witnessed basic decency come back up in them again-- or whatever it is.

Suddenly there's a new situation and sometimes the opposite seems true of how to view or act in that situation.

I feel a great sympathy for those people who have put themselves forward to help others, in any area of life. The ink dries, the terms are fixed, an institution grows as anything grows, muddling through, and all this kept on going by muddle-ness and muddle-makers and muddle-throughers, muddle-ed up inevitably by the whole muddling process.

But I'm glad some find their way to the top of whatever tree to point a way I can test for myself, especially those ones saying and revealing that actually, and of course, we're not all that different. Sort of stupid when we're forced or trying to be clever. Like an inertial frame, the whole thing, whatever it is (again), appears to add up to zero, each time.

My wife recently sat chatting to a young muslim boy, who had been a rather strung-out presence at work. He confided in her at lunch when she asked him why that it was because he'd recently decided to be strict about his Islamic practice and felt alienated from the rest of the office -- other muslims as well as non. She asked him if there was anything that didn't stress him out (jokingly) and he replied that at present on the time when he prayed-- that it made him feel refreshed, but he didn't know why. She replied that her ten minute sits each morning did the same. She told me that the sense of relief on his face was palpable, with the surprise.

Apparantly he likes to chat at lunch with my wife now. They don't feel the need to muddle anything up by talking about religion, or her low cut top and red lipstick, or his sometimes disparaging comments about muslim females. Or Mr Hitchens drinking problem. Or Mr Dawkin's anger. Or even the bohemian parents that thought 12 year old girls could do what ever they wanted, and muddle on through because 'freedom' rules and that not believing in that made you Nazi...

Aaron said...

Anon,

Thanks for your post. Some interesting, sincere sentiments there.

Yes, nothing is so black and white. Not even everyone in power or trying to get in positions of power is an asshole.

Aaron

Aaron said...

At the same time, i find it best to be skeptical of those seeking power, or in positions of power in groups of any kind (including those who claim they dont want to be in charge)

156 said...

 

Anonymous said...

Dogen's eyebrows got all in a tangle and said:

"Those who say such things have
never met a true master and they have no eyes of real Buddhist study; they are just little posters
who do not deserve to be discussed. For the years on the web there have
been many such demons, many such shavelings like [ADD YOURSELF FIRST POSTERS]. It is so pitiful that the great
truth of the Buddhist Patriarch has gone to ruin. Their understanding cannot even match that of
the sravaka in Hinayana Buddhism; they are even more stupid than non-Buddhists. They are not
laymen, they are not monks, they are not human beings, and they are not gods in heaven; they
are more stupid than animals that study Buddhism. What these shavelings call incomprehensible
stories are incomprehensible only to them"

Anonymous said...

Their understanding cannot even match that of
the sravaka in Hinayana Buddhism; they are even more stupid than non-Buddhists. They are not
laymen, they are not monks, they are not human beings, and they are not gods in heaven; they
are more stupid than animals that study Buddhism.


Come on Dogen, don't you think you are being a little too harsh on Brad and Jundo? I realize they act like children sometimes, but geeze louise...they're not stupid animals that study buddhism.

Kyla said...

Hi all. i have no clue if i am doing "right" but thanks Rich. all i meant was that after someone hanging themselves, being assaulted at work and other things recently, i've been in kind of a shock and words escape me. i've just been sitting and trying to deal with these traumatic events. i, like everyone else, is just trying to muddle through life as anon 9:14AM said and i likely misinterpreted the other comment as referring to me given where it appeared. my mistake as i muddle.

Anonymous said...

Dogen's eyes got into even more of a tangle:

Studying the buddha way is a stupid animal, why else would it study, if it weren't too stupid not to?

I scratch my balls and fuck

Anonymous said...

everyone is great! we're trying our best. the situation is really difficult. if we mess up, it's because we don't realize why. same story for each of us. it's difficult to accept our own mistakes, probably because people trained us to pretend we don't make mistakes, or rather, to think badly of ourselves when we make mistakes, to try do pretend we didn't and then to try to pretend we don;t even remember the previous two steps.

Learning to remember that we make our own mistakes and learning how to go easier on ourselves and learning how to accept that we barely 'control' much in our own minds - so hard!

But heading down this road lets the steam out. Makes it easier. Then it gets easier to chill a bit with others' mistakes because we understand that they too really aren't catching them, and they too are being hard on themselves and not realizing it.

Oh how I wish I could learn this lesson today with regard to my own family members. At least the aspiration has been expressed.

We're all great, just fine. The mind trained to contract can have a hard time with that. It likes a heavy judgement and the crunchy feel of that mental movement. 'Hurts so good' as they say. A hard habit to break, thus a lot of the crusty responses from the 'conscious' minds. But underneath, that soft vulnerability is terrifying!! Anyone could get cancer tomorrow. Anyone could drive head on into a truck.

But the fluidity of the vulnerability is of great relief. Painful to inhabit it

Rich said...

Kyla said
"Hi all. i have no clue if i am doing "right" but thanks Rich. all i meant was that after someone hanging themselves, being assaulted at work and other things recently, i've been in kind of a shock and words escape me. i've just been sitting and trying to deal with these traumatic events."

When someone very close to me died next to me, there was nothing else to do but sit. And I knew from that point forward that sitting was the 'right' thing to do. I'm sorry you have experienced these traumatic events. You are handling it in the correct way and will be stronger from it. Also, talking to a counselor / therapist may be helpful.
/Rich

Anonymous said...

In reference to Jundo's notice(which, I'd like to point out, was given to Treeleaf, not to those he actually imposed himself on-perhaps an apology is maybe owed to us who were not involved but rather caught with the e-mail shrapnel?...Just saying- whatever his problems with Brad, few of us know anything about the dude.)

I just wanna point out, as others have pointed out before, Jundo is NOT a member of Dogen Sangha. He talks a lot about "Buddhists in the same sangha". He and Brad are NOT in the same sangha.

This will not be the first sangha to split in history and will probably not be the last. Other split sanghas however, in my experience, tend to stay split.
This situation ( the split and the animosity) is not uncommon. The only solution is to leave it be and let it decompose. Eventually the members will mix again, once the water has time to pass under the bridge...Thing is, some people don't want to admit it's a big river and that the water's gonna take a while.

Anonymous said...

Brad and Jundo are in the same Sangha. Don't let your ignorance of the term and its usage cause you to think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Can the Jundo sycophants please go back to Treeleaf?.

..If he's so bloody awesome, what the fuck are you doing here.

If you've got a problem with Brad, don't read his blog, attend his talks, read his books or pay attention to his teachings. It's that simple.

I'm beginning to be o a mind to invade Treeleaf and cheer on Brad there.

Why the hell not? Good for the goose, good for the gander and all!

Whattaya think?

Anonymous said...

So long as you were polite in doing so, you'd be quite welcome there. Although, from that comment, I'm not sure you're capable of maintaining a civil discussion.

Anonymous said...

He may be in the same sangha in the more absolute, universal sense. What I'm talking about here is common usage as a Buddhist equivalent of parish.

Jundo is a member of Dogen Sangha like Bob Moore is a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen- he's not.

Anonymous said...

Who gives two shits for civility? I'll take honesty any day!

PhillySteveInLA said...

MTTO,
Good point my friend!

HidingThoYouKnowMe said...

So, I checked out Jundo's little explanation note on Treeleaf.

Here's my issue- Jundo says he extends the invitation every year and Brad refuses every year. He then goes on to say that he doesn't know if he'll make the invitation next year, but he might.

My question is, why would he?

Forget who's 'right' and who's 'wrong'- pointless distinctions anyway. If the invitation is clearly not going to be accepted- Brad openly says that he WILL NOT meet with Jundo for at least five years. Next year is only one year away....Someone needs to do the math!

After all, didn't someone once say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

PS.
If any of you Jundo supporters are curious- Yes, I am going to put this question directly to him on Treeleaf.

Rift in the Sangha said...

Brad and Jundo are in the same Sangha. Don't let your ignorance of the term and its usage cause you to think otherwise.

Yes, they are in the same 'Sangha', both lineage holders of the still alive and kicking Nishijima Sensei (who, by the way, asked Brad to come. Brad's refusal caused all this mess as much as any invitation). People who say that they are not in the same "Sangha" are confusing the fact that Jundo and Brad are both Dharma Heirs of Nishijima, and thus in the same Sangha, with the fact that Jundo asked not to participate in an imaginary "Buddhist Organization" (as Brad calls it) and is in another imaginary "Buddhist Organization" both approved by their common teacher. Like brothers in a family, lineage holders are bound for life by a bloodline.

Sure, Brad does not "have to meet with Jundo if he does not want to". It is a free country. But that does not me that Brad is not acting like a petulant child by not doing so ("I won't talk to him, I won't I won't!!!). That does not mean that it wouldn't be more Buddhist (remember that) to try to talk to one's Dharma Brother and settle things a little. Anyway, their root teacher asked them to do so.

People here, being willing to explain away almost anything Brad does, are happy to point out all the reasons why Brad does not have to talk to Jundo. Why don't you instead think of why it would be more in keeping with the Buddha's teachings on healing a rift in the Sangha for Sangha members to meet and honestly try for something better in the future.

The Buddha, in order to heal a rift in a Sangha, always required meeting face to face, honest mutual confession and repentance, a mutual look at the roots of the problem, and an effort to do better for the future. That is Buddhism 101, basic to the tradition for two thousand years.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3644863/The-Buddha-s-Advice-on-Healing-the-Community-By-Thanissaro

Not meeting with a Buddhist was only recognized in a few cases, such as when the person had committed a grave offense such as killing.

But nobody around here cares much for what the Buddha might have to say on the matter, I guess.

Who gives two shits for civility? I'll take honesty any day!

As we too often forget in this world, we can have both. Sometimes we need not to be civil to be honest. But sometimes not being civil is just anger, petulance, insecurity covering itself, and not honesty. In Brad's case, and the case of some others around here, the lack of civility often seems to be as much anger, petulance and latent insecurity more than honesty.

Anonymous said...

But nobody around here cares much for what the Buddha might have to say on the matter, I guess.

Well, that goes back to the whole point that you rarely see the Buddha or other ancestors or even Dogen mentioned here or in Brad's public talks. At least, you don't see any discussion in any depth. Nobody here refers to Buddhist teachings and traditions about subjects, which is just strange for a supposed "Buddhist organization".

Apparently, in this case of healing the Sangha anyway, you also don't see much "Buddha" in the organization's leader's actions either. I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do" or "what would Dogen" do on this, instead of "what would Brad do"?

Lynn said...

I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do" or "what would Dogen" do on this, instead of "what would Brad do"?

Now that is so true! I often think the same thing about so much around Brad and this place.

Let's all get little bracelets and bumper stickers: "Forget the Buddha: What would Brad do"?

Jinzang said...

From the Lotus Sutra, the story of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging:

"After the original Awesome sound King Thus Come One had passed into extinction, and after his Correct Law had also passed away, in the period of his Counterfeit Law, monks of overbearing arrogance exercised great authority and power. At this time there was a bodhisattva monk named Never Disparaging. Now, Gainer of Great Authority, for what reason was he named Never Disparaging? This monk, whatever persons he happened to meet, whether monks, nuns, Laymen or laywomen, would bow in obeisance to all of them and speak words of praise, saying, 'I have profound reverence for you, I would never dare treat you with disparaging and arrogance. Why? Because you are all practicing the bodhisattva way and are certain to attain Buddhahood.'

"This monk did not devote his time to reading or reciting the scriptures, but simply want about bowing to people. And if he happened to see any of the four kinds of believers far off in the distance, he would purposely go to where they were, bow to them and speak words of praise, saying, 'I would never dare disparage you, because you are all certain to attain Buddhahood!'

"Among the four kinds of believers there were the those who gave way to anger, their minds lacking in purity, and they spoke ill of him and cursed him, saying, 'This ignorant monk - were does he come from, presuming to declare that he does not disparage us and bestowing on us a prediction that we will attain Buddhahood? We have no use for such vain and irresponsible predictions!'

"Many years passed in this way, during which this monk was constantly subjected to curses and abuse. He did not give way to anger, however, but each time spoke the same words, 'You are certain to attain Buddhahood.' When he spoke in this manner, some among the group would take sticks of wood or tiles and stones and beat and pelt him. But even as he ran away and took up his stance at a distance, he continued to call out in a loud voice, ' I would never dare disparage you, for you are all certain to attain Buddhahood!' And because he always spoke these words, the overbearing arrogant monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen gave him the name Never Disparaging.

mtto said...

Our Hero aka the Lotus Sutra Song - a song about Bodhisattva Never Disparaging
by the Dharma Cowboys

lyrics

Anonymous said...

and they spoke ill of him and cursed him, saying, 'This ignorant monk - were does he come from, presuming to declare that he does not disparage us and bestowing on us a prediction that we will attain Buddhahood? We have no use for such vain and irresponsible predictions!'

I wonder if Bodhisattva Never Disparaging would have invited them all for tea?

Jinzang said...

He would probably ask them to leave their sticks, tiles, and stones at home.

PhillySteveInLA said...

So, normally I'm not big into the Hindu teachers, but I came across this quote from Sri Yukteswar, teacher of Yogananda:
"Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead lady. Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeon's knife; effective but unpleasant. Candor with courtesy is helpful and admirable."

Maybe we should all soak that in a bit.
Even me.

ihtssm said...

This is all very interesting and confusing. I don't know much about Brad or Juno, so I don't know what to think. It just seems weird.

ihtssm said...

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Anonymous said...

Brad, a while back I decided to stop reading the comments on your blog; sadly, most of them are a complete waste of reading-time. Unfortunately, now the comments are even infecting your blog entries. I'll continue to read your blog as I enjoy and respect what you have to say, but please consider this a vote to turn off the comments - there are many, many other forums people can pour their words into.

Mr. Reee said...

With regard to turning off comments, actually, um no.

I like being able to comment from time to time and I also especially like reading comments from the regulars like Jinzang, Harry, Justin, Step and the others.

Sometimes I have a question that I'd like clarification on, and it's nice to be able to get some feedback, as Brad does not reply to comments and questions (no problem with that--he's got his hands full.)

I also like to screw off occasionally--but never in a harmful way.

If the comments are causing some kind of 'rift' between groups--well, grow up and get over it. No one owns Zen.

Again, I'd say that this problem arises from not doing what needs to be done and doing what doesn't need to be done.

Jundo asked Brad to tea. Brad said no. Jundo should have said 'OK.' and gotten on. Seems pretty upeebont to me.

Patrick J. Farmington said...

"If you've got a problem with Brad, don't read his blog, attend his talks, read his books or pay attention to his teachings. It's that simple."

Good show there. I say we bar the heretics from posting here. If you differ with Bradley on any given point, you simply are not welcome in our warm cozy sangha.

My goodness the buddhist masters on E-Sangha do not allow people to post there if what they say disagrees with their views of True Buddhism. They threw poor Jundo off the entire site and have made it plain that Brad and Nishijima aren't welcome either. Shut the whole Soto section down, they did.

I suppose that's the proper way to handle things. The Amish do it. Shun the unbelievers. This way, there's no one to disturb our right and correct views so lovingly instilled by zen master Warner.

Or better yet, shut down the comments outright. I don't want to be swayed by any heretical views of Buddhism or zen. This way Master Bradley won't read anything that might hurt his feelings or cause him to doubt that his is the True Way. Shut it all down...fuck em, I say. If you got a problem with Brad, we don't want to hear about it. Bunch of ignorant haters and trolls, the lot of you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about what is going here, therefore I'm the perfect person to tell you all about it.

Anonymous said...

"Sure, Brad does not "have to meet with Jundo if he does not want to". It is a free country."

What country are you referring to? The meeting was to be in Japan. Japan isn't any freer than the USA.

"I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do"

Jesus.. What a bizarre thought. No one has any idea what he would have done.

anon@ 6:54: You are a good little citizen aren't you? Don't read the fucking comments if you find them so upsetting. I find an occasional pearl amongst the sheep turds.

CanYouGuess said...

Has anyone here reflected on how much all this fighting in here might look to a newcomer to Zen?
Many people discover Brad through his books and come here looking for help and advice and an example of the Dharma. What they see are screaming children, on both sides.
I'm not an advocate of censorship, but perhaps the comments should be closed down. Brad's email is posted, people in need can get their answers there without being subjected to this incessant clamor of egotism and self cherishing.
Or better yet, maybe Brad could post a link to some sort list of Zen centers across the country and they can go there and get some in person experience.
Because I tell you what, while there may be internet sanghas out there, this sure ain't one.
This is a bareknuckles boxing ring. The Dharma Combat version of a fight club- everyone comes out bloody and you're never really sure surviving is a win.

Sure, this is all one hell of an adrenaline rush, but is anyone in a fight club practicing a real martial art, or are they just throwing punches?
Is anyone in here really practicing the Dharma with this verbal barrage, or are we throwing our egos?

Mr. Reee said...

If it was a bare-knuckles boxing ring, it'd be far more entertaining. There's be scantily clad girls waving round cards overhead.

Mostly it seems to be pissing and moaning about the 'fate of Zen' like anyone actually has control over such a thing.

Looks like simple prenstse ego-tripping.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

I'm not joining a Zen group. I'm not joining the Democrats OR the Republicans. And I hesitate to refer to myself as an American. There is ONLY ONE group for me:

There's a new party being born. The People Who Hate People Party. People who hate people, come together! "No!" We're kind of having trouble getting off the boards, you know. Come to our meeting! "Are you gonna be there?" Yeah. "Then I ain't fucking coming." But you're our strongest member! "Fuck you!" That's what I'm talking about, you asshole! Fuck off! Damn, we almost had a meeting going. It's so hard to get my people together.
- Bill Hicks

Anonymous said...

YEAH !!!

Anonymous said...

I belong (somewhat loosely) to Dogen Sangha and so in a way Brad is my Dharma uncle. As is Jundo. I wish both my uncles well. If they are pissed with each other and want a fight in the parking lot then that's up to them. Their father, nephews and nieces are upset by this but hey that's part of family life. I'm sure that they will sort it all out once they're both sober again. The power of Anger Beer eh?

1 said...

Is seems happen that there is one who joins groups to be with others, where one values being one amongst many, and is generally OK with one as the many, many as the one, as occurs within the group. One can take a lead when required, one can stand back when required.

It also seems to happen that there is one who joins groups to be with others, where one values being one amongst many, yet is only OK with one as the many, or only OK with the many as one, as occurs within the group.

In the second instance one has a strong tendency to keep taking the lead, one has a strong tendency to remain back in the throng, notwithstanding the time to step forward, the time to step back, or the time to be unsure, as it appears to come up in the individual.

Whether one thinks or says one doesn't want to be one or the other, or neither; or thinks or says one is one or the other, or neither, is, of course, the behaviour of talking and thinking.

One has already been 'joined' to groups and groupness, when one became 'one' -- a talker and thinker. One cannot think or talk one's way out of this without negating the very words and thoughts with their opposite in the realm of talking and thinking.

Endless dialectic, arguments, and a de-centred 'throwness'. One can play with this in this realm, or one can chase neurotically for some fixed, secure terms that will inevitably and necessarily be undermined. One can get upset with the situation and others who appear to embody this. And one can retreat into an apparently safe cocoon, psychologically and then physically, bound within whatever conceit seems to hold.

Unfortunately the conceit itself is not alone, nor does it want to be, is 'populated' by the other and its others as they have been framed within that one mind, constantly undermining that one, dividing it against itself, wherein: It seems happen that there is one with others, one amongst many...and so on. Wheels within wheels.

The 'outside' of this arrangement constantly encroaches like demons, ghosts, a fearful darkness, to be fought off, suppressed, distracted from, even...oh dear. The impulse to be either in or out of it comes from both the in and out of it, happens at the interaction between the two.

It seems one can only continue to re-locate ones self at that juncture and stay with it, lest one leans one way or the other; and as the centre necessarily shifts, becomes de-centred, this seems to necessitate a continual coming back to the 'posture' of that juncture. Which is why it occurs to me, increasingly, and more increasingly as I allow it to occur to me, that my behaviour should follow suit.

To extend the metaphor, one must keep fitting one's self to the ever changing motley of the world, for the self is also a product of the various clothes available to it. All the materials have their own relative length of stay, some of which seem more permanent than others, or more flexibly enduring or accommodating, but all will go, become worn, too tight, wear away, or tear etc...ouch.

The previously mentioned 'juncture' thus seems to be the axis on which everything turns and changes; and the constant-coming-back-to-that-axis, the best fitting 'posture' or 'position'-- a constant process of being equal to the dialectic of is and isn't, by seeing where one has suddenly shifted to, over and over again.

This is why it seems to make such sense to create the habit of this through sitting, which in turn provides a more secure groundless ground from which to maintain the best-fitting posture for action throughout the day, moment after moment, and so on.

It does seem to me therefore that those who lean too heavily towards dogma and away from the basic practice of getting the right posture, might end up subtly configuring and re-configuring a Buddhism that stops acting as a handbook to maintaining that living posture, even where there is some practice. The danger might even be more powerful for those whose role it is to maintain the handbook, so to speak, and to provide the living contemporary version of it.

1b said...

Or in other words, if a teacher cannot throw off the clothes of Buddhism, is this the Buddha way? Surely precepts and all should exist for one in all their Newtonian stability and their Quantum instability.

So perhaps, If I don't try and maintain my posture in life, my life's posture will be the same ultimately as some Buddha's-- I'll just be a very noisy wavelength in comparison, unaware that all peaks and toughs add up to the same thing. And without me maintaining that posture, Buddhism like everything else is the noise or harmonies I make of it, be it in tune or not. Tree rot, leaf mould.

gniz said...

Has anyone here considered that part of the rift between Brad and Jundo is that Jundo appears to practice a kind of Buddhist style (in terms of how he speaks and teaches) that is the polar opposite of Brad's style?

I can recall Brad talking about how he looks at all these Buddhist books with their flowery, nicey nice explanations and thinks--this isnt real Buddhism. its bullshit. If Jundo were to write a book, me thinks it would lean much closer to the kinds of books Brad probably hates. This is based on reading Jundo's posts and watching his blogs at Treeleaf.org.

I mean, i'm not saying its right or wrong, but stylistically, Jundo is kind of on the "lite" side. Whereas Brad is in your face, antagonistic, and "real".

I think there is a feeling on both sides that the other has kind of "got it wrong" and thats where a lot of this anger truly stems from. They really stylistically disagree with one another.

Not sure that changes anything to realize it, but two people as different as that, with contrasting styles, who profoundly disagree, will probably never get along very well at all.

Anonymous said...

I mean, i'm not saying its right or wrong, but stylistically, Jundo is kind of on the "lite" side. Whereas Brad is in your face, antagonistic, and "real".

Well, it is a good observation, Gniz. But some of us obviously have very very different perspectives on which of the two men is "lite" and which on is more "real".

James said...

I don't think Gniz was making judgements by using the terms lite and real, hence the carefully considered use of quotation marks. Read it out loud with air quotes and I think you'll get the idea.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

I have a standing rule to stay the fuck away from people who refer to themselves in the third person, or consider themselves "Gandhi-like".

Rob

Anonymous said...

Yeah Rob?

Really, who give a fuck what your standing rules are.

Jeez, you're an arrogant little prick.

non-Ghandi like enought for you, idiot?

Anonymous said...

That's not what Jundo did, Rob.

I, myself, have a rule about staying away from people who lack basic verbal reasoning skills.

Anonymous said...

"Don’t draw another’s bow, don’t ride another’s horse, don’t discuss another’s faults, don’t explore another’s affairs."
Wise words I have found.
'Nuff said

Anonymous said...

"Don’t draw another’s bow, don’t ride another’s horse, don’t discuss another’s faults, don’t explore another’s affairs."
Wise words I have found.
'Nuff said

Draw another's bow, ride another's horse, discuss another's faults, explore another's affairs.

Wise words for every other occasion.

"'Nuff said" is a very smelly tag. I suggest we follow our noses.

Enough is enough, and enough is exactly not enough for that very reason

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