Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy B-day, Nishijima Roshi & Macalester College Today at 4:45

Nishijima Roshi turned 90 on November 29th! The photo to your left is from the party held for him by students of Dogen Sangha in Tokyo, who meet each Saturday at Tokyo University's Young Buddhists Association. I guess 90 is pretty young! At the bottom of this post is a video made for his b-day by one of the Dogen Sangha groups in Frankfurt, Germany.

I'm in St. Paul today enjoying their double good hospitality and warmth. I sat in on a poetry reading at Macalester College last night, which was a lot of fun. Especially the poem about burgers! In just a few hours I'll be speaking at the college.

I'm kinda nervous as I always am before these talks. This will be my second talk about Buddhism and sex. It's the subject of my forthcoming book from New World Library. The book isn't due out until next Fall. But it's mostly finished at this point. Still, everything I write is a work in progress as far as I'm concerned -- even after it's already on sale in the stores.

What I've tried to do in the book is take a personal view of Buddhism and sexuality as it has developed for me. It wasn't until I started writing the book that I realized I lost my virginity and began my Zen practice at roughly the same time. So almost all of my life as a sexual being has been affected by Zen practice and Zen philosophy. Whether I am a shining example of how to reconcile the two remains to be seen. I think I'm a little better at it than a few and a lot worse than others. In short, I handle it about as well as can be expected.

But I really believe that the Buddhist approach has been invaluable in allowing me to have a pretty happy sex life without a lot of the intensity and weirdness I've seen a many of my friends deal with. Sure I've had some heartbreak. I break pretty hard when I break. I've done a few things I shouldn't have. But overall, I feel like it's been mostly really, really good -- even when it's been bad. That's probably the part where the Zen stuff helps the most. It's a way of maintaining some kind of balance even when you're freaking the fuck out.

Anyway, as usual I have no clue just what I'm gonna say to the students of Macalester. But I got a few notes written down on a little notepad in my pocket. So I can always whip that out if I completely lose track.

Hope to see you there!

All times, dates, locations and suchlike are AT THIS LINK.

And remember I'm leading a half-day sit at Macalester tomorrow (Saturday) and doing the Dharma Talk at Dharma Field in Minneapolis on Sunday. The info about those is also at the link above (or just click here, lazy-pants!).

And, and, and, as usual zazen at Hill Street Center in Santa Monica is ON this Saturday in spite of the fact I won't be there.

63 comments:

Kyla said...

ONE!!!!!
Happy 90th to Mr. Nishijima.
Good luck Brad at your talk.
Gotta say something nice at #1

Harry said...

Two bad :-(

Happy Boithday! :-)

Regards,

H.

Alex said...

Good luck Brad. Looking forward to reading the new book!

Simon said...

Happy birthday, Gudo.
Have fun at your speech, Brad.
In german the word Lampenfieber descibes all those feelings you get, bevore you have to do something in front of an audiance. It's a scaring but also a feeling, zhat keeps you on the ground.

Greetings from Munich,

Simon

Anonymous said...

YOUR TALK WAS SO AWESOME! you are so awesome!
thank you.

Anonymous said...

it would appear your talk went well...
hope you taped for us back on Hill St.

Jinzang said...

Any chance someone has video of the talk or is the AWESOMENESS gone forever?

Anonymous said...

zen and drugs...

roughly paraphrased
(and probably misquoted)
from some of Brad's
recent talks...

"now we're getting into the weirdness"

"ok, now we're peaking on the acid..."
IIRC, when he was joking about being
"more *you* than you could ever be".

"antidepressants help by quieting the mind"

if there were transcripts of the talks,
i'd go back and get the exact quotes,
but the questions remain...

what are the overlaps between zen and
psychoactive compounds?

could organic chemists one day invent
a drug that makes you do better zazen?
or even balances your nervous system
without having to fold up like a
pretzel and hurt your knees?

would zen be as common as it is today
if so many acidheads in the 60s hadn't
started sitting after the acid wore off?

how come when talking about zen, Brad
sometimes sounds like he's high as
a fucking kite?
(not that that's a bad thing ;)

Brad Warner said...

There will never be any "Zen drug." It doesn't work that way. Same prob as "instant enlightenment." You have to do it yourself. It can't be done for you.

Stephanie said...

Gee, a male who wants to brag about his sex life in public, and on top of that, teach his 'sexual Dao' to others. Tee hee. I think you just jumped the shark, Brad.

Word verification: 'holein.' As in, Brad's new teaching name will be 'Zen Sex Master Hole-in.'

Anonymous said...

Sex sells.

Anonymous said...

More embarrassment for Yuka, Shizuko, and Leilani...

anon #108 said...

Hi Steph,

I think it's very possible for someone - yes, even a man - to write a book about sex/desire from a Buddhist perspective without "brag[ging] about his sex life in public" or "teach[ing] his 'sexual Dao' to others". What makes you think that's the book's angle? Have you seen the draft?

As I concluded in response to your similar, if slighly more dismissive comment on gniz's reblogging blog: 'Desire n so forth: always been a big part of Buddhism - coz it's a big part of life.'

Anonymous said...

Reposted without permission from Jinzang's blog:

"How to find a spirtual teachers seems like a big problem in some people's minds. So I'll pass along a little advice, based on a joke Thrangu Rinpoche once told. He was asked how you tell a teacher is enlightened. He replied, "Try hitting them with a stick. If they don't get angry, they're probably enlightened."

I don't recommend hitting people, but making a critical remark can be a good way to test a teacher. For example, ask "you don't look or act the way I expected a teacher to act." If they get hostile or defensive, that's a bad sign. If they smile and say, you're right, I'm not really much of a teacher, that's a good sign. What you're looking for is a lack of ego defensiveness.

Stephanie said...

I think it's very possible for someone - yes, even a man - to write a book about sex/desire from a Buddhist perspective without "brag[ging] about his sex life in public" or "teach[ing] his 'sexual Dao' to others". What makes you think that's the book's angle?

from this post:

But I really believe that the Buddhist approach has been invaluable in allowing me to have a pretty happy sex life without a lot of the intensity and weirdness I've seen a many of my friends deal with. Sure I've had some heartbreak. I break pretty hard when I break. I've done a few things I shouldn't have. But overall, I feel like it's been mostly really, really good -- even when it's been bad. That's probably the part where the Zen stuff helps the most.

Brad's either saying he thinks he's got something figured out that most people don't, or even though he's only "better than a few," the book market still somehow needs a book of his expertise on the subject. The paragraph above shows that Brad is basing this book on his experience of "a pretty happy sex life without a lot of the intensity and weirdness" he's seen other people go through (although his previous book was full of such 'intensity and weirdness').

My main point is that I think it requires a certain amount of hubris for Brad to publish a book on this topic as if his sex life is something to be viewed as instructive by others--which the two paragraphs above certainly imply. By Brad's own measure he's not much of an expert or shining guru on this subject. Now he's downplaying what he emphasized in his last book, which was the downright mess that his intimate relationships have been.

I don't say that as a smear at Brad. I think all of our relationships are a downright mess. Relationships are messy, love and desire are powerful emotions that can shake even the most realized masters off of their foundation. None of us are experts on relationships. To me, a wise teacher would be the one who would say, "Relationships are messy, and having a spiritual practice isn't going to make them any less so." I think a spiritual teacher making pronouncements about how to have better, happier relationships is a clear warning signal that a teacher has strayed from clarity and is veering toward ego and delusions of grandeur.

I like Brad and think he has good things to say and teach. I respect Brad as one of those rare people who has stuck it out on the spiritual path even past the point where it became clear it wasn't going to make anything better or easier when it comes to the messy, painful business of human existence. For that very reason I write what I do here--I don't want Brad to take a direction toward that which he hates most, spiritual teachers who sell a "shinier, happier YOU" as the fruit of practice.

I think he should know better, and even if not that, he should at the very least have the self-awareness to realize his life is not an example for everyone else to follow. Hell, what I loved about the last book was the realness of it, the attitude of 'I don't care if people see that my life is a mess, because I want people to realize that's not what practice is about.' I had hoped he would go deeper in that direction rather than bounce back to his previous stance of being the expert master on authentic practice. I think this new book, if it is like he describes it, will take that previous tendency toward self-righteousness even further, as it requires some blatant self-delusion for Brad to ignore the points he made with such emphasis in his last book to make the exact opposite claim, that his handling of relationships reflects some sort of great emotional wisdom afforded him by practice.

Robin said...

Brad, if you're interested and you don't already have it, I highly recommend picking up Grace Schireson's book "Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters."

She also gave a talk at the Austin Zen Center (which I missed!) where she recounted a very powerful (and humorous) story of the Zen Buddhist nun, Miaozong (a little more than halfway through).

Cheers

gniz said...

Hey Steph,

I liked your comment so much that I actually made a post devoted to it over on reblogging brad warner.

Hope you don't mind!

Aaron

Anonymous said...


Like a virgin,
Sitting the very first time,
Like a virgin,
Zazen on the cushion,
Next to mine


Oooo ah o e oh

;)

Anonymous said...

Great talk at Dharma Field today, Brad! They sold out of the recordings of your talk. I'll have to buy my copy next week. Thanks for sharing your perspective with us!

Anonymous said...

YOUR TALK WAS SO AWESOME! you are so awesome!
thank you.
Great talk at Dharma Field today, Brad! They sold out of the recordings of your talk. I'll have to buy my copy next week. Thanks for sharing your perspective with us!


Brad's got groupies. Hey, Your Awesomeness, maybe you can get laid!

Or, wait, is it Brad's PR agent?

Or, wait again, it is Brad?

Brad Warner said...

Steph, Steph, Steph...

Sorry I gave you the completely wrong impression of what my new book is about. It is certainly not a series of stories bragging about how Buddhism has gotten me laid!

It's also not "Zen Wrapped in Karma Pt. 2," in that it's not a confessional about the details of my personal sex life.

It's more about how Buddhists in the West have come to understand the third precept (usually "Do not misuse sexuality") and what I think it means. It's also how the concept of sin informs most of our Western views on sexuality whereas this concept is lacking in Buddhism.

Topics include: Broken hearts, celibacy, attachment, orgasmic meditation (it's a long story, not my invention), porn, women in Buddhism, homosexuality, kinky sex, abortion, dating, spiritual teachers who "go bad" and many other fun topics.

It also is not about how Buddhism can make you a shinier, better you.

OK?

anon #108 said...

BTW...I really don't get this "Don't have sex with (buddhist) students" thing, and the righteous outrage that's gone with it.

We're not talking about adult schoolteachers taking advantage of infatuated (or not) adolescent schoolkids - we're talking about adults: in this case, one adult who doesn't regard himself - and, it seems, isn't regarded by anyone else - as a "spiritual leader" and who isn't offering privileged access to higher states of being, but who is attracted to someone he sits zazen with, and another, who engages in a consensual sexual relationship with him. What moral principle has been traversed?

OK, maybe it makes the vibes in the sangha a tad awkward, for some, but so can a relationship with a work colleague. OK, maybe the fact that Brad has dharma transmission and has written a couple of books makes him cool, special and very sexy. But so might a Masters in Physics and a gift for playing the banjo.

That Brad was still married at the time (is that right? I've not yet read the book) is another, separate issue. I'm talking about the "teachers may not have sex with students" thing. Whatever moral/ethical issue that warning is supposed to address just doesn't seem to apply here. I see no "misuse" of sex.

But maybe I'm a just licentious, heartless bastard. Very likely.

Anonymous said...

BTW...I really don't get this "Don't have sex with (buddhist) students" thing, and the righteous outrage that's gone with it

Yeah, well read through this post and thread and educate yourself on the whole subject. Potential for abuse of power, the dynamics of using the position of spiritual teacher, or just taking someone there for zen practice and getting them off the cushion and into bed.

http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?p=41083#p41083

Anonymous said...

Actually, easier to read than that thread is this, which sets out the issues


Stephanie Kaza: Finding Safe Harbor: Buddhist Sexual Ethics in America Kaza looks at the perennial problem of sexuality in sanghas and teachers. She discusses how sanghas have handled this hot issue. A worthy essay for any sangha facing issues of sex among the sangha/teachers.

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/Buddhist_Sexual_Ethics.pdf

anon #108 said...

Hi 5.13am -

Thanks for your rude, dismissive, condescending suggestion. Guess what - I've read the debate at ZFI - and I'm familiar with the "literature" on the subject. I simply see it differently.

Is that OK?

Perhaps you should read through my post a little more carefully; I tried to address the issues; I gave my take on "Potential for abuse of power" and "the dynamics of using the position of spiritual teacher".

But I have the feeling that we'd always disagree on this. And that's fine by me. Im not troubled at all by differing views. What does piss me off - a lot more than someone else's sexual behaviour - is the righteous arrogance of comments like "Yeah, well read through this post and thread and educate yourself on the whole subject".

Can you be so very sure you're right?

anon #108 said...

See...
I tend to the view that each situation is a unique situation, and while ethics, morals and precepts can be a good guide to ideal conduct, it simply doesn't help retrospectively to judge our actions - or the actions of others - by some inflexible yardstick. We do what we do.

I just read the zensite article 5.25am referred me to ("Finding Safe Harbor: Buddhist Sexual
Ethics in America" -
Stephanie Kaza,
University of Vermont). The Buddhist path it assumes - and that it sees sex as a hindrance to, isn't the Buddhist path I'm following. So there, perhaps, you go.

This is the last paragraph fro that article:

"Shunryu Suzuki, founding teacher of the San Francisco Zen
Center, was once asked by a student about whether or not to engage in sex, and if so,
how much. Suzuki gave only a short answer: “No sex? Problems. Sex? Problems.”
And the student was left to struggle with the full weight of this age-old question."

Anonymous said...

anon #108:
I think it was S Suzuki who also said "Being single is difficult. Being in a relationship is also difficult" in response to whether or not someone should date/get-married.

Brad Warner said...

Hey Anon! Thanks for the Stephanie Kaza article!

Anonymous said...

“No sex? Problems. Sex? Problems.”

Funny like only the truth can be..

wilicaat

gniz said...

"Sex? Problems. No sex? Problems." Right, so all things being equal--life with sex is waaay better and anyone with half a brain knows this.

Anonymous said...

Gniz: Right! Even a dog knows sex is great. And like you said, you have half a brain and you know it. The problem with sex is desire. You get old and you die. But before then, you have hundreds of painful issues with desire. It never ends and is never fulfilled. It's great for a while though.. enjoy.

Anonymous said...

"Sex? Problems. No sex? Problems."

That quote from Shunryu Suzuki was found at the end of the Kaza piece linked above.

chingro

gniz said...

Hey anon. maybe you missed the part where I said "all things being equal."

The desires dont stop with the end of sex, so you might as well enjoy it.

Its kind of like people asking if food is a problem. Should we stop eating just because sometimes we might want to chow down on a double fudge cake and then feel sick the next day?

Mr. Reee said...

Anon #108 said "...OK, maybe the fact that Brad has dharma transmission and has written a couple of books makes him cool, special and very sexy. But so might a Masters in Physics and a gift for playing the banjo."

Ix-Nay on the Anjo-Bay... you don't want to give away the store on that one, wink-wink-nudge-nudge...

Matt said...

Brad, participating in the comments might be the goodest thing you did fer yer comments section here. Kudos! hope the talk was rockin'!

matt

Anonymous said...

sex? problems; no sex? problems

It is good to get to the place where the problems inherent with sex? and the problems inherent in no sex? are no longer 'problems'
Is there such a place?
I don't know that this would ever be perfectly possible, but perhaps as with zazen: a constant maintaining of posture
the making of no-problem out of the sex/no sex and 'problem' is a maintaining of something--(what would this be?--)

a balance akin maybe to the balanced state of the autonomic and sympathetic neural systems--
only balance in a relationship, or a balancing of a non-relationship. (As we all know--sex does not require an intimate relationship or even another person and being in an intimate relationship with another person is no guarantee of sex.)

What is the state of body/mind which can provide balance in the area of sexual needs? Such as not getting any when you'd like to get it on;or having a needy partner when you just ain't got it to give...(or being a needy partner who just can't make it go away)

Being older, I am not driven by desire as when I was younger. When I was younger I had no choice: screaming desires meant I was in relationships
sex was a part of those relationships
Perhaps I needed to learn how to negotiate 'fairly' for my own needs...but I didnt like to talk about sex It's a big turn off for me Especially in giving instruction as to things which pleased/didn't please
I was attentive and generous with partners who were not so inclined on my behalf.
When satisfied partners left me with a full load of desire? well...I did not want my partners to see me or be aware of my masturbating because I didn't want to hurt their feelings. I did not want them to be concerned. Nor did I want to force myself on my partners. It was just easier to take care of matters myself.

I'm not saying it was always like that..mutual perfectly coordinated simultaneous or sequential orgasims also occurred; but this business of THE ONE...that all you have to do is find that one person, whose compatability with you regarding temperament, nature, physical abilities, intellectual acumen, and approach to life is similar or harmonious to yours AND is sexually compatible and that such a person can be found.Your partner, your mate, your spouse, your companion to accompany you through the majority of the matters of your life--well this is not feasible.

This doesnt mean it can't be done (live a good portion of your life with a partner), but it does mean the myths surrounding this have got to die.

And just when you think you've caught on and things are working well--other factors can impinge on sexual relations: medications and different health problems have impacted the sexual activitiesas I had grown up understanding them to be. (that was a myth that had to die) All sex stuff had to get sorted out anew and the fact that sexual expression can be re-invented was quite a revelation like discovering sex for the first time all over again

whatever this balanced state might be with regard to sexuality and relationship/no relationship
I think it for me it has had to do with my seeing that I am responsible for my own happiness, for my own well being, for my own contentedness. There was a time when I actually thought my partner was responsible for those things for me and I believed I was responsible for theirs--when they weren't happy, I had failed... somewhere along the way I've learned as a sexual being I am responsible for the wellness of my sexual well being when I am in and when I am not in a relationship.

anyway good luck to us all in considering sexuality
apologies for having gone on for so long about not much after all
I look forward to reading Brad's book
any help with these matters is always appreciated

Zayin said...

Buddhism and sex...
What about Buddhism and love?
Do Buddhists believe in love?

gniz said...

Zayin,

Buddhist don't believe in love--most of them are far too afraid of what that might mean for their shot at perfect enlightened and blissfully unattached nirvana.

Interestingly, I think the way some buddhists talk about zen is a lot like how most others think about love with a partner.

tripoil said...

Gniz - Thanks for speaking for all the married Buddhists here. Who the fuck do you think you are?

popwat said...

Gniz - Interestingly, I think you talk about Brad the way some guys talk about their wives.

popwat

gniz said...

I dont speak for married buddhists...even though a lot of them talk about their marriages like its a freaking prison sentence. Not all, just some.

And if any one actually believes i "speak" on behalf of or for anybody, they've got bigger problems than being caught in the wheel of samsara...know what ahhm sayin?

gniz said...

Y'know, i apologize. I been trolling brad's blog again. its like crack to me. I seriously dont know why i cant resist baiting the buddhists.

My apologies.

Anonymous said...

oh buddhists believe in love alright, they just don't believe in romance


porre

Anonymous said...

Buddhists don't believe in Love.
Buddhists don't believe in Self.
Buddhists don't believe in eating meat.
Buddhists don't relieve in beating meat.
Buddhists don't believe in God.
Buddhists don't believe in passion.
Buddhists don't believe in apathy
Buddhists don't believe in habits
Buddhists don't believe in whimsy
Buddhists don't believe in belief.
Buddhists don't believe in you.
Buddhists don't believe in Buddha.
This is true of all real Buddhists everywhere, no exceptions allowed..

Anonymous said...

Buddhists don't believe in no exceptions allowed. Why? Because no exceptions allowed aren't, in fact, no exceptions allowed. (To paraphrase)

When Buddhists believe it, they are not really believing in what it is, so to speak.

When no exceptions allowed are no exceptions allowed, what is it when exceptions allowed are removed from 'no exceptions allowed', the experience of no exceptions allowed, the action of no exceptions allowed, the expectation of no exceptions allowed, the memory of no exceptions allowed, the belief, idea as no exceptions allowed etcetera...?

When I woke up this morning, for some reason I found myself wondering what impossible is. The question kept going. I can only recount that impossible felt ridiculously impossible. It was quite a funny, pleasant experience.

Every time I have acted as no exceptions allowed, I have always experienced the time of exceptions allowed as other. And this has been painful.

Although it often seems I have to draw a line somewhere, I am learning to recognise that drawing a line, as it where, is an action arising as a kind of collaboration between the world and I.

Stuff keeps changing. What about that line? Does it need to be maintained? Sometimes it feels as if it were maintaining me. I don't know.

I was thinking of you Stephanie, in general.

Anonymous said...

the 'reality' of sex seems to involve imagined and actual experiences, a simultaneous blending of these states into one composite events
I said it plural because two people participating, (more?) and even one person by themself is mentally creating another

in typical practice this type of thing is not encouraged--just sitting or as close to just sitting is the state
but there is also being at one with things just as it is: wandering mind, and all: no forcing of any 'ideal' just this, this, this. Not feeding thoughts not fueling states also not supressing not squelching

so sexual activity states (with imagined and reality blended)
would just be accepted for what it is

for some of us (most of us? all of us?) sex is a many hindered thing
we find our way through the wood,so to speak, mostly by feeling our way. It 's dark in the bushes and some things do better without bright lights


others input on this please


fingre

Simon said...

Wasn't it the Dalai Lama who said: "If every buddhist becomes a monk who will be a buddhist in 1000 years?"

Anonymous said...

monks are renown for their compassionate and selfless acts

Anonymous said...

input...

"...the 'reality' of sex seems to involve imagined and actual experiences..."

"...so sexual activity states (with imagined and reality blended..."



The 'reality' of sex is beyond your understanding -- after all there is more to what is going on, part of, feeding into, etc., sexual behaviour than comprises whatever you think sex is -- even when doing the dirty.

There can be no 'blend' between actuality or reality or whatever one calls it with an 'imagined'. The imagined or whatever you call it, is a characteristic of that vast reality. It is reality.

You can't blend a wave with the sea -- unless you are blending your perception/idea of a wave with your perception/idea of the sea.

To think of 'reality' as something that can be 'blended', for instance, with something one calls the 'imagined' is treating 'reality' as something separate yet equal to 'imagined.'

All states must be characteristics of reality, good or bad, or delusive etc.

If sex includes delusive states, then that is sex and that is reality. You can realise those states as delusive and that is sex and that is reality.

For example if you aren't enjoying sex with your partner and yet keep doing it the same way, you can realise what's up. But bad, fucked up, harmful, exploitative sex is still sex is still reality.

Good practise seems to me to be exactly the same as good practice, whether you are practising sex or reading or sitting etc.

I watched a programme on TV about an old Jewish man who liked going to an S&M place to get spanked by girls in Nazi outfits.

I don't think, essentially, we're doing anything different with our own flavours of sexual practice.

I mean, I'm assuming he was a heterosexual homo sapiens and so, of course, he liked to do it with girls.

zenmite said...

In most buddhist sects today marks the anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment. Happy bodhi day to Gautama. happy bodhi day to you. happy bodhi day dear Gautama. happy bodhi day to you.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like good sects.

alan said...

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld :

You go to zazen with the mind you have, not with the mind you want to have.

My random mindfart.....

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20 very helpful thank you

zenmite thanks for reminder!

Anonymous said...

There wasn't a mind until someone told me I had one

Anonymous said...

Stephanie wrote:

"Gee, a male who wants to brag about his sex life in public, and on top of that, teach his 'sexual Dao' to others. Tee hee."

It is a sad part of the world we live in at the moment that we have the usual silliness. A woman with clear issues with men thinking its fine to come out with an obviously sexist remark, in an arrogant and sweeping tone and then try and play the little girl with a 'Tee Hee', so as to have it both ways.

Did she mean it or was she just joking?

Here's the formula: Stephanie gets to feel empowered by acting like her own impression of an arrogant man by projecting that behaviour back onto men (in this case Brad)by accusing them of the very problem she has, and in doing so conceal it from herself.

But it won't work completely, so we have other things at work where Stephanie's hubris, for example, is trying to hide itself behind accusations of hubris.

Hence:

"Now he's downplaying what he emphasized in his last book, which was the downright mess that his intimate relationships have been."

What a strident statement about Brad's relationships: "Downright mess."

The we have:

"I don't say that as a smear at Brad. I think all of our relationships are a downright mess."

A smear? Why would Stephanie need to qualify what she has said as NOT a smear. You either know that the phrase "Downright mess" is accurate or it is something like a smear -- ie taking something and distorting it to prove you are right about that person etc.

But then that's why she tries to back track.

And then we have Stephanie saying she thinks all of our relationships are a DOWNRIGHT mess.
Not messy, or can be downright messy, or a times etc. Oh no, a very categorical assertion there.

And then:

"I think a spiritual teacher making pronouncements about how to have better, happier relationships is a clear warning signal that a teacher has strayed from clarity and is veering toward ego and delusions of grandeur."

And how would Stephanie know? Through her own experience perhaps? Might be useful that, explaining how zen practice effects one's personal experience.

But no! There'd be another Stephanie waiting (or maybe even a Stephan with issues with women) writing the same sort of silliness.

But this time it would be directed at her -- and they wouldn't be smearing her. Tee hee.

And how many times do we have the, You're-A-Shite-But-I-respect-you-really-and-this-is-for-your-own-good equation coming from abusers, rascists, sexists.

Someone did it to you and you do it back. Sound familiar, obvious...?

If there's one thing as harmful as a perpertrator, it's a someone with the victim habit hammering away at perpertrators left right and (wham!) centre.

On her blog page we have:
"Seeker of intense emotional and psychological experiences."

I have this funny feeling she keeps finding them.

PS I really wouldn't want to read the book Brad has written that Stephanie is criticising before reading it.

That would be really dumb.

Yours

Stephanie.

anon #108 said...

Someone say something.

Anonymous said...

To this by Stephanie

"To me, a wise teacher would be the one who would say, "Relationships are messy, and having a spiritual practice isn't going to make them any less so."

What is messy?
I think it can be safely approximated to 'Noise' as opposed to 'Sound' re Suzuki in the famous clip I've put a link to below.

So what about "A relationship is like hearing the Bluejay, you can't change the Bluejay, but it can be sound and not the noise you make with it. 'Spiritual Teachers likewise. And you're not one of them. Nor are you a trained psychologist. Bear that in mind."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHNyCAJXUXE&feature=related

Anonymous said...

And the Chicken shows how to keep it together. (Including the last bit, SQUUUARK OFF).

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1891562

Jinzang said...

In most buddhist sects today marks the anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment

Only in Japan and only since the Meiji reform. Most Buddhists use a lunar calendar, so significant days vary from year to year. But enjoy Rohatsu anyway.

Anonymous said...

You tire me.

All of you!

Just keep fucking that chicken maaaaaaaan

Anonymous said...

Sleep well

zenmite said...

Thanks Jinzang. We always celebrated it on dec. 8th at RZC and wikipedia is where I got the "most buddhist sects" part. Imagine that...wiki can be wrong! Ha!
Next you'll be telling me that the baby Jesus wasn't born on dec 25th.

Stephanie said...

Anon @ 1:24PM:

You did not understand my comment at all, but that's okay.

I based my reaction not on the book I haven't read (duh) but on Brad's statements about said book in this post, indicating that this book would offer guidance on relationships from someone who felt he had a happier sex life than others.

Relationships are messy. That's what is beautiful and wonderful about them, that they draw us into states of "intensity and weirdness," that they draw us out of our safe little hidey-holes. I don't think guidance as to how to have smoother, easier relationships would lead to a deeper, more awakened, more fulfilling life. And also, self-improvement is the antithesis of Zen. I feel reassured from the reply Brad made that his book will be less the way he made it sound in this post than I thought. An exploration of the issues listed is a much more interesting and worthwhile thing than 'A Buddhist Guide to Happy Relationships.'

My original comment on this page was somewhat tongue in cheek. It's funny that you think you have the expertise to diagnose me with 'issues with men' from one tongue in cheek comment. Your bargain bin armchair psychoanalysis of me is pretty funny, and really off-base.

But, from another perspective, of course I have 'issues with men.' As I also have 'issues with women.' As we all do. We all have issues around gender, it's impossible to avoid--it's a huge component of our humanity that affects us in a lot of ways.

For the record, I like men the same amount I like women. Sometimes more. I find men's issues fascinating and just because I'm aware of women's issues, and their unique struggles and challenges, doesn't mean I don't think that men have some real struggles and challenges, including many that women on average do not.

Men wanting to hash out their sexual history in public, to an audience, is a bit of a cliche, and perhaps there is a little bit of that male braggadocio in Brad's inspiration to publish this book. If that is so, do I think that is evil or horrible? No, it's kind of funny, in part because Brad isn't exactly the posterchild for machismo. Me humorously calling Brad out on this does not equate to furious anger with men, as I hope is obvious to more astute readers of this thread...