Sunday, February 28, 2010

GOSSIP

Today is the day I start making my epic journey via PT Cruiser across the United States. Most of my stuff has already been sent ahead. I still have to get together the junk that remains in the house and figure out how to shove it all in the car. Suffice it to say, I really, seriously do not have the time today to write a blog post and really, serously should be doing a whole butt-load of other far more pressing things.

BUT there were 279 comments last time I looked under a posting about a couple clips from a movie shot in Akron in the early 80s. Those of you looking at this on Facebook can go to http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com if you want to see what I'm referring to. Personally, I think it's a big waste of time, so I don't recommend bothering with it.

But in the midst of all this, Gniz, a frequent and often contentious contributor to the comments section, asked the following question:

"People like watching the drama, the soap operas (including me, I'm sorry to admit). I would be curious about your take on why we are SO drawn to these things....I've written about it from my perspective, but it might make a good blog post sometime when you get a free minute!"

This is, of course, the real key question. The specifics of the various arguments going on in the comments section are incredibly trivial. I'm not even sure precisely what is under dispute. But, then again, I have not had the time or the inclination to read the comments in detail. I made a single observation somewhere around comment 210 or so that the whole thing was utterly inappropriate for this blog, though it would be very appropriate on a different internet forum where such things are apparently not permissible to discuss. That is all I have to say about the specifics of the arguments.

But gossip itself is very interesting. If I had time I'd go look this up. But I don't, so I won't. But there is a piece of writing by Dogen that I was introduced to very early on in my practice that gives a list of rules for monks. I was fascinated by the fact that one of the rules was not to gossip. This was right up there with don't kill and don't steal and all that -- if memory serves (and it probably does not). (I may even have included this in Sit Down And Shut Up, I can't remember)

I just finished this very interesting book called The Red Queen, all about the evolution of human sexuality. Or, more specifically, how sexuality has influenced our evolution. Among other things, the author postulates that the human brain may have developed in part as a very efficient gossip processing machine. Meaning, there are areas of the brain that may be specifically geared towards receiving and creating gossip.

The reason for this is that we are highly social animals. Our interaction with our society is key to our survival. Those among our ancestors who were among the biggest gossip-mongers left more descendants and we have inherited this. That's why we love all those magazines and TV shows about celebrity scandals, and also why we are such avid consumers of fiction. Fiction satisfies our need for gossip to a great degree (though, obviously not completely).

From a Buddhist standpoint, following various soap operas and what not that involve other people is a terrific way to ignore what's going on within ourselves. We ignore the crucial matter of examining our own shit by examining and commenting upon other people's shit. In terms of practice, this is a shameful waste of precious time and energy, of which we do not have infinite amounts to waste (sorry, bad grammar, writing fast).

Ultimately what all of this gossip is, is just our brains running through their various programs. That's what they're built to do, so it can't really be helped all that much. But we don't need to play with it and wallow in it. To do so is a bit like scratching a wound instead of leaving it alone to heal as it should. This, I suspect, is why Dogen thought it was so important to avoid.

And that's all I got time for. I suspect the drama in the comments section will not subside for a while. But for the time being I am sticking with my policy of not censoring anything or even screening the comments before they go up. You're free to discuss whatever you like in whatever tone you wish. I'll be on the road for the coming week and unable to even look in on them very often even if I were interested.

165 comments:

Harry said...

ONE!!!

So sue me, baby!

Mr. Reee said...

Cross-country in a PT Cruiser?! Kewl.

You are in good hands. Enjoy the ride (be sure to check the oil periodically, too.)

Anonymous said...

happy trails... hope you've got a good mix tape or two... for the desert I'd suggest The Good Earth by the Feelies.

Gossip is a neat sounding word.

Anonymous said...

"Meaning, there are areas of the brain that may be specifically geared towards receiving and creating gossip."

You needed a book to tell you this?

Lauren said...

when the chatter (gossip) in the forest canopy, or the trees and grasses was about *real* issues, danger, food, shelter, weather, tuning into the gossip saved our lives. We might have heard a morsel that really mattered.

The habit of gossip remains, the interest to listen remains, but given our hugely overextended information network (i.e. we can know much more about a far flung part of the world than is at all *really* beneficial), the subject of gossip is no longer useful, generally speaking.

Anonymous said...

thank you Brad for taking the time to write this before you head out

blog on!

am getting ready to watch the Hockey for the Gold
game or I'd come and strew flower petals before you as you roll away...

take good care



wimphomp (no kidding)

anon #108 said...

This is from a slightly longer comment I just posted back there <<< (or is it back there >>>?)

Having now read Brad's new post I'm putting it up again, in case some of you miss it - it's THAT good!

Should we all have kept our mouths shut? This story has been lying in the corner, giving off an unpleasant smell for a while. It was never a truly private matter. I can't see that anything but good can come of establishing what actually happened and moving on.

In this tiny corner of the tiny corner of modern Zen Buddhism it's good for these less-than-admirable human things to be faced and clarified, I think.



Also - Brad wrote "The specifics of the various arguments going on in the comments section are incredibly trivial." Some of em might've been, Brad, but how would you know, you "have not had the time or the inclination to read the comments in detail." You say "I'm not even sure precisely what is under dispute." What was in dispute was whether one teacher of Buddhism or another might be an out-and-out liar and/or disturbed hypocrite. I can understand why that's of interest and concern to folks.

Whatever, all those comments, trivial or otherwise were genuine reactions...as you acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

"Men have always detested women's gossip
because they suspect the truth:
Their measurements are being taken
and compared." --Erica Jong

Anonymous said...

I don't know about anyone else but I find such constant nagging to be a major distraction. I wanted to read comments on the cheap (but rather well shot in my opinion) indie flick, not hear a bunch of melodrama. It's that sort of thing that makes me reluctant to become more involved in the American Zen world.

Anonymous said...

108,
The statement that all of those comments were genuine cannot possibly be genuine. Where do you find Brad saying this?
Thanks,
108.9

gniz said...

This post makes me feel better, cuz personally I can't stop gossiping and I love it. I can't get enough of it.

The one thing I've noticed is that when I'm in a bad mood, bored, or maybe uneasy in my life, I focus more heavily on gossip then normal.

PS Thanks for the shout out Brad! Although I am sad he didnt reference rebloggingbradwarner

:(

Mysterion said...

Rumors are a tool that some power-seekers use to create dissonance (confusion). They are most often employed by the less able - thus the rags at the check-out stand.

'Conspiracy theory' is but one example. What Mr. XYZ is doing is another. When pulled into the light of day - call it critical scholarly analysis - both dissolve like witches in water.

Ran K. said...

I've read part of what Brad said and I think it's completely wrong.

It is not a matter if gossip at al.

Rob was making serious accusations at Jundo and it sure makes sense that he defends himself.

Actually Brad's post this time made me feel so bad that I couldn’t read it.

I don’t have a TV, I don’t watch soap operas, I don’t find it that troublesome staying away from gossip, and when I do find it interesting I don’t feel bad about it.

I don’t think all celebrities are worth the money suckers will pay to see them but that’s another point. (I do not hide I am happy to make.)

Brad knows damn well what the functions of the brain are. We’ve got the heart, we’ve got higher parts of being, things are far from the way most people are told by intellectuals whose faith lies in the common dry shallowest way of thinking and believe. Imagining it’s their own ideas and opinions. To a certain extent it is. To a certain extent it is their dirty hearts. Which does not mean desire but means their thinking systems squeak and the flow there is blocked.

Seems like in part of what he writes he knowingly gives bullshit.

If I am able to read it perhaps I see I am wrong.

Also with regard to Brads words: “though it would be very appropriate on a different internet forum where such things are apparently not permissible to discuss”: When I first saw this on his previous comment it seemed reasonable, but on second thought - what question exactly is he referring to? Try the individual separate single-issue questions one by one. None of them seems to fit. Which is the place to which he is referring or whether they are forbidden there I don’t know.

One other thing – it is suckers who make celebrities (else than exceptions) and when you watch soap you let your heart spill.

Seems like a bad post to me but I couldn’t read it all.

Brad actually got me somewhat angry this time.

And I don’t think there should be a precept against gossip.

I shouldn’t be done but not out of banning.

Anonymous said...

Well, just skimmed through the comments section of the previosu post, I don't know if Jundo is a lying douche or if Gudo is senile ( though it's pretty apparent he has little grasp of english and no grasp of the language he is trying to translate atm. ), but what is pretty clear from the comments here is that Brad sure attracts some crazy ass cultist followers!

I like Mr. B enough and even went see his live gig last year, but his fans are begin to worry me... much the same as with another famous figure of the past who got nailed to a piece of wood. The message is ok, but the groupies are outright scary!

PS. I have to tell you, these public outlashes reflect badly on both J and B in my opinion, every time they poke at each other it nibbles away a piece of my respect for the participants. And respect, my friends, is something a good and honest teacher should inspire.

PPS. Harry and Smoggyrobb I wouldn't want to meet even if they paid me to. Nothing productive can come out of associating with such personalities.

anon #108 said...

Hi 108.9 -

I wrote "Whatever, all those comments, trivial or otherwise were genuine reactions...

I read this comment of Brad's as an acknowledgement of that fact:

"Ultimately what all of this gossip is, is just our brains running through their various programs. That's what they're built to do, so it can't really be helped all that much."

But perhaps he wouldn't agree with my use of the word "genuine". Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

-" I was fascinated by the fact that one of the rules was not to gossip. This was right up there with don't kill and don't steal and all that "

-"From a Buddhist standpoint, following various soap operas and what not that involve other people is a terrific way to ignore what's going on within ourselves. We ignore the crucial matter of examining our own shit by examining and commenting upon other people's shit. "

-"But we don't need to play with it and wallow in it. To do so is a bit like scratching a wound instead of leaving it alone to heal as it should. This, I suspect, is why Dogen thought it was so important to avoid."

gniz said...
This post makes me feel better, cuz personally I can't stop gossiping and I love it. I can't get enough of it.

How does Brad's post make you feel better, gniz?

Harry said...
ONE!!!
So sue me, baby!

Wow! ... Wow! Can you get anymore immature?

anon#108 said...
What was in dispute was whether one teacher of Buddhism or another might be an out-and-out liar and/or disturbed hypocrite.

So far there hasn't been any concrete proof. Were you there, anon#108? Why the fuck do you care?
Brad says this is trivial when he is in the middle of it. How does this affect YOU anon#108?
Jundo is not asking for money from anyone for his teachings. You act like he is some scam artist and you are the peoples savior so you must expose him. You clearly have nothing to do and must not enjoy life outside this blog(which I believe a few people have pointed out). Leave the guy alone. He doenst come on here unless he gets called out. If you're tired of him then stop talking about him.

People on this blog call him out then eventually he responds. Then they tell him to GTFO.

anon #108 said...

BTW, gniz,

I sent a couple of comments to your blog a day or two ago (how time flies when you're enjoying yourself!) which haven't appeared. They're now pretty redundant - you needn't print them...but I wondered whether your blog is stuck? Intentionally or accidentally?

gniz said...

Hey 108,

I never got those comments....not sure why. If I got them they'd have appeared. Strange

anon #108 said...

Hi 3.10pm -

Were you there, anon#108? Why the fuck do you care?
Brad says this is trivial when he is in the middle of it. How does this affect YOU anon#108?


All very good questions, all of which I've addressed in the comments I've made. - particularly the first long, boring one this morning UK time.

gniz said...

To the above Anon who says Jundo only responds to accusations...

I think this link to Mike Cross's page http://the-middle-way.blogspot.com/2006/03/james-cohen-internet-psychiatrist-in.html is somewhat evidence in what could be construed as a pattern of "unwanted meddling" by Jundo.

Does it make him a bad guy? No, but it does show that he clearly sees himself behaving differently than those who are the "recipients" of Jundo's interference in their business.

Basically, Mike Cross (who I hold no love in my heart for) posts an email from Jundo where the man encourages Gudo Nishijima to try and get Mike into therapy. And by the end, Mike makes it clear that Jundo has in fact never met him in person.

So it seems like a pretty odd thing for Jundo to have done based on someone he's never met. From what I understand, he's rarely interacted with Brad in person either (I may be wrong about this).

Jundo's heart may be in the right place but I think there's a lot of concrete evidence that he puts himself in situations where his views and opinions are not wanted or requested. And then he REFUSES to stop.

This could be considered a form of harassment. I think it reflects badly on Jundo and Treeleaf, whether deserved or not. The guy can't seem to leave well emough alone.

He STILL insists that everyone MUST sit down and have tea with him once a year, whether they like it or not! And just because Jundo thinks that's what a good Buddhist should do, does that really mean everyone has to do it or be bothered for a lifetime by Jundo?

Harry said...

"...but I wondered whether your blog is stuck? Intentionally or accidentally?"

... or emotionally.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Don't sue me, for Christ's sake.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 2:59pm. If the main participants are associated with DSI, they are not doing any justice to DSI. They are giving DSI a very, very bad reputation acting like this. Not very Buddhist at all. Sure we are human and emotions come up but damn, at least try! I'm glad that Brad brought up Dogen's rules. Some of these commenter's need to refresh their understanding of Dogen's teachings.

Anonymous said...

gniz said...

He STILL insists that everyone MUST sit down and have tea with him once a year, whether they like it or not!

OMG! He's a crazed maniac!! Lock you're doors, set the alarm, get the guns out!! He's going to kill us all!!

anon #108 said...

There is no "DSI".
It's just people.

anon #108 said...

It's interesting that as we turn a blog page, the excitable stuff starts up again. I know the previous discussion was very long, and it takes time to read it, but I think it had reached a calm, sensible, balanced place. In case some folks haven't read it all, can I suggest you do before making assumptions about the positions of various commenters?

Otherwise, we might have to do the whole thing again :(

gniz said...

Hey Anon who said: "OMG! He's a crazed maniac!! Lock you're doors, set the alarm, get the guns out!! He's going to kill us all!!"

That's a pretty disingenuous take on the point I was making.

Jundo tries to get into people's business at times--this has been kind of documented, to a point. People haven't asked for his help, nobody seems to want it.

Did I call him a maniac? No. I'm saying that maybe his recollections of his behavior aren't matching other people's recollection of his behavior.

Is that clear enough for you? Any other trite comments you want to make that have no bearing on what's actually being discussed?

Harry said...

Well,

Here's another little tidbit for all those lovely people that want to spank my bum right now:

I'll probably loose my shirt over all this; I'll probably piss off my teacher, certainly I've pissed off Jundo, and probably three quarters of the Buddhist world, and everywhere I go people will throw cabbage leaves at me, and empty piss buckets on me... 'So be it' I suppose.

Unfortunately, I was born with a pair of steel balls. This means that, if someone puts something up to me (as Jundo did with his legal crap regarding my teacher... I didn't ask to be involved, quite the contrary) then I will thoroughly dig in and test it to breaking point. In testing it I am not at all liking what I'm seeing.

I don't like threats. I don't like people putting me in binds, or trying to control me, or holding things over me. I don't like Jundo's attitude in all this, I don't like that he thinks he's in control. I'm certainly not in control, but I don't have anything to loose and so I'll go all out til this little boil is popped.

Jundo chose to involve me by sending me his documents. Did he really expect me (a serial wild fox) to bite my lip and roll over?

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Hi gniz, FYI -

I just tested your re-blog - it's still saying "Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval."

(This ^ comment only said "test". If you find the old two, you needn't bother to put em up - I've said it all here now).

Anonymous said...

I'll be on the road for the coming week and unable to even look in on them very often even if I were interested.

Yawn* Yet another protest from Brad that he doesn't read or is not interested in the comments. Over and over he reads em and comments that he doesn't read em.

gniz said...

Anon 108, Thanks--figured out the issue and the old moderated comments have been restored to the blog. And then I removed blog moderation entirely.

Also, I agree sometimes Brad doesnt seem 100 percent upfront about how much he reads the comments. I dont understand why he said he wasn't sure what all the commotion was about either--he knows exactly what it's about...

Anonymous said...

Harry,

Whatever helps you to sleep at night, man. I think you are totally deluded and completely full of so much shit, you can't even see it. It's not about having balls of steel, it's about getting a fucking life. How does a grown man like yourself, spend so much fucking time on this poor excuse for a blog? Your life off the Net must be pretty damn dull. You are one fucked up dude. Turn off your computer and spend some time with a good therapist. You need some serious help that goes way beyond Zen. Good luck, my man. And grow the fuck up. Unfortunately, I think Brad's brand of Zen actually encourages arrested development in those who buy what he's selling.

I, for one, won't be spending any further of my limited time on here, on Treeleaf or any of these types of places. I'm sorry I've spend the time that I have here and there. I certainly am no better for it.

Harry said...

... buy me a Nintendo DSI ('Nintendo Dogen Sangha International'?) and you'll never hear from me again.

Kisses,

H.

anon #108 said...

I, for one, won't be spending any further of my limited time on here, on Treeleaf or any of these types of places. I'm sorry I've spend the time that I have here and there. I certainly am no better for it.

Sincere good wishes for your pursuit of the truth, anon.

Sorry you didn't find what you're looking for on the internet. I wonder what you were expecting? Anyway, you are better for it, I'm sure. You've must've learnt something, something useful - some uncomfortable truth about yourself, I hope, for they are the truths we should hope to learn: "turn your light within", is wise advice that I'm sure you've heard before.

For example, what might you learn by noticing that all your comments are aggressively directed at others - the deluded, full of shit, fucked up people with no lives? I believe it was J-P Sartre who said "L'infer c'est les autres" - "Hell is other people". I guess that's how it feels to you right now. I feel like that sometimes too, anon. And yet...

Oh...s/he's gone.

Mysterion said...

1) Does Brad have a "cult following?"

I, for one, don't think so. I haven't seen it. I have been to about three of Brad's talks, maybe four if you count SFZC. Brad's talks are fairly straight forward - very little (if any) self promotion and a lot of useful stuff for the curious to learn about Zen in general and Zazen in particular.

I don't have Brad's patience for listening to testimonials. (e.g. I sat Zazen for 18 month and then my cat came home pregnant. I had so much compassion for that cat that blah, blah, blah...)

I would have asked: "And how does your cat feel about YOU?" But that's not Brad.

2) At SFZC, I was sitting next to Brad at dinner and some guy (in Monk's garb) straight away said: "Oh, I wanted to chat with Brad." I got up and surrendered the chair. Point being, I had nothing pressing to say to Brad, or to ask Brad. I was there to take a few pictures and that I did...

3) Brad says: "I don't know." when he doesn't know.

A real cult leader, like Swami, claims to know everything - or at least some great mystic profound thing that you don't know (or can only know with seventy two degrees of difficulty).

There are no culties at SFZC and Brad was obviously both quite at home and quite welcome.

3) Is Brad introducing Buddhism to Gen. X or Gen Y, or whatever?

I think so - and in a non-authoritarian (e.g. uberfuhrer) approachable way that is received in a way that is a credit to Brad's effort and approach. Nishijima, in my opinion, made the correct choice. There are many others in DSI who, over time, have come to see this also.

I don't give a Ratz Ass what Mr. XYZ does because, at best/worse, he is but a very small ripple in a rather large pond. And he is certainly no jumping frog. I would like to see a photo of Mr. Xyz sitting next to Daffy Duck, the Roadrunner, or another celeb. once in a while also. Variety is nice.

Just my opinion.

Mysterion said...

re: gossip

THIS is that to which i suspect Brad was alluding.

Best regards,
Chas

Anonymous said...

I'm not arguing about whether gossip is bad BUT it is funny; for example the END OF SUFFERING post said a lot of things I needed to hear like "You'd have to dedicate your life to it and you have to be unafraid to abide by the truths the practice shows you. This is a very key element and one that even the most dedicated practitioners have a dickens of a time with — even after decades of practice". I wondered if anyone else realised how it was basically like "Here is the way to enlightenment. You know, the one you were asking about." I looked at the comments and I gotta say I'd rather read about peoples own experiences of attempting to be true to their insights instead of faux controversy about stuff I doubt people feel strongly about.

Anonymous said...

I'm not arguing about whether gossip is bad BUT it is funny; for example the END OF SUFFERING post said a lot of things I needed to hear like "You'd have to dedicate your life to it and you have to be unafraid to abide by the truths the practice shows you. This is a very key element and one that even the most dedicated practitioners have a dickens of a time with — even after decades of practice". I wondered if anyone else realised how it was basically like "Here is the way to enlightenment. You know, the one you were asking about." I looked at the comments and I gotta say I'd rather read about peoples own experiences of attempting to be true to their insights instead of faux controversy about stuff I doubt people feel strongly about.

Anonymous said...

I'm not arguing about whether gossip is bad BUT it is funny; for example the END OF SUFFERING post said a lot of things I needed to hear like "You'd have to dedicate your life to it and you have to be unafraid to abide by the truths the practice shows you. This is a very key element and one that even the most dedicated practitioners have a dickens of a time with — even after decades of practice". I wondered if anyone else realised how it was basically like "Here is the way to enlightenment. You know, the one you were asking about." I looked at the comments and I gotta say I'd rather read about peoples own experiences of attempting to be true to their insights instead of faux controversy about stuff I doubt people feel strongly about.

jundo cohen said...

For any people who are just tuning in to this little melodrama ...

Now, Jundo will call me (and basically has called me) crazy for not believing just HIS version of events (he's like that), but, why should I accept what he says when there are vastly different accounts from other, respectable parties? Just because he swore an affidavit? Anyone can swear an affidavit... but why did he himself need to swear and affidavit if there were witnesses who saw what happened and could corroborate his story as he states? That would have settled the matter as to who did what right away.

His affidavit contains no third party witness corroboration and yet the guy expects me to take his part in this???


Well, you are right, Harry, and thus you will get what you think is lacking. I am initiating a simple procedure in order to take sworn statements, before a judge, of the people involved and witnesses ... me, Peter, Mr. Saito and the others. The truth should come out, and let the sunshine in! I believe that the truth of these matters usually comes out anyway (the "Bill Clinton & Monica Principle"). The only reason I am starting a procedure is that is the only way to get a sworn statement at all (As I said, I am making the claim for $1.00. The reason I need to make the claim at all is that is the only way legally to get the statements under oath).

It is certainly not about money, and I will not be claiming a dime (besides the equivalent of $1). I have to do that to get the statements. It is about putting the truth on the record. Nothing more. I would never threaten Peter's livelihood, his house or family financially. Certainly not, it is not about that. I have no aggression here, and just want those under oath statements you have requested.

What is more, I can not control what anyone will say once they testify, and just must hope they tell the truth ... me, Peter, the others. Of course, the power of a statement in a proceeding under oath is that there are civil and criminal penalties for lying, but that is no concern at all so long as the truth is told. Let everyone simply tell the truth, and there is no problem.

Again, I do not do this because I carry any resentment because someone got a little hot under the collar and lost it for a minute. That is human! Could happen to anybody. I am sure he found my "Zazen and tea" requests very upsetting, and the harm he imagined I posed to his Tokei-in retreat. I know it was out of character for him, and he was under stress. No problem! I am sorry to if I contributed to that.

But the lies, cover-up, vitriol and innuendo since that time by Peter and some people loyal to him (I only need point at these blog comments of recent days) is a different story, as you have so well made me realize Harry. So, I want to clear this up.

I will post the affidavit online within a few hours. Let folks read it, drawer their own conclusions, believe what or who they wish. No problem. But lets get it out in the open, and everybody can say their say. No secrets. There is nothing to hide (Zen teachers are just people, with people issues ... time to come out of the clouds).

Also, as I mentioned, I am happy to let this whole thing drop again. forgotten, GONE. Let Peter and me shake hands and issue a simple public statement together (my Buddhist heart tells me that this is a good and peaceful resolution to the matter): "The Past is the Paat, we will let this matter go" ... I will drop the whole thing, finished.

That would be good.

Oh, and a word to Gniz ...

(to be continued)

jundo cohen said...

I think this link to Mike Cross's page http://the-middle-way.blogspot.com/2006/03/james-cohen-internet-psychiatrist-in.html is somewhat evidence in what could be construed as a pattern of "unwanted meddling" by Jundo.

That 2006 email to my teacher was written at a time when Mike Cross (who I think most of you are familiar with) was writing such rage filled, suicide referencing, anti-semitic mails directed at Nishijima Roshi, me and others that, as a member of the Sangha, I thought somebody had to step in before we had a sad incident.

Gniz, so what was your excuse for poking Mike Cross with a stick just a couple of weeks ago?? EVERYBODY, be sure not to miss the following:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7296606518210633585&postID=7994998632019220417

GNIZ GOES OFF ON MIKE CROSS

Now, in my case in 2006, I was acting out of my concern for Mike's health given his references in various writings and emails to suicide and violence. A Sangha is rather like a family of brothers and sisters with a father (complete with all the dysfunction of a family sometimes), and I was worried about a situation about which I spoke up in an internal Sangha e-mail (which Mike chose disclose). A lineage holder in the Sangha, I thought it prudent to speak out about the suicidal language.

But, Gniz, what is your title and official reason for your constant involvement and pot stirring in this Sangha, and who made you the policeman that you seem to like to act as, Mr. Reblogger?

Gniz, how does one say in Hebrew meddling, pot stirring, and thus, hypocrital conduct?

Gassho, Jundo

jundo cohen said...

Oh, before I forget, Harry ... you wrote ...

I accept what he says when there are vastly different accounts from other, respectable parties?

Who are these so called "other respectable parties" with their "vastly different accounts"? They will be the first called up.

You are full of baloney.

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

Watching this stuff feels like looking at an ant farm: fascinating at first, then a little creepy and then boring--not as boring as zazen maybe, but boring

jundo cohen said...

-not as boring as zazen maybe, but boring

It is boring. People are just people, even so called "Zen teachers".


Gassho, Jundo

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Democracy said...

When a discussion is open to practically anyone who has a wish to participate you might assume it will, in some cases at least, effect its level.

anon #108 said...

I think that's a very interesting, and perhaps true, observation, Democracy.

Jundo - aware that it's none of my business (except as someone who sits with a Dogen Sangha group and cares about its reputation), but in that democratic spirit, may I offer what is intended as a bit of sensible, friendly advice...

When people repeatedly, over years, decline offers and invitations to meet, you/we should take the hint and forget it. If you insist on showing up when people have asked you not too, it's not surprising when something unpleasant - whatever the details - happens. Even if the people involved are "Buddhists". That's no guarantee they aren't human.

The fact that you went ahead with your peaceful protest oblivious to the possible, even likely consequences, inclines me to think that your deeper motivation (fwiw, I accept that the intentions you discussed with yourself were good) were more concerned with making some self-serving point/vindicating yourself/ending your feelings of isolation, than with healing wounds between others - which I believe you greatly over-estimated and were not the person best placed to do (having been told so). Arbitration, when needed, only works if the parties consent to it, and to the arbitrator.

You can't make people love you - or each other. Such efforts invariably backfire. They clearly have in this case.
I respectfully suggest you don't try it again.

gassho,
108

Harry said...

Hi Anon 108,

When you're the ultimate authority on 'right' and 'wrong' you don't need an arbitrator.

Regards,

Harry.

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

anon #108,

Oh, you are so right in the following ...

When people repeatedly, over years, decline offers and invitations to meet, you/we should take the hint and forget it. If you insist on showing up when people have asked you not too, it's not surprising when something unpleasant - whatever the details - happens. Even if the people involved are "Buddhists". That's no guarantee they aren't human.
...
You can't make people love you - or each other. Such efforts invariably backfire. They clearly have in this case.
I respectfully suggest you don't try it again.


Boy, have I been naive over the years in expecting Buddhists, specifically "Buddhist teachers", to act better than average on matters like dropping personal conflict. I have also made the mistake of thinking of a Buddhist Sangha as like a family of Brothers and Sisters (the "dharma heirs") under a father ("the teacher") ... and as in a real family, when there is trouble, one does not walk away but keeps trying to speak up. One keeps showing up at the Christmas dinner, trying to work reconcilliation, no matter how unpleasant things can sometimes be.

Call me a "cock-eyed optimist", by I always thought that Buddhists would naturally know how to be peaceful, drop resentments, grudges.

Actually, it --IS-- true for MOST Buddhist groups ... and it is just that Dogen Sangha overall is very peculiar and bad at all that.

There is now no doubt in my mind that one problem that plagues this Sangha is the unbalanced emphasis on Zazen with no or little emphasis on other vital Mahayana and General Buddhist teachings of Compassion, Kindness, Forgiveness. When you attend your "Dogen Sangha" sitting group, wherever that may be, ask yourself how often those subjects on the vital, gentle side of Buddhism are emphasized. Some (not all ... there are many more like me) Dogen Sangha teachers can be so set on what they see as "Truth Through Zazen", that they completely lose the bigger picture. Nishijima himself, who is a naturally moral and gentle man who would not hurt a fly, assumes incorrectly that everyone who sits Zazen becomes like him (which, of course, is wrong ... some of it is just that he is a kind, 91 year old Japanese man, not the Zazen in particular). Dogen, as hard assed as he was for Zazen, never forgot that compassion and morality (a subject he wrote about in Shobogenzo much more than Zazen) are required as well ... or people get mean and out of balance.

Let this story be a testament to that disease.

Cock-eyed optimist on human character,

Gassho, Jundo

jundo cohen said...


Let this story be a testament to that disease.


And Harry and Smoggy-Rob ... you are the poster boys when we have the telethon to cure it. :-)

(I could not resist)

Gassho, Jundo

Harry said...

Oh, so I'm a 'diseased', angry Buddhist, alcoholic liar now, Jundo?

Nice.

I can feel the peace and resolution spreading throughout Dogen Sangha International with every new word of Dharma that you utter (....not!)

Oh, you cannot resist alright: I'm glad people are getting this peek into how you operate.

Good luck,

Harry.

marry said...

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_____________________________

Graphic Design Dissertation

jundo cohen said...

Blogger marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!


Best timed spam ever. LOL

Anonymous said...

Jundo,

You are maybe the only adult around here. Anybody reading your words these past few days gets the picture.

Maybe just drop the business though. Just let people live with the effects of their Karma.

Rich said...

Haven't had time to read everything but did read the afvidavit. One big mistake is that the samadhi achieved in zazen is just understanding the one, transforming this to love and compassion is understanding the many. The Budddha welcomed murderers, criminals, ascetics and teachers of other sects.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Sorry - tag edits:

There is now no doubt in my mind that one problem that plagues this Sangha is the unbalanced emphasis on Zazen with no or little emphasis on other vital Mahayana and General Buddhist teachings of Compassion, Kindness, Forgiveness. When you attend your "Dogen Sangha" sitting group, wherever that may be, ask yourself how often those subjects on the vital, gentle side of Buddhism are emphasized.

Those subjects have been discussed quite often, Jundo. What's been discussed is just what those nice words really mean - what are they in reality, and how do we do them.

No one disputes that it's nice to be compassionate, kind and forgiving. But deciding beforehand "this is a compassionate...etc thing to do; I'm gonna do it" often ends not in the way we hoped/planned (SBGZ shoaku-makusa... you know). Your visit to Tokei-in is a case in point.

I know you thrashed out this difference of views about the precepts/right speech/right action with Gudo and some of his Dharma-heirs. You see it differently. (That doesn't mean they need saving, or that you're the man to do it). The result was, I understand, an agreement - however arrived at - that you 'leave' DS and sail your own ship, Treeleaf.

My tuppence-worth is, as I suggested in my last comment, let it be that way. No kind, compassionate gestures to be rebuffed causing hurt on both sides. 'Nothing further' seems the truly kind, compassionate, caring thing to do in this case (once the facts of 'the incident' are clarified as best they can be - if the parties involved think that needs doing).

Sad, maybe - but true: your kind, compassionate acts aren't working, it seems to me. Forget "kind", "compassionate" - accepting that fact and moving on might be the appropriate, most useful thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Harry said...
Hi Anon 108,

When you're the ultimate authority on 'right' and 'wrong' you don't need an arbitrator.

Regards,

Harry.


I agree with Harry on this one.

Shonin said...

"Harry said...

When you're the ultimate authority on 'right' and 'wrong' you don't need an arbitrator."

This belief can't be helping things surely. This is not Buddhism. Perhaps it's close to existentialism. It's a kind of egotism.

anon #108 said...

Hi anon,

I understood Harry's reference to the authority who doesn't need an arbitrator to mean Jundo.

I'm hearing your reference to an arbitrator to mean me. Perhaps I'm also (the guy who sees himself as) the authority on right and wrong?

Whether or not that's what you mean, I'm certainly offering advice. Is it my place? I don't think I'm making matters worse, I believe what I'm saying makes sense, and just might help, so I'm doing it.

Whether or not that's what you meant ;-)

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

Blogger Shonin said...
"Perhaps it's close to existentialism."

An existentialist accepts the philosophy which emphasizes freedom of choice and personal responsibility but who regards human existence in a hostile universe as unexplainable.

There is no conflict between existentialism and Buddhism. In fact, I see great harmony and a cordial disposition between them. Both are truly things of beauty for those who can think - that do think.

Anonymous said...

"When you're the ultimate authority on 'right' and 'wrong' you don't need an arbitrator."

Must be a sarcastic reference to J.

gniz said...

Hi Jundo.

You said: "That 2006 email to my teacher was written at a time when Mike Cross (who I think most of you are familiar with) was writing such rage filled, suicide referencing, anti-semitic mails directed at Nishijima Roshi, me and others that, as a member of the Sangha, I thought somebody had to step in before we had a sad incident."

Okay Jundo. Just pointing out that you always seem to be the one to step in and get involved, whether others ask or no. I've said previously that I think your heart is probably in the right place. Doesn't change the fact that the results of your involvement have been less than awe inspiring...yet you continue to blame everyone else.

"Gniz, so what was your excuse for poking Mike Cross with a stick just a couple of weeks ago??"
Actually, I started off the exchange a post before that commenting on some breathing stuff that Mike Cross discussed in his blog.
Unfortunately the original comments and discussion that led to the argument have since been purged. But its pretty obvious that what you linked to is a continuation from some previous discussion, since I quote Mike Cross in the opening comment.

My initial comments were perfectly kind and normal, I wasn't "poking a stick." When Mike started being insulting about my Jewish heritage and bringing it up for no reason, i did get angry. I'm not at all ashamed of my response, to be honest. I could have handled it better, but he hurt my feelings and pissed me off.

"EVERYBODY, be sure not to miss the following:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7296606518210633585&postID=7994998632019220417

GNIZ GOES OFF ON MIKE CROSS"

Regardless, I didn't just go on his site and start spouting off about his Jew hating. It came out of a previous conversation that's no longer available.

"Now, in my case in 2006, I was acting out of my concern for Mike's health"

Yes, Jundo you are always concerned and everyone else is just an a-hole who doesn't get how to be a proper Buddhist. I forgot.

"But, Gniz, what is your title and official reason for your constant involvement and pot stirring in this Sangha, and who made you the policeman that you seem to like to act as, Mr. Reblogger?"

I don't have a title Jundo. I'm on here blogging just like you and everyone else. Do you REALLY think your title makes a bit of difference? At the end of the day you are as much a part of DSI as me. Not at all. And I'd probably be more welcome at a DSI gathering then yourself at this point.

I know you think I stuck my nose in where it wasn't wanted, Jundo. But two things. You're airing your dirty laundry in this public forum, not me. And secondly, I have as much right to give my opinion as anyone else on this public forum. I defended you here about as much as anyone, but sorry if I also think you're a bit out of line with some of this shit.

Best,

G

Harry said...

"This belief can't be helping things surely. This is not Buddhism. Perhaps it's close to existentialism. It's a kind of egotism."

Yes, Justin, I heartily agree.

Nobody here has a priviledged understanding of what constitutes Buddhist 'right' and 'wrong', despite what they may think of themselves.

Regards,

Harry.

Shonin said...

Hi Harry,

I see. I misunderstood you.

Justin

Anonymous said...

Jundo writes he thought DSI was like a family: brothers and sisters under a teacher, the father. Then Jundo writes about how an idealized family should behave.

Seems to me Jundo, your analogy holds up better than you might realize: behaviors and exchanges here sound and look like 'family' to me

Finding the right distance is what I have come to appreciate with regard to my own family. It has it's own dynamics and there is no way I can convince or dissuade any of them of whatever opinion they hold of me, of each other, etc. I do not understand its ebb and flow and periodic eruptions, but I would have no control over any of it even if I did understand.

Pretty much there is just acceptance, zazen has played no small role in my acceptance of my family, of myself, of things as they are.

In my younger days when I had more of a sense of how things should be, I really suffered with the family doings. There are still hurts, slights, injustices, and out and out meaness, but I don't suffer and I believe zazen has also played no small part in that.

As much as 'resolution' is prized as an end product of hashing things out, I would suggest you find whatever you had imagined it would look like (ie sitting down together for zazen and tea afterward)
and get rid of that.
Get rid of all ideas of what resolution looks like to you or what it should look like or consist of.
Drop those.
You don't have to go out and get it to happen. You don't have to orchestrate anything. It will happen on its own, just by your going about your usual daily activities, one day you round a corner and realize it happened!

G said...

BTW, the last thing I want to say about the Mike Cross episode, for clarification, is this. I admire Mike's discipline and I would read his blog because I found it motivating the way Mike does his thing day in and day out no matter what. I truly do admire that part of Mike Cross.

I had not commented in quite some time, until a point where he translated some stuff about breathing and I had a differing take on it. My "differing take" really got under his skin for some reason and he started in on my "Jewish intellectualizing" or some such nonsense.

I was really surprised and taken aback at the vitriol and racism that he continued to spout (even though he's done it before).

I kept trying to make the point that it wasn't about Judaism and that I resented Mike bringing it up because I don't even practice the religion.

Eventually I grew frustrated and attacked him--which is pretty much all that remains of the conversation now that the earlier comments were purged.

Anyway, that's the whole story from my point of view. Not that anyone probably cares. I told Mike that I would stop commenting on his blog--it was my New Years resolution--and I've since stuck to it.

anon #108 said...

That's what I meant to say, 7.15am ;)

Very well said.

jundo cohen said...

Hi Gniz,

I know you think I stuck my nose in where it wasn't wanted, Jundo. But two things. You're airing your dirty laundry in this public forum, not me. And secondly, I have as much right to give my opinion as anyone else on this public forum. I defended you here about as much as anyone, but sorry if I also think you're a bit out of line with some of this shit

I think you missed my point. It was just that I thought you may be the pot calling the kettle (me) black.

Goodnight all.

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing a blog rehab? Cause I need to enroll in one lol. This blog has become almost an obsession lol it's like I need to check up to see what's going on in the DSI scene. "oh no he didn't", "wait he said what!", "oh snap", etc. If my refresh button was in physical form it would be worn out by now. Does Brad get paid for site clicks? My advice: Judge Judy ftw

Anonymous said...

the blog site for the blog rehab is down

gniz said...

Jundo,

Point taken. We BOTH stick out noses in where they don't belong.

JoSatori said...

You're so right, Brad. Gossiping is a "shameful" and tragic waste of time. If we're busy pointing out the "falts" of others, then we're not focusing on ourselves and our own shortcomings. I'm pretty sure the Sixth Patriarch said that in the Platform Sutra. By the way, Jesus said it too: "...why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye."

mings the younger said...

Jundo said: "Again, I do not do this because I carry any resentment because someone got a little hot under the collar and lost it for a minute. That is human! Could happen to anybody."

Jundo.. Peter will not not remember the events the same as you do. If you can't get what you want from him, is that when you really have try to hurt him and his family? If not, why are you wasting all this time?

"But the lies, cover-up, vitriol and innuendo since that time by Peter and some people loyal to him (I only need point at these blog comments of recent days) is a different story, as you have so well made me realize Harry. So, I want to clear this up."

Statements like this one aimed at Harry show that you are trying to intimidate and harass. Harry didn't 'make you' do anything. You alone are responsible for any actions you take. Your 'Buddhist' heart is out revenge..

"Boy, have I been naive over the years in expecting Buddhists, specifically "Buddhist teachers", to act better than average on matters like dropping personal conflict."

It is upsetting when you expect things to be like you always imagined and they're not.. I get that. But don't blame anyone else for it. No one did this to you.

You think "Buddhists should act better than average on matters like dropping personal conflict".. What?? And you call Gniz a hypocrite?

Harry said: "Oh, you cannot resist alright: I'm glad people are getting this peek into how you operate."

You are right about this guy Harry. And I thought he was harmless.

anon #108 said...

gniz, you wrote "Unfortunately the original comments and discussion that led to the argument have since been purged."

For you, and anyone else interested, do you mean this?

I once noticed some missing previous comments on MC's blog (mine and other's) and I brought it to his attention. Next time I looked, they were back. It's some tech glitch, I think. I don't believe he's doing it intentionally...

BTW, I just emailed you at 'Reblogging...' As soon as I sent it, I thought maybe the words I used for the 'subject' might incline you to bin it (might not). Anyway, it's from me - with an ironic title. Has it arrived? (You needn't reply to it).

Anonymous said...

You think "Buddhists should act better than average on matters like dropping personal conflict".. What?? And you call Gniz a hypocrite?

Harry said: "Oh, you cannot resist alright: I'm glad people are getting this peek into how you operate."

You are right about this guy Harry. And I thought he was harmless.


Uku, you don't know what you really think, do you? You just can't admit you hung your Buddhist hat with such a bunch of losers. You so much want to be in them, in Sensei, and you are confused by who is holding you hostage. I think they call that Stockholm Syndrome.

Earl Url said...

"If we're busy pointing out the "falts" of others, then we're not focusing on ourselves and our own shortcomings. I'm pretty sure the Sixth Patriarch said that in the Platform Sutra."

You are an asswipe!
He is a scumbag!
She is a fraud!
They are butt-buddies!

But I never point out other's faults. I just intervene in order to save poor deluded western buddhists from being taken in by these assholes.

Jundo just intervenes to save poor deluded dsi'ers. The 6th patriarch probably said the above while scolding some poor deluded monk for criticizing some other poor deluded monk.

I'm not pointing out faults either, I'm just trying to save Brad, Jundo and some of you poor deluded bloggers.

No doubt someone will graciously point out my own fault in writing this in order to save my poor deluded self. Thanks.

ratch said...

Types of Stalkers:
From Types of Stalkers by Zona and colleagues (1993)

#1 Simple Obsessional:
A prior relationship exists between the victims and the stalker which includes the following:
Acquaintance, neighbor, customer, professional relationship, dating, or lover

The stalking behavior begins after either:
The relationship has gone “sour”,
or the offending individual perceives some mistreatment.

The stalker begins a campaign either to rectify the schism,
or to seek some type of retribution.

ratch said...

A more recent categorization has been developed by Mullen and colleagues (Mullen, Pathe, Purcell, and Stuart, 1999).

The Rejected:

* As a result of a relationship dissolution (i.e. estrangement, disruptions, break-ups) from an ex-partner (but inclusive of a parent, friend, or work associate)

this type of stalker can be observed desiring a mixture of reconciliation and revenge.

* This individual often experiences feelings of loss, frustration, anger, jealousy, malevolence, and depression.

* The Simple Obsessional subtype given above closely approximates this type of stalker.

ratch said...

Oddly, sometimes a stalker will feel victimized by the person he or she is stalking. This is referred to as projective identification. In other words, the stalker's rage at being rejected (and other unconsciously disowned stalking-related attributes) is "projected" or "put" into the true victim, so that the true victim is now perceived by the stalker to have this rage (attributes/behaviors) and directing it back, hence stalking the stalker.

Ran K. said...

I just feel like posting this song.

You should know and not believe”. So much shit anyway. (not that I've read it)

anon #108 said...

Hi 8.49am

"...such a bunch of losers", you wrote.

Well!!

I guess you're referring to "Dogen Sangha International". As I too must be included with this bunch of losers, I'll respond.

Aside from your snarky snipe at Uku (is it? And what do you care where he hangs his hat - has he wronged you?)...

I keep telling y'all...there's no such thing! I go to retreats led by a Dharma-heir of Gudo Nishijima. It's called "Dogen Sangha" on the website and on the very rare occasions when it needs to be referred to by a name. The 10-15 regulars don't have membership cards or IDs; we haven't sworn allegiance to Gudo, or Brad, or to what they write, say think or do; many of us don't visit this , or other "DS" sites and haven't read the complete works of Gudo Nishijima; we're all different people, with different experiences, different personalities, and different views. We practice zazen in the same room and find our teacher's talks, and each other, stimulating. It's just people. Different people in the same place now and again. That's why we're there. Not coz we belong to some organisation.

But yes it's true, some folks like to identify with groups and movements. What can you do? There are worse hobbies than finding a Buddhist group that works for you. Find your own, if you fancy. And be happy.

gniz said...

Thanks Anon 108 for pointing out the comments I thought had been lost in the argument between myself and Mike Cross. So for Jundo and anyone else who thought I was "poking a stick" at MC in the link Jundo was kind enough to provide, please see where it all started: http://nothingbutthelifeblood.blogspot.com/2009/12/saundarananda-1564-for-giving-up-of.html

And tell me if you think I was way out of line with him or not.

Also Anon 108, I would never censor comments just because I disagree with something. The only thing I took down from my blog recently were some personally revealing comments made about someone who then emailed and ask that I do so.

gniz said...

Hey Anon 108, I'd like it if you could find the next set of comments (in one of the following posts) where Mike Cross starts in on the fact that I'm Jewish.

I still am having that glitch. I don't think anybody else cares but I'm curious to see it.

Thanks. You can just email it to me if you have the chance, or tell me how to get them myself?

Anonymous said...

meanwhile Brad is making his way to another part of the forest
homeless at this stage
but has car and can travel

sure you can get him to give a talk but even better he answers questions

make sure you speak up and ask them!

until his next post...what do we do in the interim?
(didn't even know 'im!)

thypl

hill street bells said...

Steve Valerio, dharma teacher in training at Dharma Zen Center, will be giving the talk this week at Hill Street Center.

Please join us for two periods of zazen followed by Steve's talk and a discussion.

Dogen Sangha Los Angeles

gniz said...

P.S. Does anyone besides me find it very, very strange that Jundo made his deposition on October 9th, nearly a full month after the alleged incident took place (supposedly on Sept 12th)?

I can't imagine being punched in the chest, then suddenly a month later deciding I simply needed to make a record of the incident. It seems to me that after a physical assault, I would either go to the police or make my deposition immediately....

Maybe my timeline is off somehow, I just don't get it.

CynicalBoy said...

My head is on fire
So many opinions!
Today the sun shines

Anonymous said...

pretty much all the ground has been covered here

I mean we could go on and on, split hairs and other minutia but I think there's enough of the picture to know that pushing further doesn't advance a thing

As much as folks think the public display of all this is shameful I don't

Sure it isn't pleasant, but it is a mirror and I'd stake my future life as a cabbage or fox on the fact that there isn't a single collective of 3 + people where this stuff doesn't come up in one form or another

there is no way to bully reality into behaving differently than the way things are

most organizations are good at hiding these kinds of behind the scenes exchanges, DSI isn't
that doesn't make DSI better or worse, just makes it available for whatever we want of it:
entertainment, self exploration, a pie throwing free for all, a soap box for vindication, you name it...
Taking sides doesn't help settle things down, although the person being supported no doubt is gratified

From observation here: the more action taken based on what we make of it, the wider the rift from what it was.

most of us posting here are lay practitioners: we work regular jobs,
how does the dharma shine through us (for lack of a better term) in our everyday actions in the world as we go about our business

how does our everyday life--for example our training, our professional work, our 'personality' impact the 'dharma'

while understanding (buddha nature) is everywhere all the time, sometimes we aren't 'in' it.

I guess like those 3 D weird dot pictures -- with the relaxed eye BINGO the whole thing is seen, there all along--but until that sweet spot is found, there is struggle with the looking looking looking, no matter how hard, nothing but dots, no picture...

Isn't it possible to sense when one is 'in' or 'out' of the dharma zone so to speak?

I am not expressing this very well, not at all and I apologize I have to get to other pressing matters, but offer this thought and welcome furthering refinements of what I am trying to say

hosmns

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

George Harrison suggested that gossip is the Devil's Radio. Great tune, by the way.

Mysterion said...

Repeating the obvious...

"Playing the Victim: This involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstance and/or someone's behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from others. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities usually can't stand to see anyone suffering. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Convince your targets that you are suffering in some way, and enlist their support in the relief of your distress.

In our story, XYZ is good (but not very good) at playing the victim. He had a few of his targets believing that he (XYZ) was the victim of an extremely unfair decision (because of the failing mental capacity of the decision maker) and the target of unwarranted hostility.

Mr. XYZ attempts the manipulation of his targets because, in his twisted mind, those targets should believe what he believes and that supposed pool of belief serves as an excuse for his undisciplined aggression."

Uku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan said...

I was wondering about the concept of gossip.

To my ears, the term has a slightly negative connotation.

I think, though, that there are shades of gossip ranging from idle observation (Saw Joe in town today, he was looking good) to malicious gossip, information spread about in a deliberate attempt to hurt someone else.

I'm wondering at this point about Dogans statements about gossip.

Given (as I understand it) that most Buddhist rules are more like guidelines rather than absolutes, how was Dogans statement about gossip worded?

Any input from the scholars out there?

Uku said...

Crap. Another try, I messed up with those earlier posts of mine.

Anonymous 2:59 wrote:

PPS. Harry and Smoggyrobb I wouldn't want to meet even if they paid me to. Nothing productive can come out of associating with such personalities.

I've never met Rob but I would like to meet him. He seems like a real honest guy and I'm only thinking like this because of his posts. I've met Harry once in Finland and he's a really nice guy and he's a guy that I can definitely trust. And he's my butt buddy. Maybe that's why.

Uku said...

Anonymous 8:49 AM wrote:

You think "Buddhists should act better than average on matters like dropping personal conflict".. What?? And you call Gniz a hypocrite?

Harry said: "Oh, you cannot resist alright: I'm glad people are getting this peek into how you operate."

You are right about this guy Harry. And I thought he was harmless.

Uku, you don't know what you really think, do you? You just can't admit you hung your Buddhist hat with such a bunch of losers. You so much want to be in them, in Sensei, and you are confused by who is holding you hostage. I think they call that Stockholm Syndrome.


Why is MY name in that post? Does some one think I wrote that anonymous post? Geez, this is getting interesting... or not. I don't care. Oh, topic was GOSSIP... well, that's explaining everything.

But no, Sir/Madam, I don't write anonymous comments. I have balls to write stupid things under my own profile.

Anonymous said...

Uku didn't write that post, I know because I wrote the post.

Uku, are you saying I don't have balls? I happen to have balls of teal. I just might hire Lawyer Cohen and sue your butt.

#100

Harry said...

"...And he's my butt buddy. Maybe that's why."

Oh Uku, how I miss your girlish laugh. :-))

Regards,

Harry.

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

Also from 2.59pm's post, who guessed Uku wrong -

"these public outlashes reflect badly on both J and B in my opinion, every time they poke at each other"

For the record, B(rad) hasn't said a dickie-bird for or against J(undo) this time.

2.59 also referred to Brad's "crazy ass cultist followers!". As Mysterion has said, there are very few, if any at all, I think. It looks like there are some people who don't trust Jundo, though. So it goes...

3 mistakes in 1 post. Is that a record. Unlikely.

Mr. Reee said...

Brad has a cult? Why didn't I get the memo?

Do we get to meet at his place to watch old Sci-Fi monster movies? If so, sign me up.

I even have a copy of ""Warning From Space" to share.

J & B said...

Brad has learned to avoid arguing with fools.

A disinterested 3rd party becomes confused. (Which is the True Fool™?)

ming the younger said...

Jundo's affidavit is amazing.. This isn't even a matter of opinion as to what really happened over there. One of these two guys is an expert liar.

Jundo wrote, "I do not clearly recall being asked to leave and refusing. As stated, I thought that there was discussion that I could "sit zazen and go home".

He doesn't 'clearly' recall.. He 'thought' there was a discussion..

I think Jundo has mad skills.

equumber said...

I said - "Also from 2.59pm's post, who guessed Uku wrong"

Sorry. That's a mistake, I meant 8.59am...Did I? I'm confused.

SOMEBODY said it.

JessicaSayre said...

Drama is The minds way of continuing our nature of suffering. We all feel the need to make a statement and a point. Wouldn't it be best to agree to disagree? :p I have not watched the soap opera's but I find myself enjoying talk shows , your not the father! haha We all have our moments lol Btw it is still cold and snowy here in NE Ohio ( I am in Cleveland ) You know you miss it! when you come back to visit you should hit a show at the spitfire!

Democracy #108 said...

I have once heard a university lecturer speak about existentialism.

He said: - There is not much to say about existentialism. - But I will. - For reasons of livelihood.

He was joking. But it was also the bare truth. He never meant otherwise.

Ran K. said...

Gniz seem to have said to Jundo – “You're airing your dirty laundry in this public forum”.

He’s not.

Everybody else seem to.

Gniz included.

Uku said...

Anonymous 12:17 wrote:

Uku, are you saying I don't have balls? I happen to have balls of teal. I just might hire Lawyer Cohen and sue your butt.

I have balls of steal and my butt is concrete. You can try, tiger. :)

Harry wrote:

Oh Uku, how I miss your girlish laugh. :-))

Hahhaa! :D

Take care, ya all!

Just-Another-Rubber-neck said...

ming:

Go watch "Judge Judy". It's not a real court but she does what any judge does and tries to determine what the truth might look like based on witnesss statements just like this.

All she can do is determine who is probably lying and what the correlations are between conflicting witness statements.

A Judge cannot determine what the truth is because the truth is rarely separable from the witnesses perception of events.

In this case we can see that Jundo was at a DSI gig even though Jundo is not recognized as a member of DSI.

We can see that Peter and a number of others were at that gig.

We can see that Jundo wasn't welcome. Jundo's statement makes that clear at some level.

We can see that Peter encouraged Jundo to leave; after that it gets confusing.

The fundamental is that if Jundo had not been there none of this would have happenned. It is not clear that Jundo was invited. Jundo's statement seems to indicate that he had not been invited.

Jundo's statement indicates that he went to this venue out of his volition and without an explicit invitation since this post-dates his departure from DSI and presuambly therefore he could not reasonably be expected to turn up at DSI events without an explicit invitation.

So it was Jundo's actions according to his own statement that then led to the alleged assault on Jundo.

Hear-say contents some of Jundo's statements but hear-say is not admissable.

Did Jundo have reason to believe that he would be unwelcome at this event?

Did Jundo have reason to believe that his arrival at this event might be precipate something.

Would an average person assume it would be OK to turn up to an event to which you were not invited?

Would an average person assume that a 'gate-crashing' of an event would result in a welcome mat rather than an eviction?

Having read Jundo's statement in full and having examined the languaged used by Jundo to explain the events and his actions it makes me sad. It does not look like the statement of a Zen Teacher.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
108 the merciless said...

108@122: I agree.

Gniz asks: Does anyone besides me find it very, very strange that Jundo made his deposition on October 9th, nearly a full month after the alleged incident took place (supposedly on Sept 12th)?"

Strange is a good word for Jundo's recent behavior. He is either confusing the facts about events on purpose, or he has lost his sense of what is real. It could be he is he is having some kind of epic mental adventure..

Rocca even tells Jundo in an e-mail to seek professional help, that "Whatever is eating you up and making you behave like this is going to get worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

When it does come – try and make it easy to find

Ok Ran K. We'll re-design the page so you don't have to read through all this "endless honorable democratic discussion." ;-)

Oh! You don't read it anyway, do you?

In Action said...

It seems to me that the person in question needs help. But not the kind of help he can obtain from Buddhism.

I too fear, that without psychiatric intervention, the person in question will continue down his slippery slope to the (figurative) unfathomable void below.

Sheol enuff...

Anonymous said...

He may only need counseling.

Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center

After he is screened and evaluated, he can be directed to the appropriate course of intervention.

Enough already? said...

We - those who weren't there - still don't have any idea whose account is "more accurate". We may never know.

We should stop guessing, and we should stop assuming one or other is deluded. It's silly, and it doesn't help the people whose real lives this affects.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that Jundo needs couseling for his abandonment issues and Peter with his anger issues. As far as the comment that says he doesn't seem like the actions of a Zen teacher, that just sounds ignorant. And the comments about the purpose of continuing the nonsense, like "just trying to help" and "exposing a liar", you're not helping, you're just making it worse. But I think they know that alrealy or they are some self-righteous fools.

nessani said...

2.12pm -

Seems to me that Jundo needs couseling for his abandonment issues and Peter with his anger issues.

Are you "ignorant", "just helping", or "just making it worse"?

...there are some self-righteous fools!

Ran said...

to 1:35 pm:

I know, I know.

I do hope I’ll be able to find it without getting a headache.

Rich said...

Has anyone here other than Jundo ever been turned away from sitting with a group?

108 Tears said...

Enough: That sounds reasonable.. But the two accounts are not even similar to each other. One teacher or the other is deluded. One or the other is a bald face liar. This isn't a matter of two nice men who just choose to disagree.

Ran again (#108 and counting) said...

Seems my “You should know and not believe” was in place.

I did not know at the time though.

Mysterion said...

Avoid quoting Freud. His reputation has been sullied by closer examination of his faked 'case studies.'

On analysis, Freud's later life was unfortunately affected by a series of his own early but obliterated (sub-conscious) traumas. His traumatized perspective caused Freud to avoid and detach from the very real issues related to death and dying. His perspective was, on reflection, myopic.

I suspect Jung was correct is attenuating Freud's influence.

Freud was a gem, but no diamond.

Not quite enough yet already said...

Yes, Tears. Seems that way.

I meant it's maybe better if people stop shouting the odds which one is deluded and/or lying, with nothing but hunches to go on. I've got my own hunch, but I'm keeping it to myself till I know more. If I ever do.

Ely DesJardins said...

Are you passing through Tulsa? If so maybe you might be interested in doing a talk to my Sangha. There could be a free place to stay in it for you.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi Ely:

You might have better luck shooting a note to Brad at spoozilla a t gm ail . c om. He mentioned it in his February 21st post, "Touring".

Rob

Anonymous said...

Brad, Harry, & SmoggyRob,

I'm the Anon who was swearing at the three of you, calling you all types of names, and telling you to grow up, get a life, and whatnot.

After having some time to process my actions, I would like to, for what it's worth, apologize for writing that nasty stuff. As Anon#108 (at 6:46pm) suggested, my frustration was not about you three (since I do not know any of you personally). I realize I was not and am not angry at you.

So, I did learn something here. However, for my own balance, I realize I cannot spend anymore time here. But again, this has nothing to do with anyone else but me.

Again apologies all around. Take care and best wishes (seriously).

Harry said...

No problem, Anon. If it's really you, thank-you for saying.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

129

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Harry, it really was me. Thanks for the reply.

And I just remembered one more apology I need to give, as I was washing dishes!

Mysterion,
I was the same Anon beating up on you, as well. I apologize to you, too!

Man, I had a hell of a couple days there!

anon #108 said...

Hi 5.23pm!

I was checking in before bed (UK time) and saw you'd just posted.

It's rare that folks admit reconsidering, here or anywhere.

This place is pretty crazy sometimes - well, most of the time - and exactly what any of us think we're doing or might be learning is often hard to see. That you've reconsidered and got something from it means it might not all be an indulgent waste of time. I hope not.

Thanks for taking the trouble.

All the best.

Mysterion said...

anon:

accepted.

good to reflectively think - but not too much.

but folks here know that an apology is never necessary with me.

some days i'm Benkei, others I'm the arrow (kind of a bug & windshield thing). both are the same.

best wishes,
Chas

living in the past leads to depression

living in the future leads to anxiety

living in the moment leads to where you should be

Smoggyrob said...

Hi Anon:

Thank you. Your apology was unnecessary, but I admire your posting it. Apologizing is hard. Here, watch me: I'm sorry if I offended anyone I didn't intend to. See? I suck at apologizing.

Rob

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Hi,

Folks here are so defensive when their little corner of "Buddhism" is threatened.

I have decided that there is a better, more peaceable course than compelling Peter to make a sworn statement such as I did. We can head this off. I will just publicly request him to do so. If he is a man of honor, and if he truly believes his version of events, please put up. (Well, people have to live with their own Karma.)

Then, as I said, we should simply let this go ... "the past is past".

I wrote ...

There is now no doubt in my mind that one problem that plagues this Sangha is the unbalanced emphasis on Zazen with no or little emphasis on other vital Mahayana and General Buddhist teachings of Compassion, Kindness, Forgiveness. When you attend your "Dogen Sangha" sitting group, wherever that may be, ask yourself how often those subjects on the vital, gentle side of Buddhism are emphasized. ...Dogen Sangha teachers can be so set on what they see as "Truth Through Zazen", that they completely lose the bigger picture.

It is fascinating to me how this very blog, this very thread and the previous one, show it so sharply ... the meanness, the anger, the seething just below the surface of these "angry Buddhists". Some folks here truly are the poster boys for the illness. How lost people seem, how lacking peace, either wisdom or compassion (because there are folks who think they have gained some wisdom, but they don't realize that wisdom without compassion is not wisdom at all).

You hear it time and time again in Dogen Sangha groups ... "sitting is all one needs, fuck you". If some of these folks, with their detailed study of Dogen's words, had acted anything like this at old Eiheiji, Dogen would have kicked them out on their ass (he threw several folks out for breaking the Precepts). It's hilarious to watch these Dogen experts who neglect anything in his writings on morality and treating others with respect and gentleness They think that the Shoaku Makusa that "Zazen is keeping the Precepts" means it does not matter how you act the rest of the time ... forget Tenzo Kyokun, for all his sections of Shobogenzo on respectful behavior toward one's fellows.

Oh, how often have I heard from corners of Dogen Sangha ... oh, I just want THE TRUTH, I do not care for the effects of my actions on my fellow sentient beings (or much of the rest of that Bodhisattva-ness which is called "Mahayana Buddhism").

I hope you guys keep going here, cause this place is the living experiment that proves the theory. What a mad form of Practice is demonstrated here. When I write the book on all this, which I will, and am in search for the dialogue of the "Buddhists", I will really just have to cut and paste from here.

So, please keep going ... keep this blog alive. I need the tragi-comic material for my writing! You are doing all the dialogue writing for me.

Actually. That would be selfish to wish for. I really hope instead that some people here find some peace ... a dropping of all views ...

My Treeleaf colleague Taigu has an excellent talk on that and this on his sit-a-long netcast today. I hope you will have a listen ...

This kind of attitude and the state of body-mind characterized by this picture can be seen on various blogs and forums over the internet where people, hidden behind the anonymity and safe veil of their computer screens throw abusive language and display violence, lies, all sorts of judgments being made about people and situations they know nothing or very little about. Internet magnifies the imperfections and problems. You may have a look at how this teenage zen (teenage Zen, because self-infatuation and violence hiding a very poor self image is precisely one of the main problems of adolescence) creeps on line. It also curses our blood.

Taigu's Talk

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

Taigu can go fuck hisself too

I never liked the french

Anonymous said...

Of course, Jundo
your cut and paste from here will be devoid of the examples of your own posts---
because you will have deleted them!

One thing about those of us hey nony nonies, we can't go back on our words

some of us are 'responsible posters'

I suspect there are those who slip into 'anonymous' to say things they don't want associated with their name...

each anony has their own reason for being so
and each anony has to live with their words
being anony doesn't make one less responsible,
at least not for those of us who are

Anonymous said...

Quite a few people have raised their concern for you Jundo. I hope you take it to heart and seek help.
Good help is hard to find, not unsimilar to looking for a good teacher: just because someone looks the part, doesn't make it so. Only your experience with them will tell you, and that is a function of time, and no one can hurry that.

Good luck!

crowe said...

Jundo, you made this mess. It became evident over the last few days that this was mostly a fantasy.. What the hell were you thinking?

Anonymous said...

actually, Taigu has been single handedly holding down the Treeleaf fort while Judo has been on his binge here.

It's good to have somone with calming influence help out.

He's not my cup of tea, either, Anon @ 8:02, but I don't have any harsh words for him either. Why should I?

Anonymous said...

Jundo, thank you for all you do. Don't let the words of the lunatics around here get to you. Many of us who just watch this fiasco of a place from the sidelines heard you loud and clear. I think some of the lunatics may have heard you a little too and may have some reason to pause and think about their words, thoughts and deeds a little more. It takes a lot of courage to come where one is not wanted, to say what is needed to say even if nobody wants to hear.

Al

gniz said...

None of us really know what happened on the day in question. It probably is something in the middle. Jundo might have gone into a place he wasn't wanted and refused to leave, they physically kicked him out, got rough with him....makes sense to me.

This really is the definition of making a mountain out of a molehill. This isn't just small compared to shit like earthquakes or murders...this shit is small compared to fucking paper cuts!

Come on, let's just sit back and enjoy a nice meal. Lets read a book. Enjoy this stupid ridiculous blog that keeps us entertained.

Jundo, I hope you really DO laugh at what goes on in here. And maybe chuckle at your own grandstanding and the drama. is this really worth getting upset over?

Talk soon....

gniz said...

"It takes a lot of courage to come where one is not wanted, to say what is needed to say even if nobody wants to hear."

Sometimes it takes more courage to leave well enough alone. Saying stuff people have no interest in hearing isn't always courageous, especially when it comes with a large helping of self-righteousness and holier than thou attitude at its core.

Anonymous said...

After all that righteous indignation.. It was nothing but a liar's bluff.

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

"None of us really know what happened on the day in question. It probably is something in the middle."

Maybe, Or maybe one of these teachers is lying his ass off.

149 said...

 

Anonymous said...

idle talk. these comments are full of it.

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Warner said...

Because the most recent posting from Jundo Cohen was extremely inflammatory, nasty and possibly libelous, I have removed it and instituted comment moderation on this blog. From now on all comments will be screened before being posted.

I hope I will be able to let things go back to normal soon.

Oh! And since I'm on the road, there will be a lot of delays in the process. There may not be any comments at all for the next few days.

Sorry about all this. But it needed to be done. I will no longer allow Mr. Cohen to hijack my blog. He has his own forum to post whatever he wants on.

Anonymous said...

sorry you got saddled with something else to do while you make your way cross country

what's the drive been like so far?

anyone chasing you toward a river?

Shonin said...

It seems like a messy, unfortunate business and I have sympathy with both 'sides'. What is clear is that it's basically none of our business. Please everyone stop provoking Jundo, forcing him to come back here to defend his reputation/side of the story - especially if you're then going to blame him for doing so.

proulx michel said...

http://www.brun.cx/famille/images/iznogoud.bmp

'text reads: "I want to be Caliph in the place of the Caliph!"

--"Boss, you're being looked at..."

Harry said...

"It is fascinating to me how this very blog, this very thread and the previous one, show it so sharply ... the meanness, the anger, the seething just below the surface of these "angry Buddhists". Some folks here truly are the poster boys for the illness..."

Hi All,

Just to point out that, despite his efforts to portray me as 'anrgy' and 'ill/diseased' (and some unpleasent comments from him to that end), I never got angry at Jundo here. I think he's unhinged, I don't believe him and I don't mind saying so; but I am not the rabid looney that he would like to make me out to be. I've only ever said that I wish the man well. I'm sorry to have troubled you with all this, but I think you can see now what's behind Jundo's 'vision' and I think it was important to highlight this abuse of his power/position.

I do have reason to be upset with him of course, because he seems to hold me (someone who has never met him) in some way responsible for his allegedly being attack. From his spate of affidavit emails:

"I believe in letting this drop away, the past gone. But you need to take some action. As well, I hold the entire association of "Dogen Sangha", its leaders and representatives, vicariously liable for Peter's actions and lies."

That's the sort of stuff I was dragged into here. Go figure.

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Despite any delay as a result of Brad's introduction of comment moderation, I want to put the record striaght about what is NOT being taught in my DS group.

Jundo wrote:

You hear it time and time again in Dogen Sangha groups ... "sitting is all one needs, fuck you"

I can't recall hearing that in the Dogen Sangha group I attend. Ever. Nothing remotely like it.

They think that the Shoaku Makusa that "Zazen is keeping the Precepts" means it does not matter how you act the rest of the time.

No. I don't think that at all. I don't think ANYONE who attends a DS group thinks that. I don't think ANYONE ANYWHERE, even the mentally disturbed, think that.

Oh, how often have I heard from corners of Dogen Sangha ... oh, I just want THE TRUTH, I do not care for the effects of my actions on my fellow sentient beings.

Nope. Never heard that in my corner, Jundo. I'm clearly missing out. Perhaps I should get my membership fee refunded (there isn't one).


I've held out for a while thinking surely you've been misunderstood and misrepresented by some, but, regretably, I'm led to the conclusion that you badly misunderstand this stuff. I hear that you're angry right now - pretty sure I would be, with some of the ill-considered, ill-informed, inflammatory things that have been said to and about you. If what you've written above represents what you truly believe is being taught in DS groups, then I can see your justification for not leaving DS alone. It would account for your crusade, your compassionate campaign.

That may be your justification, but I don't think it's your motivation. I don't know you, but from what I understand has happened, and from what you've written, I suspect your actions are motivated by hurt, anger and delusion, rather than by compassion and concern (greed? meh...dunno). That's true for just about all of us, I think. That's just my theory. It may be a shit theory. It doesn't matter.

Putting thgeories of motivation aside, it's clear to me that (for the umpteenth time), your efforts to 'heal rifts' in Dogen Sangha aren't helping. Regretably, it's looking like YOU may be the only rift at the moment. What you say you believe about the disease and dysfunction in DS isn't true - not in my 5 years experience, anyway. And I very much doubt if it's anyone else's experience of DS. Responsible people, even students of Gudo Nishijima (!), just don't say that stuff. And whatever differences of opinion there might be about the role and reality of precepts and moral rules in our lives, I've no doubt that the People who teach and attend DS groups are sincere, responsible people.

Perphaps you'll reply - on your own forum - with something like "I went a little over the top, perhaps; I was angry; I maybe exaggerated to make my point, but I do beleive DS misunderstand and ignore the precepts at their peril, and feel it's my duty as a Buddhist and human being to point this out..." But that would, IMO, be missing the point. The point is: whatever your intentions, it's as plain as the nose on my face that your efforts to solve "problems" aren't working. They too often miss the target and cause more problems. No one sees a problem in DS but you. In fact, you may be the only "problem in Dogen Sangha" right now.

I think you have much to offer folks at Treeleaf. Unlike some, I think you're doing a great job there. Do that, and end this campaign. Please. Everyone will be happier.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear Brad had to let go of one of his principles ( unmoderation ), but I guess things were getting a bit out of hand lately.

One last observation I'd like to offer regarding these flying accusations to-and-forth, from someone who's not associated with either Brad, Jundo, DSI or Treeleaf.

Brad seemed to think that the Jundo's suggestion of the checks and balances needed was a direct reference towards his own behaviour. I didn't read it as so.

There has been many controversies and incidents, some even sexual in nature, in the buddhist circles even before DSI and Brad. And I imagine there will continue to be many more in the future for as long as such groups are made up of people.

And seeing how historically such incidents usually end up badly for the individuals and/or sanghas in question I don't think it completely unreasonable for a modern group, with teachers who are aware of the history of such things, to set up some preventive practices or measures for such occasions.

Anyway, that's how I read that. Just my 2 NPOV cents.

Gatshou!

Brad Warner said...

"Brad seemed to think that the Jundo's suggestion of the checks and balances needed was a direct reference towards his own behaviour. I didn't read it as so."

Not really. Rather, I could see that the system he was suggesting was leading in the direction of making Dogen Sangha a formal religious institution along the lines of Soto-shu or the Catholic Church. I did not want it to be like that.

To me, the idea of having Buddhist teachers come together to compare notes and standardize what they teach would be like requiring poets or artists to do the same. The result would destroy art and poetry. It would also destroy Buddhism.

No time to elaborate further, I'm afarid. I really need to go.

Brad Warner said...

After much consideration, and after allowing it to remain here for several days, I have now deleted the link Jundo Cohen posted to his affidavit. It was completely inappropriate of him to post it here. I should have deleted it immediately. Now I have. I am certain you can find it elsewhere if you really want to.

Itinerant Gamer said...

"To me, the idea of having Buddhist teachers come together to compare notes and standardize what they teach would be like requiring poets or artists to do the same. The result would destroy art and poetry. It would also destroy Buddhism."

I would love for you to elaborate on this--I think it not only fits in the context of your opinions of "e-sanghas," it's a perspective on choosing a teacher/sangha I haven't thought of before.

Cheers (and good luck!)
Matt

CynicalBoy said...

If we had a club
With like minded Buddhists in
It would be quite dull

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