Wednesday, March 31, 2010


There have been a slew of news reports lately that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros., the combo responsible for the current remake of Clash Of The Titans, will be producing a new Godzilla movie for release in 2012.

It's kind of funny to see this. It's part of a story I've been following for the past few years. A guy named Yoshimitsu Banno -- named in the story linked above as one of the film's producers -- has been making the rounds in the US entertainment industry trying to get a new Godzilla project off the ground since at least the late 90s. Banno is an intriguing character. He is the only person to have directed just one Godzilla movie (not including the last US-made catastrophe in 1998). Most Godzilla movie directors get asked back after they do one movie. Banno apparently made the execs at Toho so mad they never asked him back.

Banno's Godzilla movie was 1971's Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster, one of my personal all-time favorites of the series. It turns out that Banno didn't just pick a pollution-based monster as Godzilla's enemy because it was a trendy topic at the time. He was and is a big environmentalist. It has long been his dream to remake Godzilla vs The Smog Monster with a big budget as a way of calling attention to the serious environmental issues facing humanity today.

Apparently, Banno managed to purchase the rights to remake Smog Monster from Toho. But his efforts to get it going haven't been all that successful until now. Last I'd heard before this news came about was that he was trying to get a 15 minute Imax version made somewhere in South America. Or something like that...

ANYWAY, this all got me thinking that one of the FAQ's I get fairly often when I'm on tour from people who've read Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate is, "What the heck ever happened with your job at the Godzilla company?" (which was not the company that made Godzilla, but was a company founded by the guy who invented Godzilla)

I left that unresolved at the end of the book because at the time I finished writing the book it was unresolved. What ended up happening is that I got fired. That's in the book, I think.

But then in September of 2008 I went to Japan to lead the annual Dogen Sangha retreat and scheduled a meeting with the company while I was there. It was at this meeting that they proposed for me to come back to Japan and work for them again at the Tokyo office.

I really hemmed and hawed on this one. I desperately wanted to return to Japan. I feel more at home there than I do anywhere else. And yet returning to my old job sounded unappealing. Besides that, Zen Wrapped in Karma was set to be released in the Spring of the following year and I wouldn't be in America to promote it if I took the job in Japan.

At the end of 2008 I had to make my official decision. So I moved in to the San Francisco Zen Center for three weeks, finished off the book, then called up Tokyo and told them I was staying in America. I officially quit.

And that's the story!

Remember that this weekend I'll be in Brooklyn at the Zen Center there running a retreat. There's still space available. All info is on this link here.

Then it's on to Baltimore and following that, Richmond, Virginia. All info is on the link referenced above.


john e mumbles said...


Anonymous said...

as below so above :(

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

No much news on the new Godzilla film. This was all I could find...

Directed by
Keith Melton
Yoshimitsu Banno Writer

Yoshimitsu Banno ... executive producer
Doug Davison ... executive producer
Roy Lee ... producer
Dan Lin ... producer
Kenji Okuhira ... executive producer
Brian Rogers ... producer

Anonymous said...

Hooray! More Godzilla!

Anonymous said...


Ran K. said...

I read Mysterion’s @ 2:52 (pm) under the post before last and I commented at length, but then I noticed some things I might have overlooked may be unclear.

I can no way figure out what is meant by - “a two one dimensional world”.

Also - I can’t see how he got to 1.707.

If a “two one dimensional world” simply means a two dimensional world (Particularly ℂ - the complex plane) and you are talking of vector addition - you’d get a vector of the absolute value of 2.8284 (approx.) at an angle of 45°. You’d still be wrong. But I could see what you’re doing.

If you do intend to clarify it seems to me better to comment over there than over here.

john e mumbles said...

Now I get it: higher math makes you nuts...I am referring to Anonymous said's last comment, of course.

Ran said...

I could tell that was higher math for you.

Was expecting your comment.

(btw - you're VII - that 5 + 2. read it slow and you'll get it.)

Anonymous said said...

Now I'm IX.

This is an ever changing world.

And if you're first you can just type “#1”.

Real Easy.

If you're second you can still type “#1”.

We'll understand.

The regular ones - I mean.

Anonymous said...


john e mumbles said...


That means you are not a regular here, you may drop in on a retreat, but only if you identify yourself as such.

Labels, schmabels.

What is the primary illusion? I am_____(something, someone, take your pick: mathematician, intellectual, whatever, go on fooling yourself)

R said...

So your idea is it doesn’t really matter if your an asshole [which is also of vital importance to human life - as Buddhist should recognize - but I don't mean it that way] or worthwhile in any way whatsoever?

You are, and at the same time you are not.

I don't think you get it.

Which means you are an intellectual.

(To some degree at least.)

And being a Christian does not mean one can not be a “regular”.

I know of three [- sorry if you can't figure out what that means, - there's one at least] who received the transmission.

But anyway - one merely needs to be willing to waste his time reading your stuff.

Anyway and however – it may be that we do go on fooling ourselves, but not in the way you intended.

XIII said...

- and in another way in the way you intended - but I don't suppose you'd figure out what I mean.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Not Cynical Boy said...

"Sit down and shut up"
Is easier said than done, and
Better done than said.

to Not Cynical Boy said...

I used to wonder why has the world not been created in such a way that we could sit zazen 24 hours a day.

I don't any more.

On "the Bridge" said...


Nezaz is Zazen spelled backwards.

And Moorpark is Kraproom spelled backwards.

The Genuine Spirit of a Wild Fox said...

Zazen spelled backwards is like a genie comming out of its bottle, - isn't it?

Same Spirit Still said...

Or like a Godzilla film playing backwards.

I think the smog monster was originally a genie.

Brad should keep a bottle on the altar at the other side of Sakyamuni.

(btw - how about “the Buddha vs. Godzilla”? Kleenex would sell like crazy.)

Ran K. said...

to M:

You can not have a one dimensional world folded.

You need a second dimension to fold it into.

As long as you have only one dimension it is meaningless to speak of it as folded or expanded.

It is neither.

In the same way that you can not speak of our 3 or 4 dimensional world as folded or expanded unless you have another dimension to fold it into or spread it within.

If you’re speaking of a two dimensional world than what I’ve written over there seems to hold.

If you fold the axis or try and have the space as if more dense in some places that would be meaningless.

You can’t have 2 and 2 be something other than 4.

To use a parable:

Suppose you go 2 kilometers up a mountain. And then you go two kilometers down.
Suppose the “flat” distance is merely 3 Km.

That doesn’t make two and two into three, - or any other number.

CynicalBoy said...

Cynical Boy sits
Fiancee, Wine, Cake, TV
Life after Zazen...

john e mumbles said...

R said: You can take all of the 10,000 worlds and fold them into your asshole for all I care. YOU are the one who does not get "it" -otherwise why do you spend so much time anal(!)yzing everything everyone says and being so contentious and confrontational about it? And continuing on and on with these endless, pointless rants? You, sir, to sum up, are a crashing bore.

Anonymous said...


john e mumbles said...

CYNICAL LETTER by Chogyam Trungpa

Licking honey from a razor blade,
Eyes of the learned gouged out by books,
The beauty of maidens worn by display,
The warrior dead from not knowing fear―
It is ironical to see the dharma of samsara:
Celebrities deafened by fame,
The hand of the artist crippled by rheumatism.

The moth flew into the oil lamp,
The blind man walks with a torch,
The cripple runs in his wheelchair,
A fool's rhetoric is deep and learned,
The laughing poet has run out of breath and died.
The religious spin circles, in accordance with religion;
If they had not practiced their religion, they could not spin.
The sinner cannot spin according to religion;
He spins according to not knowing how to spin.
The yogis spin by practicing yoga;
If they don't have chakras to spin, they are not yogis.
Chögyam is spinning, watching the spinning/samsara;
If there is no samsara/spinning, there is no Chögyam.

Jinzang said...

You can’t have 2 and 2 be something other than 4.

Sure you can, in modular arithmetic:

2 + 2 = 0 (modulo 4)

Don't hold onto your ideas so tightly. First, there's always more than one way to look at something. Second, it hardly ever matters.

Jinzang said...

I won't be able to attend Brad's Baltimore talk. Everything is wanting to happen the weekend of April 10-11, but I can only do one thing, and our group is hosting a visit by Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin.

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

Thanks Mysti,
Allow me to make a selection...

Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

(Romanised original)



(Trans James Kirkup)


There once was a curious frog
Who sat by a pond on a log
And, to see what resulted,
In the pond catapulted
With a water-noise heard round the bog.

(Trans Alfred H Marks)

anon #108 said...

Mind you...

Saying "this" = "that" based on a dictionary (which is itself limited by age and culture) is just silly.

Silly? Maybe. But useful.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


XXXII (a.k.a. Ran K.) said...

to m: (whenever)

I don’t mean to be interesting for you.

To Jinzang: (4:18 pm)

What you are saying is not true.

I have thought of this before.

Modular arithmetics does not actually mean that 2 and 2 can be anything other than 4.

Note my “I” @ 12:56 pm under the post before last.

You might even say that what we call “addition” in MA is not actually addition. [*]

One might define “addition” generally any way he likes. And as long as it might be useful for some purpose it might be done. It does not change the facts.

- Else, – you are saying “it hardly ever matters” and before that “there's always more than one way to look at something”.

The question is whether and to what extent “there's always more than one way to look at something”, - and to that 2 +2 serves as an example, for showing that the situation is not always as free as you describe, - (though one might negate the existence of all arithmetics in the first place) and for that it might matter.

M says: “Actually

2 + 2 can equal any number between 0 and 4, depending on context
” (5:12 pm) but I see nothing to back it up.

[*] (Actually you couldn’t say otherwise. It’s a philosophical matter, not a mathematical one. There are clearer examples in mathematics. But it would be too complicated to present them here. (To be honest I can only think of one right now.)

And if you take M’s poem – it is only one reality.

- However deep or varied or wide the meaning may be.

- Since the translations can’t capture it there are many. - It’s due to the limitations of the translations.

- “2” have only one very strict meaning. If you’re using it another way it is just not 2. - It is not a matter of high mathematics. - It is very fundamental.)

Harry said...

Happy Birthday 2 u,

Happy Birthday too yew,

Happy Birthday, Dear Ran k,

Happy Birthday to yeux.



All the compassionate Buddhists joined in wishing Ran K well, and then said...

Now Ran, please go and open your presents quietly in the corner.


YKW said...

How many?

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Did someone say Smog Monster? When's the casting call?


4 said...

It has no form, yet it is not formless. This is not saying that it is without any form, but that it is not the ordinary form. It is composed of neither ordinary, existing, nor non-existing forms. It is neither one definite form nor is it the many different forms. This is not saying that it has no definite form and that it is not in the many different forms. It is neither one nor many different forms. Generally speaking, as the world has many different notions, all false, we call this the Unreal Empty Form. But if false notions are given up, this is then the most Real.

Glenn said...

damn, i remember how excited i was when they announced the 1998 remake and then showed a teaser of Godzilla coming out of the sea and fucking up NYC. then i saw it .. ack !!! hope they don't fuck this one up as well!!!

Anonymous said...

you are doing more sesshins than I recall your having done before.
more than many head priests/abbots in a residential monastery/zen center/temple do
1) how is that working out for you? Any observations?
2) does it help that you aren't doing them all at one place, but have travel and vistas between them?
3) which seems more like a dream? The sitting in stillness or the events occuring between the leaving (one center) and the arriving (at another center)?
4)do you have an exercise program?

I'll take my answer off the air.

Tab said...

Brad: I too have wondered about your exercise regiment. Do you work out?

Anonymous said...

Does it ever work out?

Jinzang said...

Modular arithmetics does not actually mean that 2 and 2 can be anything other than 4.

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john e mumbles said...

A new free, recent cognitive equivalent (interpenetrated translation)...

An old man
frog mind

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

oh. for fuck's. sake.


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

Basho's cool.

The frog story? My understanding is:

"The old pond...

Frog jumps in(to)


...Literally--the frog jumps into the sound itself and it all collapses into one thing for the listener.

In other words, the poem illustrates that it becomes useless to speak of a frog, a pond, a jump, or a sound we call 'plop.' These things can not be made sense of by themselves, or even in sequence.

There is just "waterfrogplop." No distinction between nouns and the action of the present moment--aka reality.

But others think it may be something else. It could just be about frogs. I do not know for sure.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

≠ ∴μ

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

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


Anonymous said...

Shout out to Jesus on his big day. Yo!

Anonymous said...

Jesus is just alright with me..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

does anyone know Dogen' cause of death?

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

does anyone know Dogen' cause of death?

I thought it was tuberculosis, aggravated by the cold, wet weather at Eiheiji, but I couldn't find anything online to back my memory up.

108 the merciless said...

"does anyone know Dogen' cause of death?"

He died on way to Kyoto to seek help for a chronic pulmonary disease.. probably tuberculosis.

From: The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo. Waddell and Abe.

proulx michel said...

Did you ever see

"War of the Noses"?

Anonymous said...


john e mumbles said...

As Above, So Below.

LXVII (a.k.a. Ran K.) said...

For a time being, - it was.

john e mumbles said...

Oh well, nothing lasts forever.

Ted said...

I love watching Godzilla series. Especially the Godzilla Final Wars is an excellent one. It was a great fun watching that movies. I started collecting the Godzilla Toys after that. Actually am addicted to that.

site said...

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