Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UTAH IS PSYCHEDELIC!

I made it to Kansas City, where I will be speaking tomorrow night. I'll be at Unity Temple 707 W. 47th St. (47th & Jefferson) Kansas City, MO 64112 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The event is sponsored by the Kansas Zen Center. Get info by writing to info@kansaszencenter.org. The next day — my birthday — I will be in Cedar Rapids speaking at the Paul Engle Center, 1600 Fourth Ave. SE Cedar Rapids, Iowa at 7pm. For more info on that you can contact the folks at the Cedar Rapids Zen Center. All of this and more can be found on my spiffy new tour page. I'm adding more gigs in Baltimore, MD and Richmond, VA. Details will be forthcoming when I get them.

Oh! And by the way, the issue of Monster Attack Team to which I contributed an article is now available. Click on the link to order. You can even see a photo of my article on the webpage.

Much of my trip across country has been made possible by kind people offering me places to crash and I wanted to thank them for it. The photo above is of the folks I stayed with in Las Vegas, Kristina Intinarelli and her dad Mike. In Denver I would have stayed with Eric Shortridge but I just couldn't make it. I'll tell that story in a sec. Here in Kansas I'm staying with Blake and Shari Wilson and their dogs Lilly and Sawyer, and cats Smeagle and Flea, and five finches. Thank you to everyone!

So I started off on Sunday in Santa Monica with my friend Svetlana who helped pack my PT Cruiser with scientific attention to detail such that everything fit without blocking the mirrors and with the important stuff all accessible. I couldn't have done it without her. It took till about 4 in the afternoon before I was ready to leave. I made Las Vegas by 10. I'd never done that desert trip. It was pretty spectacular.

But things got really wild when I crossed the border into Utah. Man, that is one psychedelic state! As a weird experiment I made a playlist for my iPod containing all of the Beatles' 213 commercially released songs in the order in which they were issued (including the five times when they released two versions of the same song -- Love Me Do, Across the Universe, Revolution, Let It Be and Get Back). Just as I got to the Revolver era, their most LSD-drenched years, the scenery out my windows turned crazy.

Utah along Interstate 70 looks like the Land of the Lost or maybe the Forbidden City from the Planet of the Apes. It feels like you're driving through a Lava Light. The desert keeps throwing up rock formations of bizarre shapes and colors. At one point it looked like the highway was about to run straight into a mountain. But at the very last minute it opened up into a narrow canyon between two gigantic rocky mountains. Every time the road turned there was something else amazing up ahead.

It was getting dark by the time I reached the Rockies. But lucky for me it was a full moon. The mountains looked even weirder in the moonlight. And there were several times when some huge craggly summit was illuminated from behind by a red full moon. Unbelievable. Then there was this tunnel that went on forever. In the middle was a sign that said "Continental Divide."

Other notable signs:

•"High Winds May Exist." Is that so! Or they may not. Or they may both exist and not exist, or neither exist nor not exist. So nice of the Colorado Highway Commission to get philosophical.

•"Beaver: Mountains of Fun!" I always thought so! This was in front of a town called Beaver, Colorado.

•A chain of gas station/convenience stores called "Kum and Go." Ah yes!

By the time I got deep into the mountains, though, I'd been on the road for about 12 hours. I was losing it. I had a place to stay for free in Denver. But once I got just over an hour away according to the GPS (yeah, I gave in and bought one of the fascist things) I knew I wasn't gonna last even that much longer. So I called Eric and apologized and got myself a room in a Super Eight motel, lest I run over a cliff or something.

I woke up and started for Kansas City. Oddly enough the flat expanses of Kansas were as fascinating in their own way as the weirdness of Utah, though far less exciting. It really is just plains of brown grass as far as you can see. Everywhere looks like an Ansel Adams painting where you see a lone leafless tree on the horizon far, far away silhouetted against an endless blue sky.

Vegetarian options are few and far between on America's highways. So I mostly ate Subway for lunch and Taco Bell for dinner. Gak! But I survived it.

Been thinking hard as I drove about the idea of Zen teaching as art rather than as religious instruction. Zen doesn't fit any of the ordinary categories. Unfortunately it's far too often lumped in with religions and approached as such. The modern Soto-shu, though Japanese, is just an Asian imitation of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. In the West we've unfortunately been trying to institutionalize things in the same fashion.

I don't know exactly what Zen is. But if we're gonna liken it to other existing categories of human endeavor, I think art is a far better model than religion. Each Zen teacher needs to be free to find her or his own best way of expressing the philosophy and teaching it to others. Attempts to standardize things are wrong-headed.

Of course, there are some standards. But these should not be held to rigidly. Even Nishijima Roshi, Master Dogen's biggest fanboy, admits that Dogen made a mistake by trying to adhere too closely to the Chinese way of doing things. This, he feels, led to Dogen's untimely death probably of tuberculosis. Master Dogen, Nishijima said, attempted to model his monastery too closely on the Chinese ones. But China is a very dry country and Japan is very humid. This caused Master Dogen's health to decline and eventually led to his death.

But it's not just that we need to Americanize or Canadianize or Germanize... etc. Each teacher has to find his or her best mode of expression, just like any artist. The standards are there in the form of the art itself. Painters use paint, guitarists play guitars, etc. But within that form the variations are endless. We have to be careful not to kill that aspect.

See ya tomorrow in Kansas! Carry on my wayward sons!

225 comments:

1 – 200 of 225   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

coolest

john e mumbles said...

Oh yeah, I've been listening to TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS lately, Welcome to Kansas! Hear the sights, smell the feels, enjoy...

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great direction in which to consider zen, to think of it in terms of art.

Thanks for keeping us in the know

sure beats sending postcards!


werapp

Anonymous said...

I don't know exactly what Zen is. But if we're gonna liken it to other existing categories of human endeavor, I think art is a far better model than religion. Each Zen teacher needs to be free to find her or his own best way of expressing the philosophy and teaching it to others. Attempts to standardize things are wrong-headed.

Sounds like Genpo to me.........

proulx michel said...

"The best laid schemes a' mice an' men gang aft agley".

I think the approach Brad mentions here will obviously have its shortcomings. But it is certainly much more sensible than the kind of stiff institutionalisation that has actually already occurred in French Zen, where the AZI (Association Zen Internationale) has in some fashion preempted the word "Zen", claiming some sort of copyright on it. But they're only an organisation and they mostly teach subservience to their leaders (who hate each other to a hardly to be imagined level).

So I quite agree with Lord Brad on this...

Shonin said...

I enjoyed your description of Utah. On my first visit to the USA I rented a car and spent a week driving around Arizona. The further north I went the more the landscape became surreal and reminiscent of the gravity-defying landscape of a Roadrunner cartoon. The Grand Canyon was impressive but the place that really blew my mind was Monument Valley which on the meeting point of 4 states. I was lucky enough to see it right after an early morning blizzard and went around taking photos for hours, my eyes so wide that they started to hurt. I almost lost the rental car down a cliff while taking a picture (don't leave an automatic in neutral even with the handbrake on!).

Also enjoyed your point about Western versions of Zen. The same point was made by Suzuki and many others. The traditional forms (the robes, bowing, sutras etc) do serve an important purpose though as a sort of choreography of awareness in movement. So they shouldn't be ditched just adapted. At the end of the day the main thing is to harmonise with the particular way of doing things is defined by the teacher.

CynicalBoy said...

Of course Zen is art
And of course Zen is science
All things are one thing

Mumon said...

Brad:

Evidently you - or Nishijima - have never been to Tiantongsi, in Zhejiang province.

Zhejiang's on the coast, south of Honshu, and far, far from "dry."

If anything, it was the cold winters at Eiheiji that proved problematic for the Soto master, though I think it was more the bad fate of the Middle Ages.

It's true the Japanese culture is so different from the Chinese culture that the first time I visited China I got an instinctive feel for why Japanese chose their quieter, more reserved way of behavior. (Though given that Toyota could learn a great deal from the Yamaguchi Gumi).

Moreover, I thoroughly recommend actually visiting these Chinese temples, because their methods even today, permeate the temples of Japanese monks who've never been to China. Americans have this weird sense there's a lack of the Dharma in China, and this is false.

Unfortunately there are not many American temples that have been informed by the brilliant design structures of the Chinese temples.

Mumon said...

P.S., I guess you didn't stop in and say "Hi" to Genpo...

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

YEAH BALTIMORE IS ON YOUR LIST!!! See you then...hopefully you'll make it to the Baltimore Dharma Group!

Ah yes, the Kum and go....he he, I remember them. They always made me giggle. I felt a little dirty every time I went in to get a soda.

Anonymous said...

Someone once said that religion is the child of art, which made a lot of sense to me in terms of what I see in Zen Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

Yo Brad! I think I remember you saying that you would be passing through Ohio at some point on your cross-country trip.. Henry Rollins will be performing in a little college town called Kent on April fools day. Just an FYI.

David said...

Even the most original artists had to learn the basics of figure drawing, color theory, and spend hours making boring crap just to hone their skills. They had to learn about artists of the past, and probably spent a lot of time in museums studying the old masters. Of course, you find outsider artists who are entirely self taught that produce something really interesting and valuable to the world, and people with degrees in art that can produce technically good work but lack any real vision or creativity, but this does not take away from the fact that even in art you have standards and methods that have developed over time and are not merely arbitrary. Zen is the same way; the forms and methods of training that have been maintained in Japan and passed on to the west are not just cultural relics that can be jettisoned because the teacher or student doesn't like them; they are absolutely essential for a true understanding of the practice, indeed for its survival. Without the forms and a skillful teacher, the practice quickly degenerates into something entirely ego based. Without institutions like temples and monasteries that are self perpetuating, the teachings would disappear in a generation or two. Even if the practice degenerates into mere formalism, if the vine is intact there is always the possibility of flowers blossoming. We would do well to consider the example of Dogen in this regard. He did not simply teach zazen and leave the rest of life to the prudential judgment of the practitioner- the fullness of his teaching was only found in a particular form of monasticism with zazen at its heart. An artistic sensibility might serve a practitioner well, but it cannot replace the necessity of formal practice and a sense of the sacred within it.

dougsamu said...

as for Canadianization, essential clothing permissions for monks and nuns have to include either another six layers of robes or a good winter coat and boots.

David said...

I should also add that art and religion are inseparable- wherever you find religion, you also find great art. The sacred is beautiful.

JoSatori said...

Not that he's a good authroity on Zen, but I'm pretty sure I remember Alan Watts making the same point that you (Brad) are making: that Zen practitioners shouldn't limit themselves within the clostrophobic confines of rigid imitation. American culture is different from Japanese or Chinese culture. On top of that, we're all different. And I think that adhering to an institutionalized version of Zen, which has so much to do with personal experience, would not be true Zen practice. I think Zen is indeed like art: it has more to do with what you feel than domatic beliefs. However, I may, of course, be totally wrong.

Mysterion said...

JoSatori:

well said.

Mysterion said...

*Norming <--- local norms, not codified standards enumerated in a voluminous collection of administrative books.

(from previous thread)

anon #108 said...

Hi David -

"The sacred"...

I'm not sure what you mean.

Could you give an example of something in this universe that is 'sacred', and an example of something that isn't.

...Only if you fancy.

spellbound said...

Why else would we living in Utah?

Finger, pointing at Wind said...

His bradness sed:
"I don't know exactly what Zen is."

I know exactly what Zen is.
Zen is.

I know exactly what Zen isn't.
Zen isn't.

Brad really sed it when he sed:

"High Winds May Exist."

Is that so?

Or they may not.

Or they may both exist and not exist.

So nice of the Colorado Highway Commission to get philosophical.

Mysterion said...

Something sacred:

A space on the street corner where you wait for the light to change.

The park bench on which you sit.

The mountain, or tree, or rock at which you gaze.

Classical Nonsacred Space

cacker said...

Mysterion, This isn't meant to embarrass you but..

You need psychological counseling.

You have serious mental issues.

Please, Please, Please.

Get some help for yourself.

Harry said...

I think shrinks have started trolling here, to try and drum up some business.

:-))

anon #108 said...

I'm declaring my support for Mysterion, and reserve the right to withdraw it without further notice.

I used to give Chas a hard time. I believe he often deserved it. But recently he's posted a lot of good stuff (I mean stuff which I understand and even agree with). He's not been nearly as snarky as he used to be, and hasn't publicly misunderstood Sanskrit for some days. I am not a doctor, but I see no need for psychological counseling.

I should remind readers that I eagerly await the arrival of a non-dual pendant, custody of which has been transferred to me by Mysti. So it's very likely that my enemies will insist I've been bought - as I predicted. But I must speak my mind, regardless.

ron said...

Happy birthday, Brad.

anon #108 said...

Ron - you lickspittle, you drone, you ass-kissing creep.

anon #108 said...

Happy Birthday, Brad :)

THOMAS AMUNDSEN said...

Good luck on your trip, Brad. Hope you remain safe.

I've made the cross-country trip a few times. Only once on the route through Utah and Colorado. It's really cool, but I think you've already seen all of the best parts...

Ming the younger said...

Lest any of you think that Brad might be enlightened..

Dood eats at Taco Bell!!!

Mysterion said...

Whether we agree, disagree, or offer no opinion,

we are all just people.

Some may be ordained monks, deacons, etc. Some may have a Ph.D. Some may have a hemorrhoid. Some may have read Shobogenzo, and / or the Tripitaka.

we are all just people.

108 the merciless said...

Mysterion: Never make the mistake of thinking that your court appointed psychiatrist is your friend. He's not, He's an alien!

Just kidding!

alan said...

Re : Zen and Psychology,

With the several serious and not so serious calls for psychotherapy lately, I recalled a fairly recent article in the New York Times Magazine about a very long term Zen practitioner.

He was disconcerted to find out that he was having mental issues that his practice couldn't deal with. He had to turn to therapy, which ended up helping him with his troubles.

The article pointed out that he felt like his practice had failed by not allowing him to cope with his problems.

It sounds to me like this was another one of those traps that life can throw into the path of practice.

I also want to question the calls people are making to urge Jundo and others to "seriously" seek psychological help.

It seems implausible that even a trained psychotherapist could make a judgment call like that on the basis of a few Emails.

Cheers.

Ran K. said...

Looks like it’s the land of the Indians. You killed them.

Jinzang said...

Dood eats at Taco Bell!!!

What are you crowing about? Taco Bell is the vegan's best friend on the road.

Jinzang said...

I recalled a fairly recent article in the New York Times Magazine about a very long term Zen practitioner.

I remember the article too. From my homeopathic POV, the guy needed anhalonium. If you're going to be a meditation instructor, you need to recognize the difference between disease states and meditation states.

Harry said...

... he needed anal what?

Anonymous said...

In college I drove from LA (home)to PA (school) taking the same route and had the same reaction to Utah. It sounds boring but was suprisingly beautiful in a most unique way. Kansas was the least interesting state.

Road trips are a favorite of mine, I've recently been driving from the Midwest through the Blue Ridge mountains to the Triangle area and that is also an amazing route which allows one to ponder earth's beauty and other deep subjets with the aid of rockin' music.

Enjoy the trip!

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

... he needed anal what?

Google it.

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

KC? Missed it! (Too bad!)

Great to hear about your successful road-trip. Utah sounds visually intriguing.

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

P.S.
I am not a blogger.

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

Happy Birthday, Brad.

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

Anon#108,
why are you still talking about Jundo,etc. That was so last blog entry ago. Seems like you either can't drop it or you like stirring things up.

proulx michel said...

ブラッド様
御誕生日おめでとうございます

Anonymous said...

So how did the talk go?

What was the best question?

Whatever happened to Question Mark and the Mysterions (weren't they the ones with '96 Tears'?)

and happy 46 (I think)

Uku said...

Happy Birthday, Brad! Like I wrote in Facebook, May Your Birthday be full of Pipari! Here's a Happy Birthday song for you, Your Holiness!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj80K4xl9Nc

anon #108 said...

anon @ 9.54pm-

anon#108,
why are you still talking about Jundo,etc. That was so last blog entry ago. Seems like you either can't drop it or you like stirring things up.


Why? Because late last night UK time Ran K made 2 or 3 posts specifically asking me (as an ex-lawyer) for an opinion about certain aspects of "the case" and providing his own analysis.

In an effort to dissaude him from discussing it further, I made the comments you saw, which, largely comprising remarks like "The point is...to leave this alone now...I don't think anything can be achieved by speculating further", can hardly be described as "stirring things up".

Having just checked in this Friday morning here in the UK and noticed that Ran K has deleted his comments, I'll delete my replies.

anon #108 said...

PS

I offered no legal analysis or opinion at all of...you know , but only made it clear that I didn't know nearly enough about Japanese law or the evidence to venture any opinion whatsoever.

Not guilty, m'lud!

Ran K. said...

Fully denied.

anon #108 said...

LOL, Ran!

There are too many witnesses ;)

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

Msyterion at 8:08 AM: Yeah, Norming, like on the old sit-com Cheers: "NORM!"

And at 12:1R : No, we're not. (hper-link in blue here:): Labeling

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

Besides, - you seem to have somewhat missed my point.

I didn't mean to stir anything up, and I didn't mean to encourage legal actions in any way, - I just thought coming to a conclusion the man's mind is fucked up may be a little hasty.

Also I didn't think my suggested legal path was necessarily good or even worth a try. I’d never try it without consulting with lawyer who’s familiar with the field.

I just thought it might be.

(this does brings to mind Jundo has said a Japanese lawyer advised him suing)


Else - Also truly I don’t like the idea of the matter being dropped.

Obviously much of the discussion would have been better without, and no doubt SR was wrong in triggering it as we’ve been able to witness, but I believe – though not surly - Jundo deserves full resolution of what actually happened and what did not before either Brad or Nishijima, or both.

This is not to imply that the discussion is to stray to matters irrelevant as Brad dislikes.


(besides – I did not think you had any intention of devaluating what you seem to have claimed I said. Things which might have made you think had to do with M’s post (before yours) which now might also be considered as concealed evidence.)


See you in court, 108.

Ran K. said...

I actually had the thought that this "People sleep, sleep in the day time" is about you.

One of the few american bands I like.

To be Brad's song in a while.

anon #108 said...

That is one killer performance, Ran!

Yep, I'm wicked and I'm lazy, AND I sleep in the daytime. You know me too well.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Ran said, "...no doubt SR was wrong in triggering it...".

I'm actually quite satisfied with the way things went down (am I the only one? 8^D). All I wanted was for people to have an opportunity to see.

Ran, if I'm not prying, I have a question. What's the deal with deleting your comments, mentioning that you're going to delete your comments, not reading others' comments, and mentioning that you've not read others' comments? I'm not implying that this is out of line -- I just don't understand why you do it, and why you do it so often. Do you have a particular reason for it?

Kristina, if you're reading this, rawrrrrrr! Mike, if you're reading this, "rawrrrrrr" is how the kids today say, "Man, would I like to share a milkshake with you, during the daytime, at a church social, under the supervision of a proper chaperone".

My captcha was "locingly". It made me think of, "Who ya' trying to get crazy with, esse? Don't cha' know I'm loco?"

Rob

Brad Warner said...

Thanks Aum Eye! どうも、ミシェルさん!

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

What's the deal with deleting your comments, mentioning that you're going to delete your comments, not reading others' comments, and mentioning that you've not read others' comments?

Yeah, Ran - what is the deal?

I mean you're entitled an'all, but it makes my smartarse comebacks look like...meaningless smartarse comebacks.

Hmm....
good plan.

ming the younger said...

"What are you crowing about? Taco Bell is the vegan's best friend on the road."

That wasn't crowing. That was my lower intestinal tract groaning..

I quit eating at Taco Hell after their last E. Coli outbreak. I should have quit them long before that. Their food usually caused me stomach trouble. I rarely stray from Subway for my road food now.

Coincidentally my word verification was FLATU.

Anonymous said...

Smoggyrob said...


I'm actually quite satisfied with the way things went down (am I the only one? 8^D). All I wanted was for people to have an opportunity to see.


The only thing you showed everyone is what a lying evil cumwad you can be.

Please don't think this is Jundo in disguise writing this. I am pretty sure that he doesn't call people cumwad.

Anonymous said...

"A lying evil cumwad"

Very helpful comment, 8.17am.
Thanks for sharing. Not.

Please don't think this is smoggyrob in disguise writing this. I am pretty sure that he doesn't hide behind "anonymous", like me and you.

captcha is banter.
No kiddin.

Mysterion said...

? and the Mysterions...

I always preferred "Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs" version.

For me, the mysterion was either the car (I was a sophomore in HS pubing out at the time - and had a 'hot rod' problem) or the movie.

We want your women!

The band is pedestrian. But they were still around in '96. HERE they are lip synching 96 tears at the "Battle of the Bands" in Sacramento, CA.

Mysterion said...

e coli

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Anondo, come on now! I'll give ya' evil. And cumwad... okay, I was kinda' cumwaddy. But lying? I stated some facts and I stated some opinions, but I didn't lie. I was an asshole, sure, but I was an honest one.

Rob
adwar

Blake said...

Oh my god! You totally said my name! EEEEEEEEEE!

Harry said...

I think it's gweat that we acknowledge our own 'cumwaddery'... which is what the Musketeer felt towards his fellows-in-arms, the one with the speech defect.

Regawds,

Hawwy.

The word verification for this post was 'warcur'.

Mysterion said...

The 60's had a lot of horrible bands that were Beatles wanna bees. And I didn't really think that much of the Beatles - then or now.

That is one of a few points Brad and I will never see eye-to-eye on.

Since I was a teenie-bopper DJ from age 14 (later working my way thru college), I had to play what ever the PD put on the play list. We played the Billboard list with the 'top nine tunes' starting the moment high school let out.

That list sucked snot. The songs were dumb - but so were the people who tuned in and listened to 14 minutes of commercials every hour.

While some of my friends stayed in radio, I bailed and got a life. Some died - one was the best Armenian DJ ever. He organized the DJs union movement in SF. He was a humanist and one-of-a-kind.

Most DJs don't finish college, go to grad. school, or teach. I'm not saying that they are all dumb shallow speed freaks, I'm just saying they usually don't read the same books that I did subsequent to college graduation.


Just saying...

john e mumbles said...

I was a huge Big Daddy Roth fan, Mysterion. I thought thats where you got the name. I actually have a postcard with the Mysterion on it is glorious black and white, and also corresponded w/BDR during a spell as an UG Cartoonist in the '90's.

Mysterion said...

Jay Kinney is a good friend. He has a sufficiently obtuse sense of humor. I'll meet him Wednesday next for lite dinner and the reading group.

I was also a Big Daddy Roth fan in the day. His irreverent wit was hard to beat and his morphing Detroit - the creations - were a real distraction (from reality).

That was then.

This is now.

anon #108 said...

Your references to the Rolling Stones, hippy comics, hotrods, and other not-so-contemporary popular art forms got me reminiscing, Mysti...

When I was a student at the Royal College of Music in the very early 1970's the Principal refused to give a few of us a room to rehearse classic Ellington etc arrangements: "I won't have that noise in this building!" (I had to drop out to pursue my dreams of Rock stardom).

That was then.
This is now.

Mysterion said...

and now, the WEB

Scot and I were in round 1 of setting this up. That was back in the day I morphed from neural networks to internetworks and GITS rang prophetic.

Fall, 1995

anon #108 said...

Too weird.

And I didn't really think that much of the Beatles - then or now.

That was your first mistake..

anon #108 said...

That link not working?

Never mind.
Wasted on the hard of hearing.

john e mumbles said...

I think Jay Kinney may have published a story of mine in SNARF #10, artwork by Mary Fleener titled "They Were In Love" -it has just recently been reprinted in a big fat Fantagraphics col.

Mysterion said...

john e mumbles:

Jays contact info is HERE

On the meantime...

Brads books are HERE

Brads books make great christmas presents in july.

I just remembered (or had an awakening), we are on his blog.

john e mumbles said...

Thanks for the JK info, and its alright, hijacking blog comments with bs + what passes for "wit" is my bread and butter, don't feel bad M. You ARE too polite. ... I proceed from shame, I'll take all the blame.

SEX, SIN, and ZEN is on pre-order already? Is it writ? Did I miss sumpthin'?

C'mon fanboys, set me straight...

Nick said...

Blogger john e mumbles said...
"Did I miss sumpthin'?"

...make great christmas presents in july.

drum roll, rimshot, stifled cymbal.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Brad is gone, but Dogen Sangha Los Angeles lives on, every Saturday morning. We also do long sits (5 30-minute periods) the third Saturday of each month. Here's a re-post for today's sit:

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

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


Dogen Sangha Los Angeles

I recommend showing up at about 9:45. That's less than three hours from now, so hit the shower and get moving!

Rob

john e mumbles said...

Fanboy Nick: thanks, I was countin' on ya.

Jinzang said...

I made a playlist for my iPod containing all of the Beatles' 213 commercially released songs

The Beatles are fine -- if you plan to have wheelchair seating in your zendo. But if you want to relate to a younger crowd, you should try listening to their music. Maybe put a few Joshua Brothers tunes on your ipod.

Monk-san said...

Glad to hear you're on the road, pushing Brand Warner ;)

bitpartmozart said...

this isn't really related to your previous post, but I wanted to write out what I felt today, hoping that you might address the subject in a future post which I would describe as being a..( simple, should have seen this all along realization).

I had the thought today while I was running that lately I've been noticing that people are alot smarter than I thought they were. Completely generally speaking. People are alot smarter than I give them credit for. As I was rounding the block, I attributed this to my widening perspective on life due to zazen. Albeit, this is happening at a snails pace. I felt in that moment our limiting persectives are measuring sticks for how smart we think other people are. If people don't see what you see and think what you think, then oh, they must not have the IQ I have. But as I continue to do zazen, it really is starting to dawn on me, that our perspectives on life are seriously fucked up. To think that you have the right perspective on everything or anything for that matter, first of all, is totally bogus. and second, makes any other perspective seem...dimmer by comparison.
I'm increasingly frightened by people on autopilot who don't seem to see you as a person, but an abstraction of what they think of you.
and of course, I do this myself.

Mark Foote said...

Returning to Brad's entry for a moment: Brad, you're aware of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America, I'm sure. I know there was some correspondence on the Kobun-sama.org site around a letter from Angie Boissevain, which she wrote in response to efforts by the SZBA to standardize the training of Soto Zen Priests in the U.S. of A. I wonder how you feel about their efforts to standardize training; certainly the trend, I think, and maybe it's a good thing, though I don't tend to see it that way.

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

Thank you for coming to Cedar Rapids. We were so glad that we went to see you last night at Paul Engle Center. On the way back we listened to your CD in the car. Husband started reading the book first. I will borrow it after he finishes. We hope to see you again. Pat & Yayoi

Mysterion said...

Blogger Mark Foote said...
"Returning to Brad's entry..."

I, for one, would endorse a standard 'minimum requirement' like 18 hours of course work at an accredited four-year college of which 6 of the 18 were upper division.

I, for one, would also endorse a standard 'minimum requirement' for Xtian ministers like 18 hours of course work at an accredited four-year college of which 6 of the 18 were upper division. That would cut 3/4ths of the bible thumpers the hell off the bully pulpet - a good thing.

However, there is this thing in the USA called the First Amendment to the Constitution. Therefore, one need not even have the ability to read and write to be a religious leader - minister, parsons, snake dancer, &ct.

And I am not kidding about this!

So you could have 7/11 Soto Monk® being required to meed certain minimum standards or 24 Hr. Rinzai Monks® required to meed certain minimum standards but they would, essentially, be franchisees. (I think Sarah Palin's church is a franchised one).

Besides, Soto Monks (like freemasons) have signs of recognition, passwords, and other secret stuff).

Father Franchise said...

Book your franchise now before a reformed Jesuit beats you to it!

David Clark said...

Brad,

Agreed about the psychedelic aspect of Utah. I recently made the trip from San Diego to Cedar City and shot a bunch of pictures out of the window of the speeding car (my wife was at the wheel). I've posted a few on my blog which can be viewed at
http://fromtheloneoak.blogspot.com/
I posted sky pics today and will put up some mountain shots tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

@Ran K...

sometimes I try to read your stuff to work out what the hell youre on about. I don't know why, because you always say you don't read much of anyone elses. The thing is you delete your comments whether you made an edit mistake or not. You make comments when its obvious you dont read what's gone before. You try to be clever and it just ends up no one understand you or answers you, except 108.
I remember what happened. After the whole Jundo thing had just about finished you asked anon 108 what he thought about Jundo's chances of making a good case in court, something like it was defamation so it didnt matter to prove Peter was wrong. 108 said he didnt know enough about thecase to give an opinion and said it was best to leave it. That's all he said. What is your problem? Let it go.

Anonymous said...

Jundo posts his post game analysus

http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=33170#p33170

Ran K. said...

6.10,

I posted what I did because SR asked. I was not very happy to. It was not yet my answer, it was just two points because I didn't answer him yet.

I don't quite see what is wrong with it.

I have the answer to his question on a "Word" and I'll post it just as it is - which is as it was before I came upon your comment. There are some things he said I still want to relate to. I'll do that on another comment. So when they're both ready I'll post them both. Might seem a bit silly to you preparing things like this but that's the way it is.


And when it's all read I'm gonna delete it all.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Jundo posts his post game analysis?"

I feel that too little cannot be written on the subject.

not just here, but anywhere

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Krawitz said...

Blogger Ran K. said...
"We know Brad shut the section down in the past so undoubtedly he was not completely pleased with it."

First, who is "we" (?)

Please do not attempt to speak for others; "we" are all individuals here.

"It seems if wouldn’t have been for Gniz I wouldn’t be writing this."

Don't blame Gniz. Take responsibility for you own actions, regardless of the actual/mythical/perceived actions of others.

Jesus Christ! Just what we need, another Drag Queen out of Uniform.

drumroll, rimshot

R. said...

I just found to which comment SR's "I was an asshole, sure, but I was an honest one" related. Took me some time to find out what "cumwad" means, though.

I don't know if what I've written was necessary, - but I leave the shoes as they are - polished or not - lest I get a headache.

RK said...

I hope this isn't going to get into a Q&A but, -

TK @ 12:57 pm,

A. I can read your mind.

B. If it wouldn’t have been for Gniz Brad might have not reopened the section here. So I wouldn't be writing this.

Democracy #3 said...

The Buddha said: “A fool who considers himself wise is indeed a fool”.

They’d lynch him now days.

Anonymous said...

Ran K.
Do you sit with Tanden Sangha? ( they used to be called One Drop Zendo, Los Angeles)

Sogen-ji. Ahhhh I have memories of sesshin there too...years ago. I finally understood the difference between Soto and Rinzai....

until then I had always thought sitting was just sitting.....

copated said...

Ran K,

Do you mind telling us what country you are from? What is your first language? What is your background in Zen?

Thank you.

Drag Queens Rule said...

Seems like this car chase is much better than Brad's.

and

White shoes imply purity.

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...

Reading Ran K's interesting comments, I wondered:

When each of us experiences, understands and expresses something entirely subjective, of what can we ever be certain?

That thought brought this verse, the last of Nagarjuna's MMK, to mind -

"He who for the purpose of relinquishing all views,
Compassionately taught the true Dharma - to him, to Gautama, I pay homage."


(my translation).

Brad the impaler said...

I feel that too little cannot be written on the subject." (Jundo again)
not just here, but anywhere..

Mysterion, Here is a suggestion. Just shut the fuck up about it. You bring it up more than anyone.

"Hypocrisy (in the classic sense) is the act of persistently pretending to hold beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually hold. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie."

Mysterion said...

Blogger Ran K. said...
"However the story continues:"

Ran K. (a.k.a. Rank) is certainly to be commended for verbosity. He has much to say about nothing.

Brad the impaler said...

Mysti said: "Ran K. (a.k.a. Rank) is certainly to be commended for verbosity. He has much to say about nothing"

Leave Ran K out of it.. You're almost 70 years old. Quit being stupid.

anon #108 said...

...But this, very closely following the Sanskrit word order and literal meaning, might be better, I think -


"He who for the purpose of relinquishing all views, taught the true Dharma
By means of compassion - to him, to Gautama, I pay homage."



Yes. Better.
(Carry on...just amusing myself).

Anonymous said...

Art is Art!
Zen is Zen!
Everything else is Everything else!

Anonymous said...

is?

Mysterion said...

THIS picture was taken Mithras past. Do I really look 70? Perhaps the greater majority of those years have passed but I seem, to the medicos at least, to be closer to 50 physically. No soda pop, no "High-fructose corn syrup", few food additives (The Netherlands Cohort Study begun in 1986 examined the association between dietary intake of BHA and BHT and stomach cancer risk), no anger (the anger trait has been tied to peptic ulcers and bronchial asthma), and the daily ZAZEN.

Perhaps if I drank beer, ate potato chips, and watched TV (Especially FAUX Snews) I could already be dead by now. Oh well, too late to find out. (Risk factors for childhood obesity begin before birth if mom watches TV, drinks sodas, & eats fried food).

The gods love stupid people. Otherwise there wouldn't be such a preponderance of them.

Mysterion have never said...

But Democracy #4 will...
According to Gauss’s unquestionable law of normal distribution [“Gauss’s bell”] the mediocre are always the majority.

Thus the wonderful state of the world we live in.



________

Btw said...

I've never come across a better example of the advantages of health food and clean living than this man.
I'm not at all that keen about his music but see his energy at the age 61. (Born April 21st 1947.)

john e mumbles said...

Yeah, but as predicted, his pretty face is going to hell.

proulx michel said...

Mysterion have never said wrote:
the mediocre are always the majority.

It is a bit normal, since the word "mediocre" has, in the origins, the exact meaning of "average".

Mysterion said...

Blogger proulx michel said...
average...

yep. and pedestrian meant 'by foot' so 'foot soldier' contains only the error term soldier.

Gaussian distribution is only theoretical.

Like if life. In most of the research I have read, living things don't adhere to the Gaussian distribution and so error terms accumulate. Neo was the accumulation of those error terms, remember?

Life itself may be no more than the residual error terms from two membranes colliding (no pun intended).

BTW, I have yet to see Matrix 3. I understand each error term got blown all out of proportion by some guy named J at TL.

drumroll, rimshot

Anonymous said...

I have a vague recollection of some scientific factoid that says at the quantum level, each instant the universe persists is statistically improbable.

CynicalBoy said...

Everything's peaceful
Like the calm after a storm
Or is it before?

Uku said...

Ran K,

you wrote pretty awful things about Nishijima Roshi and it seems quite sad that you can't respect 90 years old man. You mentioned that you have visited in Sogen-ji and you have heard Harada Roshi's explanations. Have you ever thought that Harada Roshi and Nishijima Roshi are practicing in different sects so their interpretations might be different? I think it's not wise to compare Rinzai teacher's explanations to Soto teacher's explanatios. They ARE different sects and teachings ARE quite different.

I have read for some time your "questions" and dissing in Nishijima Roshi's blog and I have always respected Nishijima Roshi's patience answering to you although you have been quite mean over there also. Someone asked here what is your background in Zen and I would like to also know about that. I have read your other posts in other blogs where you have told something related to Israel and Hebrew but I have never read (except Sogenji above) nothing related to Zen Buddhism.

Word verification sesam.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"at the quantum level, each instant the universe persists is statistically improbable."

It's actually far better than that. Whether the universe exists or not (and string theory --> superstring theory --> membrane theory made it - the universe - one of the many possibilities) the chances that we can observe 'the universe' is so close to ZERO that it boggles the imagination.

So, at the most profound level, Buddhism - and not religion - describes that which we apparently perceive. To our photon, time has yet to increment from 'time zero' to 'time zero + 1.'

Anonymous said...

Uku, Nishijima roshi himself is not very respectful of sectarian differences. He doesn't just characterize rinzai masters as teaching a different zen, he insists they are wrong and mistaken about koans for instance.

Q and A with Ran K. [- not Rank] said...

To 2.37, -

I do not sit with the Tanden Sangha.

I’ve been to Sogen-ji quite long ago, very long ago, Soto sect seems to have been more right for me.

I think you are somewhat inaccurate, - the Sangha was and still is called the One Drop Sangha, - (everywhere) the Zendo is called Tanden Zendo (in L.A.) at the same time. (I checked on their website.)

To copated, - (2:50 am)

I’d really hate to tell you what country I am from, - but Siouxie is so good!

I don’t really wish to give you a brief biography. I’ve met various teachers and I might say I was most sitting at home. I don’t quite see the point of your question.

I don’t quite see Mystrion’s point @ 4:48 pm, or I might hope I don’t.

As for some things "Brad the impaler" said, - Mysterion, - sometimes you talk about things I don’t know, sometimes I don’t understand the English, sometimes you say things that make sense,- but sometimes …




P.S.

I think I might have been at that one. Actually it seems better than the one above.

R to M’s @ 8:40 am (a little late though) said...

- a. - I studied these things a long time ago and I don’t remember much of it. I have avoided the subject intentionally so I don’t even remember what the variables stand for. I left the university quite wisely, which I unwisely entered. To say the dealing with that kind of stuff doesn’t do me good.

- b. - I could hardly see how the Gaussian curve could be untrue. (see “e”.)

- c. – I don’t watch movies or play computer games so I don’t know much about that. (Couldn’t even hardly be a great loss.)

- d. – As for living things – I would not expect it to be the GDF in itself but rather a more complex function each of the elements of which would be a GDF though.

Still – if you regard very fundamental features - even complex – I would expect it to follow the GDF form, even roughly, one way or another.

- e. – As I have mentioned I have been very much away from these things for quite a while, but it seems to me your words [the] “Gaussian distribution is only theoretical” are strictly untrue if you’re talking about mathematics. As I thought and as it seems from your link [and that one] I believe it is mathematically proven. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant to say.

- f. - btw – if you observe genius as a phenomenon it would not follow the common so called “scientific” assumptions at all. If you observe Mozart’s family, or Goethe’s, or Dogen’s, or take John Lennon or David Bowie - (now don’t dig into the examples, they truly don’t matter) you might expect you would find figures of similar stature in a way that would correspond somehow to the GDF (here truly never mind how exact) in the relation between family closeness and their relative genius.

However it is not at all so.
You’d find them as sort of “sharp needles” much unrelated to their immediate surroundings.
Probability theory hits dead on this one.
theme song (Avanti Popolo, Israel, 1986. only seen bits of it)

R to M’s @ 8:40 am (a little late though, republished) said...

- a. - I studied these things a long time ago and I don’t remember much of it. I have avoided the subject intentionally so I don’t even remember what the variables stand for. I left the university quite wisely, which I unwisely entered. To say the truth dealing with that kind of stuff doesn’t do me good.

- b. - I could hardly see how the Gaussian curve could be untrue. (see “e”.)

- c. – I don’t watch movies or play computer games so I don’t know much about that. (Couldn’t even hardly be a great loss.)

- d. – As for living things – I would not expect it to be the GDF in itself but rather a more complex function each of the elements of which would be a GDF though.

Still – if you regard very fundamental features - even complex – I would expect it to follow the GDF form, even roughly, one way or another.

- e. – As I have mentioned I have been very much away from these things for quite a while, but it seems to me your words [the] “Gaussian distribution is only theoretical” are strictly untrue if you’re talking about mathematics. As I thought and as it seems from your link [and that one] I believe it is mathematically proven. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant to say.

- f. - btw – if you observe genius as a phenomenon it would not follow the common so called “scientific” assumptions at all. If you observe Mozart’s family, or Goethe’s, or Dogen’s, or take John Lennon or David Bowie - (now don’t dig into the examples, they truly don’t matter) you might expect you would find figures of similar stature in a way that would correspond somehow to the GDF (here truly never mind how exact) in the relation between family closeness and their relative genius.

However it is not at all so.
You’d find them as sort of “sharp needles” much unrelated to their immediate surroundings.
Probability theory hits dead on this one.
It doesn’t at all affirm the common theory. (I know this one’s been put before.)




theme song (Avanti Popolo, Israel, 1986. only seen bits of it)

edit said...

the link should be on "It doesn’t at all affirm the common theory", not on "Probability theory hits dead on this one".

copated said...

To Ran K,

It was me who asked where you were from and what is your first language. The reason I asked was because you questioned Nishijima's translation (and interpretation) of the koan 24 from Shinji Shobogenzo. I don't mind at all about a different interpreatation, but I wondered if you understand medieval Chinese, thats' all.

I didn't mean to go into your personal life :)

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Nishijima... characterize rinzai masters... are wrong and mistaken about koans for instance."

Really? Dogen used koans. I think you better double check on this point. You might be in error.

Although not 'pop' like Kana Shobogenzo, Dogen’s Mana or Sambyakusoku Shobogenzo is a collection of three hundred koans from China. This work influences all of Dogen’s later work.

Sambyakusoku Shobogenzo remained obscure until 1934 when it was rediscovered by Professor Tokuju Oya.

The Mana Shobogenzo was written in Chinese. These three hundred cases are recycled Zen texts from the Sung era. The koans in this collection are not accompanied by commentary, yet Dogen used them frequently as seeds for his other writings, particularly the Kana Shobogenzo and the Eihei Koroku.

Mysterion said...

forgot the link:

HERE is a book on the subject.

Ran K. said...

Uku,

I do respect Nishijima Roshi.

If you don’t believe me you might ask him.

I don’t think his age matters at all.

I don’t think I said anything awful about him.

I won’t relate to your idea that Soto and Rinzai interpretations of the same story (Dogen usually refers to them as “innen” or some other word I can’t remember, - not as “koan”) might differ. You can check it out with your teacher.

As for my being “mean” - about the time I started posting on Nishijima’s blog I let him know by e-mail that I am writing with the assumption that in case he considers things to be confusing or faith- hindering he might not publish them. (As you know - comment moderation has never been off at his blog.) I don’t think he gives any much shit about his own reputation.

I have mentioned before that I do not wish to become an issue on this blog.

copated at 2:28 pm,

Thank you.


Christ!!! No word verification this time.

Could you believe that?!

I hope it does get posted.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous R to M’s said...
"- a. - I studied these things a long time ago..."

one never stops studying these things - even through 300 cycles of birth-death.

For perhaps 25 out of my last 40 years (since finishing my undergrad degree), I lived in a (sin x)/x world. Where Gaussian Distribution seems to kind of work is in comparing some things to other things quite similar. For example, if you compared blue-eyed Plattdeutsch males to other blue-eyed Plattdeutsch males and your sample size was beyond a mere T-Test, you would EXPECT to see a standard distribution emerge - perhaps after as few as 1,500 samples. If you take a larger population (e.g. the population of Western Europe or the Population of Africa) and randomly chose 1,500 individuals, that standard distribution falls apart.

Stated another way, after 1,500 samples of grain from a single field, you would get a standard distribution - with some outliers.

The math here is using circular reasoning. Math predicts what math predicts because math predicts it.

The same sort of circular reasoning is used in many religions (e.g. the scriptures are true because the scriptures say that they are true and the scriptures are therefore true).

Circular reasoning works well when a bull eats grass, shits in the field, and fertilizes the next generation of grass which he then eats - to make more bullshit.

The truth is, therefore, found in bullshit.

Ran K. said...

Mysterion,

I might try and figure out what you’re talking about tomorrow, but one stops studying these things the moment he gets a bit of good sense.

The situation of the academic establishment today is such that men of wisdom will not enter.

I wanted to relate to you in person with some point with relation to that. I still might.



[to be deleted]

Mysterion said...

I do not know, nor could I imagine what "the academic establishment" is - unless you are speaking of typical state-funded colleges and universities. And not all are typical. It's somewhat given that, as an undergrad, you can't be very far afield.

Owing to the benevolence of the plethora of gods, there are a vast number of options - from private colleges and universities to niche colleges and universities. The baccalaureate can be earned almost anywhere. Focus (a.k.a. Specialization) is really found in the Masters level. For example, you could get either a math or physics or engineering B.S. and then a Civil Engineering M.S. with equal ease. Typical pre-Med degrees are Biology or Chemistry or Zoology. There is no B.S. "pre-Med" of which I am aware. The baccalaureate has become a kind of "filter floss" in the modern world. It's the first 'grown up' hoop through which one must jump.

Quakers

Brethren

Pali

20 best

Underfunded

Choose a small college - far from home - for an undergraduate degree.

That undergraduate degree gets you past HR screening for a job interview.

Choose a "name" university for a graduate degree.

Choose any accredited university for a terminal degree.

Since year 2000, many are available on-line. (That's how I finished my Post Hole Digger - Ph.d.)

Also see Edu-niche.

Leading up to my recent (2004) dissertation were many discussions of burning bull dung at the gates of various and sundry cities or lore. Many of these cities either never existed or didn't actually exist until years after the aforementioned bull dung burning. I'm telling you sincerely - look for the truth first in the bullshit!

john e mumbles said...

Balance it on top of your head, set it on fire. Zzzzzzz

Martin R said...

Apart from enjoying and getting encouragement from your books, it is a real pleasure to read your blog. Thank you.

Mysterion said...

Blogger john e mumbles said...
"Balance it on top of your head"

There is not to be found in scriptures anywhere such a formula. However, as a thought offering (for the sin of thinking) it makes sense.

copated said...

To Ran k -

Thank you for your very polite "Thank you". But I still don't know if you understand well medieval Chinese, to be able to read the original Shinji Shobogenzo and translate it. You would have to, to know that anyone else's translation is a mistake.

I think it's good that you have different opinions and different translations, and I don't mind at all, but to believe your understanding it would help to know about that.

Thank you.

john e mumbles said...

Not alot of thought went into it actually, and if one were to put flaming bullshit atop one's noggin' the excessive smoke would obscure the head altogether, resembling a journal once edited by Bataille.

Mysterion said...

LOL




verification word = netcha

R to M’s @ 5:14 pm (R stands for “Ran”, M stands for “Mysterion”.) said...

Mysterion says: “I do not know, nor could I imagine what "the academic establishment" is”.

Your response seems quite irrelevant to what I was saying.

I will not explain now, I intend to address you as I intended, "the academic establishment" is just as one would think of it, though it seems you do not know, perhaps hardly could imagine - what I am talking about.

I skipped your previous one, (3:39) I might go back to it later.

Ran K. said...

To copated, - (btw, - I haven’t been able to find what this means)

I don’t understand Chinese at all.

In case you distrust what I am saying, and find it valuable enough to investigate into the matter, - I think it would be best for you to examine other translations and / or interpretations wherever you can find them.

The same case also appears as the 29th case of the Blue Cliff records. (Edited by Master Engo Kokugon.)

Mysterion said...

Ran K. said:
"The situation of the academic establishment today is such that men of wisdom will not enter."

So you possess that rubric by which men of wisdom may be measured?

I think not. Wisdom is the result of four things: 1) ability, 2) opportunity, 3) knowledge (even education), and 4) experience.

In the absence of ability (e.g. George W. Bush) one might not expect to see a successful legacy. In the absence of opportunity (e.g. being born in a slum in an impoverished country) one might not expect to see a successful college career. In the absence of knowledge (e.g. being raised in isolation) one might not expect to see a successful physician. In the absence of experience (e.g. never leaving a library) one might not expect to see a successful career.

Wisdom is rarely seen in children, those who are unable to think critically, or fundamentalists (who have restricted thinking skills).

So when you say: "men of wisdom will not enter" it is apparently from the perspective of an outsider looking in (perhaps through a window that has been left ajar). Certainly some men of wisdom will enter - to teach - and other men of wisdom will exit - as graduates and post-graduates.

The population density of men of wisdom is certainly higher in academic establishments than it is on talk radio or FAUX Snews.

Ran K. said...

Of your four elements - ability relies on experience, experience relies on the opportunity, and knowledge is irrelevant. A wise man might not have knowledge, and no doubt a knowledgeable man is not necessarily wise.

Your further three paragraphs indicate that you don’t know the difference between intelligence and wisdom. I could hardly imagine this to be so but to a certain degree at least.

My brother is a physicist. Said to be an outstanding genius. I recall when I was at the university (as a student – I never completed my degree [math]) one of his colleague students commented that he could skip an exam and it wouldn’t even effect his average. All 10 she said.

At one time when I spoke to him about the difference between intelligence and wisdom he didn’t even know what I was talking about. It seems quite obvious he wasn’t even aware of the difference. [hate to trash him here]

- “Certainly some men of wisdom will enter - to teach - and other men of wisdom will exit - as graduates and post-graduates” – these men are not wise – [!] normally. I am not saying there aren’t exceptions but there seem to be some fact you are unable to see.


Radio talkers or certain TV guys may be worse, that’s not the point, - intelligence does take something of a person, I do not doubt; - still - the university guys are quite far off the good side of the Gaussian curve, - where they again - quite baselessly might imagine themselves to be.


A person who has got eyes might see.

A person who does not might construct complex criterias, - given that this is the custom of the time and the place. There are quite different ways, which are not widely known, I would say for people today are not apt to listen.

So far. If you don’t mind. I would like to put the topic aside.
For a while at least. that is.

copated said...

Thanks for your honest answer to my question about speaking Chinese, Ran K.

I am interested in these English translations of medieval Chinese koan, or innen. It's true that John Daido Loori translates #24 quite differently to Nishijima Leutchford and Pearson.(who were both I believe very invlolved in that translation I believe). But Loori was very often very non-literal and very interpretive.One thing is sure, he was not native Chinese or Japanese. It is very difficult to translate Chinese or early Japanese into modern European langauges. Some words can mean many diferent things. And everybody has their own theory to what a koan story means.

I wonder if the story in the Blue Cliff Record uses exactly the same Chinese characters? After all Dogen made his own seperate personal collection so the words might be different. I'll try to find out.

BTW - copated was my first word verification. Thats all:)

john e mumbles said...

Holy Sophia! Perennis, that is...

Al-Kimia: The Mystical Islamic Essence of the Sacred Art of Alchemy

(Word to the Wise)

Man

copated said...

Ran K,
I just found this interesting comment on a review (which was not good) of Loori's version: "The True Dharma Eye" in Google Books...

"As a former student of Loori I can confirm he likes to steep his dharma tea in Sino-Japanese "authenticity" without doing the hard intellectual yards of the scholars he constantly denigrates. He should stick to what he knows best: New American Zen. Monasticism. After all he has invented it."


I think without knowing the Chinese its possible to make many mistakes and imagine too much. I will do my own research :)

Mysterion said...

difference between intelligence and wisdom...

intelligence - raw ability (of which there are seven* recognized)
wisdom - experience in applying knowledge to problems with success

you wax philosophical about much you apparently do not (perhaps can not) know.

"*Seven Intelligences

Gardner defines intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting" (Gardner & Hatch, 1989). Using biological as well as cultural research, he formulated a list of seven intelligences. This new outlook on intelligence differs greatly from the traditional view which usually recognizes only two intelligences, verbal and computational. The seven intelligences Gardner defines are:

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence--consists of the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

Linguistic Intelligence-- involves having a mastery of language. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively manipulate language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically. It also allows one to use language as a means to remember information.

Spatial Intelligence-- gives one the ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems. This intelligence is not limited to visual domains-- Gardner notes that spatial intelligence is also formed in blind children.

Musical Intelligence-- encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. (Auditory functions are required for a person to develop this intelligence in relation to pitch and tone, but it is not needed for the knowledge of rhythm.)

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence-- is the ability to use one's mental abilities to coordinate one's own bodily movements. This intelligence challenges the popular belief that mental and physical activity are unrelated.

The Personal Intelligences-- includes interpersonal intelligence -- the ability to understand and discern the feelings and intentions of others-- and intrapersonal intelligence --the ability to understand one's own feelings and motivations. These two intelligences are separate from each other. Nevertheless, because of their close association in most cultures, they are often linked together.

Although the intelligences are anatomically separated from each other, Gardner claims that the seven intelligences very rarely operate independently." source

When a student said: "A college degree proves nothing."

I replied: "A college degree proves that you finished something that you started."

Mysterion said...

copated said:

"I think without knowing the Chinese its possible to make many mistakes."

The late great D.T. Suzuki found that out also.

Tsung-Mi and the single word "awareness"(chih)

also

response

When just one word causes so much confusion in the temple, imagine what an entire paragraph might do!

john e mumbles said...

Word.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi Ran:

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the effort, if not all of the content. I don't think I've ever received a more in-depth reply to a question asked online.

Rob

copated said...

Thanks for the links to those very interesting articles, Mysterion. When even the native speakers who are experts have such serious disagreements over one word it shows how personal our understandings and preferences can be.

Ran K. said...

Copated, - I did not even know about Loori’s translation. A quote from either Loori or Leighton Mysterion linked a while ago didn’t make sense to me, but as usual the fact that someone says something might be enough for M, - with seeming to not actually see a need to find out why have the things actually been said. I apologize but I don’t usually follow M’s links, particularly not the very long last ones. I think Bowie’s words are right of him “and the wrong ones make you listen”. I know almost nothing of Loori, and from things I’ve written you might conclude I might be reluctant of the criticism you quoted as it might, even very likely, be irresponsible.

I am kind of concerned about Nishijima’s reputation. - What some people understand other may not. We live in a very superficial time. If you examine the Chinese in itself it might be perfect. However it is not what the actual discussion was about. Chinese has a nature such that one sentence can be interpreted in very different ways. To other things you said - it’s not about understanding the characters, It’s a kind of inner understanding. And it is not that Nishijima is unable to understand the story. No way. He seems to have been somewhat absentminded on this one. It’s not what you expect of a “Zen” master but that’s the way it is. You might note he begins he begins his commentary with “It seems”.

Anyway and However – If your research still does not amount to satisfactory results let me know, - (assuming I’ll still be on the blog, and I’ll be reading the comments at the time) I might still have something to say.

I would imagine the story in the Blue Cliff Record does use exactly the same Chinese characters but I don’t know.

I haven’t gone deep into Mysterion’s links – but it seems one is an intellectual and the other possesses true understanding.

To Mysterion @ 4:37 pm: I don’t think your Gardner is wise.

(I can bring a Taoist quote Dogen picks up at the Shobogenzo about that if I can find it later.)

He is part of the establishment I am talking about.

Gardner’s quoted words are quite wrong and a testimony to his - what is referred to in Buddhism as “ignorance”.

That which he refers to as Musical Intelligence is actually wisdom.

The “Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence” is also mainly wisdom, though it may involve other things too, - such as will power or power of concentration.

His “personal Intelligences” are a confused way of talking about sincerity – he quite surly doesn’t know the meaning of.

Spatial Intelligence” is simply known as imagination.

There is only one kind of intelligence.

Words have their own inherent natural meaning and one can not arbitrarily use them as he pleases. (Sorry, - Harry.)

Gardner distinction between “logical-Mathematical Intelligence” and the part of “linguistic Intelligence” which actually is an expression of intelligence testifies to his own shallowness. Poetic ability relies on three abilities – wisdom, intelligence, and one in between whose English name I do not know. And mainly – perhaps – on a kind of sensitivity I will not get into here and now.

The man is certainly groping around in the dark.

It’s a bit funny that the very fact you’re bringing the quote has a tendency to approve that which it might be supposed to negate. (Since in relation to the things I’ve been discussing you’re quoting an intellectual.)

As for your last quotes I would say the same thing – but does not really support your case.

Now I would like to have this discussion stopped.

It’s not getting us anywhere productive.

Ran K. said...

Smoggyrob, - I am very happy with your answer. That’s about the point I was referring to in my reference to Steiner.

It is usually said that right speech is about not telling lies. Nishijima adds the factor of consideration.

However, - here’s the guidance Steiner gives with regard to this as for the path he indicates: (not a Buddhist path, however it seems to include these eight elements of which this is the third)

The student should utter no word that is devoid of sense and meaning; all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path. He must avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its promiscuous discussion of indiscriminately varied topics. This does not imply his preclusion from intercourse with his fellows. It is precisely in such intercourse that his conversation should develop to significance. He is ready to converse with everyone, but he does so thoughtfully and with thorough deliberation. He never speaks without grounds for what he says. He seeks to use neither too many nor too few words. ”.

When I said I (believe I) know just what this blog needs this is it.

I would change one word though, but not now.

I will come back to this matter – hopefully.


And one more again to Mysterion – I’m trying to be posting my stuff in accordance with the insight reflected in the Steiner’s quote.

It takes time and I don’t wish to live my life on this blog.

With time I hope to clarify what I’m about with you. (as for the matter you’ve been referring to lately)


One last one – the link to the song above is not so good. Here’s another one.

Anonymous said...

Ran -

None of this is meant personally - I kinda like you. I think.

In my opinion, you are far too sure that your own views and opinions are right. All that's been said to you has been filtered through your judgment, and too often, rejected. Such confidence in one's own understanding, and reluctance to see the wisdom in what others have to say is not a good thing. Not very "buddhist", either;) Despite your view that the truth is beyond words, you rely on vey many words to question the meaning of the words of others, who may have something to teach you.

In my opinion.

(BTW, there's a very easy way to stop the discussion and live your life away from this blog, if you really want to).

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Ran -
None of this is meant personally..."

Blogger Ran K. contributed. And what he contributed was, by circular reasoning, nicely illustrated what I said at SFZC a long time ago:

it's recapitulated here.

He needs to give the blind horse a carrot and proceed on his chosen way. No problem.

Cheers,
Chas

Raal said...

"In my opinion, you are far too sure that your own views and opinions are right. All that's been said to you has been filtered through your judgment, and too often, rejected. Such confidence in one's own understanding, and reluctance to see the wisdom in what others have to say is not a good thing. Not very "buddhist", either;)"

Oh crap! I was about to reply.
I thought you were talking about Brad here. I forgot he's a zen master and stuff like that does not apply.

Mysterion said...

we should all be familiar with the fallacy of:

guilt by association

another fallacy:

credit by association

is less rigorously criticized. However, credit by association is a fallacy. There is no need to single out anyone here... (I have caught myself saying: "I studied under so-and-so at ABC Univ.)

back in the days (well not all that long ago) when I was asked to council students, I might hear words to the effect:

"My uncle has a Ph.D. in Physics from Berkeley."

"Well, fine," I would reply. "How does that help you here, today?"

It's not about Uncle Bill's accomplishments (or lack thereof if he happened to die of a heroine overdose, instead). It's about where one is right now and where one is going from this point.

And I, or someone else, does not decide that for them.

(student) "Well, let me think about it."

(me) "Certainly, take three or four generations, if that's what you need."

There is really no hurry. I am in no hurry. What about you?

Anonymous said...

"heroine overdose"... that's a Romeo complex, right?

john e mumbles said...

Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, perhaps, but it seems to me that RAN, while from his point of view feels that he is following the advice of Steiner, actually, by virtue of his ongoing participation here in this incredibly promiscuous blog commentary area, is doing exactly the opposite of what Rudolf the red nosed Rosicrucian recommends, forthwith:

“The student should utter no word that is devoid of sense and meaning; "

C'mon now RAN, you know you are.

"all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path."

RAN you have run fast, and run far afield indeed.

" He must avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its promiscuous discussion of indiscriminately varied topics."

RAN, you are a virtual font of varied topics.

"This does not imply his preclusion from intercourse with his fellows. It is precisely in such intercourse that his conversation should develop to significance."

DUDE, your discourse is nothing if not highly insignificant.

" He is ready to converse with everyone, but he does so thoughtfully and with thorough deliberation. He never speaks without grounds for what he says. He seeks to use neither too many nor too few words. ”

RAN, verbosity is your bane.

Notice that RS says nothing at all about sincerity, of which, I must say, RAN seems to possess in spades.

Brad Warner said...

Q: Knock-knock!

A: Who's there?

Q: Interrupting Rinzai student on his first koan.

A: Interrupting Rinzai stu...

Q: MUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!

teomp said...

Bwahahahaha, Brad.

Kensho and a good larf all in one momentary humorous experience! Truly you are an great Master.

Itinerant Gamer said...

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!


thanks! i can't wait to tell my fellow buddhist-nerd friend that one :D :D :D

CynicalBoy said...

A community
A balancing of viewpoints
A shared aim (of sorts)

Harry said...

There was a young haikuist called Stan,
Whose haiku they never would scan,
When asked why it was, he said "It's because-"
"I always try to fit as many words into the last line as I possibly can".

Regards,

H.

Bedu said...

There once was a young buddhist named Bruno,
who said, "Fucking is one thing I do know.
"Women are fine,
"And boys are devine,
"But, Rōshis are numero uno!"

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...

There was a Zen Master called Brad,
Whose blog went - quite often - quite mad.
When asked "Why so crazy"?
Said "On this I'm hazy;
But blogging will do that. How sad".

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

There was an anonymous blogger,
Who numbered himself "one-O-eight."
He would try to be clever,
But get it right never,
Click "Publish", then realize "Too late!"

Anonymous said...

A teacher who taught using Emails,

To outlying males and females,

His insight though quite dim

thought someone did punch him.

but would never provide the true details.

anon #108 said...

A chap who felt misrepresented
On a blog, by some, was resented.
He cried, "That's not right!"
And put up a fight,
But he took it all back and relented.

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

twas a fellow once sitting za zen
who in bliss was dwelling when
through gurgles in his belly
and through swelling and smelly
produced reports that brought all to an end.

Mysterion said...

no "e"

Thank you, I will endeavor to exercise caution when approaching that word again.

Latin heroina, from Greek hērōinē, feminine of hērōs. Date: 1609. 1 a : a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero.

no extra charge for the extra e

Ay?

verification word = trete

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

- “RAN, … feels that he is following the advice of Steiner” (mumbles, 4:55)

I am not doing as I am because Steiner says so. I’m doing it because it’s what I feel.

Only after having the criticism I mentioned had it occurred to me Steiner’s passage was right at it.

(I’ve read it somewhere during the ‘90s)


I intend for no one (on this blog - i.e.) to follow Steiner’s instruction because he said so.

I intent that you capture the spirit and act as you feel right.


- One more of mumbles: - it is usually assumed that Steiner was a Rosicrucian before having founded Anthroposophy. I may be quite unsure this is so. Though I am not claiming otherwise too.

Ran K. said...

9.12 am, -


Seems to me your opinion is somewhat dogmatic.

I think just don’t crystallize your opinion.

With time it may change.

CynicalBoy said...

I don't like poems
They point to reality
And don't give answers

CynicalBoy said...

I quite like poems
They point to reality
And don't give answers

CynicalBoy said...

I quite like Buddhists
They point to reality
And don't give answers

CynicalBoy said...

I don't like Buddhists
They point to reality
And have all the answers

CynicalBoy said...

A game of tennis
Heads look this way and then that
Looking for a win

CynicalBoy said...

I'll stop writing now
Anyone can write poems
Can you clean my teeth?

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 225   Newer› Newest»