Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FAME! I WANNA LIVE FOREVER!


I told the story of this in Hardcore Zen. Now you can see the video of me filming my bit in Ultraman Tiga episode 51 in 1997. I originally taped this on a VHS camcorder (remember those?). I transferred it to DVD later. Then I used the clip as a way to test out a software program that rips video from DVDs. Which is why it's watermarked. Now I don't know where the DVD is. I'm sure it's still somewhere in all my stuff, packed away.

Well, today I officially turned in the final edits of both Sin Sex And Zen and Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. Editing a book is a multi-part procedure. I turned in my "final" versions of both books months ago. Then they came back to me with editor's comments. Then I fixed it again. They they come back to me with a second round of fixing. And now I've sent those back as well. I'll get one more look-see at the books before they go to the printers. But at that point I'm only allowed to make the most minor corrections. This is because by then the typesetting is being done and if I make anything but the very most minor corrections it throws the page numbering off and all kinds of hell breaks loose.

So at this point they are both pretty well done. If you click on those Amazon links I provided you'll see place-holder covers that will not bear much resemblance to the real covers. At least that goes for Sin Sex And Zen whose cover is being drawn even as you read this by the magnificent Mr. Alex Wald. It'll be a whole lot better than what they sent to Amazon to hang out there till Alex finishes. I'm not sure if Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way will be changed or not.

Fundamental Wisdom will be released first, in August, followed by Sin Sex And Zen in September.

For now I'm just hanging out at an undisclosed underground facility in the back hills of North Carolina until I jet off to Europe on May 2nd. This just in, it looks like I will also be be doing a gig or two in Israel this summer. That's pretty exciting.

As the books get more popular, my life gets continuously weirder. I'm still not getting rich. But I am getting noticed. I think I mentioned here how two different people spotted me in random locations in Austin a couple months back. That happened to me once in Saint Paul -- at a party of all things -- and once in Los Angeles. It's not, by any means, a regular event. But it is a very odd thing when strangers stop you on the street and know your name as well as significant details of your personal life.

I sort of hate it.

I understand this goes along with the territory. I am in complete agreement with Dogen's view that one shouldn't pursue fame and profit. But when Hardcore Zen was about to be issued I had a long talk with Nishijima Roshi about it. I knew that putting a book out would lead to a certain degree of fame (though the profit, as I said, has been very slow in coming, which is why I'm couch surfing these days). He said that this was all right. In his view it was a completely different matter. I wasn't writing books in order to become famous. I wrote because that's what I like to do. And fame sometimes follows if people like what you do. The same thing, he said, happened to Dogen. He got famous even though he did not pursue fame.

To a certain degree, in order to make a living at any kind of artistic endeavor, you need to be famous. It's part of the job. I find it alternately fascinating, bizarre and scary. I like doing interviews. I like getting to travel around and be a performing circus monkey for people. I'm fascinated by the mechanics of the industry.

It's bizarre, though, how people sometimes interact with me these days. I don't get it when they get all excited just to talk to me. I can't understand it. I mean, intellectually I can. I'll admit to nearly peeing myself when I got to actually hang out with Gene Simmons and Alex Cox. But to have someone react that way to me is just weird. I don't know how to respond. Which is why, if you act that way around me I tend to look funny at you.

Scary is encountering people who don't understand that just because they know the parts of my life I've chosen to reveal in books that they are not actually my buddy. This doesn't happen much, but it has happened a couple times. I always try to duck out as quickly as I can when I meet someone like that.

I was in a threeway Skype chat the other day with two friends. One had seen me at talks a few times, while the other had only seen it once. So I got to listen as they compared notes about how weird it was to watch total strangers react so strongly to the presence of someone (me) that they just knew as their friend.

From here on in I'm only gonna get more of this stuff, not less. The only way to stop the snowball I started rolling would be to quit writing and go live as a recluse. But I have no plans for that. I'm just gonna keep on doing this stuff for a while. So suck it.

63 comments:

Daigan Gaither said...

That's what she said...

108 Adams said...

Heh, you are quite famous here in Poland: when we started to prepare your tour, a lot of people came to help: they have already known your books and blog :)

BTW the site http://www.hardcorezen.pl is the place to read about the Polish part of the tour: one can find the route, info about the sesshin (in English as well) and some text from the Polish translation of Hardcore zen.

We have managed to set the gigs in Kraków, Wrocław, Opole, Warsaw, Łódź and are going to set them in Silesia (Katowice) and Bielsko. All of them, except Bielsko, are big, university cities with some sanghas of different buddhists: we are going to make you a big star here :)

anon #108 said...

Brad wrote:

"I wasn't writing books in order to become famous. I wrote because that's what I like to do. And fame sometimes follows if people like what you do"

I wonder why we like to write books, or paint pictures, or act, or play in band?

Sure, we enjoy the activity itself, but we know that if we do these things well others will approve of us; understand us; hold us in esteem; love us. Many of us need to be loved by as many people as possible (without the accompanying hassles). That's also why we write books, play in bands, or comment on blogs.

Fame is not merely an unwanted, incidental by-product of pure and noble endeavours.

I suggest.

anon #108 said...
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anon #108 said...

I can't help it if I'm lucky...

Rich said...

best of luck on y0ur euro tour and i hope you do live forever. is that when you find out where you were before you were born ?-)

Uku said...

Hahhaa, that clip was awesome!

Hey Brat, Your Holiness, my kids are still waiting Ultraman DVD from you!

leoboiko said...

I see from the placeholder cover you’re covering polyamory… I hope you talked with poly people a bit and evolved from your previous stance of “polyamory is naïve and doesn’t work, give up”. I’ve been in a happy poly relationship for ten years, am married with children, and wouldn’t want to live any other way… and of course, I’m not the only one.

Anonymous said...

The best way to get some suckers to think you are actually "famous" is simply to repeat from time to time in your own blog that you are "famous." Good PR stunt. Say it often enough, and some people might actually start to believe it. However, 2 guys recognizing you in Austin, and 6 people at your book signing in Peoria might not actually qualify you as "famous" just quite yet.

anon #108 said...

CLIP: The last few seconds.

(In the Dogen Sangha International control room):

"Alas! Gudo's foolish plan to invade the West plunges to oblivion with his brave batsunan!"

Brad Warner said...

It was 6 people at my book signing in Richmond! I've never been to Peoria. But I did pretty well in Cedar Rapids.

I ain't claiming I'm any more famous than I am. But when people you don't know start recognizing you in CVS, there's something going on.

So suck it.

Melanie, Austin Zen Center practioner said...

Maybe the excitement of meeting you has to do with gratitude for being touched by your work in a deeper way than we're used to being affected in this world in which we live. Maybe people are thirsty for the kind of work you're doing and the thoughts and ideas you're sharing because it's real. Thanks.

PhillySteveInLA said...

Don't knock the semi-fame.
If it wasn't for that, touring would probably not be an option and you'd still be stuck here in LAla Land.

...Or perhaps back in Japan. So I might be speaking out my ass as usual.

PhillySteveInLA said...

Oh yeah, and what Melanie said.

After all, I don't think I ever would have dragged my lazy ass(same one I talk out of) over to Hill St. if Judy Roitman hadn't turned me on to to Sit Down & Shut Up.
I mean, we can find the practice anywhere. But, how often do we find a teacher who is both good AND that we can relate to.
After having bumped through a few Buddhist/Spiritual scenes for a few years, I can tell you it ain't easy...For me, in the past, I was either confronted by good teachers I didn't completely 'get' and shitty teachers that were cool to hang out with.

I'm still a little annoyed that I finally found that kind of teacher and then he goes and leaves state(ya bastard), but c'est la vie...I still got the old DZC.

Kwan Um Rules!
Dogen Sangha Drools!

Brad Warner said...

As for polyamory, I still have very mixed feelings. In the interview I conducted with Nina Hartley, a very outspoken proponent of polyamory I expressed some of this (it wasn't in the edited version Suicide Girls put up).

My feeling is that there seem to be truly polyamorous people. But there's also a whole other contingent of folks who use the word as a way to justify some fairly nasty behavior. I was surprised that Nina agreed with me there. In fact she says she's seen it a lot.

So I am immediately a little suspicious of the word. The same as I am immediately a little suspicious of anyone who claims to be a Buddhist. By most people's definition I am a Buddhist and yet I don't know just what most folks who say, "I am a Buddhist" really mean.

I also read The Ethical Slut before writing the polyamory chapter. I generally liked the book, but I felt it was way too idealistic. That seems to be a general problem with many folks I've met who claim to be polyamorous. As well as with many I've met who claim to be Buddhist.

Hmmmm. Lots of parallels.

At any rate I wouldn't claim polyamory is always naive. But it does seem to have a strong tendency to be overly idealistic.

There's lots more in the book.

Brad Warner said...

Melanie, thanks. And Steve, Thanks.

I understand and appreciate that.

But then there's the woo-woo bit. It's something a little more than just appreciation.

I've often had conversations with people in which I can tell by looking in their eyes that they aren't seeing me at all. They're seeing some kind of projection of their own making.

Sometimes I can work the situation such that it eventually settles down. But other times I absolutely cannot. And I am left holding a half conversation with a person who appears to me to be talking to a hallucination occupying roughly the same space as I am standing in.

This doesn't happen that often. But it occurs with enough regularity that it's become a facet of my life at this point.

Still, I can usually tell the difference between someone who truly appreciates what I'm saying and someone who has confused me with someone they've invented in their heads who looks like me.

I am really grateful to those who get it. And they far outnumber the ones who make it into something spooky.

Erick said...

Hey, since we are talking about fame here. I just would like to ask how you become famous in the web. Do you like use search engine optimization?

Erick said...
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Erick said...

This is almost the same famous site that I saw in marco island. Awesome.

Michael Gibbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Gibbs said...

I would argue that we all create made-up images of the people we already know and take those images to be real. Isn't this also the case when it comes to self being an illusion, making up a solid permanent identity that is merely an intangible frozen concept that has been habituated.

People can even be married for a long time and not really know the other person. I here break up stories all the time, people saying "I thought I knew my partner, but I didn't know him/her at all." Relationships are so idealistic, especially in the beginning, and our made-up fantasies about the other person can stick for a long time.

However, I can see where these fairy tale projections could be more skewed when it comes to famous people. I can see why celebrities get creeped out by strangers coming up to them as if they knew them (I bet there is some pretty strange projections as well, especially if your an actor).

In a real relationship, both people get to know each other on an intimate level. Fame is one-sided and not very intimate, leaving a lot of room for fantasy. I suppose there is no other way around this but to stop putting famous people on pedestals, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. But the iGeneration may have cut down on the hierarchical gap between the famous and the un-famous when anyone willing to make a fool of themselves on camera can become famous. Or maybe not.

Maybe practicing Zazen allows us to relate to others without filling our heads with so much fantasies. I wonder if Brad gets a different reaction from people that have been sitting for a significant amount of time and enjoy his teachings and books?

Steven said...

Great video and looking forward to the books.

You write a bit about how people interact with you in a way that makes you less than comfortable. I am curious how people *should* approach you as a teacher.

I find the contradiction of a public person (books, talks, videos, blogs) who has mixed feelings about being recognized as confusing.

And really, don't we *all* have ideas in our heads about who another person is, or who we are, or what anything is? Isn't learning to not be attached to those ideas one of the habits to let go?

Blake said...

Remember how I peed on the floor when you walked in the door as an act of submission? Looking back it was a silly thing to do.

Stryc9 said...

"I was in a threeway Skype chat the other day with two friends. One had seen me at talks a few times, while the other had only seen it once. So I got to listen as they compared notes about how weird it was to watch total strangers react so strongly to the presence of someone (me) that they just knew as their friend."

So I read the last sentence there about 6 times, and I just can't make heads or tails of it. The pronouns are getting my confused. Can you help me out a little?

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Maybe you write books to express that "hey, see what I can do" part of yourself. There's nothing wrong with that. We all crave a certain amount of attention.

At the end of the day, you could have stayed in Japan. Kissed the boss's ass. Made good money. Fucked a bunch of hot Japanese gurls. Collected really cool sci-fi books and toys. But that was old and you needed the "next big thrill".

Zazen may release SOME of life's dissatisfaction, but at the end of the day, you'll always be searching for the next "buzz".

Brad, just be who you are...right NOW. I wonder where I read that? Hmmmmmmm.....(mocking tone)

I agree that a certain amount of fame is necessary to sell your wares. And people do have a basic need for heroes and idols. Just continue taking it all in stride and don't get the BIG HEAD like your Zen contemporaries. 'Cause ya know that you can use your powers for evil at anytime (sinister laugh).

p.s. We'll be watching you from outside your bunker with tin-foil hats and copies of "The Catcher In The Rye" in our hands.

Brad Warner said...

PhilBob -- Damn! You're right!

Stryc9 -- 3 people. Me, Katy, Jamie. Katy's been to several talks of mine. Jamie's been to one. Jamie was telling Katy how weird it was seeing all kinds of people react to Brad as if he was someone important.

Blake -- no problem.

Steven -- I dunno. I guess I should be OK with this. It's just weird. I can now imagine how real celebrities must feel and why they often travel with handlers or associate only with other famous people. Not that I'm at that level. But I can see how you'd end up like that if it happened everywhere you went. As to how people "should" react, whatever's fine. The people who get truly inappropriate are rare.

108 the merciless said...

"In order to make a living at any kind of artistic endeavor, you need to be famous. It's part of the job. I find it alternately fascinating, bizarre and scary."

Brad: That is an interesting opinion. What kind of art do you make?

DT said...

Don't know if it makes any difference, but when I saw you speak about a year ago you seemed simply to be a sincere, slightly self-conscious, geeky guy (who was very tired from traveling!). There was certainly no cult of personality going on.
It's interesting that some people want to build that around you.

Hokai said...

Hey Brad,
you could write books till the horizon, and I think, you´ll do, because its fun, and there'll be people like me, who will read them with pleasure.
I think, to be famous is a concept of messuring and comparing. That is what people like to do all the time, to project. If we all stop this behavior,nobody would and could be famous, we all would hopefully do, what we really like to do, because we never measure again, if that what we do, is good enough. Its good or enough in doing it. There's no need for adding "famous".
You are a good writer and teacher, you are grounded, what you write and say sounds true to me, you're quite " normal" and as I met you in Frankfurt last year it seems to me, you have to set boundaries, because people project and misunderstood your role. I think there are settings, where you can be the " truest" Brad Warner or in other words you forget about knowing Brad Warner. Keep on going in being the truest Brad Warner or forgetting Brad Warner. I think, if you ever act famous it will be noticed by all your (blog)-followers ( or should I write fellows?)
Have a good time and I' looking forward to see you in Germany.
Cheers,
Gerald

Anonymous said...

Brad daaahhling,

Would you like some cheese with your (non-alcoholic) wine? Go pick the lint out of your cute celebrity navel over a nice hot cup of sencha with a trusted friend or relative--but not in your blog. One of the reasons your books are so popular is that they are immensely entertaining (to a small subset of humanity). Entertainment engenders excitement: the thrill of unguarded connection with reality, and ultimately recognizing oneself, as it is refracted through the talent of the artist. So people are excited about your work and some (yes, myself included) by your mere presence in a room. As you would say, get over it. Or start writing dull, lifeless stuff and your worshipping fan base will dissipate like the volcanic ash clouds which I hope do not recrudesce and wreak havoc with your upcoming tour schedule.

And so I propose a celebrity koan:

Adulation (overexciting fans interacting with a projected version of Brad Warner) occurs despite your need for genuine relationship.
Obscurity (only 6 people showing at the Richmond B+N) occurs depite your desire for wider recognition.

And if you are still in NC, remember there is red Dr. Z amp in Asheville longing for you to turn its knob up to "11."

--Meryl Goldstein of the pigtails and impractical footware in too much of hurry to set up a blogger account.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brad Warner. You have made Zen increasingly fashionable to the jaded youth of our nation. Zen is cool! Zen is rebellious! Zen is against the establishment! Yes, you are the zen master of the facebook generation. However I don't think you "get it" even though you think you might "get it" you're still not "getting it". You need to work on that self-absorption, son. Your faux humility and self-consciousness clearly point to a repressed narcissism that comes out every time you spit venom at your detractors. You may have the zen credentials, but me thinks you're still stuck in some Nietszchean teenage nihilism phase. You need to work on that instead of teaching.

Jinzang said...

Yes, you are the zen master of the facebook generation.

Actually, I think Brad is a good example of Generation X and its crochets and concerns. I don't see many kids from the Millennial Generation (teens to mid twenties) around here. Maybe they are keeping a low profile.

Me? I'm an aging Boomer. I think a lot of the criticism Brad gets comes from Zen students in my generation.

DT said...

Anonymous 1:57 PM & 4:08 PM -

Comments of sneering vitriol do nothing but reveal your own painful need for recognition.

No sale said...

Thank you, anon @4.08pm, for your venomous, condescending, self-absorbed, misinformed attack, full of repressed narcissism. You are clearly stuck in some Nietszchean teenage nihilism phase:

...You need to work on that self-absorption, son. Your faux humility and self-consciousness clearly point to a repressed narcissism that comes out every time you spit venom at your detractors. You may have the zen credentials, but me thinks you're still stuck in some Nietszchean teenage nihilism phase. You need to work on that instead of teaching.


I believe some would call that kind of tirade an example of "the mirror principle", or the "pot/kettle" syndrome.

...However I don't think you "get it" even though you think you might "get it" you're still not "getting it".

To make such a claim, anon, you must believe you do "get it". If what you've written is an expression of one who "gets it" - you're welcome to it; I'm not interested.

anon #108 said...

Vitriolic anon's unhelpful, venomous tirade raises an important question -

Can you be a flawed human being who has realised something about this life - and is able to communicate that realisation to others?

I think you can.
It's not uncommon.

Jinzang said...

I don't mind @4:08pm. He was just having his fun. Most of what happens on the Internet is just a big dick waving contest. What's one more dick?

anon #108 said...

I wrote: "Can you be a flawed human being who has realised something about this life - and is able to communicate that realisation to others?"

Nearer the mark might be: "Can you be a flawed human being who has realised something about this life - and is able to help others realise it?"

- Nit Picky Dick.

David K. Lemming said...

Best of luck and stay safe on your Europe tour. I understand what you are saying about your writings, but I am glad that you have written them (even though I have not had the privilege of reading them yet). As I am very new to this and was reading about Buddhism in general to start learning, I started looking at Zen and stumbled across the talks you gave at the Victoria Zen Center in Nov '09. I have listened to them three times now and have enjoyed them and your views.

I am hoping that I can find a good teacher one day, as there is no one here where I live. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and wisdom, through talks and this blog. I look forward to learning more.

IsabellaLaRouge said...

Normally I wouldn't post anything, but if PhillySteveInLA (or anyone else who may know)would be so kind as to tell me a bit about Kwan Um, I would really appreciate it. My nearest zen center in Indy is of the Kwan Um persuasion, but I'd like to know how that fits in to what I know so far. (I'll admit it isn't much.) Thanks a bunch.

z said...

"So suck it."

I LOLed. Thanks. And I was askin you stupid questions via e-mail back when you were doubtboy at mac.com, before the publication of Hardcore Zen was even announced, so you'll always be that guy to me.

z said...

"You may have the zen credentials, but me thinks you're still stuck in some Nietszchean teenage nihilism phase."

Well ~I~ think anybody who says "me thinks" is a preening douchebag. Cheers!

glen said...

'so suck it'...only if you suck mine first o world honoured one! ;)

Anonymous said...

" And I am left holding a half conversation with a person who appears to me to be talking to a hallucination occupying roughly the same space as I am standing in"

Honey, that's normal. Lots of people are like this. It's not about your 'fame'. It's about them.

Sometimes beautiful women (not me) do this with men. The men are just the mirror in which their own beauty is reflected.

Pssst!! said...

Hey, Jinzang -

In case you didn't know, they're talking about you behind your back -

"Jinzang is neither a Theravadin nor a Zen practitioner. He is a follower of a particularly traditional school of the Vajrayana. The Drikung Kagyu. He follows one particular sub school which sees Orgyen Trinley as the latest incarnation of the Kamarpas...somewhat to the right of Namdrol [much feared 'E-Sangha' fundamentalist]"

OMG! Is this true?
I'd sue.

Pssst!! said...

...That's fame for ya ;-)

Don Recuero said...

If you ever need a couch to surf in Dallas I would be honored to volunteer.

Jinzang said...

So someone's comparing me to Namdrol? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! You're right Brad, fame is a bitch.

Chris said...

Hey Isabella,

My contact with the Kwan Um school was in Kansas, where there was a Judy Roitman (same one as mentioned above?) teaching. Very solid, level-headed version of Zen IMHO, but I guess that would vary by sangha and teacher. Korean lineage of Zen, with some blend of koan work and breath counting. Plenty of bowing- 108 full prostrations at 6am everyday. As far as where it fits in, it's a Zen Buddhist school. I now practice with a Soto group in Wisconsin, but I would certainly go to our local Kwan Um school if the Soto people closed up shop.

On a different note, this blog and its comments are in rare form today. Thanks y'all.

Chris said...

By the way, the 108 prostrations were optional and not well-attended compared to the rest of the events!

Dan_Brodribb said...

You don't have to be a superstar to find people coming up to you and talking like they know you off-putting.

In fact, I imagine it's harder for those of us who have minor or specialized fame because we don't get the practice dealing with it that the A-listers do.

Reblogging Jinzang said...

"...Namdrol, he's a knowledgable and doctrinally conservative Westerner who's a member of the Sakya school. I find that I agree with him on many isuues, but he lacks a certain verbal skillfulness and comes across as stuborn and bossy. He makes an interesting contrast with Brad Warner, who I disagree with on most doctrinal issues, but comes across as a more likable and approachable fellow. Though I do get pissed with him too, sometines."

Jinzang

Harry said...

... And by The Way, my name's Max,
I look after BOTH of them,
which ain't easy,
because when they met, it was...

Erick said...

That was one hell of a video. Maybe you wanna use that car in a costa rica vacation? LOL, Its impossible.

Jinzang said...

On the conservative / traditional thing, I can only quote my teacher, Lama Purbu Tashi:

I teach meditation according to Buddha’s teachings, otherwise it wouldn’t help you if I teach something from my own ideas; because I am not an enlightened being.

PhillySteveInLA said...

Isabella,
Chris summed it up pretty.
What I like about it is that it gives you options on where you want to focus your practice. We do bowing(here at DZC it's 5am with 4:45 wake-up bell and, yes, sparsely attended), chanting, kong-an(koan) and, of course we have sitting at the core. But you can do as little or as much as you like, which comes from the tradition of Korean monks have a specialty- there are chanting monks, Zen(sitting monks,sutra monks, etc.
Lots of info at kwanumzen.com, but of course, the best way to find out is walk in and sit with them:)

...And Chris,
Yup. Same Judy Roitman. She led a retreat her two years ago and kicked my ass(metaphorically) in the best possible way. Probably my favorite teacher in Kwan Um that I've met so far!

Mr. Reee said...

Re: not knowing how to respond to fame and projection etc. It may be interesting to know that it works both ways.

When Brad swung through my area I decided to drop in, listen up, pick up a few books for me and my friends, and congratulate him for his work and effort and to wish him well. Writing is a tough gig--I thought some measure of encouragement might be appropriate, as most writers seem to toil away without any idea of who might read their work, or why--or if anyone's reading at all.

Anyway, when it came time to pick up a copy, I found it very awkward to say anything that sounded sincere because, underneath, you already know (especially if you've been actually been reading the work) that you really don't know who it is you're trying to congratulate or encourage!

It's a strange situation for everyone.

Anonymous said...

zen as marketing ploy. let's just be honest.

sudemobs said...

Don't be a silly anonymous. Just cuz you think it don't make it so. Make a reasoned argument or STFU.

Kids!
Pffft!

Anonymous said...

anonymous @4:08

I do think Brad is able to explain zen buddhism, specifically the practice of zazen in a way that is palatable to younger people
I don't see this as a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter, it just seems to be that way
Where I 'resonate' with the dude is that in my own years of practice, less and less of the rituals and trappings suits me more and more.
This is my understanding of 'hardcore' zen:
no ceremonies, no rituals, very very few services
no chanting (or very rarely) No robes, no du rigour rakusu (Brad would intermittantly wear his).
Brad's own statement about the group at Hill Street was that he sat there on Saturday mornings at such and such a time and the doors would be open to anyone who wanted to join him.
He gave instructructions for sitting posture and kinhin. At the end of the sitting he would read from a text of share something of interest to him and he would answer questions.
His answering of questions is unparallelled; in my experience.
All of you who have the opportunity to go to talks/sesshins with Brad Warner--don't let your chance to ask him questions pass you by.
This is so worth putting up with all the other quirks or oddities he may have.
Every teacher is just like this: quirks and oddities; places where they shine and a patch or two or so of ineptitude.
Every human is just like this too: areas of fluidity, areas of blockage, areas of brilliance and places where the watts and whatnots are on the dim side.

There is complete unhindered direct communication questioner's question/Brad's answer.
All I can say i guess, is that of other zen priests, zen teachers, zen dharma holders, or whatever title they go by-- questions generally are given responses I would categorize as being kneejerk doctrinal platitudes or
self conscious contrivances of the 'party line.'
Of course there are the exceptions.
Brad is exceptional, Europe, don't miss your chance.

methinks

Mysterion said...

You are doing fine, kid.

I actually worked at ABC in LA back in 1975 or 75. The job was fine, I just didn't like 70% of the people in LA. So I moved back to SFO. LA people are not 'bad.' I just didn't harmonize well with the scene down there.

What you do is what you do - and eventually it either has to work for you or you get recycled and try to tweak it so it's better. You may not buy the transmigration of souls (as there is no 'soul') but THAT is not what I am selling. What worked for me was SFO.

Actually, I am not selling anything - that's up to YOU. You have the football and you have to carry it until you drop. And you are doing the selling Zazen. Doing something is easy. Doing nothing is difficult.

You are telling folks: "As a routine, try the difficult."

(Just everyone has to develop a habitual Zazen practice to get it.)

Anonymous said...

KATSU!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111

Sean said...

Video backups from DVDs - Handbrake works, for that, putting it at least in iPod-capable MP4 format. I believe YouTube would be able to convert it to FLV format, from there

http://handbrake.fr/

It's free software, no prorprietary strings attached

Mike Greear said...

Yeah, I am definitely guilty of doing the Brad Warner fanboy thing when I got to interview him for my college paper a few years back. I felt kinda lame about it after the fact, but it was kinda funny too, now that I think about it. Plus it was my first time interviewing someone with any kind of celebrity status or what have you and I was so worried about messing up that I kinda did a few times. It was kind of a disaster. But in the long run it helped me to be a better interviewer, so you know. It all works out in the end.