Monday, May 31, 2010

SUOMI ONCE MORE

I'm back in Finland. Yay! My tour page has been updated with all the latest info. Go here to see it all.

This is a land where the doors have no knobs on the outside, where they have brushes beside the entry ways to wipe off your shoes, and where the sun never sets in the summer.

Actually last night it was still bright enough to read outside at midnight. It finally got dark an hour or two later. Then the sun comes back up at like three or something. This is fucking with my circadian rhythms big time. I usually wake up pretty early, but I woke at about nine this morning feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. Which may be because I went to Linnnamaki amusement park yesterday and rode lots of rollercoasters and whirly thingies.

I made it through Germany unscathed. But that was also a whirlwind. Three cities in three days. I managed to see a bit of Berlin by night thanks to my friend Vajra and my wonderful hosts at Dharma Buchladen who took me to see the gate and the old Soviet monuments and stuff. The rest of my German tour was sort of a blur of things seen from the autobahn on which I spent much time fahr'n.

By the way, small towns in Germany have been invaded by alien beings who set up gigantic machines then went back to their home planet. No one knows what these are for or why the aliens put them there. They may be weapons, or surveillance mechanisms of some sort. Perhaps they intend to use them to move the planet into a new orbit. It's unclear. Attempts by the Earth people to destroy them have all failed. Just so you know.

I'm not sure if non-Facebook people can see this link about my upcoming talk in Helsinki or not, or if you can read this link of questions for the talk. But there it all is. Maybe some genius can re-post these in the comments for non-FB people or maybe everyone can read them anyhow.

The theme of the talk is Zen, punk and politics. I've never been too interested in politics. Zero Defex was considered a "political" band. But we weren't really political in terms of taking specific stands on specific issues. "Political" in our scene just meant that you tried to be more involved with general social issues and suchlike rather than merely thrashing out for the fun of it. Even the "fun" bands in our scene would get a little political, like Starvation Army with "Political Song" and The Offbeats with "Who the Fuck Do You Think You Are?" (about Zero Defex, I'm told).

I have no idea how I'll answer the Finnish political questions on these pages. My biggest concern is that I have no idea what the word epistemology means. So I hope they don't ask that question. I once looked it up and even the definition left me confused.

I also feel like Zen should not be politicized. I really hated it in the early 80s when all the televangelists used their position to push the Reagan agenda. These days I see a lot of Buddhist organizations using their positions to push left-wing politics, which I think is a similar abuse. Because I've said this some people imagine I must be a neo-Nazi. Because in certain circles the view seems to be that anyone who doesn't shout the praises of liberalism from the rooftops at every opportunity has to be a neo-Nazi. But I promise you I'm not. I just don't think Buddhism ought to get mixed up in such matters.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the come-back. "What if the fascists come back in power??? What if your neighbors are being rounded up and sent to re-education camps???" I'll worry about that if it actually happens. For now, there's no good reason to mix the two.

It's like vegetarianism. I've been a vegetarian longer than I've been a Buddhist and I'm pretty committed to it. Yet I try very hard not to use my position as a sort-of-but-not-really-very famous Buddhist teacher-thing to push vegetarianism. This came up at one of the talks in Germany, where someone asked if it was necessary to stop eating meat to be a good Buddhist. I told him "no."

Which brings up another thing I did want to mention. Poland, the land of keilbasa and blood sausage and pork in every dish including salads, has its own chain of vegetarian fast food restaurants called Green Way. They're fantastic! Why are there none of these in the US?

In any case, I'm not gonna try to address these political questions here. At least not today. But I'll record the talk and maybe see what I can do with the recording if it comes out any good.

140 comments:

Uku said...

Number 1, really? SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT

Moon Face Buddha said...

Can Zen and Politics be separated? Even the 28th Patriarch could not avoid it.

For nine years he had remained and nobody knew him;
Carrying a shoe in hand he went home quietly, without ceremony.

Uku said...

He didn't have shoes.

Man, I'm still so happy for being number 1! This must be the best day of my life! I can't believe this! It feels like a dream! Number 1, oh my God and Jesus Guerrrrrrrrrrilllllllllaaaaaaaa. I think I'm gonna cry now. I'm so happy!

Oh, train stopped. I gotta go and meet His Holiness.

Mumon said...

I've only been in Helsinki once, and yeah, I don't know how those Nokia guys go to and fro in their travels given the jet lag this time of year.

Mumon said...

Epistemology = How do you, or can you really know what you know?

Harry said...

Markus,

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Ancient, dark forces have been set in motion, the worm is turning and the hurlyburly is undone, my Finnful friend: I WILL be number one again!

Regards,

Harry.

Mumon said...

Zen and politics: No "-isms," ...and no "anti-isms."

Me, I do do political things; you have to do that to be in society; its part of who we are as social animals.

Although your stance on politics often comes across as a bit like South Park to me (and I know it's not, by any means), I am increasingly in agreement with your basic point. I get accused of all kinds of things in the Buddhist blogosphere when I point out that my experiences in China are at variance with what the Dalai Lama and his supporters like Robert Thurman say; but that doesn't make us stop being Buddhists - or the Chinese Buddhist scholar who first called BS on Falun Da Fa, or that matter.

Ses said...

"I really hated it in the early 80s when all the televangelists used their position to push the Reagan agenda."

Where were you when the Bushies were doing the same thing? the political fundies co-opted Christianity and you never said a peep about it.

sesteou

EUMATONG said...

"...and you never said a peep about it."

Yes, Brad. Would you please comment on everything all the time.

Anonymous said...

'
may i ask a question of experienced buddhists please? why is it that many buddhists do not eat meat or drink alcohol? do you do these things yourself and is it an important part of buddhism? thanks!

Ses said...

Let me try that again..

"I really hated it in the early 80s when all the televangelists used their position to push the Reagan agenda."

You didn't seem to have the same problem with the Bushies. You defended W more than once during his time.

sesteou

anon #108 said...

Hi ses,

I think the point BW is making is that, for him, Zen shouldn't/doesn't need to align itself with any particular political stance, be it left or right. That's how I read this:

"I also feel like Zen should not be politicized. I really hated it in the early 80s when all the televangelists used their position to push the Reagan agenda. These days I see a lot of Buddhist organizations using their positions to push left-wing politics, which I think is a similar abuse."

(My recollection is that rather than supporting or defending the Bushies, he chose not to condemn them - which I don't think is the same thing).

Nate said...

Zen seems to me to have a lot in common with objectivism, which is a very conservative philosophy.

No entitlement, small government, personal freedom and responsibility, non collectivism. Like zen, it is minimalist. Liberalism seems to strive to be more compassionate and intelligent, but I think there are a lot of unintended consequences and revenge effects to that.

Ses said...

108: The Bushies were total scum and Brad chose not to acknowledge it. Did that non-action make any difference in the grand scheme of things? Probably not, but you never know..

Anonymous said...

It's funny. In japan the right embraced zen. When it came to america the left embraced zen. Maybe Brad is just trying to balance this. I agree completely with his non-political stance. It does not mean individual zenists should not have their own political views nor that those views can't be based upon their understanding of zen. It just means you don't suggest X is the zen stance on this or that political issue.

Mumon said...

Zen seems to me to have a lot in common with objectivism, which is a very conservative philosophy.

Aaaaarrrrgh!

Seriously, "objectivism" is the farthest thing from Mahayana Buddhism one can imagine, and in practice objectivism meant pretty much whatever Ayn Rand and her clique thought it was, which kind of subverted the whole notion of it all.

It was too bound up in the narcissism of its inventor, IMO, and that carries through to the "libertarians" of today.

john e mumbles said...

Brad has embarked on "a sort-of-but-not-really-very famous Buddhist teacher-thing" and chooses to say he is apolitical.

Mumon rightly observes that as social animals we cannot escape being "political," however, we can choose to be more or less actively involved in the mechanics of the process.

Wasn't (California Gov.) Jerry Brown into Zen once upon a time?

anon #108 said...

"The Bushies were total scum... "

Many would disagree, ses. Opinion differs. What you say is not a fact, however much you believe it.

"...and Brad chose not to acknowledge it".

It might be foolish not to acknowledge a fact, but opinions, to quote cynical boy, are like arseholes (everybody's got one) and can, should you choose, be avoided.

Anon @7.36am expressed it well: It does not mean individual zenists should not have their own political views nor that those views can't be based upon their understanding of zen. It just means you don't suggest X is the zen stance on this or that political issue.

Nate said...

Seriously, "objectivism" is the farthest thing from Mahayana Buddhism one can imagine, and in practice objectivism meant pretty much whatever Ayn Rand and her clique thought it was, which kind of subverted the whole notion of it all.

It's quite haughty of you to link me to the wikipedia on objectivism. I wasn't just throwing this out there randomly. I've spent a lot of time reading about objectivism. I also used to debate an objectivist when I thought zen was more mystical than I do now. Doing that, I found out that they are actually very similar.

anon #108 said...

EDIT

I mean to say other people's arseholes can be avoided...with care.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

Anonymous said...

"may i ask a question of experienced buddhists please? why is it that many buddhists do not eat meat or drink alcohol?"

Some people think their precepts prevent them from drinking; some people don't want to eat animal flesh. There are other reasons as well.

Go google it if you want answers. Lots of people do neither and their reasons are as varied as those who might think of themselves as Buddhists.

john e mumbles said...

Anonymous at 5:51...

Somewhere, the Buddha said...

"Monks, I allow you fish and meat that are quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. But, you should not knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose for you."

Buddhist teachings on alcohol consumption are quite clear. Alcohol, the Buddha taught more than 2,000 years ago, is a poison that clouds the inherent clarity of the mind.

Of course, you don't have to be a "monk" to be a Buddhist. And you can surely make up your own mind as far as how you want to live your life eating and drinking and whatever else.

FWIW: I am not a "Buddhist" -whatever that means- but I am a vegetarian and occasionally drink red wine. I do sit for extended periods of time on a zafu on to of a zabuton without object or focus for "meditation" -whatever that is.

My advice would be to do some research if you are sincerely interested in Buddhism and follow whatever your heart tells you to do next.

pjc said...

Brad,

I am a Soto Monk with a prison Ministry here in Florida. You/your stuff is very effective with a segment of my inmates.

I appreciate what you are doing. If you have a moment to drop me a direct e-mail, I will reply with a scan of something one of the guys did. (You should be able to detect his inspiration.)

Enmei Jizo, Monk

enmeijizo@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

"Enmei Jizo, Monk"

That's awesome.

Sincerely,
Anonymous, Roshi

PhillySteveInLA said...

I am a Zen Teacher in training. Both me and my Guiding Teacher are avid carnivores. He drinks occasionally, I drink at lest weekly.
If we were monks this would be bad news and call to get kicked out of the 'monk club'.
We're not, so we don't. Ultimately, the decision is down to us, to each individual. There are certainly a number of teachings that would lead a Buddhist to abstain from meat and intoxicants, but no requirements. No commandments.
In fact, there is a story about how, shortly after becoming a monk, a now master in Kwan Um(Dae Bong Sunim) went home to visit his family. His mother had a huge barbecue to welcome him home. Ribs, burgers, dogs, etc. The usual BBQ fair. It had been his favorite before monkhood.
Well, he turned all this wonderful food and was quite proud of himself for resisting the temptation of flesh, though his mother was quite upset to see er gift to him go o waste. He came back to Seung Sahn and told him of his "accomplishment".
Dae Soen Sa Nim immediately hit over the head with his stick and began to berate him for breaking his mother's heart.
So, meat, no meat. Booze, no booze. What is te correct action IN THIS MOMENT?

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

Hi anon @ 5.51am,

Click here for wiki's article on Buddhist Vegetarianism. It may help answer your first question ("why is it that many buddhists do not eat meat..?").

Luke Devlin said...

Brad, I call on you to cancel your visit to Israel in solidarity with the 10 activists killed by their navy today. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/31/israel-kills-activists-flotilla-gaza for more information.

I considered asking you earlier to request the cultural boycott against Israel but thought you would prefer to hopefully see things for yourself- and it's clear how independent minded you are! However, in light of this attack on the aid convoy, any cultural visit to Israel at present is unacceptable. I therefore call on you to please cancel your visit to Israel. Please see http://bdsmovement.net/ for more details.
thanks, Luke

CynicalBoy said...

I stop eating meat
I stop drinking alcohol
I polish the tile

PhilBob-SquareHead said...
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PhilBob-SquareHead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ses said...

"Many would disagree, Opinion differs. What you say is not a fact, however much you believe it."

Malcolm: Opinions do differ. Things are not black and white. But shit has a distinct odor. Some would say it is pleasant. Most wouldn't.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Come on!

You expect me to take the word of an anti-liberal that he isn't going to be a secret neo-nazi sympathizer? For one, you're on Facebook, the one true site that evil lord Zuckerberg forged in the fires of mount doom to gain dominion over all who avail themselves of it.

It corrupts all!

Anonymous said...

oil wars in afghanistan and iraq...
bush-in-black-face obama...
the silence of zen is a profound betrayal
compared to george orwell...

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Objectivism is stupid. Comparing it to zen is even more stupid.


Almost Haiku!

Uku said...

If you can't read Brad's Facebook link, here are all the details concerning Tuesday's event "F*ck the system! Zen, Punk and Politics" and Wednesday's "Zen and Sex!"

http://possibleway.blogspot.com/2010/05/brad-warner-in-finland-sex-punk-and.html


Harry, I'm after your mojo! My horn is ready and loaded!

Blobby said...

There is a difference between using your position to push a certain viewpoint, like saying to be a good Buddhist you must not eat meat and just having a personal opinion. Do you expect people in influential positions no matter what the sphere not to reveal their personal opinions because some people might wrongly connect it to their profession. If people are so influenced by these important figures whatever viewpoint they have is likely to be heavily influenced and ill informed so it doesn't really matter where it comes from.

Uku said...

And oh, Brad is gonna be this morning in a BIG radio show called "Vaken". You can listen it live through internet from here: http://www.yle.fi/extrem/radio/

Brad's interview is around 0940 (9:40 AM) local Finnish time.

leoboiko said...

on an unrelated note, here’s a cartoon about reaching enlightenment http://bigeyedeer.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/this-cartoon-is-into-nirvana/

Treeleaf's very own Stephanie said...

Brad Warner supported Bush and still supports Dick Cheney through frequent mindmelds and financial contributions.

Anonymous said...

gET OFF sTEPHANIE YOU SICK turd!

john e mumbles said...

Great cratoon link leoboiko!

Jinzang said...

why is it that many buddhists do not eat meat or drink alcohol?

Because Buddha said not to kill and to avoid intoxicants.

do you do these things yourself and is it an important part of buddhism?

Yes, keeping the precepts is an important part of Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

What you guys are really saying is 'I am not like the rest of you poor slobs, I have true understanding.

"Nice trolling. But, no, that's not what I meant to say."

Wasn't trolling Jinz.. Just saying what I was feeling. Don't believe for a minute that you or Brad are above the emotional fray. sorry.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

why eat it, just slap it down on the ground and suck your thumb. it's all rotting shit anyways. what is your sacrifice, such bullshit.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dustin said...

"In war there's no time to teach or learn Zen carry a strong stick bash your attackers"
-Ikkyu

ben said...

Rinz,

the animal didn't make a sacrifice, its not like it wandered out of the pasture and put its head in front of the bolt gun.

It was murdered.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ben said...

Yes, life needs to die for life to grow.

But as human beings with the ability to choose to infict less suffering, AND the ability to live five without animal flesh, i don't understand why you need to go out of your way to eat an animal to understand its suffering.

Which, by the way, you don't.

One doesn't understand the pain of near- slaves diging out diamonds for the wedding ring just by waering it.

You understand which BBQ sauce tastes good, not how the animal (unnecassarily) suffered for your palate..



Spend some time in an animal shelter,puppy mill, or CAFO if you are really so keen to understand another creature's pain suffering.

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

Hi Jinz,

Anon's Q: Why is it that many buddhists do not eat meat?

Your A: Because Buddha said not to kill.

Apart from glancing through the section on not eating meat in the Lankavatara Sutra some time ago, I'd never checked out what the Buddha said on the subject...until anon asked his question and I took a look at what Wiki has to say: Buddhist Vegetarianism (summary = "There is a divergence of views within Buddhism as to whether vegetarianism is required").

Whether eating an already dead animal breaks the first precept is a moot point; I'm not doing the killing - I suspect your argument is that eating meat promotes killing. And this (Jivaka Sutta, MN 55):

Jivaka! I declare there are three circumstances in which meat can be eaten: when it is not seen or heard or suspected (that a living being has been purposely slaughtered for the eater); Jivaka, I say these are the three circumstances in which meat can be eaten.


- is clearly subject to interpreation: is all meat that is slaughtered by implication killed 'for the eater', or - which seems more likely to me - did G. Buddha mean only meat seen, heard or suspected to have been slaughtered for a specific individual is forbidden to that individual?

I've never felt strongly about vegetarianism, either way. And I don't feel obliged to do everything the Buddha allegedly told his monks to do. (These days I occasionally eat meat, very often eat fish, and very occasionally drink alcohol). FWIW, I respect your clear position. Might your stance have more to do with your personally feelings about animal slaghter, rather than what the Buddha said? Or perhaps there's a happy coincidence of feelings and doctrine?

Anonymous said...

I remember reading somewhere in the pali canon, the Buddha was in a debate with a Jain, who was espousing the virtues of a pure vegetarian diet. The Buddha's response was that it was more important what comes out of your mouth, than what goes into it.
OzMatt

Mumon said...

Nate:

I've spent a lot of time reading about objectivism.

So did Alan Greenspan, and the rest, as they say, was history.

And not a very good one.

Look, I'm sorry you spent so much time, but if you could have asked me first I might have saved you all that time.

But to say Mahayana Buddhism is like Objectivism is about as accurate as saying Hegel's dialiectic is like Mahayana Buddhism.

Mumon said...

Actually, on 2nd and 3rd thought I do disagree with Brad.

While it may displease Mr. Warner to have rightist or leftist appropriations of Zen, I'm afraid this is probably unavoidable. Hopefully it leads to good results occasionally.

Anonymous Bob said...

"Eating meat on rare occasions for me is a way of being conscious of that suffering in a visceral primordial way. I don't really enjoy the taste. But I enjoy the suffering of it and am thankful for it."

Rinz, if you want to eat meat, just eat it. You don't owe anyone an explanation. But don't justify it with some new age dumbo-jumbo talk. It doesn't make much sense.

CAPTCHA : sessin : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

I can't believe noone mentioned the poisoned pork! There's a popular Buddhist belief(myth?) that not only was the Buddha himself a meat eater(he ate whatever was offered), but that he actually was killed by some spoiled pork.
So, either there is no problem with Buddhists eating meat, or old Buddha was a big ol' hypocrite.

Jamal said...

Anon: Maybe it was a little like this.. I was in North Carolina last week.. I ordered an omelet in a restaurant and when it came it had lots of chopped up bacon in it. Damn! I have been a vegetarian for a long time but I couldn't possibly pick all the bacon out of them eggs. So I ate it like it was. It would have been wrong to treat that food as garbage.

Anonymous said...

Harvey Daiho Hilbert writes about killing and not killing here.

Anonymous said...

Except that there are events and actions that lead up to re-education camps and it may be better to act sooner.

Vaken = awake, aware

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frodo Cohen said...

Hilarious brand new Frank Dux interview.

This guy is the Brad Warner of martial arts

Mr. Reee said...

Re: objectivism and Zen etc. check out Gudo's writing on Understanding the Shobogenzo:

http://www.thezensite.com/zenwritings/understandingShobogenzo.pdf

Jump to page 11--'Three Philosophies and One Reality.' He lays out one way of understanding the relationships between idealism/materialism (or subjective/objective) and the Zen perspective--and also notes that the Zen perspective, by itself, is not Zen... very tidy. :)

Anonymous Bob said...

"But when you have bitten into the meat, and can feel that animal's death juices dribbling down your chin, then I think you have learned something that is beyond good evil, good or bad."

Rinz, You sound like you'd be a lot of fun at a dinner party.

CAPTCHA : mingsta : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

"But when you have bitten into the meat, and can feel that animal's death juices dribbling down your chin, then I think you have learned something that is beyond good evil, good or bad."

Funny, I get that feeling when eating an orange... makes for a sticky mess afterwards.

ben said...

Rinz said "To wear the ring that was produced by the suffering of a slave, is to be one with that slave. Just as eating the Big Mac is to be one with the bolt that was shot through the brain of the horrified cow. Cause and effect are one."


I am assuming that you are paying for the Big Mac or ring, of course.

If you are, as in the ring example, you are paying for that human/animal to suffer. You are supporting an industry of suffering. Most of which is completely unneeded. I don't see this ab being much different than Sid saying we should avoid working for the arms industry, or any other field that promotes misery.

"Eating meat on rare occasions for me is a way of being conscious of that suffering in a visceral primordial way. I don't really enjoy the taste. But I enjoy the suffering of it and am thankful for it."

If that works for you, whatever. I don't see the need to eat the meat to feel the animals' pain. Watching a PETA video will do the trick.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

I don't believe for a minute that you are above the emotional fray. sorry.

I don't recall saying anything that suggested I was. I'm just an ordinary guy, with all the emotional hangups and problems everyone else has. The only difference that there might be between me and you is that I have been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 30 years.

Anonymous said...

I understand the humor attempt, The Rinz, and I trust you're really feeling good about it. It strikes me as beneath you and not at all funny.

ben said...

Doing it would be killing the animal yourself. I have done enough of that personally, and would like to avoid it in the future, if possible.

eating is just eating.

The Rinz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

Shabkar is a buddhist website promoting vegetarianism

108 the merciless said...

Jinzang said...

"It's funny how what upsets me leaves other people totally unmoved and vice versa."

Jinz: You are saying you are not like other people. We are the other people. You are different from us.
It's cool. No big deal. I just wonder if you realize what you are saying.

Anon #801 said...

"eating is just eating."

Not when you're discriminating.

"The Buddha's response was that it was more important what comes out of your mouth, than what goes into it."

Jesus said the same thing. Maybe he was a Buddhist.

Anonymous said...

Brad said...
What if the fascists come back in power???

stinky said...

The only difference that there might be between me and you is that I have been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 30 years.

Yeah jinz but that can be a problem too. It's like the problems that can arise from thinking of yourself as a teacher or authority. Studying and practicing buddhism for a long time can have unique benefits but problems too.

It can give us a certain "ahh grasshopper' quality that in our neck of buddhism we call having the stink of zen. Not picking on you, I've got it too. Also studied and practiced buddhism for over 30 years. Seems like alot of us old farts around these days.

108 the merciless said...

The best joke is to tell the truth. It's the funniest thing in the world.

Craig said...

I've always hoped my Norwegian ancestors were Saami, by the way. Also found out that the sauna likely came from Tibet.

I have a Thai friend that is in the process of trying to find a way of starting a Buddhist outreach there that would have the objective of bringing peace to that country one person at a time. The problems in Thailand are political, but the solutions are not. Political remedies could temporarily stop the violence or bring economic justice to the poor. But Zen and compassion have a place in individuals. A zendo is not an entity that emerges separate from its members.

American Zen is important not for any political purpose directly. But it could be useful of course in the discovery of truth and spread of compassion; a compassion that acts on truth.

Mumon said...

Blogger:

Thanks for the link; you could infer that directly from Sutras such as the Lankavatara or Lotus or Heart Sutras as well.

"Objectivism" is a form of materialism...etc.

Mumon said...

Mr. Reee

That last one was a reply to you.
thanks

Anonymous Bob said...

That windmill is freaky. It isn't real is it?

CAPTCHA : piticoc : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

LOL@whomever is jacking with Stephanie over at the Shambhala Sunspace blog.

I'm sure you've dealt her enough punishment, if that was your goal. At any rate, she is now posting there about the "shit stirrers" here, so maybe now would be a good time to let that all go.

john e mumbles said...

One of my favorite pre-show questions submitted to Brad prior to his Helsinki talk last night (wonder how it went?:)

"What kind of a leader is Brad Warner? A basketball coach or a dictator?"

I have a question: Why does Finland look so much like a pink goiter?

CynicalBoy said...

I'm eating bacon
"DON'T EAT THE POOR LITTLE PIG!"
But there is no pig

Anonymous said...

"I'm eating bacon
"DON'T EAT THE POOR LITTLE PIG!"
But there is no pig"

Yes, What is on your plate at that point is no longer a pig.. Most people don't like to face the facts of the situation.

But there are millions of other mammals living short lives in unspeakably cruel conditions.

In modern factory farms pigs spend their entire lives in overcrowded pens on a tiny slab of filthy concrete. more than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse. Many are still fully conscious when they are immersed in scalding water for hair removal. The Breeding sows spend their entire lives in tiny metal crates so they cannot turn around. Weeks after giving birth, the babies are taken away and they are once again forcibly impregnated. This cycle continues for years until their bodies finally give out and they are sent to be killed.

I can't imagine any halfway compassionate person being able to enjoy eating meat knowing all of the facts, many even more horrible. So I think a certain amount of intentional mindlessness in necessary to do it. Which seems to be the antithesis of what most people here are trying to accomplish.

You can read more on factory farming here.

Boundless Ben said...

I vow to refrain from all action that increases suffering.

(This is the intention to always practice a wise restraint.)

I vow to perform all action that increases awareness.

(This is the intention to actually do what occurs to us that can make ourselves and others truly happy.)

I vow to live for and with all beings.

(This is the intention to always try to see everything with an unselfish eye.)

Anonymous said...

Are you bragging, Boundless Ben?

Don't talk it. Live it.

Boundless Ben said...

Hi Anon. I wasn't bragging. And even if I was bragging why would you mind? Are you part of the dreaded Zen secret police?

Anonymous said...

Don't get smart with me or I'll find you and kick your ass.

Are we clear?

Boundless Ben said...

Clear as mud.. Nice hearing from you Inspector.

Anonymous said...

Let's just keep the vows to a minimum, son, and there won't be any more trouble. Move along.

Anonymous said...

To ask is there some official Buddhist position on bein vegetarian is to miss the meat of the Buddhist teaching. Just two words to remember about Zen. "Not always so.".

Anyone who is vegetarian for a long time in the US will run into times when your choice is to let go of your own ideas of purity and non meat eating or to allow the carcass of an animal to be thrown away into the trash rather than to provide energy for your own body. How can a pragmatic appreciation of the moment be subject to some code of purity?

Pay attention to what is in front of you. Be willing to let go of your ideas rather than act stupidly. That is what the Budha was talking about. Did not on the death bed the Buddha say that there were some changes to be made to the monk's rules but he did 't have time to explain it they would have to figure it outnon their own?

Boundless Ben said...

Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

The Dharma Gates are boundless, I vow to open them.

The Enlightened Way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.

Boundless Ben said...

Actually I didn't say the last but am grateful you did. /\ to you Anon

Anon@1:56 said...

Anon@946: Some great points.. To waste the life of an animal put to death to be food for us is not right either. There is nothing wrong with trying to avoid meat eating but it seems worse to throw it away when you find it on your plate.

john e mumbles said...

"I" "I" "I" Who is this "self" that eats meat, doesn't eat meat?

Aghora Babas learn to overcome all aversions, not only eating human meat in the charnel grounds, but also eating their own excrement.

The rich man is afraid of being robbed. The poor man has nothing, and so has nothing to fear.

Harry said...

"I" "I" "I" Who is this "self" that eats meat, doesn't eat meat?

Hi John e,

Regardless of if there is a self, no self, or a non-self, if the meat is eaten then the meat is eaten. The nature of self doesn't negate the real effective consequences of real effective actions which are never limited to a philosophy of self or a perception.

Regards,

Harry.

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

OK Harry, and "real effective consequences" are?

Aren't we supposing something where nothing was before?

Harry said...

OK Harry, and "real effective consequences" are?

Haven't you eaten meat before?

Regards,

Harry.

Hokai said...

Oooh yes. This is my Harry.
Strike!
The only way to respond baffled mind is to ask after real action.
Good point.
How is your answer john-e?

Harry, I'm a fan of yours. You've esprit.
Cheers,
Gerald

john e mumbles said...

How does answering this question answer my question to you?

Hokai: get your own version of a life, eh?

john e mumbles said...

The first part was addressed to Harry asking if I have eaten meat in response to my asking what "real effective consequences" he refers to?

Harry said...

John e,

If I really thought my head was any good to you for clarifying what it is to eat meat then I'd give it to you to plop up on top of your own noggin (now, that would REALLY scare the veggies!)

Regards,

H.

john e mumbles said...

I'm serious in asking what you mean by these "consequences" are you referring to karma? Rebirth? I'm not a believer, so that may be why it goes right past...

And thanks for the offer of the loan, I could use it!

Harry said...

Hi John,

Personally, I've never eaten karma, so I can't say much about what that's like. Philosophy has it's place, but it's not at all filling.

And, personally speaking, I don't need to believe in meat in order to be able to eat it just at the moment of eating it.

So, letting the karma and belief remain on the plate, what can we say are the real consequences of eating meat?

Regards,

Harry.

Oldish Newbies said...

I can't get my head around real meat

john e mumbles said...

Depends on what you do or don't believe, ie; that "meat" is legitimate food or murder, etc.

Unless its bad meat and then the consequences may result in a religion.

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

Okay,

Karma: 'Karma' in Buddhist philosophy refers only to our own willful actions and the resulting good, bad or neutral inclinations that they engender in us. It is not a 'one rule for the whole universe' cause-and-effect law despite some popular ideas of it: it only relates to the area of our volitional actions, it's not the law of gravity, or other such observable laws of the universe, and this distinction is clearly made in Buddhist philosophy. It's also not something we have to get all holy and believe in, it refers to a simple observable fact of our existence.

... So, if a person feels that there is no problem in his or her eating meat then there is not a bad karmic implication for that person in eating meat.

However, the world is much wider than our own mental conditions and inclinations so, regardless of what we think and feel about it, it may well be very true that 'meat is murder' and that our meat eating directly causes suffering to other beings.

The samurai had the notion (as revived by the fascist Zen WWII apologists) that, if you killed someone with a clear mind that it was okay, that it was a pure, or even a 'skillful' act of liberating ignorant beings. This stems from the gross misunderstanding that the personal law of karma is some sort of ultimate, universal force which determines Right and Wrong. This is a very dangerous thing to believe obviously (if you're into killing people), and it is still the same basic position on 'karma' that I see bandied around a lot on zen internet discussions.

I'll leave it up to others to fill out the blanks.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

So you were talking about "karma" after all?

You're killing me, Harry

Harry said...

John e,

I was initially talking about eating meat, which is a real act in the world, not just something we think or feel (the area of 'karma').

There's an important distinction there methinks.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

"World" is just a concept, Harry. A consensual linguistic construct.

And "actions" are illusory. Who is doing what with...?

Harry said...

"World" is just a concept, Harry. A consensual linguistic construct.

And "actions" are illusory. Who is doing what with...?


Hi John e,

That's a common philosophical interpretation of sunyata (i.e. negation of everything as concepts).

Nevertheless, regardless what you think or don't think about it, if you "run" at speed into the nearest "brick wall" concept in the "world" concept full of "stuff" concepts you will be the one who feels "pain" and "you" might feel a bit "silly" when all your "family" and/or "freinds" stand round and "laugh" at the results of this experiment in directly REAL-ising "Buddhist" philosophy.

In the old days, when the Master asked you to grasp space, you might have grasped at the air and showed him your empty hand. He might have reponded to that incomplete answer by grasping your nose firmly and giving 'space' a good old tug enlivening 'space' to such an extent that it would exclaim something like "Fuck me, that really hurt you old bastard!".

Obviously this was in the days before lawsuit arose from such matters of space.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Some of the real consequences of eating meat

Frank said...

Harry: Brad has talked about a person's culpability in whatever happens to them. There was his story about getting jumped by ruffians in his home town. He said that when it was occurring he knew that he was somehow responsible for it. I thought he was talking about karma. You don't think so?

Anonymous said...

Do whatever. This "Mumbles" character seems to be amusing himself, if no one else.

Fairly pathetic way to out oneself as a boob.

Anonymous Bob said...

Anonymous trolling is pretty high on the pathetic scale itself.

CAPTCHA : aring : a ding ding

Jundo Johnson said...

While many Buddhists are hesitant, some even loathe, to tell others how they should behave, or even to setup standards for themselves, Buddhism does give us some very strong guidelines. These are ways of behaving that skillfully use whatever is happening in our lives, good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, to facilitate the ending of our dukkha.

These suggested ways of behaving are activities that weaken our bonds of attachment and that produce the clarity of mind needed for progress along the path. They are The Path, which in essence is just a list of skills worth mastering. They're our basic set of tools, so we will want to keep them handy and in good shape.

These guidelines aren’t speculative (which would be wrong view). Nor are they absolutes (again, wrong view). They are simply ways of behaving that minimize our dukkha and lead us to a life of peace and happiness.

The Six Paramitas (Generosity, Morality, Patience, Diligent Effort, Meditation and Wisdom), the Five Precepts (No Killing, No Stealing, No Sexual Misconduct, No Lying, No Intoxicants), and the eight aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path (Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration) are obvious examples of Buddhist behavioral guidelines.

But here is another skillful means way of looking at the criteria for daily decision-making:

Act Appropriately

These can be used to guide our every decision:

1. Do no harm, then if possible
2. Be of benefit
3. If you can’t be of benefit, do nothing
4. Be morally disciplined and follow the rules
5. Meditate
6. Be wisdom-oriented

Always Use Right SpeechOnly speak when it will improve the silence.

1. Only speak when conditions suggest you should speak
2. Only speak when you have something to say that will be of benefit
3. Always speak in ways that can be heard
4. Only say it once
5. Never go on the battlefield; being of benefit isn’t about winning

Avoid Wrong speech:
Harsh, mean-spirited or angry words
Falsehoods
Gossip and small talk
Belittling others to raise your own status

As Much As Possible, Maintain One of these Mind-States

Whenever a negative mind-state arises, use Right Effort to replace it with one of these positive mind-states:

Generosity
Compassion and Lovingkindness
Patience
Humility and Modesty
Moral Restraint
Equanimity
Right Speech
Trustworthiness
Dependability
Regret (When we act appropriately but the outcome is not beneficial, then we use regret, very gently, to remind us to try another tactic next time.)Distaste (Develop a gentle aversion to all that is unwholesome in body, speech and mind.)

Skylar said...

hey its the amazing me again. HA HA! well the English teacher guy thank u soo much for posting my first ever comment it meant alot! so God bless!

or.....sorry....umm...Buddha bless?

idk what u guys do but my Uncle Brad has meditated for 5 hrs b4 it is really creepy. but anyway the other day he was meditating and he looked funny so i burst out laughing and accidentally i dont know how ya'll Buddhists say it and i dont want to offend anyone but i guess i awoken him from meditation! omg!

ok back to me...i have a heart felt message to say DONT BE STUPID VOTE BARACK OBAMA PLEASE I DONT WANT TO WANT TO MOVE TO CANADA IF MCCAIN WINS!

ok best blesses wishes and gifts

God Bless,
Skylar

Anonymous Bob said...

That's just wrong troll.. not even funny. Why go there? The hell realms are waiting for you kid. Oh wait, you're already there.

CAPTCHA : barferep : I kid you not

john e mumbles said...

Gee, Harry,

"You" will only "feel" "pain" if you cling to the shakey ground of all those constructs. "You" are not the pain anyway if "you" do not identify with it.

None of this ever happened.

Prove it.

john e mumbles said...

Sunyata=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruJDR88x2I4

john e mumbles said...

That really is empty...if interested, go to Youtube and plug in this:

SPARKLE MACKED DEUCE TONGUE

Mr. Reee said...

I knew someone who drove one of those Sunyatas--it was a three-speed, five cylinder thing from India--looked like it was built out of beer cans. Used primarily for taxis. Had a little rack outboard for baggage.

Wasn't much to look at and it got terrible mileage, but it was fun to drive. Never knew what was going to happen next.

Captcha: fatal (no shit!)

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

Hi jem,

"You" will only "feel" "pain" if you cling to the shakey ground of all those constructs. "You" are not the pain anyway if "you" do not identify with it.

Well, kinda...to an extent...in a manner of speaking. But that's not to say there's no "me", in any sense. In fact, it confirms that there is - the 'me' that might be able to disassociate from the pain my (Malcolm's) body/brain undoubtedly experiences when it hits the wall.

It's very clear to this particular non-self that there is something going on: stuff exists, and each of us is a part of the stuff. There is someone/something/somestuff that might chose to do the non-identifying...and that is typing these words. I call it 'me' - and that doesn't mean I gotta believe in a soul/spirit/seperate self, or that all chairs possess substantial "chairness".

As I understand it, shunyata denies chairness, not chairs; it denies Malcolm's essence/soul, not Malcolm.

anon #108 said...

I wrote:

"...there is something going on: stuff exists..."

Better might be:

"...there is something going on: stuff happens...


Whatever...all just debatable filoserfizin fun - while slammin into a wall is gonna hurt for shure.

Harry said...

Gee, Harry,

"You" will only "feel" "pain" if you cling to the shakey ground of all those constructs. "You" are not the pain anyway if "you" do not identify with it.

None of this ever happened.

Prove it.


Hee hee,

If I went out, caught a stranger, and vigourously banged his/her head off a wall, to compassionately help him/her understand that their pain and the wall is empty you understand, could I say in my defence that it never happened? How would I prove it didn't substantially happen?

Pain is real at the time of pain regardless of what we think about it, regardless of what we call or don't call it. It's a truth of being alive.

Not happy with the sore nose?

Yes, that's the view of zazen, to let our whole life come and go without getting involved with it 'dropping off body and mind' and dropping off the world and everything. Master Dogen talked of this in terms of realising the self though, he does not negate self, but observes in practice that it is ineffible and unlimited, in this view of practice everything is the 'self', or non-self and not-self. So, to 'drop everything off' is to take up a non-thing, or not-thing, depending on how you look, or don't look, at it. And so there are effectively 'buddhas' and 'ordinary beings' in that one practices-realises it and the other does not.

However, we have to get up off our lazy enlightened asses and live in the world of relative interactions, we have to choose peanut butter instead of poo for our toast, we have to use our discernment to choose what's best for the circumstance. It's a very common thing in Buddhism for people to swing to the side of 'emptiness' and negate experience, to throw away words and philosophy, to effectively throw away our lives (there are lots of koans to address this very matter, such as I cited above. Dogen was fond of countering it, so I think it is an inherent weakness of Buddhist philosophy that has been around for a while).

It's a quick and easy assumption, and an attractive belief, especially if we're not so happy with our lives, the danger may be that it devalues things like human experience, the reality of suffering (the first noble truth), being responsible for our effectively real actions (which effect others) and all that.

In terms of sunyata 'Form is emptiness', but often it seems we can't reconcile this with 'emptiness is form'.

Regardless of what we think though, Buddhism is not a theory of unreality, and Zen in particular emphasises that sunyata is already a matter immanent in our everyday actions and interactions.

ooh, that went on a bit... I'm planning to bore you out of the dreary universe of emptiness!

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

Harry, Regardless, get ye over to this:

http://www.maharajnisargadatta.com/I_Am_That.pdf

Read the whole thing and get back to me.

Enjoy,

JEM

Harry said...

Hi john,

I'm not in the habit of reading every religious tract that people put my way (especially such lengthy ones!) But, if the intro gives the gist of it, then the Guru affirms the importance of concepts to practice-realisation, and the realised self:

"Mark the words of the jnani, which cut across all concepts and dogmas. Maharaj says: “until one becomes self-realised, attains to knowledge of the self, transcends the self, until then, all these cock-and-bull stories are provided, all these concepts.
Yes, they are concepts, even ‘I am’ is, but surely there are no concepts more precious. It is for the seeker to regard them with the utmost seriousness, because they indicate the Highest Reality. No better concepts are available to shed all concepts."


The concept of a 'Higher/Highest Reality' is where it diverges from Zen teaching.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

Harry, I don't blame you for not reading everything people recommend, I don't either. But this is very special.

You can't get the teaching here from reading just a little of it, you really need to dive in, but if you are not so inclined, dip into different parts of it and see what you think.

I did not in any way want to imply that it is like Zen Its Advaita Vedanta, in the clearest, purest sense, but it goes far beyond the usual discourses.

This teacher in particular spoke on various levels of understanding. To some he spoke of a "Highest Reality" because that was the time/place of their particular understanding. He may have said it to put off Zen Buddhists! He certainly had no time for anyone claiming to be anything or anybody, like a "Buddhist" for example.

There is a connection between the Nath lineage that he was part of and the Nimatullahi Sufis that I received transmission from 20 years ago, and at some level, all of that and "Zen" converge.

Right here?

Do give it a go...Best, John

Harry said...

"Right here?"

Hi John,

There's an old Zen saying that goes way back to the first Ancestor (a person who may actually REALLY not have existed... a real 'not-person'?)

It's "I don't know."

Thanks for the info. I'll dip into it when I get a chance.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

Harry, You're a good sport. And it always sounds like you've done your homework. I always appreciate your educated commentary, and wit.

In the 12th century Shams e'Tabriz showed up one day while Jallaludin Rumi was lecturing his disciples on a particular esoteric text. Shams listened, then grabbed the books and threw them in a nearby well. Rumi, astonished, experienced um, the equivalent of kensho (for ex).

Another time Shams walked up while someone was looking at the moon in the water. They said to him "look how beautiful!" He said, "unless there's a boil on your neck, why not just look up at the moon?"

Nisargaddata emphasizes -demands- (as did my Sufi teacher, who has been dead awhile now) direct experience. I hope that message comes through your dipping into I Am That when you get time to take a look.

Meanwhile, tell me, what is this "I don't know?"

Harry said...

Meanwhile, tell me, what is this "I don't know?"

Hi, John.

When Bodhidharma was asked what he was he said "I don't know".

It's the concrete expression of the realised state of "not knowing" ringing throughout real things.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

Pretty good koan!

Hokai said...

Bodhidarma was a punk!
Same as Brad.
Fancy!

"Brad, calm down my mind."
"Where's your mind?"
"I can't find 'em."
"So I calmed it!"

Super Koan

_/\_

Gerald