Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sex and Zen on the Swedish Morning Zoo in Helsinki

A couple days ago I was the guest on the morning drive-time show on YLE Radio XM3, "Extreme FM Helsinki." Kindo of a "morning zoo" type show with a couple of hip, young DJs and all the requisite sound FX and stuff. I was billed as "Zen and Sex Expert, Brad Warner." Well, I dunno about that. But they wanted to talk about my upcoming book "Sex, Sin and Zen" so that's how they promoted it. (The cover they're showing on Amazon is a dummy version, by the way. The real one is much better!)

This was one of the city's Swedish language stations. The southwest of Finland has a large Swedish speaking population. The Swedes kept invading the place, it seems, and a few people got left behind.

The cute girl DJ asked me what I think about sleeping around. I wasn't sure if that was a come-on or not. I just said that in situations where a person tries to have more than one sexual partner it's necessary to be very careful and very respectful of everyone involved. Obvious stuff, I think. But sometimes the obvious stuff has to be said again and again. My view on such things in Buddhist terms is that there is nothing that is expressly forbidden. But there are some activities that tend to cause a person more mental stress and confusion than others. If you choose to engage in such activities, you're going to need to be that much more careful with yourself and all the people you're interacting with.

The Zen, Punk and Politics talk went really well. It was a packed house. I guess a lot of people actually do enjoy talking about religion and politics! I taped the talk and one of these days I'll put it up somewhere.

It's interesting to see such interest in Buddhism. But I was asked at a later talk how many people I thought actually started doing zazen after hearing me speak. I had to say, "Not many." But that's OK. If they're just coming for entertainment, I can provide that as well. And maybe years later a couple of the people who come to a talk will suddenly get the urge to start the practice without even remembering having seen me speak.

As for politics, Tom Henriksson, the guy who set up the punk and politics event kept insisting that I am a "political person" even if I don't feel like I am. Well, maybe. Depends how you define "political."

Yesterday I went to Tempere, which is about 2 hours drive north of Helsinki. I did a talk at their library and led zazen at a "laughing yoga" studio. I didn't get to actually participate in the laughing yoga. But I did tell a couple jokes. So I think it was OK.

Tempere is also where I got the photo at the bottom of this page. I never got to find out if this was truthful advertising or not.

86 comments:

anon #108 said...

One.

Laters!

Uku said...

Hey Brad, don't you remember? We saw that one big titted woman outside of that place!

Tampere, full of big.. leafs in the trees. Lovely city! Thank you everyone for being there, we had fun!

Anonymous said...

After spending so much money for the Bush administration Warner is spending the rest for swedish prostitutes.
How corrupt his zen is! Why do his people not have to sign a contract before his retreats that all their money will be spend for right wingers and red light districts?

Frank said...

Uku: Wow! You guys saw a woman with only one big tit?

Anon: Warner actually spent the money on Swedish goldfish not Swedish hookers!

David said...

Ah, politics. Some people insist that every action or non-action is political. Well, I suppose if you want to look at the world like that, have at it, but personally I think it is a load of crap.

By the way, Brad, did you ever read "Lust for Enlightenment: Buddhism and Sex" by John Stevens. It's a really great book that looks at how different Buddhist cultures and sects dealt with sexuality. He has a great writing style, and the book is often quite funny.

Uku said...

Frank, to be honest, yes. We we're driving and I only saw her right side so I don't know if she had two tits.

anon #108 said...

Hey Uku,

You could at least do me the favour of resenting my stealing the number one spot. I feel rejected..and ignored.....both :(

Uku said...

Anon 108,

oops, I was very rude, I wasn't polite. I am sorry.

I hope this makes you feel better:

SCREW YOU FOR BEING NUMBER ONE, YOU SUCK! FUCK OFF!

Was that ok? :)

anon #108 said...

Much better.

Thanks :-D

Uku said...

You're welcome Anon #108! The Bodhisattva's Path is wide and compassionate. :)

Molly Sepuku said...

Nothing is expressly forbidden? I'll bring the goat and rubber sheets. I'll bet the dude on Brad's right caught pure hell. His posture sucked. Everyone knows you can't express buddhanature hunched over with your legs like that! Ha ha ha! What a dumbass.

Mumon said...

Zen in a Morning Zoo format?

Brad, has Howard Stern contacted you?

Stuttering John once interviewed the Dalai Lama, and asked, "How should people address you? Hello Dolly?"

Frank said...

Uku: Is that you in the window refection of the Big Tits Bar? Pretty sly working yourself into the picture dude.

The Architect said...

That's all very well Brad, but what the world really wan't to know is... are you getting an iPad?

Fugen said...

Hi.

Is there a chance that one could hear the program somehow?
In some archive or some kind of webradiothing?

Mtfbwy
Fugen

Uku said...

Frank, yep, Sly is my second name! I planned that picture a lot! It was a tough photo shoot session because cops and Russian mob was chasing us!

Anonymous Bob said...

That really pisses me off! Malcolm rushes in here, grabs the coveted #1 and then graces us with only two little words before heading off. Where is your pride Malcolm? Where is the strut? Is this what your zen has taught you, to barely give getting #1 a second thought before you run out to catch the bus? You do not deserve to get #1 anymore at all. Therefore you should not say anything about being #1 completely.

CAPTCHA : Capisci : I kid you not

anon #108 said...

Aww...Thanks, Bob.

And the Gudo-isms at the end - a luvvly touch.

I'm quite moved.
*sniff*

Anonymous Bob said...

108: That was a guidoism. Capisci?

anon #108 said...

Guido ended every sol-fa lesson with "capisci?"

Thought I didn't know that, huh?

john e mumbles said...

Brad, who's the fetching lass to your left in the top photo? She has some nice... shoes! No wonder you're smiling...

Jinzang said...

Comments on photos: sitting in zazen is easier if you take your shoes off first. And why does that Finnish show bar have its sign in English? Is because most of its customers are international?

Jinzang said...

My view on such things in Buddhist terms is that there is nothing that is expressly forbidden

Lots of things are forbidden in the traditional texts, including rape, bestiality, and sex in the public streets. You probably know this better than I after doing the research for your book.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang,

By "such things", Brad was talking about "sleeping around". That was the question he was replying to and the context of his comment. That's how I read it.

corrine. said...

and it was open! you two weren't the least bit curious? ha!

Anonymous said...

politics?

Anonymous said...

Great cover photo for your next book,
which you should entitle:
"Zen and Big Tits!"

Anonymous Bob said...

Or maybe.. not

CAPTCHA : dookers : I kid you not

dzj said...

The guy ain't bad looking either.

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

HOW NOT TO SIT
One in a series of occasional comments on zazen 'posture'.


I'm guessing that neither the guy on the left nor the gal on the right (the radio people?) have done much, if any, zazen before. By not having their knees on the ground, lower than their behinds, they're showing us how not to sit.

Ok, they're not sitting on cushions, which would help a little, but they're both hunched forward - him more than her - to counteract the effect of being pushed backwards that 'knees up' produces, so they're not balanced, they're tense, they're out-of-whack (check the strained necks).

The best way to sit straight, balanced and stable, relaxed but alert, is to get your knees on the floor and raise your behind. You're sent upwards, not backwards, your back can lengthen and straighten and it feels right.

If you're sitting on the floor, you gotta do something with your legs. The only two possible configurations of legs in this position (knees on the floor/raised behind) are called burmese and lotus.

john e mumbles said...

Brad's showing off his years of experience sitting full lotus with his Keds on to these Helsinki bumpkins who wanted to "try Zen." He's smirking because he knows you don't just sit down and "do it."

Frank said...

That leering grin is because he's rubbing knees with that little hottie on his left. It's tough thinking of not thinking at times like that.

anon #108 said...

Hmm...I notice his mudra leans to the right.

john e mumbles said...

Maybe Brad's next tome can be entitled ZEN HAS BIG BOOBS and be an expose on unorthodox and otherwise un-Brad endorsed methodology featuring online sangha instructors and Genpo roshi types et al?

Mumon said...

My legs stopped doing full lotus years ago. My body just doesn't do it. It does not have that shape.

I do 1/2 lotus quite OK, though.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed the great leader does not hover when sitting zazen.

john e mumbles said...

Sawdaw U Tejaniya:
1. Meditating is acknowledging and observing whatever happens
—whether pleasant or unpleasant—in a relaxed way.

2. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and
understanding. Meditation is NOT trying to experience something
you have read or heard about.

3. Just pay attention to the present moment.
Don’t get lost in thoughts about the past.
Don’t get carried away by thoughts about the future.

4. When meditating, both the mind and the body should be
comfortable.

5. If the mind and the body are getting tired,
something is wrong with the way you are practising, and
it is time to check the way you are meditating.

6. Why do you focus so hard when you meditate?
Do you want something?
Do you want something to happen?
Do you want something to stop happening?
Check to see if one of these attitudes is present.

7. The meditating mind should be relaxed and at peace.
You cannot practise when the mind is tense.

8. Don’t focus too hard, don’t control.
Neither force nor restrict yourself.

9. Don’t try to create anything,
and don’t reject what is happening.
Just be aware.

10. Trying to create something is greed.
Rejecting what is happening is aversion.
Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped
happening is delusion.

11. Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion
or anxiety are you truly meditating.

12. Don’t have any expectations,
don’t want anything,
don’t be anxious, because
if these attitudes are in your mind,
it becomes difficult to meditate.

john e mumbles said...

Sawdaw U Tejaniya (cont.)
13. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them
to happen.
You are trying to know what is happening as it is.

14. What is the mind doing?
Thinking? Being aware?

15. Where is the mind now?
Inside? Outside?

16. Is the watching or observing mind properly aware
or only superficially aware?

17. Don’t practise with a mind that wants something or wants
something to happen. The result will only be that you tire yourself
out.

18. You have to accept and watch both good and bad experiences.
You want only good experiences?
You don’t want even the tiniest unpleasant experience?
Is that reasonable?
Is this the way of the Dhamma!

19. You have to double check to see what attitude you are meditating
with.
A light and free mind enables you to meditate well.
Do you have the right attitude?

20. Don’t feel disturbed by the thinking mind.
You are not practising to prevent thinking;
but rather to recognize and acknowledge thinking whenever it
arises.

21. Don’t reject any object that comes to your attention.
Get to know the defilements that arise in relation to the object and
keep examining the defilements.

22. The object of attention is not really important; the observing mind
that is working in the background to be aware is of real importance.
If the observing is done with the right attitude, any object is the
right object.

23. Only when there is faith or confidence (saddhā), effort will arise.
Only when there is effort (viriya), mindfulness will become
continuous.
Only when mindfulness (sati) is continuous, stability of mind will
become established.
Only when stability of mind is established (samādhi), you will start
understanding things as they are.
When you start understanding things as they are (paññā), faith will
grow stronger.

anon #108 said...

Thanks, jem. Good stuff. The similarities with shikantaza/zen are clear, but these excerpts:

You cannot practise when the mind is tense.

Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion or anxiety are you truly meditating.

Don’t have any expectations [...]
if these attitudes are in your mind, it becomes difficult to meditate.

Qs 14, 15, 16

You have to double check to see what attitude you are meditating with.

...and keep examining the defilements.

...the observing mind that is working in the background to be aware is of real importance.



seem to indicate an intentional aspect of consideration - even of two minds: one controlling (or relinquishing), the other witnessing/monitoring (maybe even a third, that's meditating!)...that there's a two-stage process: (1) to get the mind in a state of non-judgmental acceptance so that (2) it can 'meditate' properly. No right state of mind, no proper meditating.

Being used to a different approach, I think it'd be easy to get myself in a pickle trying to distinguish my 'mind' from my 'practice'. It's just such a pickle I hope to drop off when I sit.

But maybe, as usual, the words mislead.

john e mumbles said...

Sawdaw U Tejaniya's Vipassana is idiosyncratic and unlike most versions of Insight Meditation found in the States. He feels that "labeling" only reinforces the identification. For ex; labeling "pain:" rather than breaking down the object to its essence (nothing) may rather increase the thought, therefore the feeling, the concept of "pain" as being part of the self (illusion).

This is just an outline of something very basic, very simple, and consequently, workable IMO, should one be so inclined.

Frank said...

That Was good stuff Mumbles.. I take back every bad thing I thought about you.

Brad Warner said...

Jinzang, yeah... I think my wording was a bit ambiguous. But the anon below you got what I meant. Sorry.

And the pic was posed very quickly. I was surprised they said, "Show us how to meditate!" when we did it. So I showed 'em real fast & the snap was snapped. No time for adjustments or shoe removal.

Brad Warner said...

Oh & English is widely spoken here in Finland. Almost everyone understands it. Hence signs like the one in the foto in English.

CynicalBoy said...

Meditation seems
Extremely complicated
So many numbers!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad,

Fugen asked "Is there a chance that one could hear the program somehow?
In some archive or some kind of webradiothing?"

I'd like to know too.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that most your comments are by men. Have you ever wondered why. Stephanie is the great exception because she has balls bigger that the entire Dogen sing along or what ever you call your selves.


Single males unite!

Uku said...

Anon, I'm a little confused right now. You wrote about Stephanie's big balls but ain't she a woman? Of course I'm not a doctor but ain't balls for male and female has something else although I'm not sure what.

Anonymous said...

yea Yoko you pretty much summed up what I was saying.

. . . . .. said...

yoko ....that's pretty funny.

trama said...

Stephanie...balls? Nah.

Conceit, yes. Arrogance, yes. A command of the English language, yes. Not balls.

108 the merciless said...

This blog is almost totally a little boy's club. There is an under-current of misogyny that runs through the fringes of it but even more than that there is a definite feeling of hatred of people in general which is developed further I believe when some come here with the idea that Brad might have the answers to their mental problems and then find out he is a flawed guru with serious side issues of his own.. When that is discovered every few weeks or so, they start striking out at almost everyone. Hence the strong predisposition to vicious trolling on HCZ. Things have gotten out of control here way too often for this to be anything but part of the HCZ landscape. In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates defines the misanthrope in relation to his fellow man: "Misanthropy develops when one puts complete trust in somebody thinking the man absolutely true and sound and reliable and then a little later discovers him to be bad and unreliable.. and when this happens to someone often enough.. he ends up.. hating everyone."

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

The misanthropy amongst the trolls (or troll) is undeniable, but misogyny? I don't think a bit of silly guy nudge-wink about tits and willies amounts to misogyny. Lust, sometimes expressed as smut, is a fact of male sexuality (girls indulge too, I'm reliably informed).

A lot of generalising from the particular goes on when folks decide to criticize the Hardcore Zen blog. Well, maybe not a lot...but some, sometimes...from somebody or other...doesn't it?

captcha = tists. That's what it says. Honest.

Harry said...

I hate Miss Anthropy because she's a woman.

Regards,

H.

captcha= subich. I'm not joking.

Harry said...

p.s. Leave Steph alone for the love of JC*!

(*Jesus Christ, or your preferred famous jewish spiritual class act).

H.

Jinzang said...

This blog is almost totally a little boy's club.

The Internet is a little boy's club.

Brad ... is a flawed guru with serious side issues of his own

Brad is a more or less ordinary guy who knows something about Zen after having practiced for more than 20 years. Unlike some "gurus," he doesn't pretend to be anything more. He is not "flawed," unless you consider his failure to find a girlfriend a flaw.

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates defines the misanthrope in relation to his fellow man

First time Plato's Dialogs were ever quoted on this blog.

. . . . .. said...

shaved or natural?

Anonymous said...

. . . . .., you're lovely as you are.

Martha said...

"Brad is a more or less ordinary guy who knows something about Zen after having practiced for more than 20 years. Unlike some "gurus," he doesn't pretend to be anything more. He is not "flawed," unless you consider his failure to find a girlfriend a flaw?

You know Brad personally? Is he an acquaintance or close friend? If you do not know him then your opinion that he is not flawed is as worthless as the trolls who claim Brad is an asshole.

Brad's practicing zen for 20 years qualifies him as a reliable authority? Genpo must be even more qualified using this rule. And you know enough about zen to know that Brad knows something about zen? How long have you practiced zen?

john e mumbles said...

Hey "Martha," my dear,
According to Jinzang's comment on the Bradpost prior to this one he has been practicing something called "Buddhism" now for 30 years.

Personally, I've been diligently practicing something since age 13 or so, but I'd rather not go into it here...

...I'm getting pretty good at it, though, as evidenced by comments like these in response to comments like yours...

Captcha: mahajak -ain't no lie!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Martha, that's a very unnecessarily argumenative comment you just made. Why are you so upset?

Anonymous Bob said...

Call me crazy but I think Martha is a man pretending to be a woman. And on this blog.. Who would have ever thought..

CAPTCHA : ferst : 63rd actually

108 the merciless said...

"The Internet is a little boy's club."

You are dating yourself Jinz. Sorry about the double entendre.

. . . . .. said...

Martha Stewart? Is that you? Shaved or el natural?

Anonymous said...

I don't think a troll pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a Jundo is necessarily trolling is it?

Damn.. This gets complicated.

CynicalBoy said...

Boys talk about life
Girls mostly get on with it
Scold's bridle perhaps?

nitrocircus said...

Truth and stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDgHO15Bb58

nitrocircus said...

Any comment on that last video. After I saw that on youtube I realized every truth that someone is trying to sell is just like the one in the vid. Almost always its like the white guy trying to get his "dick wet" or what ever the dude prefers.

How ever hard I try I cant see it in Brad. Am I wrong? Maybe I have to check it myself next year when you visit Finland again. Ummm.. Are you?

Final question. Read all your books. First two were great. But about the third one Im not sure. I was sort of disapointed. What the fuck I was suppose to think about it? Well. Dont answer. This much I figured out myself.

I should be me. Be me as a husband. Be me as a father. Be me as my profession dictates. Sit 30 min in the morning and 30min in the evening. And just see if any good things come up. Anything that ever came to my mind I got already so I cant get anything more. So maybe I should try it in other way (just being me) next -lets say - 30 years?

Anonymous said...

Uku is brads yoko..LOL

Anonymous Bob said...

Hey anon.. You're really cracking yourself up aren't ya? Better put down the pipe dude..

CAPTCHA : voiness : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

Some grow just like their dads, and some grow up too tall
Some go drinking with the lads, some don't up grow at all
And you must find the proper place for everything you see
But you'll never get to make a lampshade out of me

I could join a chain of males or be the missing link
Looking for a lucky girl to put me in the pink
They pat some good boys on the back and put some to the rod
But I never thought they'd put me in the Goon Squad

Mysterion said...

erotic bar big tits - LOL

but how was the sake?

Anonymous Bob said...

Mysterion: I know you are the king of non sequiturs but the Takara Sake website??

Was there something about the phrase 'erotic bar big tits' that triggered a Sake flashback in you?

CAPTCHA : nactr : I kid you not

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

Anon at 11:51:

...Cut off your head and
watch it roll into the basket

If you should drop dead tonight
then they won't have to ask me twice

Senior Service...

Anonymous said...

Haha, you guys look kinda goofy. The full lotus is impressive though... most impressive!

nudist budist said...

This sux. Can't we just go back to fighting about Jundo or something?
The guy's giving transmission via internet frchrisakes! How long can it take Brad to find something to say about it?

Hey Brad, Jundo said that real life transmission is inferior to internet transmission! What dya say about that? Gempo said laying on a float in a swimming pool is better than full-lotus. Namdrol called and said he still thinks you are not a real Buddist Oh, and KISS sux!

Harry said...

"...and KISS sux!"

At last, a Real, True Buddhist!

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad! Something for you to read up on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish-speaking_Finns

Anonymous Bob said...

"Gempo said laying on a float in a swimming pool is better than full-lotus."

It is better if you want to get a tan..

CAPTCHA : dentusa : I kid you not

Saara said...

Well that's the finnish way to do it which means it's right somehow! :D

Jules said...

Brad wrote: "I just said that in situations where a person tries to have more than one sexual partner it's necessary to be very careful and very respectful of everyone involved. Obvious stuff, I think. But sometimes the obvious stuff has to be said again and again."

Reminded me of this cartoon:
http://xkcd.com/592/

Shakki said...

It is truthful advertising!

And the place is called "Tampere"

not "Tempere"

but who cares. I live in Helsinki.

ginger said...

Well I started practicing zazen while reading Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate...and I agree with you, it's the best form of meditation ever.
The instructions on your site are very helpful, but I don't have a cushion and I can't sit in full lotus...yet. I don't think that makes my meditation any less productive though.

Anonymous said...

I live pretty close to that strip club. I feel really sad that I didn't see you Brad. Maybe next time :)