Sunday, July 25, 2010


I'm leaving Japan this afternoon. It's sad to go. I like this country. More than anywhere else in the world, Tokyo feels like home to me. Weird, huh?

I'd like to thank Ren Kuroda for putting up with me all this time. Thanks Ren! And thanks to Nishijima Roshi for the talks and the calligraphy. Thanks to everyone who joined this year's retreat at Tokei-in.

Thanks to Morishima-san ex-prez of Tsuburaya Productions for the pizza. Thanks to Norman England for Birdemic and I Drink Your Blood. Thanks to Takeshi Yagi for coming with me to Ultraman Festival 2010 and to Miki Mochizuki of Tsuburaya Productions for the tickets. Thanks to Ultraman designer Hiroshi Maruyama for a lovely drawing of Godzilla on my notebook for my next book.

Next up is the Great Sky Zen Sesshin in Minnesota. There is still time to sign up. So get it in gear, people. Sesshins like this do not come along often. Be there or be square!


gniz said...

ONE! Finally...

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Is this your acceptance speech for "best buddhist blog 2010"?

Mr. Reee said...

Um... Three!

Hmpf. Don't see what the excitement's about.

But Japan--yeah, sounds cool. There's a scene in Warning From Space where two guys meet in a little cafe/sushi bar in a little wooden neighborhood with little wooden walkways between little wooden homes. Looked nice and cozy. A firetrap, but cozy. i wonder if it's still like that?

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

FYI, new houses in Japan are DIFFERENT.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Rinz, where is your head?

Mr. Vendo said...



Vending Machines

Lone Wolf said...

Great Sky does sound like a Sesshin. To bad I don't have the funds at this moment...maybe next year. Never having been to a sesshin, I'd like to do a three day before I jump into a seven.

I've finally become consistent with my Zazen, 30 min in the morning and 30 min at night (sometimes those thirty min turn into ten or twenty). I've sat everyday since the beginning of the year. It's now a habit. I've been thinking about doing a sesshin once a year along with my daily practice and continue that routine until I die.

Does that sound like a sufficient amount of practice? How much practice does one need to keep the automic nervous system balanced? Are there difference benefits for a person who sits one sesshin a year and a person that sits 20?

Lone Wolf said...

I meant...Great Sky sound like a great sesshin

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mr. Reee said...

The Archive has the flick:

Japan, 1956. This is what I was speaking of--nice, clean looking orderly places on a human scale (walkways, modest spaces, natural materials.) Fun movie too. The Pairans are a hoot.

Mysterion said...


Anonymous said...


then again, it may be that quite a few of the homeless cannot actually make a rational choice about it. There are many sorts of malfunctions or damage to the brain which render one incapable of making "good" choices while appearing otherwise perfectly normal and intelligent. Read the neurologist Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error for starters.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

The Pairans get a high-five from me!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the earth is our mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.

Anonymous said...

Lone Wolf,

Since no one else has responded yet, I'll try to answer your questions. I think that you are the best judge of how much to sit, how many sesshins to do, etc. Let your practice deepen naturally, not forcing yourself too much, or getting really lazy either. I think your current plan sounds wise, except that you might want to be flexible about not planning out your entire life right now. I wouldn't worry about the benefits too much; just practice because it is the thing to do.

H.H. Yogert Guru said...

Blogger Seagal Rinpoche said...

from "Pay! You-all" monasteries, LLC

(and screen door company)

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Here is an answer to Mysterion's koan.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Kuge said...

Since you gave up your Santa Monica Apartment March 1, 2010 which coincides with KATAGIRI Roshi's 20th anniversary of his death you are welcome to crash at my Phoenix pad and check out the scene.

And the bowling is great!

AHHH good old Minnesota! HOKYOJI...pouring water over Dainin Katagiri's old bones on the hill overlooking the Zendo...

A cow...

Brad Warner said...


Or Mr. Wolf. That sounds like sufficient practice to me. Like the anon said, only you can really know. The most important practice is the stuff you do each day. Don't get ambitious about results. I say that from experience.


dsla said...

Just in case any LA people were planning on attedning Yoga and Zen at Hill Street this Saturday, July 31,

Nina got an out of town teaching gig, so she won't be at Hill Street this Saturday

No yoga, just zen.

ALSO, there's a new episode of the Hardcore Zen Podcast, "Goalless Practice".

Mysterion said...
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Lone Wolf said...

Thanks Anon and Brad.

I'm not worried about results or gaining ideas, though I continue to see my mind churning them up. I've spent many years in the "seeking enlightenment" stage of Buddhism and have become quite disillusioned about having some trippy experience or even seeking to be calm for that matter. Anytime I have a feeling that I did not have a good Zazen is an indication of some kind of gaining idea. I even let the gaining idea of having no gaining idea go. I suppose wanting to know how much Zazen to do to keep the automic nervous system balanced is another sort of gaining idea. Sometimes it feels that practice is all about waking up to these sublte gaining ideas and go back to sitting Zazen for the sake of sitting Zazen itself or just doing what your doing for the sake of doing what your doing.

Zazen has become something I just do, like brushing my teeth or taking a dump each day. I become aware of my entanglments and focus back on good posture Somedays my mind is busy, somedays its calm. I just sit with what ever comes up without trying to stop the thoughts or getting caught up in them.
I simply plan to just keep sitting like this day after day.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

which means sometimes ya gotta
let it be
and sometimes ya gotta

Anonymous said...

Lone Wolf, I don't know what your daily schedule is like or if it's possible, but if it might try sitting the two periods together instead of one in am. and one in p.m. Maybe a 30 min round of zazen then a 5 min break. I usually do some kinhin or stretching exercise for the 5. Then follow that with a 25 minute zazen round. Experiment and see what works for you. Zazen 'bunched' together can sometimes be more effective than spread out. That's why there are zazenkai and sesshin. I'm not saying change what you're doing daily, but rather just try this as an alternate sometimes. Just a suggestion.

anonymo said...

Jundo's pal Taigu. If you meet him on the road.. you know what to do.

john e mumbles said...

Lone Wolf: even an old saw still cuts pretty good:

A Master saw a disciple who was very zealous in meditation.
The Master said: "Virtuous one, what is your aim in practicing Zazen (meditation)?
The disciple said: "My aim is to become a Buddha."
The the Master picked up a tile and began to polish it on a stone in front of the hermitage.
The disciple said: "What is the Master doing?"
The Master said: "I am polishing this tile to make it a mirror."
The disciple said: "How can you make a mirror by polishing a tile?"
The Master replied: "How can you make a Buddha by practicing Zazen?"

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Anonymous said...

That's good mr. mumbles, but I don't know why most people never quote the entire koan exchange. Here's the rest of the story;

"The teacher said: Granted, rubbing a tile will not make a
mirror. How can a sitting meditation make a buddha?

Ma-tsu said: Then what would be right?

The teacher said: It's like the case of an ox pulling a
cart. If the cart does not go, should you hit the cart or
should you hit the ox?

Ma-tsu couldn't say anything.

The teacher went on to say: Do you think you are practicing
sitting meditation or do you think you are practicing
sitting buddhahood? If you are practicing sitting
meditation, meditation is not sitting or lying. If you are
practicing buddhahood, buddha is not a fixed form. In the
midst of everything that is changing you should neither hold
on nor push away. If you keep the buddha seated, this is
murdering the buddha. If you cling to the form of sitting,
this is not attaining its inner principle.

Ma-tsu heard this teaching as if he were drinking ambrosia.

He bowed and asked: How should I concentrate so as to merge
with formless absorption so as to become utterly one with my

The teacher said: Your study of the mind ground is like
planting seeds. My expounding of the essence of reality is
like the moisture in the sky. Circumstances are good for
you, so you will see the way. If the way is not color or form, how can I see it?

The reality eye of the mind ground can see the way.
Formless absorption is also like this.

Ma-tsu kept asking.
Is there becoming and decay, or not?
One sees the way as becoming and decaying, compounding and
scattering. That is not really seeing the way. Listen to
my verse.

Mind ground contains various seeds.
When there is moisture, all of them sprout.
The flower absorption has no form.
What decays and what becomes?

When Ma-tsu heard this his understanding opened. His heart
and mind were clear. He served his teacher for ten years
day by day going deeper into the matter."

CynicalBoy said...

Gas Mark 5 or 6
For twenty minutes or so
That should do the trick

Mysterion said...
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uber-anon said...

"Almost 5 million California adults say they could use help with a mental or emotional problem, according to a survey released Wednesday by researchers at UCLA. About 1 million of them meet the criteria for "serious psychological distress."

California is full of whack-jobs like Mysterion. They should go their own way.

uber-anon said...

The survey was conducted among more than 44,000 adults as part of the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, administered through the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Since the survey was conducted, the recession probably has contributed to worsening mental health for even more people, said the lead author of the study, David Grant. Except for those sucking on the big State tit like mysterion.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...
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john e mumbles said...

Anonymous said at 5:32 PM: It's because what I quoted is the obviously heart of the matter.

Mysterion: shut the fuck up, please.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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namby pamby said...

Maybe not so obvious. I view this as the heart of the matter.

"The teacher said: It's like the case of an ox pulling a
cart. If the cart does not go, should you hit the cart or
should you hit the ox?"

Everyone sees the cart but finding that ox can be tricky.

"If you keep the buddha seated, this is
murdering the buddha. If you cling to the form of sitting,
this is not attaining its inner principle."

Mysterion said...

The Rinz said...
"...many will commit mass suicide with their families..."

I am sorry to inform you that THIS is already going on... another gift from the Bush admin.

Larry Craig's state


The Most Depressed State: Nevada
Nevada may not be the most debt-ridden state on paper, but it seems to have plenty to be depressed about. In fact, the state has the highest suicide rate in the nation.

2nd Most-Depressed State: Ohio
While the state of Ohio may know how to party, that doesn’t keep it off the list of America’s most depressed states.

3rd Most-Depressed State: Rhode Island - Despite its small size, Rhode Island houses big companies including CVS , Hasbro, A.T. Cross, Tiffany & Co.

4th Most-Depressed State: Missouri
Missouri is home to “many filthy, overcrowded, and poorly regulated dog breeding facilities."

Missouri has one of the worst public school systems, according to WalletPop. And in 2008, Missouri was also the state with the highest homicide rate according to the Associated Press.

5th Most-Depressed State: Utah
Depression may be widespread in Utah as suicide has been called a “deadly taboo” and a major cause of death among young people there, according to the Deseret News. In fact, for years, Utah had one of the highest suicide rates among states nationwide, especially among men between the ages of 15 and 24.

6th Most-Depressed State: Michigan
With the still struggling - though possibly improving - U.S. auto market and other worries centered on Detroit, it may not be too surprising that Michigan has made the list of the 10 most depressed states in the country.

7th Most-Depressed State: Connecticut
The gaming industry has taken a hit nationwide, and Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos are no different. What’s more, the aerospace industry is ailing and even hospitals are suffering as residents switch from for profit private insurers to government-run programs.

8th Most-Depressed State: Washington
Visitors to the state of Washington know that July, August and September tend to be sunny, but for much of the rest of the year, weather can easily put a damper on one’s mood. Seattle is cloudy about 226 days out of the year, notes local network KOMO News.

9th Most-Depressed State: California - One might think that with generally beautiful southern California weather, the Golden State should be one of the least depressed. But just because Hollywood may be all smiles, doesn’t mean that California hasn’t felt the effects of the recession. (we paid off this house long before Bush wasn't elected).

California was one of the states hit hardest by real estate woes, with many home values cut in half and several of its cities topping the list of metro areas hardest hit by foreclosures, according to

"Stocks surged in early trading today on news from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta that the rate of suicide in the United States directly attributable to the foreclosure on victims homes reached an all time high in the first half of 2009." cynicism

Mysterion said...

sorry - SOURCE

and 1 of every 5 renters switched to a cheaper and less desired apartment. Going from up-scale to mid or mid-scale to low (or loe-scale to homeless).

"Indianapolis - A new report shows homelessness among children enrolled in Indiana public schools rose 26 percent over the two years ending in 2008-09 as the state felt the brunt of the economic downturn." source

makes ya proud to be a republican!

uber-anon said...

Life and work are the same.

California rewards those who are lazy. Yet I pity those fools because they don't understand work and idle away their days surfing the internet and looking for entertainment rather than being productive. Too many Californians lead meaningless lives.

uber-anon said...

In the 132 years between 1852 and 1984, the state of California built twelve prisons. In the eleven year period between 1985 and 1996, the state built sixteen more. By 2001 the Department of Corrections operated 33 prisons. Four house only women and one, the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, incarcerates male and female offenders.

In 1977, California housed 19,600 inmates. A decade later in 1998, the inmate population had skyrocketed by an astronomical 811 percent to 159,000. By February 2000 that number had jumped to 161,000. California now runs the largest prison system in the Western world. It houses more prisoners than do the countries of France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore combined. California has spent $5.2 billion on new prisons since 1977, yet it still has the most overcrowded system in the United States.

Currently, the state of California incarcerates one out of every eight prisoners in the United States. It is estimated that California will eventually need 30 to 50 new prisons to accommodate the influx of prisoners dictated by mandatory sentencing, stiffer enforcement of parole violations, and the three-strikes law.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous uber-anon said...
"Too many Californians lead meaningless lives."

Don't project your inadequacies on too many Californians. It may be that a few share your inadequacies but trying to project the inadequacies you possess elsewhere will not diminish the inadequacies you continue to have and display so proficiently here.

uber-anon said...

M - As usual you are just talking to hear yourself talk..

California and Californians suck.

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