Wednesday, July 07, 2010

HELLO FROM JAPAN

First up, here's a link to some of my talk in Nijmegen, Netherlands. It starts off with the same old autobiographical stuff and then goes to the Q&A.

For those who complained about the Podcast, as John said in the comments last time, I do that same talk a lot and then I get to a Q&A, which is different each time. The upcoming podcasts will not be endless variations on my autobiography! In fact, sometimes when I'm taping a talk I don't even start recording till I get to the Q&A.

Odd thing is that when I don't do some autobiographical stuff people kinda get mad. I do a talk and open it up to Q&A and the very first question is an annoyed person going, "Who the hell are you?" (and not as a koan, either!)

ANYWAY, I'm in Japan. The annual Dogen Sangha retreat in Tokei-in temple starts tomorrow. Actually there are now a few Dogen Sangha retreats. So I can't even say "the annual DS retreat" anymore. It's the annual one that I lead, anyway.

What Mysterion said about setting up talks in the comments section last time bears repeating here. So this is it:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm in Champaign and I would definitely go if you made an appearance here, but I really don't know anything about setting up something like this."

1) go to a few web pages & print them out:
a) hardcore zen
b) sit down and shut up
c) zen, wrapped in karma

2) visit book stores big and small - remember the 'mom & pop' or young progressive types and tell them Brad is driving thru so it's a fee free event - see if they want a "reading and book signing" event.

3) Expect 6 to 8 'no way' answers for every nibble. 1 in 4 nibbles might result in a booked event. But these comments are a prophylaxis against setting your expectations too high. You never know until AFTER the fact.

4) coordinate a schedule with Brad - he has no publicist or booking agent.

The idea is that the store can sell some books and attract some interest - perhaps selling other books too. Authors make a lot more if they sell books but most stores frown on this. However, if they only stock 6 books and 12 people want to buy a signed book, then both store and author make a buck.

The economics are thus: the author gets -at most- $1 (from the publisher) for every book sold. If you are Dan Brown and sell 73 million books, it all works out.

For fringe press, the publisher might front you $20,00 or even $30,000 for a book but then you get NOTHING until 30,000 or 45,000 books are sold. In addition, the publisher might give you two gross (2 x 144 = 288) books to sell on your own or that many at 1/2 price to sell on your own. If you are LUCKY, the publisher will do that on a floating basis - e.g. sell you 288 books periodically at 1/2 the MSRP.

All in all, if you think you can make more than $3000 a year selling your own books, think again. The average is FAR less than that (even when you count in the Dan Browns of the biz).

And by all means, if you have the time - and tenacity - go for it!



Thanks Mysterion!

I'll also add some material for SEX, SIN AND ZEN soon. But the truth is even I don't know how to set these things up. Yet somehow I seem to do it. Most of my gigs come about from fans of my work who find some way of making them happen. Most have never done it before.

Also, bookstores aren't always the best places. There are tons of other venues.

And, sadly, the economics of which he speaks are pretty much how it goes. I gotta figure out how Dan Brown does it!

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

just to deny Harry the pleasure

Daigan Gaither said...

"I gotta figure out how Dan Brown does it!"

Well, first you make up some crazy conspiracy theory.. Then market it to folks who don't bother with logic or science or anything facty like that. and boom there ya go.

Or you could just sell out :)

Uku said...

Dan Brown's latest book wasn't so good...

Mysterion said...

Blogger Uku said...
"Dan Brown's latest book wasn't so good..."

I'll agree there! BTW, one reviewer (?) said "Father-son competition for control of the world, we already had that with the Bush family." (or words to that effect).

I snarked my tea reading that...

Anonymous said...

You gonna meet with Jundo this time? Tea and Zazen?

anon #108 said...

Hi Brad,

For those who complained about the Podcast...

That'll be me then, and Hokai (the anon who thought it "was a joke" made a mistake).

I made my first comment unaware that there was any more to come. What I wrote wasn't so much a complaint, as a personal reaction to hearing 40 minutes of personal, albeit Zen related, biog. I decided to publish it believing it would very likely represent the reaction of least some of the people at the event, whether or not they've read HZ or know who you are (they surely know you're a Zen Buddhist).

So what I wrote wasn't a complaint. I enjoyed much of what I heard. Constructively critical is what I intended to be. Constructive criticism is always worthwhile, I think. Even the whiniest, whingiest complaints can be useful to hear.

captcha = miste. Spooky.

Captain Awesome said...

hi brad! re the podcast, i enjoyed it. i've read the books and heard the story before, but it was neat to hear you actually telling it. also, if someone is coming to you for the first time via the podcast, that's a great place for them to start. so, seems reasonable to me. i hope you'll continue, and consider putting them up on itunes if you do.

Anonymous said...

"Captain Awesome" says it was "neat." Brad, quit commenting on your own blog!

Mysterion -admitting he reads Dan Brown! and Uku too! A couple of intellectuals- sounds absolutely jovial, being quoted and all, while anon 108, tail between legs, sniffles and backtracks away from previous comments. Shameful.

Jonathan Venne said...

Hey pal, are you coming to Fantasia this year?

He said...

4.45am - You're an idiot who doesn't read, understand or care what folks here write. You've got serious issues, buddy. GTFO to youtube, you sad, hateful dickhead.

Blake said...

For the event we planned in Kansas City, I contacted the local Unity Temple to see if they were interested in a talk. They said "yes" and we worked out a deal where we would charge people for the talk and Unity would take half the money. They allowed us to set up a table in the lobby hocking wares. All of the money from the selling of goods went to Brad.

To advertise, I contacted local underground papers and put flyers up in coffee shops and book stores and pushed the event through social media outlets. My contact person at Unity arranged an interview with a local dj who talks on matters of spirituality and religion.

All in all, it was a decent event! I learned a lot from it, for sure.

anon #108 said...

Harsh, "He", but very good advice.

In fact, 4.45am, no 'backtracking' at all. Read carefully and you might discern yet more criticism of Brad - this time of the way he labelled criticism "complaint".

What did you think of Brad's podcast, 4.45am?

Anonymous said...

#108, if you want to narrow your definition of complaint, so as to cover your back and then be able to deny you made one, so be it.

That's really having a somewhat addictively legalistic attitude to language. As too is your reliance on asking a reader to read more closely, thereby suggesting that a fault lies with them, when they could as easily have been reading at a level expected for such a comment.

From a linguistics point of view I would suggest you take a more pragmatic attitude; in terms of practice, a good way of looking at this is to distinguish a relationship of openly mindful precision rather than a grasping meticulessness towards the object (re Katigiri).

There is a smudged overlap between a claim of 'personal response' and a claim of 'complaint' with regards to your comment.

Real life language doesn't work the way you are appropriating it to negotiate your imaginary relationship to Brad and other posters.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of my new clothes?

leper king said...

"You're an idiot who doesn't read, understand or care what folks here write. You've got serious issues, buddy. GTFO to youtube, you sad, hateful dickhead."

He: Yeah, we all thought something similar but when you respond to a troll in kind you just lower yourself to his sad, hateful, dickhead level which is what he was looking for.. Trolls are constantly probing for weaknesses and looking for proof that everyone is as fucked up as they are. He would like nothing better than to witness a Buddhist hatefest.

anonymous 6.43 said...

I agree leper King

john e mumbles said...

Blake, I saw it posted at the Kansas Zen Center website, and listed in the calendar there.

It can be ALOT of work setting up something like this (well, you tend to get as much out of it as you put into it), plus you need to find accomodations for the artist, make sure they are happy, fed, etc.

Sometimes you can contact the local Chamber of Commerce and find a comp room in a local hotel. Just convince them its a bfd.

Hello from Iran said...

Please listen to this message and then sign the petition if so moved.

He said...

Well sure, leper king. But sometimes you got tell a prick he's a prick.

And now, from the opposite corner, at the smartass end of the spectrum comes 6.43am. WTF are YOU talking about, and to whom and why? First cast out the beam in your own eye, friend.

What IS it with these people?

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

To 'He Said'

As for what the fuck I'm talking about, I'll leave it up there - I don't feel there's much reason to go into any more detail there - not do I think you would want me to. I was addressing #108. And why I did is as ultimately mine to fathom as any other poster - but we can amuse ourselves by having a stab, or express what moves us - ie your feeling the need to call a prick a prick. You chose to go down a more generalised insulting route, I chose to go down what you called a "smartass" one (which takes up more words and perhaps more effort).

> "What IS it with these people?"

Same as with you, I imagine, from reading your contributions.

anon #108 said...

I try my best to be honest and open when I post. I carefully consider what I write. I think, edit, re-think, re-edit and sometimes decide not to post. I do my best. But I have faults, and they will surely emerge in what I write and the way I write it.

Anonymous said...

I agree #108.

And as one addresses others in a post, explicitly and/or implicitly, when posting, which elicits responses. You made your posts and intentions the subject of your posts and I responded to that subject.

I feel free to chose when to address brad's post, the nominal content of the dominant discussion in the comments, or another aspect of a post that moves me.

Why not sometimes critique the critics - after all, it is they who play a part in framing the discourse. Judgements are a tool in this process, to which we can become various attached.

Tea for Two said...

You gonna meet with Jundo this time? Tea and Zazen?

How do you know Jundo even invited him this year?

leper king said...

108 wrote: "I carefully consider what I write. I think, edit, re-think, re-edit and sometimes decide not to post. I do my best."

I can see that. You are considerate. I don't understand why you get so much flack unless it's because a certain type of person hopes to see you unhinged.

leper king said...

It's like the people who keep bringing up Jundo. Do they really care about Jundo and Brad or about anyone really? Probably not usually. They care more about relieving their boredom with a little dumb excitement. We all know that feeling. Some people take it in one direction, some people take it another. It's not easy making peace with boredom. It takes practice.

Anonymous said...

"There is a Zen teacher who uses the English term ‘meticulous’ to describe Zen practice. Meticulous is like looking at a tiny particle of dust in the corner of a box though microscope and then picking it up. Zen practise is not meticulous. If you meticulously take care of each form you will become nervous. You will never be free of your daily life." (Katigiri).

Not always the case Leper King - on both your points.

Anonymous said...

I meant your points at 9.44 Leper King

anon #108 said...

Thanks for your comment @9.44am, leper king.

But I'm no stranger to pissing (some) people off for reasons I can't fathom - I can't dismiss them all as crazy! Frankly, I've given up trying to understand it. So I can only continue my efforts to do what I do honestly. I don't think I'm alone ;)

mtto said...

Captain Awesome wrote: i hope you'll continue, and consider putting them up on itunes if you do.

It will continue, and it is on iTunes.

Hardcore Zen Podcast on iTunes.

Anonymous said...

You were doing well up until then #108

leper king said...

108: You'll probably never know if it's one person or a dozen ragging on you. But could be only one person. Sometimes people get fixated.

Anon quoting Katigiri at 9:52.

I don't know if Katigiri thinks of the same thing as I do when I hear the word meticulous. It's possible he doesn't.
Beyond that I have no desire to be free of my daily life whatever that could mean.

Anonymous said...

To Leper King

Given the Katagiri quote was taken out of its original context, I think your response is perfectly reasonable, although I was assuming that it be placed in the context of my previous post.

Meticulous is meant in contrast to precise, I think: I can neurotically fixate upon the form or object as a discreet thing (and I can treat processes involving forms that way), or I can be aware of the process of my interaction, with precise, aware concentration - whole-hearted and sincere.

I take 'daily life' to mean the repetitive, default behaviours - innately and experientially conditioned habits. And that to be free of them, means to not be in thrall to them. But I understand that this is my contextualisation and that on face value the notion of being free of one's daily life is only possible without a life.

Getting drawn in to a discussion or disagreement is a form of fixation. So to is a well-meaning yet maybe sentimental defence of a fixated behaviour that seeks to elicit sympathy in order to deflect and conceal. We descend into the weeds for all sorts of reasons, Leper King.

Some transfer one addiction to another, and become distended 'therapists' warping the very terms that marked themselves out as signs on the path towards healing. Danger.

Sometimes constructive criticism, sometimes deconstructive criticism. The former can also be used as a cover to sway the sentimental; the latter can also be dismissed, sentimentally, as merely destructive.

Anonymous said...

comprehension feels like origami, donut?

captcha: flogn

Anonymous said...

Meticulous or precise origami?

Yet another anon said...

Hey 3.19 and previous.

Do you read tea-leaves too?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I couldn't have understood the sarcasm without doing so.

The sarcasm suggests a negative reaction to me 'reading into things'.

I see... unsatisfactoriness ahead.

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Anonymous said...

3:33
you are *funny* !!!

Leprechuan said...

when you respond to a troll in kind you just lower yourself to his sad, hateful, dickhead level which is what he was looking for.. Trolls are constantly probing for weaknesses and looking for proof that everyone is as fucked up as they are.

OMG! You just described Brad to a T.

Anonymous said...

Brad said in another post:

"It's because whoever wrote it, it makes damn good sense. This is also why people
in the Mahayana tradition often accept words attributed to Buddha that we know
damned well Buddha couldn't possibly have said since he was already long dead
when those sutras were written."


Brad, while I agree with the substance of what you posted re buddha-ism, there are still some questions and gaps. It is true that the words of Gautama were not written until many years after he died. However, there was a very strong oral tradition in ancient India where designated people would memorize the words of a sage word for word and pass it along from generation to generation. This is how we get the Upanisads and Gita and many other ancient texts. Is this process subject to error? Absolutely. But there is no reason to suppose that the Buddha's words were hopelessly degraded any more than other ancient texts. So it is emphatically NOT true that the Buddha couldn't possibly have said those words. He may well have said the vast majority of them.

Then there is Nagarjuna. He lived almost 2,000 years ago. He seemed to accept the handed-down words of the Buddha as valid since he wrote his many philosophical works based upon them. Nishijima Roshi seems to regard Nagarjuna's words as valid even though he died nearly two thousand years ago. While his words were written rather than handed down orally, there is still wide margin for error in texts copied for so long.

You say 'whoever wrote it (various buddhist sutras) makes damn good sense.' I've often made the same point to those who question the authenticity of sutras. Whoever wrote them, they make good sense. But if they make so much good sense, why don't you quote them as you would master Dogen? You seem to regard reading and understanding master Dogen's words as very important to zen practice. From my reading, it seems that Dogen himself was very familiar with the various sutras as well as the records of the Chinese zen patriarchs. And what about all the other ancient zen masters? Aren't their writings of any value? Or do they differ so much from master Dogen that reading them would confuse anyone practicing Soto zen?
Do you regard Dogen as surpassing the Buddha and all other patriachs and zen masters?

Anonymous said...

44

mtto said...

Anon @ 9:46,

The passage of Brad's that you quote is referring to Mahayana Sutras such as the Flower Garland Sutra, the Heart Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. These texts are not traced back to Indian oral traditions. They were composed hundreds of years after the Buddha's death. Parts of the Flower Garland probably were composed in China, over a long period of time by different authors and compiled into one massive text. The Heart Sutra may be originally Chinese as well. Does this mean they aren't valuable (for practice) Buddhist texts? No, it doesn't.

anon #108 said...

Re the early Pali texts and (metrical) recitation/memorisation, THIS is an good article, I think. It deals with one sutta in particular, but has some very relevant information along the way.


Excerpt:

"While it is not necessarily apparent to English readers, this discourse [the metta sutta] is written in a poetic meter...This naturally gives rise to the question: Is it possible that the historical Buddha actually articulated a discourse in verse form? Looking solely at the Pali Canon, one finds that there are numerous discourses in verse form that are directly attributed to the Buddha. In addition, there are canonical references to some followers of the Buddha as having been former poets and actors, thus indicating that there were contemporaries of the Buddha who were at least capable of composing verse professionally. Thus, based solely on the canonical texts, nothing obviously precludes one from hypothesizing that the Buddha could compose verse."

As I understand it, the vedas were written to be recited and memorised - or are a written record of previously memorised recitations. The situation is different with the Pali cannon, which although it contains passages in meter, suggesting recitation/memorisation, largely comprises reports of the sayings and doings of the Buddha. The authenticity of what's reported may always be the subject of speculation.

khanda6 said...

The Mahayana Sutras were never spoken by the Buddha, but were composed at a later date by shameless monks. To put one's own words into the mouth of the Buddha is heresy. Those who write or repeat such sutras slander the Tathāgata by saying that he taught what he did not teach. They mislead all who listen to them, and create serious obstructive kamma preventing their own realisation of the Dhamma. By promoting a false teaching they reject the original teachings of the Buddha and work for the disappearance of the true Dhamma. Those who originally composed these sutras were guilty of a serious crime for which they must now still be suffering in hell.

pounding square pegs said...

"Those who originally composed these sutras were guilty of a serious crime for which they must now still be suffering in hell."

Yeah, those guys were the original trolls..

Anonymous said...

To Leper King, who said:

"No, not really. I was describing someone who says something they don' t believe in order to stir up the emotions of others and stimulate themselves."

And you would claim the 6.43 am anon's post in reply to 108's 6.10, and subsequent posts were trolling? i.e saying something the poster doesn't believe? What about measured criticisms of another's remarks?

Anonymous said...

origami!

Mysterion said...

Anoying Mouse @ 4:45am

The Lost Symbol - nuff said (read in a day)

The Da Vinci Code - a parody, written by a clown, for fools. (read in a day & 1/2)

Angels & Demons - to be read

Deception Point & Digital Fortress - no interest

One might read 'popular' pulp just to see what the folks are reading. Like Harry Potter (in which I have no interest), one can complement both by saying: "At least people are reading."

Besides, Da Vinci Code brought some breadth to the comparative religions discussion - e.g. the sacred feminine & the Magdalen veneration in traditional Xtianity, &t.

Brown generated enough interest to lift a corner of the veil of ignorance. Give him that.

leper king said...

"Measured criticism of another's remarks" is just that. It's cool.

On the other hand, cowardly sniping from the safety of anonymity is fallacious and yeah, I would call it trolling.

I mean these guys have a reason for posting anonymously.

Anonymous said...

"Foucault's Pendulum"?

He said...

"What about measured criticisms of another's remarks?"

No. Don't kid yourself. More like unpleasant unnecessary ad hominem attacks on another poster's style, character complete with imagined motivational subtext. Completely ignored the subject under discussion. All of which sounds like fancy trolling to me.

The fact that you/whoever won't identify yourself from post to post says all I need to know about credibility and deception far as you/smartass troll is concerned.

I'm just the same? No - I'm criticizing a troll. You/whoever trolled a simple, straightforward post for no useful purpose except to demonstrate to yourself what a smartass you are.


...Can't wait for the reply :/

Anonymous said...

ad hominem attacks

This phrase pops up a lot here when discussing trolls. I don't know what ad hominem means. Just a sec...


ad ho·mi·nem
   /æd ˈhɒmənəm ‐ˌnɛm, ɑd-/ Show Spelled[ad hom-uh-nuhm ‐nem, ahd-] Show IPA

–adjective
1.
appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.

2.
attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

ha, yes, great phrase !!!

But you can look deeper. Why is the troll attacking the person's character rather than answering his argument.

Shadow
Unconscious
Repressed
Shame
Conscious
Expressed
Anger
Identity (Delusion Attachment)
Shamed Identity
Attached to emotion of shame
Not realizing it
Projecting one's insecurities
onto the other
with the conscious mind and expression

Hey non-trolls, what to do when someone is projecting their insecurities onto you? Attack their character back? There. The darkness has won. How does someone call someone on their game without a personal attack? Some folks here are very strong and good at this.

my 2p.

Anonymous said...

hence sila, morality - the word means restraint over there. since the bad juice spits up involuntarily best thing the conscious mind can do is keep the mouth shut and feel the taste. at first.

Anonymous Bob said...

"How does someone call someone on their game without a personal attack?

You can always tell them the truth about their Mamas.

CAPTCHA : priangle : I kid you not

He said...

"Hey non-trolls, what to do when someone is projecting their insecurities onto you? Attack their character back? There. The darkness has won."

Not necessarily.

Some anon asked a question: "And you would claim the 6.43 am anon's post in reply to 108's 6.10, and subsequent posts were trolling?...What about measured criticisms of another's remarks?" It got answered.

And there's a difference between "attacking their character back" and telling a troll why his "arguments" don't wash - not easy when you don't know who the fuck you're talking to and so have no idea WHO is "arguing" WHAT from post to post.

Best not to start the shit in the first place.

108 the merciless said...

I always see these anons bitching about being misidentified and misunderstood. Here's an idea.. Try going by an identifier other than anonymous.

pseudonym said...

yeah!

nom de plume said...

Silly Anon..

Mysterion said...

His Bradness sed:
"I gotta figure out how Dan Brown does it."

Please, don't.

"The adventures Brown relates are formulaic to the point of being robotic ... Dan Brown's writing is so clumsy and inept..." source

Far better to write like Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, or Hemingway, who Steinbeck, in part, emulated.

Dan Brown has his limitations. Please don't impose those limitations upon your writing.

Ad Hominid Sapiens said...

attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

For real. Anybody that would do this is a clown, fraud, butt-buddy, slimy ilk, useless piece of shit, asswipe, dickhead.

Kuu said...

Ad Homi: You should not say anything at all about weenies completely.

Anonymous said...

what about incomple

Anonymous said...

what about incomple

Anonymous said...

weenies

jundo cohen said...

Tea for Two said...

You gonna meet with Jundo this time? Tea and Zazen?

How do you know Jundo even invited him this year?


Hello,

That would not be a true statement, so I would like to correct that. As each year, an invitation was extended before the trip. I have not yet heard anything at all in response, positive or not, but always remain hopeful. If not this year, I will try again next year.

Gassho, Jundo

_______________________________

Invitation to Tea and Zazen Sat, 03 Jul 2010

Dear All,

I would like to invite Brad, Peter, Gerhard, and all of my Brothers and Sisters in the Dharma who may be in or visiting Japan, to visit our Zen Center, join me for a quiet meal and to sit Zazen together. As Brad is visiting Japan next week, it would be a very rare time.

Of course, you are always welcome at our place (a short distance from Tokyo and very close to where Peter lives), and even to spend the night. If that is not convenient for you, I would be happy to meet together at Roshi's apartment. If that is not convenient, we can meet at some place where we can have some time alone, to share a little private time and sit together.

I very much believe that Buddhists should let all hard feelings float away, like water under a bridge. Whatever people feel, it is just a viewpoint. It is all just thoughts, and passed time. Any perceived differences in religious and philosophical opinions, personality, or past events and emotions are obstacles to nothing, dropped away in a moment of Zazen. I believe that all people should learn to put such things aside and get along, maybe most especially 'Buddhist' people. It is best to shake hands, mutually and constantly forgive, apologize for and forget any and all perceived wrongs and offenses, one to the others. I would like to have a good friendship for the future, and I am sure you do too.

As well, I anticipate that I will be in Europe and the U.K. in the coming year sometime, and I hope that many of us will have a chance to meet, eat and sit together then.

Gassho and Peace, Jundo

Anonymous said...

Fuck you Jundo. I hope you get a brain tumor

Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World said...

"Fuck you Jundo. I hope you get a brain tumor"

I hear your cry, anonymous!!

Has Jundo upset you?

What did he do? Tell me the awful, wicked thing that Jundo did...to you.

If you ever want to talk about how you have been wronged by Jundo - or any other matters - I am always here for you.

Have a nice day :-)

Anonymous Bob said...

It is amazing the troll at 12:22 got it together long enough to write a sentence of ten words. The guy has problems.

But Jundo invited that kind of abuse by taking the bait and returning to comment further on the subject. It makes me wonder if JC doesn't intentionally encourage the crazies on this blog. The troll got exactly what he was hoping for and I'm starting to wonder if Jundo did too.

CAPTCHA : bacto : I kid you not

anon #108 said...

CAPTCHA: comente: I kid you not.

Harry said...

Jundo wrote:

"I very much believe that..."

"I believe that..."

"I would like to have a good friendship for the future, and I am sure you do too."

"...and I hope that..."

Yes, our hopes, beliefs and assumptions as to what others want are all well and good (when, that is, they have some basis in reality and when they are not having us act like asses).

Our hopes and beliefs are also our very own business until we try to, say, enforce them on others.

Regards,

Harry.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Why do all ya'll (southern colloquialism) engage in isms? MAYBE zazen does some good. But then again, maybe just sitting in a recliner in a quiet room at the end of the day does the same thing. Spiritualism and that goofy homeopathy clouds the mind just like drugs and alcohol.

Frank said...

Phil-bob, Are you saying that if a scientist is drinking beer while sitting on his recliner in a quiet room at the of the day listening to public radio while treating himself with stramonium, aurum metalicum, natrum muriaticam, arsenicum album, and staphysagria.. that he might be doing himself harm?

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

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Fuck you Jundo. I hope you get a brain tumor"

such anger only burdens your own heart.

let it go...

pounding square pegs said...

Mysterion: You are assuming it's anger when it might be something else. It might be some idiot's idea of having fun. He might be acting out of fear. He might be trolling for Jundo.

Jinzang said...

MAYBE zazen does some good. But then again, maybe just sitting in a recliner in a quiet room at the end of the day does the same thing.

Maybe, maybe ... Believe what you want, live your life the way you choose.

Spiritualism and that goofy homeopathy clouds the mind just like drugs and alcohol.

If so, I'm a goner.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous pounding square pegs said... "Mysterion: ... It might be some idiot's idea of having fun."

Even so, there are certain efforts that are best when not made at all. The Native Americans call it 'word power.' Japanese call it 'unspeakable' and, when intending harm, 'unthinkable.'

Now Japan has as much to do with Buddhism as America has to do with Christianity. Buddhism was handed down from India/Neoal to China and thence Japan. Christianity was handed down from Rome (a late joiner) to England and then America. But you know the old saying...

Mysterion said...

Nepal

Gandolf said...

Any perceived differences in religious and philosophical opinions, personality, or past events and emotions are obstacles to nothing, dropped away in a moment of Zazen. I believe that all people should learn to put such things aside and get along, maybe most especially 'Buddhist' people.

Why just drop them in a moment of zazen? Why not just drop them, period? Why? "most especially 'Buddhist' people....you put it in quotes but as long as we are inwardly buddhist, christian, atheist, muslim, american, french, caucasian, asian, etc then the problem just continues. The whole 'my buddhist thoughts and your buddhist thoughts' bit is just more delusion. My zen is authentic while yours is not is just more delusion.

MAYBE zazen does some good. But then again, maybe just sitting in a recliner in a quiet room at the end of the day does the same thing.

For a great many of us your observation is probably true. Zazen can easily become just a relaxation exercise or a form of self hypnosis. Unless the black lacquer barrel is smashed, sitting in a recliner spacing out works just as well.

Mysterion said...

Someone sed:
"Do you regard Dogen as surpassing the Buddha and all other patriachs and zen masters?"

Surely, you can't be serious.

HERE is a brief time-line.

The Tripitaka (3 baskets of wisdom) are already 2 too many.

The hearsay suttras are about everything remaining of the teaching. Everything else is commentary - and far downstream, at that.

"Do not go by revelation or tradition, do not go by rumour, or the sacred scriptures, do not go by hearsay or mere logic, do not go by bias towards a notion or by another person's seeming ability and do not go by the idea "He is our teacher". But when you yourself know that a thing is good, that it is not blamable, that it is praised by the wise and when practiced and observed that it leads to happiness, then follow that thing ~ Kalama Sutta"

Anonymous said...

Crammed Snooze Trench

(anagram for "hardcore zen comments")

Mysterion said...

In Zazen, there is nothing...

or at least nothing else at the moment.

Zazen is kind of the opposite of Kodak or a condom - it doesn't catch that special moment.

fleeting, everything is fleeting, especially fleet.

Let it go...

but seriously, folks...

Anonymous said...

Film maker Mel Gibson, the National Review's favorite feminist, comes off kind of poorly in some new audiotapes, secretly recorded by his ex-mistress, in between the times he was punching her. He's clearly a hothead. Okay, and a misogynist. And a racist. And a bully and a douchebag. And, oh, let's just come right out and say it, the guy's a monster.

But is he a bad Christian?

Before we get on our high horses about anyone's career-ending rant, we have to remember: Mel Gibson isn't just a feminist; he's also Jesus's best friend. As patron of his own heretical sect, he's quite literally more Catholic than the Pope.

And before the secular humanist lame stream media starts judging Mel's words and actions, maybe they should ask themselves: Do you own a church that still performs a pre-Vatican II Latin mass?

So we can judge him by our own subastral standards, or we can ask: Were any of the feelings he expressed about women actually anti-biblical? Let's look.

GIBSON: So you're not lying to me about fake tits?

And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. Ezekiel 23:3

GRIGORIEVA: I never have.


GIBSON: Yes, you just did.

The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit. Proverbs 22:14

GIBSON: You said they weren't. You fucking lied to me before.

I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets. Ecclesiastes 7:26

GRIGORIEVA: I never did. I never said anything. You never asked me and I never told you. Or maybe you asked me, but I never lied about this.

I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Song of Solomon 8:10

GIBSON: It's not a lie? Who cares.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing. Proverbs 31:30

GIBSON: So they look ridiculous. Get rid of them why don't you?

Thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision... and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23: 32-34

GRIGORIEVA: It's none of your business.


GIBSON: It is. It is.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:22-23

They look stupid. I'm just telling you. That's just an appraisal. Keep 'em if you want. Look stupid. See if I give a fuck. But they're too big and they look stupid.

Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times. Proverbs 5:19

They look like some Vegas bitch. They look like a Vegas whore. And you go around sashaying around in your tight clothes and stuff.

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

I won't stand for that anymore. I don't want my woman to be that.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18

You go out in public and it's a fucking embarrassment to me. You look like a fucking bitch in heat.

I will therefore... that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. 1 Timothy 2:8-9

And if you get raped by a pack of niggers it will be your fault. All right?

And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered,

Anonymous said...

Film maker Mel Gibson comes off kind of poorly in some new audiotapes, secretly recorded by his ex-mistress

But is he a bad Christian?

Were any of the feelings he expressed about women actually anti-biblical? Let's look.

GIBSON: So you're not lying to me about fake tits? - Ezekiel 23:3

GRIGORIEVA: I never have.
GIBSON: Yes, you just did.

The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit. Proverbs 22:14

GIBSON: You said they weren't. You fucking lied to me before.

I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets. Ecclesiastes 7:26

GRIGORIEVA: I never did. I never said anything. You never asked me and I never told you. Or maybe you asked me, but I never lied about this.

I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Song of Solomon 8:10

GIBSON: It's not a lie? Who cares.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing. Proverbs 31:30

GIBSON: So they look ridiculous. Get rid of them why don't you?

Thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision... and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23: 32-34

GRIGORIEVA: It's none of your business.


GIBSON: It is. It is.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:22-23

They look stupid. I'm just telling you. That's just an appraisal. Keep 'em if you want. Look stupid. See if I give a fuck. But they're too big and they look stupid.

Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times. Proverbs 5:19

They look like some Vegas bitch. They look like a Vegas whore. And you go around sashaying around in your tight clothes and stuff.

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

I won't stand for that anymore. I don't want my woman to be that.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18

You go out in public and it's a fucking embarrassment to me. You look like a fucking bitch in heat.

I will therefore... that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. 1 Timothy 2:8-9

And if you get raped by a pack of niggers it will be your fault. All right?

And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered,

Anonymous said...

My apologies, I meant to post the above only once. But seeing how I'm here again, I might as well post this vid of
a man of God.

Anonymous said...

"Poor boy, the mountains couldn't give what you wanted." Master spoke caressively, comfortingly. His calm gaze was unfathomable. "Your heart's desire shall be fulfilled."

Sri Yukteswar seldom indulged in riddles; I was bewildered. He struck gently on my chest above the heart.

My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some huge magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage, and streamed out like a fluid piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body, but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.

The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Road, and noticed also a white cow who was leisurely approaching. When she reached the space in front of the open ashram gate, I observed her with my two physical eyes. As she passed by, behind the brick wall, I saw her clearly still.

All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master's, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation.

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being. The sharply etched global outlines faded somewhat at the farthest edges; there I could see a mellow radiance, ever-undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light.

The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster; fire became firmament.

I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendor issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful AMRITA, the nectar of immortality, pulsed through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as AUM, {FN14-1} the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.

Suddenly the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm.

My guru was standing motionless before me; I started to drop at his holy feet in gratitude for the experience in cosmic consciousness which I had long passionately sought. He held me upright, and spoke calmly, unpretentiously.

"You must not get overdrunk with ecstasy. Much work yet remains for you in the world. Come; let us sweep the balcony floor; then we shall walk by the Ganges."

Anonymous said...

"Poor boy, the mountains couldn't give what you wanted." Master spoke caressively, comfortingly. His calm gaze was unfathomable. "Your heart's desire shall be fulfilled."

Sri Yukteswar seldom indulged in riddles; I was bewildered. He struck gently on my chest above the heart.

My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some huge magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage, and streamed out like a fluid piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body, but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.

The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Road, and noticed also a white cow who was leisurely approaching. When she reached the space in front of the open ashram gate, I observed her with my two physical eyes. As she passed by, behind the brick wall, I saw her clearly still.

All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master's, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation.

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being. The sharply etched global outlines faded somewhat at the farthest edges; there I could see a mellow radiance, ever-undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light.

The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster; fire became firmament.

I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendor issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful AMRITA, the nectar of immortality, pulsed through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as AUM, {FN14-1} the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.

Suddenly the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm.

My guru was standing motionless before me; I started to drop at his holy feet in gratitude for the experience in cosmic consciousness which I had long passionately sought. He held me upright, and spoke calmly, unpretentiously.

"You must not get overdrunk with ecstasy. Much work yet remains for you in the world. Come; let us sweep the balcony floor; then we shall walk by the Ganges."

zenmar said...

I realize that this might provoke the ire of those who exclusively follow the teachings of Dogen and Zen masters who believe in Dogen’s particular view of Buddhism. But reason reminds us that we cannot practice Buddhism or Zen by looking only through Dogen’s spectacles. We must first have the big picture, then see where Dogen fits in. Beginners, especially, need to be cautious. Following personalities like Dogen instead of the Dharma (i.e., the big picture) is a great mistake. It will make spiritual progress almost impossible. I can’t emphasize enough that veterans and beginners need to include Sutra reading and study along with their practice of ‘sitting’. This means reading the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Lankavatara Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and many others—including the Pali canon (Nikayas). These are huge gold mines. Personally speaking, I don’t find much gold in Dogen’s works. / The Zennist

Extra Dark Zen said...

Zenmar said
I don’t find much gold in Dogen’s works.
The Zennist


Beware Zenmar, the 'Dark Zen' guy

Zenmar

anon #108 said...

Hi zenmar,

I don't think there's any need to worry. My guess is that most people who are drawn to, interested in, and'or practise Buddhism will read, at some time or other, all sorts of Buddhist literature. But, as there's such a lot of it, some selection is inevitable. Some will be drawn to the Pali canon, others to Tibetan schools, others to records of Zen Masters.

As you admit to not finding much gold in Dogen's works, you might be re-assured that those who do will have come across passages like this:


From SBGZ Bukkyo (Buddhist Sutras) by Master Dogen


For two hundred years during the Sung Dynasty in China, however, vulgar people insisted wrongly that “We should not even remember the words of the Buddhist patriarchs. Still more, we should neither read nor make use of their Buddhist scriptures and teachings; we should just make our bodies and minds like withered trees or lifeless ash – we should make our bodies and minds like broken wooden dippers or lacquered tubs with no bottoms.” The people who said these things had become non-Buddhists like devils in heaven.

People who insist that Buddhist scriptures are not Buddhist teachings do not want to know of the time when buddhas and patriarchs use Buddhist scriptures, do not study the time when buddhas and patriarchs appeared from the scriptures and do not know the degree of intimacy between buddhas, patriarchs and Buddhist scriptures...they do not know they are ignorant of the facts, they do not want to get the true principles and they are entering again into a second dark world after leaving another dark world. This situation is very much to be pitied...Because these people insist on their theories without reliable sources and have studied these theories under teachers who do the same thing themselves, they have no principles which are reliable.

So we should recognise that Buddhism has without doubt Buddhist scriptures and we should find the standard by which to study these scriptures by studying widely the literature of the oceans and the meaning contained in the mountains.


And this is Gudo Nishijima's summary of the chapter:

"In Buddhism there are fundamentally two ways that can be used to pursue the truth. One is practising Zazen and the other is reading the scriptures (sutras). But some people deny that there is any value in reading Buddhist scriptures and place too much emphasis on the value of practicing Zazen. They insist that Buddhism does not consist of philosophical theories. They say that practicing Zazen only is sufficient to attain the truth and that Buddhist scriptures are useless and in fact harmful to this purpose. Master Dogen, however, did not think so; he esteemed the value of reading the scriptures. He thought that reading the scriptures was an indispensable part of attaining the truth. So he wrote down the true meaning of reading the Buddhist scriptures in this chapter. In his opinion, Buddhist scriptures are not only the Buddhist sutras, but also the Universe itself which shows us and teaches us the true meaning of our lives."

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

And this is Gudo Nishijima's summary of the chapter:

"In Buddhism there are fundamentally two ways that can be used to pursue the truth. One is practising Zazen and the other is reading the scriptures (sutras). But some people deny that there is any value in reading Buddhist scriptures and place too much emphasis on the value of practicing Zazen. They insist that Buddhism does not consist of philosophical theories. They say that practicing Zazen only is sufficient to attain the truth and that Buddhist scriptures are useless and in fact harmful to this purpose. Master Dogen, however, did not think so; he esteemed the value of reading the scriptures. He thought that reading the scriptures was an indispensable part of attaining the truth. So he wrote down the true meaning of reading the Buddhist scriptures in this chapter. In his opinion, Buddhist scriptures are not only the Buddhist sutras, but also the Universe itself which shows us and teaches us the true meaning of our lives."


That sounds like the Old Nishijima, before the "all you need is to straighten the spine and balance the Autonomic Nervous System" Nishijima

anon #108 said...

"That sounds like the Old Nishijima..."

Yep, anon.
And apologies for the tech hitches.

Dogen said...

The holy ones do not stop at dhyana [meditation], and yet they do not oppose dhyana [Dogen, Way of the Buddha]

The dharma as bequeathed by the Buddha; there is no further additional dharma. This principle is the bones of the dharma, the marrow of the way. [Dogen, Way of the Buddha]

The actualization of the Way of all the Buddhas is the Buddha's sutras. Since this is done by Buddhas and Ancestors for the Buddhas and Ancestors, the sutras are authentically Transmitted as the sutras. This is the turning of the Wheel of Reality.

the true intention of the Buddha can be found only in the Sutras!

Anonymous said...

Nothing but the life blood, as they say.

Jinzang said...

Zenmar / Dark Zen is not a trustworthy source for information or guidance about Zen or Buddhism.

Mysterion said...

Mel Gibson is a conservative cath-a-haul-dick.

He is what he is. If you don't like him, don't try to be like him. That's all.

Mysterion said...

Here's a Scholarly view of Dan Brown's physics.

Neti Neti said...

Zen Motivational Poster http://mojo1000.com/1000cuts/zen-motivational-poster.html

Zenmar said...

Jinzang is not a trustworthy source for information or guidance about Zen or Buddhism.

Dan Brown said...

There is nothing that is not a teaching if you are ready for it. The words of the patriarchs are valuable, but only when you understand them. I've seen some people bend words to try and fit what they already believe. There is no similar problem with sitting. It is valuable without belief and takes no understanding.

Mysterion said...

I was walking along an avenue one evening with a friend when we perchance to hear some mumblings from within a garden gate.

Entering the garden, I encountered an altar at the center which was covered by a large linen cloth.

On each of the four sides stood an elderly robed man, mumbling something quite indistinguishable to me.

I observed the altar.

On one side of the altar cloth was written the number '0' (zero).

On another side of the altar cloth was written the word 'null.'

On yet another side of the altar cloth was written the word 'void.'

On the forth side of the altar cloth was written the word 'empty.'



I asked one of the four old gentlemen:






"Is nothing sacred?"

Anonymous said...

hahaha

Anonymous said...

and the other three responded... "not!"

Which did not answer?

Mysterion said...

The Prajñaparamita mantra:
Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha (The mantra of the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra)
is a magic formula - and I am not kidding - that begins with the Hindu 'breath of god' AUM (or O'om properly) and ends with a swaha (hail).

Most Hindu Mantras (magic formulas) begin with O'om and end with swaha.

Other examples:
Om tare tuttare ture swaha.
Om tare tuttare ture mama ayurjnana punye pushting svaha.
Om amarani jiwantiye swaha.
Om dhrum swaha.
Om muni muni maha muniye sakyamuni swaha

Lest we forget: Buddha was no Buddhist (he was a reaction to his Hindu foundation) and Christ was no Christian (he was said to be a reaction to his Hebrew foundation).

The 'oiled fish' (a.k.a. Christ Ixeus) seems to have been a pirate copy of Buddha.

We all know Buddha is a Catholic Saint.

Hokai said...

to Mysterion:

the Catholic Church think over how they could incorporate Buddha as a saint, but unfortunately he does no miracles I've heard...
Simsalabim,
Gerald

Saint Jehoshaphat said...

Hokai:

It's a done deal.

see Barlaam and Josaphat in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

In Philip Hitti's book "History of the Arabs", he mentions that during medieval times in Europe, there was a widely-circulated religious romance story called "Jehoshaphat and Barlaam". Based largely on this story, both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches canonized the said Jehoshaphat, who would have been a "Hindu Prince". Apparently though, the story was actually based on events in Siddhartha Gautama's life, better known as the Buddha. Jehoshaphat is apparently none other than the Buddha himself, which actually means that Buddha has been canonized twice as a saint in the christian religion.

Hokai said...

@Saint Jehoshaphat:

if it's on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat,

it's true?
Hope you are a saint, but not holy,

Gerald