Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time Passes Quickly

I'm back in America now. World Tour 2010 is officially over and done. I'm hardly finished with touring this year. I have a new book coming out in September, Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between, and one I edited and co-wrote with Nishijima Roshi, Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. So I'll have a lot of touring to do ahead of me once those come out.

Still, it's a weird feeling to be done with something that, before I started on it seemed overwhelmingly big. It reminds me of the words you see written on the hans -- wood boards pounded to call people to zazen -- at Soto Zen monasteries all over the world.

生死事大
無常迅速
光陰可惜
時不待人

Shou ji ji dai
Mu jou jin soku
Kou in oshimu beshi
Toki hitowo matazu

Great is the matter of Birth and death;
Life slips quickly by;
To waste time is a great shame;
Time waits for no one;

There are various other translations. At Tassajara they have a different English translation on each han.

It's astounding how quickly even the most amazing events of your life are over and gone. I had a great time seeing the world. I sat zazen in places I never even thought I'd visit. It's a truly incredible world. I'd have a hard time picking out any highlights because it was a trip filled with nothing but highlights. I kept a diary every day of the tour. So one of these days I'm sure there'll be a book about it.

One of my great problems in life is that I'm the kind of person who feels like he always has to be doing something. I don't relax easily. Zazen for me has been, in part, a way to relax and still not feel like I'm wasting time. Vacations are not fun for me because they feel like a waste of time. I want to always be making some kind of progress.

Of course, this is an illusion. But we all have our illusions. The funny thing about Zen practice is that it will show you that your illusions are illusions. And that is a very big deal. That is tremendously helpful. Most people never get that at all.

But zazen will not get rid of your illusions. It shows them for what they are. But it's up to you to do something about that.

What I'm gonna do about it is zazen. In just over a week I'll be at the Great Sky Zen Sesshin. Registration is closed, so you can't sign up anymore. But think of it this way. Gempo Roshi charges folks $50,000 for five days in his presence based on the idea that five days with an "Enlightened Master" will help you make years of progress in just a few days. Well there are five (5) Masters at Great Sky, all with the same Zen credentials as Genpo has, the same level of recognition as an "Enlightened Master." And you get seven, not five, days with ALL FIVE OF US for a twentieth of Genpo's price! Think of how much progress that will get you! What an incredible bargain!!! Someone ought to do the calculations to see how much money you save!

Anyway, after Great Sky I'm heading for Tassajara where I will spend a month or so as a work-practice student. So I'll be up at 4:30 AM and in bed at 8:30 for the next five or six weeks. Zazen every day. Meal chants at every meal. Assigned work schedules. Lots of restrictions and regulations. And I am doing all of this voluntarily when I could be doing pretty much anything else. I'm a writer for Christ's sake! We can do our work getting up at two in the afternoon and staying in pajamas all day! We can even do it dead drunk.

I got no boss. I got no time clock. I'm living the dream, baby! Flying around the world, hanging out with exotic and weird people, eating bizarre food, the whole ball of wax!

Yet I am choosing deliberately to put myself in a position that is very much like the nine-to-five work-a-day grind I spent so much time, effort and energy to finally escape from. Why would anyone do such a thing?

I think the reason so many human beings do the kind of routine drudgery we all complain so much about is because we like it. We like stability and routines. We don't want to live like we're on vacation 24/7. Most writers I know have to force themselves to follow weird artificial strategies in order to simulate what "normal" folks deal with all the time -- what I dealt with until a couple years ago. It's the only way most of us get anything done. This recent tour got me so out of my routines that I feel like I need something fairly drastic to get back on track.

What this means to you folks out there is that this blog will be going on hiatus for a while. You won't see many postings here between mid August and mid September. There's no Internet access at Hokyoji or Tassajara. Maybe I can find a way to phone in entries. I don't know. But more likely the blog will just go dark for a while.
I'm not going away yet. But that's a heads up to let you know what's in store.

Gotta run! See ya!

P.S. The photo this time was taken while driving in to Tassajara two years ago during the big fires there. It's completely unretouched and un-Photoshopped.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

NUMBER ONE
NUMBER ONE
NUMBER ONE
NUMBER ONE
NUMBER ONE

Lu said...

Great post, Brad. Very thoughtful.

Damion said...

Can't wait for the new book Brad. Hope you find that daily routine at Tassajara! I get enough of that work/sleep schedule tucked away in the mountains of WV. HA!

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

Brad, thanks very much for the words on the han. Are these the same as on the hans at Rinzai zendos? Although I sit Soto, I've only heard the beating of the han at Bodhi Manda in Jemez Springs and at the Albuquerque Zen Center where I sat a few weeks back. We're making a han to hang outside in El Paso. Like others, I'm looking forward to both your new books.
Bobby

Serenity said...

Good news about the book, i've been waiting very patiently.
But seriously. "I think the reason so many human beings do the kind of routine drudgery we all complain so much about is because we like it. We like stability and routines. We don't want to live like we're on vacation 24/7."? Um, no. Most do it because it pays the freaking bills. Why else would there be "retirement" if we were having SO much fun trudging off to work every day? You are a very lucky SOB to be following your passion-- and i do appreciate it because it was your books that opened my eyes to Buddhism and i thank you for that-- but you are absolutely living the dream. I'm sure you know that. Just remember that most of us are not.

Anonymous said...

hey warner:how does it feel to be a liar?

Eric van Stegeren said...

Hi Brad,

Or Gempo asks "only" 5000 or you are 200 times cheaper, not 20 ;-)

Thanks for another post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,
Tassajara must be a very historical and wonderful place with all the buildings in japanese temple style. I'm looking forward to my trip to Tassajara in September so much and am happy to meet you there.
Regina

PS: I can't find my identity here in google.......

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Not always so.

Lee said...

I like Robert Aitken's translation:

I beg to urge you everyone:
life and death is a grave matter;
all things pass quickly away.
Each of you must be completely alert;
never neglectful, never indulgent.

Read aloud at the end of every day of sesshin, it's something special.

I'd love to visit Tassajara. I'll make it to the states one day.

Really looking forward to your new book Brad!

Mysterion said...

Tassajara

In 1967, SFZC established Tassajara as the first Zen monastery outside Asia.

And, it includes occidental accommodations.

LOL

OsamaVanHalen said...

Anonymous said...
hey warner:how does it feel to be a liar?
10:44 AM

As if you don't already know.

Brad Warner said...

Serenity, I think there are deeper reasons for the work most people do than just paying the bills. I think that's superficial. It only appears to be the case. This is my strong supposition. I believe we deeply desire to work and to keep to a routine schedule.

Brad Warner said...

"hey warner:how does it feel to be a liar?"

Are you saying the picture of Tassajara was enhanced? I assure you it was not!

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

I ran those Japanese characters through GOOGLE translate and this is what it came up with:
"Great things of life and death
Impermanence quickly
Unfortunately, time
Time Waits"

CAPTCHA = terst

uber-anon said...

Brad said: "I think there are deeper reasons for the work most people do than just paying the bills. I think that's superficial. It only appears to be the case. This is my strong supposition. I believe we deeply desire to work and to keep to a routine schedule."

I think so too. Except of course for Californians like Mysterion, who would rather beat the system for a hand-out.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"hey warner:how does it feel to be a liar?"

MEMORIES OF SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI

AMY SIMPSON

Suzuki Roshi came to my house in Redwood City for meetings for a few months. On one occasion, he left his small emblematic stick. I thought that he might want it before the Sunday meeting in San Francisco, so I stopped by the Temple (then on Bush Street) to leave it.

He was there and when I handed it to him, I asked what the Japanese characters on it meant. "Whatever you say is not the truth," he replied. Thinking that he had misunderstood me, I repeated the question, with the same result. I thought, silently, how true that is. source

Word Verification = ether

Mysterion said...

The stupidity, ignorance, and bravado of Alan Watts:

"REV. SUZUKI VS ROSHI

When I first joined the Los Altos group in 1965, I was told it was correct to address our teacher as "Rev. Suzuki" or "Sensei." Apparently this was the practice at Sokoji and Zen Center in San Francisco. During the winter of 1966, Rev. Suzuki attended a weekend Alan Watts seminar with us. Alan was horrified to hear the term "Rev. Suzuki," and told me, in no uncertain terms, that this was an uneducated and vulgar usage of the English term, "The Reverend." I felt that it was not my place to question the decisions of Zen Center and Sokoji.

Later on in the year, Marian told us that Alan wrote a long and detailed letter to Zen Center on the matter. He suggested that we adopt the term Suzuki Roshi, and reserve the term "Sensei" for assistant priests. A vote was taken and Alan's suggestions were approved.

Suzuki Roshi was away at the time, traveling in Japan. When he returned to Los Altos, he asked us why we were all calling him "Roshi." We told him of Alan's letter to Zen Center and how a vote was taken at the last business meeting. We said that we were supposed to call him "Roshi" from here on. I do not remember a time when Roshi laughed harder or longer. He said it was all right, and then he went off into gales of laughter again." source

Alan Watts was properly ordained and THEY ALONE are "Reverend." Honorific actually mean something ONLY when they are properly conferred. Brit. elitism blended with occidental arrogance?

Alan Watts, though trained to become an Anglican priest, was - 1944 - ordained as an Episcopalian priest. Like Tony Hayward, he was sent here to charm our socks off with his Brit. accent and apparent authority. He was, in the end, just another alcoholic.

Life goes on - sort of.

Anonymous said...

It's no secret, why.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Brad,
is it possible to have your e-mail to write you in private ?
My e-mail is maraldi09@gmail.com

Thank you,
Mario

Hokai said...

WHAAAT? Leaving us alone for a Month or so?
Aaargh!!!!
Man,you got nerves!
And for yourself. That will be a hard time for you Braddy...
No Internet= No Facebook-No Blogger.
You will miss us all, I guess.

Have a good time in Tassajara and maybe the next book willo be about all the dirty things that you'll find under the carpets there ( or stones. Be carful with them, cause Shunryu himself touched the most of them, I´ve heard :-) )
See ya.
Hasta la vista,
Gerald

anon #108 said...

Hi Philbob,

Thanks for the Google Translate machine link. Confused by what you were given for the last line of

生死事大
無常迅速
光陰可惜
時不待人

- I checked the last phrase character by character, and got:


時 = Time

不 = Not

待 = Await

人 = People

Hence, "Time waits for no one."

Anonymous said...

Interesting coincidense, today there was news about a new research in psychological sciences which found that people who have something to do - even if it's pointless - are happier than those who just idle: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729101615.htm

The researches speculate this may help explain why people run around doing things so much.

Anonymous said...

Mario,

the adress can be (or at least used to) found from this site, when you read it carefully and check the links etc.

PS. Are you brother to Luigi?

john e mumbles said...

Blog's going dark?

Famous last words:

"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."
- Oscar Wilde, writer, d. November 30, 1900

biosphere_oli said...

Good to hear someone testify to the ubiquity with which writers (and freelancers etc etc) feel driven to impose absurd schedules upon themselves. The solitary experience of it feels ludicrous sometimes. I spend my days doing various computer based global warming related things, on an optional basis. My version is: 8hrs work, 1 hr 20 mins sitting meditation, 1 hour walking meditation, and 3-4 hours to get out into the world of the living. We r not alone.

john e mumbles said...

And this is for Mysterion:

"Sincerity is the quality where your imperfections show." –Suzuki Roshi

Xabu said...

Did you see that the Clintons are going to spend around three million dollars for Chelsea's wedding? That is insane. The Bush's managed to get Jenna married for 'only' $100,000. Democrats are such hypocrites!

James said...

Rev. Brad,

What's the logic of phoning in blog engries from sesshin or Tassajara? Don't people go to those places to get away from the day-to-day world for a while? (And don't those who stay home learn they can get along without the missing sesshin-goer or similar for a few days/weeks?)

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I can totally understand the desire to work--as a college student and now someone between jobs, I fear this lack of schedule because I lose myself to the openness of the day. I dont' mean that in a hippie-dippy buddhist way, I mean in a "wow what the hell did you just do with the day you pissed away?" kind of way.

Regards,
Matt

Jinzang said...

A blog is like a pet. If you don't take care of it, you'll find its dead stinking carcass when you return from your vacation.

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

Don't worry, guys. I'm going to create a replacement blog.

"Hardcore Zazen"

I'll post my insights and thoughts, much like Brad. The only difference is that my posts will be virtually unreadable and will be shot through with specious reasoning and simple, jingoistic ideas that call to mind the Glenn Beck show.

Anonymous said...

Softcore Glenn?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Xabu said...
"The Bush's managed to get Jenna married for 'only' $100,000."

Perhaps they knew what she was worth.

Did she finish college?

Mysterion said...

FYI both bushes graduated

Mysterion said...

Blogger James said...
"Rev. Brad"

I think it's Ven. Brad (actually the same thing). And Venerable Master = Roshi. THAT is why 'the little' Suzuki laughed so much.

Watts was hardly qualified or otherwise able to identify a "Zen Master."

The highest rank - in the pure Buddhist sense - is "ordinary Monk." The rest is fluff and bubbles.

Anonymous said...

J = Sotapanna
Q = Sakadagami
K = Anagami
A = Arahant

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_enlightenment

anoying mouse said...

An ordinary person, or puthujjana (Pali; Sanskrit: pritha : without, and jnana : knowledge) [ignorant] is trapped in the endless changes of saṃsara. He is born, lives & dies, in endless re-births, as a human, an animal, an organism, or as other entities on a different planet or universe or plane of existence.

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

Annoying mouse wrote:

An ordinary person, or puthujjana (Pali; Sanskrit: pritha : without, and jnana : knowledge) [ignorant] is trapped in the endless changes of saṃsara.

The etymology isn't correct. According to the Pali Text Society's English-Pali Dictionary -

putthu is equivalent to either

1) the sanskrit word pṛthu = spread out, far & wide, flat, broad, wide, expansive, ample, abundant...

or

2) to the sanskrit word pṛthak = separated, individual, one by one, apart or separately or differently from...

1) is preferred by PTS as the more appropriate derivation. So nothing to do with pritha (which doesn't mean 'without', but the palm of the hand).

AND jana (is the same word in Sanskrit; the two Js in puthujjana result from the union of the two parts of the compound) = creature, living being; usually collectively: people. From the root jan = born, produced; (or, transitively) to generate, beget, produce...So nothing to do with jnana, knowledge.

And so, as "one-of-the-many-folk," Puthujjana comes to mean "an ordinary, average person, a common worldling, a man of the people, an ordinary man."

The etymomlogy doesn't support a reading of the word as referring to a person "without knowledge".

anon #108 said...

And while pritha does mean the palm of the hand, there is a misunderstanding which can arise from use of "ri" to transliterate the semi-vowel more usually written as ṛ . Regardless, prthak doesn't appear as *ptṛha* or *pritha*, on its own or in compounds.

And while jñāna (Sanskrit) does mean knowledge, the Pali equivalent is ñana, not *jjana*.

That's my understanding as of 1.16pm today.

anon #108 said...

I realise you've just C/P'd Wiki, A.Mouse, but Wiki may be wrong in this instance.

john e mumbles said...

Time, he flexes like a whore
falls wanking to the floor
his trick is you and me, boy...

(C'mon you rock and rollers, whose song is this?)

And, one of my favorites (not a song, just a twist on an old saying:)

Time wounds all heals.

Also see: Richard Hell and The Voidoids

Anonymous said...

"Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. And what is not yours?

"The eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. Forms are not yours... Eye-consciousness is not yours... Eye-contact is not yours... Whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.

"The ear is not yours: let go of it...

"The nose is not yours: let go of it...

"The tongue is not yours: let go of it...

"The body is not yours: let go of it...

"The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. Ideas are not yours... Intellect-consciousness is not yours... Intellect-contact is not yours... Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.101.than.html

Anonymous said...

peace

Anonymous said...

"One of my great problems in life is that I'm the kind of person who feels like he always has to be doing something. I don't relax easily. Zazen for me has been, in part, a way to relax and still not feel like I'm wasting time. Vacations are not fun for me because they feel like a waste of time. I want to always be making some kind of progress."

I didn't realize how alike we are. I could have written that. Even when relaxed I still manage to find the next 'important' thing to do. Maybe its part of the survival instinct.

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

If we believe that in order to 'become buddha' we must gain knowledge as intellectual understanding - for those without intellectual understanding are "trapped in the endless changes of saṃsara" - we might make a mistake. We might delude ourselves further by justifying this mistake with some erroneous understanding of, for example, the literal meaning of an ancient Pali word.

There again, we might make the mistake of believing that knowledge, jñāna, is some of kind of arcane, mystical insight granted to us by a enlightened teacher, and that without it we can never be happy. Again, we might justify this mistake by reference to some erroneous understanding of the literal meaning of an ancient Pali word.

There again, we might make the mistake of believing that knowledge/intellectual understanding is not to be trusted, and so we might deny the usefulness of the simple observations that are our shared everyday experience, our social reality - like the usefulness of understanding what words mean.

And there again, to believe that there is no knowledge, insight, or understanding to gain might be a big mistake.

Mysterion said...

The Twelve Causes of Suffering:
Ignorance
Unnecessary Activity based on Ignorance
Mistaken perception arising from ignorance
Deceptive Objects of Consciousness (e.g. I want one of those too.)
Six Points of Entry for Deception (eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch, and intuition)
Unnecessary Contact with Marginal Objects (e.g. beyond the realm of food, water, shelter, clothing)
Unnecessary Sensation (e.g. thrills)
Hedonism and Hatred
Clinging to material things (a BMW 325i)
State of Transmigration (Wanting to 'do it all over.')
Birth and Illness (our rebirth reflects cause and effect)
Old Age and Death (the law of causation means that humans must grow old and die)

It is no error that, from the time of Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni to the present, debate has been part of the core curriculum within Theravada Monasticism. Indeed, the trivium of both Mahayana and Theravada reflect a classical education.

That Chaun (Zen) is not about eloquent debate but intuitive wisdom is but an adaptation of Buddhism for the illiterate (first Chinese and later Japanese). By moving to an all-oral (e.g. koan instruction) tradition, it was thought that more could be "saved" from the cycles of rebirth. Modern classicists (e.g. non-Chuan) debate this issue periodically. It is thought by some that every human who ever lived has been reborn into the present generation (e.g. 7 billion humans) as a final opportunity to wake up before the planet sheds its human inhabitants.

I have often said, from a young age, that I am here ONLY to watch the closing credits to see who the 'gaffer' and the 'best boy' turned out to be.

The gaffer is the chief electrician who supervises set lighting.

The best boy's duties include scouting locations with the gaffer, making scouting notes to help the gaffer compile the list of equipment needed.

Somebode needs to shed some light on this stuff...

*the Trivium has been used for centuries. The Trivium is simply a means of describing learning stages. The Trivium focuses the educational method to best develop a knowledgeable, thinking, and articulate student. There are three stages represented in the Trivium: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.

How to frame speech.

How to organize speech.

How to perform speech.

Jinzang said...

The etymomlogy doesn't support a reading of the word as referring to a person "without knowledge".

Buddhist commentaries are filled with false etymologies. I don't remember this one, but I wouldn't be surprised run across it.

Mysterion said...

Somebode

I wanted to say

Some Bodhi but flinched...

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

Hi John e,

"Time, he flexes like a whore..." - I thought 'Bowie?', but had to google to find TIME. I stopped listening to Bowie after Alladin Sane; caught up again much later.

"Time Wounds All Heels" - is a song, by Nick Lowe, from his album "The Abominable Showman". Turns out Groucho Marx is credited with first saying it.

a kangaroo with no hoop said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBPGm4Fbo0Q

Here's a band from Akron. Can you believe it Akron?

john e mumbles said...

Yeah 108, Those lyrics from TIME were by Bowie, and it was ON Aladdin Sane! I'd forgotten about the Nick Lowe song, I didn't follow him after Rockpile, who I once saw open for Elvis Costello, along with Mink DeVille oh so loong ago...but I sure dug Nick's Pure Pop For Now People...

Hmmmmnnn: Bowie had an album titled Low...

Anonymous said...

That band from Akron rock kangaroo man. Thanx

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

TIME was ON Aladdin Sane???

Blimey. So it was. I thought something rang a feint bell. But it was oh so loong ago, weren't it? That's my excuse. Often.

...Always been a Dave Edmunds fan. Nick Lowe got a bit too smart with the puns and such when he went solo, I thought. Some nice stuff though.

anon #108 said...

and that should be faint not *feint*. Oh dear.

Mysterion said...

Copied and attributed here.

Also found >HERE - a useful reference.

found here

a lot o' people follow this blog...

(congrats)

john e mumbles said...

Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can't put it off another day
I don't care what others say
They say we don't listen anyway
Time has come today
(Hey)

Oh
The rules have changed today (Hey)
I have no place to stay (Hey)
I'm thinking about the subway (Hey)
My love has flown away (Hey)
My tears have come and gone (Hey)
Oh my Lord, I have to roam (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)

Now the time has come (Time)
There's no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I've been loved and put aside (Time)
I've been crushed by the tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x11]

Oh
Now the time has come (Time)
There's no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I've been loved and put aside (Time)
I've been crushed by tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Anonymous said...

Ticking away the moments that make up at all day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Mysterion said...

let's post something cheerful about TIME:

On White Ashes
(Hakkotsu no Gobunshø)
This letter by Rennyo Shonin is usually read by Shin (Jodo Shinshu) ministers at funeral services.

Now, if we look realistically at the nature of human life, we see that it is fleeting and unpredictable, illusive almost.

Birth, life and death pass by in the twinkling of an eye.

Thus we never hear of the human body lasting for ten thousand years.

And who today can keep the body young and healthy for even one hundred years?

How quickly our lives slip away.

Whether I am the first or someone else, whether today or tomorrow, our lives on earth do indeed one day come to an end.

Life seems to vanish unseen like ground water, or to evaporate like the morning dew on the summer lawn.

Thus our bodies may be radiant with health in the morning, but by evening they may be white ashes.

If the right causes and conditions prevail, our two eyes are closed forever, our breathing ceases and our bodies lose the glow of life.

Our relatives in great numbers and with great wealth can assemble, but they are powerless to change our situation.

Even the rites and rituals of grief and mourning change nothing.

All we can do is prepare the body for cremation; all that is left is white ashes...

Rennyo (1414-1499)

comment deleted said...

Who can say where the road goes,
Where the day flows?
Only time...

And who can say if your love grows,
As your heart chose?
Only time...

(interlude)
Dee dah day, dee dah day, dee dah day
Dee dah doe day doe, dee doe day doe

Who can say why your heart sighs,
As your love flies?
Only time...

And who can say why your heart cries,
When your love lies (dies)?
Only time...

(interlude)
Dee dah day, dee dah day, dee dah day
Dee dah doe day doe, dee doe day doe

Who can say when the roads meet,
That love might be,
In your heart.

And who can say when the day sleeps,
If the night keeps all your heart?
Night keeps all your heart...

(long interlude)
Dee dah dah dah
Dee dah dah dah
Dee dah dah dah
Dee dah dah dah

Who can say if your love grows,
As your heart chose?
Only time...

And who can say where the road goes,
Where the day flows?
Only time...

Who knows?
Only time...

Who knows?
Only time...

Arhat Ariya Shakya said...

Zen is not Buddhism.

The founder of Buddhism, Siddharta Gautama, the One Buddha, never allowed sexual relations in His Sangha.

Zen priests engage in sexual relations. Consequently, Zen is not Buddhism.

Therefore, the title of your book: "Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between" is an error.

anon #108 said...

ZEN IS NOT BUDDHISM!?

Oh Well. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry folks, that self proclaimed Arhat 'Dharma' Dan Ingram says buddha was wrong as we can get all sexy and still be righteous buddhists :)

CynicalBoy said...

Gotama didn't
Use an electric toothbrush
Great liberation!

john e mumbles said...

The "Buddha" did not intend "Buddhism" any more than Mysterion wants Mysterionism to appear after his passing.

However, Brad may want to be remembered as an extraordinary swordsman.

Brad Warner said...

Arhat,

Thank you for your input. But I think you're mistaken. Gotama Buddha did allow sexual relations in his sangha. The sangha includes more than the monks. Even Gotama Buddha never forbade sexual relations among the sangha, only among the monks.

As for Zen, this is also mistaken. Zen Buddhist monks outside of the Japanese traditions are usually celibate. In fact a great many monks within the Japanese tradition are also celibate.

It is true that Japanese monks (male and female) are no longer required by Japanese law to be celibate. And this causes some Buddhists outside Japan to look askance at them.

But in any case, my book is not intended for monks as much as for Buddhist laypeople who have always, since the time of Gotama Buddha, been free to engage in sexual relations.

Woodie Buddha said...

"He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, abstains from it. He has no intercourse with girls who are still under the protection of father or mother, brother, sister, or relative; nor with married women, nor female convicts; nor lastly with betrothed girls."

Anonymous said...

time passed.
the future was yesterday.
how soon is now?

Anonymous said...

Time flies whether you are having fun or not

Don't know who said it but I use it a lot


Don't know what the appeal of Tassajara is to some folks
Haven't seen it myself, don't care for valleys I'm a mountain or coastal dweller,
Deserts and valleys and plains don't call me to them, but had I grown up in the midWest Ohio say then maybe landlocked feels right down homey

john e mumbles said...

Great movie about Edward Espe Brown, the famous Tassajara cook who compiled the bread book and vegetarian cookbook of the same name:

HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE

Lots of documentary footage of Suzuki Roshi

Andre said...

I think the need to work--produce--in natural. I'm a high school teacher (please no teacher jokes!) and near the end of the summer I find myself itching to work. Maybe not teach (ha ha), but work in some way. As far as posting your blog, can't you just text it in?

Andre said...

Here's an idea that just occurred to me, Brad: why don't you offer a guest blogger on your site while you're away? Or several bloggers--you can approve the material and then post it yourself. It would save you time but keep the fans reading. That would be so cool!

Arhat Ariyashakya said...

Brad Warner for money failed miserably.

Blake said...

Just in that short time you stayed in our house, my cat moved forward years in his practice.

Anonymous said...

"Brad Warner for money failed miserably."

For money Brad Warner failed miserably?

Money Warner for failed miserably Brad?

Miserably money Brad for Warner failed?

I love lamp?

IT Support North Hollywood said...

I have no interest in seeing Eat Pray Love, and only middling interest in Salt and The Other Guys, but it's hard to turn down a free movie that's convenient to get to.

Evan said...

You can sit with Genpo for free at the Zen center in SLC. Those people want to make those contributions to Genpo's work as tax write offs, they are filthy rich people. That is what you actually despise.

Daniel said...

Really nice..........

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