Friday, September 24, 2010

Reviewing My Reviewers

I forgot to mention that Tricycle magazine's blog noticed the buzz that Sex, Sin And Zen was getting and put up this article about it. Neat.

Also, I got a notice in Scene magazine, the very same mag where I found the ad that Zero Defex placed for a bass player back a million years ago. And speaking of Zero Defex, we're playing again on Tuesday night at Annabelle's in Akron for anyone who missed the show at the Kent Stage on Saturday.

It was an amazing show, by the way. If you missed it, too bad for you because you missed something really cool. I feel like I can brag all I want about Zero Defex because it's not really my band, in the sense that I didn't start it or write most of the songs. Zero Defex is a force of nature. It's a creature that only exists when the four of us manage to get together and bring it forth out of wherever pit of darkness it hides the rest of the time. I'm telling you folks, last Saturday night we subjugated!

On Sunday, the day after Zero Defex destroyed Kent, Ohio, I got to go up to Cleveland and hang out with Tim McCarthy, my first Zen teacher (thanks to Zak for driving me up there and Jayce for hosting the get-together). He's still as foul-mouthed as ever. Someone told him that I talk about him more in my new book than I have in any of the previous ones. That might be true. I don't know. But every time I see him I realize how much of my schtick I've stolen outright from him.

Speaking of reviews, the reviews for Sex Sin And Zen have been real interesting. My favorite line so far is, "Coming soon, the inevitable Brad Warner sex tape. It’s just a matter of time because I’m willing to bet the farm that this guy is getting laid like crazy." The same reviewer says I can't be a monk because monks are celibate and monastic. Not so. The guy ought to read up a bit on the Japanese Buddhist tradition. As for getting laid like crazy, that depends on what you mean by "crazy." Sorry. That's another one of my juvenile jokes.

It's just funny to read about what people imagine my life to be. It's intensely bizarre to have so many people you don't know commenting on your life and usually getting it so incredibly wrong. I used to find it far more worrisome than I do now. Now it's just silly.

I don't mind bad reviews when they're thoughtful. And the one excerpted above was actually OK. So far most of the reviews have been good, even the one I'm quoting wasn't really negative. The last time I got a bad review that was actually bad as a review was when Enlighten Next magazine (then called What Is Enlightenment) got pissy because I dissed their buddy Ken Wilber in Hardcore Zen. The reviewer gave no indication he'd read the book at all. But the editors wanted it trashed so he did his job.

Some reviewers think that I write in some kind of contrived persona. That I must not be really like whatever image that pops into their heads when they read me. And, of course this is true. That guy doesn't exist at all except in their heads. Same as the guy you are imagining right now does not exist at all except in your head. That's just how the game works.

People are always going, I've seen his videos on YouTube or I met him in person and he's nothing like his books. Which I just scratch my head about. I can only guess that these folks read what I write while imagining a voice something like Randy Blythe when he sings for Lamb of God. I ought to do an audio book so people can hear those lines delivered in my real voice. But then maybe I shouldn't destroy people's dreams. (This was a big deal when I worked at Tsuburaya Productions. We never allowed photos of people putting on or taking off the Ultraman costume because it would "destroy children's dreams.")

Anyway, I just write the way I write. My persona is as contrived as every other human on Earth's persona. Your persona is also a contrivance. So what?

Reviewers seem divided on whether the long interview with Nina Hartley was the best part of the book or the worst. Some say I should have devoted the entire book to interviews, others say the Nina Hartley stuff went on far too long. Me, I'm happy with it as it is. I think she makes some really important points that I couldn't possibly make myself. I don't agree with everything she says, but I didn't want to editorialize.

Some people didn't like the fact that the book is less of a memoir than my previous books. But I really did not want to write a book about my personal sex life. I don't think that would be very useful, and, unfortunately, it would be far less interesting than the reviewer quoted above would expect.

I thought it was high time someone addressed how contemporary Western Buddhists were dealing with issues of sexuality. It's an important subject and so far all we've really been presented with are what monastic Buddhists in ancient Asia did. Their solutions may be instructive but they really can't be applied to the world we live in, not without significant modification. And I talk about how those rules have been modified by people today trying to continue the tradition.

I was hoping the book would spark some discussion of the subject, and it has. This is one of the reasons I included some of my own views that I knew would not be accepted by a lot of practitioners. My views on pornography, S&M and prostitution, to give a few examples, are not shared by a lot of other Buddhists. So maybe this book will give those folks something to react to and talk about.

In the Zen school our only guideline for the past thousand years or so has been not to misuse sexuality. What the fuck does that mean? When Buddhism got transplanted in North America, a lot of people read that to mean what American conservative Christians mean when they say the stuff that they say about sex. But I don't think it comes from the same place at all. Am I right? Am I wrong? Only you know for certain.

NOTE: I've added a "donate" button on the upper left hand corner of the blog. If you'd like to make a donation to this blog to help it continue, now you can.


Anonymous said...


Captain Awesome said...

well i, for one, thought it was awesome :)

Mysterion said...

Within cultural groupings, the occidental cultures and the oriental cultures have somewhat different views.

In the east, sex was clean, fun, normal, and celebrated.

In the west, sex was sin, dirty, nasty, abnormal - used only for the production of children, and hidden. Thus, sex made for good comedy.

Laugh it off...

OsamaVanHalen said...

"Occidental cultures"? “I don't believe in occidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no occidents.” Pablo Picasso

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Mysterion said...

His Bradness sed:
"It's just funny to read about what people imagine my life to be."

It's a series of journeys, not destinations.

The only consistency one should strive for in Zazen is posture.


yeaki said...

A donation button is a good idea. All the free publicity in the world don't pay the restaurant bills.

MMoney don't get everything, it's true
What it don't get, I can't use
Now give me money (that's what I want)
That's what I want (that's what I want)
That's what I want (that's what I want), yeah
That's what I want

Well, now give me money (that's what I want)
A lot of money (that's what I want)
Whoa, yeah, I wanna be free (that's what I want)
Whoa, a lot of money (that's what I want)
That's what I want (that's what I want), yeah
That's what I want

Mysterion said...

BTW Brad:

A follow up to our conversation @ Diesel's.

Kannon Do

"In 1969, Suzuki-roshi suggested that Haiku Zendo invite Kobun Chino-sensei to become its resident teacher. Kobun arrived in February, 1970, and lived for nine months with the Kaye family." source


Non members & beginners? SEE

Say Hello to Les for me (Please give Les my best regards).

Anonymous said...

Brad, Instead of putting up a donation button, why not try out for your own Oprah sponsored television show. Dr. Phil made millions doing it. Now even Genpo Roshi is trying to get on Oprah TV.

Jerry said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"...Oprah sponsored television show. Dr. Phil..."

In 1989, Dr. Phillip C. Mcgraw co-founded Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI), a company that assists the legal profession by conducting mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection and mediation.

It was through CSI that Dr. Phil met Oprah Winfrey. In 1996, Oprah was being sued by cattlemen who claimed she defamed the beef industry on one of her shows, and Oprah hired CSI to help with her case. Dr. Phil did just that in 1998, and soon after he became an expert on her show, dealing with life strategies and relationships.

see THIS

What has Brad done for Oprah, lately?

Lone Wolf said...

I can vouch for Brad...the Zero Defex show was amazing! It's too bad that Kent, Ohio was destroyed during the mayhem; it was pretty sweet town. Jimi Imig is quite the character on stage...such spontaniety. It was a blast!

Hokai said...

"Some people didn't like the fact that the book is less of a memoir than my previous books."

Yezzsir,I'm one of these persons.

"But I really did not want to write a book about my personal sex life."

I was curious how the story continued with the smart girl you ****** in Tassajara, for example.

"I don't think that would be very useful, and, unfortunately, it would be far less interesting than the reviewer quoted above would expect."

I think our sex life is far less interesting for others in some case than the sex life of an upgrowing zen master like you Brad. We don't want to spoil our hope that you are the Ultraman of Zen and act like a role model for passionate compassion.
Maybe I don't put too fine a point upon this.
I admit freely that I expect some blue jokes.

P.S.It's your turn, Harry...

Horst said...

Brad, I wonder if sex is discouraged at Tassajara?

Anonymous said...

One of the tings i really began to realize after reading SSaZ was how ingrained we are with christian ideas about sexuality even if we are not formally indoctrinated into Christianity. My folks raised us with no religion at all (though they didn't discourage us to do our own research)and Spent most of my formative and teen years trying to be rebel against everything that Christianity espoused and yet, to this day, i cant seem to shake some of my notions that are clearly lifted right out of the christian handbook.

It interesting to contemplate how much rancor is about what you wrote and how much is about the deeply buried conditioning that most of us in the west seem to have been raised with.

anyway, in my opinion this was one of your best books. thanks.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Horst said...
"Brad, I wonder if sex is discouraged at Tassajara?"

I hope Brad clarifies this:

1) Tassajara is not a 'hook up' place
2) If you arrive as a couple at Tassajara, then there are no restrictions.
3) Tassajara has a traditionally clothing optional hot springs.
4) Nudity is not sex (e.g. the hot springs experience)

Of course Freud, who was screwed up enough in his own right, equated water with sex. Jung would have water more as a 'returning to the womb' (e.g. innocence). Alfred Hitchcock would have water (or anything else) related to paranoia.

Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto, and others equate water with purification.

I equate water with misugori. Buddhist 'Misugori' is an adaptation of the Japanese Shinto Water Purification Ritual 'Misogi.'

West, nudity in water = dirty.

East, nudity in water = pure.


Zach said...

"The same reviewer says I can't be a monk because monks are celibate and monastic. Not so. The guy ought to read up a bit on the Japanese Buddhist tradition."

Sounds like whoever said that was thinking of monastic in a Western sense...
And I think we all agree that you aint that.:)

But I wonder - aside from having black robes and okesa, a bullet point on a resume' and a really cool pick up line - what makes you a monk?
...Or at least, a monk that is in any way different from a lay-practitioner...

mtto said...

Hey Zach,

Brad has written on that subject at length a number of times on this very blog. Just do a search for posts on "leaving home" and/or "shukke".

Zach said...

Ahhh excellent...
Thanks for pointing that out.

Looks like the answer to my question is: "no difference at all"

mtto said...

... or, "ordination". The Western equivalent would be minister or priest, probably. So yeah, there is a difference.

Brad Warner said...

Horst, you can read in detail about Tassajara's rules concerning sex among its students in Sex Sin And Zen. Basically sex is not permitted unless you come in as a couple or unless both parties have been in Tassajara at least 6 months. This virtually eliminates the possibility of hooking up since very few people stay 6 months. A training period is 3 months and the summer guest season is also 3 months.

Brad Warner said...

Hokai, we broke up. :(

(I hate emoticons, but this one is called for)

Brad Warner said...

Zach and mtto: Yeah "monk" is an unfortunate term since it is borrowed from the Catholic tradition and doesn't fit very well. But I find it preferable to "priest" for what I do/am, and it's infinitely preferable to "master," "roshi" or even "sensei." Nishijima Roshi called me a monk and I noticed that Leonard Cohen also refers to himself as a monk. When I was at Tassajara this time, that was the first time I really felt like a monk.

john e mumbles said...

As a monk, who did you feel at Tassajara? ...badump-bump!

Butt seriously, I would love to see your hardcore band someday. Maybe you should tour band and books simultaneously?

And "monk" "priest" etc. aside, alright if we just call you Brad?

Blake said...

I don't know if you are getting a ton of ass but I do know one ginger pussy who was all up on your jock in Kansas City. *WINK WINK*

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like whoever said that was thinking of monastic in a Western sense..."

No. It's not that easy. Monk is the english word we choose to translate the sanksrit bhiksu (Pali bhikku)

There are some 200 rules for the bhikku; sexual relations, taking of life, stealing, or boasting of spiritual attainment will lead to expulsion. A bhiksu shaves his head and face, owns a few essential items, and begs daily for his food. Theravada Buddhism forbids monks to handle money and perform labour. Chan (Zen) Buddhism requires monks to work.

Only the Japanese bhikkus are allowed sexual relations or marriage. The celibacy requirement is through-out the east and not just some western notion of monkhood. Further, the rule was not even relaxed by a decision of the religious authorities themselves but the japanese government. This isn't some quaint, western misunderstanding of what a buddhist 'monk' is supposed to be. It is a Japanese aberation originating from the Japanese government.

Anonymous said...

The thing I've been noticing about this blog lately is that you seem to be obsessed with yourself and your career. I've been a reader since the early days, when there was a website and not a blog, and every article on the website was about some aspect of Zen, and was quite interesting. Now you seem to write constantly about yourself, and almost never about Zen, and frankly, I'm not that interested in you. I'm interested in Zen. I'm sure folks have pointed out that Dogen warned against seeking fame and gain through Zen, and now I see why; that seems to be all you're interested in anymore, and the whole thing is terribly boring. I wish you'd get back to talking about Zen, and less about the remarkable career and amazing celebrity of Brad Warner. The Zen world is a small one, and there's really not much celebrity to be had there.

(But that podcast from Tassajara, about Dogen's view of God, was excellent, and quite provocative. Let's have more of that.)


Harry said...


I think you have a point there. It could be argued that Brad is, or has been, playing with the 'minor celebrity' thing in an interesting and subversive (or at least tongue-in-cheek) way, but, if he is or has been then, to my mind, it's getting a bit past its sell by date... and a lot of people didn't seem to 'get' it besides.



Harry said...

...on the other hand, no one else seems to be doing it and it's getting people thinking and poking at and beyond their comfort zones...


Harry said...

...on the other other hand, will it lead to sloppy imitators who use the 'in-your-faceness' and stroppy language and attitude to reinforce their own laziness and pathologies...

Harry said...

... on the... leg... should we have to diligently watch how and what we say all the time because some people are reckless idiots and are on the lookout for someone to blame for it?

Harry said...

...on the other leg: Brad is a Buddhist teacher, does this mean he should act different? In acting different because some expect him to would he really be doing those 'some' a disservice?

Harry said...

On the big toe: would his acting different inspire people to adopt a more restrained, ethical lifestyle, or merely to copycat his conduct? Would this really be ethical?

Harry said...

...on the other big toe: Is Brad just indulging his wanting to be a minor celeb and are we just dust motes floating through his constellation?

Or all/none/some/other than all of the above.



Brad Warner said...

The anonymous comment about the rules for bhikkshus in the Theravada lineage expresses a point I have heard often, that the lack of a rule of celibacy for Japanese Buddhist monks is "a Japanese aberration originating from the Japanese government."

This is a common complaint from Buddhists of non-Japanese lineages. I do not agree with this sentiment at all.

Historically speaking it is true that the rule of celibacy for monks, as well as many other monastic rules, were a matter of law in Japan until the 1860s. In the 1860s these laws were taken off the books. The monks could have chosen to abide by their traditional rules anyway. The rules for Christian monks in the West are not matters of law yet Western Christian monks abide by them. But most Japanese monks chose otherwise and a new tradition was established.

It is this new tradition that has allowed Buddhism to grow and flourish in the 20th and 21st centuries. Without this change you would not have so many non-monastic people practicing as they do in the West today.

Suzuki Roshi said that his Western students were "neither monks nor laypeople" in the traditional sense. This phenomenon would not have happened if the rules of celibacy (among others) had been maintained.

There's a TON more to say about this, and I have said a lot of it in my current book. But maybe I need to write a piece on this blog about the matter as well. Stay tuned.

Brad Warner said...

As for Professordave's comments about whether this blog is more about me than about Buddhism...

I never looked at this blog as a way to teach Buddhism. It has always been a way to promote my teaching of Buddhism and my career as a writer. I feel like a blog isn't really the best way to teach Buddhist philosophy. It's too ephemeral. People read blogs too casually. Good articles get buried far too fast and can't be accessed later. Etc. Books and lectures are a far better medium for teaching Buddhism. This is why the lecture Professordave refers too was a lot more about Buddhist philosophy than what's on this blog.

The good news for people who agree with Professordave is that I've been asked to write for Suicide Girls again. I feel like the way the blogs there are presented offers a better opportunity to get into more depth. They have a new "Safe For Work" URL where my material (and that of other writers) will be presented. Details coming soon.

Perhaps people would like to post philosophical questions they'd like to see addressed here.

Brad Warner said...

Blake, yeah, I'm craving some of that hot KC pussy right about now...

Brackish said...

"It could be argued that Brad is, or has been, playing with the 'minor celebrity' thing in an interesting and subversive (or at least tongue-in-cheek) way"

Harry, I know that is currently your pet theory on Brad but I think he might not be that considered. It could be that he really craves fame and the resulting cash because it beats the hell out of really working for a living, especially when you are someone Brad's age. Hard work was fine for monastic Buddhists in ancient Asia but for post modern hipsters like Brad it just doesn't fly.

stone_darth said...

Dudes...if you think what Brad does doesn't require hard work and dedication...well, you are seriously deluded.

Glad to hear about your new writing gig Brad!

Brad Warner said...

Brackish, "the resulting cash???" Dear lord in Heaven. If you had to survive on what I make doing this...

The advances I get for a book are about 1/3 what my annual salary was when I was "working for a living." And the market will only realistically bear about one book every two years. So make that 1/6 of my former salary. And it takes about 20 times more effort to make even this much cash compared to what I was doing before.

As for fame, it's nice and it's annoying in equal measure. So it comes out pretty much even.

Do I like what I'm doing? Hell yes. You better believe it. Or else I wouldn't be doing it.

Thanks stone-darth.

David said...

Mr. Warner, I am the guy who said you weren’t a monk. And you’re not. The word monk is derived from the word monastic: of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a secluded, dedicated, or austere manner of living. That includes celibacy. Eastern or Western, it’s the same thing. Of course, in the beginning there weren’t any monks or priests in Buddhism, just Bhikkhus which did not mean either monk or priest in its original sense.

In the Japanese Buddhist traditions, most ordained “clergy” are more like priests, they are not celibate and do not necessarily live in seclusion. Now, come on, you know this. Perhaps though you find it advantageous to take on a somewhat false persona, or maybe you’re just going with a common approach, since a lot of Buddhists who aren’t monks call themselves that. But it is a minor point. Although it is interesting that you pick out this rather personal item, which has nothing really to do with your book, rather than any of the other comments I made that were directly pointed to your work.

I wasn’t criticizing non-celibacy. Personally I think celibacy is overrated.

To me "like crazy" is a term I would use for any situation in which I suspect someone is getting laid more often than I am.

Brad Warner said...

Thanks David. And I wasn't really aiming to critique your critique. I was more going for a laugh.

As for the term "monk," I feel it's in some sense analogous to the way Buddhism borrowed Taoist terms when it came to China. Gradually these originally Taoist terms took on Buddhist meanings as people became more familiar with the way they were used in Buddhism. Yet the confusion over the Taoist meanings of some terms and their Buddhist usage continues today.

I use the term "monk" because it seems to be the least bad of the poor alternatives. And, as I've said, because that's the word the man who ordained me as a monk used when he ordained me.

Ghost of Dogen said...

Nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster.

Harry said...


You may be preaching to a lost cause: I'm more-or-less Brad's age and I've never had anything like a real job, much less so than Brad (well, I had a borderline outer appearance of a real job for a couple of years).



Ghost of Dogen said...

Sorry, that was literally mean spirited wasn't it. What can I say, it's hard being dead.

Let me try again, it is most honorable to express one's true self. If fact it's just honorable to express one's self regardless true self, or any other self for that matter.

Peace and love _/\_

brackish said...

Harry, That's perfectly understandable. Everyone know that no one works in Ireland because the British Royal Family destroyed the Twin Towers and wrecked the world economy.

Brad, I was not saying you are rolling in cash, but that you might be pursuing fame as a possible means to roll in it later.. What you said about enjoying what you do now while making less money was more to my point. You could do many things to make more money but you are doing something you like that has the possibility of modest wealth and fame somewhere down the road.. That isn't a crime. It is just weird that you set up a begging bowl button while declaring your blog is a promotional device rather than a teaching tool. THE DHARMA CANNOT BE TAUGHT ON THE WEB BUT DONATIONS CAN BE ACCEPTED! But seriously, I don't begrudge you that. If you need money you need money. Your blog is entertaining even though most people here seem to entertain themselves. But to assume that I'm making more money than you are.. I live in the rust belt for God's sake! Why didn't you assume I was getting more laid more? Impossible right? :)

Hokai said...

I'm one of these rare examples of hard working guys AND being a zen monk, who doesn't write a book every 2 years.
Is that more credible
for you?
And uups, NOT living celibate,damned.
Cool customer,

brackish said...

more laid more?

brackish said...

Gold is at $1311 an ounce today.. I can't believe I sold all mine at $1100. Oh well, I've still got plenty more where that came from..

Awakened Yeti said...

(these lyrics are to be sung to the tune of the classic "meow mix" tv commercial)

me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me,

.. and so forth

btw, YOUR experience is bullshit, and so are YOU

Fifty said...

Kiss loyalists, long the butt of rock-critic jokes, have a new reason to be rankled: the artists listed on the Hall of Fame's 2011 ballot, which was announced this morning, include the Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Donovan, Tom Waits, LL Cool J, Dr. John, the J. Geils Band, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex, and Chuck Willis. The Beastie Boys got a nod in 2008. Nyro, LL Cool J, and Summer were all nominated last year. Kiss is conspicuously absent, yet again.

Anonymous said...

The fact is, though, that you do teach about Buddhism in your blog from time to time, whether it's an appropriate place for it or not, and those are by far the most interesting posts. All this other stuff seem immature. I'm a big reader, but I've never known a writer who talked so much about his own celebrity, or fame, or whatever you call it. I've actually never known another writer who talked about it at all. There's something adolescent about it, as if you still want to be a rock star. But you're a middle aged man.

I look forward to the articles in Suicide Girls. I always enjoyed those.


john e mumbles said...

First of all, just the name Joe Tex trumps KISS with all their makeup, costumes, and tongues wagging/fire pots, etc. (OK I kinda dig "Black Diamond"...)

And professordave: as the wise old forever-touring (well, he’s taken a position on the faculty of some University now, maybe you know him too?) Shockabilly guitarist and friend-o-mine Eugene Chadbourne once said to me: “If you ain’t gonna promote yourself, how do you expect anybody else to give a shit and do it for you?” Besides, you want Brad should GROW UP? We ain't never gonna do that, baby. This is Rock and fucking Roll: indefinitely extended adolescence!!!

& I dunno about Buddhism, but as far as sex and the Xtian church go, as I understand it the clergy has an obligation to laypeople.

Mysterion said...

Let us see...

If sex had anything to do with the Japanese Government, then Ikkyu...

"During the Heian Period (794-1185), the administrative duties of the Imperial Japanese court (which included monks from many Buddhist Sects) was left to minor officials, leaving members with free time to pursue their interest in art, culture, beauty, nature and sex." (add literature and poetry)

sex = 'floating world'

this is a very Buddhist term dating from that time...

Mysterion said...

"...the clergy has an obligation to lay people."

good one

drum roll, rimshot

Hokai said...

seem to me that Brads self-promotion
is a pain for you. Often,when I felt pain about success or the way others live their talent I felt pain about the fact, that I hold back myself in promoting my talents.
And Brad has a talent in this. I met him personally and must say that his promotion comes in a very unobtrusive way. He is authentic and give all he have for your knowledge expansion. And believe it, he's not that rich he should be. So he take what he can get, like a good Rock'n Roller:
Sex, Sin and Zen...
Today we are all Rock'n Rollers,
maybe you too?
Rock on,

Mark Foote said...

I myself enjoy reading Brad's writing on this blog, and that's why I find my way to the blog and read what he has to say.

There's a little more. There was once a sense of revolution here around San Francisco, and a strange melding of African-American, Asian-American, Native American, and Anglo-American influences. A bop and beat culture with Taoist and Buddhist influences, that understood that Native Americans had the right idea about the land, and was determined to bring Western science into the mix. The psychedelics made a transformation of culture seem imminent. The appearance of amazing teachers from the East made the transformation of culture seem imminent. The advent of rock 'n roll and punk rock made the transformation of culture appear imminent.

The transformation of culture depends on people having fun, and yet it also depends on people learning how to stretch into fun. The carrot here is people that can demonstrate fun consistently, like Brad Warner (and apparently Zero Defex?), like Nina Hartley, like Kobun's successor Vanja Palmers on the dance floor (ok, haven't seen it but I'm sure it's true), while also demonstrating a proclivity for stretch. That is contagious. Brad is writing to demonstrate the peculiar fun of experiencing a lack of self in a posture of prayer, sexual or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Please donate. I'm broke!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.

Mysterion said...

so now 'Seagal Rinpoche' [not] is a sufi!


I prefer Mo Tsu's student Hsiao Ch'u.

R said...

Brad said, not so long ago, after attainment of the state one does experience what most men regard as pain, only he does not see it as such.

- I do not doubt, though I might add a point or two which would slightly (or perhaps more than slightly, it depends on the way you see things) change the picture, but this is the main point relevant and I do accept it, and would question the value of having further discussion on the matter with anyone who doesn't.

That those who could rightly be called masters do know what we call pain, only they don't experience it as such.

(I could imagine M's miserable stupid psychologists and psychiatrists trying to examine the phenomenon, - while poor guys like Brad are too polite to tell how far it is beyond them. I've mentioned earlier that the condition of the academic establishment today is that [in general] men of wisdom will not enter.)

However, - the point I wanted to make:

- If this is so - this would be true of pleasure as well. - One would experience it but not as pleasure.

It seems pleasance and unpleasance die.

I have not read Brads book, I have not read of all his post nor much of the comment section, (which I'd want to, this time, and hopefully I will today or tomorrow) but I could guess with great certainty this point fully escapes his book. I doubt whether he ever tried to expound or mention it there. This might reveal a certain lack of sincerity or seriousness. But it sure seems to mean he doesn't just follow the straightest and simplest way.

I think Brad's new book should be about the matter of ascending Buddhas. This is what's really interesting for him, it seems.

Or perhaps we should call it the matter of descending ascending Buddhas, in his case.

But be real.

Seagal Rinpoche #2 said...

A donkey with a load of holy books usually believes what they say.

R said...

I think Brad's new book should be about the matter of cultivating the higher chakras and ascending to astral planes. This is what's really interesting for him, it seems.

Ran K. said...

Check out what does the matter of ascending Buddhas mean, troll.

I guess I'll be using my account from now on, on account of trolling.

5:00 am & 5:35 am are mine.

Ran K. said...

And anyway I will not be here until tomorrow, so if anyone who manages to spell R correctly claims to be me, - it isn't - it's the troll.

Or another one.

R said...

I'm sorry Ran. Sometimes I act like a child. I don't think about things very deeply and don't understand myself very much. It's a little like I'm living in a dream.

R said...

The Cosmic Astral Higher and Lower Selves completely merge. The Cosmic Astral Self is anchored in the Foot Chakra's elemental subplane of the Cosmic Astral while the Lower Self is established in the Crown Chakra's logoic subplane (subtle spirit) of the Cosmic Astral.

Anonymous said...

i think a donate-button is just an equivalent to the takuhatsu-bowl, on the net. so why not. making one´s living on fuse or dana does not seem fun to me.

Ran K. said...

Troll @ 9:13 am says: -

... Sometimes I act like a child. I don't think about things very deeply and don't understand myself very much.”. [...]

I know ,troll.

Your more stupid than Mysterion.

That's all I can say.

See if you can get to the bottom of that.

R said...

OK Ran. From now I'll just use ST for stupid troll. Sorry.

ST said...

But I did get the chakra stuff right - didn't I? I mean, - as stupid as I am, - didn't I? Couldn't've been wrong.

- Ei, - Ran?

- Say something.

You can't just leave things at that.

You listenin, man? (wtf)

R [Genuine And True] said...

I'm not.

Anonymous said...

hey man: maybe you should really do an audio book - and maybe you should even audiobook all of your books... would make some money and would be nice, too. anyway, I think it would be a nice idea.

Anonymous said...

[audio book guy, again]... I think you are right: addressing the topic of sexuality for western practitioners of zen/buddhism etc. is a very important topic. I asked my zen teacher in april or so about the topic (he is also not your typical
enlightenment, I am so spiritual guy etc.) and he basically said: "we have to find a way on our own... it is a new situation. you gotta go a long way to find something in the old books about zen and sex..." - and a while after that dokusan I found out that you are writing a book about it...

I got the impression that you got something relevant to say about that topic and did not just choose that topic to sell more books...

men and women like to have sex, want to have sex, need sex, it can be loco it can be healing... - it is an important part of life... and zen is first and foremost about the "biggest koan of all: life" - so what is so surprising if someone writes a book about it...? thumbs up from me

Anonymous said...

Phenomenology is the study of our experience — how/what we experience.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge — how/what we know.

Ontology is the study of beings or their being — what is.

Logic is the study of valid reasoning — how to reason.

Ethics is the study of right and wrong — how we should act.

a very good explanation of phenomenology and the philosophy of science:

Phenomenology of Science

Anonymous said...

Brad really must be a celebrity now. This is what he thinks about now, apparently. I'm not sure why anyone is supposed to care about the book's reviews, let alone Brad's reviews of the reviews... but apparently people out there give enough of a crap to read highly irrelevant ruminations like these, so.. One post a while back said he hoped to god he never became a spiritual celebrity, and I wondered what that meant, but maybe now I have an inkling.