Thursday, October 28, 2010

HARDCORE ZEN TOUR

Before I forget, I've put a couple new T-shirt designs up on Red Bubble. You can take a look at them by clicking here. The Ultraman one won't be there for long. So if you're thinking of getting it, you oughta do so now.

In 2009 when I made my first trip to Finland, a guy named Sike (pronounced c.k.) Sillanpää (pronounced like it's spelled, if you know how to pronounce things in Finnish) followed me around and made a movie. Sike was an interesting character. He hardly ever said anything and he didn't seem to need to eat. We kept joking that he lived on sunshine and good vibes.

I like his movie a lot. It's an honest documentary of what happened on that tour. He recently put the entire thing up on YouTube and asked me to let all you nice folks in Blog Land take a look. So here it is:

PART 1


PART 2


PART 3


PART 4


If you liked watching this movie, please consider making a donation! (see button on top left of this blog)

71 comments:

Harry said...

Ack!

Harry said...

Damn it, Harry said, you have a wonderful way with words.

Regards,

H.

john e mumbles said...

Like I said way down in the last few comments of your last blog, Brad, it IS a good "move."

Uku reminds me of some of the big lunky skinheads that used to be in the pit at Black Flag shows...He's pretty big, I wouldn't wrestle with him like you did, although you both hit like girls...

108 the merciless said...

Brad: You and Uku seemed to really enjoy being together. You could barely keep your hands off him. It was a very erotic film.

gniz said...

If people donate to your blog cuz of the film, i hope some of the cake goes to the guy(s) who made the movie.

I watched a couple clips last night and agree it was cool.

anonymous anonymous said...

Brad, What was the guy saying right before he said, "I'm in space." I couldn't quite make it out. Was that mysterion?

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

Yeah, might I suggest this as an alternate sound track...?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw

...I enjoyed it too though, and I think my ill shapen head was even in there somewhere.

Regards,

H.

anonymous anonymous said...

Aha! Harry was the guy who said, "I'm in space.."

Mumon said...

Brad:

Do you know Goto Tadamasa?

Just wondering how many degrees of separation there are amongst Zen folks and um...this ex(?)-Yakuza guy.

He might have cleaned up his act...

Harry said...

Ack! That wasn't me... i actually WAS in space and could not be seen even by a Venerable Zen Rear Admirable.

Reargards,

H.

Anonymous Bob said...

For those who don't know, Goto is the guy who allegedly had Japanese film maker Juzo Itami tossed off a roof in Tokyo after he found out he was making a new movie about Goto's yakuza group and its new friendly relationship with the Buddhist group Soka Gakkai. Juzo had previously made a film about the yakuza that prompted them to beat him almost to death. Goto is no Gudo.

CAPTCHA : blendid : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

Getting shot down pimping the Kama Sutra, nice!

Anonymous Bob said...

So Sike if you're out there, stick to making films about horny Zen Buddhist bass playing authors. It's safer.

the dark pope said...

Hey, Brad isn't the only guy with esoteric habits...

Winnie is down with morning yoga also...

Zazen also I bet.

Aaron said...

I sincerely hope you were joking when hitting on those women, talking about "Buddhist secrets" and the Kama Sutra. I say this only because the way you did it came off as creepy and the women clearly were creeped out.

Don't be that guy.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the few people who mastered secrets. Some buddhist secrets that they don't usually reveal.

Good stuff!

In any case, i hope you got some good action there.

anon said...

That was funny.. watching it on film, but like Aaron said, it was totally creeping out the girl.

Gene Simmons said...

Brad is turning into Gene Simmons.

Harry said...

...While Gene Simmons is turning into Brad:

http://media.ebaumsworld.com/picture/Drumoholic94/BuddhaKiss.jpg

Regards,

H.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

Anonymous said...

Note to the gullible...
the hitting-on-girls scenes were staged.

Like duh.

No wonder Warner is ambivalent about
being a Zen teacher (and assholes
like Genpo can sell you the
Brooklyn Bridge).

Gully Bill said...

Sounds like Brad anonymously trying to set the record straight...

Anonymous said...

I don't need to "hit" on girls. They seem to hit me plenty

108 the merciless said...

Staged?? Are you telling me the look of love in Uku's eye was staged too? What was this a docudrama?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of gullibility...

Harry said...

"What was this a docudrama?"

Seems like some folks were hoping for a cockudrama.

I like the Madonna style headset mic that Brad wore at the talk in the movie. I think Brad would deliver the Good Word even more effectively if he was wearing a metallic pointy cone bra.

Regards,

Harry.

Mad Don said...

Maybe offer to loan him yours?

Anonymous said...

Favorite Scene:
Part 3
6:40

Mumon said...

Anonymous Bob:

I forgot to mention Goto is an Osho, a Zen priest.

Anonymous Bob said...

Mumon: Goto buys what he wants. I'm not sure why he wanted it, but he undoubtedly bought it.

CAPTCHA : salesort : I kid you not

Brad Warner said...

That wasn't me posting anonymously. I don't do that.

As to whether the hitting on women scenes were staged, I'll never tell!

Uku said...

Harry,

you're right about Madonna! For some reason Sike didn't show those traditional Finnish after-sauna sessions: we wore polar bear furs, sang Madonna's greatest hits and drank reindeers' blood.

Captcha: phillu (I am serious! In Finnish language it means something!)

Anonymous said...

so about this graham guy
and really why should Brad (or anybody) be expected to say anything about him?
As far as I know, there is no law against a person being crazy, or 'odd' or eccentric
People who lie about having credentials they haven't actually earned...
Consequences for that usually are to lose the job illgotten by falsely representing yourself
but when you are 'self employed' and your lies involve betraying trust of those who freely associate with you, I just don't know what 'rights' have been violated
it is 'wrong' to lie, it is wrong to lie about yourself, it is wrong to say things about yourself that aren't true...but that doesn't necessarily make it illegal

As far as the women reporting sexual misconduct--
it could be he has engaged in unlawful acts, in which case there is legal recourse and remedy
and it could be he is a garden variety of 'men who behave badly' toward women, leading them on, not telling them the truth, letting them assume things that aren't, etc.; in which case, there isn't much for a woman to do about it--other than learn the difference between innocence and gullable.

but in none of the above is there anything for anyone in the buddhist community to do anything about, other than people he claims to have been a student of to deny his having been a student

The only people I can see getting really burned by him would be any people he gave transmission to, or ordained or gave precepts to.

These people wouldn't have gotten anything recognized by any other group anywhere
Kind of like studying at a college which turns out not to be accredited: you have to take exams to prove your knowledge, no one is going to automatically accept your diploma: it's worthless

But it doesn't mean your practice, your training would be worthless--any zen community you would go to would see right away your level of practice.
Any teacher working with you would quickly know your level of understanding
True, you'd have to start over, but it wouldn't be from square one

True there would be the working through of the betrayal of your confidence.
The sorting through of lies taken as truths
and the truths received beyond the lies

These are things that don't need folks like Brad denouncing the liar or the liar's behaviors, because documentation of his behaviors is out there already.

anon #108 said...

Thanks 10.57pm. As I doubt I'll never meet Barry Graham I don't care what he has or hasn't got up to. That others closer to him do care can't be bad a thing. But FWIW, what you wrote is kinda what I make of what I've seen online.

I've made a start on studying the Sanskrit Hitopadesha ("Good Advice"), a collection of animal fables. In the story of the old tiger and the traveller this is exactly where I'm up to :

gatAnugitako lokaH kuTTanImupadezanIm /

pramANayati no dharme yathA goghnamapi dvijam
//

A literal translation:

'The world keeps on in the old ruts, and does not, in a question of right, take as authority a bawd who gives good advice as (quickly as it does) a Brahman, even if he be a cow-killer.' - trans Charles Lanman

Meaning (says Lanman):

"People heed the social position of the advisor rather than the real character of the advisor or the intrinsic value of the advice."

Fancy that!

anon #108 said...

And I too enjoyed the film :)

Malcolm said...

So is Graham a cow-killing Brahman or a bawd giving good advice?

anon #108 said...

Glad you asked, Malcolm.

anon said...

"As I doubt I'll never meet Barry Graham I don't care what he has or hasn't got up to."

108: If you don't care, you don't care.. But there is less than seven degrees of separation between the person whose blog you write to so frequently and Mr. Graham.

Graham claims that his associate/teacher Kobutsu Malone tried to pick a fight with Brad in the comments section of this blog. Did that happen? Has anyone seen this? Kobutsu was the man who provided the glowing blurb on the cover of Brad's first book. According to Graham, there was acrimony on Kobutsu's part shortly thereafter. Brad has had dealings with both men and has some insight on the truth of the matter but chooses to remain silent on it. I find it odd that Brad can be so outspoken on the affairs of one teacher (Genpo) but silent on the affairs of another (Dogo) when the main difference between the two is that Genpo has the more legitimate credentials.

It frustrates me that Graham is being accused of mistreating students in a variety of ways and so many Buddhists seem to not really give a shit, as in "it's happening to someone else, not me, so I don't care."

anon #108 said...

Hi anon,

Perhaps it sounds heartless to say "I don't care"? I did also say "That others closer to him do care can't be bad a thing."

None of what BG has or hasn't done has impacted my life in any way at all, so...I don't care. Perhaps I should, but I don't. Even if I felt some obligation to care, as, for example, a 'Buddhist', I don't have enough reliable information on which to base an opinion. And even if I did have access to such information, what could I usefully do with it? No more, it seems than Kevin and others closer to events are doing already.

I'm not involved. I don't know what's gone on, so I don't care. That's the truth. Let others who do care, act.

I'm not suggesting that those who do care, shouldn't. Or that anyone should care whether I care or not.

anon said...

108: I wasn't saying that you personally should care.

I was saying that Brad is a hypocrite if he pretends to care about the dealings of Genpo but not of Graham..

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

Fair enough, anon.
Brad can speak for himself. If he cares to.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it so much as 'it is happening to someone else, I don't care.'

most people who take up the practice of zen are adults, some of them maybe are young adults, but all are adults.
These days with google 'n' all it is pretty easy to find a teacher and read up on the teacher
It 'twarnt like that when I first started sitting! Hard to imagine, but true...the good ol' days....

There are, all over the place and not exclusive to places of worship/religious practice, wolves in sheep's clothing This isn't new stuff

What I find particularly notable and double despicable about Genpo is his trademarking the buddhist term 'big mind'
his assertion that attendance to one of his workshop is guaranteed to 'give you an enlightenment experience equal to those of zen masters who have sat decades of years in hard training before lunch! (sorry if I am not giving exact wording, am dredging up memory here)
I personally find the marketing of practice to be repulsive
why, you ask? Because, it places zazen in the position of being 'just another wrinkle creme that doesn't work'
the comodification of the practice as 'new and improved' with the message 'why waste years of your life in zazen, when by lunchtime of one day spent with A LEGITIMATE zen master who trained in three lineages you can get 'E'd.

trinkets can be sold, books can be sold we are talking products here, things that can be created and made
when it comes to manufacturing experiences, we are talking on a different level


precisely because graham is NOT a legitimate teacher, his lies, half-truths, and whathaveyou is not as 'dangerous' He has negatively impacted himself more than anything else
Genpo on the other had, precisely because of all his bona fide credentials has a greater potential to harm
The fact that dharma brothers and sisters of his are silent makes me think they are dependent on him in some way,
you know: that crazy uncle whose monetary support is keeping the rest of the family members going.
We know he's crazy, but we don't want to tell him to his face! He might (gasp) stop giving us money
After all his gifts to us show us that he is kindly as well as crazy maybe....
When money is factored into situations people sometimes treat mental malfunctioning of other differently: they give it slack
money and power like to hold hands and cutting slack with the crazy guy with the money usually means you gain access to the powerful
those powerful ones tend also to have money
friends tend to hang out together
now you've got a whole lotta reasons to look benignly if not kindly on Genpo and friends.

And he's not 'doing' anything illegal, either! He's marketing, advertising,
he is manufacturing not only 'technique' but the experiences of his participants in a group mindfuck
kind of way
Graham by comparison is a sneeze on a breezy day: a few people might get sick, true; but their own immune systems have a chance to kick in.
Genpo's actions, on the other hand, potentially are far far far more debilitating

anon said...

"Genpo's actions, on the other hand, potentially are far far far more debilitating"

108: I don't know if I can agree with you. You seem to be thinking in terms of potential damage to one's practice, not real damage to one's life. Graham has been accused of using his false teacher position to sexually harass and intimidate women. If he were only lying about his background, I might concur.

It takes balls to speak out. Maybe sock monkey will do it..

Brad Warner said...

Anon at 8:40, I agree.

I've met Barry Graham once and exchanged a dozen or so emails with him. I haven't heard from him at all in about 2 years. So our interactions stopped before I became aware of the controversy.

At the time I knew him I was under the impression that he was a Rinzai teacher with inka from someone in that lineage. Whether he actually told me that or if I just thought it was so, I do not recall.

I don't have any strong opinions one way or the other about him. He was a charming and funny guy when we met. If he's faking his Zen credentials, that's bad. I don't understand why anyone would do that anyhow. But some people do.

There are very good teachers out there without any Zen credentials at all. Zen credentials are not in any way essential.

Anyway, this controversy doesn't seem to warrant the of time effort and energy I would need to devote to it in order to even form an opinion.

As always in these situations, it's a "let the buyer beware" kind of thing. Same with me.

I've also had some interaction with Kobutsu Malone. But he did not provide any blurbs for any of my books. Nor am I aware of him trying to pick a fight with me here or anywhere else.

anon said...

"I've also had some interaction with Kobutsu Malone. But he did not provide any blurbs for any of my books."

Brad, My softcover copy of HCZ has one. "FINALLY, a Dharma book with BALLS!" Reverend Kevin Kobutsu Malone.

anon said...

"Ever hungry for publicity, Kobutsu contacted Brad Warner and tried to get him involved in the group. When Brad didn't go for it, Kobutsu tried to pick a fight with him in the comments section of Brad's blog, calling him a "shock-jock." Brad wisely ignored Kobutsu's attack."

- Dogo Barry Graham from his statement on ordination and teaching history

Brad Warner said...

Anon said:
Brad, My softcover copy of HCZ has one. "FINALLY, a Dharma book with BALLS!" Reverend Kevin Kobutsu Malone.

Really? I've never seen that. They may have revised the book at some point. I don't have a copy to check & just went over to Amazon. Their version, like the ones I've seen, doesn't have a blurb by Malone.

Brad Warner said...

I never saw the comment by Kobustsu Malone that Barry Graham refers to.

If I only had a dime for everyone who called me a shock jock or some other equivalent...

anon said...

Brad, Both of my copies have the blurb. The first edition and a later one. It is under 'more buzz'.
Inside the cover not on it like I originally thought.

anon said...

"I never saw the comment by Kobustsu Malone that Barry Graham refers to."

Brad, No doubt. Possibly because Kobutsu never made the comment.

Anyway, At least you and sock monkey are aware of the situation. There are at least three different women claiming sexual misconduct by Graham in his role as Zen teacher. I hope there are not more.

Kevin said...

I have to disagree with Brad's "buyer beware" comment a bit.

I understand that yeah... shame on the student for not doing proper research on the Teacher. At the time I got involved, everything seemed legit. His relationship with Kobutsu was valid enough for me I guess.

Most people I've met, just like myself, who are new to the practice don't have the slightest clue about traditions, qualifications, transmission, etc. It was all Chinese to me.

If we come across these people posing to be Zen teachers, it's everyone's duty to speak up, for the sake of new students exploring the Dharma.

Graham could end this all if he was legit just by posting a few facts. How many people does it take to be hurt in the name of Zen for people to say something? One should be enough.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, You shouldn't see people as victims because the victims are the ones at fault. I guess you could say that they really wanted or needed to be abused. Anyway, this controversy doesn't seem to warrant the of time effort and energy Brad would need to devote to it in order to even form an opinion. Dude has got shirts to move.

anon #108 said...

'anon' @ 9.04am - The lengthy comment discussing Genpo and Barry Graham that included "Genpo's actions, on the other hand, potentially are far far far more debilitating" was made by Anonymous @ 8.40am, not me.

Anonymous said...

kevin: Graham could end all this if he was legit just by posting a few facts.

well yes, and then again no

nothing can take away his sleazy actions. that sucks, but that's karma for ya

he can 12 step it and admit he's got behaviors out of his control; he can make amends
there are ways he can help himself and with others' help, help himself and help others by practicing honesty
there are a lot of folks out there who also live with this kind of painful shameful behaviors

as far as the sexual misconduct stuff goes
it is a sticky kind of situation for victims
They've already been victimized once. To press charges (if the behaviors fall within the category of legal violations)means to be caught up in a legal process which in many ways prolongs the victimization. Many victims choose not to press charges and just want to get on with their lives

And if you think it is hard on female victims, male victims double so.

In any situation of becoming intimate with/having sexual relations with a man a woman needs to exercise some degree of prudence and caution.
Same goes for men becoming intimate with and having sexual relations with a woman
and beyond that any adult with any adult engaging in intimacy with one another

you don't know someone until you know them
knowing them in good times is not the same as finding out who they are when the chips are down
knowing them in the workplace doesn't give you more than a slim clue of how/who they are on an extended camping trip.

getting to know someone is not only them, but the circumstances the 'knowing' occurs in

With so much out there on public display, myspace, facebook, youtube, hosts of films and TV shows where this kind of thing is raised over and over: what happens when intimacy with another 'goes bad'
Really the subject matter is the basis of most of our entertainment (the balance is variations of car chase scenes and explosive devices--mostly black powder variety, some lazer stuff)

I really don't see that women need particular protection from this man (I mean, is he a rapist? or just one of these 'you're my soul mate, the others were nothing to me, but you, You, YOU--' types of guys.

I do not minimize the pain one person causes another when they lie.
People with mental health issues can acually completely believe what they are saying at the time they are saying it. Their own belief is very believable. Liars don't always experience their lies as such.
This is an illness we are talking about. It's not like you or me lying...
And if such a lying person is charismatic, that can be a pretty potent combination.

The betrayed person suffers. They suffer from being snookered, duped. They go over and over again in their mind the various signposts and markers they shoulda/coulda/woulda seen, if only they had been looking how did they miss them? How? HOW?
they have to shine inquiry into their own interiors
this is an excruciatingly uncomfortable thing to do
it feels a lot like zazen
liars can't do it alone
liars need 'believers'
Liars use belivers, but believers also use liars: believers believe the lie because they 'need' to

liars/believers require each other until they no longer are serviceable

Graham can still be (and apparently still is ) a teacher, all he has to do is put down the body of lies
he can be a spontaneously arisen adept (SAA), or a
Java Erudite Replicant Kreep (JERK), or any self-chosen descriptive/title. He can create his own lineage...there are a lot of those kinds of things out there
it's a great country: religous freedom is only one of the perks

anon said...

My apologies 108.. I made as a mistake.

Anonymous said...

here's jundo cohen's fresh interview:

http://sweepingzen.com/2010/10/29/jundo-cohen-interview/

SZ: You’re known to have what some have characterized as an ‘online feud’ between yourself and your Dharma brother, Brad Warner. Could you tell us what the strain in your relationship has been over and how you see your current relationship?

JC: A few people who very much like to stir up trouble on internet Buddhist blogs and such like to say that about Brad and me. I suppose it makes a story, but it is overblown, even silly. I like Brad so much … I honor and respect him as a Dharma Brother. Brad is a great teacher who speaks to younger folks in ways that an old fuddy duddy like me does not. He is responsible for thousands of younger people getting interested in Buddhism. He is a talented writer. I love“Hardcore Zen” and recommend it to all the new, younger folks who come to our Sangha. We had some serious issues over the years about the health of our elderly teacher and ethical checks in Nishijima Roshi’s “Dogen Sangha” Lineage (this was after all the sex and financial scandals had hit various Buddhist groups in the west, and I thought we should follow the lead of other Sanghas to take some steps to prevent that from ever happening in any of our groups.) Brad and I had an exchange of words about that a couple of times, and some folks turned that into something it never was. Anyway, Nishijima Roshi eventually let me establish Treeleaf as its own place where I could do as I wished on such questions, and teach as I wanted, and that made some hard feelings among some of the “Dogen Sangha” people that I never really understood. Some people even got quite hot about it a couple of times, but it quickly passed. I think Brad is a good guy, a very sincere teacher, always welcome in my house.


hahhaa! you'r talkin' bullshit, jundo, y'know it!

Can we all get along? said...

JC said "A few people who very much like to stir up trouble on internet Buddhist blogs..."

That'll be you, anonymous 1.37.

Saia said...

Just finished your new book and feel it was a tremendous help... Im so glad to meet you!

Jinzang's ghost said...

Eliminating all bias towards the different schools of BUddhism is the third condition. The truth is beyond conceptual thought. If you cling tightly to one philosophical view and disparage others, you are binding yourself to conceptualization ad it will be hard to see the truth.

Anonymous said...

J's ghost:
Are you taunting us while haunting us?

Anonymous said...

Ven. Kobutsu is a straight-up guy, last I heard he had no beef with Brad and in fact probably got an appreciative laugh out of much of Brad's similar straight-up manner.

However, with this Barry Graham, yes... there was another issue. So I wouldn't be taking what Mr. Graham says about Kobutsu at face value.

Anyways, now that we're beating the grass with our sticks there is another poster lurking around in the comment section here, Edo Shonin. A very litigious man who may not be a monk but, will certainly hire a lawyer to stop you from asking that question in public.

Anonymous said...

Brad,

Is that a scan of your brain in the picture slide show?
If it is, did it show physical evidence of your long hours of zazen practice?

Mysterion said...

FIRST!

Anonymous said...

mysterion is like a big needle in a room full of balloons.

Henny Youngman said...

"Brad is a great teacher who speaks to younger folks in ways that an old fuddy duddy like me does not."

Note: Jundo Cohen is 36 years old. Brad Warner is 58.

R said...

Mysterion @ 7:17 pm:

Wrong again.

Mumbles said...

R @ 6:52 AM:

Once again:

you don't get it.

Harry said...

"I never saw the comment by Kobustsu Malone that Barry Graham refers to."

K Malone came on the comments section of this blog to tell Brad off for using (what he saw as) flippant language around the issue of sexuality and rape in jails. This was a good while ago, over a year ago I think. Brad had said something in a blog post about having a butt buddy in prison or something... goofing around sort of language... but KM didn't like it because he has worked with victims of sexual violence in prisons.

I think Barry G was trying to 'blow' (hee hee) it up into something it wasn't.

The comment happened at a time when Brad said wasn't reading his comments section, so maybe this is why he doesn't know about it.

Regards,

Harry.

Perky said...

It's quite reasonable to understand why Kobutsu would be concerned about "lighthearted" comments about "butt buddies" in prison. Kobutsu not only worked with prisoners for 20 years, he was beaten and raped himself in prison when he was 19 years old;

http://www.engaged-zen.org/PDFarchive/SPRKoTestimony.pdf