Monday, November 01, 2010

SEX AT DAWN REVIEW and PODCAST

First off, here's a new podcast interview I did:

Find is at http://darrenmain.libsyn.com/sex-sin-zen

I also have a new thing up on Suicide Girls (SG). It's at http://suicidegirlsblog.com/blog/hardcore-zen-sex-at-dawn/. It's a review of the new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. I'm going to give the piece a little time there on SG before I comment on it. But there are, I feel, a few other things to say about the book.

The new SG blog site is supposed to be safe for work and it's freely accessible by anyone.

That's it for now. I'll write more on this subject in the next day or two.

OH! And if you're in San Francisco or Los Angeles, I'm gonna be doing a whole busload of talks and things over the next couple weeks. Go to http://web.me.com/doubtboy/Site/BookTour_2010.html for all the details. See you there!

140 comments:

Harry said...

Primo!

gniz said...

First? Hot damn!

gniz said...

Dang it I woulda been first but blogger took forever to post my comment!!!!

DAMN YOU HARRY!!

Harry said...

You sleep, you weep.

ator said...

dude, have you ever been *east* of the 101 in Los Angeles?!?!? u should try it sometime

Brad Warner said...

I'm doing some stuff east of the 101. Against The Stream is in Hollywood. Or wait, does "east of the 101" mean the Valley? That's where all the porn comes from. I'm scared to go there!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.

Anonymous said...

Hey Seagal.. Speaking of controlling the breath.. Whew! Buy a bottle of Listerine dude.

InquiringMinds said...

Is the ideal Zen state of mind identical to schizoid personality disorder?

Harry said...

Yes....no.

Anonymous said...

"Whereas many disturbing facts were consciously ignored by the 9/11 Commission; Be it resolved, therefore, that
the CDP calls for the establishment of a truly independent Grand Jury and public investigation into these and
other anomalies in order to find the truth of the September 11, 2001 attacks, so that we have a greater probability
of preventing attacks of this nature in the future.
"

--Colorado Democratic Party Platform Committee Report 2010-12 (page 31/54)

yomama said...

Colorado Dems are all old hippies like mysterion. 911 was an outside job.

BuddhaKillah said...

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

john e mumbles said...

SG is now "safe for work?"

Its a dark day indeed.

Brad Warner said...

Man! Nobody wants to talk about anything but Barry Graham, do they?

Anonimal said...

Actually Brad, You were the first person to bring him up today. I think of you two guys as butt buddies in spirit. Mediocre writers between gigs.. You can't bring yourself to criticize a fellow hack. That is a real shame.

Brad Warner said...

What I mean is 100+ comments last time mostly about Barry and barely anything this time about the SG posting.

This is one of those cases I've talked about where I put up something that, to me, seems totally innocuous and it generates lots of argument. Then I put up something that, to me, seems potentially controversial and no one says a thing.

I find that sort of thing very intriguing. That's all.

Anonimal said...

I feel bad about that last post. I think I am just angry that you won't take a position. But I think I understand that. It goes with the territory. But still, I think you are almost being a coward here.

Anonimal said...

"The reason Buddhist discourse in America tends to be very shallow is that there is a widespread belief that we shouldn't criticize one another. Thus, charlatans get to masquerade as teachers, while sociopaths in robes abuse their students, and it all goes unchallenged.

Or, rather, it goes mostly unchallenged. But when genuine monks speak out against the charlatans, they themselves are often derided for making the criticisms. They are told by deluded people that they shouldn't criticize other Dharma teachers, and that they shouldn't be judgmental."

- Dogo Barry Graham

Anonimal said...

"To speak out in qualitative judgment does not violate the Precept against using unskillful speech - but to remain silent and uncritical in the face of lies and abuse is a violation of that and every other Precept, a violation of the Bodhisattva Vows, and a rejection of the Buddha Dharma."

- Dogo Barry Graham

Anonimal said...

"When you take a moment to examine it, the dogma of not making judgments collapses under the weight of its own hypocrisy, because it is in itself based upon a judgment - that we should not make judgments. It is a view that denies hierarchy, that denies right and wrong, while stating that those who hold this view are right and that those who don't are wrong."

The great master Dogen said it best: "Enlightenment without morality is not yet enlightenment. Morality without enlightenment is not yet morality."

- BG

Anonimal said...

Is there anything more odious than immoral moralists? Fuck them.

Kevin said...

It's actually a good article!

http://thegrahamscam.blogspot.com/2010/11/on-making-judgments.html

R [1] 24 said...

B says: - “(This is one of those cases I've talked about where) I put up something that, to me, seems totally innocuous and it generates lots of argument”.


- As I recall you put up nothing at all in the first place. It all started with a “comment” Kevin posted.

R [2] 25 said...

And btw I was quite happy about it. I thought the discussion here itself might have some echo. Like if Tricycle mentions “BG” on BW blog the man is done.


I think the worst thing is the man is fucking up people’s minds. Nothing he says could ever be called a “Dharma talk”. He has never even gained that which is marked by the hossenshiki. Not only is he not a master. Even if wants to those who listen to his talks would be rather further confused than benefited toward some clarification.

R [3] 26 said...

I am surprised at Kevin's new C though I read very little of the link. WHN stuff seems like the uttering of a materialistic person, not one who knows the real (Buddha) D.


And the article at SG seems long. I haven’t read it yet.

R [- ;)] 27 said...

Though it's nice to have mentioned him, Brad.

I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
Or he might, at least.

R said...

Sorry, the last one was by Harry, - not by me.


R,


E&OE.

OsamaVanHalen said...

Regarding "Sex At Dawn", who is this chick named Dawn? Everything that I need to know about the intersection of Buddhism and sex I learned from reading John Burdett's Bangkok detective novels.

Anonymous said...

"Man! Nobody wants to talk about anything but Barry Graham, do they?"

Actually, Grandmaster Seagal gave us some very wise words to chew on, but you chose to re-direct the conversation here. Good going.

gniz said...

Hey Brad,

Read the Suicide Girls piece. Personally the fact that it was a book review rather than an opinion piece made me initially less interested in reading it. Maybe that was the case for others as well.

Also, I think your write-up suffers from the same syndrome that you claimed the book itself suffers from. Mainly, that in our free-thinkin' liberal circles, the notion that maybe we aren't designed to be in monogamous relationships isn't really a shocking idea.

So what you thought might be controversial is less so, and what people around here talk about and think about is zen and Buddhism and what is real and fake...

Which is why people keep talking about BG instead of the sexual proclivities of ancient man.

Just my take on it!

Jared said...

Maybe it is the head-cold I'm nursing that's talking, but who really cares if Barry Graham is a "legitimate" authority? Is anyone a legitimate authority? Why should you place authority in anyone's hands but your own?

Does it truly matter if an organization gave him a slip of paper or a piece of cloth with shit written on it or not? Maybe the important part is that he is pretending to be something he is not. But I think the focus should be on WHY is he trying so hard to be an authority figure and WHY is everyone else trying so hard to discredit this? His actions as well as his words should be taken into account when determining whether he should be listened to, and even Kevin just said that one of his articles was actually pretty good.

Another aspect is that there are plenty of "legitimate authorities" who have all of their papers in order, as Brad pointed out in the other post, who have abused relationships and spread misinformation. So what is really important here?

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

Just came to mind: (after reading Gniz @ :23)

Shar: it is odd how society sees thing. lets say if a guy sleeps with all these girls, "hes the man!" or a stud. but if a girl does, she a total slut or a whore. is society sexist?”.

Check the link for the answer.

Kevin said...

read the article and you will see what I mean . It's extremely ironic.... there's a history behind this involving the man he was practicing under at the time and a guy named Penny.

"The reason Buddhist discourse in America tends to be very shallow is that there is a widespread belief that we shouldn't criticize one another. Thus, charlatans get to masquerade as teachers, while sociopaths in robes abuse their students, and it all goes unchallenged.

gniz said...

Hey Kevin,

I think Jared was making a really interesting point, though, and maybe you missed it because you felt he was diminishing your attempts to shed light on Barry Graham's abuse.

Jared did write "who cares", but I think later on he gets to the crux of the matter.

Why is Graham trying so hard to convince others he has that slip of paper? What does that slip of paper really mean?

Look at Eido Shimano, who ordained Kobutsu Malone (who for a short time lent Graham some legitimacy). Shimano is as horrible and abusive as Graham and then some, yet Shimano does have real papers and so-called transmission.

I do think it's valuable and important that you are shedding light on Barry's lies and cover-ups and abuse...

However, the deeper issue is the one Jared points to. What is spiritual authority, why is it so important, and why are people like BG trying so hard to attain it?

Why do the "victims" seem to stay for not just one instance of abuse, but in many cases, they stay for multiple instances, for years on end, justifying the abuse and insanity until it can no longer be justified?

Until our notions of spiritual authority change, these same scenarios will simply play out again and again on various stages. It is the definitions of spiritual authority and all that people ascribe to it that makes con-men like BG and Andrew Cohen able to do what they do.

And it usually includes willing participation from the "victims" as well as the silence of other authority figures who also make their living off the system....

Ran K. said...

The reason Buddhist discourse in America tends to be very shallow is that there is a widespread belief that we shouldn't criticize one another”.

Do you think so called BG is capable of discerning shallowness and profundity in the first place?

Do you think a Buddhist teacher would avoid expressing his opinion because another said otherwise? Especially one he knows to be a charlatan? (- “Thus, charlatans get to masquerade as teachers”)

Sounds like bullshit to me.

The sort of pseudo understanding that would fit guys like him and AC, I guess.

- Perhaps I’m being a bit incautious here, - and I’m definitely not going to read the article now, I haven’t even read Brad’s yet, But anyway you don’t take my word, you use your own judgment, - so do.

Ran K. said...

And there’s Gniz there too by now, I was of course referring to Kevin.

Zach said...

Justin said:
"Maybe it is the head-cold I'm nursing that's talking, but who really cares if Barry Graham is a "legitimate" authority? Is anyone a legitimate authority? Why should you place authority in anyone's hands but your own?

And gniz said:
"Look at Eido Shimano, who ordained Kobutsu Malone (who for a short time lent Graham some legitimacy). Shimano is as horrible and abusive as Graham and then some, yet Shimano does have real papers and so-called transmission.

I think it is important to always shed light on bad/fake teachers...

Yes, Eido has all his paperwork in order... And a bunch of Zen Teachers all signed a letter demanding that he step down and get treatment for all his sexual abuses over the years.

Barry Graham is just a patent fraud.

Both can do enormous amounts of damage - but having the credentials is the BASELINE not the be-all-end-all.

Kevin said...

@Gniz

"However, the deeper issue is the one Jared points to. What is spiritual authority, why is it so important, and why are people like BG trying so hard to attain it?"

Wow, this a a whole write up itself. What is spiritual authority? I wouldn't call it "authority" so to speak. But if you're asking, why are teachers improtant? I feel teachers in Zen are extemely important when they are authentic and sincere. Why would BG try to attain it? Power over people who are vulnereable. Use for fame, noteriety, book deals.

"Why do the "victims" seem to stay for not just one instance of abuse, but in many cases, they stay for multiple instances, for years on end, justifying the abuse and insanity until it can no longer be justified?"

The women I've spoke to didn't last longer than 6 mths.

"Look at Eido Shimano, who ordained Kobutsu Malone (who for a short time lent Graham some legitimacy). Shimano is as horrible and abusive as Graham and then some, yet Shimano does have real papers and so-called transmission"

When I first learned of Graham's suspect past in 08, the fact that he might not be "legitimate" was that big of a deal at the time. Yeah, I was pissed off. But to the best of my knowledge, he wasn't hurting anyone. If he had students, and they were happy, so be it. It wasn't until I received letters from students who have been hurt when I decided to speak up. The fact that he is not an ordained monk means he's using the "Dharma" for power and abuse. What I am doing is providing info for people to see so people interested in Zen in Phx and wherever he moves to next are aware. I can't and won't be able to convince everyone.

If Graham didn't lie about his past and ordination and was honest about it from the beginning. I wouldn't be worried about it. I think there are some great teachers out there who are doing their own thing without a lineage. But they are honest about it. They know who they are. And if they are hurting people, shame on them for that, but not for the lack of papers.

my fingers hurt

gniz said...

Thanks Kevin. Good answers as far as they go. And yes, good teachers are important.

But people in spiritual circles assign an enormous amount of authority and responsibility to their spiritual teachers/gurus, etc.

Much of this attitude is very much encouraged in religious literature. As you might imagine, BG and Andrew Cohen are not the first generation of spiritual hucksters, and we might even extrapolate that some of our valued dharmic writings were penned by some folks that wanted to gain a little more power and prestige for themselves.

In other words, you might wonder who gains by ascribing super powers and the like to monks and priests and the like? Who gains by making it a point of order that a high ranking religious figure "knows" things about life that you can't figure out on your own? That you should trust them above even your own instincts?

I am not trying to discredit all religion, but there's no doubt that even the best spiritual leaders make use of that kind of mythology and in some ways profit from it.

The nasty ones use the mythology to bang lots of guys/gals and make money.

Evil R said...

The time I was a university student (math, which was one of the greatest mistakes in my life to be (- beside the point)) I recall one student telling about someone who has written on a student’s exam: “It's not right. It's not even wrong.”.

Zach seems to be running around trying to correct what I generally wouldn’t even touch, and I would definitely say he’s not always right either.

I think in the Soto sect the hossenshiki marks the point when your opinion begins to be worthwhile. When you’re entitle to the freedom of speech. But western culture is amazing. Talk, talk, talk.

Evil R said...

And of course I don't mean it matters whether one actually went through the hossenshiki or not.

It's the point it's supposed to mark.

r (as in “Joe Levkowitz”) said...

Fucking machine. It keeps changing the captchas.

Kevin said...

"There is no spiritual authority.... only rumors thereof."

Kobutsu

Zach said...

"Zach seems to be running around trying to correct what I generally wouldn’t even touch, and I would definitely say he’s not always right either.

Too true.
There are a some issues that I feel passionate about... by that I mean to say, There are a some issues where I find it very very easy to fall into the titillation of gossip and of righteousness.
I have done it on Brad's blog, and gniz's blog...
For those I offend, I am sorry.
What I really need to do, is write my rants, sit a few periods of zazen and then revise it if necessary afterwards before posting...

But just for my own personal knowlege... what was I trying to correct that you wouldn't touch, and what was I wrong about?

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

- to Zach's @ 11:13: - I wouldn't go to the trouble of referring to the stuff Bamboozle posts. And there was someone saying similar things here too. I'm sorry I'm too tired to check more thoroughly than that.

(- well, today at least)


The difference between a person who has got the Dharma and a person who has not got the Dharma is not even comparable to any other difference among human beings we are able to think of. - I assume it is even greater than the difference between a human and an animal, but few will tell.

A person who has got the Dharma, would be better than one who does not, - even if he rapes every single woman on Earth, and abuses and offends every man. I believe. - But put that aside.


- And I think your attitude was too dogmatic with regard to the monkhood and the precepts. An earlier discussion. But I don't remember exactly and I couldn't refer here right now.


And as for subjects you feel passionate about, perhaps it might be a good idea to present your ideas to your teacher, in detail, and ask for corrections, if there are any.

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

to Henri - recognizing ambivalence is seeing depth. It may be essential if you are short of time some times. Though ultimately I would probably agree with Nishijima who would say - very likely - that ambivalence doesn’t exist - or something of the sort.

R said...

And one other thing - if one does not know the place he's supposed to lead you to, - of course he can't carry the job of leading you there.

And if persons mind is not clear all he can do is mumble.

(no offence to john e)

- True understanding is like your mind being synchronized with itself, and if one does not have that, all books suck.

... said...

should be "a person’s", not "persons", - and good night. (- to all, but mumbles; til he removes the vicious spell)

Anonymous said...

Evil R said:
"A person who has got the Dharma, would be better than one who does not, - even if he rapes every single woman on Earth, and abuses and offends every man. I believe. - But put that aside.

Wait wait wait...!!! if you think I was saying the above at any point... then there has been a serious miscommunication on my part... This is NOT my view in any way at all!

"And I think your attitude was too dogmatic with regard to the monkhood and the precepts. An earlier discussion. But I don't remember exactly and I couldn't refer here right now.

yeah... i figured that I rubbed some folks the wrong way with my thoughts of "zen monks" in the west, (because it applies to SO many folks...)
I just don't like blurring the distinctions to the point of irrelevance - and my honest opinion is, that the majority of "monks" in the west are in actuality lay people in black robes.

Zach said...

that was Zach above @ 1:04^^

Mother Theresa said...

Kudos, props and a very Merry Xmas to you, Zach, for taking Ran seriously enough to engage him in conversation. You're trying to engage in debate with the man who just wrote:

"The difference between a person who has got the Dharma and a person who has not got the Dharma is not even comparable to any other difference among human beings we are able to think of. - I assume it is even greater than the difference between a human and an animal, but few will tell." and:

"A person who has got the Dharma, would be better than one who does not, - even if he rapes every single woman on Earth, and abuses and offends every man. I believe. - But put that aside."

He means it, Zach. Very sad, but true. Anyway, he doesn't read or take seriously anything anybody else writes. So knock yourself out, it'll do no good.

Zach said...

"Anyway, he doesn't read or take seriously anything anybody else writes. So knock yourself out, it'll do no good."

Ahhh bugger.
Well thank you for the heads up MT, looks like I just got trolled.:)

OsamaVanHalen said...

I don't understand what Billy Graham has to do with Zen. He was a Christian evangelist, not a Buddhist. Is all this hullabaloo supposed to be some kind of koan?

Three Tits said...

Not Billy Graham, you dipshit. Billy Joel.

anonamused said...

Zach, The truth is that you've double-trolled. Mother Teresa is actually Jundo Cohen, as is Ran. Cohen is a notorious hcz troll when he's not being a Zen teacher. You would not believe the lies he told gniz.

Zach said...

"Zach, The truth is that you've double-trolled. Mother Teresa is actually Jundo Cohen, as is Ran. Cohen is a notorious hcz troll when he's not being a Zen teacher. You would not believe the lies he told gniz.

Mmmm hmmmm

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Anonymous said...

FWIW, according to his biography,
Sex at Dawn author Christopher Ryan's
"doctoral dissertation analyzes
the prehistoric roots of human sexuality,
and was guided by the world-renowned
psychologist, Stanley Krippner."


Stanley Krippner was/is friends with
Albert Hofmann and Mickey Hart.

Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll!

67 said...

67

69 said...

69

Anonymous said...

Seven

john e mumbles said...

Just read Brad's SG Sex at Dawn review...the information concerning the monogamy myth is only new in context, ie; that we've been naughty since day one.

What interested me was the (also not so new) information about hunter gatherers vs agriculturalists and the evolution of morality alongside "civilization."

As recently as the mid-nineteenth century one John Dunbar, a christian missionary to the Pawnee Indian tribes located in Nebraska who eventually "went native" reported going on a bison hunt where there was such an over-abundance of food hunted/gathered that the people camped by the river for weeks eating and partying and taking it easy in the extreme. He wrote to his superiors [I am referencing THE DUNBAR-ALLIS LETTERS ON THE PAWNEE, Garland Publishing, 1985] how it was virtually impossible to convert the Pawnee "because they are living in the Garden of Eden."

What happened? The U.S. government tricked the Pawnee into believing that as the European population encroached and stole all of the land that would become America, and in the process killed off the indigenous populations (and the buffalo), they, the Pawnee, would be granted land to continue to hunt, gather, and lead the lives they had prior to the invasion.

So much for paradise...

Anonymous said...

And then, of course, there is Dunbar's Number:

150 (more or less)

[R or no] said...

Meanwhile you all do understand that if alcohol has undoubtedly been one of the great causes of Barry's madness, it came on very slowly and will go away slowly too, else, assuming it does go away of course. Or the same/different thing... (no offense to M)

R said...

- “Wait wait wait...!!! if you think I was saying the above at any point... then there has been a serious miscommunication on my part... This is NOT my view in any way at all!

I wasn’t.

And Mother Theresa in my view proves my point.

Though I’m not really interested in a discussion, and I didn’t think one would be worthwhile in the first place.


As for - “Anyway, he doesn't read or take seriously anything anybody else writes” – in case I would be asked what commentators (do) know what they are talking about, I could only come up with pm and PA, and perhaps the merciless and the Rinz and AA. But it’s true that I haven’t been reading the C for some time, so there are some I don’t even generally know.


And back to the monk-or-not-a-monk thing – I think you (Z) should first consider what has the monkhood been established for in the first place. Not only in Buddhism. And in that light relate to the rest of the discussion you had at the time. (most of which I see I don't much have to mention that I didn't read)

Zach said...

"And back to the monk-or-not-a-monk thing – I think you (Z) should first consider what has the monkhood been established for in the first place.

LoL why?
Will something magical happen and I will change my views to your views? :)
(or maybe my views are the result of doing exactly what you just advised me to do...)

If you didn't even read what I had to say about it (and you never state what your disagreement IS, just that you DO disagree,) why should I care?

why don't you think about WHY you actually disagree, and post a reasoned argument in the blog posting where it came up.
I'll respond there.

Anonymous said...

your view are nothing compared to *my views* (mind are on the right)

Jared said...

"A person who has got the Dharma, would be better than one who does not, - even if he rapes every single woman on Earth, and abuses and offends every man. I believe. - But put that aside."

and

"And back to the monk-or-not-a-monk thing – I think you (Z) should first consider what has the monkhood been established for in the first place. Not only in Buddhism."

Assuming that both of these sentiments are, indeed, from R and not from a troll (who knows anymore?) then I suppose we can let the beating of the dead horse begin...

RE: the first quotation, how on earth could you possibly say that someone who rapes and abuses every person he/she meets would have any sort of grasp of any "legitimate dharma" (if you subscribe to some sort of enduring, ultimate Truth type belief)? As far as I understand from my reading, it is silly to think that once you've grasped the "dharma" you can't slip and start acting like a complete asshole. And even if you have grasped the "dharma" and start acting like an asshole, how does that makes you any better or different from someone who is just an asshole?

RE: the second quotation, the intention of establishing an organized institution that is tasked with legitimating the transmission of ANY sort of knowledge differs highly from the reality of that institution, whether it is an order of monks or a college. I will have the same degree with High Honors as someone who squeezes by with a 1.5 or something, and the same could be said for martial arts as well. Some people have a black belt 9000th rank simply because they have put in the time, not necessarily because they have attained a certifiable level of achievement. You assume that because the institution is in place that all of it's awards are legitimate, but that just simply isn't true. Stamps, papers, officials, and rakusas don't always add up to any sort of legitimate understanding or knowledge. While there may be plenty of folks from those institutions who do have some sort of genuine knowledge, there are plenty of folks who are just as lost as everyone else.

Gniz hit the nail on the head regarding my earlier post. What is more interesting than whether or not we can prove that BG was in a specific temple for a specific time is WHY does he want us to think that? And WHY do you care if he is a charlatan? Certainly you could say there is a bit of altruism there in trying to reveal false teachers, but as Brad is oft to point out, by using your bullshit detector a lot of that stuff will become pretty clear pretty quickly. And even if you are taken in, you can learn your lesson and be that much the better for it.

Here's hoping I didn't just feed the trolls.

R said...

Seems to me you're only considering the external aspects. Which rules were set. And by whom.

What may be more essential is why the establishment was founded, and why the rules were set. (which is more or less the same as each other)

The purpose of monkhood runs at its internity and leads to what may be really important. - Having this understood, the rules perhaps may be changed.

I don't know the situation, but it may be that the essence which runs in monks runs in those you might criticize as well, while you don't notice it, - in spite of the external aspects.

I don't know, - but I am confident masters who ordain their disciples know better than you.

(- and me, of course)

believe me not said...

The last one is to Z @ 7:42.

Rinpoche’s ghost said...

Always know, sometimes think it's me, but you know I know when it's a dream.

I think I know, I mean, er, yes, but it's all wrong.

That is I think I disagree.

Zach said...

R...

did you read my posts on th' matter... or are you still just rallying over things you think I said?

If you did read them, then answer the question that I kept asking.

(honestly... why are you even bringing it up in this thread anyway - talk about a subject hyjack...)

Zach said...

Jared said:
"And WHY do you care if he is a charlatan? Certainly you could say there is a bit of altruism there in trying to reveal false teachers, but as Brad is oft to point out, by using your bullshit detector a lot of that stuff will become pretty clear pretty quickly."

Because beginners don't have a fully functioning BS detector in a subject that they are admitted novices - AND even the Bullshit detector fails the experienced...

...as shown in this picture.^^

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_k8JkPZ3-pHc/TMzzpzdSbWI/AAAAAAAAAcg/FSbsl9_iCjw/s1600/smellslikeGraham.jpg

I didn't do this pic btw... but it highlights th' point nicely.:)

R said...

Sorry, Zach, I’m not gonna read it, you can bring up the question here if you want.

(And I'm gone for the day. If there's any other R today, it’s a troll.)

Zach said...

R said:
"Sorry, Zach, I’m not gonna read it, you can bring up the question here if you want."

Nah.
If you aint gonna read it, i'm just not going to argue with you about it - I respect your opinion, but... I can't really call it an informed opinion, since you never knew what my opinion (or the more important *why*) was in the first place.

Brad Warner said...

Yes Zach. As I said, I met Barry Graham once. I didn't recall us getting a photo together. But obviously we did. Look to your right -- I got a photo with Godzilla too!

As for my BS detector, I was not approaching Mr. Graham as a potential student. So I wasn't concerned with whether his transmission was real or even what he taught. If I had to question everyone I meet about their past I'd never do anything else.

When you approach someone as a potential student you need to be a lot more careful than when you meet a guy at a book signing and he wants to take a photo with you. That's where you need the BS detector.

Zach said...

you gotta admit tho... a new student might not look too hard at Barry Graham after he took his picture with you... makes it seem like you guys are buddies.

He did the same thing with Joko Beck.

This guy really could do a lot of damage before he is through.

(Lemme just say, I was not the creator of that photo... I was not trying to bait you or insult in any way)

Anonymous said...

"(honestly... why are you even bringing it up in this thread anyway - talk about a subject hyjack..." -Zach at 10:25 AM


R (the real Ran K.) is just trolling for young guys, Zach...Spider got a fly...

Jared said...

RE: Zach @ 10:30 AM

I agree that not everyone is going to have a finely tuned bullshit detector (beginner or not). And to be fair, there are certainly situations where even the sharpest individual can get taken for a ride. That being said, I'd like to reiterate once more (hopefully much more clearly) my earlier sentiment:

Anytime you approach another human being and place him/her in a position of authority, whether it is religious/spiritual, legal, or any other sort of relationship, you are instantly putting yourself into a potentially hazardous situation. Indeed, many many MANY people who submit to a spiritual authority are looking for something. They may not know what it is or they may know EXACTLY what it is but regardless they have an idea in their head of what ought to be going on. If the person they have made into a spiritual authority promises to help them get it, or if the person thinks the authority figure can help them get it, then things are certainly not going to go well. Does this mean all authorities are out to get you? No. But it does mean that plenty of people who are trying to fleece you will come out of the woodwork seeking positions as spiritual authorities. What I was trying to say earlier, in part, is that it seems to matter very little whether someone's papers are in order or not. True, it is very fishy if someone says they have ordination but can never provide documents. But again, there are numerous examples of people with plenty of documents who have lead others astray or abused them. In the end, it isn't the charge of people like Brad or Gniz to root out every single phony because, frankly, they would never get the job completely done. Rather, everyone has to learn to take everything they're fed with a grain of salt and really take the time to investigate what it is they are looking for, etc. But I do concede that for many beginners, abuse is sometimes unavoidable.

Not to pander, but it seems as though some of the best teachers out there are the kind that Brad had (Nishijima) who will tell you when you are being idealistic or grasping at something that isn't there (i.e. that dream episode from HCZ).

Zach said...

"What I was trying to say earlier, in part, is that it seems to matter very little whether someone's papers are in order or not. True, it is very fishy if someone says they have ordination but can never provide documents. But again, there are numerous examples of people with plenty of documents who have lead others astray or abused them."

I agree with you...
I have said this very thing a few times already - the point is not "Papers = Perfectly Enlightened".

The point is that people who fake their credentials are starting off on such a deceptive foot that... well...
Well, try to think of a reason as to why somebody would want to lie about who they are, what they have done, who they trained with, what they have accomplished and try to acquire students to follow them into the glorious land of enlightenment and/or book deals.

There is no way to spin that as a "whatever/not my problem" sort of situation.

Who's problem is this if it isn't the teachers/leaders in the legitimate traditions?

anon #108 said...

Who's problem is this if it isn't the teachers/leaders in the legitimate traditions?.

Well OK, but not every Zen teacher is responsible for every other Zen teacher, Zach - surely?

Brad is the "President of Dogen Sangha International" (what IS that?). If it came to his attention that a teacher was falsely claiming to be a dharma heir of Gudo Nishijima or of one of his students, I guess it would be pretty strange if Brad declined to comment.

Those who know Barry Graham and are directly implicated in his controversial claims, like Kenbutsu Malone, should comment. And Malone has. BG's claims of dharma transmission have been examined and found wanting. Allegations of misconduct are emerging and being investigated by interested people who care. The cat is out of the bag. I can't see what extra purpose is served by demanding that all Zen teachers now take time out to research and denounce the man. The job's being done. There are other things need doing.

Zach said...

"I can't see what extra purpose is served by demanding that all Zen teachers now take time out to research and denounce the man. The job's being done. There are other things need doing.

You know something... that IS a pretty good point.

I personally do feel that Zen Teachers should do more... but in this particular case - Barry Graham is pretty done.

I guess a lot of what I say is coming from extreme annoyance that people would be so low as to actually deceive teachers for robes and implements, ebay their kesa, fuck their students, and do as much as possible to get that book deal all the while using the dharma as a piggyback for their deception...

I guess whenever I see it happen... I want to expose it with every ounce of energy I have, and I react when other folks don't seem to see it the same way.

Ah well... I am only human:)

R said...

anyway, Zach, as far as I remember the question, I said what I had to say about it here @ 9:38 am. beyond that I would be just expounding that. does seem to me like it's said there, but you don't seem satisfied. I didn't read very thoroughly there. I think I got a fairly good idea of what you are saying. not in detail. I made a few references there too. but anyway, if you read mine I mentioned and one or two bits I put over there I don't have much to add.

Over and out, I suppose.

Zach said...

R said:
"anyway, Zach, as far as I remember the question, I said what I had to say about it here @ 9:38 am. beyond that I would be just expounding that."

LoL... Yeah, I gotta say, when I read what you said at 9:38... I saw you not really saying anything - it was very opaque.
I mean really... what does this

"What may be more essential is why the establishment was founded, and why the rules were set. (which is more or less the same as each other)
The purpose of monkhood runs at its internity and leads to what may be really important. - Having this understood, the rules perhaps may be changed.
I don't know the situation, but it may be that the essence which runs in monks runs in those you might criticize as well, while you don't notice it, - in spite of the external aspects.


...even mean? What are you even trying to explain?

Anonymous said...

about that Sex at Dawn book...

i`m still more convinced by the thesis of good old Desmond Morris

Ghost od Dogen said...

Brad-sen, for someone who claim society take sex too seriously, you talk sexy a lot. It sell though, this true. You good capitalist.

_/\_

Manny Furious said...

The big problem with Zen these days is the gestapo-like emphasis on "show me your papers". The transmissions don't even mean anything anymore. The practice is so diluted. There are plenty of Zen gremlins who have received transmission and are endowed with meaningless terms like "Roshi" that it's basically a joke and is probably one of the most ignorant ways of choosing a teacher.

Anonymous said...

"There are plenty of Zen gremlins who have received transmission and are endowed with meaningless terms like "Roshi" that it's basically a joke and is probably one of the most ignorant ways of choosing a teacher.

the point was made over and over in this thread... Papers DOES NOT EQUAL Amazing Teacher.
It is a baseline, a place to start.
If sombody is faking the baseline you KNOW you need to just turn and run the other direction.

Manny Furious said...

"the point was made over and over in this thread... Papers DOES NOT EQUAL Amazing Teacher.
It is a baseline, a place to start.
If sombody is faking the baseline you KNOW you need to just turn and run the other direction."---

This is true. But I would still go so far as to say that, in my mind at least, one should run away from anyone claiming to be "Zen" and is using any kind of baseline as evidence of his/her "Zenness". My understanding of Zen has nothing to do with a piece of paper or a baseline. Show me Zen, not a "baseline"....

Zach said...

Manny Furious said:
"This is true. But I would still go so far as to say that, in my mind at least, one should run away from anyone claiming to be "Zen" and is using any kind of baseline as evidence of his/her "Zenness". My understanding of Zen has nothing to do with a piece of paper or a baseline. Show me Zen, not a "baseline"...."


The papers/authorization shows that you are real. That you come from a real teacher in a real tradition... and not just self authorized and making it up as you go along.

James Ford wrote an excellent article all about this

http://monkeymindonline.blogspot.com/2009/02/teaching-credentials-in-zen.html

R [100] said...

I read part Of Brad’s article in SG. It does seem to me stupid to say that we are this or we are that. Actually my attitude was “I’m not going to read this”.

I’ll refer to one point – not related to sex: Common view has it man has evolved from earlier life forms we are roughly familiar with today through accidental mutation and the natural choice.

People are so told and accept, and if you ask them they will pretend it is logical. Mysterion may compare this to religious beliefs. But I definitely don’t want to get into an argument with him on this point.

Any person can feel the idea feels strange, perhaps in complete contrast to a “Zen” koan understood, but never mind the comparison.

However, - due to shallowness of mind and an inherent habit of following authority they are unable to discern for themselves, and an education which decreases clarity of mind rather than promote it, - men (and women) internalize what they are told since age zero, (rather like BG students absorbing his BS claimed to be the Buddha Dharma) and see it as an existing fact throughout their lives – similarly to religious believes in past ages, as I suggested earlier.

To the point:

Assuming man has developed in the believed manner, - a mind or brain capable of building skyscrapers, creating the internet, or presenting the subtle philosophy presented by Master Dogen could never have developed.

One does not need to be a scientist to see that.

At most man would have come to ability of building a few huts. Nothing beyond that. Actually not even that but I won’t get into that.

Conditions necessary to exist for such a development according to Darwin’s (or whoever’s) ignorant theory never even came close to. Not even 5% of it in the least.

And distinguished scientists (or validated assholes) are sitting in their universities all over the world exhibiting their blindness which ever seems to go unnoticed.

r said...

Z - you’re continually using the concept "baseline". I’m not sure it’s clear what you mean by that.

And I’ll probably refer to other things tomorrow. I see there’s one addressed at me but I’v skipped that for now.

Zach said...

"Baseline" = "A place to start from..."

You know... along the lines of "Ah so you are a Zen Teacher eh...? In what lineage? Who was your teacher?" Small talk stuff...

From there it is just a hop skip and a jump on "teh interwebz" to do your own investigating.

Does that clear things up?

Zach said...

Ummmmmmm R...

Why in the world are you talking about Evolution in your post @ 9:19...?

(And what's more... you sound like you don't accept the Fact of Evolution...)

In fact... after reading it three times I cannot find the point of your words at all.
What in the name of Sweet Fancy Moses R you talking about???

Manny Furious said...

"The papers/authorization shows that you are real."

Baker "Roshi" was Suzuki's only legit heir.... Look how that turned out. I guess as long as we have these views about what is "legit" zen and what isn't, we'll continually have to deal with a bunch of "Masters" who have papers, and who are "real" but like to have sex with their students and the like. The truth of Zen lies in each individual. A good spiritual friend is useful, but not necessary. All this talk of "Roshis" and "Papers" and "Dharma Transmission" are just a way for some people to exercise their authority over others... most of the time. People like Brad and Gudo Nishijima seem like genuine people (Brad at least acknowledges that he isn't "enlightened") and, to me, seem to be the exception in the Zen community.

Zach said...

"Baker "Roshi" was Suzuki's only legit heir.... Look how that turned out.

AND ONCE AGAIN...
the point was made over and over in this thread... Papers DOES NOT EQUAL Amazing Teacher.
It is a baseline, a place to start.
If somebody is faking the baseline you KNOW you need to just turn and run the other direction.

... (- hope it's clear this time) said...

What you say about BL is more or less what was clear. What may be not so clear is how you see the value of arriving at that base line. Your view as for the worth of that.

And I do admit if I read my four paragraphs starting at "to the point" (i.e. excluding the last one) they do seem comprehensible, might happen to me a lot, - but I might try and explain:

According to common view, which as I understand you hold, evolution is merely a random consequence of survival.

Suppose there are in a city white butterflies and grey butterflies, and the buildings are grey due to pollution, the birds would eat the white butterflies cause they could see them better, and the population of the grey ones would flourish. With time, -they would last, this is the idea.

The lion’s power is merely an outcome of his need to survive.

Now consider man: Following this theory all human capabilities, mental included, are an outcome of continual mutations – ever so tiny – we might assume, - and the survival of those which prove to support existence.

Still – man might have been in need of defending himself against wild animals, construction of primitive tools, creating perhaps primitive agriculture, and suchlikes I haven’t thought of perhaps.

The intelligence which could have been developed – taking the general idea to be correct* - by such means, - could hardly exceed the needs you might find in the primitive tribes as they were before meeting modern civilization.

Human capability of thought – (and not merely intelligence, but intelligence would definitely be enough here) is so far beyond what might have developed by such means, as an atom bomb would be beyond the use of gunpowder.

The mental capabilities which would have developed had this theory been true, are very primitive and would never have allowed us to have this discussion.

Had anyone tried to calculate (though of course this impossible) the probability of the idea I am referring to the results would have been ridiculous. And though it is not possible to calculate it is possible to estimate.

So far.

Footnote said...

* - I think the general idea could be seen to be wrong in itself too, but this is not as easy to present or to see.

- I think people believe this shit simply because they can't seem to think of any other reasoning they'd consider reasonable, and because of all I've said earlier.

- But never mind, this isn't anything anyone is going to listen to, In general.
You can bring the horse to water, but spoons don't usually take great interested in drinking.

Anonymous said...

#108.
_____
_____.
_____.
_____.

Anonymous said...

109.

Peanut Gallery said...

OK Ran. So the theory of evolution only explains some aspects of the development of life-forms on Earth. It doesn't pretend to answer the 'bigger' questions of existence or intelligence/consciousness. It just draws some conclusions about observed facts - like all scientific theories.

What's your point?

Zach said...

THANK YOU PEANUT GALLERY...

What IS your point R...?

(and before you answer... consider this - If you cant explain your point in about 3 sentences... you may have to consider the possibility that there isn't one.)

Oh, well... said...

- The question is not the question of existence. Nothing to do with it.

- It is not the question of consciousness.

Again this isn't the point in the least.

- And it is not about the fact of existence of intelligence in itself. That exists in animals as well.

It is the degree to which the intelligence has developed.

- It could never be explained by this theory.

Which means there is something else working here.

I can't see what is so difficult to understand.


And Zach - some points do take more than three sentences, - and it might depend on the thickness of the listener.

There definitely is a point.

And one does not need “Zen” understanding in order to see it.

But I am getting tired.

R said...

And as for 6:52 am Zach - I thought I was out, you refuse to state your question, [again] so I wasn’t going to clarify, I don't see a point in your going on.

PG said...

"And one does not need “Zen” understanding in order to see it."

THAT'S RIGHT R !

And many of us DO get it. That's what you DON'T get.

"But I am getting tired."
Why am I not surprised?

R said...

So?

PG said...

So -
You seem to think "seing it" means seeing what YOU see, the way YOU see it and describing it in the words YOU use. That sets up barriers to communication with other people.

(Just the way I see it. In MY words).

R said...

Wrong.

PG said...

"Wrong"

HA! Of course. Oh well.

R said...

People who see might agree.

People who don't might have different opinions.

R said...

And if they imagine all to be blind they can't see the possibility beyond their own.

R said...

You're not alone PG.

And you said right: "Just the way I see it." (the words don't matter)

But as I said, which you did not seem to accept.

Manny Furious said...

"AND ONCE AGAIN...
the point was made over and over in this thread... Papers DOES NOT EQUAL Amazing Teacher.
It is a baseline, a place to start.
If somebody is faking the baseline you KNOW you need to just turn and run the other direction."

And once again...you ignore most of my post and take out the one or two sentences that seem hell-bent on answering.

I'm not interested in arguing. If one is that intent on finding a teacher, then, yes, I suppose "papers" are beneficial as a starting point.

My point is that the whole Zen system in this day in age, at least in the U.S., is full of hot air. Everything takes precedent over insight. Zazen, teachers, sanghas, Dogen, robes, rituals, etc. The only thing that matters is seeing into your true nature. This seems to have been forgotten.

Zach said...

"My point is that the whole Zen system in this day in age, at least in the U.S., is full of hot air. Everything takes precedent over insight. Zazen, teachers, sanghas, Dogen, robes, rituals, etc. The only thing that matters is seeing into your true nature. This seems to have been forgotten."

And how is a beginner supposed to gauge the insight of a prospective teacher?

Manny Furious said...

"And how is a beginner supposed to gauge the insight of a prospective teacher?"

In short, if there were any sort of real answer to this, we wouldn't be talking about it right now.

Trial and error is the best I can come up with. However, the problem is the student is so blinded by meaningless titles and such that they refuse to acknowledge when they make an error. This is why so many students defend their teacher even after the teach has done something obviously in breach of how a teacher probably should carry themselves morally.

And,ultimately, there is too much emphasis on the teacher. Gautama didn't become a buddha because of any teacher.

Anonymous said...

Zach - it seems to me your trying to make a point to your colleague here is quite similar to me trying to make a point to you and YKW. (aka PG)

And it seems your colleague’s last one calls for the clarification I referred to earlier.

- Though don’t see me as “in” here.

Zach said...

Zach - it seems to me your trying to make a point to your colleague here is quite similar to me trying to make a point to you and YKW

Sorry.
What point have you made to me?

Manny Furious - I understand what you are trying to say.
But as you yourself said: "If one is that intent on finding a teacher, then, yes, I suppose "papers" are beneficial as a starting point."

But ask yourself *WHY* it is important.
Zen teachers/monks don't just POP into existence - they are MADE. If you want a teacher in any spiritual tradition, even one that is made up, then more power to ya...
But Zen is a vertical transmission... top down. You are made a teacher BY a teacher, you are made a monk BY a teacher (who is a monk). So if you want to study with somebody who calls themselves a Zen monk or a Zen Teacher - there is a really simple/superficial way to at least find out if what they are saying is true.

Do papers mean the person is an "enlightened being"... whatever that means - I agree with you! No it doesn't...
All it means is that they were authorized to teach - doesn't mean they are good at it... or (in the instance of claiming to be a monk) it means that they are actually a monk in the Zen tradition.

Now if they claim to be a zen monk/master - you can find out very easily if they are lying... and if they are lying RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

Manny Furious said...

"Now if they claim to be a zen monk/master - you can find out very easily if they are lying... and if they are lying RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION!"

Fair enough. I still believe one can study "Zen" without a teacher, but I agree with the gist of your post. And as for what we disagree on, I don't think we'll convince each other otherwise, at this point.

not using my account [1, couldn't get it through in one piece] said...

Zach - I said “trying to make a point”.

And I think I’ve said enough.

Though there seem to have been somewhat of a misunderstanding: I was not denying evolution, I was referring to what is taken to be its cause.

This could never hold. Though I will not continue this discussion here.

not using my account [2] said...

A few other things:


I am happy you value “Why”.


Though if we take Reiun Shigon (for example) who saw the peach blossom, - I can’t really see where was he “made”. He received affirmation, and his relation to his teacher is not to be said to be of no value, but the moment he saw the peach blossom he was able to teach, he was enlightened, - not even Buddha could take this way from him. Christ may only be able to grant entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven at the will of the Father, but there has never been a way heard of of depriving it, - not even to Mysterion.

You can also consider the case of Layman Toba hearing the sounds of the mountain stream flowing through the night, (Shobogenzo Keisei-sanshiki, Reiun Shigon is there too) and Master Hakuin who heard a cricket chirping.

The example of Layman Toba can also tell you that one does not need to be a monk in order to be a teacher. I assume there may be many examples today too.


In the next paragraph you seem to relate to the clarification I was about. I won’t express my opinion cause I don’t want to get into an argument, but you still don’t say what see as standing behind the “authorization to teach”. The essential question is still left out. The “why” still stands.

not using my account [3] said...

And btw, - as far as I know, in SFZS, and elsewhere too, people who did not receive the transmission (and are never said too) are authorized as “teachers”. They say so on their website. As far as I can remember. I don’t find the fact significant, and I don’t like it too, but I might not be as easy to call wrong what people who did receive the transmission did, as some others do.

131 said...

There you are.

Zach said...

oh... It's R...
You post under a lot of different names...

"I don’t want to get into an argument, but you still don’t say what see as standing behind the “authorization to teach”. The essential question is still left out. The “why” still stands."

I didn't say (the highlighted) because that was not the point.

Myterion II said...

“oh... It's R...
You post under a lot of different names...”.

I find it amusing.

Trololololo.



“"I don’t want to get into an argument, but you still don’t say what you see as standing behind the “authorization to teach”. The essential question is still left out. The “why” still stands."

I didn't say (the highlighted) because that was not the point.”.

OK.

However that was mainly the clarification I referred to.

(I didn’t read your discussion with MF in detail so I can’t tell if you are right)

Zach said...

Do you read ANYTHING in detail before you post comments about them?

Mysterion II said...

? ............ [;)]

M II said...

Uh - you got there before me.

Still it's the end, I suppose.

Ran K. said...

There are words of Uchiyama Roshi I think should be inscribed above the gate to the bloggyverse.

I'll relate to it sometime.


(- I suppose, - that is. - One never knows.)

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