Friday, December 17, 2010

Ultra Christmas and Anger


Ultraman Ace episode #38 has got to be one of the weirdest Christmas episodes in all of TV history. If you can read Japanese, here's a synopisis of the episode. It's got lots of neat frame grabs from the show even if you can't read the text.

Basically, the snow monster Snowgillon attacks Tokyo. A gigantic mustachioed, but beardless Santa Claus (see photo) battles the creature. I think he gives Ultraman Ace some kind of special ray power to deal with the beast too. Then Santa turns out to the Father of Ultra, the daddy of all the Ultramen. In the end he flies away on a silver sleigh along with the Minami, who had been part of Ultraman Ace's alter ego (it took two people to transform into Ultraman Ace, Hokuto, a man and Minami, a woman, but Minami left some time in the series).

Weird. Just weird.

My friend Takeshi Yagi directed a far less weird Ultraman Christmas episode called "Ellie's Christmas" in 2005 for the series Ultraman Max. There's a brief synopsis of that episode here.

I'll be spending Christmas at my sister's house where my dad is coming to join the fun. I like Christmas. It's fun.

I just spent the whole morning writing a Christmas-themed article, which will appear on the Suicide Girls Safe For Work Blog on Monday. I'll put the link up here once I get it. So I'm not gonna write a lot about Christmas here.

Here's a question from the mailbag:

"What is wrong with my anger at why the world is wrong? The Clash gave me a code to live by in the song 'Clampdown,' 'let fury have the hour,anger can be power.' What I want to know is, why must I kill my anger toward things which are wrong? Exploitation of workers, rape, sexism, racism, fascism, conservatism, militarism, Islamic female circumcision practices, universal health care, and most importantly, the environment are my biggest concerns. And for as long as I can remember, the complete lack of general concern for these issues has thoroughly pissed me off. But like The Clash said, anger can be power and I have always believed that getting angry, really fired up about the world's problems is the best way to solve them. When I get angry about, say litter, it just reminds me to recycle a little more and consume a little less.

You get the picture right? Anger can be useful in solving problems, in dealing with injustice. Do I still have to kill my anger toward injustice?"


My answer:
(I always start with "my answer" because these articles go up on Facebook and all the careful formatting I do disappears)

The answer is that there is nothing "wrong" with your anger. People are constantly characterizing me as an "angry" person based on my writing. I think that I'm not as angry as I used to be, but I'm still just as angry as I used to be. Which is a typically contradictory "Zen" way of saying that even though I'm angry still, I don't get angry about my anger like I used to.

In other words, the emotional component of what we call "anger" is clearly useless. It doesn't help anything. And yet when I hear about the stuff you've described, it pisses me off. Lots of things piss me off.

I just saw an interesting talk by Alan Senauke from the Berkeley Zen Center. Alan wrote a very cool book called The Bodhisattva's Embrace: Dispatches from Engaged Buddhism's Front Lines. He's into the whole engaged Buddhism thing. He works for a lot of causes. He goes places. He does stuff.

But when questioned in a similar manner about anger over the troubles of the world after his talk, Alan said something to the effect of, "I try to limit my intake of TV news." I like that advice. Our duty is to deal with the shit right in front of us. But we get sidetracked by the tons and tons and tons of information we are now able to receive about things we really can't deal with because they're too far away or they're too big, etc.

You can easily drive yourself into a tizzy over all the stuff there is in this world to get angry about. I have no doubt that if/when we establish communications with creatures from other planets, it won't be long before there are people on Earth wringing their hands over the unfair treatment of the Krell in the Gomular fields of Regizon IV. It's just human nature to feel like that.

But anger as an emotion gets in the way of what you need to do to effectively deal with those things you're angry about. It blinds you with rage and you don't see the real solutions right in front of you.

Sure anger, in one sense, can be power. But the emotion of anger isn't very powerful if you ask me. It's debilitating.

So it really depends what you mean by the word "anger." I'm angry at sexism. But it doesn't do me any good to sit and stew over it. When there are cases of sexism that I can do something about, I do what I can do. Like maybe if I was there when Ultraman Neos was fondling that poor girl in her Santa outfit I might say something. But not if she was clearly enjoying the attention. My general feeling of anger over the issue remains as part of my personality whether I'm acting on it or not. But it makes no sense to get emotional about things I can't do anything about. The general overall problem of sexism is far too big for one person to fix.

This doesn't mean I have a lack of concern. The whole idea that being all emotional about big issues is a way of being concerned is kind of a red herring. It's something that seems to be relevant to the issue at hand when it really isn't.

When you talk about "being fired up," I think what you're really referring to is holding on to a part of your sense of personal self. You fear that if you don't hold on to your anger, it will go away and you'll just be complacent. In my experience this is not what happens at all. You don't become complacent. You become more relaxed and more realistic about where you can help and where you cannot.

I hope that made some kind of sense.

117 comments:

Kevin said...

slackers

Yueheng said...

Number 1!

Yueheng said...

Oops...too slow :)

john e mumbles said...

4444 the number of the risen Dog....

Seagal Rinpoche said...

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

Anonymous said...

So, Brad, what advice could you give to someone who suffers from being angry at being angry, other than "don't be angry about being angry"? Is the only solution doing lots and lots of zazen, and being angry in the meantime?

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

When you talk about "being fired up," I think what you're really referring to is holding on to a part of your sense of personal self. You fear that if you don't hold on to your anger, it will go away and you'll just be complacent. In my experience this is not what happens at all. You don't become complacent. You become more relaxed and more realistic about where you can help and where you cannot.

Good topic. 'Angry people' are essentially no more angry than other people. It's just that they have habitual responses (more pronounced and seemingly inevitable ones) to the stimuli that they associate with feeling under threat and angry: They act it out based on learned responses to cues, and subsequent behaviors as the circumstances of their lives seem to dictate. It sometimes seems as if our whole personality is geared to irresistibly go the 'anger' route, but this needn't be so.

This is wonderfully simple and rational when it's written down of course, and we can grasp the point easily, but it's a different story when it comes to challenging the learned responses and subsequent behaviors that we've rehearsed for our whole lives. It seems there's different cues for different people, but an initial stage of challenging acting angry may be to recognise our cues, the thoughts and feelings (physical and emotional) that we identify with as our being 'angry'. Zazen, while it's certainly no 'silver bullet', may help us discern how the fiction unfolds from there and that, actually, we can make a choice in how we respond to our thoughts and feelings and how we behave.

Regards,

Harry.

lucky jim said...

Sometimes getting angry and yelling at inanimate objects makes me feel better. The whole process only lasts a few moments. Does this not have value?

anon said...

Kevin.. Who you calling slackers? Everyday I go to your blog and it doesn't change. Did you fire all your bullets?

Anonymous said...

Brad, regarding aliens, do you think another intelligent beings of this universe would also have developed a system similar to zen or would they even have need for such? Do you think it could be concievable to have an intelligence that wouldn't need to find a way to deal with the things like we do?

Kevin said...

@anon

haha.. yeah.... I suck.. I know

Anonymous said...

To live is to die strangely.

OsamaVanHalen said...

From my experience and observations:

Getting angry about social issues is usually based on ego.
"Why can't those idiots see that what I do (or believe) is right and what they do (or believe) is wrong!!??"

Getting angry about personal issues is usually based more on several events that happened in the past and less on one event that is happening in the present.
"Why does everybody always do this to me!!??"

As for Christmas, it's a materialistic, capitalistic scam.
If you meet the Santa on the road, kill him. That goes for Baby Jesus, too.

leoboiko said...

In other words, the only problem with being angry is that being angry feels like you’re doing something about the problems, when you’re really not. It’s a luxury. The workers of the world couldn’t care less if you’re angry, they’re still being oppressed. If you want to solve the goddamn problems, you have to stop indulging on luxury and actually DO stuff.

I’m not a particularly angry person but instead tend to be depressed and guilty. One day I realized guiltiness is a luxury. From then on I’ve been trying not to indulge on it. I find zazen helps me notice when I’m being too self-indulgent. Not that I’ve become a perfectly mindful person, mind you.

Soulagent79 said...

Anger gives you power - buuut it's *always* raw and blind power! I remember reading a koan about this topic where a zen priest compares using the power of anger to stealing a diamond from the head of a dangerous snake - you might get bitten.

Anonymous said...

Satan, er Santa, used to maim, abduct, rape and kill in the olden days before westernization. Check it out, guy was the fucking bogeyman!

Anger is a good one, so much anger! :D

Anonymous said...

I write a letter, donate money occasionally, post it on Facebook if I think others might care, or all of the above. Being angry about an issue and doing nothing but fume about it is unhealthy because it is stressful and a waste of time. If it is anger over something no one can do anything about, I talk or email someone else in the same predicament. For example, after a suicide in my family, feeling very sad with some anger, my daily practice for a while was to phone or email various family members plus talking with my husband. The deceased was a veteran so I look for opportunities to put my 2 cents in on mental health issues of veterans. One of his stresses was his wife's impending death from breast cancer. I can donate. Sit down. Shut up. Then get up and do something.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

RIP Captain Beefheart. 1941-2010

Anonymous said...

Today's vain attempt to make Seagal Rinpoche resemble a source of original wisdom was stolen from Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Anonymous said...

Merry Civil Disobedience!

and a

Happy Daniel Ellsberg!

and BTW, in case you haven't noticed,

Barack Obama is an asshole.

Captain Beefheart for President!

Beefheart lives said...

Ohe shoe fell on the gravel
One stick poked down
Gray of age fell down on uh pair of ears
An eagle shined thru my hole watch pocket
Uh gingham girl baby girl
Passed me by in tears
Uh jack rabbit raised his folded ears
Uh beautiful sagebrush jack rabbit
'n an oriole sang like an orange
His breast full uh worms
'n his tail clawed the evenin' like uh hammer
His wings took t' air like uh bomber

Beefheart lives said...

Ohe shoe fell on the gravel
One stick poked down
Gray of age fell down on uh pair of ears
An eagle shined thru my hole watch pocket
Uh gingham girl baby girl
Passed me by in tears
Uh jack rabbit raised his folded ears
Uh beautiful sagebrush jack rabbit
'n an oriole sang like an orange
His breast full uh worms
'n his tail clawed the evenin' like uh hammer
His wings took t' air like uh bomber

CAPTCHA begoodit I kid you not

Anonymous said...

If only...

Anonymous said...

regarding the stupidity of anger Principal skinner once said to Ms Krabopal
"Edna I have always appreciated the way you get personally insulted by broad social trends"

john e mumbles said...

I'm in shock. RIP Don Van Vliet, my favorite painter and of course, perhaps this century's most original rock musician. Composer of the best song ever writ, IMO, with the coolest guitar solo:

BIG EYED BEANS FROM VENUS
Distant cousins, there's a limited supply.
And we're down to the dozens, and this is why:
Big Eyed Beans from Venus! Oh my, oh my.

Boys and girls,
Earth people around the circle,
Mixtures of man alive.
Big eyed beans from Venus,
Don't let anything get in between us.

Beam in on me baby,
and we'll beam together
I know we always been together,
but there's more.

Mister Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note,
and let it float.

Men let your wallets flop out,
and women open your purses,
Cause a man or a woman without a big eyed bean from Venus
Is suffering with the worstest of curses
Yeah, you're suffering, with the worstest of curses.

Put 'em out in the sun, and when the night come
You don't have to go out and get 'em
They'll glow with you
They'll go with you
They'll show with you
Ain't no losers
Cause they're on the right track
Cause they're on the right track
You can be on the right track, woman,
Of course, of course

Ain't no SNAFU, no fol-de-rol

Check these out, Big eyed beans from Venus
Oh, let a few out, let 'em pass in between us

Distant cousins, there's a limited supply.
And we're down to the dozens, and this is why...

Don't let anything get in between us!
Big eyed beans from Venus
Big eyed beans from Venus.

tattoozen said...

I see a lot of "righteous" anger as just another way to define "ME" vs. "THEM". its easy to feed that sense of self when you go around comparing how much more aware and indignant than "those people" who arent as red-faced as you are about whatever cause has gotten their dander up.

I have also found that the more someone is "into causes" the more they generally act like an asshole to everyone around them. Id say it is better (and more effective) to be nice to the guy behind the counter at starbucks than it is to throw a brick through their window.

john e mumbles said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF9rZoN_-DU

TURN IT UP REAL LOUD

Obama said...

ain't the only one that's fast and bulbous.

Anonymous said...

the Zen of NYC

NEUROPLASTY said...

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

anon #108 said...

Webcor. Webcor.

john e mumbles said...

ICE CREAM FOR CROW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSeSQI16ZE0&feature=related

NEUROPLASTY said...

So Jack, how long have you been involved with this effort towards saving sentient beings (SSB)?

Fred, I’m glad you asked me about that. I got my start way back in the early 60’s; this was long before it was even know as SSB. In fact, back then we sometimes just called it ‘cruising for a$$holes’ Ha! Yeah, those were the good ole days….. It was tough going in the beginning cause all we had was the concept and no book or teacher to guide us. We had no federal funding as of yet and not even a van to put the a$$holes in while we were trying to save them.
Lucky for us there were plenty of a$$holes to practice on. We probably killed a dozen or more before we finally got the hang of it. But hey, if you’re going to bake a cake you have got to break a few eggs, right Fred? Ha!

Mr. Reee said...

It seems that anger can be a powerful motivator (that oftentimes becomes an excuse after the fact...) but it also always seems to distort the object of one's anger.

In other words, when we get angry at something, it often turns the object into a dragon, when in reality it may be a gnat (or maybe not even there at all!)

Two problems with that--the obvious one is we think we're fighting a dragon when we're not--the other not so obvious problem is that we think we become knights in shining armor, or damsels in distress, or helpful hobbits, or wizards, etc.

I suppose the same may be said of love, too.

PS. RIP Capt Beefheart.

Seegal Rinpoche said...

I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right.

Anonymous said...

Ya, Segal, guys who think that way seem to end up shouting allah ho akbar and showering innocent people with their bile. Go ahead a cling to your "right" beliefs like the flotsam they are, but be sure to swim for the island when you see it.

Anonymous said...

Finnish Santa Klaus

Anonymous said...

Have a Gay Christmas!

Anonymous said...

merry xmas...

"enough anger ... to last 100 years."

OsamaVanHalen said...

Captain Bee Fart? Is that the guy who used to play keyboards for Toni Tennille?

Soulagent79 said...

Is this the Captain Beefheart memorial thread? C'mon!

Ghost Toasties said...

What's your beef, you little farts?

Anonymous said...

For some reason the girl in santa helper suite reminds me of Miss Thailand 2008 Gavintra Photijak

http://muaythai.com/gavintra.html

http://muaythai.com/cherng-muaythai.html

Cosmik Debris said...

"Comical Zen"

undertaker said...

Wow, this string is even more flaccid than the last blog post. Is this site dying a slow, boring death?

I smell myspace.

Anonymous said...

Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk

Symphony of Science - 'Our Place in the Cosmos' (ft. Sagan, Dawkins, Kaku, Jastrow)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vioZf4TjoUI&feature=related

Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Symphony of Science)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc&feature=related

Symphony of Science - 'The Unbroken Thread' (ft. Attenborough, Goodall, Sagan)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOLAGYmUQV0&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Alan Watts - The Real You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXmz605GAnc

Lyrics:

You're breathing
The wind is blowing
The trees are waving
Your nerves are tingling

The individual and the universe
Are inseparable
But the curious thing is
Very few people are aware of it

Everything in nature
Depends on everything else
So it's interconnected

We confuse ourselves as living organisms which are one with this whole universe
With something we call our personality
And what is our personality?

And our fundamental self is not something just inside the skin
It's everything around us with which we connect

When you look out of your eyes
At nature happening out there
You're looking at you
That's the real you-
The you that goes on of itself

Now listen

It's absolutely necessary
That we let go of ourselves- and it can't be done,
Not by anything that we call doing it, acting, willing,
Or even just accepting things

It seems that the human being
Really has a very simple kind of mind
Nature is wiggly
Everything wiggles
And all this wiggliness is too complicated

Claim It said...

Wow, this string is even more flaccid than the last blog post. Is this site dying a slow, boring death?

I smell myspace.




No, that's just a bored Mysterion fart.

buddy said...

tattoozen said: 'Id say it is better (and more effective) to be nice to the guy behind the counter at starbucks than it is to throw a brick through their window.'
Even better (and more effective) is to not go to starbucks at all, but find an independent cafe that serves free trade coffee. One of the most consistent, useful and non-angry ways we can do something in this fucked up world is by putting our money where our mouth is.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of Doubt: A History. She defines doubt generously, broadly addressing the human impulse to question what is given in order to invest one's days with meaning. This hour we'll explore Socrates and Benjamin Franklin, Job and Zen Buddhism in this intriguing light.

Doubt:a history
http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/doubt/index.shtml


Humanism
http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/new_humanism/

Anonymous said...

"we cannot track 2.3 trillion dollars in transactions."
-- Donald Rumsfeld, September 10, 2001

(melodramatic, but useful nonetheless)

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

Mysterion,

YOU want to put some golden
SHIT next to an apple
HEAD.

Is there a subliminal message in that juxtaposition?

Uku said...

All we can do is try to do our best.

Shits in his hand said...

The sound of his own fart must've awakened Mysterion from a long winter's crap. But WTF is he going on about? His schtick makes less sense than usual.

13-year-old chinese prostitute said...

You ever run into any Snakeheads in Japan?

john e mumbles said...

Dante said that midway through the journey of life he suddenly became conscious of himself, and realized he had lost his way.

Cold Mountain said:
How did someone like me get here?
Our minds are different.
Otherwise you could get here too.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john e mumbles said...

I go along with that M, as Voltaire said (I seem to be in a quoting mood):

Tend your garden.

Anonymous said...

...and eat your meat.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.

How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

Sour Pickle said...

Nobody wants any meat here, fool.

This is a vegetarian blog.

Roy said...

I pity the fool who thinks this is a vegetarian blog.

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

"I know that the people who hate me are as well-intentioned as those who love me. Nobody does anything because they think it's a bad thing to do and will lead to suffering. Everything everybody does is motivated, skillfully or unskillfully, by a desire to be happy, for things to be all right. Even the worst, most destructive behavior, isn't ill-intentioned."

Barry Graham 18/12/2010

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

WHY I'M A VEGETARIAN

Propagandhi - Purina Hall of Fame
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHNkJ8j1zjY

Propagandhi's - Nailing Descartes to the Wall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHx96-dD2Qc

What I mean to say said...

I don't do anything because I think it's a bad thing to do and will lead to suffering. Everything I do is motivated, skillfully or unskillfully, by a desire to be happy, for things to be all right. Even my worst, most destructive behavior, isn't ill-intentioned.

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

"Omnivores (from Latin: omni all, everything; vorare to devour) are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source. They are opportunistic, general feeders not specifically adapted to eat and digest either meat or plant material primarily." Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_omnivores
(Please note the omnivore starting with the letter "H".)

"Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken." Tyler Durden

Anonymous said...

The basis for morality/ethics/precepts is whether or not our actions cause conscious creatures that can suffer to suffer.

We don't have moral obligations to rocks because we don't think that they can suffer. That's why we are more concerned about our fellow primates than we we are ants. As we know they can suffer more.

That's why if you're driving down the road and a bug gives up the ghost on the windshield you don't feel that bad, not as bad as if you hit a dog. Why because we know there is a lawful relationship to the complexity of a creatures nervous system/brain and it's ability to suffer.

If you cannot see this simple fact/relationship of cause and effect then you have had your moral intuitions blinded by some absurd religious metaphysics, or you are simply trying to ease your conscious with lies/illusions.

________________________

In the words of George Bernard Shaw:
We are living graves of murdered beasts
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals like men could possibly have rights.
We pray on Sunday that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
We are sick of war, we do not want to fight,
And we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like Carrion Crows we live and feed on meat,
Regardless of the suffering and pain
We cause by doing so, in this we treat,
Defenseless animals for sport or gain -
How can we hope in this world to attain
The peace we say we are so anxious for,
We pray for it o'er hetacomba of slain,
To God while outraging the moral law,
Thus cruelty begets the offspring --- WAR !

_______________________________

A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellow man, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.
Dr Albert Sweitzer (1875-1965)


Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.
Dr Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

OsamaVanHalen said...

Some people think that they are smarter than nature.
Smarter than 3.8 billion years of evolution and natural selection.
Smarter than the universe.
They are not.

Anonymous said...

But the universe includes the person thinking they are smarter than the universe, right?

The universe can do anything!

Anonymous Bob said...

"Some people think that they are smarter than nature.
Smarter than 3.8 billion years of evolution and natural selection.
Smarter than the universe.
They are not."

My dog is smarter than your universe.

CAPTCHA : maeman : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

"It was the karma of the chicken to die in this way."

That is to fundamentally misunderstand the Buddhist view of "karma" (karma=action/vipaka=effect/ cause&effect). That is the Hindu view of karma which the Buddha rejected, karma as fate/destiny. The Buddha introduced the importance of intentionality into "karma"(actions), thus making each action dependent/connected to choices we make.
Buddhist karma is choice making, each moment, we choose actions that harm ourselves and/or others, or not, or actions that alleviate suffering of ourselves and/or others.

To follow the Hindu (fatalist) view of karma, yes, it is the chickens (Hindu) karma to be eaten. Yes, it was the Jews (Hindu) karma to be killed by Nazis. Yes, it was the (Hindu) karma of all of the children raped by catholic priests, as it was their (Hindu) karma to rape them.
This is why the Buddha rejected the Hindu concept of karma, where people were born to be slaves/or a certain caste, it's their (Hindu) karma to be slaves.

The Buddhist view of karma, and ethics (Eightfold Path/Precepts), is right here, right NOW, in the present moment, THIS moment I make choices moment by moment, with a deep understanding of interdependence/cause and effect, do my actions cause suffering???



Then there was an appeal to authority, by quoting scripture to justify causing suffering. Instead of quoting scripture/sutras back and forth to support to support a view, which we could ad infinitum/ ad nauseum
I will just say, if the Buddha did eat meat (there's some debate on whether the Pali word actually means spoiled pork or poisonous mushroom)that does NOT make it right or ethical to do so !!!!

That is like the southern plantation owners quoting scripture to justify slavery. It is their Divinely sanctioned (Hindu)"karma" to be slaves.

Anonymous said...

In the Laṅkāvatāra & Aṅgulimāla sutras the Buddha explicitly prohibits the eating of meat, fish and any animal products which are the result of harming and killing of any sentient being. The Buddha states the only time it is acceptable to accept and eat the flesh of sentient beings is for medicinal purposes only if the animal died in accordance with the Dharma, meaning the animal died of natural causes.

In Mahāyāna Chinese Buddhism (Zen Buddhism)and in those countries to which Chinese Buddhism has spread (Korea, Japan, Vietnam), Buddhist monks are more strictly vegetarian. One of the scriptural sources for this prohibition is the Mahāyāna Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. This sūtra condemns meat-eating in the strongest terms.

Although vegetarianism is not expressly commanded in the Pāli canon, it is evidently viewed as an ideal; the Aggañña Sutta (DN.27).
________________________
The Ethical Precepts
and Philosophical Tenets
of Zen Buddhism

1. I will be mindful and reverential with all life,
I will not be violent nor will I kill.

Avoid killing or harming any living being.
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
I shall endeavor to protect and take care of all living creatures.
Do not do harm to other beings.

“If a person does not harm any living being…
and does not kill or cause others to kill -
that person is a true spiritual practitioner.”
- The Dhammapada

Thich Nhat Hanh
"Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life."

anonymous anonymous said...

It was hysterion's foul karma to eat the poor fowl. Motivation makes the difference between actions. But, as always with hysterion, there is the aspect of ignorance to consider. Even a well-intended act by an ignorant mind can return bad results.

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

"This is why a lot of Buddhists fail to quote the words of Buddha and instead are more likely to quote the words of more recent teachers like Dogen, for example, or their own teachers. You can't really rely on what's written in books.

"I've been reading about the Koran lately and it's fascinating. In some circles it is dangerous to advance the idea that anything in the Koran might be mistaken. So folks who want to try and modernize Islam are forced to stretch and bend what's written in the Koran to make it work in the modern world. Many Christians, Jews, Hindus and even Buddhists feel the same way about their scriptures. But Buddhists who feel that way about the words of Buddha don't really understand the words of Buddha very well.

"This is why Buddha, in the Kalama Sutra, cautions people against believing what is written in scripture. And note that I ironically have to refer to Buddhist scripture here. But understand, it's not because the Kalama Sutra is supposed to be the words of Buddha that impresses me. It's because whoever wrote it, it makes damn good sense. This is also why people in the Mahayana tradition often accept words attributed to Buddha that we know damned well Buddha couldn't possibly have said since he was already long dead when those sutras were written."

BRAD WARNER, from his Friday July 20, 2010 post, titled
"Why Buddhism Isn't Buddha's-ism"

http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2010/07/buddhism-isnt-buddhas-ism.html

Anonymous said...

"it's bullshit!"

LOL

Harry said...

Good post up there about the Buddhist view of karma as different to fatalism. It's an important point that's often blurred or overlooked.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Good to know it gets Harry's pompous-assed seal of approval. Now we can all go back and read it again with the assurance that its "an important point."

It's Bullshit!

Anonymous said...

Dude: what are you pissed at Harry for? Sounds like you need to get laid.

dirty sanchez said...

Brad, Timely holiday post on anger. Not that there's anyone's angry around here.

Harry said...

Hi Anon,

I lived in a world for a while where everything was bullshit. If I had of found it to be a nice, or even slightly more tolerable, place then I might be more inclined to agree with you. What a pompous ass I was to think everything bullshit!

As it stands my current world of pompous assery seems better for all concerned.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

... except possibly you... and maybe several hundreds of others (can't win 'em all).

H.

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

Sometimes it's good to be angry, sometimes it's not. I don't think this world is black-n-white with absolute definitions.

Sometimes it's good to be angry, sometimes it's not. The meaning of the practice called zazen?

Captcha: panter Pantera rules!

nooth said...

GOD! It pisses me of when people say that Pantera rules when it's clearly not true.

nooth said...

OFF!

GOD!

Anonymous said...

For the first time in 372 years, the winter equinox and a total lunar eclipse happen on the same day, and North America is one of the best spots to view the show.


http://whoknew.news.yahoo.com/?nc&vid=23549392

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

here's the 1/2 astrology rif.

The entire gravitational force of the planets (because of their great distances) is equivalent to one snowflake dropping on you in winter. A raindrop has far more force - and effect.

Chef Astrologer (cooking up crap for the gullible) - Manley Palmer Hall.

p.s. I am a minor fan of M.P. Hall for almost everything he wrote. His books are fair to middlin' introductions leading to deeper research...

Anonymous said...

Rev. Heng Sure PhD( a Chan monk )on a Plant-based Diet, held at the VegSource Conference 2003 in the City of 10,000 Buddhas, CA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gyKxGxyHEQ&feature=related

Anonymous said...

book by Roshi Philip Kapleau

TO CHERISH ALL LIFE: A Buddhist View of Animal Slaughter And Eating Meat

http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/To_Cherish_All_Life.pdf


http://www.shabkar.org/vegetarianism/index.htm

Anonymous said...

People are always misunderstanding why humans eat other organisms and themselves.

FYI, various anons, Mysterion is unable to control his illness. Picking on him won't help. Just ignore and give him a chance to figure it out.

damiller said...

All animals get eaten. There is no debate. It is the way of nature.

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

The Butcher's Door
(Lu Fuhuang,Cloud of Vows, Chan Buddhist Master, Song Dynasty)

For countless years, the bitter stew of hate goes boiling on
Its vengeful broth is ocean deep, impossible to calm
To learn the cause of so much conflict, terror, hate, and war
Listen to the cries at midnight by the butcher's door





The Kind-Hearted Hermit
(Lu Fuhuang,Cloud of Vows, Chan Buddhist Master, Song Dynasty)

Around this lonely mountain top, myriad peaks revolve
I've come to cultivate ascetic's displined resolve
I take my broom and sweep away the deer's tracks in the snow
The deer past by, but in the morning, hunters will not know

Anonymous said...

Sung by Reverend Heng Sure of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, USA. Lyrics:

May every living being,
Our minds as one and radiant with light,
Share the fruits of peace
With hearts of goodness, luminous and bright.

If people hear and see,
How hands and hearts can find in giving, unity,
May their minds awake,
To Great Compassion, wisdom and to joy.

May kindness find reward,
May all who sorrow leave their grief and pain;
May this boundless light,
Break the darkness of their endless night.

Because our hearts are one,
This world of pain turns into Paradise,
May all become compassionate and wise,
May all become compassionate and wise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn7fxf6sJiA

john e mumbles said...

Hey Mysterion, can I interest you in a well-cared for copy of MPH's The Secret Teachings of All Ages: not the cheap Tarcher edition, the quatro PRS full-color one, printed in 1997?

'Tis the season, surely you need an over-night special gift for that gnostic brother or sister...?

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

History is happening...

Anonymous said...

Buddhist song: Might as well cultivate/Gotta Do Something
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGHT3odq3xs
___________________
Buddhist Song: Magic Circle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X481W1P2CTs
___________________
GREAT IS THE JOY

They say that one who sees
With eyes like blazing wisdom suns
The suffering of all beings
Will weep for evil he has done
Who would have guessed the Buddha's light
Illumines the place beyond space and time?
Who would have guessed that all along
The treasure of his wisdom lies within your own mind?

Great is the joy
Great is the joy
Great is the joy within my heart

What you are is what you have done
What you do, you will become
Don't keep looking for what you never lost
Turn the light around, take yourself across
The sea of suffering is deep and wide
A turn of the head is the other side

The sea of suffering is deep and wide
A turn of the head is the other side

Great is the joy
Great is the joy
Great is the joy within my heart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVz0Hb41l2c

Uku said...

Here's two Buddhist songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gCU5uplB4A

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

PR said...

Hello,

Just a note that may have already been posted (I didn't read through all the comments):

Female circumcision is a regional practice, not an Islamic one. Certainly the areas where it is practiced are primarily Islamic, but that and the practice have nothing to do with it.

Furthermore, why does this questioner feel the need to get angry about another culture's practice. Certainly it's painful, and I would never suggest it, but if one were to go and speak with people in the region before formulating a judgment, one would see that it is, in their eyes, important.

Simply because it is strange to us doesn't mean it's wrong, or should be greeted with anger. Try to understand before you judge.

Metta.

Brad Warner said...

I'm a vegetarian. I started being a vegetarian maybe 6 months to a year before I started doing zazen. But I'd been a half-assed vegetarian for maybe 4 years before that, basically all through high school. YOU try being a full-assed vegetarian as a teenager in Wadsworth, Ohio in the early 80s!

When I got into Zen, I started hearing all the counter arguments against vegetarianism. And there are a lot of them. Maybe I'll flesh (meat?) this comment out into a full blog post that includes them.

So I asked my teachers, both Tim & Nishijima if I ought to drop the vegetarianism stuff. Neither of them are vegetarians.

They both encouraged me to keep being a vegetarian. So I still am. I think it's a good habit. I would only advise vegetarians not to be too full of themselves about how much better we are. Of course, we are better. We just need to not be so full of ourselves over it!

(insert proper emoticon to show that this is a joke)

seri said...

I don't know.. Glossing over anger and transforming it into personal happiness seems indulgent. While you can “easily drive yourself into a tizzy over all the stuff there is in this world to get angry about”, you can also become so personally lazy that you forget or rationalize away the primary reason that we exist in the world, which is to help others. Is being relaxed the most efficient state to be in while trying to sort out and help change the things in this world that are clearly wrong? Or should we engage it like our hair is on fire? Suppressing emotion when emotion is called for is just wrong. Personal transformation should not be the motivation for Buddhist practice. That is too limiting. Buddhist practice should be about reforming injustice and engaging it's sources.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Mysterion: In some cultures it is acceptable to eat dogs as well as carrots. I assume you are capable of drawing the line somewhere. Would you be OK with eating dog?

john e mumbles said...

My experience as a vegetarian has less to do with how I view other's eating habits (don't care)as it has to do with how they view mine. Sometimes with interest, most often with righteous justification of their eating meat, and other times I am treated as a full-on weirdo.

It also depends on the environment, as Brad says. When I visit more cosmopolitan environs, there are always many vegetarian choices, whereas here in the beef-belt, its a side salad and a handful of crackers at Sirloin Stockade, yep.

seri said...

How can Buddhists eat other mammals when it isn't necessary most of the time and causes an untold amount of suffering to the animals affected? The people who engage in this practice seem to feel that if they are properly mindful and grateful when indulging, all is good.