Thursday, February 03, 2011

FOLLOW ME TO AKRON


Here I am again in Akron, Ohio, USA. My first Zen teacher used to say that Northeast Ohio was like a black hole. No matter how far away you get from it, it sucks you back in.

It's freezing cold outside. Intensely, unbelievably cold. But the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I can even hear a few birds. Are there birds insane enough to stay this far north at this time of year? I guess there are. Someone is even colder than me.

This is the start of my Massive Midwest Tour. The dates are as follows:

• February 9, 2011 (Wed) 10 PM Akron, OH: Zero Defex at The Matinee 812 W. Market St. Akron, OH
• February 15, 2011 (Tues) 7:30 PM Lawrence, KS: Kansas Zen Center 423 New York St, Lawrence, KS 66044
• February 17, 2011 (Thu) 7:30 PM Kansas City, MO: Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO 64112
• February 20, 2011 (Sun) 9:50 AM Cedar Rapids, IA: Cedar Rapids Zen Center 1618 Bever Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA (All Day Zazen, begins at 9 AM, talk at 9:50, come for the zazen, the talk or both)
• February 22, 2011 (Tue) 7:00 pm (doors open 6:30) St Louis, MO: Seki’s Japanese Restaurant 6335 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO
• February 26, 2011 (Sat) 7:00 PM St Louis, MO: Missouri Zen Center, 220 Spring Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119

If you're anywhere near any of these places and you miss any of these talks/retreats, you will suffer.

I've moved out of Brooklyn. I've heard enough people say "I told you so." If you want to add your restatement of the same sentiment, be my guest. But the truth is, I already knew so when I went into it. I just thought maybe it could work. And maybe it will at some point. I just saw a video in which Akron-native Chrissy Hynde says about Akron, "I can't stay here for long. I can't live my life in a car." I have the same problem. I like to walk and if I can't walk places, I get too sad. So I'm gonna see if I can make this work. Akron will be my base of operations at least until all the Midwest stuff is done.

It's always intriguing to see what gets people going as far as my writing is concerned. Saying anything against reincarnation is sure to cause an uproar (see below). Same with anything I say knocking koan practice or Zen on the Internet. What's the common ground?

I don't know. But I think it has to do with investing a lot of your sense of self into a specific idea. When that idea is challenged, you have a tendency to want to fight back. For example, I've noticed that if I say anything negative about what some call "koan introspection practice" I get comments here that express personal anger. It's as if I have directly insulted the commenters and they want to insult me back. From this I can guess that these commenters have made the practice such a part of their ego structure that anything negative said about it feels like a personal attack.

The comments I made about Zen in Second Life have caused some ruckus, I hear. That's also interesting. I think perhaps some have assumed wrongly when I say bad things about the Internet. They think I'm saying, "Look at me! I'm not on the Internet like you nerds! You should be a cool guy like me! Not an Internet-bound dweeb!"

But this is not the case. I tend to believe that's glaringly obvious. But perhaps it's not. So for the record, I'm on the god damned Internet all the time! I can see what a time suck it is because IT SUCKS MY TIME. I am precisely the type for it. I'm generally anti-social. I'm not a "people person" at all. I know it's easy to hide here in cyberspace BECAUSE I DO IT.

I also know it's the wrong way to live. It's terribly damaging. I can see how it fosters a lot of the kind of behavior that makes me miserable. I can see how hard it is to break those habits. I can see how attractive the Internet can be. It can seem like a friend, a companion. I know you can mistake chats and Skype conversations for real conversations because I do it myself. This is all from personal experience.

When I tell all you nerds to go outside and play, I am telling myself to go outside and play. Talk to real people right in front of you. Don't hide here.

Which I shall now do, in spite of the bone numbing cold. I need to go deliver some books to Square Records so they can sell them on consignment for me.

130 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I know you can mistake chats and Skype conversations for real conversations because I do it myself."

Again, Brad, please, just because you can't have real conversations in Skype doesn't mean no-one can. I've had some of my most deep and profound conversations with friends over the internet. And as far as I'm concerned, I don't really make a distinction between what's being said in Skype and how I interact with them when in touching distance.

Anonymous said...

Brad, when you comment that many people seem to get angry at your writing and at other times you say how people percieve you as angry when you're not, have you considered you might be making the exact same mistake interpreting other people's true emotions from their writings?

Perhaps they are not actually angry even though it seems so to you, like you claim you are not actually angry even though you appear so to some.

Ben said...

welcome back to Ohio!

Mr. Reee said...

Today's subject!--Online Interaction:

Real Human Connections? -- or Are You Just Staring At A Fancy Lightbulb Called A Screen?

You Decide.

robjones said...

Sorry New York didn't work out this time around! It must be good to be back home though. Thanks for talking about how Zen practice can be assimilated into the ego struicture. I've had problems with that.... feeling insulted when "zen" is insulted.... or examined.... or questioned.... I needed someone to point out the contradiction there. It was very good medicine. Attachments are nifty! and yes, you should still go when you can: http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/

Best and stay gold ponyboy.

Anonymous said...

6

Stacey said...

I look forward to seeing you in St. Louis. Good Luck with your tour.

Mumon said...

For example, I've noticed that if I say anything negative about what some call "koan introspection practice" I get comments here that express personal anger.

Truth is, you get comments that aren't made in expression of personal anger. Being that it's your blog, I'm sure you're well aware of the angry ones...but I don't pay much attention to them, because it's not my blog.

All of that said, taking your opinion seriously on koan practice would be a tiny bit like taking Michael Phelps' opinion seriously about the merits of ikebana.

I don't, and I don't see why your opinions on such things should upset anyone.

merciless said...

I take no joy in saying I told you so..

Hehehehehehe....

well.. at least you're gathering no moss.

john e mumbles said...

Backron in the USSR to rehearse the old band, eh?

By the themes played out in your last few posts, I'd guess the next book is about, oh, er, um...Zen and Cyberspace? Just a guess...

"Borgs, Blogs, and Zen Skype Cybernerds - Rants and Confessions of a Self-Described Internet Anti-Socialist"

ask4free said...

I'm here in Indianapolis, IN it is crazy cold here in the midwest!Would love for you to visit Indy sometime soon! Just wanted to say after reading your books (yes, I bought all 4 recently...ch-ching! LOL) I have a whole new insight on the philosophy/lifestyle of Buddhism. You have made a profound impact on my practice. Good luck with the tour and future residence!

Harry said...

Hi Brad,

Taking swipes at the excesses of koan practice is fine and all, but, while you're at it, why not take swipes at the dead-headed, zoned out dozing that passes itself off as Shikantaza (you know, like Dogen did)... Just in case people think it's just some sort of crap, even more boring, yoga or whatever.

Regards,
H.

mtto said...

Is passive aggressive the same as angry? I think of it as a sub-catagory of anger...

Anonymous said...

Brad, thought you'd like:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110202/ap_on_re_us/us_prison_meditation

also, what is yr handle on Facebook, please, would like to friend u?

thanks,
-byron

byronminusone@hotmail.com

Master Po said...

"I don't know. But I think it has to do with investing a lot of your sense of self into a specific idea. When that idea is challenged, you have a tendency to want to fight back."

Excellent grasshopper! You are attempting to be aware. You are correct. When anyone attacks what we identify with, we can become angry. Now turn this newfound sense of awareness BACK upon yourself. Do you realize many of us percieve this same 'angry' reaction from you when someone here questions your opinion? You seem awfully identified with your own zen sect along with it's own practice, dogma and teachers. If you protest and say you aren't actually angry inside, then other's may well feel the same. Once more you are engaging in massive projection.

Anonymous said...

You would think ground zero would be the common ground, but you would be wrong!

I forget who said it, probably my favorite underwear salesman, but when asked about using the computer they responded "sometimes, too much you inside computer"

Hmm... me? inside the computer??

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting for Brad to make some substantive criticisms of Koan practice rather than merely dismiss it. Like Harry said, pointing out excesses is fine but when he rejects Rinzai language and techniques out of loyalty to his own tradition it's rather like a Southern Baptist rejecting evolution when he (or she) knows nothing about it. Perhaps his own inflexibility on that point represents a certain amount of ego-influence as well.

Last Sentence said...

Derrrrr Ya Think?????

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 6:19.

Why would you be interested in Brad's substantive criticisms of koan practice?

I don't think the Baptist/Evolution metaphor washes because one pretty much destroys the other on its own merits. I don't think (though I could be wrong) that Soto disproves Rinzai, or vice versa. Maybe the better analogy here is Kung Fu vs. Karate? Pilates vs. Yoga? Salsa vs. Waltzing?

They just aren't the same, though they seem like it. I'm no expert in ANY of the above categories, but I don't think that disqualifies my ability to talk about any of them.

Ooh! Even better--Brad dismissing Kenny G. I'm sure Kenny G is a fine musician, however, what the hell does that have to do with anything Brad talks about?

On Many Paddy Hums,
--Matt

Cyril Coombs said...

Perhaps some people get angry when they are uncertain of themselves; comments like that can force one to face those uncertainties they were avoiding.

Anonymous said...

NE oho, SE, ohio, I think it's just ohio in general that has a large gravity well. Even in Mongolia I feel its pull.

-logan

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

Anonymous said...
I'm not sure you are interested anymore but I recall some postings about Genpo Roshi in your old blog so I thought I'd pass this news along. I witnessed this.

Tonight February 4, 2011 Genpo Roshi announced to his students at the current Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City that he had been having several affairs with students over the last few years, most notably his latest successor KC Gerpheide (Kyozen Sensei). He said he is in therapy for this and that he and his wife are divorcing. He said he and KC decided decided mutually that it would be best if she didn't teach at Kanzeon any more, but that he would carry on unless enough people asked him to leave. A board meeting has been called for this weekend.

Moon Face Buddha said...

I don't know. But I think it has to do with investing a lot of your sense of self into a specific idea. When that idea is challenged, you have a tendency to want to fight back.

The lady doth protest to much methinks.

I'm not convinced that many people feel 'challenged' by your comments on this blog Brad, I think they just like to highlight some of your more blatant misrepresentations of the Dharma...you know, just in case some folks are reading your stuff and believing it is actually what Buddha actually taught.

If you are feeling 'challenged' by peoples challenges of your non-dharma dharma talks then maybe you should just put a little caveat on the post saying this is your own personal opinion and has fuck all to do with actual buddhist teaching.

Seems like a simple solution. Then you can carry on posting stuff about depression from your own personal experience and mistakenly think that it is the same for all sufferers of depression, or a post about your personal belief that the internet is not 'real' and mistake that belief for The Truth.

Anonymous said...

Brad said..
I also know it's the wrong way to live. It's terribly damaging. I can see how it fosters a lot of the kind of behavior that makes me miserable. I can see how hard it is to break those habits. I can see how attractive the Internet can be. It can seem like a friend, a companion. I know you can mistake chats and Skype conversations for real conversations because I do it myself. This is all from personal experience.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. It's been my personal experience as well. The problem is not that it is not real enough, but rather that it can pervade your life in very real ways, the extent of which you are generally not aware. Online interpersonal relationships are invariably severely distorted; it breeds falsehood, manipulation, hypocrisy. When this then occurs in a religious context, the potential offline damage to self, family and freinds of those involved becomes incalculable. In all seriousness, underestimating this is like playing Russian roulette.

Modern Angel said...

The thing I have trouble wrapping my head around, is that you write on the first pages of Hardcore Zen that if you hold anything sacred above anything else, it is the straight road to hell.

How do you rhyme that with liking and disliking [add anything in here from corporate rock to zen on the internet]?

This is not me trying to point out something that is not consistent, this is me asking a question :-)

Anonymous said...

Pleasing (Seth Godin's Blog)

A motto for those doing work that matters:

"We can't please everyone, in fact, we're not even going to try."

Or perhaps:

"Pleasing everyone with our work is impossible. It wastes the time of our best customers and annoys our staff. Forgive us for focusing on those we're trying to delight."

The math here is simple. As soon as you work hard to please everyone, you have no choice but to sand off the edges, pleasing some people less in order to please others a bit more. And it drives you crazy at the same time.

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e20147e240e886970b

Seagal Rinpoche said...

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Shandra said...

On behalf of the other anti-social weirdos who haunt the net, thank you. It sounds like good advice, lets see if I can convince myself to take it...I'd much rather hibernate under a warm cat until April.

- #30 - said...

- A matter still related to the reincarnation one which I wanted to bring up since before it: -


It is not yet known to contemporary so-called “science”, but birthrights only fully develop at the age of 28. That takes place in 4 stages of 7 years each. As concisely as possible: - Through the first 7 years that which man has in common with what we might call “lifeless matter” is developed; - through the next 7 that which it has in common with plants; - (which was not included in what has developed in the first 7 years, - i.e.) through the third 7 years what it has in common with animals; - (which animals do not have in common with minerals and plants, - as I assume you understand) and through the last 7 years, - from the age of 21 to the age of 28 - you might say - what is unique to man.




The reason I am writing this is there is a point each person reading this should be able to examine for himself:




- Consider a characteristic or a feature which appeared within any person you know throughout the period from the age of 21 to the age of 28. - It could be either physical or mental.
You will not normally find it among his family or relatives whom you might assume inherited the same genes, - where you might be supposed to find it had the common assumptions of the origin of such things been true.

Such a quality or feature does not originate in what one inherits from his parents. It originates in what one brings with him prior to birth. (or to fertilization, - i.e.)

Therefore a very shallow or undeveloped man might more or less complete his development by the age of 21.



- However - try and check. - You inherit the colour of your eyes and the colour of hair as commonly believed today, - as far as I know at least.

- But as for more significant qualities, - the situating is far different than those considering themselves scientists these days believe.

btw said...

I am quite happy the silly #1 thing is gone. Though it’s not easy to get among the first thirty anymore. Haven’t read the post yet. I'll see what B has to say later. If God pleases.

Rinpoche who said...

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon who posted about Zen master Genpo:

do you have any links for your claims? I don't believe that master Genpo has done anything wrong or he has cheated his wife! Provide some links or evidence or fuck off!

btw said...

I don’t really like the poem. But I believe it is she who wrote it who reincarnated as Yoko Ono and was able to again meet her previous husband as YKW.

It does not mean I am sure of it though.

Small Mind said...

Well Genpo sure hasn't tweeted it yet:

http://twitter.com/genporoshi

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brad, for mentioning the bit about anger and taking personal offense to things as being linked to our ego constructs. That's exactly what I needed to be reminded at the time I read it.

And yes, I got off my computer and went and interacted with people - and I had a good time.

Buddha Power!

Mr. Reee said...

"The thing I have trouble wrapping my head around, is that you write on the first pages of Hardcore Zen that if you hold anything sacred above anything else, it is the straight road to hell."

Not presuming to know Brad's answer--but I think it's a little like the stronger your pull for good, the stronger the bad pulls back (in the realm of your imagination--not reality itself.)

In other words, recognize duality when it appears in your mind--but don't feed the beast, lest it bite you (or others standing nearby...)

Anonymous said...

There is no proof that Genpo has ever done anything wrong or has ever strayed away from his wife.

Anonymous said...

There is no proof that Genpo has ever done anything wrong or has ever strayed away from his wife.

Anonymous said...

You're appearing at Seki's? cool

Anonymous said...

1

Anonymous said...

There is no proof that Genpo has ever strayed.

Anonymous said...

Links for Genpo Roshi scandal.

http://www.facebook.com/annclark13?sk=wall&v=wall

http://www.facebook.com/bruce.lambson

http://www.facebook.com/bruce.lambson/posts/10150093876239771?ref=notif&notif_t=feed_comment

Brad Warner said...

About the Genpo Roshi comments, I have chosen not to delete them since I don't generally delete comments. But the anon poster who asked for links is correct. There isn't anything posted on this regard. At least none that my 7 minutes of half-assed attempts can find.

I don't know who is posting this, so I can't vouch for it.

On the other hand, I never criticized Genpo for having affairs. So it's totally beside the point as far as I'm concerned. Big Mind® is hogwash whether the man who created it cheated on his wife or is the most chaste person on Earth.

Manny Furious said...

I obviously dig Brad's thoughts and his writing, seeing as how I follow this blog and stuff. I think he's a breath of fresh air in a culture/landscape where "gurus" are too often pretentious, phony, sick, creepy, holier-than-thou, deluded little weasels. However, one thing that rubs me the wrong way about Brad's approach is that he so often comes across--to me, anyway--as saying, "Yeah, I'm aware of my shortcomings and contradictions, but being aware is enough, I don't actually have to make any effort to do anything about anything because I practice zazen and am aware of it."

To me this is a bit of cop-out. One of the things I have learned from my own practice (which isn't Soto Zen)is that when you are aware of your shortcomings, it doesn't take much of an effort to do something about them, as long as you're accepting of them and see how delusional these shortcomings are.

I myself am not perfect, and I seem to find new things about myself every day that aren't my favorite things about myself. But I find that most of these things are relatively easy to change, once I'm utterly honest about them. In fact, I think it would be more accurrate to say that they change themselves. I don't use my awareness of a problem or my pseudo-acceptance as an excuse to not actually do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

The case for the historical Oz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDhDLOiXp7g





examining the historical evidence that leads any reasonable person to conclude that "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is the most historically and scientifically accurate book ever written.

a humorous look at the "5 facts" that supposedly prove the resurrection of jesus.

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

Hi Manny F,

'But I find that most of these things are relatively easy to change, once I'm utterly honest about them. In fact, I think it would be more accurrate to say that they change themselves.'

Yes, you might be right. Who knows how and why things change?

And yet you say:

'[Brad] so often comes across--to me, anyway--as saying, "Yeah, I'm aware of my shortcomings and contradictions, but being aware is enough, I don't actually have to make any effort to do anything about anything because I practice zazen and am aware of it."'

That's not how Brad comes across to me. Has he ever written that's how he deals with the shortcomings and contradictions he identifies in himself?...If he has, I missed it...If he has, it may be that he's right - if you are right that things change themselves ;)

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

Blogger Mysterion, you act as if the Bradness has a choice as to where and when he can tour?

Beggars can't be choosers.

Anonymous said...

"the American Dream has always been a nightmare. There was no golden age; even in the 1950s, the middle class lived in fear of losing their precarious status. This has never been a society that fostered happiness."

Barry Graham 4-2-2011

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

you're obsessed with money. how much you made, how much how much how much...

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

Like I said...

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

whenever I see "Mysterion," i start using the scroll wheel.

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

I would like to say this about koan practice: so long as koan practice and not-koan practice are different, you're just getting more caught up in duality.

not-practicing koans is still practicing koans.

- #60 - said...

- “But I think it has to do with investing a lot of your sense of self into a specific idea. When that idea is challenged, you have a tendency to want to fight back.”.



If there is any truth in that, - it's about the idea that a spiritual teacher, in particular, should give his audience a true account of what he knows. In case many knew that which you truly know about the subject, as any master does, inevitably, - they would also not so easily comprehend the fact that you choose to speak otherwise. - Denying what you know to be true in order to suit the poor vision of the ignorant and the rough minded.

There is much more to be said about this, it is possible to go much further than the point reincarnation does take place, - but I wouldn’t want to do that too, for reasons similar to those making you take your questionable approach.

Though, as you know, it would be relevant.

btw said...

I don’t recall Brad saying anything about Koan Practice. Particularly not attacking it. Possibly over a year ago?

+ said...

Though generally it seems like the talk of “fighting back” is using bullshit psychology to defend his stance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, Any word on how Gudo is doing?

OsamaVanHalen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rough mind said...

Not only that, the BW quote #60 just reposted points to Brad testing a potential book readership's reactions to certain ideas he wants to explore right here.

Ever feel like a lab rat?

Zen Cohen said...

OVH: Yeah, but ya gotta LOVE Zen cones:

"..standing outside Eiheiji eating green tea ice cream cones..." -Natalie Goldburg, 2007 Shambala Sun article

Leonard Cohen said...

Oh for God's sake, now you're gonna have mysterion & on once again explaining what "cohen" means to all of us dullards.

;) said...

What does “Cohen” mean?

ave a look said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xqyz_MgJu5o

h said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=AvLj72apGLI

hmmm... said...

http http http http
http http http
http http
http

http said...

hmmm...

The IRS said...

Lets see:

I Red Tire Akron

You retired? From what?? LOL!!

Brad Warner said...

I haven't heard anything about Nishijima Roshi's condition for a few weeks. His family was never very supportive of his Zen activities. So I think they're keeping all of us in the dark deliberately.

Brad Warner said...

Hey Rough Mind, every author blog on the Internet is using its readers as lab rats. Enjoy it! You get the scoop before all your friends! It's like being in a fan club!

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

I just threw up alot in my throat.

Orthodox said...

M: you racist, godless bastard.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mosses (pun) said...

BTW: There is just ONE race, the human race - with eight minor branches. 73,000 years ago, it was a very small club.

Anonymous said...

RE: how is Gudo doing

I understand from comment above and other blogs that Nishijima is not that close to his family (wife and daughter I believe?)
Doesn't he live by himself?

Do his sangha members or any of his ordained priests attend to him, check in on him?

I know his circumstances are a bit different in that he did not have a temple, but was supported through a corporation as a kind of 'corporate zen priest' and that employees went on company sponsored zen retreats...at least that has been my understanding based on things posted in the past.

Why aren't his students, his senior students, his dharma heirs keeping in contact with him and supporting him in his old age?

anon #108 said...

Hi anon @11.13am,

I've no idea what the current situation with Gudo is, but the last time he was unwell I recall reading that his family (mainly daughter?) looked after him and kept the dharma heirs in the dark as to his condition.

"Do his sangha members or any of his ordained priests attend to him, check in on him?"

If the answer to that is "Yes", then the answer to this:

"Why aren't his students, his senior students, his dharma heirs keeping in contact with him and supporting him in his old age?"

is "Huh?"

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

I'd be surprised if a few phone and email enquiries hadn't been made. But perhaps I'm wrong. It could be that all his students are a bunch of heartless shits...Or don't believe in enquiring after dying people.

...I read Brad's answer as: *Gudo's students don't attend on him because his family don't want them to.*

Anonymous said...

Maybe Gudo's students have been supporting him.
It's not something we would know about here.

anon #108 said...

...Indeed, anon @1.18pm. We can't expect Brad, or anyone, to know what each and every of Gudo's students is feeling and doing in response to Gudo's current poor health.

"...It's not something we would know about here."

...or need to know.

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

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Maybe Gudo's students have been supporting him."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Information

Dear Mr. James Cohen,

You do not belong Dogen Sangha at all. Therefore you should not say anything about Dogen Sangha completely.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima
http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem kind of strange how 108 seems to always take it upon himself to speak for Brad?

It is sort of a fawning, longing, gee wish he'd throw me a bone kind of fanboy fantasy thing.

And this string about Gudo, like some others, takes on a tone of contempt for other commenters who have the nerve to ask such questions.

Bottom line: if Brad has something to say he will say it, without anybody else trying so hard to do it for him.

The Cohen Brother said...

Hey Mysterion:

You say tomato

I say fuck you.

anon #108 said...

Hello again Anonymous...@4.42pm,

What's your game?
(I asked first)

...meh. never mind.

anon #108 said...

Hey there 5.26pm,

"Doesn't it seem kind of strange how 108 seems to always take it upon himself to speak for Brad?"

What I wrote @12.47 and 12.45pm comprises MY opinion formed from MY experience only; I see no attribution of opinions to Brad. My only mention of Brad was to clarify how I read his answer (it was relevant to the question and to my answer), and to make the point I made @1.40pm - a point not confined to Brad ("...Brad, or anyone...").

..."a tone of contempt for other commenters who have the nerve to ask such questions."

It's clear that an anon or two regularly make thinly-veiled, contemptuous snipes at Dogen Sangha, often in the form of "such questions", perhaps hoping to stir the shit. It's a feature of this blog's comment section. If I've misunderstood his/her/their intentions in this case, then they s/he/they have received a straight and informative answer - just read what I wrote in a non-contemptuous tone ;)

anon #108 said...

Edit:

"...What I wrote @12.27 and 12.45pm..."

Kink DWD said...

Anonymous The Cohen Brother said...
"Hey Mysterion:
...tomato..."

as long as you didn't borrow or steal that tomato, go ahead and throw it at the M.

104 borrowed from an earlier age.

DwD pulled 1/2 the psalms out of his ass - with the flying monkeys!

"Israel is wasted, bare of seed (no man or boy survived)."

The Tel Dan inscription is also often cited to "prove David." Yet few also mention DWD appears in the context of what is states: "I destroyed the house of DaWiD. I laid his lands to waste. His seed is no more (no men, no boys)."

That David was destroyed is supported in the Merneptah Stele and at least one ancient Egyptian artifacts. No wonder Moab was slandered - he kicked David's ass into oblivion! The bastard.

Nimrud said...

<a href=">translated text</a> of King Mesha's Stele (a.k.a. the Moabite Stone).

Anonymous said...

did the red tire inspire misti's blog?

better red then ded

CAPCHA = out or tin

Anonymous said...

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010
Information
Dear Mr. James Cohen,

You do not belong Dogen Sangha at all. Therefore you should not say anything about Dogen Sangha completely.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

anon #108 said...

I've re-read 11.13am's question, and it is quite possible that it was a sincere question. If so, I apologise to him/her for any snarkiness - which certainly was present in my answer.

What led me to assume otherwise was the final paragraph:

"Why aren't his students, his senior students, his dharma heirs keeping in contact with him and supporting him in his old age,"

which seemed to me to be a baseless dig at DS ["corporate zen priest" sounded like a dig to me, too].

But it may not be a dig...it may simply be a thoughtless assumption (and one which seems to render the initial enquiry: "Do his sangha members or any of his ordained priests attend to him, check in on him?" kinda redundant).

...All of which may be evidence of the prejudices, assumptions, identifications, attachments and insecurities which often cause me to rush to the defence of DS, but is also evidence of the difficulty of accurately reading the 'tone' of some of the comments posted on internet blogs, particularly when anonymous and unattributable.

So if I misread your sincere question, 11.13am - I apologise.

But if you are a shit-stirrer, 11.13am - I suggest you say what you mean or fuck off (and you 8.20pm).

Moon Face Buddha said...

As a some-time critic of Brad I would like to say here that in one respect I think he is one of the most honest western zen teachers...he doesn't use some fake ass eastern sounding name and title.

Good for you Brad :)

[and before you ask, Yes, I am aware of the contradiction in someone using the nom de plume Moon Face Buddha posting this] :)

proulx michel said...

I asked news of Old Gudo the other day from Peter Rocca. He then told me of Snesei's lung infection and hospitalization. He also mentioned that his family, having never been very supportive of Sensei's Zen activities, are barring the access to him. They release information only through a Japanese student of Gudo.

Besides, a friend of mine who is a doctor a works in a clinic for recovering people, and has a lot of elderly patients, told me that, if Snesei has a lung infection since December, at his age it is never a good sign.

anon #108 said...

Thanks pm.


...I haven't quite finished explaining myself to anon @5.26pm...

Even if your criticisms of me aren't so relevant on this occasion, there is, of course, truth in what you say. Here's something I wrote a few posts ago, anticipating accusations of sycophancy (which didn't come). I've edited it:


"Just in case my comments here sound like that of a wounded fan-boy, I want to make it clear that Brad Warner plays very little part in my life. I've only read Hardcore Zen and those bits of the other books I can access for free on Google books. I find Brad's writing style alternately engaging and annoying. I don't read this blog in the hope of gaining deep insights into life and things Buddhist - and Brad has written that that's not why he keeps it going. I have my own practice and teacher in the UK and prefer to read Sanskrit grammar primers these days.

I read this blog and post stuff here because I broadly agree with Brad's approach to Buddhism, because it's the only completely uncensored Zen Buddhist forum I know of, because it's an education and an entertainment - on a good day, and because I like writing. I don't always like the sound of my own voice, but listening to it critically helps me understand what I do and why I do it.

As I'm sympathetic and supportive of where Brad's coming from and what he's trying to do, I sometimes rush to defend him when I think he's been misunderstood or misrepresented, which he frequently is. It's not something he can so easily do on his own behalf...not without attracting more accusations of defensiveness, insecurity and worse."


So-

"Fan-boy"? NOT GUILTY.

"...wish he'd throw me a bone kind of fanboy fantasy thing"? NOT the reason I sometimes clarify Brad, but a possible bonus. So GUILTY:

Although there are others whose admiration and respect I'd value over and above Brad's, I can't deny that I'd squeal with delight if Brad announced "Of all the commenters on this blog, I'm most impressed with 108. I don't think there's a single thing 108 has ever written that hasn't nailed it. The guy's a genius...and clearly enlightened."

As my ex-wife and current good friend observed, I display many (but by no means exclusively) "field-dependant" characteristics. I care what others think of me. It's OK. I'm not alone.

john e mumbles said...

FWIW I have always felt that Malcolm 108's contributions here are positive, informative, thoughtful, and writ with a good sense of (often self-deprecating) humor.

That he is a Brad Warner "sympathizer" is a given.

Nothing wrong with that.

anon #108 said...

Aww john. 'Preciated.

Let it be known that I'm loving your work too.

Come along folks - butt-buddy comments in are in order, I think. Don't disappoint me ;)

john e mumbles said...

Well let it be known that I am a Brad Warner convert, and sympathizer as wel.

I came here a couple years ago as a complete skeptic, then I settled in, and eventually read one of his books (Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate).

That experience let me see Brad in a whole new light.

Along the way I have learned alot about myself, and other blog commenters here, and have gained much by my exposure to the various viewpoints.

Some of them, including anon 108, Mysterion, Harry, Ran, Uku, Jinzang, and many others, have prodded me on to reevaluate my own pathless path.

I am very grateful for this blog, Brad, and what you have provided within its parameters, a forum unlike any other I've seen. I very much enjoy your posts and reading the comments.

After the death of my teacher of 20 years the bottom dropped out from under me. What had been a grounded practice floundered. I went "seeking" again.

What luck to have found this great bunch of fellow misfits!

Thanks to this experience, and doing almost three years of soul-searching, research, and legwork, I have found a teacher again, this tme in the Soto tradition. I am sitting with a group. I've come home.

And thanks to all of you, I've had so much fun doing it. This is really extraordinary.

Oh, and I just bought a copy of Sit Down and Shut Up. And I plan to.

- #105 - [aka Ran] said...

Anybody’s got any idea what (tf) does Nishijima’s family have against his “activities”?

r said...

That’s all very nice mumbles, (@ 6:32 am) but you shouldn’t listen to Mysterion.



[aka “Charles”]

Jen said...

Try Utah on for size.

Actually, if you did come here, I'd venture forth to listen. I bet a few more would congregate as well.

;) said...

I have also always felt that Malcolm 108's contributions here are positive, informative, thoughtful, and written with a good sense of (often self-deprecating) humor. - I don’t read them Though .

Bizarro Seagal said...

Education is what remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

proulx michel said...

Anonymous - #105 - [aka Ran] said...

Anybody’s got any idea what (tf) does Nishijima’s family have against his “activities”?

I suspect it has to do with the lifestyle of Japanese "sararymen": too many working hours, too few family hours, and worse if those few "free" hours are accaparated by the translation into modern Japanese of Dogen's Shobogenzo. I fear Gudo's daughter is bitter with her father having neglected her and "avenges" herself by barring those whom she feels have robbed her of her father.

i may be wrong but that's my general impression from what I know.

Mr. Reee said...

"Along the way I have learned alot about myself, and other blog commenters here, and have gained much by my exposure to the various viewpoints.

Some of them, including anon 108, Mysterion, Harry, Ran, Uku, Jinzang, and many others, have prodded me on to reevaluate my own pathless path."

I would like to second that. Also to offer best wishes to Gudo.

My aim in lurking about this forum is somewhat different from those expressed here--I would simply like to learn a way to describe and discuss the principles and philosophies of zen buddhism without ever having to use the words "zen" or "buddhism."

It seems to me that finding an everyday way of speaking of such things would be of great use.

Brad Warner said...

I understand Nishijima's situation pretty much the same as Michel Proulx does. N's family never liked him spending his free time doing all the Zen stuff. They considered it a frivolous hobby.

I never met any of his family. From what I understand, his wife used to help out with some of his meetings when they were at his house, perhaps 20-30 years ago. But she was long gone by the time I met Nishijima.

As to why we students do not support him... Nishijima is fiercely independent. He didn't even like people to help carry his bags for him at retreats. He did not accept donations. He kept his students well away from his personal life.

We don't support him because he will not allow us to support him. I think it was a damn good policy. One I feel lousy for having to be half-assed about in my own practice. The more support you allow students to offer the more they feel empowered to demand of you, and the more entitled they feel to insist you teach what they want to hear.

Now that Nishijima's wife has died and his daughter has taken charge of him, I think this is her way of finally cutting the Zen students out all together like she has long wanted to. I imagine she believes this is best for him. Perhaps it is.

Brad Warner said...

John e Mumbles, I appreciate the sentiment and the support. But please do not convert to me. It will not be good for you.

You can buy as many copies of the books as you like, though! They make excellent kitty litter!

Brad Warner said...

Utah? I know a Zen congregation out there that's rapidly losing membership right now. Maybe I could pick up those guys!

(This is a joke)

btw said...

pm, (@ 7:24 am) I don't really like to be called “anonymous” just because I don’t use an account. Some here know my full name too, you among them - I imagine.

+ said...

I tried mentioning this to Mysterion in the past but he does seem to be a bit thick.

john e mumbles said...

OK Brad, you're right, "convert" was a poor choice of words. How's this: you've inspired me..

And thanks again.

Mysterion said...

@ 7:00 AM
r said...
"...but you shouldn’t listen to Mysterion.

[aka “Charles*”]"

That must be metaphorical meaning don't read my posts.

*And yes, there was a Brit in my mother's ancestral woodpile, somewhere.

ykw said...

Let me quote: -

@ 7:00 AM
r said...
"...but you shouldn’t listen to Mysterion.

[aka “Charles*”]".



- How nice.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

The technique of meditation is the way to just do it. In meditation, life exposes itself to you, so you find yourself in the middle of a living situation. This requires an intuitive approach. Using your intuition in this way requires a positive attitude, a conviction that you are a basically healthy person and you are not condemned. Despite the shadow or the projections that may be cast on you, the point is to see through the shadow and just do it and live it. That is intuition.

O'Danny Boy said...

Danny Fisher sed

Anonymous said...

I hereby convert to Brad Warner.

I have perceptions about Brad Warner.

I hereby unconvert from Brad Warner.

I have perceptions about Brad Warner.

captcha: lirmated

Jules said...

Hey brad, did you happen to see the snowplow chasing a purse snatcher while you were in town?

Anonymous said...

I see Genpo Roshi has been having affairs with his students again!!!

(See bigmind.org today for official statement)

I have just signed up to BigMind to see if it'll allow me to get rich quick and have sex with married women. Will let you know how I get on.

Chris D said...

Thought about Portland or Seattle? Portland doesn't have any jobs, but it's awesome and walkable. Seattle is bigger, but I think you could find work, and it is also awesome (though not as awesome as Portland).

Showbeaugenzo said...

Yes commenting is very viscous out there. There is a site that I visit a lot and I comment there. People get very upset! Its a new phenomena, total strangers never had these conversations before. I think of it like driving, you see a car and you don't really think about the person inside it. When we are walking we see the people and behave differently I think. This kind of interaction at a distance usually shows people getting a little heated because they know the other people would have a hard time getting to them physically, so they feel its safe to go trolling on the internet. At first I thought they were blowing off steam, but it seems like they build more and more rage! Interesting psychology to be sure!

Modern Angel said...

The chapters "The Colors of the Mind" and "The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg" from "Sit down and shut up", together with chapter "Attachment, Nonattachment" from "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" kinda answer my question :-)