Sunday, February 06, 2011

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL!


Zero Defex sounded great in rehearsal the other night. We're doing it again tonight. Our show at the Matinee is Wednesday. Be there! The new Precision bass sounds incredibly awesome. How did I play anything else up till now?

My close friends banded together to get me out of a jam by getting my car unstuck from the ice two nights ago. It took four of us about an hour and a half to get it free. Even the biting cold here in Ohio feels bracing. I’m writing more and better than ever before in my life. The burger shop down the street has delicious veggie burgers. Things are extraordinarily good.

I still have not found a place to live in Akron. But I was really concerned. See, the last time I lived in Akron was 1992. Maybe a bit of '93. Anyway, at the time I was suicidal. I wanted out. Out of Akron or out of life. I opted for out of Akron. A good choice, I think.

Akron has changed and I have changed. I'm no longer trapped here like I was back then. I'm here by choice. Well, by some degree of choice anyhow. This is a much cheaper place to live than Los Angeles or New York. I am part of this community, whether I want to be or not.

Kurt Vonnegut said he chose to live in New York rather than move back to Indianapolis because people in Indianapolis don't have any respect for the life of an artist or writer. They consider anyone who makes their living that way to be a lazy leech. Akron's kind of the same. But we shall see.

People say I'm taking a step back or downgrading. But it's hard to see it that way at the moment. The photo I posted is the blimp USS Akron floating high above New York City. That's how I'm feeling today.

I'm cautiously optimistic. That's my nature. I'm cautious about anything that seems really good. But right now, today, here at the Angel Falls Coffee Shop in Highland Square, I am cheerful.

I've been catching up on emails sent me by readers/fans today. I've been reading a book about how to make a living as a writer. In the chapter about emails from fans the author is like, "You can be a good author and reply to fans' emails the day you get them. Or you can be an aloof, inaccessible author and reply a week later." And I'm like, shit! I have emails from 2003 I haven't gotten to yet!

I'm really sorry. But I have a low tolerance for being on line. I have to use the computer to write. And when I'm done for the day I prefer to put it away. Sometimes, though, I am on the damned thing all freaking day just doing what needs doing to keep up with everything. So emails from readers get a low priority. And I'm sorry if I appear rude.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

First, congrats on somehow sorting a past issue that dogged you.

Of course, it is good to be happy... but not too happy. Always a let down later(sorry to be a wet blanket). As you've said that Nishijima once said - best to keep a balanced state.

Mysterion said...

his Bradness sed:
"How did I play anything else up till now?"

Ah. Carefully?

or, pun:

Mindfully.

Anonymous said...

I took your advice and found some people to do zazen with. They seem pretty cool and they all seem to enjoy your honesty as much as I. Thought I would see if you would read this before an email.. haha! Take care homes.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream.

Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.

sea gull said...

sea gull rim-shot-ie

how original

Anonymous said...

1

DiDi said...

no book tour stop in Chicago?? what is up with that? need help?

Kevin said...

http://bigmind.org/Home.html

Wow.

pooyan said...

Are there any future plans for a west coast tour? I am one of those sad sacks that got into your books and blog and decided to check your past tour dates to find you were just down the street from me like the week before i checked.
If you decide Akron isn't working out for you, I could use a roommate in the SF Bay Area, god knows theres alot of Buddhist friendly people out here as well as artists. Who knows Google in Mountain View would probably pay you to guide there employees in zazzen, they provide them with just about every other service, massages, free gourmet food, oil changes, laundry service. No Joke those guys get spoiled. They probably don't have a Zendo yet though, but as soon as they realize they don't i bet they'll add one.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fantastic if Brad-san worked for Google!!

But first he needs to fill his dream as an aging punk rock star!

Kevin: thanks for your link; I agree: wow

Brad: so glad you are having some happy times, with friends helping you out of the snow, burritos for band practice and all...Have a Great Show!

Mysterion said...

I just looked at REO houses in Akron. more

It's much cheaper to BUY in Akron than Rent in California!

Except I think the tab for heating in winter and cooling in summer is expensive.

Anonymous said...

"A Personal Statement from Genpo Merzel

I have chosen to disrobe as a Buddhist priest, and will stop giving Buddhist Precepts or Ordinations, but I will continue teaching Big Mind."
http://bigmind.org/Home.html

Anonymous said...

Sleeping with students does seem to be a rather common occurrence with zen masters.

Anonymous said...

For Brad as well as Genpo :)

anonymous anonymous said...

Mysterion ventured: "It's much cheaper to BUY in Akron than Rent in California!

Except I think the tab for heating in winter and cooling in summer is expensive."

Razor sharp insights from the California punster.

Anonymous said...

Mysterion: Brad is not going to live in any of those houses in deepest Akron. No one goes there if they don't have to. Why don't you rent a house in Compton to save yourself a little money?

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

Hey Brad! Good to hear you are well!

gniz said...

RE: Genpo Merzel. Kudos to him for stepping down as a Buddhist priest and owning his shit. He was probably backed into a corner but still...others may have tried to find a way around it.

Is it in bad taste to say we told you so?

In regards to things that look too good to be true, they mostly always are. This includes Buddhist teachers, Buddhist organizations, political leaders, and even lovers.

Hope everyone is well and steering clear of the scoundrels out there.

Aaron

Anonymous said...

For all intents and purposes Dennis disrobed a while ago.. I think his announcement will actually go a long way in smoothing things out for Big Mind now. It's very uncool to censure anyone about sexual matters in the west.

gniz said...

BTW, I probably should be a bit more reserved even in congratulating Genpo on "owning his shit." Because maybe his attempt to keep going with Big Mind without having to answer to any of the Buddhist precepts or organization is his way of getting around it.

He should probably stay accountable to a larger group and sangha in order to make sure that he doesn't continue to harm students.

Anonymous said...

There is no one left to criticize Dennis now. Only a few Bootyists gave a shit before and now he's backing away from bootyism. Brad doesn't care about people selling snake oil. He just doesn't want them calling it Zen™ snake oil. This really opens things up for Genpo.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least you are not living in Lima, right?

Poo said...

Maybe Genpo is attempting damage limitation by using the old trick of 'admitting' to his 'faults' (maybe he'll even add a touch of 'admitting' to how he also 'admits' to his faults as a fault - that's raw, open Zen honesty BTW) in order to garner sympathy from those who are swayed by such games an ego can get itself entangled in.

If only Genpo's wife had pointed out sooner he had 'Field Dependent' characteristics.

Me - I'm just an over-sensitive soul.

Yours

Genpo

Manny Furious said...

I don't understand how living in Akron can be "a step back" as Brad had written others had told him (weird sentence...). I guess the highly superficial, glossy self-important, deluded, polluted, creepy cities of L.A. and N.Y. are the only places worth living? Give me a break.

anon #108 said...

Hi Poo,

Perhaps the trick is do the honesty thing but eliminate the idea of fault. Otherwise, as you suggest, public confession becomes an exercise in seduction...so a therapist flute pupil once suggested to me.

Anonymous said...

Seagal Rinpoche said...

"There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream.

Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are."


What a douche.

How fucking hard could it possibly be to give credit to the person who originally crafted those words? I mean, it took two seconds to copy and paste the first sentence into Google and see that it was written by Chogyam Trungpa.

Bizarro Seagal said...

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

Mr. Reee said...

Re relocating again--Brad could probably find useful (and warmer) digs in West Marin, but on the other hand, he'd mostly be preaching to the choir--lotsa zennies in the region.

ooP said...

The idea of 'eliminating' the idea of fault is delusion. Perhaps just hold the idea with soft hands, and understand how one's reaction knows itself.

Why not 'eliminate' the idea of delusion and have done with it?

'Fault' and what it variously is used to configure is neither good nor bad.

There appears the avoidance of the pain realisation entails that knows itself.

Although I cannot avoid the avoidance pattern, I can do something else.

Misappropriating this or any other idea, though, of not doing evil, is one way it keeps getting done.

Though it cannot be said to exist forms of denying it are it.

merciless said...

"Zero Defex sounded great in rehearsal the other night."

Brad, Is this true.. or do you mean compared to Christina Aguilera?

anon #108 said...

'ey ooP!

"Perhaps the trick is do the honesty thing but eliminate the idea of fault."

Yeah. Bollocks, isn't it :)

gniz said...

Thank you, Master Seagal, for this wonderful teaching.

OsamaVanHalen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran (רן) said...

A song for Mysterion's Avatar -

http://hayoo.110mb.com/music/Neomi-Shemer/Horshat-haekaliptus.html

("כנרת" is also nice)

+ said...

The picture is actually quite nice if you view it full size. As it is here you can’t really see what’s in it. At least I didn’t.

On zee ozer hand said...

Such a pity Mysterion sucks.

- mmm ... said...

Oh, well.

Anonymous said...

Mysterion doesn't suck. he just doesn't not suck. He throws so much stuff at the wall some of it will have to stink. Law of averages.

Mysterion said...

Why would anyone live in fear anywhere?

p.s. I used to teach in Compton. There, but for fortune, go you or I.

Anonymous said...

This latest news from Gimpo roshi shows what a crock of shit bigmind is. He's the creator of this so called zen-psychology method, and he clearly has fuck all zen insight, or much psychological awareness. Most of all it shows how stupid most western zen students and "teachers" are as they all get sucked into this crap.

Credit to Brad for having pointed all this out years ago, and just trying to be a normal person (even if Brad's insight also needs some work).

- The Gimp.

Mysterion said...

She is a rather honest person.

BTW: I hope no one is applauding the indiscretion of Genpo what'shisname. I wish him well...

john e mumbles said...

Nice interview. In LIFE Keith describes a night w/her while Mick was making [a movie with] Anita.

Randy bunch.

Randy Bunch said...

I am always interested in the indiscretion of others.

Anonymous said...

This was a great show !!!



How Beer Saved the World 1/3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf3YvXM9j5o

How Beer Saved the World 2/3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc-C5Q1ubvs

How Beer Saved the World 3/3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibDN3F67DJU&feature=related

Anonymous said...

American Anthem is an English Beer song!

The Anacreontic Song (Georgia Tech Glee Club)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqyQO3xhNx0&feature=player_embedded

Lyrics:
To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition;
That he their Inspirer and Patron wou'd be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian;
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
No longer be mute,
I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,
And besides I'll instruct you like me, to intwine,
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine!"

Mysterion said...

It IS the speaker of the house's drinking song. (But the ORANGE MAN will drink to ANYTHING).

Anacreontic Song Lyrics

At least he's not a LAZY DRUNK.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad!Glad to see you doin good.Thanks for the honest and straighforward approach in writing your books.Love them!They make difference.Hope someday you visit our zen group in Pasadena,Ca. Take care brother!!!

Mumon said...

Good luck in Ohio, Ven. Warner, I hope you um...live long and prosper.

As for Genpo Merzel, I don't think there's anything to feel but sorrow here.

And to repeat caveat emptor.

tattoozen said...

"Sleeping with students does seem to be a rather common occurrence with zen masters."

thats because there is nothing wrong with it. Adults do what adults do, we are taught in the west that our spiritual "leaders" are somehow superior to us regular folks so when one of them has a normal adult relationship with one of them we see it as "wrong".

Think about it, we dont just say that the spiritual leader is wrong because he is "better" but we also say that the student is , what? stupid? naive? unable to make adult decisions? Its unrealistic and disrespectful of all parties involved to expect the reality that two human beings do what two human beings do is wrong because of our made up imposed rules for what some of those people ought to do.

Our concept of moral order is so skewed by our bizzare love/hate relationship with sex in the west that we cant see people as people.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's too much to expect our leaders whether politicians or spiritual, to be held to higher standards. After all, aren't they there to inspire us and teach us to be better people?

Of course they aren't perfect, but can't they be just a little better at not creating bad karma? Otherwise, why would we follow them? Did you vote for Obama because you didn't care if he was better than the alternative?

tattoozen said...

"aren't they there to inspire us and teach us to be better people?"

yes, however I believe the second that we believe that they will/should act superhuman we have caused suffering.

Idealism is the problem.

I voted for Obama because I believed that his opinions on how the government should behave more closely matched my own than the alternative not because I believe him to be better than anyone else. Both of us (me and Obama) might be 'wrong" about our politics, my vote for him had nothing to do with his being a superior being than McCain, simply that i agreed with him more than McCain.

Either way i don't expect Obama (or my zen teacher) to be celibate or otherwise to to act unnaturally 'morally' superior.

Taking the voting metaphor thing further, One of the reasons i wouldn't vote for a candidate would be if they portrayed themselves as somehow able to supersede normal human functions 9and failings) those are the people who scare me.

I don't want a guru for president.

derway said...

Hi Brad.

Did you get the word that Genpo is no longer a buddhist monk?

He has been kicked out of the white plum lineage, (my lineage as I practice down at the LA zen center):

http://whiteplum.org/

He is giving up buddhism to concentrate on healing and big mind:

http://bigmind.org/Home.html

Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @11:26 PM said...
"Sleeping with students does seem to be a rather common occurrence with zen masters."

1) It isn't common.
2) When it happens, it's rarely plural (e.g. students v. student)
3) Zen Monks are "just folks."
4) There are no altar boys around...
5) There's no institutional protection policy so individuals are responsible for their own actions.

Ken Wilbur said...

According to his statement on his own website, he left the White Plum Asanga on his own.

He is quitting Buddhist to concentrate on Big Bucks.

BTW did I mention how much it pisses me off that he stole the terms "big mind" from little Suzuki? What a prick.

...Wish I'd thought of that first.

Zach said...

Hey Brad... you may find this interesting... over on BIG MIND.

http://www.bigmind.org/Responsibility.html

Owning My Responsibility

A Personal Statement from Genpo Merzel

I have chosen to disrobe as a Buddhist Priest, and will stop giving Buddhist Precepts or Ordinations, but I will continue teaching Big Mind. I will spend the rest of my life truly integrating the Soto Zen Buddhist Ethics into my life and practice so I can once again regain dignity and respect. My actions have caused a tremendous amount of pain, confusion, and controversy for my wife, family, and Sangha, and for this I am truly sorry and greatly regret. My behavior was not in alignment with the Buddhist Precepts. I feel disrobing is just a small part of an appropriate response.

I am also resigning as an elder of the White Plum Asanga. My actions should not be viewed as a reflection on the moral fabric of any of the White Plum members.

As Genpo Merzel, I will continue to bring Big Mind into the world and to train and facilitate people who wish to study with me. I will not give up on, and will still be available for people who wish to continue studying with me as just an ordinary human being who is working on his own shadows and deeply rooted patterns.

With great humility I will continue to work on my own shadows and deeply rooted patterns that have led me to miss the mark of being a moral and ethical person and a decent human being. I appreciate all the love and support as well as the criticism that has been shared with me. Experiencing all the pain and suffering that I have caused has truly touched my heart and been the greatest teacher. It has helped open my eyes and given me greater clarity around my own dishonest, hurtful behavior as well as my sexual misconduct. I recently entered therapy and plan to continue indefinitely with it. I am in deep pain over the suffering I have caused my wife, children, students, successors and Sangha.

With Sadness and Love,

D. Genpo Merzel

Ken Wilbur said...

That's what Ahm talkin' bout, foo.

Miino said...

Hey Brad! I really enjoyed your book Zen Wrapped in Karma. I read in a one day, it was so intriguing. After reading I decided to follow you blog also and get your other books as well. You truly have some important things to say and courage to write them also down. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

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