Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jesus! I'm on the Cover of a Dutch Magazine!


I'm on the cover of this month's issue of the Dutch magazine Vorm & Leegte, which means Form & Emptiness. It's a pretty big deal Buddhist magazine, as I understand. The Dutch equivalent of Tricycle or Shambhala Sun -- two magazines on which I'm certain I will never be featured on the the covers of. The photo was shot during the lunch break of a one-day retreat I led in Nijmegen in the Netherlands last year. The photographer shot what seemed to me to be somewhere around 25,000 pictures. I was getting tired of posing and trying to look photogenic, which accounts for the pose they chose. It's probably something I tried out of a desperate attempt to look interesting. I don't really work too much on controlling my image. Obviously.

I just got back from the wilds of Saskatoon way up in the Great White North of Saskatchewan, Canada. That was my second trip to Saskatoon. As before it was a lot of fun. But not as much fun as last time because the cold I caught just after coming back from Florida has hung on and on. This is due, again obviously, to far too much touring.

Speaking of touring, it looks like I'll be in Europe this Autumn.

I have confirmed a retreat in (at? with?) Benedikutshof in Germany Sept. 27 - October 2.

I am talking to some people in the Netherlands to set up some talks and things October 3-10.

I have also agreed to attend the conference by the German Buddhist Union Oct. 21-23.

Many other people are talking to me including folks in Durham, England, in Glasgow, Scotland, in France, Finland and Poland. But so far only the people in Germany and the Netherlands have suggested any definite dates. We'll see how the other stuff stacks up.

Someone in Belgium contacted me about going there. But I have lost that contact. So if you're reading this, please write me again.

Which brings up another point: If you have written to me about coming somewhere and I haven't gotten back to you, I AM NOT SNUBBING YOU. I don't snub. I do, however, forget things easily and I am terrible about organization. I desperately need a secretary or assistant of some kind. But so far no one has volunteered for the job. I am not one of those Great Spiritual Masters with a retinue of flunkies to do their bidding. I am doing all of this myself. Write me again if you don't hear back.

I've been reading Stephen Batchelor's new book Confession of a Buddhist Atheist lately. I like it a lot. It's not at all what I expected. I expected a Buddhist version of one of those atheistic screeds, along the lines of Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. But this is really good. When I'm done I'll post an actual review. It definitely falls under the category of "Buddhist Books That Don't Suck."

I was also sad to see that Victoria Jackson, who I used to think was pretty funny has gone bat shit crazy. Sad. And couldn't she have gotten a better Bible than the Gideon bible it looks like she stole from her hotel?

84 comments:

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Not always so.

Jundo Taylor said...

So?

Haven said...

I love that you're wearing a KISS t-shirt.

Tim Khayil said...

And you stare at me
In your Jesus Christ pose
Arms held out
Like you've been carrying a load
And you swear to me
You don't want to be my slave
But you're staring at me again
Like I need to be saved, saved
Like I need to be saved, SAVED!!

In your Jesus Christ pose (x2)

Arms held out
In your Jesus Christ pose
Thorns and shroud
Like it's the coming of the Lord
And I swear to you
That I would never feed you pain
But you're staring at me again
Like I'm driving the nails, nails
Like I'm driving the nails, nails
Like I'm driving the nails, nails, nails, nails
Like I'm driving the nails, NAILS!!

In your Jesus Christ pose (x2)

Arms held out
In your Jesus Christ pose
Thorns and shroud
Like it's the coming of the Lord
And would it pay you more to walk on water
Than to wear a crown of thorns
It wouldn't pain me more
To bury you rich
Than to bury you poor,
In your Jesus Christ pose
poor, POOR!!
In your Jesus Christ pose

Anonymous Bob said...

I like that you're wearing a KISS t-shirt and wearing your shoes on the wrong feet. That's so cool..

SNL's Victoria Jackson? Holy smokes! Her comment about getting the gay thing shoved down her throat was epic.

She should have waited until April 1st though. I think she's putting us all on.

CAPTCHA : asunts : I kid you not

Blake said...

Let me know if you need a body guard for your European trip. I'll carry you while you sing AND IIIIIIIIIII WILL ALLLLWAYS LOOOOVE YOOOOOOU!

anonymous anonymous said...

Now we'll have to suffer through more of that old fart mysterion droning on about the evils of abrahamic religions. Thanks Brad.

Ghost said...

Brad Warner = Concrete Jesus. I guess all the racy photos ended up on the cutting room floor. What happened to the one with the thong, climbing out of a pool?

Lee said...

If I didn't know better, I would think she was pulling an "Andy Kauffman".
Nice wardrobe selection!!

comfortablydumb said...

I recently finished Batchelor's new book myself. He has really done his research eh! I was surprised at what a history lesson it was, not really concentrating on the atheist thing so much, as the title might suggest.

I like how he struggled with his desire to satisfy his peers while trying to satisfy himself. I think we all struggle with that, and it's very open of him to lay it out as he does. I think many people just stop at the "trying to satisfy your peers" part and live their whole life that way. That's probably what Victoria Jackson thinks she's doing.

Anonymous said...

Hey there--I love Confessions by Batchelor--one of my absolute faves. In fact, it seems to jive precisely with Hitchen's "God Is Not Great..." I know you don't have to eat shit to know not to eat it, but might I recommend a taste? I think you'd like it more than you think, and the Hitchens' crowd always seems to gun for very specific sects of Buddhism (usually the ones who literally gun for everyone else...) He's in cahoots with Sam Harris, who is kind of the black sheep among New Atheists cuz he IS "into Boo-dism."

Peace
Matt

john e mumbles said...

Brad, I may not be up on my Dutch, but I think that headline says you have sex with zits!

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

& yeah Batchelor's book is cool. I quoted from it in my Buddhist Geeks article "The Shotgun Approach" back in April, 2010.

I liked what Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) said somewhere recently when asked about religion in general:

"It's a psychosis that the Earth is still governed by these odd, superstitious fairy stories."

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

Here is an interview with Batchelor on Buddhist geeks talking about his book and how he came to the conclusions in it.

http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/06/bg-175-the-buddhist-atheist/

KatyDid said...

Hey, congrats on the cover!

I mean, getting the cover is cool, and it helps that it's actually a memorable cover, too. That's a coup.

It's the KISS shirt. KISS and Buddhism: They go together like asparagus and chocolate!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to type "Refulner" into the Word Verification box to post this comment... What should that word mean, if it was a word?

Lone Wolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lone Wolf said...

I too am currently reading Stephen Batchelor's "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist” between bouts of homework, so I'm only on page 60. Good read so far.

I've never read Hitchens "God is Not Great," but I did recently see a film called "Collision" in which him and the evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson go on a tour and debate each other. They are both damn good debaters. At the end of the movie, Hitchen's said if he had the chance to destroy all religion he said he would not and really didn't know why. I found this interesting. It's probably do to Patton Oswalt's "Sky Cake" theory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55h1FO8V_3w

I believe that man-made religion is simply an evolution in morality (and obviously a way to make ourselves feel better about the unanswerable questions, such as "what happens after you die?"). However, many of these dogmatic views are outdated and cause harm and suffering...such as the bat shit crazy views of Victoria Jackson.

I believe Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape may be one of the most important books ever written, because he challenges the predominately held scientific view, that human values cannot be determined by science (and pissed a lot of scientists off by doing so), and the religious views, by pointing out dogmatic religious views that are extremely harmful to our society and cause a lot of suffering.

For me, Sam's book brings to mind Nishijima's ideas on the conflict between thought (spirituality) and matter (materialism). It would be great if scientists tested Nishijima's theory about Zazen balancing the automic nervous system. As Neuroscientist and Buddhist continue to work together, I think there is much we will learn. But, sadly, there will always be people who will turn away from the truth to hold on to their ego-feeding religious beliefs (Atheist can be just as dogmatic by the way).

Lone Wolf said...

"For me, Sam's book brings to mind Nishijima's ideas on the conflict between thought (spirituality) and matter (materialism."

Meaning, he seems to be aiming for the middle ground between the two. I mean, Sam is a major critic of religion, but he does say this:

"Now let me just assert, on the basis of my own study and experience, that there is no question in my mind that people have improved their emotional lives, and their self-understanding, and their ethical intuitions, and have even had important insights about the nature of subjectivity itself through a variety of traditional practices like meditation.'

'Leaving aside all the metaphysics and mythology and mumbo jumbo, what contemplatives and mystics over the millennia claim to have discovered is that there is an alternative to merely living at the mercy of the next neurotic thought that comes careening into consciousness. There is an alternative to being continuously spellbound by the conversation we are having with ourselves."

The quote from above came from a talk he gave at an Atheist Convention, a talk in which he pissed off many of the Atheist there.

Here is a video clip of that talk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok2oJgsGR6c

Here is the talk in written form:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/sam_harris/2007/10/the_problem_with_atheism.html

I thought I'd throw in a TED clip of him speaking on his ideas from the Moral Landscape:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww

Bizarro Seagal said...

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

martin said...

At Benediktushof, a retreat center in Holzkirchen, founded by Willigis J├Ąger.
http://www.west-oestliche-weisheit.de/benediktushof.html

Cool that you will be back in Germany!
They will set up the sesshin in the online registration next week.

All the best Martin

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

baseball, apple pie, and torture

Big Fan said...

It really seems like Brad is after a " fan base" Lets look at the definition and the "Fan" which brad uses a lot!!!!!!

fan: enthusiast, devotee, admirer, lover; supporter, follower, disciple, adherent, zealot; expert, connoisseur, aficionado; informal buff, bum, fiend, freak, nut, addict, junkie, fanatic, groupie.

He's not a fan of Genpo or Loori but a big fan of Monsters, Punk Rock , Himself, the swinglife style,His videos, Sf Zen center. He's not a "Fan" of certain medications, Viagra aside. He's not a big fan of the word " Spiritual". He's a "Fan" of Godzilla, Ultraman.He's a huge fan of plasticland.He's a fan of KISS.He's a fan of Robyn Hitchcock.He's not a fan of Basketball. And the list goes on.

Are his readers or followers just a bunch of sycophants or ? Wisdom or lazy practice.

Atheist Al said...

I haven't read Hitchens' "atheist screed", but the books by Dawkins and Sam Harris (the end of faith) are great. I don't know where Brad gets his really negative view of atheists. Lots of Buddhists...probably most...are atheists in the sense they do not believe in any sort of personal diety. Susan Blackmore is a friend of Dawkins and famous Zen Buddhist atheist.

Anonymous said...

Susan
blackmore is not a" fan" of God. She is a material scientist. Why do say she is "famous" Zen buddhist. That is oxymoron comment isn't it. Beyond god.

anon #108 said...

Hi Big Fan,

You asked, "Are his readers or followers just a bunch of sycophants or ? Wisdom or lazy practice."

I'm a follower/reader of this blog. Brad has written on a number of occasions that he doesn't keep this blog going as a vehicle for teaching Buddhism (although he does occasionally comment on matters Buddhist, or of interest to Buddhists or those interested in Buddhism). He keeps this blog going to promote his career as a writer about Buddhism and as a musician, and to announce his engagements, which include gigs, speaking tours and retreats.

The comments section is un-moderated. In my experience all sorts of people comment here and for all sorts of reasons; for and against Brad; for and against Zen/Buddhism, and for/against nothing in particular but just for the fun of commenting, attracted here by who-knows-what.

You decide if that's "wisdom or lazy practice". I'm content to read it and sometimes comment. My practice is my own business.

Big Fan said...

Anon #108
It sounds like you are just sort of a fan. Perhaps up to your ankle but then you pull it quickly.

anon #108 said: Brad has written on a number of occasions that he doesn't keep this blog going as a vehicle for teaching Buddhism (although he does occasionally comment on matters Buddhist, or of interest to Buddhists or those interested in Buddhism). He keeps this blog going to promote his career as a writer about Buddhism and as a musician, and to announce his engagements, which include gigs, speaking tours and retreats.

You actually believe that #108?
You must believe what you are told so then maybe you aren't a fan but a follower. Which is very different.

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

Anon #108
It sounds like you are just sort of a fan. Perhaps up to your ankle but then you pull it quickly.


Well, Big Fan - I'd describe myself as a sympathiser and supporter, but not an enthusiast, devotee, admirer, lover; follower, disciple, adherent, zealot; expert, connoisseur, aficionado; informal buff, bum, fiend, freak, nut, addict, junkie, fanatic, or groupie, no.

Why does it matter to you what the readers of this blog think of Brad? What are you trying to tell us?

(And yes, I do believe what I wrote. I re-read it, just to be sure ;))

Anonymous said...

I am bat shit crazy also, just like you - it's one of things that keeps me coming back here.

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

Hey 108 - Why does it matter to you what readers of this blog like Big Fan think of Brad – or of you?

anon #108 said...

Don't start, Malcolm.

Malcolm said...

Yep. Bat shit crazy.

Bat Shit said...

Lovely Is The Feelin' Now
Fever, Temperatures Risin' Now
Power (Ah Power) Is The Force The Vow
That Makes It Happen It Asks No Questions Why (Ooh)
So Get Closer (Closer Now)
To My Body Now Just Love Me
'Til You Don't Know How (Ooh)
[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

[2nd Verse]
Touch Me And I Feel On Fire
Ain't Nothin' Like A Love Desire (Ooh)
I'm Melting (I'm Melting)
Like Hot Candle Wax Sensation (Ah Sensation)
Lovely Where We're At (Ooh)
So Let Love Take Us Through The Hours
I Won't Be Complanin'
'Cause This Is Love Power (Ooh)
[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
(Ooh)

[3rd Verse]
Heartbreak Enemy Despise
Eternal (Ah Eternal)
Love Shines In My Eyes (Ooh)
So Let Love Take Us Through The Hours
I Won't Be Complanin' (No No)
'Cause Your Love Is Alright, Alright

[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
[Refrain]

Anonymous said...

It's true brad really does use the word "Fan" a lot.
Do a search on the front page and the word 'fan" comes up endlessly. Page after page. Older post to older post.
Interesting....I never noticed that before.

Anonymous said...

Hey he even has a facebook "Fan page".
Facebooks sucks!

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

That's crazy about Victoria Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The designation 'buddhist atheist' is redundant and only makes sense in a western context to distinguish buddhists in the traditional sense from those who are still closet monotheists.

jesus Garcia in wilmington said...

Brad uses the word "Fan" in his books Mucho Mucho.
I'm surprised his editors haven't caught that.

Igor said...

So, vat does this verd "fan: indicate to you Drs. Frued? Perhaps he is hot alot?

Not A Fan said...

I'm neither a fan nor a follower. To me, this is just a place to hang out and shoot the breeze once in a while, like kids on a street corner.

merciless said...

Brad, Don't be stupid. Victoria Jackson is joking. It's not extremely funny but she, like you, believes that any publicity is better than no publicity.

Anonymous said...

Embodied Cognition with Lawrence Shapiro (BSP 73)
Ginger Campbell, MD

Lawrence Shapiro

In his new book Embodied Cognition, Dr. Lawrence Shapiro provides a balanced introduction to embodied cognition's attempts to challenge standard cognitive science. His interview in Episode 73 of the Brain Science Podcast is a discussion of a few of his book's key ideas. It also continues our ongoing exploration of the role of embodiment.

http://www.brainsciencepodcast.com/bsp/embodied-cognition-with-lawrence-shapiro-bsp-73.html

Playbill said...

The role of embodiment will be played by Michael Madsen.

Poe's Law said...

Merciless,
Victoria Jackson is definitely NOT joking. But I can understand why you are confused. Her recent statements are a great demonstration of Poe's Law.

hippiechic said...

Awesome magazine cover!!! I was really sad to hear that Victoria Jackson so homophobic too...I always thought she was this really cute and sweet funny lady. It's upsetting when people start spewing out bigotry and harsh judgement. Come to North Carolina soon!!!!

Anonymous said...

merciless said: Brad, Don't be stupid. Victoria Jackson is joking. It's not extremely funny but she, like you, believes that any publicity is better than no publicity.

Naw. She's not trollin. I thought it was an act too, at first. But the truth is that she really is just dumb as a bag of hammers.

Excalibur said...

Words and letters will get you nowhere.

merciless said...

Wow.. Buddhism must be the new STUPID. Victoria Jackson is a genius. This is such obvious comedy.


http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201003260005

Anonymous said...

Victoria is doing what Andy Kaufmann would be doing if he were still alive, impersonating a tea-bagger.

Papa Squat said...

Victoria Jackson can go lick the sweat off Andy Kaufmann's dead nutsack.

She's about as much of a comic genius as Seagal Rinpoche is an, uh, Rinpoche.

Bizarro Seagal said...

Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Victoria Jackson.

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

Fuck you cocksuckers, I don't want to be happy, why should anybody?

turd said...

Fuck you cocksuckers, I don't want to be happy, why should anybody?

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny when mysterion uses his aliases turd and hangered..

Anonymous said...

american hero, american slave

Anonymous said...

subpoena the terrorists

Rickenbacker said...

Always new Warner had a Jesus Christ complex...

gnu said...

Ah neu id 2.

Jesus Christ said...

I've got a Warner complex.

Judas Priest said...

I new it.

Neu said...

I gnu id 2.

valljeo said...

There is a place that I know to me
in this world, nothing less,
where never we will arrive.

Where, still without our foot
it got to give for a moment
it will be, in truth, like not being.

A site is that that is seen
in each short while in this life,
walking, walking of one in row.

More here of same me and of
my pair of yolks, I have interviewed it
always far from the destinies.

Already you can iros on foot
or to pure feeling in hair,
that at him they do not arrive nor seals.

The horizon color tea
one dies to colonize to him
for its great Cualquieraparte.

But the place that I know to me,
in this world, nothing less,
hombreado it goes with the reversos.

- You close that door that
it is half-opened in the entrails
of that mirror. - This? - No; its sister.

- it is not possible to be closed. Not
she can never arrive at that site
- do goes in branch the latches.

So it is the place that I know to me.

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

Hey Malcolm, do you watch this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/arts/television/amc-brings-the-killing-hit-crime-show-in-britain-to-us.html

Anonymous said...

mysterion is an authority on ignorance.

anon #108 said...

Unaware of The Killing until now, John. I just checked and it's on BBC4, which I don't get - I only get your basic five terrestrials. But I see most of it is still on BBC I player. Looks like my nothing much on telly moments are sorted for a while. Niice, blud!

john e mumbles said...

I'll have to wait to get it on dvd in the original, I generally abhor American remakes, although a Swedish movie I enjoyed last year, Let The Right One In, was remade into a very close-to-the-original US version titled Let Me In.

Sonic Youth said...

From Youtube:

*The other day I saw a car full of teenagers at the traffic lights playing loud Hendrix music ... good to see ... I've been doing it for years and years, I'm 62 ... I was there ! Hendrix lives !
dapgy 2 weeks ago 69

Reply

*@freeline4 Go kill yourself dipshit.
RebelThoughts 3 weeks ago 19

Jesus Christ said...

12:59 pm is a fake.

12:59 PM said...

9:10 am is a fake.

The "Real" 12:59 PM said...

Jesus Christ, you're both fakes!

Rick said...

I remember when Jesus mopped floors for me.

Atheist Al said...

Susan Blackmore is not a fan of god? She does not believe in god. She is a scientist. Does this mean she can't also be a zen buddhist? She is famous. I've read her works for years. Does this mean she can't be a real zen practitioner? Are you drunk?

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

mysterion: Just look at you today. Wasting your golden years in mental masturbation hoping to leach a readership by posting websites to someone else's blog. I don't think you're a talentled man.

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

Go Glasgow hehe

john e mumbles said...

Mysterion @8:29: These labels, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Ignorance, etc., only exist on the surface. They are just thoughts, ideas. Ramana Maharshi (and others) said that one is only self-aware as long as there are thoughts present about who you think you are. When the thoughts leave, what is left? Can you call it anything?

Anonymous said...

"It's not about me. Or any one."

Hell mysterion, I agree with you for once. If it was about you this blog would be called 'mysterion's postulates' and no one would read it.