Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"LA Story" and "Is Zen Nutty?"


I arrived back in Akron, Ohio at about midnight last night. I don't have car insurance. I thought I did. When I was in California I called my insurance company and discovered that my insurance had lapsed in December. Today I'll sign up with another company. But I'll have to drive to that company because this is Akron, Ohio and you can't get anywhere on foot. I hope I don't crash.

We finished filming the Los Angeles scenes of the movie Shoplifting From American Apparel on Monday. The photo above is from the scenes we shot on Saturday on Hollywood Boulevard. The people in the picture from left to right are me, director Pirooz Kaleyah, novelist Jordan Castro who plays "the real Tao Lin" as opposed to me who is (I who am? I whom am?) playing "Brad Warner as Tao Lin," and author Noah Cicero, who I think is basically playing himself.

Also in the film are internet hottie Bebe Zeva, actress Jennifer Angela Bishop, comedian Travis McFarland and James Roehl, who is acting, co-producing, holding the boom mic and all sorts of other stuff.

It's slowly dawning on me that I am playing the largest role in this movie. I play the nameless main character of the novel Shoplifting From American Apparel (this is an excerpt) based on the real-life writer of said novel, Tao Lin. As such, I have the most lines and am the focal character. I'm playing the guy who shoplifts from American Apparel, the title character. I'm glad I didn't realize this until it was too late or I'd have been intimidated to even do it.

Saturday and Monday were the most interesting scenes to film. They were two parts of a scene in which Tao Lin (me) does a reading at Skylight Books in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. It's one of my favorite bookstores in LA in spite of the fact that they turned my publicist down when she tried to schedule a reading for me there and I didn't see any of my books on the shelves (though I have seen them there in the past). Are you reading this, Skylight Books people?

Tao's reading is attended by Audrey (Bebe Zeva) and Jeffery (Travis McFarland). Tao is trying to get with Audrey. But Jeffery keeps hanging around and may, for all Tao knows, be Audrey's boyfriend. Tao doesn't care and keeps acting like a dick to Jeffery to try to get rid of him. Eventually this works and Tao bags Audrey. But the next morning he is cold and distant to her. It's clear the whole thing meant nothing to him and she is hurt by this.

I suppose I should have put "spoiler alert" before that explanation since it's a key scene near the end of the film. But by the time the movie comes out most of you will have forgotten this, I hope.

Anyhow, I had to play this character who goes through this stuff. The weird part for me is that I have been in situations somewhat similar to this. Every writer has, especially those of us who are single. You meet fans of your preferred gender who seem to be attracted to you. But often they're with someone else.

In my case I have all this Buddhist morality shit hanging over me. When I'm in that situation I deliberately try not to interfere with people's existing relationships. I don't think it's right to do so. And I know that my own life will also be improved if I behave in a way that is morally sound.

But I found myself having to play a character who does all the things I am often very much tempted to do but don't do. It was difficult overcoming my own inhibitions and becoming this character. It was even harder playing the scene in which I had to be cold and distant to "Audrey" the next morning. As Bebe (playing Audrey) got more and more into character I began to feel worse and worse about myself. Even though it was all completely fictional, and even though there were all kinds of people with cameras and microphones and all kinds of retakes and so forth, as I said the lines it began feeling real. I was getting cotton mouth during the shoot.

I think a good actor gets a sense of what Buddha meant when he talked about the unreality of the permanent self. In order to act out a scene as a character you have to drop your attachment to the person you think you are and, at least for the duration of the scene, become someone else.

It's funny how easy that can be once you find the ability to drop who you think you are. There seems to be a corner you can turn or a switch you can flip after which you just slide into being this other person. After a few hours of shooting I found I had to make a certain degree of effort to return to my normal self.

As Mr. Spock would say, "Fascinating."


***

In the past week I have received three different variations on the same question. There must be something in the air. The latest goes like this: "I guess my first questions are 'does Zen Buddhism have any crazy and hard to digest stories and ideas behind it? how much does it differ to other forms of Buddhism? And if these stories/concepts/mantras exist in the Zen world, do you take them with a pinch of salt?'."

The answer about crazy and hard to digest stories is yes and no. But mostly no. In Zen there is no importance attached to matters of belief. What you believe is largely irrelevant. Belief is just more stuff that your mind does. It might have some relevance, but only in terms of how your beliefs affect your behavior. There is no God or Buddha or anyone else who gives a shit one way or the other what you do or do not believe.

That being said, there are as many weird hard to swallow stories associated with Zen as with any other religion. The Lotus Sutra, Dogen's favorite sutra, has passages in which Buddha does all kinds of crazy miraculous things like shooting beams out of his forehead and suchlike. The koans have stories about people transforming themselves into animals or chopping off other people's fingers just to prove a point. If you took that stuff literally it would be pretty much like any other religion.

The great thing about Zen, though, is that there is never any pressure to believe any of this stuff. You can take it any way you want to. Very few Zen people take most of it literally. Gudo Nishijima used to be adamant that it was all metaphorical, especially the references to reincarnation.

A good example of this is the way we deal with the Heart Sutra, which is considered by many to be the single most important sutra in Zen, the one that defines Zen as a distinct form of Buddhism. It ends with a whole big long section that says how wonderful this one mantra is and how everyone should proclaim it. I do not know, nor have I even heard rumors about, a single Zen Buddhist who chants that mantra.


***

Cool?

OK. Also remember my new/old book Death To All Monsters is available now as a downloadable eBook or print-on-demand. Here are the links where you can get it:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/BradWarner
http://tiny.cc/dgrnx (Amazon)
http://tiny.cc/g38eg (Barnes & Noble)

103 comments:

Harry said...

O

N

E

!

Brad Warner said...

OK. Enough of the vertical stuff. I'm gonna start deleting it. It's gotta be getting on the nerves of anyone wishing to post anything serious. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

gate gate para gate parasam gate bodhi soha

Zoldad said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U

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

"...getting on the nerves of anyone wishing to post anything serious."

You really haven't been reading the comments section lately then Brad!

Regards,

H.

Bill said...

Hi Brad,

You said Nishijima "used" to be adamant about reincarmation being metaphorical. Has he changed his opinion of late, or am I reading too much into that one word?

Thanks in advance.

Bill

#8 said...

Cool, delete Harry's vertical ONE! please, then you'll be #1!!

Harry said...

Hey, leave my 'vertical one' alone!

john e mumbles said...

Horizontal, vertical, or just one big tangled up cluster-?

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-buddhism-truest

Anonymous said...

The heart sutra is chanted every morning at temples in Korea.

Anonymous said...

even zazen is metaphorical

Anonymous said...

I

Brad Warner said...

The Heart Sutra is chanted every morning in loads of Zen temples. But I know of no one who goes around chanting "gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha" over & over the way you do with a standard mantra.

Brad Warner said...

Bill, "used to" means when I used to sit and listen to him lecture every Saturday in the 90s. Nothing more. He hasn't changed his mind as far as I know.

Brad Warner said...

Harry, I know the comments section has been pretty awful lately.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, fascinating account of acting.
It sounds like it might be sort of
fun to be a real dick for a day
without actually doing any
real harm.

Anonymous said...

fifteen hundred
http://tinyurl.com/399wps
and one
http://tinyurl.com/3w49nvx
and counting

Anonymous said...

That Noah dude sounds like
he might be a terrorist!

Harry said...

If you meet Buddha at sea, shoot him and throw him in the ocean.

Anonymous said...

That's a cool picture Brad. It is nice you like to hang out with those young guys.

kief said...

What exactly are you saying Mick? Are you comparing a mass-murderer to 108?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous kief said...
"Are you comparing a mass-murderer..."

is that alluding to Roman Catholicism?

Anonymous said...

That Noah dude is as ignorant as Brad is when it comes to politics.

Cupid said...

Old "I can't Get Any" Brad and his new GF:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hgGOE361A3o/Tc-YD8i9R3I/AAAAAAAADkA/l8QZIAM71a0/s1600/Jen%2Band%2BBrad.jpg

Anonymous said...

Brad's new GF..

Ha! Funny but not. That is a picture of Garry Shandling and Barbara Casing.

jamal said...

"I'll have to drive to that company because this is Akron, Ohio and you can't get anywhere on foot."

Why not take a bus like everyone else?

Anonymous said...

"is that alluding to Roman Catholicism?"

fooking M..

an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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Anonymous said...

emily dickenson? don't care for her much.. I do fancy some of Browning's stuff.

an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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an3drew said...

emily dickinson poems in her own hand

Mysterion said...

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity. source

the allusions contained in double entendre or adianoeta are cynical humors...

Sean said...

The
trailer (for the
film)
lo
ooks
Nicely unpretentious!




Brad Warner said: I think a good actor gets a sense of what Buddha meant when he talked about the unreality of the permanent self. In order to act out a scene as a character you have to drop your attachment to the person you think you are and, at least for the duration of the scene, become someone else.

I've acted, on the theatrical stage - albeit briefly - myself. From that perspective, I totally agree with what you're saying, and (in fact) I've never seen it put more succinctly.

I never got far into studying acting theory, myself - Stanislavsky Method or otherwise - never planned to make a career of it, as one of my friends has (I think, successfully). I'm aware that there is some literature, in regards to theoretic approaches to acting, however. I suppose, that could make a difference, to the aspiring performer.

I'm sure there must be something that could be said about how to associate with the character being portrayed, without loosing oneself in the association. I think that the "green room" is conventionally a sort of "airlock", towards the same.

I certainly think it does call up some interesting tensions, in regards to individual identity - the act of portraying a character not oneself, in a committed role, on a theatrical stage or sound-stage of any kind (and the questions, then, like: How does one identify oneself, offstage, and what is the comparative weight of that identity? I think it can become a rather silly question, though, if given too much focus.)

I'm quite sure that such questions of *personal* identity would be nothing good to be preoccupied about, though - to keep the performances, rather, *professional* - nothing to become mindlessly attached to or mindlessly lost about, y'know?

As the Bard once wrote, "All the world's a stage" - and I am my but own Oscar panel, after all! ><

Congratulations on your successful performance, Brad Warner! Cheers!

mikael said...

an3drew

Words doesnt have shit on zen

P.S I hope you get banned

an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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Impactednurse said...

Take heed do not squander your words.
Geez, cut the self indulgent smartarse crap people and give us one paragraph of useful zen...or just shut up.

an3drew said...
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anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Hi an3drew,

At 12.20am you wrote: "what i have seen plenty of in zen is narrowminded hypocrites who who pretend loving kindeness and behave something different !"

HERE you seem like a pleasant, peaceful, thoughtful individual. But here in this blog's comment section you've done nothing but insult people you've never met while proclaiming your own superior insight. I don't geddit.

***********************************

Thanks for the link to the Tricycle article, john e. If I were some kind of Buddhist sectarian fundie I might be tempted to gloat: "This'll teach the Buddhist sectarian fundies a lesson!" (I don't quite get that either.)

an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gniz said...

Seriously though. What has happened to the comments section of this blog? It was always a bit silly but over the last year or so has actually become almost unreadable.

Seems like most (but not all) of the posters trying to bother to have some decent discussion have been driven away...

I blame Mysterion but that's just me.

an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Andrew,

The only problem I have with entirely anonymous posting is that it makes it hard to follow exchanges. I don't have any problem with internet nom-de-plumes. But that's just me.

As for me 'being myself'/having a 'strong personal identity' - if you've the time and inclination to scroll back through a couple of years-worth of my posts in this comment section you'll find confirmation of my name, age, location, career, affiliations and all sorts. Or you could just kick back and wait; there's bound to be more.

Of course, if you're content just to trade insults let me know and we can have at it :)

***********************************

Hi gniz,

Long time no thingy. How's tricks? I wonder if the demise of the comments section has anything to do with Brad's concentration on self-promo lately? I understand that he needs to do it and that here is the place it gets done, but... Dunno.

Harry said...

Hi an3drew,

Who's your teacher?

Regards,

H.

an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gniz said...

Hey Anon,

I think Brad's pieces on HCZ have a lot to do with the comments. I remember he wrote a really good post a little while back and there ended up being some good discussion in the comments section. So that's probably part of it...

But this place has been overrun by trolls--and I dont mean your garden variety trolls either, but posters who literally write nonsense.

I wasn't totally joking about Mysterion either. I mean, I've tried to stay away from taking shots at the guy but the way he's set up permanent residence in this section and effectively spammed this place for years on end is pretty frustrating at times. I tend to just skip over his posts but they come so frequently that it gets tiring.

And I think the nonsense and noise has reached a place where most folks literally don't bother reading in here at all. It's become something of a lunatic asylum and the inmates are running through the halls throwing feces at one another.

Like I said, not everyone fits that bill--you and Harry for starters--but more and more these days there are less and less comments worth reading around here.

Oh well. Impermanence. This place might just be cobwebs and echoes in another year or two if it keeps up.

an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gniz said...

Hi Andr3w,

That's fine. I'm not saying this place is "wrong," as in, it shouldn't exist. What I'm doing is expressing an opinion that this forum is not what it once was.

At one time in the somewhat distant past, this was a somewhat vibrant and eclectic community of people, many of them caustic or biting personalities--who discussed zen and all manner of subjects.

It was a Wild West atmosphere and it wasn't for everyone.

I'd say now it's approaching ghost town territory.

Harry said...

Hi An3drew,

Thanks for the report, but I didn't ask about your 'zen experience', I asked who your teacher is.

I think it would probably be kind of Brad not to facilitate you being abusive to people and demeaning yourself (if recognising that 'we're all monsters' is just interpreted as a blank cheque for being an asshole to people then, really, using the word 'Zen' is not fair to those 'Zen' people who at least try... if we're talking about words and meaning and all). I'm sure you'll take it personally as you seem to have convinced yourself.... But, you know, we've all been there.

I don't blame your lack of sincere effort and misunderstandings on your teachers, if they were your teachers.

Regards,


Harry.

an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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an3drew said...
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Harry said...

Hi Andrew,

I'm sorry, you don't haved the language to convince me; your use of language points to quite the opposite actually. There's a good and very practical reason for that.

The difference in the use of language to be either pointedly constructive or just offensive in line with our habitual pathology is very apparent if we care to consider what our words mean, what the intention of them is as contained in our use of them.

You aren't able to hide it which, in a way, is a good thing... if you're open to what other people have to say... but, alas it seems...

Regards,

Harry.

gniz said...

Eh, it doesn't matter that much to me either. Just making an observation and trying to discuss something other than who is more enlightened and throwing feces in the asylum hallways.

But whatever, have at it! I'll leave you and the others to the empty corridors and cackling, screaming laughter from behind the closed doors.

Maybe in the afternoon Mysterion will recite a Shakespearean sonnet to the man wearing underwear on his head and the woman who insists she's Queen Elizabeth.

Take care now, maybe I'll visit again in a few weeks or months!

R said...

Get someone to pee in your eye.

Might do you a lot of good.

SlowTroll said...

Photo Say:

"Blad Wormer Soup of the Day"

Cream of Sum Yung Gay

an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

My last one was intended to come after 5:58.

where did all those other ones come from?

+ said...

I don’t really follow the course.

I just hope an3 isn’t going to become a regular.

Harry said...

"i don't know why i am here or where its going or how long its going to last !"

This is actually a good example of an idea that Master Nishijima seems to advance at times: That it's all about intuitive action, that our discerning faculties are in some way inferior to our intuitive, universal sense of correct action. Now, Master Nishijima is a nice man, and this may be true in his case (him being a long practicing person, besides being a respected gentleman in terms of conduct due, I'm sure, to a variety of reasons).

How is this different tho to Alaister Crowley's 'Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law'? Are we closet Satanists?

I'm afraid the substantial 'truth' of this sort of thing which emphasises 'intuitive action' is really contained in what we are currently doing, and that is often very questionable... ;-)

Of course, as all teachers have, Nishijima teaches the adoption of the Precepts and normal, reasonable conduct also, even if it is with an 'intuitive' slant.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

Looks like all of An3's posts are gone now, either by his hand or possibly "infinity's"?

IMHO he was just another, like all of us,looking for some communication, some connection. I know I went about it all wrong at first, and still do from time to time.

We are all variously unhinged at times, 'tis the human nature methinks.

Let's have compassion for the lad, for each other.

Harry said...

Agreed, Mr. Mumbles.

Good call to take down all those missives from the dharmadhatu tho.

Anonymous Bob said...

An3drew was warned not to show off his bad vertical self but he defiantly waived his new toy in Brad's face. So what does a nervous ZM do? Brad grabbed ahold of it and tossed him into hinderlands. End of story.

So long Kid..

CAPTCHA : deflait : I kid you not

proulx michel said...

Brad Warner said...

The Heart Sutra is chanted every morning in loads of Zen temples. But I know of no one who goes around chanting "gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha" over & over the way you do with a standard mantra.

Well, I do everytime I run across some dead corpse by the side of (on on) the road. Like someone wrote in some book:

"If you can't bow down before that putrefying roadkill on I-76, you have no business worshipping leatherbound tomes and marble icons surrounded by stained glass".

And anyway, I don't worship leatherbound tomes (apart from my two volumes of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book). And I don't have any marble icon to worship...

anon #108 said...

I've been having an element replaced (an immersion water-heating element) and so haven't had electricity for a couple of hours. It's back on now, but I missed an3drew's latest contributions. And now I see they've gone.

Many contemporary Buddhists call such rude interruptions, such challenges to comfortable routine "opportunities for practice." I don't like the phrase one bit myself, but I understand very well what it means.

AB - I think an3drew must have deleted his posts himself, coz it says "This post has been removed by the author." I don't think that happens if/when Brad removes something - which, as we know, hardly hever happens. Could be wrong.

Hey pm - I bloody love the Fitzwilliam Virginal book, too! Haven't got a leather-bound copy, though...haven't got any copy, in fact.

john e mumbles said...

One reason I love this blog commentary, I learn something almost every day!

I'd not heard of this fascinating-sounding virginal tome b4 so wiki'd it.

I'd love to hear:

Putte upp thy Dagger, Jemy

As my (a) full-on non-de-plume is "John E Mumbles" aka "JEM"

and many others mentioned. Looks like a mother-lode...

anon #108 said...

Can't find that one, JEM - but, if you haven't got there already...

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

...and so on.

anon #108 said...

(I agree with the youtube commenter who says that performance is too slow. These are dances, not Debussy preludes - the rubato we can do without. Still, v nice.)

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

Nice! Thanks 108!!

Also found a pb copy via Amazon for about $20...

captcha: hummo

Anonymous Bob said...

108: I think you are correct.

Brad's earlier deletions don't show the telltale 'comment-deleted' stamp. But I never let common sense get in the way of a good conspiracy theory..

Mumbles: If you haven't already placed your order for the book, consider alibris.com for a good used copy starting around $7.95.

CAPTCHA : cheesaz : I kid you not

proulx michel said...

Anon #108 wrote:

Hey pm - I bloody love the Fitzwilliam Virginal book, too! Haven't got a leather-bound copy, though...haven't got any copy, in fact.

The fact is that I had mine bound in 1975, because the paper covers are bound (!) to fall apart with heavy use. The Dover edition is cheap though...

Soft Troll said...

To Harry:

I'm presently working as a supply teacher in some of the most challenging schools in England.

What I'll also dryly call 'intuitive action' is an important aspect of how I function as a teacher in my present work. It is part of how I evolve and refine my interactions with students (and colleagues) in often extreme circumstances.

My 'discerning faculties' as well as all the rest are wholly functioning most of the time in lessons. One loose word or action and my career could be over. One loose word or action and within seconds a fight could break out.

Without my 'discerning faculties' there can't be any 'intuitive action' realised as the next situation's 'discerning faculties' doing 'intuitive action'.

That I allow 'intuitive action' to play a greater a role in how I respond to situations, I recognise as my increased maturity as a high school teacher. There are further ramifications.

Perhaps this is something close to what Mr Nishijima might have been trying to express. I don't know.

I'm sure your Dogen will provide some sharp angles on the matter again. But he'll have to wait in the dark while I get on with it (I don't like wiping spit from my face).

#108 wrote:

"Many contemporary Buddhists call such rude interruptions, such challenges to comfortable routine "opportunities for practice." I don't like the phrase one bit myself, but I understand very well what it means."

To #108

What phrase if any would you use instead of "opportunities for practice"?

Brad Warner said...

That's not my girlfriend. It's the actress who plays one of the girls I chase around in the movie.

anon #108 said...

Hi ST,

I can't think of many, if any, occasions when I'd need to use any such phrase - other than in a discussion such as this. What I don't like about "opportunity for practice" is that it suggests certain moments in our life afford us the chance to put our Buddhist ideas into practice, to behave like Buddhists, in a "What would Buddha do?" kinda way. It separates our behaviour, or our way of thinking about our behaviour, into 'ordinary' activity and 'Buddhist' activity...the actions of the ordinary imperfect me and those of the (aspiring-to-be-)perfect Buddhist me. That's how I hear it, and I don't think it reflects the real, whole situation - which isn't divided into 'opportunities for Buddhist practice' and 'the rest of the time'. (To say that all times are opportunities for Buddhist practice might make more sense, but the phrase then becomes redundant - I don't think it's helpful to think of my life as an opportunity to to do "Buddhist" things.)

To answer your question...I might prefer something like "opportunity not to do the wrong thing".

Brad Warner said...

Gniz, like you I am baffled by the comments section. It can't be all down to the promotional stuff. The current piece has plenty of material for discussion.

As for promo... Look. I cannot produce Zen insights on command like some kind of Zen insight machine. Does any other Zen blogger post as much as I do? I wouldn't know, because I don't read them. But I tend to doubt it.

This is because one simply cannot do that. Most Zen teachers I know of do a dharma talk once a month. People expect the equivalent of a dharma talk three or four times a week from me. It just is not going to happen.

So I fill in the gaps with what I think is interesting trivia and promotion.

I'm not trying to bitch about this. I'm just stating facts.

But, yeah, this place has gone from a haven for trolls who at least had something to say to a place where people post complete nonsense.

By the way, if you see "comment deleted by author" that means the comment was deleted by the author of the comment, not by me.

SlowTroll said...

(Not me at 10:21 AM by the way)yeah Brad, we know she's not your girlfriend. You don't have a girlfriend, but you have "friends."

And fuck gniz, sanctimoneous gnat. Hope he stays away now for many many months.

Daniel Reese Wise Jr said...

"a good example of this is the way we deal with the Heart Sutra, which is considered by many to be the single most important sutra in Zen, the one that defines Zen as a distinct form of Buddhism. It ends with a whole big long section that says how wonderful this one mantra is and how everyone should proclaim it. I do not know, nor have I even heard rumors about, a single Zen Buddhist who chants that mantra"

We chant the heart sutra everytime after zazen. At the New Orleans Zen Temple (www.Nozt.org) And I know the other affilated Sanghas in Mississippi do as well.

So know you do know some Buddhists who chant the heart sutra. :)

anon #108 said...

...or perhaps I don't like the word "practice" coz I'm lazy and/or scared of falling short of expectations? Whateva innit :)


Hi Brad,

I hear you about the balance of promo and deeep insight stuff. You're right, there is a balance. Even if there weren't, this blog is yours to do whatever you want with.

The state of the comments section is not your fault. Being un-moderated, it's always had a life of its own. But it would be strange of there were no connection at all between what you post and the vibe/content of the comments...at least some of them.

Some days it's fun to read, others days not so much. There's no use complaining about it, IMO. If folks want a better comment section, they should make one.

anon #108 said...

Hi Daniel Reese Wise Jr,

Way back in this crappy ol comments section (@ 3.15pm) Brad responded to someone who'd similarly misunderstood/misread what he wrote:

"The Heart Sutra is chanted every morning in loads of Zen temples. But I know of no one who goes around chanting "gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha" over & over the way you do with a standard mantra." (my bold)

Uncle Willie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
merciless said...

One group of HZ readers is sincerely interested in understanding Buddhism.

The other group was interested in understanding Buddhism but.. not so much after they sniffed out what was involved.

Both groups are disillusioned because of reading this blog. One group is glad about being disillusioned and maybe even grateful.

The other group, habitually not so grateful, enjoy undermining things.

merciless said...

Why is a troll with an account better than a troll without one?

anonymous anonymous said...

How about mysterion's self-indulgent, endlessly repeated non sequiturs. Talk about annoying.

Anonymous said...

Brad Warner wrote:

The Heart Sutra is the standard sutra chanted at pretty much any relevant occasion at Zen temples and centers. It works for everything from morning services to funerals and everything in between.

Source: http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/HeartSutra.html

Every Zen center and temple chants the Heart Sutra with the mantra. Only Koreans etc. does the mantra with three times, over and over again.

Anonymous said...

And here's an example from a Soto Zen temple chanting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIV1vQuKuyU

As you can hear, the mantra is chanted ONCE which is a normal custom in Zen Buddhism.

Lone Wolf said...

Tupac seemed to never return to himself after he played the role of Bishop in the film "Juice." It's like he took on that persona.

Lone Wolf said...
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R said...

I didn’t like what brad said in the second part of his post. (- the answer to the questions)

I won’t relate in detail, - but my last post in my blog (if you don’t know where it is you just can’t get there, - that is life) is partly about it.

- There is another point - but if you get there you [will] see it took me long enough to get to that one point.

Maybe another time, - the other one.


Go read.

I’ll check the stats tomorrow.

Excalibur said...

R’s blog will get you nowhere.

Anonymous said...

i like it when you talk about zen. thats why i come here. i'm going to press the donate button soon. as soon as i get a job, or my business takes off...which ever is the sooner.

Anonymous said...

Im not a regular follower but I truly felt sorry for An3 like a misguided Don Quijote on an endless battle against the windmills of zen

Anonymous said...

They

Hurt

Those

That

Help

Them

and

Help

Those

That

hurt

them

Sean said...

And yes - so my impression holds, at least: Yes, Zen is nutty! 8)