Thursday, June 23, 2011

Talk At Ordinary Mind Zendo


It's my mom's birthday. So here's a photo of her and me in Nairobi, Kenya on some Christmas in the 70s. Happy Birthday mom, wherever you are!

And before you go making up your own versions of what transpired last Saturday at Ordinary Mind Zendo in New York, please have a listen to the recording of the talk.

For those who may not be seeing that link, here's the URL:

http://hardcorezen.libsyn.com/transference-transmission-adolescence-adulthood-life-and-death

It will also appear shortly on iTunes. Search for Hardcore Zen Podcast. The title will be something like "Transference, Transmission, Adolescence, Adulthood, Life and Death." Last I checked (11 AM EST 6/23/11) it wasn't up yet. But it'll be there soon enough.

By the way, I got a very nice email from Mr Magid explaining his side of what happened. I think I didn't quite grasp how people were feeling about Joko Beck's death. You'll hear that I faltered badly in my attempt at saying something about it at the beginning of the talk. Having botched this, I decided to change gears and go right into what I'd prepared. The talk had been advertised as being about my new book Sex, Sin And Zen. So that's the talk I gave.

In any case, as I said before, I enjoyed this talk. I thought it went really well. Honestly.

And Barry Magid said he got some obscene emails from people who saw this blog. STOP THAT SHIT. Seriously. That's not nice.

172 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stephen Furst?

john e mumbles said...

Doh!...er,Deuce again.

Anonymous said...

Happy postmortem birthday to Sandra Warner.

gniz said...

I'm not sure what was going on but in my opinion those questions brought out the best in Brad. He handled them really, really, really well. And my read on the woman psychoanalyst who asked that first question about transference was that she seemed to have a genuine question and wasn't simply ambushing Brad.

But he answered her quite well, and she even responded somewhat positively to him at a certain point during his answer.

Barry Magid made a comment that did seem to be challenging. Maybe he was "testing" Brad a little or maybe Barry is a dick. Not sure, don't know, maybe both are the case.

But Brad handled that deftly as well. He never got angry or defensive. Listening to this changed my perception of Brad. You should have plants in the audience bust your balls because somehow it elevated the talk and brought out some great stuff.

I do wonder--maybe there is a part of Brad that needs these challenges, needs the adversaries to bring out the part of him that is living for what feels important. Maybe there's a bit of the adrenaline junky in him...because he does seem to invite and even relish the challenges that come his way.

But I cannot find a place where Brad stepped wrong in listening to the audio--and believe me, I wanted to see it.

Great talk. You should go back there again soon.

gniz said...

Reposted the above from last comments section because I was a bit critical of Brad before actually hearing the audio. Since hearing it I totally change my tune...

I agree the Joko Beck stuff could have been more eloquent but you tried and you were honest about it...

Anonymous said...

Has anybody heard of this meditation teacher?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/fashion/andy-puddicombes-meditation-for-the-rushed.html?_r=1

Mysterion said...

"And Barry Magid said he got some obscene emails from people who saw this blog. STOP THAT SHIT. Seriously. That's not nice."

JFC...

Boundaries... there are boundaries.

Somebody needs a little fetchin' up in life.

If you can't get your sh*t together and thus feel you must email Barry Magid, then email Swami $1,000,000 instead.

East Coast people, that's DOCTOR Swami. Others, is just 'swami-dude.'

Anonymous said...

So after listening to the talk, I'm perplexed regarding all the 'heat' that has been generated.

The Q&A was pretty low-key and the answers direct and the back-and-forth honest and heart-felt. I didn't get the sense that anyone was being set-up in any way for an ambush.

The most revealing quote was something to the effect (from Brad) that:

'what I do when I give a public talk like this is entertainment'

Mysterion said...

I'm no critic, but there IS a difference between NY and LA.

Anonymous Bob said...

I wasn't sure what to expect after reading about the event, but it wasn't like I thought it was going to be. Brad started off haltingly and seem a little uncomfortable but not because of the questions. The difficult questions actually got him going. He seemed to use those pointed questions to focus. They seemed to lift him out of trying to be entertaining and it then became a very interesting talk that got better as it went on.

CAPTCHA : somant : I kid you not

Moon Face Buddha said...

That psychoanalyst has a stick up her ass.

Anonymous said...

awesome intro music on the podcast! who is it?

gniz said...

To be fair on why there was some amount of "heat," it did seem that Barry Magid was a bit critical of Brad, maybe borderline insulting in his question at one point.

But without seeing his face and body language it's a little harder to say--he could have been trying to give Brad some nudging in the spirit that Brad seems to give other crap occasionally...who knows? It was a strange moment for sure.

Again, he didn't just continue to beat Brad up or insult him, he let Brad answer and I do think it brought out some great responses from Brad.

All around, nothing for anyone to feel upset or ashamed about...

Anonymous said...

GNITZ!

How the hell are ya buddy?

Perpetual Adolescent said...

I'm sure Barry explained his "perpetual adolescent" comment to Brad and Brad will probably not reveal much about it here, but it was the one really weird point in the talk. I would love to hear Barry's explanation of it. Did the emotions of Joko's funeral get the best of him? I guess we'll never know.. But it did contrast with Brad using his emotions to focus himself and deliver a great talk.

Anonymous said...

M at 9:10 AM:

Not when it comes to pompous assholes.

Olivetti said...

Brad, Did you get a Pachinko game at Christmas? Praise Jesus!

Lone Wolf said...

Not that my opinion matters much in the first place, but I don't feel my first response based on the anonymous article was rude and I would never send nasty emails (that's just fucking stipid). I can see both sides of the story now and glad to hear Barry wrote Brad a nice email. As I said then, I like both Brad and Barry's books and was bummed out that there seemed to be a squabble between the two of them.

I'm a big Joko Beck fan and sent my respects via Facebook on the day she died. Her last words were "This too is wonder," and for some reason that almost made me shed a tear of joy. I feel she has made one of the largest impacts on developing an American Buddhism. Here is a link to an excellent 30 minute documentry about her called Nothing Special (it might not play on some computers, but it worked on mine):

http://www.buddhistmedia.com/uitzending.aspx?lIntEntityId=81&lIntType=0

If that doesn't work, here is a snippet of the same film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqVKb-WABQA

Lone Wolf said...

I do think Brad handled the Barry's challenge well. I would have probably broke down, got angry, or ran out the room or something.

mtto said...

awesome intro music on the podcast! who is it?

Intro and Outro music for the podcast by "The Hell of Dark Metal." It's just Brad and me. The name comes from the English translation of one of the Sino-Korean chants at Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles. The two riffs on the intro music are by Brad.

PA said...

Great talk, Brad. I didn't see a problem with the questions, and you dealt with as if there wasn't a problem too :-)

(And thanks, Lone Wolf for the Joko Beck link.)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Great. Fucking. Talk!
Especially the part about
"dharma transmission".

If it's not a betrayal of
her privacy, is there any
chance you could offer a
link to some of the artwork
of Nishijima's silent dharma
heir in the UK?

Being a zen teacher must
really suck. Maybe you
could make a living
telling pirate jokes,
and then tell people
if they like the jokes,
they're welcome to come
stare at a wall with you.

Anyhow, thanks for putting
yourself out there.

Argh!

Lone Wolf said...

Your welcome, PA. I had been looking for a copy of the Nothing Special doc for years. You can't find it. So I was pretty happy when I came across that streaming link of the film.

Brad Warner said...

Olivetti, I did indeed get a pachinko machine for Christmas. Which means I made a mistake on the caption. The photo must have been taken the first Christmas after we returned from Africa. We still had the same furniture and my mom still had the perm.

Brad Warner said...

Anonymous said:
Being a zen teacher must
really suck. Maybe you
could make a living
telling pirate jokes,
and then tell people
if they like the jokes,
they're welcome to come
stare at a wall with you.


It doesn't suck. Not all the time. But I would rather be a stand-up comedian sometimes.

Brad Warner said...

To Gniz, Lone Wolf and everyone...

Isn't it funny? When people were using their imaginations to make up what they thought the talk was like there were over a hundred comments. Now that the talk is there to hear, just a few people comment.

I'm not saying it's good or bad. It's just fascinating.

hippiechic said...

Very cute pic! I'm sure your mom is proud of you and the work you're doing!! Still waiting for you to come to North Carolina!

Karen said...

Erm ....... did anyone notice the word "adopt" in that perpetual adolescent comment? A question that sounds an awful lot like, "Do you think the way you were raised has anything to do with why you choose to put on a green striped shirt rather than a blue check one?" ......hmmm

Soft Troll said...

To Harry, who wrote:

I don't really feel like I have to convince you, and you'll probably just come to another set of spurious inferences anyway; but I've engaged in supervision from a trained counsellor/supervisor in the workplace in a Social Care setting and, while I'm not a therapist and tend to be involved more with groups than one-on-one, I think it's fair to say that I have a reasonable sense of its practical advantages as an ongoing process.


I did not assume that you were bereft of practical experience. I am aware that such courses entail not only very valuable and sound research, based on experience, but also a requirement to gain experience. You are also a human being.

As a teacher I had to actually teach in two schools for nine months. This did not prepare me for the whole lived experience of being a professional.

I've also done three stints at universities and am very aware of the the often unavoidable, often avoidable discrepancies that exist between researchers/ research and the lived experiences of professionals.

It was not spurious to trust your own word that you are a student. And my conjectures based from that on your posts have at least the same level of value that you are quick to apply to others.

The main thrust of my critique I hope you are able not to shove into the "spurious inferences" bin.

We must make sure they are spurious.

And we must also take care of the weight our rhetoric carries amidst declaring a scholarly, humanistic, or any other 'interest' when applying it to real professionals who happen to leak some very human traits, as in the Brad-Magrid rudeness.

It is all very well to play rhetorical hard-ball, and to take digs at things like "cherished beliefs".

But this attitude can also slip into an idealistic codification of the realist-as-hero, the wind-bitten iconoclast justifying yet another punch up with the world.

I do not know you, but I am aware of how you have justified your interactions. Spurious or not, being witness to very real characters having very real effects, leads me, as it has done you, to offer notes of caution.

I went into teaching with my eyes open and what I considered to be a good heart. I have caused much pain, have much to regret. And I'm pretty sure you already know what I'm taking about.

Soft Troll said...

it's just

Red Radish said...

Brad, Barry's question about you 'adopting' the persona of a perpetual adolescent was interesting. I'm wondering if you still feel it was rude.. I don't think you deny there is an element of that in your personality. Is it a taboo subject?

However he meant it, it was not the same thing as calling you a perpetual adolescent. That would be akin to calling you a retard. He didn't actually do that. I thought he felt it was a device. He was querying you on it's meaning. Was he asking about you as a salesman or as an artist or teacher? It's unclear.. It's like when he said your blog had a following of various stripe.. Should we be insulted because of what that might mean out of all the possibilities?

Harry said...

It is all very well to play rhetorical hard-ball, and to take digs at things like "cherished beliefs".

GOOD! I think it's well too, and I wish some people would find it easier.

But this attitude can also slip into an idealistic codification of the realist-as-hero, the wind-bitten iconoclast justifying yet another punch up with the world.

At least it's not boring. It would be a matter of individual choice and temperament methinks.

I do not know you, but I am aware of how you have justified your interactions. Spurious or not, being witness to very real characters having very real effects, leads me, as it has done you, to offer notes of caution.

Well, there you go, I suppose.

Seems like the trend of half assedly psychoanalysisng people based on assumptions and a lack of info/direct experience is cathching on in these parts!

The pursuit of professional standards in therapy, and in Social Care settings, and in all professions, will invariably involve a sort of ongoing critical tension between what we do and what we think/ theorise about it (the idealism etc). This is a dynamic process, both of looking in and out and at our ways of relating.

Yes, there will certainly be human mistakes, and it is critically important that we are aware of them and that we reflect on them, and that we take on board *genuine & informed* commentary from others (i.e. not just inference from email, for example), but, fuck it, sometimes you just feel like saying something. Brad does pretty well in this regard, its sort of admirable, if not always particularly pretty or successful. It trumps the shit out of being a tight-lipped, aloof, 'enlightened' growbag as far as I'm concerned. That's not at all generous or clever.

There will be cut and thrust, there will be challenges, unfamiliar things will have to be adopted and familiar things will have to be adapted or jettisoned... like all things human it will be messy, and it is not a pursuit I'd recommend to shrinking violets who are overly concerned with not offending others or tiptoeing around the agreed values of others, or institutions, or themselves, or whatever.

Bring on all yer half-assed, lazy, sloppy shit, world: I'm a-punchin'!

Regards,

Harry.

Soft Troll said...

Well said Harry.

The inference drawn that I/we/you/others have been psychoanalysing is, of course, only the half of the ass.

Good luck with shuffling the other half.

Harry said...

Hi Soft Troll.

I haven't psychoanalysed anyone. I was just pointing out the rather obvious fact that a person calling himself 'a professional analyst' acted in quite an unprofessional way in public on an occasion (a way not consistent with clearly stated professional standards; it's quite a clear situation that does not require much extra inference if you are familiar with the values on which the stated standards are based), and that there is some blurring going on between the roles of professional analyst and zen teacher.

I don't really care what peoples' unconscious reasons for doing this are. That voodoo is really quite another story.

Regards,

Harry.

buddy said...

as a 'fan' of both brad and barry, i'm glad that things have apparently been cleared up.

here's something by zen teacher norman fischer that i just stumbled upon, seems apropros somehow.

'When I was in Mexico in December one of the Mexican women in our retreat presented me with a wonderful challenge. This is why I love to practice in Mexico. People there take the practice at face value, exactly as it is, and they are willing to question it. She said to me, you are talking about loving kindness and closeness to each other and yet I watch many of the students who are very experienced and I see that they are not kind or happy. Some of them are mean and seem angry or depressed. And then she told me of several encounters she had had with very experienced students who were in fact short tempered or mean. So this was a good challenge.

I remember in one sutra the Buddha said to a king, Look at my disciples. They are relaxed and friendly, they are happy and full of ease. That’s how you can measure my teaching.

This is true. You can judge a teaching by the people who practice it, how they are. But this is not a perfect way to judge the truth of a teaching, first, because sometimes karma is strong, stronger, at least in the short run, than our effort in practice. So yes, sometimes there are experienced students, even teachers, even great teachers, whose conduct and way of being is sometimes, or even often, not good. But also looking at others is not a perfect way to judge because we don’t look with an unprejudiced eye. We look with a prejudiced eye and we see what our conditioning shapes, what our assumptions and ideologies dictate... As I said before, there is no objective view. All views are conditioned views. So the best way to test and see is with your own experience, going deeply and sensitively into it. As I said to the woman in Mexico, you should see for yourself. Does the practice seem to help your life? Does it seem to bring more happiness and inspire more kindness? Does it bring some calmness and stability? These qualities don’t have to be with you all of the time - or even at all. But if you feel in your heart of hearts that practice is moving you in that direction, even if you are not there yet, even if you never get there- is there any other way to live? But you decide. And I say the same to all of you.'

AllenR108 said...

After listening to the recording of the talk I don't buy the excuses about the feeling of A FEW people about the death of Joko Beck. There was joking and giggling at the introduction of Brad and during the beginning of the talk.
What I got from listening to this talk was that Brad was touching on some very sensitive nerves about authority that Barry was taking as personal criticisms of his particular style of teaching. I can just see Barry squirming during this whole talk.
So when the bully doesn't like the message, instead of dealing with the message, because deep down he knows the messenger is right, he resorts to personal attacks on the messenger.
If Brad is a perpetual child he handles himself and comes across as, a very likable, attractive, mature adult. While Barry, the very serious, mature ACTING adult, comes across as an immature,repulsive jerk.
After listening to this talk I have a very simple test:with whom would you rather associate, Barry or Brad? I would invite Brad over for some BBQ and beer. I'd let Barry come over to wash my car; so long as I didn't have to talk to him afterwards. Wax on, wax off.
To me the essence of Zen is the answer to this question: Does the practice of Zazen help you become the type person with whom you and others would like to hang out? Are you now a likable soul? Brad comes across as a very likable soul.
My girlfriends' father is the most likable soul I've ever met. He likes to fish and hunt, he likes country music, all things I don't care for. And a lot of things I like, he doesn't. But I like him. A lot. He has a way of making everyone feel like they are his best friend and that they themselves are very likable even when they aren't. It's not forced in anyway, it's natural, it's who he is. He's a zen master.

Jules said...

Brad wrote: To Gniz, Lone Wolf and everyone...

Isn't it funny? When people were using their imaginations to make up what they thought the talk was like there were over a hundred comments. Now that the talk is there to hear, just a few people comment.

I'm not saying it's good or bad. It's just fascinating.


It's like how the best horror movies don't actually show the scary thing right away. It's scarier when they force you to imagine it in your head first.

'Course, then if it turns out to be a guy in a hokey rubber costume, that's just pure awesome.

Anonymous said...

Brad, I have a question about a remark you made in your talk. Have you really seen (and do you still see) visions of Fred Flintstone during zazen? It sounds dumb asking you this, I guess. It sounded like you might have been joking...but maybe not? I do know from my own experience, and from many stories I've heard, that people do have weird experiences, and sometimes hallucinations during zazen. Especially during long periods of practice.
I just wanted to know if that was a joke or if you were serious.

Thanks for doing what you do. :)

buddy said...

AllenR108 said: "I can just see Barry squirming during this whole talk...Barry, the very serious, mature ACTING adult, comes across as an immature,repulsive jerk."wow, that's totally not the impression i got from the talk at all. seems like these are impressions carried over from the original account by anonymous (the publishing of which i feel at this point was a mistake on brad's part). chief among the erroneous comments: "barry magrid (psychoanalyst and zen teacher who heads up the zendo) said, 'with that shirt we would have thrown you out. it's inappropriate for a funeral.' if he was joking, it didn't come across that way and nobody laughed." -this was blatantly not true, as there was plenty of laughter. "then the other psychotherapist--barry magrid--said, 'do you think that unresolved problems in your childhood might have something to do with your acting like a perpetual adolescent and refusing to become an adult?" -this was r totally out of context, as brad was specifically talking about his teaching style re: authority in terms of his relationship with his teachers, and barry prefaced his comment with a reference to those relationships (and which again was met with warm gales of laughter). and his general implication that the zendo was a stuffy, hostile place was also belied by the constant laughter and interaction.

to brad i would suggest in the future that a lot of hype, bad feelings and conclusion-jumping would be avoided if the most accurate account of a situation (eg. a recording) be released BEFORE a 2nd hand re-telling that was obviously full of bias and inaccuracy.

Anonymous said...

In my worthless opinion, Dr. Magid's remarks about "sock puppet", "that shirt" and "perpetual adolescent" sounded like attempts at humor that did not completely succeed.

zen asshole said...

AllenR said, "Barry, the very serious, mature ACTING adult, comes across as an immature,repulsive jerk."

You do sound like an immature, small-minded asshole, Allen. It must feel so good being so right and so zen. It's fascinating how everyone seems to have a version of what zen really means, having a good time in life, being likable etc, all seem to have in common ME ME ME.

There you go Brad, hate and controversy generate comments.

Mysterion said...

YAWN.

Why are the trolls attempting to make a divide where there is no divide?

Could it be that they are really just pissed off at the Methodists who resist dancing with Pentecostal Rattlesnakes? Or is there some other veiled insecurity that they are fogging over?

There is no division between Buddhists - even in light of the apparent divisions.

Black hat? fine.

Red hat? fine

Purple hat? sure, why not?

No hat? Yep, that works too!

Even cathaholics have hat colors.

Then there's funky hat...

Tolerance... tolerance for hats - or no hats alike.

AllenR108 said...

@Zen Asshole-Aptly named. There is no hate for Barry. Pity would be a better word. Yes everyone has their own idea of what Zen is. I'm sure you want to get the apostles together and make a bible so Zen can have one and only one gospel. How boring.

JuicyLucy said...

Having listened to the talk, that all seemed quite innocuous to me. It hardly even registered on my radar for what counts as "confrontational". Just nonsense and stuff and maybe even some valid points.

Full marks all around.

Mysterion said...

Blogger AllenR108 said...
"There is no hate for Barry."
[among Buddhists®]

"Pity would be a better word."
[pity??? or curiosity: 'What was he thinking?'

"Yes everyone has their own idea of what Zen is."
Yes. Zen is as individual as the individual. Yet, Zen is as universal as all of those who sit Zazen.

"...get the apostles together and make a bible..."
LOL

The apostles did not write the NT. Parts of the NT were first written and later attributed to apostles and disciples (which are different).

APOSTLE is from Greek apostolos. Apo means FROM and stello means SEND. It means “sent from.”

Disciple means a learner or pupil. In Greek, the word disciple referred to an adherent of a particular teacher within a particular philosophical school. The disciple learned, studied, and passed along the sayings of the master.

Paul was not a disciple but claimed to be an apostle. Likewise St. John the Evangelist was an apostle without being a disciple. There is no codified set of disciples or apostles in the historical sense. By Codex Lindisfarne (700 CE) there was some stability in the lists.

I could go on... but I've retired (repeatedly). Find it for yourselves. Find your own way. The path will ever be beneath you feet. &ct.

Mysterion said...

Dear Brad:

You were skirting the "artificial constructs" of members within a certain culture.

If Puritans adopted Zen, it would be culturally different from the Zen adopted by Lakota Indians.

The "giant rock" (by the way) contains a Buddha Statue that is unrevealed or yet to be liberated.

It is actually become the quintessential part of a Zen garden - if so placed by intention.

BTW: It was an excellent talk (IMO).

The part about ordination (dharma transmission) sans the later embellishments was a nice touch.

"That can happen." LOL

(I heard that - flat deadpan - myself).

Mysterion said...

Flipancy - for not being a surrogate mother???

Give me a BREAK!

Brad backed her down nicely...

... By the by...

"Being in a mental space where things happen..."

You forgot to append that 'fling' with her extended retreat to Tassajara.

All's well that ends well...

NO

All ends that ends.

Adopt a persona... (?)

We are products of our [unique] experiences.

We are NOT products of others projections.

Anonymous said...

is mysterion stupid or what?

Mysterion said...

yes.

stupid... (in your perspective)

my comments are to Brad, not YOU.

or what?

john e mumbles said...

Just weighing in on the podcast, which I heard at three different sittings over a couple days due to stuff going on...

Its a bit confusing why you called it initially
"Weirdest Zen Talk Ever." Really? spun via the initial anonymous e-mail that you led everyone to believe that there was a "controversy..." And now you've backed off, even taken the either or/and approach with simply "Talk at O.M." Acting like you wonder why anyone was commenting that way -see your own comment here at 7:24 AM .

But then I've never made it all the way through one of your "Zen" talks so I have nothing really to compare this with.

It seems pretty tame to me.

What I was struck with was the criticisms of these "serious" Zensters about your approach as a Zen teacher, -which frankly I appreciate- and how I feel about your "punk" thing.

You mentioned how according to "punk rock ethics" you are expected to do certain things, and live a particular way "even with a shaved head like a monk" while when I consider punk rock as I live and breath it as a cultural phenom it is more wide open and akin to what you were saying about Zen as Art expression.

I guess I am taking exception to your example of "punk" as one way of looking at it as opposed to the many ways there are to interpret it.

The Crass are a very good example. They are not particularly (or at all) "straight edge" (as you would in the podcast interpret "punk" as you understand it I suppose) but more of an organic growth out of Hippie culture, really.

Not to split hairs on that point because as evidenced in th podcast yours is the ONLY "Zen" approach out there right now that makes any sense at all (to this "punk").

Lone Wolf said...

Brad said, "Isn't it funny? When people were using their imaginations to make up what they thought the talk was like there were over a hundred comments. Now that the talk is there to hear, just a few people comment.

I'm not saying it's good or bad. It's just fascinating."

That is rather fascinating. Who was it that said people love drama (especially their own) because it reconfirms their sense of self? We love to be right about our assumptions. Drama is entertaining. Peace is boring.

Blame it on reality tv lol. Even so called "real news" is like hyper-dramatic reality tv these days. I guess it's always been like that to some degree.

That is why sitting Zazen is so important. It allows you to enjoy boredom and be entertained but the more subtle and mundane things in life. But Zen is too important to take so seriously.

Lone Wolf said...

I wonder how many people who read this blog actually sit daily Zazen?That's not a challenge, or a snarky comment, just a curious thought.

Mysterion said...

I just relistened (is that a word) and rate it as the best... that I have heard.

As a result, there's paper in your dana box.

But then, aside from SFZC, Diesel, and SFZC a few years ago, I've heard less than 5 of your book talks.

another PodCast.

But then. what do I know?

Nothing?

No.

Nothing about nothing - or less.

Mysterion said...

Zazen?

49 years.

I thought it would help me advance as a judo player.

It didn't.

Soft Troll said...

To Harry

I haven't psychoanalysed anyone

Maybe not Harry.

And I wrote:

I do not know you, but I am aware of how you have justified your interactions. Spurious or not, being witness to very real characters having very real effects, leads me, as it has done you, to offer notes of caution.

Being able to read posts from the same address and apprehend patterns of explicit/implicit meaning (say, self-justification, for example) doesn't necessarily mean we've been Freuding it about. I find it a shame Jinzang no longer posts here.

And I'm aware, for instance, of your sensitivities to nothing being covered, or to seeing the situation through emails, and making emails through the situation.

Making what we will of "genuine & informed", I take it as perhaps a little punch-drunk, also. A hearty cocktail.

That folk have sent Mr Magrid their hard-nosed opinions by email doesn't make me feel so good.

Very real characters, wouldn't you agree?

The throw-about use of 'psychoanalyse' (there is some 'psychoanalysing' in it, innit?) is mixed up with variously informed ones - as with the recurrence of 'voodoo' and its cognates. One might also taste the shaman in usages such as 'temperament', but not always 'intuition'.

We reach over ourselves. Nonetheless it is fun to have a plastic mosquito in the short of my back.

These word games can be mulish, even asinine at times.

Live long and prosper.

tattoozen said...

As I listened to the podcast it was immediately evident from the snarky intro that this group thought that they were going to get a laugh out of (or perhaps at) this "punk rock zen guy" and then were terribly offended when instead of being their monkey he actually (and accidentally) challenged their (apparently) deeply held beliefs. Specifically the belief that it was OK for them to accept someone elses responsibility under the guise of being psychoanalysts and "transference".

The woman who accused Brad of being 'flippant' sounded angry that Brad basically advocated personal responsibility even among "students". The group didnt like this, most groups dont, they like hierarchies, various levels of superiority and "transference" is just psycho-babble for "its ok for me to tell you what to do since Im a therapist/long time zen student."

Some folks and apparently Barry himself have advanced that Joko's death makes their behaviour acceptable. Plenty of people manage to be civil to the worst insufferable assholes at a friend or families funeral and memorials because its the compassionate thing to do, Ive done it and I bet so have all of you. You dont invite someone into your group and then act out your mourning by acting like a prick, even a child knows how to be polite.

With this groups reaction and the sex "scandals" of late its pretty clear that many people, even long time zen folk, at the end of the day want someone else to be responsible for their lives. They want someone to blame when things go wrong and someone to tell them how to be happy, they want the outside world to somehow fix the inside one and its bullshit. Ultimately and at its core punk rock was supposed to be about overthrowing the urge to have an authority figure direct your life. You want a magazine, make it yourself, you want a show, call the band and book it yourself, you want happiness, reach inside and pull some up but you dont go looking for someone else to do the hard work for you.

Funnily enough by the end of the talk Brad sounded like the "adult" and Barry and the stick-up-her-butt psychoanalyst sounded like petulant children.

Sai Kumar Reddy said...

Some of the zen literature does have incidents where Zen masters and their students talking to each other rather roughly, making fun of each other, hitting each other, pushing each other. Lin Chi, Huang Po come to mind. Then there's Yun Men who makes cutting remarks all the time. So perhaps these interactions are just people sizing each other up, may be see how they react.I don't know. Some times we do need to be challenged in ways that are not comfortable to us, not abusive but some discomfort may be just right.

john e mumbles said...

You ain't no punk, you punk
You wanna talk about the real junk?
If I ever slip, I'll be banned
'Cause I'm the garbageman

Well you can't dig me, you can't dig nothin'
Do you want the real thing
Or are you just talkin'?

Do you understand?
I'm the garbageman.

Yeah, somethin' from the garage
And down the driveway
Now get outta your mind
And get outta my way

Now do you understand?
Do you understand?

Louie, louie, louie, lou-i
The bird's the word and do you know why?
You gotta beat it with a stick
You gotta beat it 'til it's thick
You gotta live until you're dead
You gotta rock 'til you see red

Now do you understand?
Do you understand?
I'm the garbageman
Aw, jump on and ride...

Yeah it's just what you need
When you're down in the dumps
One half hillbilly
And one half punk
Big long legs and one big mouth
The hottest thing from the north
To come out of the south

Do you understand?
Do you understand?

Whoo, I can't lose
With the stuff I use
And you don't choose no substitutes
So stick out your can
'Cause I'm the garbageman

Louie, louie, louie, lou-i
The bird's the word and do you know why?
You gotta beat it with a stick
You gotta beat it 'til it's thick
You gotta live until you're dead
You gotta rock 'til you see red

Now do you understand?
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
All right, hop off.

Mysterion said...

Transference - you get off of one street car with your baggage and get onto another street cat.

It's still YOUR baggage.

The one "nurture mama" (who was NOT a psychoanalyst) rather obviously could have benefited from some.

Brad most obviously did not conform to their projections and - in total - he made them face the projection issue at that moment. I think that this group will kick the can around the room for a year and invite Brad back!

Mysterion said...

Perpetual Adolescent said...
"I'm sure Barry explained his "perpetual adolescent"..."

How can you be sure?

I suspect subliminal power politics here but that suspicion is no more than my projection... };-)

Wait until after sunrise - less will be subliminal.

john e mumbles said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVLpaiH2hbQ

Anonymous said...

'The Good Book: A Humanist Bible' A.C. Grayling

http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/the-science-reader/the-good-book-a-humanist-bible





A.C. Grayling On 'The Good Book: A Humanist Bible'

http://www.kuow.org/program.php?id=23491

john e mumbles said...

I was ready for Punk Rock to happen. In 1973-74 I was going over to friend's houses with Iggy's RAW POWER under my arm, making them take Bob Segar off the turntable and ask me WTF?

In 1975 I was a DJ at the college station when Patti Smith's HORSES came through, hot on the heels of Peter Tosh and other great reggae.

Then HIGH TIMES magazine had a PUNK mag insert with the cartoons of John Holstrom writ by Legs McNeal featuring THE RAMONES. Their debut lp came soon after and I played it to death at the station.

RICHARD HELL AND THE VOIDOIDS were also a fave, along with the DOLLS earlier and THE HEARTBREAKERS (Johnny Thunders, not that Dylan wannabe Tom Petty and).

The along came THE SEX PISTOLS...

I loved all the hardcore stuff out of California that came later, BLACK FLAG, THE CIRCLE JERKS, etc. and other parts of the country, especially the "straight edge" band MINOR THREAT... but we were never "straight edge." That seemed like an extremist "punk" attitude that was borderline skinhead -I know now that isn't/wasn't the case, but whatever, we were, as the DK's sang "Too Drunk To Fuck." Or stoned.

I don't to this day feel that the majority of "punks" then and now live the strictly "straight edge" philosophy of no drugs, no booze, and in some cases, no sex.

That is why I took issue with Brad in this podcast for blithely misrepresenting "punk" as one thing only while in the same talk deftly explaining how "zen" is a multi-colored expressive artform ...er...

Anonymous said...

new york...

Brad Warner said...

John e Mumbles:

I said the talk was the weirdest ever because that's how it felt immediately afterward. Now, a week later, it doesn't seem as weird as it did then.

I wonder which opinion is correct.

And, yeah, punk is lots of things. I probably described it as I did during the talk because I looked at the people and figured they had no idea what punk was other than heroin addicted Sid Vicious murdering his girlfriend. Which may, in fact, have been wrong. It was just a guess, though.

The kind of punk I participated in turns out to have been just one relatively minor strain.

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

tattoozen, i suggest listening to the talk again without your 'deeply held beliefs' regarding the need to demonize Barry and his sangha. Cause i sure never heard any of the snarkiness, petulance or prickness that you're going on about.

buddy said...

rather i heard someone (the female psychoanalyst)who was genuinely concerned about a perceived lack of responsibility in Brad's attitude towards teaching, which based on a comment she made was apparently placated as she listened to him speak. as for Barry, in his own words: 'What Brad said about teacher's responsibility was
provocative - as he knows and enjoys being -- and we took him seriously enough to seriously challenge him. This wasn't an audience of fans at a bookstore.
He was talking to long time practitioners and professionals. He should be able to take our challenge seriously. That's not an ambush.'

john e mumbles said...

"The kind of punk I participated in turns out to have been just one relatively minor strain."

Well, maybe, but its well documented and known now through your work & Zero Defex.

Unlike my old heavy metal punk rock (yes there were/are many stripes of "punk") band The Mumbles (OK...there are like 15 bands using that name since, but we were first) and the Wichita scene in the early 1980's. The only YouTube vid we had was pulled a month or two after it was posted by some fan who unearthed it probably due to one of the "new" Mumbles band's protests. Or, as I like to think about it, it was too "punk" -Ha!

Well, weirdest or no, the podcast is what it is, a very good talk. And New York will always be, as FEAR put it so well, "alright if you like saxophones."

john e mumbles said...

...and psychoanalysis.

Anonymous said...

what maggidd is teaching ain't zen

Leah McClellan said...

I listened to the audio about 2/3 of the way through; have to finish later.

On the one hand, not a big deal. People are where they're at and that's just how things are. A learning opportunity for everyone.

But I think that Magid wasn't being skillful when he interrupted Brad early on with the shirt comment. It was judgmental, no matter what the tone of voice is or body language as someone else mentioned--doesn't matter.

The woman and her worries about being responsible for someone else as a teacher--that was also judgmental (snarky etc). She said "any good teacher" would...do whatever, which implies that Brad is not a good teacher (whether he is or not I don’t know) The issue with the word "flip" was also judgmental. I found it odd that she said it "feels painful to listen to this." My reaction was something like whoa, that's strong, he’s not a psychoanalyst so relax, and how can anyone be responsible for another’s life? Why does this upset you? And it’s just not possible, besides, even if she thinks it is (maybe she needs to use a different word). She sounded like she was going to cry. I did like both Brad's response and hers (I think that was the same person saying she understands now or something about responsibility for conduct).

The "perpetual adolescent" thing. He did qualify it with "persona," but that implies Brad is playing it up or something, which he may or may not be. It's very judgmental, seems to me, and what for? For what purpose? In my circle of friends, plenty are very mature but don't see any need to stop dressing with T-shirts that say stuff on them like they always have--people 30-50. Creative people especially might appear to be “perpetual adolescents” because they don't adopt certain dress codes or mannerisms that others think are important outward signs of maturity, but those outward things have little to do with who the person is. There are plenty of scary immature people in suits.

But we’re all where we’re at. My inner Wise Ass was kicking up some serious judgment of these people too :)

Interesting talk.

Fuzzy said...

Jibs, what did brad say about teachers that was so provocative before Barry's perpetual adolescent comment?

Troll said...

I listened to the talk. And I read Brad's previous post. So zen is about having a life that "doesn't suck"? What does that look like? Does a life that doesn't suck leave a wife behind after cheating on her with sangha groups? Is it unable to hold a job? Does it travel from coast to coast and then back to Akron looking for the greener grass? Does it start talking about grad school when you're almost 50? Or does it look like the very parents you idolize who lived their lives right where they were and stuck it out? Maybe there was something worth listening to in at the Ordinary Mind Zen Center, but it wasn't coming from the speaker.

Anonymous said...

You must be fun at a party Troll..

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

Good thinking mysterion. Delete all that shit.. A better thought would be not to post that shit at all. But you would have to be awake to figure that out.

Mysterion said...

Zzzz...

furetosan said...

Love Zen flaming comments.

TrollToo said...

Does a "life that doesn't suck" mean having fun at a party? Tick, tick, tick....

Anonymous said...

"Does a "life that doesn't suck" mean having fun at a party? "

1+1=2

Metta World Peace said...

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest wants to change his name to Metta World Peace.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/sports/basketball/lakers-ron-artest-seeks-to-change-name.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=artest&st=cse

Brad Warner said...

Why do I respond to ad hominem attacks? I don't know. It's fun sometimes.

But Troll, you said, "Is it unable to hold a job?" Just for the record, I held my job at Tsuburaya Productions for 14 years, from the summer of 1994 until early 2008. In 2008 they asked me to return to Japan and continue working for them. I decided that isn't what I wanted to do.

I was only unemployed by them briefly in 2007 when the company was bought out. But I was quickly re-hired (after the book Zen Wrapped in Karma was written, though).

The rest of your post is similarly misinformed. But I point this matter out since I've seen the same thing said by others (or maybe you under different names).

Brad Warner said...

Buddy said:
rather i heard someone (the female psychoanalyst)who was genuinely concerned about a perceived lack of responsibility in Brad's attitude towards teaching

I think you're correct. That's what I heard too.

On the other hand, I think she & I do not agree on what constitutes taking responsibility. I think taking responsibility means trying to create an environment where people learn to take responsibility for themselves.

It's hard for me to understand what she meant. She seemed to me to believe that a teacher must try to be the illusory authority figure the student projects onto her or him. I think it is totally irresponsible of a teacher to do so.

Fuzzy said...

Brad, Barry said you are and enjoy being provocative. Do you agree?

Timmy Mac said...

In re: the woman who took you to task over responsibility - it seemed obvious to her that a spiritual teacher must have the same ethical responsibilities as a mental health professional, like it's assumed that a Zen teacher is really just a kind of therapist and that Zen is just therapy under a different name.

How prevalent is this attitude? Because to me Zen and psychology overlap a little, but I don't see therapy and Zen as being the same thing at all.

Mysterion said...

Blogger Timmy Mac said...
"Because to me Zen and psychology overlap a little..."

Buddhism (of which Zen is a part) and Psychology overlap quite a bit. As I previously commented (with links), one cannot obtain an advanced degree in Psychology without considerable exposure to Buddhism unless one chooses a Xtian Fundie Paper Mill - where the issue is skirted for obvious reasons (competition). Virtually all public institutions of higher learning will expose you to Buddhism in your studies of Psychology.

Gautama Shakyamuni may not have been the very first psychologist but he was certainly the first notorious psychologist, IMO.

anon #108 said...

It seems to me there are different ideas of what constitutes Zen teaching.

One model has the teacher and student spending regular time together - perhaps even living together - in some kind of intense relationship; taking part in regular one-to-one dokusan, often using a koan curriculum and/or engaging in varieties of 'dharma combat'. In such groups, the student usually makes gradual progress from novice to senior student/monk to transmitted dharma-heir - all under the supervision/control of the teacher, an authority figure who affirms and validates (or not) the student's progress. This seems to be the prevalent American Zen model, based, its proponents might maintain, on the authentic Japanese Zen (and Indian guru) model.

The other model has the teacher giving basic advice about sitting and explaining their understanding of Buddhism at weekly/monthly meetings of a group - a less intense relationship, not necessarily requiring dokusan, not requiring a koan curriculum, not requiring a measure of progress amongst a hierarchy of adepts - closer in appearance, perhaps, to a college course in Philosophy than an initiation into an esoteric spiritual tradition. (No zazen on Philosophy courses.)

This second model describes the kind of teaching I encountered, and it worked for me. My teacher hasn't taken responsibility for my life and isn't particularly concerned with my enlightenment. He simply was/is available to me as someone who has spent many years sitting, listening to his teacher and coming to his own understanding of what Buddhism is about. Listening to him has helped me come to my own understanding; an understanding that I don't believe I would have reached by myself...and no less profound for the manner in which it was transmitted. I imagine Brad sees his role as teacher in a similar way. He explains his understanding; it may help you come to yours.

Sadly, IMO, many modern Buddhists see the first model, the 'guru' model, as the only authentic, correct approach to teaching and dismiss the second as not the real deal; not proper Buddhism; Zen lite. And so they dismiss Brad as not a proper teacher. I think they're mistaken. (Could the fact that Brad doesn't currently have a regular group of students with whom to engage limit the impact of his teaching? I don't know - Kodo Sawaki travelled and made an impression...but that's another thing.)

Perhaps the first model lends itself more easily to problems associated with power, authority, spiritual infatuation (of all sorts) and 'transference'?



FWIW, I believe the second model is closer to the teaching practice of Gautama Buddha.

anon #108 said...

EDIT out the last "FWIW..." Let's leave Gautama out of this.

Mysterion said...

First, Gautama was rejected by the culture and community of ascetic seekers.

restating the OBVIOUS:
"For six years, Siddhartha submitted himself to rigorous ascetic practices, studying and following different methods of meditation with various religious teachers. But he was never fully satisfied. One day, however, he was offered a bowl of rice from a young girl and he accepted it. In that moment, he realised that physical austerities were not the means to achieve liberation. From then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He called this The Middle Way." source

Second, just when Gautama awoke is open to scholastic debate ~ sans the infamous fable.

And third, Buddhism is not about THEM or US, it's about a party of one. Buddhism is individual to the extreme - to the point that there is no self (that self dissolves). There are very general guidelines for following 'the middle way' [a.k.a. the path] but these are very general guidelines.

Why did not the Buddha command his followers thus:

"Do not clip your fingernails on a Tuesday morning before the full moon with silver clippers?"

Anonymous said...

Hi, i just feel I have to Write to you. I am nobody importand and what I think doesn't change anything, but I found the way you are (and your talk) inspiring. I have been searching for answeres for a long time and I just picked up One of your Books yesterday and the Way you talk helps me hear.

So thank you.

Never mind the People who don't.

Brad Warner said...

Fuzzy said:
Brad, Barry said you are and enjoy being provocative. Do you agree?

I really don't know. I think it's important to question the prevailing "wisdom" wherever it appears. Because often it's not wisdom at all. It's just stupidity that's phrased eloquently or has been repeated so many times people start believing it has to be true.

Questioning things that people take for granted is often called "provocative." So in that sense, the answer is yes.

On the other hand, most of the times I am seen as being provocative occur just after I've said something that, to me, seems so obvious as to not be provocative at all. Conversely whenever I deliberately set out to be provocative I fail to elicit any response.

I chose the segment of Sex Sin And Zen that I read at Ordinary Mind because I thought it might stimulate discussion. So "provocative" is not the word I'd have used. But maybe I was being provocative in a sense.

Brad Warner said...

Timmy Mac said:
In re: the woman who took you to task over responsibility - it seemed obvious to her that a spiritual teacher must have the same ethical responsibilities as a mental health professional, like it's assumed that a Zen teacher is really just a kind of therapist and that Zen is just therapy under a different name.

How prevalent is this attitude? Because to me Zen and psychology overlap a little, but I don't see therapy and Zen as being the same thing at all.


I agree that Zen teachers have ethical responsibilities. I do not think that Zen and therapy are the same.

It's true that there is a small degree of overlap. But they're very different things.

My take on therapy is that its intention is to make a person better able to fit in with whatever society as a whole considers normal.

Zen, on the other hand, stresses the practical need to be able to interact with so-called "normal" society. But it questions the very basic assumptions "normal" society holds dear.

Mysterion said...

Brad:

I like where you are going with this "stuff."

Cheers,

Chas

Mysterion said...

LINK

Mysterion said...

Leonard Cohen's Day Job.

"Leave no fish ungaffed."

Anonymous said...

I listened to the talk. I was impressed by Brad's not having a knee-jerk reaction to such ego based prodding.

For the two therapists, while trying to shove your gilded psychotherapy shoes onto our feet under the guise of science please don't stop sitting and asking "what are these shoes?".

Those pair should pick up a history book or today's paper instead of a journal on Freud to understand why transference is something to be thrown back in the face of the masses. I'm sure it's reinforcing to have somebody come to you hat-in-hand, professionally, but your inherently unbalanced "correct" reaction to such power scares me and has no place outside your office.

Good luck.

Mysterion said...

Jesus and Elvis,
The Dogs Playing Poker,
And Willie and Me...

moreLOL?

yep. it jes' cain't get nose better than this'n - no hows.

(f*ckin' hicks)

WAIT! I'm frum Neva - DUH!

The Enquirer said...

Stop beating around the bush and just answer the question, Brad. Are you provocative or are you antivocative? Enquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Has Mysterion been eating peyote again?

Anonymous said...

Provocative or antivocative?

How about pronominative v. antinominative?

The vocative is usually indistinguishable from the nominative. But in this case, it might just be.











or not.

Mysterion said...

Peyote?

No. Only Pentecostals eat Peyote - and that before snake dancing.

"JONESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A preacher bitten by a rattlesnake as he handled it during an Easter service at a rural church died after refusing medical treatment, authorities said.

The Rev. Dwayne Long died a day after being bitten on a finger during a service at his church, where members believe ritual serpent-handling is a form of obedience to God, said Sheriff Gary Parsons.

'We don't anticipate any charges,' he said. 'That's their belief.'

No one attending the service at the Pentecostal church sought medical help, Parsons said. Members believe when people die from a snakebite during a service, it is a sign [from god, no doubt] that it was their time to go."

AMEN!

john e mumbles said...

There is no documentation of any use of psychoactive substances amongst the snake handlers. No Peyote, no nuthin.' Just faith.

The whole thing is about submission to "spirit" and faith that while in the "spirit" nothing will harm, due to certain passages in biblical scripture speaking of taking up serpents, drinking poison, etc.

See the excellent Salvation On Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington to get some insight from a first hand account of the phenomena instead of making up stuff for the hell of it.

Mysterion said...

john e mumbles said...
"There is no documentation of any use of psychoactive substances amongst the snake handlers. No Peyote, no nuthin.' Just faith."

john, I know THAT. I'm just talkin' sh*t back.

Here is ONE report.

Some can even TUNE a guitar.

These folks just are NOT my folks, that's all... the cow says it all.

Mysterion said...

I didn't knowed it was bein' throwed.

and the hits keep comin'

the key? expectations...


somehow, there's a real wide disconnect between me and these folks... (Is anyone really THAT dumb?)

anonymous anonymous said...

"somehow, there's a real wide disconnect between me and these folks... (Is anyone really THAT dumb?)"

I'm sure you do your best mysterion..

john e mumbles said...

Thats okay, Mysterion. We're just different. My thing is to find connections between myself and very disparate folk, in the interest of a shared sense of humanity.

My Sufi teacher Javad Nurbakhsh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javad_Nurbakhsh
asked only one thing of me 20 some years ago: to honor all paths.

Sounds easy. Not so much.

I set about (well, as you know I am a student of world religion, etc.) turning over every rock I could find.

The hard nut to crack was fundamentalist Christianity, but once there, I had empathy with even its most remote extremist corners, including the snake handlers.

I don't care if they're "dumber" than me or not (and I would never say they are), they are human beings with a certain understanding that has touched me in a way no other has.

For this, I am grateful.

Anonymous said...

mysterion misses a lot because when he looks he sees what he expects to see rather than what's really there..

Ellis Beardsley said...

This has been an interesting 'read/listen'. When something is written it has been selected, editted, interpreted. Thank you Brad for having the courage to post the original talk at the Ordinary Mind Zendo. You do, however, come off shallow, silly, egotistical, adolescent, and, franky, boring in that talk. The two comments from the 'psychologists' in the room only sounded 'rude' when they were re-interpreted in the written word. They had serious questions -- which you answered with giggles. There was a teaching going on in that room..but I'm not sure you heard it

Mysterion said...

it's beyond dumber...

I've seen mountain folks that just amaze me... the kind of: "Here, just hold my beer." folks. My mother's sister married a West Virginia man and his folks were as strange to me as Martians would be (were there Martians). Maybe it's the toxins...

"Uncle Gorby" was THE most bigoted racist that I ever met - bar none.

I know wonderful people live there...

Unfortunately, the educational attainment there is quite low... (I posted about this in the past).

There are, of course, a number of reasons for low educational attainment besides ability. Poverty is, no doubt, the leading cause. Beyond that, there is a culture in which it is disrespectful to go far beyond the place in school which was the terminus of your parents effort. For example, if mom & dad only finished the 8th grade, it's disrespectful to go to college. I saw this first hand a number of times.

Thank god(s) my family considered a Master's Degree as not only 'normal' but also typical. This despite the attainment of 'others.'

If ass-backward republican'ts would just pay their taxes, progress could continue.

p.s. Last few years, we paid about $40,000 in income taxes (Fed., State, Local). We don't protest nor do we offshore to tax heavens.

It's a Matthew 22:21 thing, even though we aren't Xtians. I would never, even in my wildest dream, accuse a republican't of being a True Xtian®.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...

I deleted 4 off-topic posts related to Bach.

Moon Face Buddha said...

Showing up at a school/college/youth centre/punk gig etc dresses in a 'comedy' t-shirt (despite being 40+) might be an appropriate way to act in order to break down barriers and get your teaching across.

Turning up at an urbane zendo with an audience of educated adults in the same garb is a bit insulting.

I thought the talk itself was okay as far as it went. However, putting the responsibility onto the pupil, whilst a fine thing in theory, is problematic in practice because some folks who come to spiritual practice (in many forms) are vulnerable and need protection.

Anonymous said...

Which do you prefer when listening to Bach: peyote or 'shrooms?

anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion said: "Beyond that, there is a culture in which it is disrespectful to go far beyond the place in school which was the terminus of your parents effort."

Like most of what mysterion writes, the above is complete and total bullshit and an example of his indoctrination, or what he proudly refers to as his education.. which apparently was mainly thought-terminating California catechisms.

He again posted four off-topic screeds raging against his latest pet obsession before regaining partial consciousness and deleting them all..

mysterion, write that shit on your own blog. You are being totally rude as always by spanking your monkey on Brad's.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see what is so insulting about showing up to deliver a Zen talk wearing a movie t-shirt. Did they have any idea about the person they asked to talk at their 'urbane' zendo? New Yorkers are some of the most difficult people on the planet because they are so limited in perspective. They are narrow and self-centered and are always spoiling for a fight.

tattoozen said...

MFB- I think there are a lot more barriers in need of breaking down at "an urbane zendo with an audience of educated adults" Kids don't care how you dress because it doesn't actually matter. If adults think it matters that much, then perhaps they need a little reminder that "the way is easy, just avoid picking and choosing"

tattoozen said...

MFB- I think there are a lot more barriers in need of breaking down at "an urbane zendo with an audience of educated adults" Kids don't care how you dress because it doesn't actually matter. If adults think it matters that much , then perhaps they need a little reminder that "the way is easy, just avoid picking and choosing"

capcha: trimshe

Anonymous said...

The California Dream is fizzling out...
Thanks to tax and spend fans like mysterion, people who are neither rich or poor, would rather live almost anywhere else. Even Akron, Ohio..

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/27/california.dream.census.slump/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

gniz said...

The amazing thing about Mysterion is that no matter how hard I try to skip over and past his posts without reading anything, he posts so frequently and with such length that I end up skimming parts of them without meaning to.

He's certainly a master of holding Brad's comments section hostage, but I'm not sure he's got much else to offer...

Anonymous said...

Hey Gniz, Did you see JK Rowling is self-publishing now?

Anonymous said...

And.. every other Barry Graham post now is about self-publishing.

Mysterion said...

Wait, and see...

Moon Face Buddha said...

Brad is, of course, free to wear whatever the fuck he wants. I just wonder if an adult with reasonable awareness of his surroundings would choose to wear such a t-shirt to this particular zendo.

Maybe this is just Brad doing what he does best, acting the victim.

Anonymous said...

Moon.. I'm not getting where you are coming from. Why is a simple t-shirt so provocative?
Clothes are neither here nor there.

Is it really so important to kowtow down to that silly crowd? Why, because that's what they want? That is what this is really all about you know.. Paying proper respect to the Manhattan bigshots on their own turf.

Fuck them.

Mysterion said...

what you wear

choose your weapon

take the shirt off?

what you say

choose your weapon

look on the bright side

Anonymous said...

mysterion, do you drink like 100 cups of coffee a day? That could explain a lot about you.

Rich said...

Ellis Beardsley said...
This has been an interesting 'read/listen'. When something is written it has been selected, editted, interpreted. Thank you Brad for having the courage to post the original talk at the Ordinary Mind Zendo. You do, however, come off shallow, silly, egotistical, adolescent, and, franky, boring in that talk. The two comments from the 'psychologists' in the room only sounded 'rude' when they were re-interpreted in the written word. They had serious questions -- which you answered with giggles. There was a teaching going on in that room..but I'm not sure you heard it"


I really enjoyed that talk and the psycho even seemed to be agreeing with Brad after he started to explain himself. Some people just can't handle the truth, so they manipulate into something like the Ellis did above. But that's just my opinion.

proulx michel said...

I've been reading your comment to Daiho Hilbert's decision to go comply with the Sotoshu in order to earn recognition from the AZTA.
My opinion: plain crap. That the AZTA should hold one Matsuoka for nought just because he didn't care for the Sotoshu tells you for they will hold ou, considering Nishijima's opinion of the Sotoshu...

Anonymous said...

GNITZ!

How the hell is it hanging there chief?

gniz said...

Hey Anon,

I have heard about JK Rowling. Not to hijack this thread but it's pretty cool news. Although in a sense she is so huge that she's her own entity, it's not at all like what everyone else is doing with self publishing.

But just for the technology to be at the point where anyone can get widespread distribution without spending thousands of dollars to print paper and ship it...pretty awesome for writers...

gniz said...

Hey Anon!

Hanging in pretty well, and you?

Anonymous said...

"what you wear

choose your weapon

take the shirt off?

what you say

choose your weapon

look on the bright side"


Worst. Haiku. Ever.

Mysterion said...

anony-mouse:

it's NOT Haiku

THIS is haiku.

it was thought farting.

"you don't know the difference between gold dust and lizard shit. and let me tell you - there's a big difference."

CAPCHA=haikers

Moon Face Buddha said...

Hey Anon,

My point is that if Brad had bothered to look at the Ordinary Mind website he would have seen the following;

Dress in Zendo
No shorts or obvious exercise wear, logos, graphics, sloppy pants.
Saturdays and Sesshin--no bright colors. Weekdays—flexibility in dress is allowed.

Anonymous said...

GNITZ!

low and to the left buddy. low and to the left

Anonymous said...

Hey Moon.. If they have a dress code there beyond what's normal, I would think it would be up to them to let their invited speakers know about such things. Because Brad might have decided not to come seeing how his whole warerobe was on their list. As far as him being familiar with their website, maybe you're right or maybe they should have gotten familiar with just about any photo of him on the web. He pretty much always wears a uniform of logos T's, monster graphics, sloppy pants and unbuttoned shirts. They should have known that. And if they somehow didn't, they shouldn't have repeatedly tried to embarrass the guy is my point..

Anonymous said...

you should be embarrassed if you are NOT a new yorker.

Sun Burned Buddha said...

On the podcast, Brad is simply tyring to apologize for missing the morning zazen. Barry Magid says something to the effect, that's alright that you missed it, you probably wouldn't have nbeen let in wearing that T-shirt.

He's giving Brad some shit. No big deal. And they obviously let him in wearing it for the talk: he'sthere, they're talking about it, he's wearing the shirt, etc. blah blah blah.

Moon Faced stirring up more shit than B. Magid did about it in the first place. If you're THAT bored, why not pick on Msyterion like everybody else?

Mysterion said...

That's EXACTLY why I am here...

(a kind of militarized combat zone - of which Brad is not a party)

Anonymous said...

Interesting how many commenters here exhibit classic transference concerning Brad, defending their teacher in the face of so-called abuse. Then Brad reprimands them when they send the offender "obscene" e-mails on his behalf. Must be confusing for the poor disciples. Hands slapped!

Anonymous said...

You're so full of it M.
It's coming out of your ears..

gniz said...

Mysterion said: "That's EXACTLY why I am here...
(a kind of militarized combat zone - of which Brad is not a party)"

Come, come now Mysterion. You know very well that Brad doesn't need you acting as a decoy any more than he needs you editing one of his books. Brad does just fine on his own.

In my opinion your presence here has really hurt his blog. This comment section, when being riddled with your wiki-spam, becomes basically unreadable.

Driving genuine readers and commenters away from Brad's blog is not helping him. Why not go away for a few months and see how this place is faring when you get back?

My guess is you'll see Brad and everyone else has gotten along a-ok.

Anonymous said...

Mysterion doesn't give a shit about what people think, he just wants attention. Gniz made the mistake of giving him some.

Anonymous said...

How does Mysterion know that Brad is not a party? For all we know he is anonymously commenting right now, telling him he's full of shit.

Or maybe he's asked his butt buddy gniz to tell Mysterion to fuck off the blog for a few months?

If he tells Mysterion directly, he won't benefit from the $ Mysterion regularly donates to the Brad fund.

Mysterion said...

Blogger gniz said...
"Why not go away for a few months and see how this place is faring when you get back?"

o.k.

see y'all in Sept.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that you are mysterion pretending to be an idiot? Nice play Mysterion.

Anonymous said...

You know.. I'm really going to miss the old bigot.

Well.. Not so much I guess.

But I hope he finds a nice hobby.

gniz said...

I really should have said, "try leaving a maximum of three comments per blog post (or some other trivial number) for the next few months."

I don't necessarily feel Mysterion should have to self-ban or anything, I just think it would be nice if he stopped wiki-spamming the comments section for a bit.

Just because he's a human and not a bot doesn't make it ok.

Anonymous said...

I'm just sorry you didn't say six months. Who'd have thought he would have bit on it. I guess we'll be seeing a lot of Yeti.

Anonymous said...

He won't disappear, he doesn't have that kind of self-control.

Anonymous said...

He will be here commenting under one of his psuedonyms. He's got more names than Steve jobs has nickels.

Not Mysterion said...

While we're at it, wasn't it nice when Gnitz was away?

Anonymous said...

See? motherfucker's still here.

Or if he isn't, he won't be able to say he's not.

If Mysterion IS gone, the comments will drop to about half.

Windy, self-important bastard.

gniz said...

Not Mysterion:
At least I was nice enough to give everyone a break from me for a few months. Not to worry, I'll go away again soon enough.

You won't have old Gnitz to kick around anymore!

Anonymous said...

Promises, promises.



Bullshit arteests.

Anonymous said...

"controlled trauma"

Moon Face Buddha said...

"Moon Faced stirring up more shit than B. Magid"

I don't have a dog in this fight. faux-Punk Zen and Therapy Zen hold little interest for me :)

Anonymous said...

His name is Gniz, not GniTz, okay? Got it?

Just had to get that off my chest.

anon #108 said...

Moon Face Buddha wrote:

I don't have a dog in this fight. faux-Punk Zen and Therapy Zen hold little interest for me :)

Putting to one side Brad's writing style and his taste in music and clothes, what about Brad's "faux-Punk Zen" is other than Buddhism as taught by Dogen?

Anonymous said...

It may be easier to point on any commonalities between Dogen and Brad. The list will surely be much shorter. I'm not trying to be nasty here, but just imagine someone having no idea of Zen or Dogen should stumble upon this blog. Is there anything at all here which should give that person grounds for seeing some connection between the two? I'd be seriously hard pressed to think of anything.

anon #108 said...

Hi anon @ 3.33am,

Sadly, Dogen's emails, blog-posts and FB updates are lost to us - we can only speculate on what commonalities there might be.

A tad glib, perhaps, my response? I do see your point.

There again, this blog may not be such a bad place for a certain kind of person "with no idea of Zen or Dogen" to first encounter them. Better - for some - than a scholarly paper by Steven Heine or Book 1 of Shobogenzo.

Anonymous Bob said...

This blog exists mainly as a working tool for Brad. It was never meant to be some idealistic expression of perfect Buddhism. That he has let it exist in it's current state, unmoderated and uncensored, shows what good instincts and thick skin he has developed, unlike those two quitters Jinzang and mysterion.

There are a lot internet trolls and parasites around here. Engage them or ignore them but get over it. Brad doesn't care much because none of that has anything to do with his ideas on Dogen or Budddhism. If anything it reinforces his ideas about dealing with things as they really are rather than trying to change them. I think this blog is very beautiful in it's ugliness.

Anonymous said...

Brad said: "My take on therapy is that its intention is to make a person better able to fit in with whatever society as a whole considers normal.

Zen, on the other hand, stresses the practical need to be able to interact with so-called "normal" society. But it questions the very basic assumptions "normal" society holds dear."

Having lived through therapy and found it useful to a point, you just stated what I've been trying to formulate as words for quite awhile. Nice.

Bizarro Seagal said...

Yes I love him. I love him more than anything else in this world and there is nothing that I would like better than to hold on to him forever. But I know it's not for the best. So no matter how much my heart is going to break, I've got to let him go so he can know just how much I love him. Maybe if I'm lucky, he'll come back, but if not, I can make it through this.

Lauren said...

A Dad shows up at your gate With baby in arms and says you are the father of his daughter's baby. You accept care of the baby with an "oh, is that so."

A speaker shows up at your post funeral event with an apparently glib t-shirt, seems the response could be much the same, " oh, is that so", then sit down and listen.

You get challenged while speaking. Same again.

Brad's response seemed to me to be much along the lines of "oh, is that so, well here's how I see it."

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