Friday, July 29, 2011

WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE... I MEAN MY BLOG


A few days ago a writer for Huffington Post named me as one of twelve Buddhists to follow on Twitter. Ever since that article appeared, people have been adding me like mad. Since I usually post links on Twitter to any new blog post I put up here, I thought I’d take the time to write a little intro to this blog for all those potential new readers.

I started the prototype for what became this blog about ten years ago. At that time I didn’t even know the word “blog.” It was a website that I updated once a week with a new article. Many of those early articles formed the foundation of my first book Hardcore Zen. Sometime later I found out I didn’t need to spend hours and hours writing HTML format, that there were lots of free on-line thingies that would do that for me. And thus this blog in its current form was born.

I try to update it about every three days. Unfortunately I don’t have something profound to say every three days. I know Zen teachers who refuse to give dharma talks more than once a month. They’re smart. Preachers give sermons once a week in general. Also a good idea. Profundity every three days? It ain’t gonna happen.

So sometimes this blog is about something I think is important. Sometimes it’s about Buddhism. Other times it’s about a book I’m reading. Or it’s a link to a video I found. Often it’s a list of upcoming live appearances. People get annoyed by my use of the blog for promotion. But I can’t understand why. If I don’t promote my speaking appearances here, then who’s going to promote them? And where?

I don’t really make money from this blog. I’ve heard that lots of people make tons of cash from writing blogs. I wish I had a clue how that’s done. I have a few ads here. But they generate laughably small revenue. I think I cleared $75 last year from blog ads. I installed a donation button last year and that brings in a bit more. In fact some people have been really surprisingly generous. Since my books don’t generate a huge income, those donations really help.

I’m up in Arcata, California right now to give some talks and lead a day-long zazen retreat. Here’s the link to info about that and here is a link to a list of other upcoming appearances (note the plug). That link, by the way, is always on the left side of this page at the very top of the list of links.

The guy I’m staying with said to me, “Whenever I think of your blog I just think of Whack the Dalai Lama!” He is referring to an article I put up here several years back called Whack the Dalai Lama. It upset a lot of people.

But the reason that article upset people – if you want my analysis – is because they didn’t read anything except the title. The title came from a song by The Dickies. What I wrote in that article was about how I, in fact, did not want to whack the Dalai Lama. I consider Mr. Lama to be a basically decent human being but also to be fairly irrelevant to me in terms of my life as a Buddhist. The article was about fame and celebrity and how that can get in the way of real spiritual practice.

What I’m trying to get at here is that this blog sometimes seems to upset people. No matter how many times I say this people don’t believe it, but I swear to God that 90% of the time this blog upsets people I have no clue why. People assume I am trying to be controversial. But I almost never am. In fact the few times I deliberately attempt to be shocking nobody seems to notice. It’s almost always when I say things that to me seem incredibly obvious that people get upset. Like in the aforementioned Dalai Lama bit. The song I referenced in the title is over a decade old for gosh sakes! (Here are the full lyrics by the way)

Which brings us to the comments section of this blog. In 2009, Tricycle magazine published an article called Dharma Wars. The article talked about the phenomenon of flame wars on various Buddhist blogs. This very blog you’re reading now was singled out for special attention. The writer says, “Warner’s posts often draw hundreds of comments from readers, some of whom throw insults at each other—and at Warner—with abandon.” Then he goes on to completely misconstrue a few things I’ve said about why I think that happens. So it goes.

In any case, enter the comments section of this blog at your own risk. It should start to get a little better, though. Because as of yesterday the comments section is now being moderated. A guy who regularly reads it was complaining of how incredibly awful it had gotten. So I asked him if he wanted to be the moderator. He did and now he is. But he prefers to remain anonymous. I can understand why.

I’ve asked him to only delete comments that are wildly inappropriate or obviously spam. He discovered that my spam filter was actually filtering out real comments. So some of you who were getting deleted by the spam filter will now be heard. But people who just want to post irrelevant nonsense will have those comments deleted. I’m not asking him to delete comments by people who disagree with me, though. So go ahead and dissent all you want.

As for me... my info is all listed in the link under the "Who Wrote This" section to your left. It says, "I'm a Zen monk, writer, bass player and film-maker. I wrote the books Sex, Sin and Zen, Hardcore Zen, Sit Down And Shut Up and Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. I received Dharma Transmission from Gudo Nishijima Roshi, who received his transmission from Rempo Niwa Roshi who was the head of the Soto Sect in Japan. I was also a student of Tim McCarthy, who was a student of Kobun Chino Roshi. I enjoy getting your e-mails. But please be aware, if you send me e-mail, I may use it in a blog either here or on Suicide Girls." I write for Suicide Girls too, by the way.

So there you go. There’s your introduction to the blog.

Enjoy.

115 comments:

Will said...

The Dalai Lama blog is missing (or deleted), but I think I'd agree with what you said. He is pretty much irrelevant to me as a Buddhist, too. And I'm not sayin that to be agreeable.

Anonymous said...

You don't have something profound to say every three days? What kind of Zen Master are you? I want my
$50,000 back, and this Enlightenmen
t isn't good enough. The mountains
are just mountains again.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, Eisho is No. One.

john e mumbles said...

Make me one with ANYTHING!

Brad Warner said...

The Whack The Dalai Lama article is there. I had a bad link.

Go to:

http://homepage.mac.com/doubtboy/WhackTheDL.html

Anonymous said...

Mr.Warner, have you ever heard of a band called The Roach Egg Invasion from the Wichita, Kansas 80s punk scene? I played with their former drummer in 1991 as Gulf War (Part 1) was going on. Just curious. I know you are a busy guy and don't have time to read all these comments...haha

cieless said...

If you ever use one of my emails in your blog I will walk back to Akron, hunt you down and eat your brain through your eye with a demitasse spoon.
Congrats on the huffy-fame, though.

xo.
Cherylyn

P.S. will you be in Akron at the end of August? I'm thinking of visiting the homestead.

Manny Furious said...

The only remotely offensive thing about Brad is how conservative and small-minded most of his views on Buddhism are. And I only find them remotely offensive because so many people think he's an iconoclast for some reason, and I was slightly disappointed to find how quotidian Brad's views on things are.

Unless, of course, you're into Ken Wilber and Dennis Merzel. Then you might find Brad offensive...but you probably deserve to be offended....

Anonymous said...

Link to huffington post doesn't

Uku said...

Good job, Brad! Anonymous blogosphere comment bashing is growing in Finland too, at least in my group's blog. No matter what I'm writing, anonymous commenters are having their own funny game. It's funny.

Keep up the good work!

Peace from Finland.

Uku said...

Good job, Brad! Anonymous blogosphere comment bashing is growing in Finland too, at least in my group's blog. No matter what I'm writing, anonymous commenters are having their own funny game. Hilarious stuff.

Keep up the good work! Peace from Finland.

robjones said...

Thanks for the intro, Brad, even for someone who has grown foamilar with your work; its a useful review. Speaking of controvery, I've been recently spending some time with Stuart Lach's essays:

http://www.hsuyun.org/chan/en/essays/bychuanzhi/734-spotlightlachs.html

He's the guy who turned me on to hua-tou practice on a Dharma rum Ch'an Retreat circa '96. He was a senior lay-practitioner who'd primary conduct interviews for the "westerners", your second interview would (at that time) be with Sheng-Yen.

I thought you'd appreciate his work. His allegations of Hagiography in Sheng-Yen's autobiography & outright deception(His essay "When the Saints Go Marching in...." goes into this in some detail. This was of particular interest to me being a former student of Sheng-Yen. He makes a very good case; facinating stuff). Best, and enjoy California!

Tom said...

Although I am not a buddhist, nor am I spiritual (pretty much all of my free time is devoted to social activism: to the left and from below style), I can say as a non-spiritual leftist that I have really enjoyed reading your blog for some time now. A lot of your thought (by no means all) I find energizing, for what it's worth.

Even though I don't buy the buddhist thing, (especially a lot of the political quietism I encounter with its adherents) there is something refreshing with the whole demystification of this talk about "enlightenment" and such; a term that I generally find to be annoying.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this kind of scrutiny prior to posting is what Brad intended.

Isn't there another way to moderate? A periodic review of and editorial deletion of posts clearly irrelevant and over the top?

Thisa here feels more like the body scan xray machine pre boarding--

Brad should try to comment on his own blog to see how it feels

Anonymous said...

so when is the 'moderator' in and moderating?

just asking

Puffington Host said...

The Huffington Post link is also wrong. It should be the following (or click on "my" name if the full link doesn't show up in text which it might not because it is so very, very long).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/buddhism-on-twitter_n_910389.html#s316395&title=His_Holiness_the

Anonymous said...

Uh, oh. There goes the "everything is okay, this blog will never be moderated" attitude. Well, nobody says people can’t change - or change their opinions - with time.

Few questions rise:

Is the moderation done on pre- or post-way, that is, will comments be approved before they appear online or removed afterwards if the moderator deems them irrelevant? The first option affects the way comments section works, as people won’t be able to see all comments before leaving their own.

Is this a trial run or will it be a permanent arrangement, ie. will you be setting up a "HZ moderators club" that deals with this as people resposnbile will eventually tire of the hassle.

Which one is it, Harry, Uku or Gniz?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here,

it seems the moderation is done as pre-approval, thus when posting you’ll only see the comments that have been approved so far and can be responding to something that - when writing - is the last comment, but is two hundred comments up when your post eventually goes live.

Also, my money is on Uku because he just seems the kind of guy who’d like this kind of power and responsibility, and likes to pose as a computer-knowledgeable dude.

nondual said...

Brad, I think you contribute invaluably to the Buddhist conversation in the West particularly. Sometimes I've disagreed with you, but I've never for a moment thought you were insincere. Brash at time, sure - but never insincere.

Keep on keepin' on.

Anonymous said...

This post looks to me like Brad is deliberately trying to shock people.


Existence being sorrow,
The cause of it desire.
A merry tune I borrow
To light upon the lyre:
If death destroy me quite,
Then I can not lament it;
I've lived, kept life alight,
And - damned if I repent it!

Let me die in a ditch,
Damnably drunk,
Or lipping a punk,
Or in bed with a bitch!
I was ever a hog;
Muck? I am one with it!
Let me die like a dog;
Die, and be done with it!

Summa Spes by Edward Alexander Crowley, 1903

Jeff said...

Thank you Brad, for appointing a moderator for the comments here. Though I haven't commented here myself before I often enjoy reading other's comments, but it was just getting to be too much of a bother.

Blake said...

So sometimes this blog is about something I think is important. Sometimes it’s about Buddhism.

teehee

proulx michel said...

Brad wrote:
people don’t believe it, but I swear to God

You forgot to specify which god...

Anonymous said...

Excellent work finding a vict-er, I mean a volunteer for moderating the comments. Does this volunteer know that this is like volunteering for clean-up at a plague-site?


Looking forward it!

--Matt

Melanie; Austin, TX said...

Thanks for your informative introduction. I'm not new to your blog, but I liked that your post was a kind of "state of Brad Warner" post. I suggest saving it permanently in a special section of your blog for "new readers" since new readers will probably continue to show up. You don't come across as a poseur, and the fact that you do your work without much compensation is admirable. Zen Buddhism seems to me to be very, very practical, but I think it can get romanticized or elevated in such a way that people act high-minded and perhaps pretentious, and less like themselves: an ordinary human being with faults. I think Mr. Lama is a decent guy, too, but he seems to move in rarefied circles (have you been asked to meet with President Obama yet?) and so I would say he has less relevance for a lot of Buddhists who have a serious practice. I think there may be people who study with him, but I don't know any. Keep up the good work!

Mike D said...

Nice intro. Reminds me how people have been crucifying truth-seekers for centuries. Socrates, Galileo, Jesus, etc. Damned if you do, more damned if you don't

Anonymous said...

Nice blog, but why do you keep shouting? Are you aware that all capitals is netiquette for shouting? Someone even got fired for it: http://doepud.co.uk/blog/netiquette-and-capital-letters.php

How do you choose which posts should have their titles in all caps? Is it random? Is it a Zen thing? I've never known a Theravada blog post to shout at me!

Awakened Yeti said...

Dissent is cool.

Leah McClellan said...

Interesting. I was reading earlier today about the value of having some time/space in between blog posts, so people have time to digest the information and think about it before the next one rolls out. Depends on the niche, though. I stick with once a week, though twice wouldn't be bad.

Speaking of blogs, there are plenty of authorities around who explain how to make money on a blog--I follow many on Twitter (moving to Google Plus now though). Typically, it's not ads so much (though it can be) but the services/products offered through the blog. I think you could easily do paid webinars to teach stuff. "Easily" meaning plenty of people would sign up, I'll bet. I get editing/writing work through my blog, for example, and I plan on offering an ebook for sale soon and do some sort of course on editing and proofreading or something related to writing.

Also, I see people misunderstanding what's written all the time, anywhere. Sometimes they just scan and the comments are way off. Awhile back I did a post about a blogger committing suicide over the frustrations of blogging--it was totally fiction, and it should have been obvious right off (and I did say so very clearly toward the end). The lesson was to read carefully before jumping to conclusions--I used to teach literature and writing so my inner professor was coming out. But not everyone is a skilled reader--oh, well.

Glad about the moderating. That's all I'll say on that :)

me in Humboldt said...

As someone who's been reading your blog, including sometimes the comments, for a while now ~ thanks for finally getting someone to weed out the complete freaks. i've been refraining from commenting because i didn't want to be jumped by them. i almost literally stumbled onto your books a couple of years ago by complete chance ~ i was looking for a snack of some kind, and apparently Karma Wrapped in Chocolate, Dipped in Ice Cream was what i needed.
i am slightly astounded that you are up here behind the redwood curtain in Arcata, and looking forward to seeing you tonight.

Anonymous said...

Moderated comments?

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

-- Groucho Marx

Anonymous said...

"Me, I pray to God I never become a spiritual celebrity."

Dude, if you have to
moderate your comments,
it's too late:
You've arrived.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Lama"

You really are a whiny little fucktard Brad.

Anonymous said...

It's Mr. Llama to you.

If you don't want the full
enlightenment, how much does it cost, and do senior citizens get
a discount?

Awakened Yeti said...

ENLIGHTENMENT IS WEIRD.

gniz said...

Thank god for the comment moderation is all I have to say. And as the comment moderator, it makes sense I would feel that way--just kiddin'! I aint the guy. Way too time consuming for my tastes, plus Brad never asked me. :(

But anyway, it was a wonderful experiment--but then again so was free love in the sixties. The experiment was a partial success, partial failure. Ultimately, though, we weren't ready for total freedom.

Please do filter out the wiki spam!!

Congrats on the Huff links and the new readers Brad.

john e mumbles said...

"He discovered that my spam filter was actually filtering out real comments."

The moderator is Gniz: he pointed out this very fact to me a few blog posts back, or rather, he suggested the filter when one of my comments kept bouncing.

So much for the ol' ID flag flying around here now...

john e mumbles said...

Uh huh. Thought so.

Brad Warner said...

I fixed the link to Huffington Post.

And those who are worried about moderation, please note that a comment calling me a "whiny little fucktard" made it through as did one calling me "small minded." I'm only trying to get rid of the stuff by people who aren't even reading the posts and the things that are just obvious nonsense (like the word "heh" 57 times in a row for example).

1000 Names of Vishnu said...

Moderation poses ...issues, but probably a good idea in your case. The comments from a clique of occultist-druggies in like Sac area will at least be prevented (along with the Heh's and "Time Cube Troll", and mysterion bashing).

Then the HZ gang can focus on serious stuff, such as charnel grounds rituals

Female of the Species‏ said...

I actually have a problem with modern Buddhists in general. Living in the Los Angeles area I'm finding that most places to learn about Buddhism and or Zazen are only studios with hugely expensive monthly fees.

I do understand that LA rent and maintenance fees are ridiculously high, but can their not be a middle ground somehow?

Grants, sponsorship, membership and donations?

I can't practice zazen where I currently live (long story) but wish whole heatedly I could someplace where it didn't cost $90 + a month.

As for how do people make money with blogs - there are a lot of ways but the bottom line is good old fashion marketing, a quality service (or product) and being genuine which I believe you are. If you really want to know a little more pm me.

Anonymous said...

Brad you are controversial because many of these articles are judging other practices or practioners. We all have our opinions about different practices but you do it so much you comes across like the zen police.
You can get away with that more if you act a bit humble about it
"it's just my opinion" or "others disagree but". But you act as if you are the final authority. Your views on Rinzia seem to leave no room for the possibility of your being wrong.
If you went one year without judging other folks or their practice you might find many constructive lessons to write.

gniz said...

Any reason why my comment didn't get through? It was on topic and innocuous, I thought...

Phumbling said...

seems to me that the controversy generated is a reflection of folks believing it isn't okay for them to disagree with what you say...or for you to have a differing opinion. I am a fan of the softening the blow, but really...what's the point? I'm still saying the same thing anyhow. Hurt feelings don't belong to me they belong to the person holding them. I guess I agree with you Mr. Brad Warner sir...I'm not sure how come some get all pissy with the content. (BTW...feels way too formal to just call you Brad, but perhaps I will do that in the future...). :) Thanks for what you do and I'm glad you are getting more exposure. You rock. Perhaps one day you'll even come to Whitehorse where you have inspired a few of us.

Brad Warner said...

Cheryl,

I'll be back in Akron on Sept. 1st. And I already know not to make you mad.

Brad Warner said...

Gniz,

Not sure why your comment didn't get thru. This moderation stuff is just starting. I'll look into it.

Steven said...

Right on. Glad to see there is some moderation now. It will make it a lot easier to read people's thoughts on your blogs.

Cool to see that you're somewhere in California. It would be cool if you came down to L.A. again. It would actually give me a reason to go to Against the Stream.

mtto said...

Hi Female of the Species,

I'm not sure where it costs $90 a month to practice zazen in Los Angeles. In any event, the group that Brad started meets every Saturday morning at the Hill Street Center in Santa Monica. Here's our website:
Dogen Sangha Los Angeles We pay rent for the space, but it's pretty cheap ($240 a month for Saturday mornings, plus one Saturday afternoon as well). The "suggested donation" is $10, but if you don't have that no one is going to give you shit or even notice.

I've visited and/or been a member of other Buddhist groups in Los Angeles over the past 5 years or so and have never encountered a $90 monthly fee, or any monthly fee. I haven't been everywhere and I'm wondering where this place is.

tattoozen said...

Anonymity + resentment = the former comment section.

I'm on a couple other forums/online community type places that require you to register with your real name before you can participate and the shenannigans level is nearly zero.

People tend to behave if they know that their ass will have to cash the checks that their mouth writes.

gniz said...

Well, my comment did eventually pop up. See my first comment...

It's amazing that I had this issue, since I'm the comment moderator. The least I could do is put through my own damn posts!

Thanks Brad for looking into it. I know there will be a few bumps but this comments section is already infinitely more readable/bearable for it.

Brad Warner said...

Leah, thanks for the advise. I know some blogs update daily. That would drive me nuts (insert pirate joke here*). I do twice a week-ish now. Maybe once a week would be better.


*A pirate walks into the bar with a ship's wheel attached to the front o' his trousers. The bartender asks, "What the ship's wheel for?" The pirate says, "Arrrr, it's drivin' me nuts!"

Korey said...

Brad, when you coming to Toronto to host a retreat, motherfucker?

Anonymous said...

GNITZ!

How in the samhain are you, chief?

Anonymous said...

Brad-
I found and read Hard core Zen in a Ryokan in southern Japan. Soaking in the baths and feeling like a baboon, I felt an evenness about the world around me.It felt like Nirvanna. I think the book helped me enjoy the stillness of that experience.

I finished your book on a Bullet train in Korea and immediately it seemed to disappear from my luggage. The book that is.

I found your blog after looking up how to re-order it.
I got the book but I also have a question.

What do hot baths and Nirvanna have in common?
You can reference the band too, as I left you that wide opening there.

Bradley in Florida

Korey said...

Why did you lie to me Bradley? You know what I'm talking about.

Unknown said...

To whomever-- Mature and established Zen Centers, don't require payment or membership. Donations are usually excepted.I would be suspicious about any place that claims to be a Zen Center charging you money in order to participate.

Khru said...

This is probably the worst comment thread I've ever seen on Bradley's blog...

Leah McClellan said...

Har har har re pirate joke.

You're welcome. All depends what your goals are with the blog.

This guy posts erratically http://johnnybtruant.com/
never more than once a week (sometimes a few weeks go by) but when he does post everyone goes crazy and it goes viral. I guess it works for him.

Good luck with whatever you decide. So many things can be done with blogs. You could have a virtual Zen center :)

Anonymous said...

Clearly you've never met His Holiness Dalai Lama in person. Should be Wholieness.

Good gravy man, where do you get the idea that you aren't in the same soup as us all?

If you can meet him and not cry your eyes out from the taste of compassion you are either in control of your emotions in a good way or you have none.

The mere fact you have the courage to mention him is good.

Seen any footage of starving beaten bloody starving Tibetans under Chinese rule lately?

Get a clue so you can give one.

Anonymous said...

Rad m.f. is a fail.

As for virtual zen center, who's
going to whack you over the back of the head when you lose focus and
your mind starts to wander to stuff
like rad m.f?

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Well, since Jinzang and Mysterion have been ran off, this blog blows monkey penis anyways.

Let's see if Gniz behaves like a zazeNazi.

Brad likes his fame. Not sure if that's "Buddhist".

Harry said...

The moderation thing is probably for the best. Being someone with a rather jaded view of humanity (among other views on the matter... I mean look at the overall history with particular attention to recent death tolls!) I tend to find the liberal idealism of people being left to be completely 'free' to be complete, reckless lunacy.

What we generally seem to consider 'free' isn't that free at all. It's more like brain dead, pre-programmed doziness; a type of sleepwalking/ talking/ typing.

The cruel and unusual punishment dished out to Mysterion is a good example of something that should be moderated. If people can't moderate themselves (me included here BTW), and if they degrade themselves and others in their own unmoderated actions, then it's an act of kindness and care to moderate them IMO.

Charlton Heston would not agree... and he had guns to prove it.

I doubt this will prove a popular post here, but there you go.

Regards,

Harry.

jamal said...

Phil, You crack me up. mysterion aint no victim. He runs peoples off his own self.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Bagwhan once said that you can be
just as enlightened in a Cadillac
as you can in an ox-cart.

It's ordinary ego discussing doing
the right thing from a Zen
perspective.

What happens when there is no
attachment to perspective, fame,
Cadillac, name, ego, shame?

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gniz said...

Jinzang and Mysterion ran themselves off to be fair.

Anonymous said...

Brad how about a write up on this issue in Norway?

Also, if opportunity arises you should come to Toronto... don't let our big tower intimidate and cause you to resent us.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this:

" Gudo’s decision might then naturally follow, like day following night, to make me his successor, in accordance with his intention all those years ago."

I was looking for information on
the relationship between the
conscious and subconscious and zen
technique, and found ego rearing
its ugly head.

Pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Not reblogging Gniz who's not reblogging Brad Warner said:

I don't understand only doing 20
minutes a day. Is it not possible
to bring awareness to everything
all day long?

Brad Warner said...

Korey, is that an invitation?

Korey said...

Yes, it's an invitation. However I have no temple or sangha for you to join me at. I also have no money and have no one to ask to join so it looks like it'll be just me and you brother.

Still interested, friend?

Moon Face Buddha said...

"If you think twice before speaking once, you will speak twice the better for it." - William Penn

Just because we CAN post all our thoughts all the time (twitter being the latest and worst example of this) does not mean that we SHOULD do so :)

Sabio Lantz said...

Fantastic introduction. I can't believe you can't make money on this blog. I hope some blog guru stepped up to the bat to help you. First, you probably have to get off blogger, no?

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

brad-

you're hot, i just want to talk dirty to you.

gniz said...

Anony,

yes I said that (re: trying to bring "awareness" to my daily life).

I don't buy the whole "just do a half an hour of zazen every day and you'll be fine."

In my experience, and I admit it's just mine, the only thing that half an hour is good for is the half an hour when I am doing the meditation. It does not penetrate the whole of my every waking moment.

I don't see why it should either.

Brad Warner said...

Anonymous, I don't know who said,
"Gudo’s decision might then naturally follow, like day following night, to make me his successor, in accordance with his intention all those years ago." But it was not me! It's a weird quote. Where did you get it?

Brad Warner said...

Korey, I'm interested in going to Toronto. But my private Lear jet is out of gas right now.

(i.e. It's a matter of figuring out how to pay for such a trip. I have no Lear jet. That's a joke.)

Harry said...

Brad,

The quote is from Mike Cross on one of his blogs. Here is a bit more to give an idea of the context of the words:

This blog, which was instigated as a response to Gudo’s opening of Dogen Sangha blog, has been part of my effort to teach Gudo. I have tried to clarify what the wrong unconscious tendency is that I know from bitter experience exists in Gudo’s sitting-zen teaching -- the tendency to fix. I expected that, if I could succeed in this, although I may never forgive Gudo for killing our translation partnership, reconciliation between us might be possible. Gudo’s decision might then naturally follow, like day following night, to make me his successor, in accordance with his intention all those years ago.

I seem to have failed totally and utterly. Still, as a result of my stupid efforts over the last couple of years, something has become much more clear to me. I have become more aware than I was before of a wrong unconscious tendency in me. In my holding of strong views about the origin and stopping of fixity, and in my fearful and sometimes bullying attempts to uphold and propogate those views, I tend not to flow; I tend to fix.


http://the-middle-way.blogspot.com/

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

The man who toiled for 15 years,
and had an axe to grind, posted it on his blog. Amazing.

Why would anyone want to be king
when they could be God. The Self experiences itself in itself and by itself.

Tigeress said...

New to blog and Zen. Went to Buddhist Geeks in LA, my first Buddhist event. Viewed Bodhisattva Superstar. I enjoyed your terse voice in film and on this blog which is a breath of fresh air. Found many at conference to be very cool, yet somewhat repressed. Yet I am hooked on the notion of containment into a system and expression of the Now. So for me this "Welcome to my Blog" introduction applies.

Brad Warner said...

Oh! It's Mike! That makes sense. In the context of this comments section it seemed like the person who posted thought I said this.

Anonymous said...

gniz, so you admit that your experience is just yours? thats a big step for you...

Anonymous said...

"it seemed like the person who posted thought I said this."

Nope, it was the guy who fixated
on the Alexander method before he
got his fixity fixed.

Korey said...

You don't have the money to pay for such a trip? You kidding me?

You're a famous author, you do book signings and Zen retreats all over the globe where swarms of fans fork out money to be in your presence, you're a succesful musician with countless releases available everywhere for purchase, you sell clothing and merchandise out the wazoo, you're a hollywood actor, you got tonnes of people donating massive sums of cash towards your blog, and on top of that you work full-time? And you're broke?

WHERE DOES ALL THAT MONEY GO? UP YOUR NOSE?

Anonymous said...

"Gudo : When we practice Zazen everyday, we can enter into the state of the balanced autonomic nervous system, and it is impossible for us to leave our balanced autonomic nervous system at all"

A balanced autonomic sytem in
physical terms is a balance
between adrenergic and cholinergic
systems. Does Gudo mean this or
does he refer to some awareness
of subconscious processes?

gniz said...

Anonymous,

You said "gniz, so you admit that your experience is just yours? thats a big step for you..."

Haha, yes. I am in a twelve step program for that problem and step 1 is admitting that what I think isn't right for everyone else.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Externally keep yourself away from all relationships, and internally have no pantings in your heart; when your mind is like unto a straight-standing wall, you may enter into the Path.

Moot101 said...

I would like you to read one of the Dalai Lama's books(or a few) and comment on the books and see if your view of him changes

john e mumbles said...

Anon @ 4:53, oh yes, Gudo definitely means this.
&
gniz, if that's the case then how in the HELL do you plan to successfully moderate this bitch...I mean blog?

Anonymous said...

Mike Cross - just another major fuck-up in Nishijima's big unhappy dysfunctional family.

proulx michel said...

Korey said...



WHERE DOES ALL THAT MONEY GO? UP YOUR NOSE?

Korey, I think you have an overinflated view of the wealth of an author. Most of them thrive on a small job. It's absolutely exceptional that one will live of his books. Some of them even pay in order to be read.

Anonymous said...

Gudo:
"Why does Zazen have such excellent power? For many years after I began to study Buddhism I didn’t know the reason. Then about 10 years ago, because of the recommendation of my student, named Mike Cross, I read a book entitled “A Teacher’s Window into the Child’s Mind” (Fern Ridge Press) by Sally Goddard, an American psychiatrist and teacher."

Anonymous said...

Whew! Good to see that Master Seagal is still with us and survives the moderator.

Thank you for this wisdom, Master Seagal. I shall endeavor to incorporate it into my life.

Brad Warner said...

Korey said:

You're a famous author, you do book signings and Zen retreats all over the globe where swarms of fans fork out money to be in your presence, you're a successful musician with countless releases available everywhere for purchase, you sell clothing and merchandise out the wazoo, you're a Hollywood actor, you got tonnes of people donating massive sums of cash towards your blog, and on top of that you work full-time? And you're broke?

WHERE DOES ALL THAT MONEY GO? UP YOUR NOSE?


• Here is a typical royalty check. That's just over $1600 for 6 months of sales on 3 books. There is no "0" missing. That's one thousand six hundred.

• The t-shirts, I sell maybe four a month and get about $7 each.

• International speaking gigs almost always end up costing more than I make. Though I did come away from Finland last year with 200 Euros.

• My music is available for purchase. That's true. I've made around $90 so far from the Dimentia 13 downloads. Zero Defex is still trying to recoup recording costs.

• I get donations at the blog but they are far from massive.

• I no longer work a full time job. Look at my touring schedule. What employer would keep me on if I left work that often?

• Swarms of fans? You've never been to one of my personal appearances obviously.

• The total budget for Shoplifting From American Apparel was $10,000. I'll let you guess how much of that went to actors' salaries. (hint: not much)

Having said that, I'm not broke. Just poor. I get by. I have savings from when I worked a real job, which I am eating thru as we speak.

Anonymous said...

Warner is an international playboy and celebrity, literally fighting off hoards of swarming fans wherever he goes. He burns $100 bills and lights his Cuban cigars with them.

Korey said...

lol Brad that little break down wasn't necessary man. I was only playin with you. I already knew you were a peasant

proulx michel said...

Anonymous said...

A balanced autonomic sytem in
physical terms is a balance
between adrenergic and cholinergic
systems. Does Gudo mean this or
does he refer to some awareness
of subconscious processes?


No, he means just the balance as you put it. It's just that, mind not being separated from body, when you achieve that balance, some mental processes follow up.

Anonymous said...

Living in So-Cal can make a person feel poor. Been there, done that.

Tigeress said...

Seagal Rinpoche, relationship is a path. Ask your mother, I am sure she embodies this.

Anonymous said...

"If people can't moderate themselves (me included here BTW), and if they degrade themselves and others in their own unmoderated actions, then it's an act of kindness and care to moderate them IMO."

Harry, Censorship as kindness? The new HCZ blog you envision for us sounds very interesting, as is your willingness to say that black is white whenever blog discipline demands it.

Anonymous said...

So the ineffable cannot be known
by the human mind and a sort of dialectical approach on different
levels is synthesized to hint at it?

If just sitting brings the right balance, why is a theory needed to
explain what Dogen and the Buddha
said or meant?

Harry said...

Well, it's nice to be interesting for a change.

Truly taking responsibility for ourselves and our place/function in the world may be the greatest kindness, and that's a very radical kindness that can be glimpsed from time-to-time if some of the right sort of effort is made; but, not all being fully awakened buddhas, I'm afraid we so often fall short of it - as is plain to see.

I'm all for rules and checks for 'the common good' as a default setting to counter our various blind-spots and harmful pathologies (the non-harmful ones can be very entertaining!), but it's a messy business unless, as is Brad's situation with this blog, you're running a (mostly) benign dictatorship.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Harry, It is a messy business having preferences. But I'm all for messiness over censorship every time. Unless of course I'm the censor. Then you all better toe the line. Regards back to you.

Brad Warner said...

Baby, I light my spliffs with $200 bills!

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wilber: The self cannot see the
Self, because it is the Self that
is doing the looking. 1965 - $29.95

The Self experiences itself in itself and by itself. 1995 - $69.95

Brad - Sit down and shut up - 2005$99.95

Lauren said...

It seems odd to equate blog moderation with censorship. Anyone may post just about anything the wish to (there are some general rules about libel and defamation that may overarch) about what they have seen on this blog in a blog of their own. It's a question of location. Brad's efforts have created the fame that this blog enjoys. In a sense it is "his house". It does not seem like censorship that he would like to keep it organized in a different way. It sounds haughty, but commenting here is a privilege, not a right.

Anonymous said...

I think this guy's great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y3Q7H2urto

I'd be interested in what Brad (or others) have to say about this. I've had an interest in buddhism/zen for a while, but recently, I've been drawn back to the teachings in my "root" religion: People like Meister Eckhart, the Benedictines, Thomas Merton et al. Not the same as zen, but there are some deep commonalities. Has anyone else had this roundabout journey?

There's a subject for a blog if you have time!

Tigeress said...

Ran K,

You claim "Though one point you severely don’t get, - is that relationship embodied in a mother - in most cases, - doesn’t even get near the path."

This tells me your mother never understood you and drove you down this path and therefore deserves your gratitude. Just as all mother junkies drive their children to seek refuge in the dharma of some ideal or discipline. The wounds of children, become the fuel for fire.

Silly Kitten to you. Everyone else, Tigress. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,

Blog moderation is censorship. I'm not going to say it's good or bad in this case but it is what it is. I used the word 'censor' because Brad used it in his "being Grown Up" post. He said, "Since I don't censor those who trash talk me (and there are always plenty) I don't censor those who trash talk anyone else. But please don't read my not censoring them as some kind of expression of support on my part. I do not censor anyone."

I don't think libel and defamation apply when we are talking about online chatter between anonymous people. It might be stupid but it is not criminal. That one person decided that his anonymous reputation was being dragged through the mud by anonymous "Hicks from Sac" was kind of odd. I think he wanted to show us what could happen without blog moderation. (See Mountain of Drugs July 13) The whole matter was born out of vanity IMO.

john e mumbles said...

Anon at 6:22 AM, about a year ago I wrote an article for Buddhist Geeks on the "roundabout approach" I called The Shotgun Effect.

Check it out:
http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/04/the-shotgun-approach-2/

Brad Warner said...

I guess I censor people now.

I have complex feelings about censorship. I have to say that I'm not 100% against all forms of censorship. I think there are times when it might be appropriate. Very few times. But times.

I'm not against film ratings. I don't like stickers on music but, y'know, maybe people ought to be informed what's inside. All that's probably irrelevant now, though, since nobody buys physical formats of music except me anymore.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.