Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello From Rotterdam


Two days of day-long zazen retreats are done and all participants survived. On Saturday I was in Bonn, Germany leading a day-long retreat on a street called Adolf Strasse. I did three and a half hours of dokusan (private one-on-one talks) in a single straight sitting and came back to tell the tale.

It was a groovy group of fun seeking zennies. I really enjoyed the retreat. And I was wrong when I said I'd never been invited to speak at an AZI group. The group in Bonn is affiliated with AZI.

Yesterday I did another day-long zazen thing in Amsterdam. This time we skipped the dokusan. It was logistically impossible given the nature of the venue. But I did have longer group discussions to try to make up for the lack.

Another fun group and very talkative. Maybe we'll get that talk up on the podcast one of these days.

Tonight at 8pm I'll be speaking at Tegen de Stroom In in Rotterdam, Netherlands. All humans in Europe are required to attend.

Also, Monk Fish Books just told me that Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika by Gudo Wafu Nishijima and me is now officially out and available. So get yours while they're hot.

The tour has been great fun so far. But the economic aspects are not so encouraging. Here's the lowdown on that.

• My recent hospital visit forced me to cancel the highest paying gig I had scheduled in Europe. So I lost that money.

• In order to rebook the flight I missed I had to pay an additional $600.

• The hospital bills have not come in yet. But I expect to have to shell out at least $3000. I have the highest deductable in the world, making my health insurance pretty much useless unless I get into some kind of really devastating accident or something.

• Last time I did a European tour I did not have an apartment. I was homeless Braddo. This time I do. So there goes another few hundred bucks.

So I'm hoping at least to break even on this thing. It seems unlikely I'll come out ahead. If I'm lucky the tour won't cost me money. But so far it is definitely costing me money to be here.

So Gempo's out there with his three houses and his Harley collection and here's me trying to figure out how to afford a studio apartment in Akron. Which is "comparing mind," I know. But I guess I'd rather be Husker Du than one of the Spice Girls. Which is to say that integrity is something I value.

Then again, so is the ability to pay the rent...

So yesterday at the day-long retreat I got into this thought loop of trying to envision how I could get more butts in seats at my retreats. Should I have fewer periods of zazen? Maybe more interactive social type activities? Maybe give everybody free hash-laced brownies (it is Amsterdam, after all)?

If I did that, what I'd be offering would cease to be true Zen retreats. But then again they wouldn't necessarily be bad things. There'd be a bit of meditation. And maybe people would get a taste and keep it up. Maybe they wouldn't. But it would still be an honest endeavor. Thich Naht Hanh has adopted this model for his retreats. It's not a scam. It's not even really watering things down as long as you don't present it as something it's not.

If I followed that model I might be able to continue traveling and talking. Maybe I could offer a mix of Zen Lite weekends along with some real Zen retreats for those who wanted to go deeper.

And yet the prospect of doing it that way isn't so appealing. Which is not to say I wouldn't do it. It's just not the kind of idea that has me jumping for joy. It would feel a little bit mercenary.

I love what I do. I love sleeping on mattresses on the floors of people's apartments in weird cities, being accosted by their cats in the morning and trying to figure out if anything in the fridge is butter. I love talking to people who are struggling with the same shit I struggle with. I like meeting younger people (both in age and in spirit) who aren't interested in getting ahead in society, who really want to get to the core of what's most vital in this world. There are lots and lots of us all over the world. It's nice to know that.

I'm not sure I even want three houses and a Harley collection. Or in my case a collection of vintage bass guitars. Would I even take $50,000 for a weekend retreat? Offer it to me and see!

The point is, I still think that I seem to get exactly what I really want in life. It's dangerous to say that everybody does. But I sure seem to.

I seem to want to struggle this way. It makes me feel more alive.

Still, if I could just get enough ahead to afford the Beach Boys' Smile Sessions Box Set that's coming out in a few weeks...

Then again, knowing me, I'll buy it whether I can afford it or not.

113 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stuff you own ends up owning you.

donny said...

hahaha with the butter, that's so true, and even worse in the shop, trying to sneak random packets open to see what's inside, getting COUGHED at and trying to mime butter to a bewildered assistant, then thinking FUCK IT - GO WITH MY INTUITION and arriving back at your room with a block of pig-fat :D

Robin said...

Love the honesty Brad! ;-) And glad to be of help!

Anonymous said...

you called us "fun-seeking zennies"! hey, mind, we are the most hard core serious zen brothers and sisters in the world. otherwise we would not have managed to sit through this: noise from the next door construction site, the mock bomb alert (which we had for the first time in YEARS!), the hour-long screaming mother and her screaming children, and a three and a half hour dokusan. let´s never do this again (three-and-a-half-hour dokusan). otherwise, people will never come again.

though, nice to have met you, it was a great day.

Brad Warner said...

Thanks Donny!

Reminds me of an Irish guy I knew in Japan. He found some peanut butter at the store and was overjoyed. Took it home, spread it on some bread, bit in...

It was miso.

Anonymous said...

don´t you eat margarine?

Anonymous said...

@brad

It was a groovy group of fun seeking zennies.

This is quite a good description of it. The interesting point was not the event itself. For thos who knew your books and blog it was not even very interesting to listen to your talks to be honest :))))

At least for me the most interesting point was that having you as the "host" seemed to attract many interesting people from different groups and directions who were all eager in meeting each other and collaborating with each other.

Usually those zazen days - at least in Europe - are mainly visited by "members of the club". This time there were people close to the Dharma Punx, people who use to visit christian zen retreats, people who go to Rinzai sesshins or who are about to set up a Trinatra Group. And these are just those, I run into as being a visitor myself.

To me it seemed that one of the main reason those people showed up was that they are all thinking about how to express buddhism or buddhist practice here and now in our world, in the wester society.

And this is something where you do a great job. Just by sitting there in your Brad Warner outfit already opens the minds and helps people to think about new approaches and leaving behind the limits of missunderstood traditions.

Fred said...

My position is that people know
what they have to do, but they
don't want to do it.

Brad is genuine and he's out
there doing it. Gudo says that
Action is real. Sitting and
watching the mind is real. Coming
to no point is real.

Winning arguments on the internet
isn't real. Looking for pearls or
nuggets to turn the light inwards
isn't real.

If your ego is so rigid that you
can't lighten up, how are you ever
going to get around it. So I thank
Andrew for saying that he is the
7th Patriarch and an opportunity to
work on my own rigidity and
"fixity."

Harry said...

Some perceptive chap or chappette called 'Praxis' is holding the eternal mirror up over at Treeleaf (yep, I still browse there, silly me)... and it seems the faithful don't like what they see.

The usual blend of collective group indignation, reactionary group affirmation, passive aggressive attack and denial is on display from the Leafer homies.

When people start to question things in depth, with an almost neurotic curiosity (as Dogen did) it is amazing how latter day Soto-ists retreat to this protective non-place of 'everything is perfect as it is; 'that sort of thing' is not Reality', we are not this or that...

They should swallow their enlightened pride and listen to what Praxis is pointing out (regardless of his/her motivation maybe). He/she is pointing out something important.

And before Jundo goes enlisting me for his 'Axis of Evil' again: I am not Praxis.

Regards,

Harry.

john e mumbles said...

There's always that retirement hut in Ceylon...

I've been reading Nanavira Thera's CLEARING THE PATH (here's the whole 600+ book in pdf:)

www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/ctp_screen-view_v1.pdf

Know what you mean, Brad, I've always done interesting things and love my life but getting rich hasn't been part of the deal!

Maybe if it had been, it wouldn't have also been interesting and I wouldn't have loved it so much, who knows?

Keep a light touch.

PA said...

I've been meaning to get Smile for a while now - I love Pet Sounds and have listened to it to death for ages. It's pretty much a perfect album. It's only become eclipsed by Neil Young's stuff, of late...
Is Smile worth getting?

G'luck with the rest of your tour :-)

PA

skatemurai said...

LOL @ butter. Brad, What do you think about Kindle, about e-readers? Thanks, have a nice trip! I think about going to Berlin, but I live about 600 km from that city, and in different state - czech republic :-). Tom

arihanta said...

I have recently thought that one must balance between spiritual truth and being well off materially.

an3drew said...

brad what i am about to say is not me being mean, just realistic !
i'm trying to help you !

1. eckhart tolle has gutted zen, that is he's taken so much of the potential audience that it's no longer economic to be a teacher !

there's other reasons why the neo advaita bandwagon is now so dominant, the upshot is still that things have changed, why do you think the genpo merzel has changed ship?

2. you can't keep health travelling all the time !

3. i think you do better in a climate with more sun, you did well in nairobi ? think about it !

Korey said...

Bradley, will taking doctor-prescribed psychiatric medications deter my Zen practice?

proulx michel said...

Shows how well you would have done if you had moved to Montreal. You would have had free healthcare, and now you may see how invaluable this is...

donny said...

:D As for the question of making retreats more accessible, why not? i think it's important that you do what you do, and if it can be better financed with half day intros with some zazen and a talk, why not? i don't see it as watered down, it's a different thing. Zen centres give intro classes all the time.

Mysterion said...

Margerine?

O.K. newbies, donate $5 or $10 to uncle Brad. For well-heeled folks, go set up an annuity for Brad.

Otherwise, from now until 12/21/12 he'll just get the usual miniscule dana...

CAPCHA=movings

Blake said...

In September we ended up doing a retreat that was a mix of sitting and teaching people about Zen. The turnout was fantastic and a bit more relaxed than a regular retreat. So perhaps a cross between your talks and a retreat? That would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Damn, this post gave me whiplash. "I won't compromise my principles." "I will compromise my principles." "I might compromise my principles."

Would it be so hard to just ASK if anyone would like to help you pay your medical bills?

Anonymous said...

Just checked out the price of the 'Smile' box set.. Christ, it is almost like buying three houses and a Harley collection. I download all my music off of youtube. Haven't paid for it in years. It's legal and I don't keep it very long.

anon #108 said...

Yes, Harry!

I hadn't visited Treeleaf for many months, but I took a look a couple of days ago and was dismayed by the reaction to praxis' brief, straightforward question. I considered posting a link here, but didn't. I told myself I really shouldn't - more cowardice, perhaps, than wisdom?

Mr praxis (I believe aka 'shel' and other names in former lives @ ZFI) seemed to me to be nothing other than reasonable, honest and polite, and the initial reaction to him was pretty universally...just as you say.

As I read through the early responses to praxis I couldn't help thinking, "Have these people learnt nothing? Are they in complete denial, unaware how much their defensive group loyalty and sense of 'our territory invaded' is projecting onto the poor, enquiring innocent that which he simply has not written, and blinding them to their own faults???" (I didn't find Jundo's responses nearly as objectionable as Taigu's, who pissed me RIGHT off. Praxis' response to Taigu [Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:14 pm] I found...masterful :)).

Thanks for giving me permission to be enthusiastically, un-buddhistically judgemental, H ;)

Tut. What a sad example of the mirror principle.

- - Them!...Not ME!!!

LINK

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

I wondered where you'd got to, JEM!

Hi! And congrats on the Kindle :)

anon #108 said...

I just read some of that Treeleaf thread again. If praxis' initial motives were other than entirely "innocent", he still had the good sense to frame his short question in a simple, direct way...

WHAT A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDIOTS.


Mmm. Feel better. I wonder if it'll last.

David said...

Hey Brad! Will it be a Kindle edition of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way? I'm really interested on it but since I'm also in Europe it takes a while to get the deliveries here. Good luck with the rest of the gig!


David

Soft Troll said...

"Winning arguments on the internet
isn't real. Looking for pearls or
nuggets to turn the light inwards
isn't real.
"

My view is that things like the above are certainly real, although maybe often not the 'real' we suppose them to be.

'Winning arguments on the internet' might for some be the exercise in focused intellectual play they intended it to be.

'Looking for pearls or nuggets to turn the light inward' might be reading what has been written for clarification or inspiration - leading to other expressions of action.

'Lightening up' seems to be a healthy attitude to have, and specifically to certain things we might encounter in the comments section.

And one can also be nice and light and up in attitude when responding to stuff because things have gotten a tad bogged down.

anon #108 said...

Correction:

- praxis masterful response to Taigu was posted @ Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:13 am. (The date I mistakenly gave above is the date he joined Treeleaf.)

Doug said...

Hi Brad,

Glad you're enjoying the trip, though sorry to hear about the money issue. I travel with my wife to Japan yearly to see her relatives and now with a little girl it gets really expensive. Rising fuel costs don't help either.

On thr subject of making money, my wife, whom I often call my "bodhisattva" had an interesting point. Steve Jobs had a ton of money, but he still got sick and died at age 58, so the money and power didn't do a whole lot of good. As long as you live within your means (something many people have forgotten how to do), and have good friends the rest isn't so important. I believe this is why many bhikkhus who take a vow of poverty are no less happy than anyone else.

Confucius said in the Analects:

[7:16] Confucius said: "I can live with coarse rice to eat, water for drink and my arm as a pillow and still be happy. Wealth and honors that one possesses in the midst of injustice are like floating clouds."

Broken Yogi said...

As long as you are grateful for the difficulties in your life, you are practicing true Zen.

Ernie said...

Collecting stuff is is a weird compulsion. I do it and it causes me all kinds of problems.

Khru said...

There is a "Donate" option (for those of you who would like to give Brad some dana), on the side of his blog.

And BTW, this is the worst comment thread I've ever seen on Bradley's blog.

Gerald said...

Wow.. Is Taigu a good right-hand man or what? One small sniff of a rat and he comes out guns blazing. This just has to be a conspiracy against Jundo! And how dare anyone question the great Cohen. His behavior has always been exemplary except for those few hilareous slip-ups.

Zenleo said...

Itinerant writer talks of living, and dreaming, on $20,000 a year...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/itinerate-writer-talks-of-living-and-dreaming-on-20000-a-year/2011/09/26/gIQAzdi8CL_story.html

He did cover the fact in another article that he does not have medical expenses (yet) and those trips to Europe you take wrack up the expense I'm certain. But thought it was an interestig article and on topic.
Have a great afternoon
Cheers!

Thing 2 said...

Wow?!
"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Treeleaf Zendo” is hosted or International Law. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned, with notification of your Internet Service Provider if deemed required by us. The IP address of all posts are recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that “Treeleaf Zendo” have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should we see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered to being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent, neither “Treeleaf Zendo” nor phpBB shall be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised."

And some people have thought comment moderation on this blog was too strict.

Zenleo said...

Copied and pasted right from Tree Leaf, a blog posting by Jundo:


Pasura Sutta: To Pasura
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


...

Insisting that what they depend on is good,
they are deeply entrenched in their personal truths.
Seeking controversy, they plunge into an assembly,
regarding one another as fools.
Relying on others' authority, they speak in debate.
Desiring praise, they claim to be skilled.

Engaged in disputes in the midst of the assembly,
— anxious, desiring praise — the one defeated is chagrined.
Shaken with criticism, he seeks for an opening.

He whose doctrine is [judged as] demolished, defeated, by those judging the issue:
He laments, he grieves — the inferior exponent.
"He beat me," he mourns.
These disputes have arisen among contemplatives.
In them are elation, dejection.

Seeing this, one should abstain from disputes, for they have no other goal than the gaining of praise.

(back to me Zenleo) So are we nothing more than worms? Go about our existence without disputes, just continue eating dirt without complaining or causing trouble? Really I'm asking you all.

Have a great evening

Cheers

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.

Anonymous said...

That AlanLa guy is a knob.

I used to browse Treeleaf quite a bit and was always struck by what a fool that guy is. I'm from Texas, as is AlanLa, and I get a kick out the thought of that clown running around the east Texas shitsville he lives in, acting like an evolved holy man.

What a fucking tool that guy is.

Uh...... I now atone what I just wrote.

Fred said...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Information



"Dear Mr. James Cohen,

You do not belong Dogen Sangha at all. Therefore you should not say anything about Dogen Sangha completely."

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

anon #108 said...

Treeleaf and praxis - apologia:

Am I not now, nor have I ever been, a card-carrying Jundo-basher. My comments were not directed at Mr Cohen, but at the Treeleafers who, in concert, rounded upon the intruding praxis.

Fred said...

Harry and Jundo 4 years ago:

"
Yes, it seems clear that there could be said to be a tradition in Zen monasticism of transgressing the precepts, or of blurring any strict meanings... but where people are only sneaking out for a smoke, eating meat or having a little consensual sex then big deal. I mean, what business is it of his or ours to judge?

More than a touch of 'overkill' there to my mind.

Regards,

Harry.
1:19 AM, October 19, 2007 jundo cohen said...
Hi Harry,

I agree that the piece was extreme, lumping sneaking a cigarette in with more serious things. It was a 'witch-hunt' perhaps, but the best list I could find of all the various scandals. Thanks for pointing that out.

Gassho, Jundo"

Fred said...

Jundo hasn't dropped his lawyer ego. That isn't a criticsm, it's
just an observation.

It seems that the Zen is flavored
by the personality and previous
lifestyle.

That's not a criticism, it's just
an observation.

an3drew said...

korey said

"Bradley, will taking doctor-prescribed psychiatric medications deter my Zen practice?"

what medications and why ?

Mr. Literal said...

"On Saturday I was in Bonn, Germany leading a day-long retreat on a street called Adolf Strasse."

Did passers-by in cars dodge the crazy zen people sitting on the pavement & honk and wave?

an3drew said...

"donny said...
:D As for the question of making retreats more accessible, why not?"

my view is that retreats "en masse" are actually doomed because the population is now in general so unhealthy !

the 50's to 80's where a period of unusually good human health !

an3drew said...

" I believe this is why many bhikkhus who take a vow of poverty are no less happy than anyone else. "

when i was in korean zen there was huge issue with extremely unhappy monks who wished the hell they had never gotten into it and once they get past a certain age it's to late to get out

they

just

wanted

to

be

happily

married

lving

the
usual

life !

Anonymous said...

Dear God. I had gone away from browsing Treeleaf's forum. Now that it got brought up, I've taken a quick run-through over there.

That "Taigu" guy posted the following: "A simple glass of water or the sun in the curtains have much more to teach us that the endless twisted paths of the mind."

And the acolytes are falling all over themselves in the mad rush to post "THANK YOU FOR THIS TEACHING" to the guy. Jesus H, lol. "Thank you for this teaching, Taigu." Bwahahaha.

What a trip that place is.

If they can call that cyber-shit Buddhism, Brad, I don't see why you can't give some hybrid talk/sits and call them whatever you like. Go for it, my friend.

Doug said...

Hi an3drew,

when i was in korean zen there was huge issue with extremely unhappy monks who wished the hell they had never gotten into it and once they get past a certain age it's to late to get out

They'd be sorry to find out that a lot of married people are unhappy and wished they hell they had never gotten into it either, and once they get past a certain age it's too late to get out. :p

Thankfully I am not one of them, but that's another story...for another time. :)

Anyway, I don't disagree with that, but that's why I said "no less happy than anyone else". ;) Not everyone is suited to be a bhikkhu, not everyone is suited for married life. People often find this out until too late and don't learn to make the most of what they have now. Ah well.

anon #108 said...

Hmm. I don't feel as good as I did @ 8.58am...found a couple of people who aren't fucking idiots.

I KNEW that would happen!


Can't stand Taigu though.

an3drew said...

zenlo said

Itinerant writer talks of living, and dreaming, on $20,000 a year...

link is


why doesn't he publish himself on the web?

he's ok but not a great writer, brad warner is streets ahead imo

the problem is that the web has destroyed the ability to make a living as a writer tho it gives huge distribution

in the same way the web has destroyed photography as an occupation with cheap sophisticaced digital cameras and umpteen billion photos on-line !

Fred said...

Brad has already stated something
alongs the lines that he overcame
depression without drugs. Perhaps
I'm wrong on that perception, but
I would like to present a pro
medication position.

Drinking 2 coffees alters your
brain chemistry. Eating a high
carb diet ensures more tryptophan
crossing the blood-brain barrier
in competition with other amino
acids. Trytophan is the precursor
for serotonin. Everything you put
in your body alters your brain
chemistry.

Will taking an antidepressant
effect your practice. Sure, it
will make your practice better
because you can concentrate better,
are more motivated to sit, are less
anxious about negative events, etc.

Cue Andrew.

Mysterion said...

Japanese = Zen
Korean = Son (sometimes Qwon)
China = Chuan

see this LINK for more

but whadda I know?

I'm Jodo Shu.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I used to browse Treeleaf quite a bit and was always struck by what a fool that guy is..."

He's no fool. In fact, he went and recorded Joyanokane for us a few years ago.

He did miss the point that the 108 soundings of the bell (like 108 rosary beads - Buddhists and Hindus use the Japa Mala which usually has 108 beads) commemorate the term of cycles (12 x 8) to which we are all subject to failure (e.g. birth-death cycles).

Harry said...

Well, 108, that's pretty strong parlance for a generally reasonable chap like you, no?

God knows I'm fairly up the idiocy stakes myself at the best of times... but, yes, Taigu's display was particularly disappointing, and Praxis won the argument, but not entirely well. Jundo is just doing his 'trying-to-live-up-to-my-idea-of-a-zen-priest' thing... Jesus, I wish he'd give himself a break... and the rest of the Buddhist world a break, by extension. 'Flowers fall, weeds flourish' and all that I suppose.

It's easy for us infidels by comparison really.

Someone who isn't a good people person 'hasn't met a real person, because he hasn't met himself' to misquote the Old Boy. When a person meets him/herself I think they are more able to understand (and forgive!) people. Until then we just judge people in accordance with our own shoddy ideas, our spurious values, our dodgy self referential perceptions, and circumstances and whatever. Always loved that idea. Don't claim to have realised it.

Regards,

Harry.

Mysterion said...

Type "O"

Term of cycles (12 x 9) = 108

term = 12

cycle = 9

other mala = 27 (3 x 9)

3 is the Compassionate (Qwan Yin, Kannon), feminine, 1/4th part of 12.

Anonymous said...

Harry

I have never heard you put forth the matter so elegantly and eloquently.

spot on

kristien said...

Dear Brad, you write:

“I'm not sure I even want three houses and a Harley collection. Or in my case a collection of vintage bass guitars.

I seem to want to struggle this way. It makes me feel more alive.”

You are true to your heart. To me, you demonstrate great understanding of the nature of this conditional existence .

The Ruchira Buddha Adi Da Samraj said:
“The great signs of renunciation associated with Realization appear only in the context of absolute frustration of the egoic ‘self’, in the realization (in fact) that the egoic ‘self’ cannot be fulfilled, is not and cannot be, and that the arising ‘world’ of cosmic nature is not a machine that fulfills anyone, at most tantalizes everyone, and inevitably frustrates everyone. It is only the complete certainty of this that allows the great heart-motive to come to the front and become Realization and renunciation. Only that absolute frustration, then--the absolute certainty of non fulfillment of the egoic ‘self’--is the source of the Way as a real process.”

anon #108 said...

Reasonable, Harry? Moi?

Well I do try, it's true. But I'm really just another crazy mixed-up kid; a very naughty boy with a rather foul mouth ;)

an3drew said...

3.52 anon

from the tealeaf forum

"Clouds drift in and out, that is natural. However, we bring our attention again and again (10,000 times and 10,000 times again) to the open, blue sky between, allowing the clouds of thought to drift away. More clouds will come, and so we repeat the process endlessly, once more and once more bringing our attention back to the blue sky… to the open spaces between thoughts."

link

that's absolute rubbish and why i deregistered all but three teachers

an3drew said...

"cue andrew"

"Eating a high
carb diet ensures more tryptophan
crossing the blood-brain barrier
in competition with other amino
acids."

pasturized fruit with cream and maybe a small bit of cheese is ok, but NOT wheat

an3drew said...

c'mon jundo, be real and reply to this !

shikantaza


like


the


moon


between


the


clouds


or


the


moonlight


silvered


fields


trees


and


stream


or


what ?

an3drew said...

you


can


tell


a


zen


master


they


have


clams


for


lips !

an3drew said...

harry

what

is

a koan

without

the

need

to

explain it?

Harry said...

... I've met people who have realised 'meeting themselves in other people' BTW; none of them Buddhists as it happens.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

oooh that was real good Harry. Thanks.

Soft Troll said...

Until then we just judge people in accordance with our own shoddy ideas, our spurious values, our dodgy self referential perceptions, and circumstances and whatever...

I would like to extend that with:

...that is we also distinguish people in accordance with our own pristine ideas, our peerless values, our radiant self referential perceptions, disgorging circumstances and whatever

(one's grittiness is clinquant from all directions

perhaps)

I think that has something to do with the praxis/ treeleaf axis - but as I'm shooting from the hip...

a chokeful of malborough, and the mouldering coals of laphroaig spangled with violently unforgettable forgotten oaths - ah remind me again, man-thirsty bitch!

amen

Tom Keen said...

Hey Brad,

Love your books, I run a Buddhist & Real Ale Blog in UK - SidArthur.Co.UK. Also spent 4 years living in Japan. Bit disappointed you are only dong one gig in UK. I also suspect that know one told you that you are doing it in Essex, which ironically is our equivalent to Jersey Shore! Hope your trip goes well. Will keep an eye out for other UK visits

Take care

Tom
email@sidarthur.co.uk

Fred said...

Well done, and you want to shut
these voices off? Hell, the insight on the blog could right a
book.

Shunya Jundo said...

"c'mon jundo, be real and reply to this !"

my mirror is spotless, it has no peer
your black stream darkness is full
of fear
the sivery fields and moon filled
dew drops
illuminate the mindful seer.

Mysterion said...

Instant karma:

I was having lunch (in Japan) with a particularly offensive guy who "would not eat anything that came out of the ocean unless she walked out on her own two legs" and he got a hot dog and spread a BUNCH of mustard on it.

When he bit in, it resulted in the only time in six years that he was completely silent.

It was VERY hot mustard.

Every one who was there would thereafter recall that incident with particular relish.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me for interfering in your lively online debate. But why are you not out there participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests? I know you people don't have jobs to go to so there really is no excuse. It's time for us to get out there and topple this rigged economic system. This is not just an economic cause, it's a buddhist cause. I want to see every one of you down on Wall Street or in front of your state capitol building lighting yourself on fire in full lotus. Or would you rather spend the rest of your life as an online zen poser? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Doug said...

@Mysterion: huh, another Jodo Shu follower. :)

I hate to jump on the "bash Treeleaf" wagon, but I admit my discussions of Pure Land Buddhism there were met with a cold, unfriendly shoulder from the administrators. Snarky comments from clergy strike me as a lousy way to garner interest in Soto Zen. It wasn't much better than E-Sangha when that was still around.

I found the board, like much of the Zen community I've encountered to be chauvanistic and suffering from what Prof. Bodiford refers to as "Neo-orthodoxy in Western Zen".

Suffice to say I gave up and moved onto to more friendly discussion groups.

To Brad's credit, this forum is quite a bit friendlier, especially once you moderate comments. ;)

The Loned Ranger said...

Brad Have ever considered Kickstarter.com
Perhaps, just a suggestion, maybe it's time to settle down a bit and build a Zendo somewhere. You can still travel but maybe that too could help support you financially. Just a suggestion. I've known some people that started a restaurant on kickstarter and they are doing well. All the best Brad.

Mysterion said...

Blogger an3drew said...
"that's absolute rubbish..."

Buddhism is "a system of behaviors* veiled behind metaphors, similes and analogies and transmitted through sutras".

Moral behavior is action for the benefit (and not detriment) of self.

Ethical behavior is action for the benefit (and not detriment) of others.

If you cannot catch these abstractions, then try sticking to Dr. Seuss.

This is NOT a criticism, it is whispering wise council into your ear.

an3drew said...

mysterion writes:

"Moral behavior is action for the benefit (and not detriment) of self.

Ethical behavior is action for the benefit (and not detriment) of others. "

mysterion, your brain is like a twisted napkin !

what

is

christ

on

the

cross

about?

how

does

it

fit

into

your

scheme

of

things

i

don't

mean

religion

i

mean

crucifixion !

an3drew said...

"c'mon jundo, be real and reply to this !"

Shunya Jundo said...

my mirror is spotless, it has no peer
your black stream darkness is full
of fear
the silvery fields and moon filled
dew drops
illuminate the mindful seer.

-------------

wow a reply, by whom it's hard to say, however it's so voynichy i can't bring my self to write a poem in reply but it's a first step and probably a last lol

the thing about poetry is that it doesn't have to be right because that different more holistic mode of expression is the right medium for expressing what zen is about, prose doesn't cut it so congratulations !

poor

buddha

assailed

with

a

mirror

and/ of

the

mindfull

seer !

Fred said...

Charles, don't get the 7th zen Patriarch riled up.

Mysterion said...

Christ on a Cross?

You mean the recycling of the Dionysus Crucifixion?

"The inscription OΡΦEOC BAKKIKOC should be read as ORPHEOS BAKKIKOS and refers to the mythological Greek musician Orpheus and the Greek wine god Dionysus, whose Roman name was Bacchus."

more

an3drew said...

that's an interesting link thanx mysterion but i don't dispute that

this is what you don't what to see

it's

not

some

mythical

figure

up

there

but

you

and

me !

Zenleo said...

LOL Mysterion!

...recall that incident with particular relish...

Relish... not Hot Mustard!

BTW I think Harry is the 7th zen Patriarch

Also if you check his Blog Site Harry did grow some crazy eyes.

indeed indeed Brad should build his own Zendo, and it would not be like everyone was following him either because like on here everyone would be saying "Piss Off" So no danger of that power trip thing happening Bradly.

Have a good evening

Cheers!

an3drew said...

basically buddha, god whatever is seen in the failure and destruction of human !

it's

so

simple

and

no-one

wants

to
get

it

building

new

towers

on

the

bodies

of

the

crucified !

Mysterion said...

Anyone who has made more than a cursory study of Xtianity is aware of Cybele and Attis and Ostia.

In 204–205 bce, during the Second Punic War, the Romans transferred the black, aniconic stone representing Cybele from her cult center at Pessinus (Greece) to Rome - actually Ostia.

Mother & Child 2nd c. BCE (upper left).

Universal is RIGHT. It includes everything - including the kitchen sink.

Mysterion said...

a better sink

(not a cartoon)

Harry said...

No patriarch here (my missus wouldn't be long beating that notion out of me, I hope)... I'm not even ancestor to myself!

Patriarchs are a dime a dozen. Let's try something original.

Regards,

Harry.

an3drew said...

i'm


really


gratefull


to


see


people


so


avoidant


sometimes


i


think


there


is


hope


but


obviously


there


is


none !


the


idiots


crowd


in


again


wanting


what


would


burn/ kill


them !

an3drew said...

harry writes:

"No patriarch here (my missus wouldn't be long beating that notion out of me, I hope)... I'm not even ancestor to myself!"

well done, there's a good karma to not claiming

what

you

are

not!

however there is an insight

one day that your missus won't beat out of you but be in awe of !

Zenleo said...

Okay Harry, my wife would not go for me as the 7th Pat either, and no Irish Beer Bongs either.. so I guess my originality is all worn out.. but here is a quote for you:

If you refuse to let your own suffering lie upon you even for an hour, and if you constantly try to prevent and forestall all possible distress way ahead of time; if you experience suffering and displeasure as evil, hateful, worthy of annihilation, and as a defect of existence, then it is clear that you harbour in your heart the religion of comfortableness. How little you know of human happiness, you comfortable people, for happiness and unhappiness are sisters, and even twins that either grow up together, or as in your case, remain small together.

Friedrich Nietzsche

...So maybe Brads Distress as in lack of Bling can be looked at as part of being a Zen Priest? Maybe he is doing it right after all? ehh?

an3drew said...

mysterion, why don't you put up web pages with your views and research on the origins of christianity

i

think
you

have a

real

talent there

i can speak from experience , it's alot of work but really quite worthwhile !

just

make

sure

you

keep

backup

files !

an3drew said...

"So maybe Brads Distress as in lack of Bling can be looked at as part of being a Zen Priest? Maybe he is doing it right after all? ehh?"

that's a good nietzsche quote btw

the

trouble

is

zen

has

died

it's

not

the

sixties
anymore, eckhart tolle, katie byron and neo advaita have gutted the field

they

are

the

winners

why

do

you

think

i

am

stepping

in
as

7th

patriarch

my

first

move

has

been

to

disestablish all but three teachers

to

put

some

order

into

the

transmission

mess

and

travesty

of

incompetents

ruling

the

roost !

Voynich Jundo said...

Good job 7th Zen Patriarch. We knew
that you could straighten it out.
We probably need your help at
Treeleaf too.

Fred Voynichese said...

I'm sure all the Steve Jobs
wannabes will be taking up Zen.
So change the name to Bigger Mind
or Big Sky or something and go
make some money.

I wonder what Jobs thought when
his Zen Master talked about resting
upon the Absolute on the other side
of Nothing.

Harry said...

Zenleo,

I always like the words of Old Dead Dogen (especially when someone occassionally scares the zombie out of 'em):

"Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are greatly deluded about realization are ordinary beings."

Regards,

Harry.

an3drew said...

"Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are greatly deluded about realization are ordinary beings."

bit of a crappy translation


to

be


a
buddha

is

to

understand

yourself
as


a process

of

mistakes

to

not

understand

yourself
as

a

process
of
mistakes

is

just

the

usual

human !

btw


i


don't


think


jundo


is


any


more


mistaken


than


me !


about


infinity


anyway !

anonymous anonymous said...

glad to see mysterion and an3drew bonding. Beam me up Scotty.

an3drew said...

the thing


about


blogs


is


blogs


can


disappear


if


you


are


writing


then


you


want


it


to


always


be


there !

jundo cohen said...

Doug said...
@Mysterion: huh, another Jodo Shu follower. :)

I hate to jump on the "bash Treeleaf" wagon, but I admit my discussions of Pure Land Buddhism there were met with a cold, unfriendly shoulder from the administrators. Snarky comments from clergy strike me as a lousy way to garner interest in Soto Zen. It wasn't much better than E-Sangha when that was still around.

I found the board, like much of the Zen community I've encountered to be chauvanistic and suffering from what Prof. Bodiford refers to as "Neo-orthodoxy in Western Zen".


Hi,

I want to respond about just this one comment (my earlier attempt seems to have not posted).

This week, a novice priest from Treeleaf had the pleasure of sitting with Brad in a room filled with folks from many Zen lineages ... AZI, Christian Zen, even someone from Genpo's line. Everyone sitting in harmony under one roof. More here:

LINK

I wrote this in response:

Many roads up the mountain (anyway, What Mountain?). The only question is which paths lead to a good place (which is ultimately No Place At All, Here All Along), and which merely have one chasing one's own tail, or lead into the brambles! Many paths, no place to go ... but some paths are better than others.

No medicine to suit all patients (anyway, ultimately What Patient?). What we practice here may be right for many, poison for some. Other folks may need a flavor of Buddhism to treat their particular dis-ease (notice the hyphen, anyway What Disease?). Some may practice in monasteries, some not ... some may practice Just Sitting, some with a Koan, Breathing, Chanting Buddha's Name or Insight practice ... some may practice as Christians, Muslims or Jews and some not, some believing in God and some not ...

'Tis a very spacious Mountain, a most powerful Medicine. Boundless, in fact.

Gassho, J


In our Treeleaf Sangha, we have two Catholic Priests who sit with us, other Christians, some Muslims, Jews, political liberals and conservatives, atheists and many agnostics. Each can practice Shikantaza, and each sometimes shares and expresses with all our members how they can combine their Zen practice with other practices and beliefs (or lack thereof). That is very welcome, and one can combine Zen practice with many other beliefs or non-beliefs. The same for someone practicing Pure Land with Zen Practice being free to share it with others. However, the fact is that in our 'Zen Dojo' our core practice is Shikantaza together with the Precepts and a few other things (all Zazen in its wider meaning), and not those other practices. So, even though we are open to hear about it and share, such practice is not taught or encouraged in our Dojo for a simple reason: It is very much like coming to an Ai-ki-do and wanting to teach and share Karate. That is not what we practice (one would be better to find a Karate Dojo, or a Karate-Ai-ki-do teacher if one wants to practice that).

I think people were respectful of your practices, and I do not think you will find any comment there by anyone who was "snarky" about it. It is just that we don't practice that there in our little place. But we respect and encourage you to follow your heart and do so (so long as you are sitting Shikantaza too).

You know, I often say this about how Shikantaza fits with many beliefs, with what is ...

If there is a Jesus, Allah, Jehovah or Amida Buddha in his Pure Land ... fetch water and chop wood, try to live avoiding doing harm.

And if there is no Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, no Amida Buddha or Pure Land ... fetch water and chop wood, try to live avoiding doing harm.

In Shikantaza, we sit with-and-as what is, whatever is. If there is a Jesus, Pure Land etc., we sit with/as that. If there is no Jesus, Pure Land etc., we sit with/as that.


Anyway, Doug, I hope that clear it up, and you are always welcome to sit with us.

Gassho, Jundo

an3drew said...

this is amazing, weirder than science fiction or a monster movie!

a giant octopus eating sea monsters and making pics out of their vertebrae

in it's little home

now

answer


me


where


was


buddha


or


god?

Praxis Fan said...

It's just nauseating to read Jundo going on about gentle and kind speech, given his history of tirades, insults, passive aggression, sock-monkey postings, etc. Of course he would never even hint that he may have been guilty of any of these things amongst his Treeleafers. As usual, he merely states that he may have offered an unkind word once or twice in the past somewhere, citing some trivial example whilst completely ignoring the vile stuff many of us have seen here, on ZFI, on Treeleaf itself, and of course, most devastatingly on rebloggingbradwarner.blogspot.com. It's really disingenuous, and it's good to see people like Praxis calling him out on it.

an3drew said...

jundo cohen "writes:"

i say "writes" cause such expertise in packing cliches together is not often come by !

"Many roads up the mountain (anyway, What Mountain?). The only question is which paths lead to a good place (which is ultimately No Place At All, Here All Along), and which merely have one chasing one's own tail, or lead into the brambles! "

shouldn't you be working on a construction site or something?

an3drew said...

what i have noticed with people like jundo is they are very two faced, smarmy where they think it's important and bastards where they think it's not !

jundo be yourself more and not so smarmy or is that not so safe ?

i honestly do not know what you are doing in zen or i do actually which is why you are deregistered !

personally deregistered by the 7th patriarch, hang that up on your wall !

why not let the cracks in the paper appear and step into your life !

be

the
last
time

you
post

here

i

suppose !

an3drew said...

i think thats 1-0 7th patriarch verus zen masters

a
knockout if you can knock out a concrete block

an3drew said...

i wouldn't mind some competiton actually, i think taigu would be more interesting

an3drew said...

there you are taigu, i'm throwing down the dharma gaunlet ! if you can put your begging bowl down!

"the seventh patriarch versus the koma river sleeper!"

don't be shy now!

Old Timer said...

Finally!

I am so appreciating Andrew's humor.

It took like

3-4

bradblogposts/commentaries

he really is

the seventh son of a son of a gun!

Way to go A.

Seriously,

humorously,

keep it up. Bravo.

Fred said...

Andrew, you should be writing jokes
for the Dalai Lama.

funny

stuff

Trying Too Hard said...

Calling out Taigu is kind of like saying you'll fight the fat kid's retarded brother, eh?

gniz said...

I happened to read the Treeleaf Praxis thread yesterday and was surprised--though I shouldn't have been--to find Jundo mentioning me by saying this: "I did get hot under the collar on a blog a couple of years ago with a rather malicious fellow spreading rumors about Treeleaf "censorship" (in fact, hey, you can see the lack of censorship around here for yourself! ). That guy was being pretty malicious and making things up. I should not have reacted by getting snarky with him. "

I went back to the original rebloggingbradwarner posts and read through all of it. I don't see any place where I made things up about Jundo, but I saw a lot of places where he made things up about me and rewrote history as he does yet again in the Praxis thread.

What an interesting characterization of his rants and nastiness (done under an anonymous moniker that was later exposed). That was just being "snarky" apparently, and I was simply malicious and making things up about Treeleaf.

I still feel like Treeleaf is fine for what it is on the surface, and probably all in all a fine place for Buddhists interested in Shikantaza to come together and converse. I don't at all buy that it is equivalent to a real life sangha, and I don't think that Jundo is the most self-reflective guy in the world.

I think he's sort of a dick. But that isn't a crime, so whatever.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, any chance of an ebook form of "Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way"?

anon #108 said...

Hi gniz,

Give us a link to the epic Jundo session on the old reblogging blog would ya? ...For those of us with nothing better to do.

Hope you're well.

gniz said...

Hey #108,

Here's the first link:
http://rebloggingbradwarner.blogspot.com/2010/07/jundo-boots-another-treeleafer-for.html

That's the first post in a series of posts that eventually take a very bizarre turn when Jundo came into the comments section under anonymous monikers and began swearing and insulting me and others pretty voraciously.

I won't bother linking to all the posts, there's way too many and the whole thing is kind of ridiculous looking back on it.

But I do find it humorous how Jundo, despite the very clear evidentiary trail of his own behavior, rewrites history to make it seem like he just lost his cool for a brief moment in time.

Rather, it was hours and hours, if not days, of him coming on my blog (sometimes as anonymous posters) and making really nasty comments.

Funnily enough, he talks about how everyone on brad's blog and my blog are just these foul mouthed people and we shouldn't be shocked by rough language.

If you look at my posts, I very rarely use the kind of language that he did, and very few posters do. occasionally it happens, but I wouldn't say it's everybody running around swearing and saying "suck my dick" and all of that.

Jundo by far and away used the most crass, disgusting language of anyone--and he did it repeatedly.

I don't respect his twisting of the past to make himself look like a good guy beset by malicious ne'er do wells. I don't respect his different faces and personas on various forums and correspondence.

And I don't respect that he brought me up in this recent conversation and completely misrepresented his own behavior.

anon #108 said...

Thanks G.

I remember it well - I was following it all as it happened.

FWIW, I read some of Jundo's initial anonymous postings - the "disgusting ones" - ones a little differently. I accepted his defence that he was trying, unwisely, to make a point sarcastically...I'm a member of a small minority and perhaps being naive. Also, I wasn't the target - those posts would very likely have sounded very different to me if I were.

Anyhow, I'm sure you don't want to re-hash it all... I do take your point entirely that after the heat had abated, he did present a summary of events that in no way tallied with my understanding of what had occurred. And I said so. And yes, a shame that he repeated the same revision of history the other day.

Hey Ho...

anon #108 said...

BTW

I was still posting anonymously/in various names in those days (not so long ago...hmm) and this was me:

"Any of my business? said...
3.04 and 3.40am posts posted by Jundo?? - or maybe only "Gniz's Real Purpose"? Just guessing. It would be understandable..."

Pending Jundo's confession, you'll have to take my word for it that I was right. I claim a prize. I sussed him first.

Doug said...

Re: online Zen threads and conflict.

It's amusing and ironic that the principal players of the argument you mentioned above are the same ones who used to decry the level of control and censorship on E-sangha ("E-Sangha Watch" anyone?) after they were booted.

Truly there is no such thing as an altruistic rebel.

P.S. A bit late to the party, sorry. :P

Doug said...

@Rev. Jundo: Ok, now I see your reply to what I posted earlier. I honestly missed it until now. Anyhow, we discussed it over at Treeleaf, so I think we're square on that count. :)

Anyway, the ongoing debate, discussion is mainly between Treeleaf and ex-Treeleafers, and I'm just gonna exercise my "UN observer status" and sit this one out.

Dan said...

There was a story in a Katagiri book that was about a lone monk who would beg for food at the nearby town. Well, he never had much luck, so he had two thoughts, one was that he could leave and find a town that would appreciate him, and second, maybe the town didn't think he was providing a service worth supporting. So the monk thought that he could either leave town and hope the grass was greener, or he could find what service he could provide that this town needed.

Although I think the monk ended up staving to death.