Friday, October 07, 2011

Me & Steve Jobs: Three Degrees of Separation


Today I'm headed for Bonn, Germany where I will lead a one-day zazen thing at the San Bo Dojo. I hear it's a sell-out crowd. But if you stand around outside in the rain and wait, maybe I'll wave to you as I pass by in my limousine.

OK. It's actually a pretty small room that couldn't hold very many people.

The following day, Sunday, I will lead another one-day zazen thing in Amsterdam at the Against The Stream center there. As far as I know there are still spots available. You'll get higher from zazen than you can at the coffee shops and have more bliss than in the red light district!

The day after that, Monday, I'm speaking at the Against The Stream center in Rotterdam. That's just a talk. No zazen required. So you must be there.

I had a great talk in Nijmegen, Netherlands last night. Thank you to everyone who showed up!

For more info on my upcoming dates in Germany, France, England and Belgium go the this link.

* * * * *

I was sad to hear about the death of Steve Jobs. I never really followed his career. But I am a long-time user of Apple products. I am typing this on my MacBook. Apples were the first computers I ever used. I never have been able to find my way around Windows very well.

Just after Jobs died I started hearing people say stuff like, "Did you know he was a Buddhist?" I thought that was sort of interesting. I figured maybe he was into Tibetan Buddhism or possibly Sokka Gakkai. Whenever you hear that someone famous is "into Buddhism" that's usually what it means.

Then a Facebook friend of mine named Austin Conquest sent me a link titled The Zen of Steve Jobs. It was from CNN, so I figured by "Zen" they meant just something vaguely Eastern and spiritual. Although I, myself, have been on CNN. So perhaps I should give them more credit. It's just that mainstream news sources rarely get any of this stuff right.

Lo and behold, the article is actually about the Zen of Steve Jobs! And what's more, Jobs wasn't just into any old Zen dude. His teacher was Kobun Chino Roshi! Kobun was the teacher of my first Zen teacher, Tim McCarthy. So there you go. Three degrees of separation between me and Steve Jobs. Me > Tim > Kobun > Steve Jobs!

The CNN piece also references a hilarious graphic novel about Jobs' relationship with Kobun. Check out the four pages they show you at that link! Kobun apparently was a mix of Yoda from Star Wars and the Zen master from the old Kung Fu TV series starring David Carradine. I never knew!*

Aw. I shouldn't be mean. I know. It's great that a guy like Kobun gets any recognition from the mainstream at all. I guess you gotta present Zen in this way in a comic book since you have to explain so much in such a small space. I'll probably buy the book. UNLESS THE PUBLISHERS WANT TO SEND ME A FREE COPY TO REVIEW. Which I will do if I get one. Write me at askbradwarner@hotmail.com and I'll send you my address.


* This scene supposedly takes place in Tassajara. Where, in Tassajara, is there a rock and an open field like that? And why does Kobun suggest they go to Denny's? That would require that they drive up 14 miles of dirt road at roughly 10 mph just to get to the nearest paved road. From there they'd need to drive another hour or so to get to Carmel Valley. I'm not sure if there's a Denny's there. But my guess is there probably isn't or that there wasn't one in 1986, even if there is one now. So that means another hour and half drive to Monterrey. Double that for the drive back. That's a lot of work for a sundae. And there's probably some decent left-overs in the walk-in fridge next to the kitchen.

92 comments:

Harry said...

1st Patriarch!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Germany, Brad! Have a good time with us in Bonn.

Anonymous said...

Is it the same company that treats its workers like shit that had someone doing Zen meditation as co-founder?!

Maybe I don`t have all info here.

But if you stare at a wall for hours, shouldn`t that somehow help to see whats happening around you?

Matt Koogler said...

Hi Brad, nothing to do with these comments, but I was thinking maybe you should delete the comments section altogether.

Are they really helping the blog?
There are a few decent honest conversations, but it doesn't really address the topics of your blog.

I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking if you notify people of new blog posts via twitter, facebook, etc... and let people be idiots on those sites, and just keep the straight junk up on here, that would make this a better slice of the web.

Just my $0.02.

Keep doing what ya do :)

(now to go read the article...)

--matt

Brad Warner said...

Matt,

You've got a good point. There are place people can discuss this stuff other than here. And the comments section of this blog is often just a big waste of time.

I have switched it off before. But then I get a lot of people complaining at me about how I've robbed them of their freedom of speech or some such stuff. And sometimes the comment section is actually good.

Anyone else have an opinion? Shall I kill the comments?

Brad

Mumon said...

I love the n-degrees of separation game.

With people I have met I've been able to connect all the heads of state of WWII, serial killers David Berkowitz and Jeffrey Dahmer, the Dalai Lama, Jianng Zemin, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and Chuck Norris. And yes, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as well. Also 3 degrees with Jobs.

Matt Koogler said...

There are a couple of self-helpy-productivity blogger types (not that I ever read them (*ahem*) who take "comment sabbaticals."

The gist is they monitor how useful the comment section is--if it's useful (read "profitable") they keep it. If it's a burden, they nix it.

What they claim actually happens is it builds anticipation for when the comment sections is open again (building buzz and readership).

Again, dunno if that's baloney, but I know I checked pretty frequently here to see if you allowed comments or not. I remember there being a breathe of fresh air and then the comments going to shit again a couple of months later.

(freedom of speech? it's your blog! I don't have to not hang up the phone just because you called me!)

Harry said...

It's a tough one, Brad.

Funny that those most vocal about their right to free speech tend to be the ones who abuse that right most with extreme views and inconsiderate verbage... doesn't seem so free to me, or at least not a 'freedom' of much merit.

Personally I feel that I have a responsibility not to let people demean themselves and others on any blog that I run. It's a tough call, but a bit of thinking about this sacred cow of 'free speech' is required around our thinking about the internet: More often 'free speech' is just an invitation for us to indulge our worst and sloppiest habitual pathologies.

Good luck,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that Brad's line of
Soto does not talk about things
that are real It inhibits in depth
discussion of things such as the
backwards step into the light
turned inward.

The blog also trashes other lines
of ascent or descent.

While
staying open to people who are out
there on the fringe is a noble
endeavor, it serves no purpose.

Anonymous said...

Brad, anybody: What's the title of that comic book about Kobun & Jobs?

Gassho

Barney said...

Oh good Lord, you didn't. OK I checked again, you did. You posted your e-mail address for An3drew to abuse. Bet you'll regret that.

As per this comment section if you take A3 out of the last few, it's all crickets.

That is, if you take the rotting wallaby brains out, the flies disappear. peace.

Dump it.

Harry said...

... don't get me wrong, and bit of harmless blather can be refreshing, and it can also be art!

The crux, as far as I can see (which may not be far) is the speaker's intention, which is often not harmless by any means. Old Dogen would not seperate the words from the intention, the expression from the expressed (and, Christ, he went on a bit about it!) I think it's very easy to see someone's intention/motivation from their words over time, and it's clear to see what facilitating them in doing this does.

Maybe it lances the boil? I don't know. More often than not this does not seem to be the case on t'internet tho. Rehearsing/enforcing power abuses and reacting to/against personal feelings of disempowerment seems to be more the order of the day.

The relative safety and anonymity that the net provides to this end makes it a very attractive medium it seems.

Regards,

Harry.

tattoozen said...

I think the best way to weed out the troll content would be to require comments to register with their real names.

I'm a member of several tattoo related critique boards and they all require posters to use their real names and have valid contact info. The result is that people stop acting like assholes when they lose the ability to anonymously throw their monkey shit all over the comments.

Posters can still have all the freedom to post anything, but with a their name attached to it the level of maturity suddenly rises...

Anonymous said...

[W]e do not only designate things with them [words and concepts], we think originally that through them we grasp the true in things. Through words and concepts we are still continually misled into imagining things as being simpler than they are, separate from one another, indivisible, each existing in and for itself. A philosophical mythology lies concealed in language which breaks out again every moment, however careful one may be otherwise.

(Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and his Shadow [1880], in Human, All Too Human)

A short case from the Blue Cliff Records:

Forty-First Case
Joju's "Man of Great Death"

Joju asked T'ou Tzu, "When a man of great death returns to life, how is it?"
T'ou Tzu said, "Going by night is not permitted. You must arrive in daylight."



Eternal Return (why Christians don't really want to "live forever")
FF: The Philosophy of Nietzsche - Joseph Brisendine
http://www.nuttymp3.com/mp3/1620147

Artist: McGraw Tim
Song: Live Like You Were Dying
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiOcW_YR1G8

He said: "I was in my early forties,
"With a lot of life before me,
"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
"I spent most of the next days,
"Looking at the x-rays,
"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."
I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?

"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I watched Eagle as it was flyin'."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."

gassho

Anonymous said...

I admit to playing with An3drew
for entertainment and to make
sense of how the ineffable could
manifest through an Asperger's
filtering system. As well, the
suffering he has been through is
real, and it was worth listening to

anon #108 said...

I protested when it looked like Brad had banned anonymous comments a while back. He hadn't - there was a temporary glitch, but I argued then that this wild and woolly free-for-all blog comments section was a rare thing and worth preserving: "All human life..." and so forth. On balance, I still feel that way, although I've come very close to calling for banning/moderation at times.

Dunno, Brad. Your shout. I think it would be a shame to close this comments section altogether just because it's occasionally hijacked by [fill in blank], or goes through periods when there's not much of interest/nothing funny getting posted. I think this place, very much including the comments section, is still some kind of haven from the more worthy, moderated online alternatives, and might even serve a useful purpose.

Anonymous said...

I'm not advocating moderation (heh) I'm just saying that having your real name next to whatever gibberish you spout tends to keep one from letting their mouth write checks that their ass can't cash.

Soft Troll said...

If things started to go crazy for three blogs in a row, I would turn off the comments for a few weeks, or use comment moderation - if that were workable.

A gentle warning that this is going to happen if things don't change might work in some instances.

I think if someone seemed to be suffering some mental distress and were using the wilds of the comments section to obsessively wind themselves up further, and it looked like there'd be no end to it, I'd turn the section off for at least three months.

anon #108 said...

But a price is paid for anarchy, and I'm not an anarchist.

Moderation? Regardless of whether Brad/anyone else has the time to do it, I don't like it. Slows things right down. You can't have a conversation.

Registration? Might work, yes. But I don't see the need to insist on 'real names and valid contact info', as tattoozen suggests. The act of registration - of any old name/nom-de-plume - just might do the trick of dissuading most of those bent on disruption for its own sake - not that it will stop the truly determined.

Uncle Willie said...

Steve Jobs also "experimented" with LSD so please don't anyone try to credit all of his innovations and success to Zen. As with most things, it is more complicated than it might appear.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to discuss
Kobun's line "You can speak of self as no-self upon the absolute. Only real existence is absolute"

Why is the word "upon" used here.
He is a Soto master discussing the
other side of nothing.

Before you say don't get trapped or
lost in the words, we must go back
to Harry's intention/motivation of the words over time.


What is the significance of upon
the absolute, as opposed to
"within" the absolute?

Anonymous said...

The Forum International is like a
museum of dead things. Zen should
be alive and vibrant.

Anonymous said...

Brad, here's a steve jobs photo you might like:

http://www.life2point0.com/images/2007/12/14/stevejobs.jpg

Mysterion said...

a graphic novel (comic book) about steve jobs and zen - from forbes

somehow i like where this is going...

Anonymous Bob said...

Hi Brad. I agree the comments section is often a waste of time. But it's a good waste of time. It's a lot like the little girl with a curl. (When she's good, She's very good indeed, But when she is bad she is HORRID.) I say accept the good with the horrid and try not to stress too much about it because the good always outweighs the bad in situations like this IMO. Keep the comments as they are so those of us who like to wade through the rubbish for the occasional tasty or nasty tidbit will still be able to so.

You also have other options if the comments really really bug you. You have never tried using all of the basic blogger tools available to you. Besides just letting anyone comment you could only let people with google accounts comment or folks who are registered users or exclusive members of the HCZB, all of which would be rather easy to set up.

But again, my vote is to keep letting people say whatever they want to say.. I've never read anything yet that was so beastly that I never came back again. This place is rather unique in the blogoshere. People are actually allowed to say ANYTHING. Don't make the error of eliminating something good when trying to rid yourself of something bad.

Easy for me to say right? :)

CAPTCHA : bignose : I kid you not

Anonymous said...

Could you restrict the length of commentary? If someone wants to do an extended thing, they outta do their own blog.

If the only choice is. "on" or " off"' I say " off".

Blake said...

If you take away the comments, I'll just email you. So whichever is less annoying...

Zen and Apple IN a comic book!? I have a geek boner!

alan sailer said...

For the record, I would vote to close the comments section.

The second best option would be to disallow anonymous comments.

Cheers.

Al said...

Brad,

I say shut it down.

The only way to keep these comments sections civil is to moderate them, and I'm sure you don't have that sort of time.

People misunderstand the meaning of "free speech". I'm with Harry in that it usually gets interpreted as "do whatever the #$%@ you want". Far from it.

I think the real meaning of freedom is closer to they way I've heard you define the bodhisattva vow. You are free to save others from yourself. These comments sections usually serve to just strengthen the commenters "self".

What I've personally always found so great about your books is that I read them and can't immediately comment on them. It saves you from acting on your reactions to what you read.

Shut the comments down. They serve no purpose but to feed trolls.

Al

Anonymous said...

Would like to ask Brad a question about Steve Jobs. I have heard all the zen statements about him but, his actions don't seem to reflect the ideas. Steve Jobs created many great things, but he also created a distinct materialistic craze for his items especially the I-phone. How does that reflect a lessening of suffering due to materialism according to the 4 noble truths and as much as Brad get's crap for right livelihood is Job's any better. It's been tough the last couple of days reading people talk of Buddhism as a religion like Christianity and then saying sorry you are going to hell on top of it.

Mysterion said...

* This scene supposedly takes place in Tassajara.

I think this scene takes place in Jikoji.

Jules said...

Hey Brad -- something else you have in common with Steve:

From http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/8-things-didn-t-know-life-steve-jobs-172130955.html

In his famous 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University, Jobs said of his time at Reed: "It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple."

Jeff said...

Frankly, while Jobs may have "been into" Buddhism, I have to wonder if he ever really took the teachings to heart. His devotion to and propagation of consumerism and his giant-sized ego seems to suggest not, but maybe that's just me.

As for the comments section: I've given my opinion before that while there are many worthwhile posts here they unfortunately tend to get buried under a mountain of bullshit. Ideally I'd say just moderate the comments, but I understand that you have better uses of your time than to read through hundreds of comments a week to decide which are worth keeping and which are rubbish. I wouldn't blame you at all for discarding the comments feature altogether. Were I in your place that's probably what I'd do.

Anonymous said...

The graphic book The Zen of Steve Jobs is not out yet, but here is an update and a few more pages:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/calebmelby/2011/09/21/exclusive-four-pages-from-the-zen-of-steve-jobs/

Thing 1 said...

Does anyone else see a breast in the first frame of the cartoon?

Anonymous said...

Oh good, the corporate rebranding
of Zen. They can use Genpo in
their commercials.

Not Zen.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask myself, would i be actually upset if bill gates died or am i just buying computers from him.

Anonymous said...

Simple solution: Avoid Picking and Choosing, or just change the channel. Who says you have click on the comments link after after reading a new post from BW?

I don't know, this all sounds a bit like trying to walk around the smelly, dirty homeless person who is making everyone too damn uncomfortable with his incoherent yelling/speech ramblings.

BD said...

Kill the comments , they really detract from your writing,

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

I have followed this blog since it's inception and the old HZ webpage before that going back to fall of 2003 when I first purchased the book.

To lil' ol' me, this blog would definitely NOT BE the same without the total free-for-all in these comments.

Sometimes there is a load of crap and sometimes a diamond burried within the crap.

I vote .. "Keep it"!!!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Try to realize it's all within yourself no one else can make you change, and to see you're only very small and life flows on within you and without you

an3drew said...

the glamourization of steve jobs is zen shooting itself in the foot again !

he's

a

successful

interesting

and

innovative

busnessman

but

he

also

got

arsenic

inducted

pancreatic

cancer

from

eating

to

many

shrimps

: 0 )

just

goes

to

show

the

buddha

of

too

much

in

one

direction

and

not

enough

in

another

is

everywhere !

Robert said...

Personally I do take a look at the comments from time to time but have to say in all honesty I don't think I've taken anything of value from them that I can remember. Of late they have become worse than farcical so would not miss them at all. It's a shame because in theory I would have thought there was the potential for some interesting conversation on here, but that hope has pretty much died.

Broken Yogi said...

You could improve the comments section a whole lot just by banning those who abuse it. Not much more is needed. Don't be afraid to assert some discrimination here.

Khru said...

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

Khru said...

P.S....and for the record, my real name is Karl Hungus...

Mysterion said...

Perhaps those 3 mountains are the Grand Tetons.

or not.

an3drew said...

i think you need to make the blog safe again for michel proulx and his ilk !

that

is

the

zen

fakes

and

masturbators !

Leah McClellan said...

Interesting connection with Steve Jobs. I read that CNN article, and as one commenter said..

"I have heard all the zen statements about him but, his actions don't seem to reflect the ideas. Steve Jobs created many great things, but he also created a distinct materialistic craze for his items...."

I've wondered the same thing. Not that it really matters one way or another, but there's no way to know (from that article, as far as I can see) whether he actually practiced much or not. Which is none of my business anyway, of course.

But I often wonder, if a person is practicing for a very long time, would he or she still have a reputation for having a nasty temper and all the negative things I've heard about Steve Jobs? Maybe I should ask "why" since I know a few teachers like that (sort of) though nothing like what I've heard about Jobs.

Just speculating. I always figure everyone has their own paths and I don't like to judge because we all have our challenges or whatever. But from the little I know of Steve Jobs, he doesn't seem very "Zen," to use the word in the casual sense as it's used in that first paragraph:

"exemplified minimalist design and simplicity of use, enabling what some called a Zen-like experience."

Heh. So it sounds like I should buy some Apple products to speed up my enlightenment, or something?

On comments: if it were me, I'd keep them. I don't know how Blogger works, but I agree with another commenter on requiring people to use their names with email address (can always make up a name). On Wordpress blogs, that's standard. And after the first approval the comment automatically goes through, which saves time. Last batch was pretty bad, but I do like reading the comments when they're at least sensible. Then again, some big bloggers have shut down comments (Leo Babauta, for ex. at Zen Habits) and from what I hear continue to grow. Depends what your goal is.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all try really hard to do something useful together here - something useful for all of us. If you don't like what's happening in these comments, why not write how you want it to be. Then we can take everyone's responses and form some sort of committee to specify a set of rules that comes closest to meeting each person's needs. Once that set of rules exists the moderator will have something to work with.

How about it?

How do you want this comment section to be?

Mysterion said...

HERE (I think) is the rock.

just sayin'

Uku said...

This comment section is pretty useless. Of course sometimes people can ask questions from you Brad, but there's email for that. I think this social media era is pretty stupid also. Why can't we just post articles? Why we have to be able to comment them in this virtual world and to waste some time for reading them? Yeah, I'm also in this deep deluded crap, but at least I've deleted my FB profile and Google+.

I think blogs should be like books: you just read them, but you can't comment them in the book. I mean, INSIDE the book. Sometimes I really wish the whole internet would be shut down for a while. I think people would find some ways to live in the real world again.

Anonymous said...

Who knows what Zen is anyways Leah?

Zazen won't turn you into thich nat hanh.

an3drew said...

"But I often wonder, if a person is practicing for a very long time, would he or she still have a reputation for having a nasty temper and all the negative things I've heard about Steve Jobs?"

he was pescetarian, that is ate no meat except fish, shrimp etc and shell fish, you will accumulate heavy metals including the cancer causing arsenic and brain skewering mercury if you eat like this, doomed by his own ignorance !

i have to say my observation of people who have practiced quite a while is they left their critical facilities out with the garbage many many years prior !

merciless said...

hmm.. just heard on the news the "God hates fags" church group is coming to Steve Jobs funeral. What a bunch of dicks!

merciless said...

I like the blog comments completely unmoderated. I hate the "God hates fags" group but would defend their right to be public dickheads. I think people venting like that is mostly a good thing. At least we know what they really think.

merciless said...

Last thought. I don't get why some of you think Steve Jobs is any less of a Buddhist than you are just because he is a successful businessman. It could be he is a successful businessman because he is more of a Buddhist than you are.

seedsmiles said...

very funny... mirror of a mirror...comments commenting on comments...words on the uselessness of words ~

i.e., "Everything I say is a lie."

laugh & smile
twist & shout

and, this much is true: LOVE YOU!

Mysterion said...

"we stole shamelessly..." - Steve Jobs

source

Doug said...

+1 for removing blog comment section. I suspect most people who complained to you about freedom of speech and such were just trolls who couldn't spam comment anymore. If they were really interested about you and what you write, they would respect your comment policy to begin with, but the fact they complained is telling.

Just saying.

I'll miss leaving comments myself, but the spam and chatter are definitely detracting from anything you are trying to say.

Doug said...

P.S. If you do keep the comments, please at least follow other people's advice and disable anonymous posts. That just encourages troll behavior. "Don't feed the trolls" as the old Internet adage goes.

Fred said...

Staying open to where everyone is
at is what Zen Masters do. If
there is no clinging to self or
ego, it's just stuff running off
on its own - the passing show.

If you come here looking for pearls
how good is your practice - you're
looking outside for a catalyst for
transformation.

Staying open to everything is the
message and the lesson. Ego opposes
; non-duality embraces.

Fred

Fake Buddhists said...

no no no Brad. It is the anonymous people who are ruining everything. They keep everyone from knowing how truly wise we really are. BAN THEM!

Anonymous said...

Brad, Maybe this is not blog material....but i have appreciated alot of what you have said/written. Thank you.

an3drew said...

"If you come here looking for pearls
how good is your practice - you're
looking outside for a catalyst for
transformation."

the zen notion of "practice" is like a blindfold

anon #108 said...

A few thoughts –

Generally speaking this comment section is interesting/entertaining when it's responding to something interesting/entertaining that Brad's written…generally speaking. I think that’s true.

But it also has a life of its own, which usually comes to the fore a few hours after Brad’s new post, after the sensible regulars have contributed their tuppence-worth, when those who need to say something – anything - publicly come here to say it. I think it’s interesting that they come here, to the Hardcore Zen blog to do it. Of course, unmoderated, HCZ comments is simply a convenient place to vent/stimulate/disrupt. Lack of moderation affords instant feedback; the opportunity to respond immediately and emotionally. Is that a bad thing? I'm not sure. Moderation interferes with that immediate emotional response… at least, with the expression of it; you have plenty of time to settle, reflect, consider. Is that a good thing?


- @ the commenters who, having read the comments, comment that the comment section should be shut down:

If some people get something from the Hardcore Zen comments section, what grounds do you have for taking it from them? Why isn't it good enough to ignore it? Do you find it an embarrassment? Perhaps you think it reflects badly on Brad? Perhaps you think it reflects badly on Zen/Buddhism (what is that?)? I can understand Brad being embarrassed; it's his blog. And sure, I can understand others’ embarrassment, too. But I would rather agree with Fred, when he writes, "Staying open to everything is the message and the lesson."

anon #108 said...

A few thoughts -

Generally speaking this comment section is interesting/entertaining when it's responding to something interesting/entertaining that Brad's written…generally speaking. I think that’s true.

But it also has a life of its own, which usually comes to the fore a few hours after Brad’s new post, after the sensible regulars have contributed their tuppence-worth, when those who need to say something – anything - publicly come here to say it. I think it’s interesting that they come here, to the Hardcore Zen blog to do it. Of course, unmoderated, HCZ comments is simply a convenient place to vent/stimulate/disrupt. Lack of moderation affords instant feedback; the opportunity to respond immediately and emotionally. Is that a bad thing? I'm not sure. Moderation interferes with that immediate emotional response… at least, with the expression of it; you have plenty of time to settle, reflect, consider - or to do other stuff and forget all about it. Is that a good thing? I'm not sure.


- @ the commenters who, having read the comments, comment that the comment section should be shut down:

If some people get something from the Hardcore Zen comments section, what grounds do you have for taking it from them? Why isn't it good enough to ignore it? Do you find it an embarrassment? Perhaps you think it reflects badly on Brad? Perhaps you think it reflects badly on Zen/Buddhism (what is that?)? I can understand Brad being embarrassed; it's his blog. And sure, I can understand others’ embarrassment, too. But I would rather agree with Fred, when he writes, "Staying open to everything is the message and the lesson."

Zenleo said...

Comments, Sch Ma Ments..
or as an3drew would say:
Comments
Sch
Ma
Ments

To solve the problem I volunteer to select who can post here and who cannot, free of charge. I Haiku you not!
To begin I pick
Harry and Matt Koogler to
continue to post

Lauren said...

Staying open to everything is *not*, I think, the message and the lesson. That admits any crazy, empty, thought that arises between the ears. The lesson, in part, is to see those and let them go. The lesson is to act in accord with "reality as it is". Which means, in part, I think, to foster and support, but also restrain and restrict, skillfully. Not exactly right, but I'm certain I don't have to be open to any harmful, rude or disruptive behavior to live the zen ideal. How many sincere seekers are intimidated and turned away by flamers and trolls that go too far, and take too much?

john e mumbles said...

I am with Uku on this, AND 108, personally I have eliminated all social media. I seldom if ever comment here anymore, however, I sometimes DO read through the comments, as 108 said, because they almost always gain momentum beyond the blog topic and lurch into well, whatever...

So I would say keep the comments and if you don't want to read them, or contribute to them, don't.

Mysterion said...

Blogger an3drew said...
"the zen notion of "practice"

Speak honestly, just for the moment.

What do you know of Zen Practice?

Perception.

anon #108 said...

...Another thing that, IMO, makes a significant difference to this comment section is Brad's participation in it. When Brad hasn't the time or inclination to follow and respond to comments, the comment section seems to turn in on and eat itself. Sometimes.

Soft Troll said...

I agree broadly with Lauren.

'Staying open to everything' seems to me a decent attitude to enter, dwell and exit with. I've been attempting to read through many of the posts in the last few sections in that way.

But, in my view, our responses won't, can't and shouldn't remain open to every thing - neither on an individual or group level.

'Staying open to everything' in itself is a 'closed' response, and makes for definitive points of view with consequences when acted upon (and by 'acted upon' I mean such as also deciding not to intervene) - no matter how those views (or aggregate of views under the same mantra) is couched in or informed by an attitude of openness.

At one end of the spectrum Brad could close the comments. At the other end, Brad could stay hands off and allow for the possibility that a person, or range of similar behaviours, dominate the comments and close off other voices, or potential voices, for a substantial period of time.

It could be argued that the comments section will find its own balance over time. And while I agree that that has often been the case, I think it's also true that an open comments section can pick up habits that become an exclusive norm too.

I also think that allowing a space where some extreme behaviours or habits might thrive and embed themselves might not be the most compassionate way to go in some instances. It can help to have cooling off periods for individuals to gain some perspective, having allowed themselves to get over-entangled at some difficult period in their lives.

To maintain the most open comments section possible, I think a degree of moderation now and again and periods where the comments section is turned off, for short or even substantial periods in extreme cases, is the most healthy option.

I might prefer to be a largely hands-off guardian of an untouched wilderness, where the febrile sometimes gather for night-long indulgences, rather than the keeper of a tidy, tranquil garden, but some folk like to start bush-fires on hot summer months. New sprouts will come, but many of us will be long gone by then.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of anonymous posters and give people rating numbers that they can build on, so that over time we can have some "500" rated posters or even higher!

That way, we can know who is worthwhile to read.

You might even award special colors, as in putting the names in gold or something, if the poster proves him/herself enlightened.

Anonymous said...

PS - Lauren, with respect, you're an idiot on this issue.

Fred said...

How rude or harmful are words if
you are not clinging to them? If
what you say reflects who you are,
what are the words of your
Original Face. Words are like the
the water flowing through your
cupped hands.

merciless said...

Lauren said: "How many sincere seekers are intimidated and turned away by flamers and trolls that go too far, and take too much?"

Maybe Brad needs to warn the innocent. "The following comments section may contain scenes of extreme verbal violence by unconscious flamers and trolls and should not be viewed by young or impressionable Buddhists and in no way represent the views of the blog author."

Zenleo said...

Fred said:
Words are like the
the water flowing through your
cupped hands.

Well Fred sometimes the words have the consistency of something a bit thicker than water and a bit more ripe smelling. But is this conversation digressing from Brads original blog post? Of course it is, just like in everyday life when you are talking in a group informally someone changes the topic or shoots it off on some tangent. That is the way it goes and so it is here as the Weather Weenie said: because they almost always gain momentum beyond the blog topic and lurch into well, whatever...
Exactly! Off topic is not the problem, obnoxious people making you use your scroll key is!
I really enjoy reading the comments almost as much (and sometimes more) than Brads comments, there are some great people posting here and I would be slightly bummed to not be able to read their insights. That being said, I am not now nor have never been a member of Twitter or Facebook.
Cheers!

biosphere_oli said...

I think people may be losing perspective on how unique this comments section is. There are other places where irreverence is the order of the day, but I haven't found anywhere it is mixed up with real wisdom quite as it is here.

Or, to represent it in another, and hopefully less inadequately partial way: what is the buddhist place on the internet which you know that is closest to what goes on here, and doesn't the distance between here and there seem a lot more distant than that between two websites on similar topics usually is?

Not that uniqueness is neccessarily valuable, but doesn't this space have a flavour which allows (useful) things to get said which wouldn't get said elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

There's a give and take, an ebb and flow.... this place just chugs on.

An3drew won't be here forever.

I have to be honest, though. I cannot stand An3drew's posts here and I cannot stand Mysterion's posts here. At the same time, I realize that I'm the arbiter of nothing and I'm always free to stop coming by here if it upsets me so much.

an3drew said...

i


think


brad

warner


is


censoring


me


being


the


7th


patriarch !


which


is


ignorant


as


i


am


the


only


approved


zen


“master”


alive


today


i'll


put


this


post


on


his


board


and


see


if


he


passes


it


or


not !


your


last


chance


brad !

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the comments,
um, don't read them.

Simple as that.

If you don't like the TV show,
change the channel
(or turn off the TV).

We don't approve of what those
other people are doing --
horrors, they might be having
fun -- therefore we will force
them to stop doing it.

If you don't like people
who do drugs, don't hang
out with them.

Just say No to comments.
Fork over your tax money
to help fight the
War on Comments
(or else we'll
throw you in a cage
and have you raped).

Sigh...
people into prohibition are
just plain assholes.

BTW, the comments are a lot
like zazen: lots of stupid
shit spinning around in your
brain and then, oh yeah,
just sitting and breathing
here.

So shoot me with your
spy drone -- I might
be a "terrorist".

I'm so scared!
Are you scared too?

Well, fuck you.

Mysterion said...

The ZEN of guitar collecting.

Being a Buddhist and being a 'business man' is as unrelated as being an orange and being from Florida.

Steve Jobs was what Steve Jobs was...

We have no need to sit in judgement of Steve (or anyone). Everyone is their own unique work of art - performance art or otherwise.

To get to where Steve got (a painful death from pancreatic cancer) Steve had to travel his own path. He is really not all THAT different from the real Hatchiko.

Doug said...

It's too easy for people to bandy about words like "non-duality" and "attachment" just to win an argument online. It's like the Godwin's Law of Buddhism.

People fear that moderating comments or simply turning them off will somehow oppress their "Buddhist freedom" of expression, but I believe history shows that there is no such thing as an altruistic rebel.

merciless said...

Zenleo said: "Off topic is not the problem, obnoxious people making you use your scroll key is!"

Use the scroll key or don't use the scroll key.. It's your choice. No one is making you do anything! I hate this censoring mindset that believes they are being set upon by infidels.

john e mumbles said...

(Blatant self-promotion:)

Hey! Now you can get my one and only book (and find out my true identity, hint: I am not really a weatherman) in a kindle edition on Amazon for only $9.59!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Al-Kimia-Mystical-Islamic-Essence-Alchemy/dp/0900588489

an3drew said...

"Andrew won't be here forever.'

how do you know? if brad passes this post on which i am going to post again the one that "disappeared" he's not going to
be "deregistered" as a zen teacher by the 7th patriarch (me)!

gotta give credit where it's due tho looking at an mri scan of his brain he has up in his photo's it's a bit frightening

sorry about the scan brad, read my compendium, take some fish oil at least please !

also look at the sun sections and vitamin D


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


“last thought. i don't get why some of you think steve jobs is any less of a buddhist than you are just because he is a successful businessman. it could be he is a successful businessman because he is more of a buddhist than you are.”



zen is
not actually about buddhism or being buddhist !


at


least


in


terms


of


the


patriarchs !


yeah


i


know


if


you


have


money


people


worship


you !


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


congratulations on being re-registered brad !

an3drew said...

"Being a Buddhist and being a 'business man' is as unrelated as being an orange and being from Florida."

being a buddhist is being a "business man" you are in the business of being a buddhist !

busi-ness !

see ?

BillZ said...

Brad, I applaud your practice and questioning of Buddhist establishment.

Please also accept my apologies to his family of being critical of Apple during their time of grief after what must have been very distressing due to his dying of cancer.

I ask you to be careful who you applaud. It is interesting that Steve Jobs has meditated, and any meditation is always to be supported.

But Apple practices need to be questioned. Checkout this clip of the Pentagon Channel obituary, here is an article about more of Apple's dubious practices out East.

RadicalGarden said...

Yeah there isn't a Denny's in Carmel. They have laws there against corporate chains existing in the city.

Probably why my friends and I rarely ventured over to the snooty side of the Monterey Bay. xD

Anonymous said...

It's an hour drive to the Denny's in Monterrey. And Kobun often held Dokusan while walking/driving/otherwise moving. And he F-ing loved Denny's. Just ask Wonderful Cloud Shining Dragon, who often spoke with Kobun over a sundae.

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