Thursday, March 08, 2012

Who is Thich Naht Hanh?


Two days ago I put up a piece here called "Thich Naht Hanh is Wrong." It was a deliberately provocative title. I said in the comments to that piece that the title was meant to ask, "Who is Thich Naht Hanh?" Someone said that smelled like fresh bullshit to him. I'd like to ask that guy, "Then who is Thich Naht Hanh?"

Some folks got upset that I was being disrespectful to a man who has dedicated his life to bring peace to the world. But was I? If I had any reason at all to believe that Thich Naht Hanh would ever see what I wrote, then possibly. Although even then I'd say "disrespectful" was not the right word. But let's get real here. Thich Naht Hanh will never see what I wrote about him.

So who was I being disrespectful to?

Who is Thich Naht Hanh?

A few people got bent out of shape that I said I believed that Thich Naht Hanh did not write his own Twitter posts. It turns out I was right. He doesn't. His Twitter profile says, "My twitter account is managed by senior students, both monastic and non-monastic." He probably didn't even write that!

I've also been told by people who seem to know what they're talking about that Thich Naht Hanh doesn't write his own books. His talks are recorded and transcribed. Then senior students edit them into books, which Thich Naht Hanh approves before publication. Of course the covers of these books simply say "by Thich Naht Hanh."

Ask anyone who writes for a living what they think of that sort of thing and I guarantee they'll get a little wrankled by the idea. Writing is hard work. People who claim to be writers but don't actually do the work annoy those of us who really write our own stuff. It's not a big deal. But it irks me enough when I see this very common practice that I like to point it out. I would guess that about half of the "authors" whose books are shelved near mine at your local Book Barn "write" their books in pretty much the same way. I don't think it's disrespectful to say this. I think it's truthful.

Who is Thich Naht Hanh?

One commenter said, "Brad is a wannabe Zen master who is envious of the big boys in the Buddhist world. It's so obvious: His passive-aggressive sleight-of-hand barbs at Dalai and Thich betrays a desire to be the 'bad boy of Buddhism'. Grow up, Brad."

Envious of the "big boys in the Buddhist world?" Moi? Not really. Rather I am amused by the idea that there is a class of people we can call "big boys in the Buddhist world." Zero Defex, the hardcore band I play bass for were not envious of the "big boys in the rock and roll world." Rather, we found them boring and wanted to provide an alternative. While we might have wanted to be a bit more popular than we were, we certainly did not want to be among the "big boys." That would have run completely counter to what we were trying to accomplish. Part of being an alternative to the big rock bands involved staying small. I feel pretty much the same way now about the "big boys in the Buddhist world."

The idea that the "big boys in the Buddhist world" are somehow qualitatively better teachers than the less well-known ones is a very troubling notion to me. And I'm not talking about myself as an example of one of the less well-known teachers. I'm starting to fear that my growing popularity is making me ineffective as a teacher.

The rise of this new class of Mega Masters troubles me. Such teachers cannot possibly have direct contact with the massive numbers of students who claim them as their teachers. I met some people once who talked about feeling some kind of magic mojo when the Dalai Lama walked by them thirty feet away, deep in a crowd of fawning fans, surrounded by secret service guards. Such fantasies are extraordinarily damaging.

It's precisely the same kind of thing a fan feels when he gets to be near a celebrity he admires. I know I felt it when I got to meet Gene Simmons of KISS in person. But I didn't add to that feeling some kind of weird idea that my being in proximity to Gene Simmons conveyed some sort of spiritual shaktipat, or that I got a big ol' ZAP of pure Zen energy or some such nonsense. When Genpo Roshi charges suckers $50,000 to have personal contact with him you'd better believe he's implying that some of his supposed enlightenment will rub off when they're close. I'm not sure I want any part of what rubs off of Genpo Roshi, though!

When I said in the comments that Thich Naht Hanh is no more a simple wandering monk than Bruce Springsteen is a blue-collar working man, some people pointed out that I have an image as well. Why Mr. Holmes, your powers of deductive reasoning are astonishing! Of course I have an image! So do you. So does everyone.

Who is Thich Naht Hanh?

Is it you? Is it your image of Thich Naht Hanh that I've disrespected? If so, why does that bug you? Is it you that I've disrespected? Who are you?

These are important questions.

Someone in the comments section seemed worried that maybe I had some inside dirt on Thich Naht Hanh. He asked, "Do you know of Thay's actions that bring him into disrepute?" The answer is no. I do not. As far as I'm aware Thich Naht Hanh is a totally scandal-free guy. But I don't know that much about him.

Suffice it to say, I am not trying to imply that Thich Naht Hanh is a disreputable teacher who should not be trusted. He seems like a decent guy. I like most of the quotes I see from his books. Even the quote I criticized last time might be fine in context. It might be fine as it is, too. But we all need to be careful how we take things.

Even when someone says something 100% true, sometimes you need to question it. Because your interpretation of what was said may not be correct. It's not the fault of the speaker when his words are misconstrued. Everybody's words are misconstrued. Misconstruing what we hear people say is what we human beings do. This is why we have to be careful.

Jeez, there was even a commenter on my previous blog posting who thought I said that Hitler and Charles Manson were enlightened beings! I never said that Hitler and Charles Manson were enlightened beings. But I can't shut up forever just because some doofus might misconstrue the things I say. As Katagiri Roshi pointed out, "You have to say something." And most of the time what you say will be completely misunderstood.

So I stand by what I said before. Thich Naht Hanh is wrong.

But who is Thich Naht Hanh?

383 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 383 of 383
Anonymous said...

teacher
lineage
community

Anonymous said...

"If, by trying to understand the truth, you dispel the misunderstandings of some people and thereby some philosophies are damaged - that cannot be taken as criticizing the views of others."

Candrakīrti

Max Entropy said...

Tourists invited to visit Buddhist temples in Orange County (Upstate New York)
http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120311/NEWS/203110320

Anonymous said...

who are you?

you are an arbitrary name and number subject to CONTROL.

decent buddhists have lost;
asshole kshatriyas have won.

Anonymous said...

"Old Boy" stalking prey
He's Wile E. Coyote
Go Brad, Go! Meep Meep!!!

-BOI

Anonymous said...

Brad should apologize to Thich Nhat Hanh

Anonymous said...

Apologize? He's too hardcore to apologize.

Brad Warner said...

It was you saying in so many words, "I could make a lot of money with my writing if I wrote more crap."

I used to believe that. But I've since discovered that co-called "selling out" is much more complicated.

I deliberately tried to "sell out" for a brief period in the 80s. I was sick of being a starving musician and wanted to be a musician who could afford better than Taco Bell.

Yet every attempt I made at "selling out" turned out not only to be lousy in artistic terms but also failed to make money.

So I do not believe I could make a lot of money writing crap. If I did I'd probably write crap under a pseudonym or something. I wish it was that easy.

Brad Warner said...

Brad should apologize to Thich Nhat Hanh

For what?

tzb said...

I like the meditative guys. Only a view words you do not like and all the Thich Nhat Hanh and other guys start to run around like chickens imagining a hawk on the horizon.If the sentence "Thich Nhat Hanh is disrespectful then there is something wrong. I prefer to life in a world with free discussion and with people who do not need to be offended by such little things.I´ve seen Bhuddist monks in Tibetean monastries who discuss more free and much more harder than this. If Thich Nhat Hanh has to defend himself by all of you he will call. But I think he does not need your arguments.So keep cool. Where is your open mind of a member of a free society?

Anonymous said...

can't see any comments past 200 this new format and captchas sucks.

Anonymous said...

Im a newbie as far as twitter is concerned and Buddhism, meditation and all but about 6 weeks ago I also decided to follow Thich Naht Hanh. Anyway and after a few tweets from both him and some others I decided very early on it was a whole load of crock…im shocked that someone like yourself also had the same views. Not that the man himself is full of crock but what is being passed as his views is a whole load o crock! Maybe the students or whoever they are feel obliged to post something…I sometimes feel like I have to speak at meetings in my work but sometimes I say things that are just what people want to hear rather than what needs to be said if that makes sense…sometimes if you have nothing to add of any value don’t add anything…silence is just as, if not more powerful than a whole load o crock…that sunrise thing…I read that post and I was on the train that morning trying to read my book but the sun was blinding me so much I actually moved to another seat just so I could continue with my reading. Everyone loves a beautiful sunrise but normally its when there is sporadic cloud cover and the sun is just coming up and it taints the clouds red, then orange then white and when the sun finally comes over the horizon its time to look away as everyone knows they cannot look the sun direct on.
I also feel its very sad that some people have taken your comments about Hitler and the Charles guy way too far…im not claiming to know much but unfortunately no matter what anyone thinks…hitler was me and im Charles whats his face…one thing I do get is that im part of the whole shebang whether I like that idea or not, all branches on the tree as it were…I know I have a lot to learn, ive only been studying it a few years and I don’t like agreeing with people…in fact its my job to find flaws in peoples thinking but I somehow completely feel the same way you did about Thich Naht Hanh comments that morning…never mind im sure ill find something I can disagree with at some point…but thought i should share my comments as I feel the same way you do. Maybe there are others out there that should do my job as they are quite good at disagreeing just for the sake of saying something when nothing really needs to be said.

Kind regards
Tracey

newbie said...

What a load of crock!

john e mumbles said...

The scale of the universe interactive:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap.html

Fun!

Anonymous said...

I told you Brad is too hardcore to apologize. Don't waste yer time..

Andy said...

Hey guys,

I stumbled over this blog and have one simple question.

What is this Zen-Stuff for? I know that some buddhist guys claim that it's to become enlightened/happy/free from suffering/a better person etc. But this zen stuff sounds like it has just no purpose. Is it like nihilism, you guys just decided to do nothing but sit around like stones?

I really don't get it, please enlighten me!

Andy

Bernard said...

You described it pretty well, Andy. There's nothing to it.

Anonymous said...

Zen, for me, is a way to discuss Brad Warner's penis size. I bet it's long and thin, something along the lines of 11 inches long and thin as a pencil.

Your opinions?

Jinzang said...

Brad says something mildly critical of TNH and some people go apeshit. And not those people I would expect, the loyal supporters of TNH.

I do not understand this.

Jinzang said...

What is this Zen-Stuff for?

Arguing and pretending you're superior to others.

Anonymous said...

YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!

I have written probably 90% of the "angry, pro-TNH" posts for the last two articles that Brad has written. I've posted my comments in various stages of sobriety, and I've intentionally changed my writing style for the posts.

This place is a shit sty. I'm just trying to perk things up a bit.

Andy said...

Ok guys I just found this video of Brad explaining Zen-Meditation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHO5telIRKo

But that just confuses me a lot more. His point first is that there is no goal. Then he explains why there is no goal But then says something like "what we're trying to do in zen is to get very, very deeply into what is here and what is now".

So he says there is no goal and then says that the goal is to get into what is here and now. But he doesn't say how to do that. By sitting in that weird posture and thinking about what might be going on tomorrow at work?

Or does he simply mean to be mindful of whats going on while sitting still, to be aware of it? But if so why doesn't he simply say so? I mean that wouldn't be limited to sitting in a weird posture right?

Hope for answers, maybe Brad if you have a minute...otherwise I'll just get more people guessing I Guess ;)

Andy

Chad Warner said...

Andy,

Go fuck off. There's your dharma for the day.

If you think you're going to get neat, satifying answers and we're all going to leave here feeling better that you learned something and understand us just a little bit more, then you're fucked in the head.

Go do something constructive, boy.

Tad Warner said...

Go sign up at Treeleaf, Andy. Google, "Treeleaf Forum," and sign up there. Jundo Cohen is the main teacher of that sangha. It's a well-respected place that embraces people who want to delve a little more deeply into this stuff.

Best wishes and..... GASSHO! :) :) :)

LEARN SOMETHING MEANINGFUL said...

It seems to me that many people in Zen Practice have come to confuse "being present/mindful in the moment" (for example, "when drinking tea, just drink tea" ... a sometimes appropriate and lovely way to experience life) ... with "being at one with the moment" (allowing and merging with conditions of life "just as they are"). The two are not quite the same, and are often confused, and the latter is much more at the heart of this Shikantaza Path ...

Yes, I believe that there are times to be "mindful" ... and there are times not. Sometimes when I eat, I just eat ... when I sip tea, I just sip tea ... when bowing, just bowing ... fully absorbed in that action. A wonderful, insightful practice. When doing one thing, just do one thing with all one's body-and-mind.

At other times, I just grab a sandwich and a coke while reading the newspaper and thinking about the job I have to do. That's life too. Nothing wrong with it.

(I do not know where the idea started among some folks that the 'goal' of this practice is to live the first way every moment of every day. That would be pretty awful (if not harmful) to live like that all or even most of the time. What's wrong with also sometimes reading the paper, thinking about work, while grabbing a quick sandwich? There is a place for all of that.)

Further, people get even more confused about "mindful" in Buddhism because the word is used in a couple of distinct ways.

Another, rather different meaning of "mindful" often found in Buddhism is to develop awareness of the "mind theatre" running constantly in our heads (developing the ability to identify the thoughts and emotions that play through our heads, and how they create our experience of "reality" ... e.g., "now I am temporarily sad" "now I am reacting with anger") That is a wonderful, insightful practice too ... very very important ... but I caution against thinking that you must or can do that 24/7.

In my view, the heart of this Practice is merely "being at one" with self-life-world just as it is ... dropping the resistance, barriers, separation between our "self" and all the circumstances in which that "self" imagines it finds itself in ... until even the walls between "self" and "life-world" (or self and itself) soften or even fully drop away ...

LEARN SOMETHING MEANINGFUL said...

So, for example, when drinking tea, just do that and fully allow that. When grabbing a sandwich while reading the paper and thinking about your annoying co-worker in the office, just do that and fully allow that (and fully allow the craziness in the newspaper and your annoying co-worker too).** When you kid plops in your lap during Zazen, just do and allow that ( http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=16432 ) When temporarily falling into sadness or anger, just do and allow that (although remember that "mind theatre" and see if you truly need to be that way, and seek to be not that way if you can). When overwrought with life for a moment, just do that and fully allow that (remembering in the back of your mind that the clear, boundless blue sky is behind the clouds of thought and emotion even when momentarily covered over). When suffering with old age and sickness of ourself or someone we love (as was discussed on another thread today), just do that and fully allow that.

In my view, all of the above together is truly balanced, "mindful" living.

Anonymous said...

227

ATTENTION !!!
ATTENTION ?
attention
attention

A-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-TENSION!

is that what you meant?

Mindfulness = "Attention Tension"?

Anonymous's Mom said...

201

Mark Foote said...

@Andy- "what is this Zen-stuff for?", it's for those moments when you have nothing to do.

How are you at doing nothing?

If you find yourself doing nothing, then you know what Zen is about.

My opinion.

Andy said...

@Mark Foote: Well actually I spend quite a lot of time hanging around doing nothin. So if that's Zen I know it quite well!

Arhat Aryashakya said...

Do not attempt to take charge of the order of Bhikshus!

Anonymous said...

Andy is an insincere troll.

Sit Down and Shut Up.

Zen.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is a sincere troll.

Anonymous said...

The Buddha is a used tampon.

Zenophobe said...

Is the image of Thich Nhat Hanh in my head more or less valid than the image of Thich Nhat Hanh in Thich Nhat Hanh's head?

Anonymous said...

Nhat.

Nhat.

Nhat.

Just remember "N" hat.

Like those crooked baseball hats that "N's" wear all the time, even when they're not playing baseball.

Anonymous said...

"There's someone in my head, but it's not me." Floyd Sensei

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRBz2VbSN8g

Anonymous said...

WHO IS THICH NAHT HANH?

It turns out I was right.
Thich Naht Hanh is wrong.


Thich Naht Hanh is wrong.
It turns out I was right.

It turns out I was right.
Thich Naht Hanh is wrong.

Writing is hard work.
Who are you?

Thich Naht Hanh is a totally scandal-free guy
But I don't know that much about him.

Thich Naht Hanh is a totally scandal-free guy
But I don't know that much about him.

Thich Naht Hanh is a totally scandal-free guy
But I don't know that much about him.

Writing is hard work.
Who are you?

Harry said...

201?

Anonymous said...

gassho

Harry said...

Brad's at his best when he's criticising the delusion that he knows best: His own, that is.

It's all too easy to see the faults in others, and to ascribe these faults to our own pathological denials of our own delusory tactics. I know, I'm an expert at that.

His criticisms of Genpo and TNH ring hollow to me because he's not doing it from the position of what he's learned about himself in practice... he's not bringing his practice to bear on it. This is not unusual because, really, sitting zazen is the easy part in many ways. Bringing the view of sitting into other areas of our life and realising the implications of it in our life as a whole is not the easy bit. Unfortunatley, where there is a 'just sit and everything else will take care of itself' assumption involved, the tendency can be to avoid or neglect bringing the view of zazen into the areas of our life where we are all to comfortable... our little opinions of ourselves and others, and ourselves vs others, and all that. I'm an expert at such avoidance too.

Just sayin'. I don't expect it'll win my any popularity contests. Keep it real on da streets.

Regards,

Harry.

Andy said...

Uhm okay so far most answers I got were something more or less like "fuck off". I wonder why that is, is that the zen way of answering questions? Or are you just having some fun here? Maybe my questions stupid or somehow insulting you? Did I say something wrong?

I'm really just curious guys :(

Andy

Anonymous said...

It's all too easy to see the faults in others, and to ascribe these faults to our own pathological denials of our own delusory tactics.

yep. sign me up too. this reads like the DNA of a troll.

Brad has more than a bit of troll in him.

Makes sense. This comments section is total Troll Hollow :)

Anonymous said...

Antsy what city do you live in?

St. Patty said...

Allo 'arry,

In the spirit of keepin it real on da streets, why, oh why, with my holiday coming right up and all, are you making fun of our cherished Irish heritage with your Mr. Potatohead avatar? is this some kind of sick joke on our people? Fie on ye.

Harry said...

Dear St. Pat,

I'm the snake that you missed, begorrah.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

Brad Wraner is wrong.
Who is Brad Wraner?
Who is Brad Wraner?
Who is Brad Wraner?
Who is Brad Wraner, Really?
In sum, Brad Wraner is wrong.
Anyway, who is Brad Wraner?

St. Patty said...

Ah, you old adder, I can tell you're not of the family of Finn.

Anonymous said...

Should Teachers Challenge Students Beliefs ?

In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed professor Boghossian of Portland State University (Oregon) sketches his position that professors should have a primary goal of changing students beliefs if those beliefs are false and seek to replace those beliefs with true ones. He asks, “Should professors attempt to change students’ beliefs by consistently challenging false beliefs with facts?”


audio/mp3 interview with professor Boghossian at Philosophy News

http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2011/12/05/Interview-with-Peter-Boghossian.aspx

alan sailer said...

Andy,

At the risk of sounding like I can answer your question, I'll try and answer your question.

In the school of zen that Brad practices, there is no answer to your question.

You have to find the answers, if any, by yourself.

"But he doesn't say how to do that." as you put it, is a great question.

Now it's your job to answer it.

Cheers.

Andy said...

@Alan: Okay that's at least an answer even though it doesn't actually help me.

So everyone tries different stuff out while sitting, without getting any even roughly detailed instructions and you never know if you're doing it right or just wasting your time forever?

So "doing zen"="trying to find out what it is, and since no one will ever till you (probably no one knows), you'll never know if you actually do anything that's zen or just anything.

Take care,

Andy

alan sailer said...

Andy,

Once again, there is no answer to your question and it's really is a great question.

As far as I can tell, zen is not about answers.

It's more about the questions.

Dogen's Fukan-Zazengi is the most detailed and best description of how to "do" zazen.

I have listened to experienced Soto teachers describe how to sit zazen.

And you are not going to get any more detailed or better description than the Fukan-Zazengi.

The only way to find out for yourself whether you are "wasting your time forever" is to sit zazen.

And answer the freaking question for yourself.

Cheers.

Andalleny said...

How do you "waste" time?

Andy said...

@Alan: Thanks again for your suggestions.

I can understand that I have to try Zazen to understand what it is. It's the same with any activity right? If I want to know what Sex is, I have to do it and see for myself. If I want to know how it is to drive a car I have to do it myself.

But to actually drive a car when I start I have to get some instructions, otherwise there's a big risk that I'll get into an accident or damage the car. Now with Sex we might discuss if instructions are needed or not...but I guess you know what I mean ;)

For me "Zazen" is something I'd like to try but to do so I need some confidence that I'm actually doing "Zazen". My guess would be that sitting there in the posture and daydreaming as I'd probably do since that's what I do most of the time, is probably not what Zazen is about.

Now as I mentioned in his Video on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHO5telIRKo) Brad says after claiming that there is no goal, that "what we're trying to do in zen is to get very, very deeply into what is here and what is now".

Okay sir I say, I want to try this. But how do I do that. I've looked up that Fukanzengi you wrote about but it was even more puzzling to me, it seems to be written in a language I do not understand even though it's translated in english. I wonder if anyone of you guys can have a clue what the guy who wrote it meant...at all?! Maybe you can guess but hey...it's full of weird words and sentences ;)

So how do I "get deeply into the moment"? I don't even understand what this could mean to be honest. Get into the moment? What moment? It's over when I recognize it already, isn't it?

So how the heck do I do that Zazen to get deeply into this moment?

Take care,

Andy

Zazen said...

Give it up, kid, go back to the whiz bang bells and whistles world of video games. Zen's not for wimps.

alan sailer said...

Andy,

You, like me and probably most of the people who start zazen want to figure out what it's all about and how to do it right.

And you can't do that.

All you can do is sit and try to pay attention.

If you loose attention, notice and correct your posture.

And sit some more. Until the time you set is up.

Dogen's instructions on the physical part of practice are crystal clear. You should follow them carefully.

As far as the daydreaming, if you find that you are daydreaming, notice that. If you find you are bored, notice that. If you find you are sad, notice that.

Get the pattern?

It's insanely easy to describe but horribly difficult to do, in my experience.

And finally, not to be rude, but I am not a teacher. Not even close.

If you are serious about practicing zen, a teacher is really important.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Dude, quit asking silly questions. You're looking for an answer that you're not going to get.

Anonymous said...

"I'm typing things for the ppl doing a documentary about me. I'm pretending to write my blog."

- Brad Warner, via TWITTER

Anonymous said...

Well that certainly explains the past two posts!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read all the comments here--I don't have the time!
Maybe someone else already pointed this out...

as far as the argument 'transcribed, edited talks as somehow being 'easier' than writing a book' goes:

perhaps, Brad if you gave talks you might be able to transcribe and edit them and parlay them into a book

nothing wrong about your eclectic discursive verbal presentations after sitting, in fact, quite good.

definitely your responses to questions--hands down, exceptional. Maybe make a book of questions and answers....

but your talks now...
well, THATS why you have to write your books...

Anonymous said...

Obama Been Bushin?

Anonymous said...

?!

Mark Foote said...

Andy,

Mark here. Yes, you already have practiced zazen, doing nothing.

My favorite Zen teacher said, "take your time with the lotus". He wasn't particularly speaking to me, but he wasn't really speaking to anyone else, either. I took my time.

When you sit, the thing that corrects your posture is your ability to feel referred sensation throughout your body, and the sense of place you have connected with that. That's why it's doing nothing; you don't get to correct your posture either.

And you've already done it, even to the point of absorption, when you're not doing nothing anymore. Am I right? Where is that, right before absorption?- nowhere doing nothing, and somehow everyone else is there. My take. I have had people who gave and gave in my life, but no teachers per se, I guess I'm too thick-headed. Good luck.

Mark Foote said...

For Brad:

Solving 200 comments display problem

Andy said...

@Alan: Thanks again!

Okay those comments:

"All you can do is sit and try to pay attention."

"As far as the daydreaming, if you find that you are daydreaming, notice that. If you find you are bored, notice that. If you find you are sad, notice that."

make things much more clear to me. So it's "choiceless awarenss" what you're practicing in zazen. You don't pay special attention to anything like the breath/body sensations etc. but instead keep an open awareness of what's going on, whatever it is.

That's what in other traditions is called "mindfulness practice" btw. At least it's one way of mindfulness practice. But usually in those traditions you start with paying attention to your breath or your thoughts for example and then when slowly extend it unless you can do it choiceless ;)

Take care,

Andy

Anonymous said...

choiceless

Guido Fawkes said...

I can see all 266 (and counting) comments with no problem. It might be a good thing if some noob trolls cannot.

Anonymous said...

Brad; the Sarah Palin of Zen.

Anonymous said...

The only way to get past 200 is to make a comment it seems. Whackity. I guess that ensures more "hits" for the blog.

Anonymous said...

Brad; the Sarah Palin of Zen

Anonymous said...

Dalai Lama is manifestation of chen rezig bodhisattva of infinite compassion naturally there is a "magic mojo" around him.

Peace

jeff asbed said...

Brad,

I highly recommend that you disable, if you're able to, the ability for people to post comments anonymously. It really does bring out the cowards. Some of these commenters need to get a life. Even a bad life would be a step in the right direction.

Fringo Regwully said...

But maybe this is the bad life we're looking for?

charlie crew said...

who am i

Manny Guy Fawkes Yermum said...

"The only way to get past 200 is to make a comment it seems. Whackity. I guess that ensures more "hits" for the blog." - Anonymous

Wrong again, but keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Being nice is good. Being nice for the sake of appearing nice is a dangerous path.

Anger is a poison. Being angry from time to time is largely inevitable. Being angry and acting on it is a dangerous path.

Anonymous said...

Well, Manny, that was the only way I could get past the 200 comment mark into the next 75 comments. Why is that? So I guess that means you are the one that is wrong, again.

Anonymous said...

Click on the title of the post: "Who is...". After the post at the beginning of the comments, click on "newest" on the right of the page.

Path of anger post guy.... thank you _/|\_

angry path guy said...

"Click on the title of the post: "Who is..."

Now where in the Using-This-Blog- Manual (or anywhere else)does it say "click on the title of the post?"

Was this intuitive thinking, or just a wild stab in the dark let's see if THIS shit works kind of idea?

Manny Guy Fawkes Yermum said...

"Well, Manny, that was the only way I could get past the 200 comment mark into the next 75 comments. Why is that?" - Anonymous

The error in your statement occurred when you referred to "the only way" to see the latest comments. It might be the only way that YOU could figure out but it's not "the only way", the simplest way or the best way. You're still wrong and you still haven't figured it out. Keep trying.

Manny Guy Fawkes Yermum said...

I forgot to mention the other error in your statement, "I guess that ensures more "hits" for the blog." I have not see any evidence that Brad is scheming to increase the traffic or the comments on his blog by "hiding" the comments after the 200th. I see evidence that the Blogger software is sometimes a little odd and that you can't figure out an easier way to see what you want to read.

boubi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boubi said...

slutsunite.org

there's synergy with SG etc etc

Anonymous said...

!

Anonymous said...

Do you want to get well?

Ok, then just live with this moment.

I don't give a $%^$%^& whether the sunrise is beautiful or if mindfulness is in the way.

Right and wrong are both pesky gnats.

Just live with this moment.

Charlie Crew said...

Who am I

Anonymous said...

BRAD,
PLEASE SWITCH BACK TO THE
BEIGE COMMENT BACKGROUND.
THIS WHITE BACKGROUND IS
CLOSE TO IMPOSSIBLE TO
READ. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

287 comments and I can't read any past 200. At least I can take comfort in knowing that 85 of them were by mysterion.

Many Guys Fuck Your Mom said...

IMO Anonymous comments clutter and degrade this blog much more than Mysterion.

Laurent said...

"Is it you? Is it your image of Thich Naht Hanh that I've disrespected? If so, why does that bug you? Is it you that I've disrespected? Who are you?"

---There is the real question!
Who im I? I don't really know!
In France, where I live, there are new zen masters.
They make all they can to have importants fonctions to administrate buddhism and have politic power.
And as I know some people I most have known doing samu in the kitchen or in the dojo, than in great reunions of big chiefs, I sometimes know how they respect or not people...and often they treat them as their object. In the name of zen!!
A friend told me that an old disciple, one night, was with the "claquettes" to sound the time of going to bed. Some of these new masters were there drinking at the bar...perhaps quite drunk.
The person told them that it was a problem if they did not go, because they were influencing all the people around because or their fonction.
they answered : "but, here it's La Gendronnière!".
Then for new masters, what is a zen temple is principally a place for drinking as much as you want.
I think if they are master, perhaps of they reduce a temple to a bar, then if they are officially masters, they are just an image of master, that most of people believe to be true.

But I found another master, he told us: "when i'm alone in the mountain, in the temple, doing zazen and samu, all is quiet. I don't want to much people, our practice is not to be seen, it's to disappear."
Not much people know him. But when we practice rohatsu sesshin, we are 8. During is life he knew Kodo Sawaki, and all those who brought zen in occident, he knew lots of people, he has nothing to prove and to be impressed by.
But his practice is just to shut up and sit. But sitting ourselves and the whole universe too.

then, what is the master? Who is the master? What is the disciple? Who is the disciple?
What is to teach the way to somebody?

who are we? Who im I??

john e mumbles said...

Maybe it's just this good strong coffee talking but I think that was a very erudite, Laurent. Thank you.

A-Bob said...

Hi Harry, Your criticism of Brad is troublesome because you are doing something very similar yourself even tho you might doing it from the position of higher consciousness learned through scrupulous practice.

So I see some irony in your criticism of Brad's criticisms like you see in his. I am also aware that I am criticizing you now..

But, and I have a very big but here, I am doing so from a position of extreme metta which I've achieved from commenting on countless Youtube videos.

Gassho!

CAPTCHA : isibudi giesibi : I kid you not

john e mumbles said...

A-Bob: Is this one yours? "Bold gal with a cute brain?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSJsXXaklwQ&noredirect=1

Anonymous said...

201

proulx michel said...

Andy: the part about monitoring your posture and your breath is essentially what to do when you notice you have drifted in one direction (daydreaming) or another (sleepyness). And observing your posture means observing your breath, because it is part of it all.

Just sit. Give yourself some stretching techniques training so that your hip joint becomes more flexible and your knee caps don't take too much strain. Beware of canting forward while thinking you are sitting straight up. When sitting, try stretching your spine upwards: "your head touching the sky and your knees digging in the ground".

And don't bother too much about "succeeding". Whenever you can, try to participate in a sesshin (a zen retreat).

That's about it all.
Ah! Don't worry too much about a good lot of the commenters...

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

297

Damien Thorn said...

666

299 said...

299

300 said...

300

Fred said...

Andy, the best way to do Zen is by
not doing.

As for wasting time doing nothing,
there is no time to waste. There
is just now, right here.

Your ego wishes to eat some Zen
candy to get a zen high. Sit down
and shut up.

Anonymous Crybaby Noob said...

I can't see any comments past 300!
Waaa, waaaa, waaaaa!

Fred said...

" I don't want to much people, our practice is not to be seen, it's to disappear."

Fred said...

Thich Nhat Hanh:


"We have our true person, but we don’t live with our true person, we don’t recognize our true person. We only live with the things we think are our true person. We live our whole life in this ignorance, thinking our feelings and our flesh are the sum total of our true person. Our true person has no position, is not inside or outside, is not tricked by birth and death, by coming and going, by having or not having, by what we do or don’t do. Whether we play chess, stay in bed all day, or meditate all night, this is not our true person.

Our true person can’t be found by means of our intellect, our reasoning. On this pile of red flesh there’s a true person. Anyone who hasn’t seen this person: look carefully. Live mindfully."

Anonymous said...

I respect you, A-Bob, for speaking from on high (YouTube commenter). I have made quite a few YouTube comments myself and sometimes wonder, aloud, if I'm the new Christ figure for the 21st century. Having read your latest comment here, I'm starting to believe that you might be God.

Anonymous said...

Where are the other 100 comments?

Anonymous said...

Never mind, they weren't that great

Anonymous said...

VEGANS GONE WILD!

A pill to make meat eating impossible? LOL

Virginia said...

Who is Thich Naht Hanh? I dunno, but I think I'm Bansky.

(interesting post, by the way. Raises some interesting questions (not meant in a critical way), such as, how do you reconcile your worries about being ineffective as a teacher as you get more popular with your worries about not making enough money?)

Anonymous said...

201

Kelsey Grammer said...

How (many) ((parentheses)) (((can))) ((((you)))) (((((put))))) ((((((inside)))))) (((((((two))))))) ((((((((parentheses?))))))))

Anonymous said...

Are •you• 201 ??!!??

Anonymous said...

201

Sarah Palin said...

If God didn't want people to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

Anonymous said...

201

Angulimala said...

“Who is Thich Naht Hanh?”, is a hua-t’ou. The Chinese term Hua-t’ou can be translated as “critical phrase.” Literally it means the “head of speech” or the “point beyond which speech exhausts itself.” Ta-Hui promoted the practice circa 1139 CE.

Unlike your band, Zero Defex, Ta-Hui warned of “Ten Defects” inherent in the Zen practice of hua-t’ou.

You would be better suited, Brad, being called “The Teflon Zen Master”. You capitulate very little, if anything at all.

My Master told me:
“Do not engage in a chop fight with an opponent that is either too stupid or too arrogant to know when he has been bested. “

Who is it that has replied to this thread?

Don’t Know .

Brad Warner said...

Huh.

Keyser Soze said...

Who is Keyser Soze?

Anonymous said...

201

Farzad Jr. said...

Hanging out online at 12:25 AM? That's pretty late for Zennie to be saying huh.

New girlfriend Brad?

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

Have online comment sections become 'a joke'?

Not if they're on a Zen Blog!!

boubi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ni-de hua-t’ou shi hua-wei.
Shi bu shi?

HUA-T'OU said...

 

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. I'm responsible for over 10% of the comments in this stream. Bye guys.

201

Anonymous said...

Wait... ok, now I'm responsible for over 10%. Ok. Bye. Get enlightened!

Mark Foote said...

"the true man, breathing to his heels".

"The real being, with no status, is always going in and out through the doors of your face." (Linji)

Andy, you are in trouble now, man. I like the part about the stretch. If I had to say, I would confess to following the pivot of the hips and pelvis in one direction and of the sacrum in the opposite direction, some of the time. Near-pleasant sensations like stretch are just as compelling as near-painful sensations like stretch, as far as the location of mind. Who locates this mind?

Anonymous said...

brad, have you been at a TNH lecture or event? i think it becomes very clear who he is, and what he means by mindfulness when you are with him, in his presence.

the essence of his being/meaning is not conveyed through the words he speaks or writes/has someone write for him in his books. his essence becomes clear when you are with him.

kind of like sex or yoga - unless you do it it doesn't make much sense to discuss it and tear it apart intellectually, for you to figure out what it is, what it feels like, how it contributes to your being.

it feels like - this contributor not excluded - some of us have way too much time on our hands - and restlessness inside to even begin to understand buddhist meditation. it's practice, practice, practice and not discuss, discuss, discuss.

Anonymous said...

Who am I ?

Mark Foote said...

Weird thing about "discussion versus practice"- I was able to describe a practice of waking up and falling asleep in words, and a man in New York City was able to experience the thing I wrote about and fall back to sleep, seven nights running.

Now, it's not possible to make oneself fall asleep or wake up, as far as I can tell. Not actually. Sort of like zazen, when Shunryu Suzuki says "only zazen can sit zazen".

Yet maybe it's possible that words can do some good. What do you think?

john e mumbles said...

Well, Mark, somebody, somewhere, sometime...maybe even me right here, right now..said:

A writer doesn't want to be liked, he wants to be understood.

IMO if your writing reached even one person, and he was able to benefit from what you suggested, then of course, that's a good thing indeed.

Fred said...

Words are reflections of what is,
but they take you away from tathata

john e mumbles said...

Borges called nouns abbreviations.
I like that.

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

201

Mark Foote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Foote said...

nouns as abbreviations, like that.

I have a friend who passes along information on how pyschics receive their visions (as it were). They teach being open to seeing before words, before making sense.

Dualism just means the mind is here, and the object of mind there. What if the mind moves, and the object of mind has a part in the placement? And the things that enter the mind before words, before sense, have a part in the placement?

If I close my eyes, my mind doesn't seem to be in quite the same place as when my eyes are open. If I look to follow that sense of place from one instant to the next, I fall asleep or wake up as appropriate. This is also the practice of zazen, to me. Can it be taught this way?

I can't avoid the sense of location, and I can't improve on it. It just is. The bottom falling out of the basket, as far as I'm concerned.

Moni said...

Urghff this comment flow was massive. I hope, that it did not take your motivation Brad and the next post is coming soon:).

About that e-publishing thing: what gniz was saying was only that, that even in this "business" there is best practices and if you follow them independent from the content you will succeed much more. Good cover, good price, good summary. Maybe you are not talented in marketing your own writing, but I think people who like you would help you for free to brush up your e-book portfolio a bit and help you. You inspire many people with your writing and make them think about nice stuff. I am sure, that people would be glad to brainstorm a bit and help you to make your portfolio a bit more organized. You are not a business person and you do not have to be, but if you already wrote those books and you are writing continuously it just do not make any sense to overlook these best practices on purpose, since you put some effort into writing those books anyways.

Leonard Cohen is also asking money for his concert tickets, even though he is a zen-guy.

john e mumbles said...

Hi Mark. That's a variation on the old koan from Gateless Gate, right? The one with two blog commentors arguing is the flag moving or is the wind moving? no its the mind moving sez the Brad type dude behind them...

Anonymous said...

All life is sex,
and all sex is competition,
and there are no rules to that game.

Anonymous said...

201

General Specific said...

Mr. Warner, tear down these Anonymous comments.

Andy said...

@Mark: Why am I in trouble? I'm doing fine, thanks!

Maybe some of you guys take that Zen-Stuff far to serious...I mean hey cmon! ;)

Anonymous said...

Moni: I agree with you. But the main difference between Brad and the hugely talented Leonard Cohen is that Brad is primarily a Zen guy who has an interest in art, where Cohen is primarily an artist who has an interest in Zen. Their motivations are different.

Fred said...

"Then who is Thich Naht Hanh?"

Who is the Unborn and the Undead?

Mark Foote said...

@Andy,

Just kidding. For myself, I have an understanding of well-being, and "investigation" (to use the term from the classic description of the factors of enlightenment) kicks in when I sit the lotus- but describing the terms of my investigation seldom communicates anything to anyone. Your interest in setting up mindfulness and the various practices that have been described to that end shows that you have a healthy investigation yourself, IMO. It took me a long time before my investigation did me any real good, I guess that's what I was joking about by saying you "are in trouble now".

The old story about the caterpillar and the toad, where the toad asks the caterpillar how it knows which leg to move next, and suddenly the caterpillar can't walk.

Hey John- the mind and the flag, a good one! The sage points not only to the mind that moves, as it were, but to a relationship between that movement and a seemingly unrelated event. Reminds me that there are no unreleated events, when the placement of consciousness incoporates the phenomena of mind before words appear. Isn't that the message of pyschics and Zen-stuff-ers?

john e mumbles said...

You may recall my comment here on this blog, Mark, when you first posted the link to the Waking and going to Sleep essay. I mentioned how if you meditate before sleep and are able to suspend (by no means or will of your own of course) thoughts, empty the mind of the "inner dialogue" (although I would argue it is a monologue after all) images come rushing in. The trick, where some degree of effort must be expended, is to recognize -to become conscious of- the transition between this and dreaming. There is also a point when waking up where it is possible to distinguish between the dream and "waking up."

Why do this at all? Because rather than arbitrarily separating consciousness into pieces just because you've been taught that "this is sleep, that is awake" you begin to see the flow and eventually see it all as one thing, that has no beginning or end, or even middle. With this knowledge, as Fred mentioned, concepts like "the Unborn" make a whole hella more sense.

You bring that back to the cushion, and in my experience at least, your sense of time is infinite, you may sit for 15 min or two hours and not be able to distinguish between them.

Of what value is this? None that I know of.

Broken Yogi said...

Andy,

Since I'm not a Zennie, I can try to answer your question without being cute.

First, there's no such thing as Zen. There's just Buddhism. And Buddhism just means the Four Noble Truths, the first of which is..

1. Life is unsatisfying (dukkha)

Zen merely means taking this truth seriously. Nothing you do will ever be satisfying, and none of your questions will ever be satisfyingly answered. Sitting zazen just means accepting this. You merely sit in your dissatisfaction, And it naturally leads to the second noble truth.,

2. There is a cause to dissatisfaction, and that is the craving (tanha) for satisfaction.

This points to the fruitlessness of trying to do anything to relieve the feeling of dissatisfaction we have. Again, this points back to zazen, sitting and doing nothing, which leads to the insight of the third noble truth...

3. The cure for suffering is to be found in the cessation of craving. Again, this points back to zazen, sitting and doing nothing, rather than craving a solution to our dissatisfaction. Since craving only produces dissatisfaction, the true path is not in problem·solving action, but in the cessation of all actions motivated by craving. So one merely sits, and this leads to the fourth noble truth...

4. The Noble Eightfold Path is the way to bring about the cessation of craving. This too points back to sitting zazen as its fundament, which is doing nothing as a principle within all action. There¡s of course more to it than just that, but all the aspect of the NEP are about the cessation of craving, not engaging in some path that has as its goal the cessation of craving. It is all about immediately ceasing to live on the basis of craving, and is entirely unsatisfying.

So, if you want satisfaction, try something other than Zen. If you can accept that there is no such thing as satisfaction, then try Buddhism, and you may end up practicing in the mode of Zen.

Either way, you will not get any satisfactory answers, and if this answer has been satisfactory to you, you have missed the point.

Andy said...

@Broken Yogi: Thanks for your comment.

My immediate response to "not craving" when I read it though is that it would take me some serious doing/intention/craving to sit in that posture and not crave for anything else. Simply because I'm (my brain is not) used to it, it's not my natural state right now. So isn't that just another kind of craving if I'd start practicing this and...why is that craving better than the ones I have now?

Anonymous said...

Wankers.

Anonymous said...

201

Anonymous said...

more than 350 comments!!
I want to be Peter Pan UltraMachoMan too.
To much fun!
Don't read the comment "zen master need psicotherapy", it may wake you up from dreamNeverLand.
Stop the monsters killing, let lady Gaga live!

Mark Foote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Foote said...

As Shunryu Suzuki said, "life is too important to take seriously".

broken yogi, what about the further escape, and the happiness associated with the cessation of (the habitual activity of) perception and sensation?

The four truths in my reading apply when suffering exists. You can read them that suffering always exists, but then you have taken an eternalist stance (have you not?). Why not apply the four truths when suffering exists, and let it go at that? And they apply toward a thing we are helpless about, the happiness associated with the further states, just as compelling as the pain in the legs sometimes.

Ok, my opinion, cute or not.

Anonymous said...

very, very wise words!
combining with ken wilber will be better

thanks to ultramachoman warner for provoking people!

11:39 AM Broken Yogi said... Andy, Since I'm not a Zennie, I can try to answer your question without being cute First, there's no such thing as Zen. There's just Buddhism. And Buddhism just means the Four Noble Truths, the first of which is.. 1. Life is unsatisfying (dukkha) Zen merely means taking

Anonymous said...

Jefferson, Lucretius, Epicurus; Declaration of Independence; Pursuit of Happiness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DOv4KPkUDY

Broken Yogi said...

Andy,

The whole point of sitting, or practicing any of the outer forms of Buddhism, isn't to "not crave" but merely to observe and feel our cravings without continuing to feed them. You can't stop yourself from craving, but you can stop feeding the monster, and let it just go into starvation mode. Which is what the mind does when you just sit. And of course one of the things you will do is crave the end of craving, because of course you are addicted to craving. Just something more to observe and not feed into. Sitting isn't in itself some grand plan to end craving. It's just sitting. But it's rather amazing what we can make of that in our craving mode. So that's good to observe also. Sitting is a good way to reflect on these noble truths in real time when our minds are telling us all their sad stories. Listen sympathetically, but don't believe their lies.

Broken Yogi said...

Mark,

The four truths say that whenever we are craving, we are also suffering as a result. It is important to note that to the extent that we are not craving, we are not suffering. The problem is that much of our craving and consequent suffering is unconscious in us, and limits us below the surface of our ordinary awareness. Unconsciousness is itself the suffering that results from our craving. So a good part of Buddhist practice is learning to observe ourselves more deeply rather than just superficially, to see that the limits we encounter are due to unconscious cravings.

If we only apply the four truths when we encounter some obvious disturbance, we will remain rather superficial and even feel "satisfied" with our lives, which means we are living in an illusion of some kind, since satisfaction is always an illusion. That why it can be good to sit, doing nothing, and notice that incipient dissatisfaction that is always just beneath the surface of our minds. Activity tends to distract us from this, which is why we are so addicted to activity. Doing nothing leaves us no distractions other than the mind itself, and this allows us to see what is really going on with us beneath the surface activities we use to keep ourselves distracted from our basic sense of dissatisfaction and craving.

In other words, the cessation of habitual activity will simply reveal to us the dissatisfaction and craving that underlies and motivates these activities. This can lead to the spontaneous abandonment of that mode of life and mind, if we persist in seeing it clearly for what it is.

Anonymous said...

macho, machozen
I wanna be a ultramachozen...

Anonymous said...

201

Harry said...

A-Bob,

'So I see some irony in your criticism of Brad's criticisms like you see in his. I am also aware that I am criticizing you now..'

Hee hee, yep, if we renounce the notion that we're 'right' at least it leaves quite a bit of room for us all to be wrong in our wonderful mulitudinous ways. 'Irony' is an interesting word. I wonder, what is the real basis for the irony you experienced there?

At the same time, there are certain things we should be very clear about I suppose, and 'sitting down and shutting up' is really only part of a response, the relatively uncomplicated bit.

Regards,

H.

Fred said...

Andy said:

"Simply because I'm (my brain is not) used to it, it's not my natural state right now. So isn't that just another kind of craving if I'd start practicing this and...why is that craving better than the ones I have now?"

Actually it is your natural state.
Your current state is your
conditioned state shaped by your
family, your culture, your
education and your life experience.

Being witness to reality as it is
right now without judgment, is a
better state.

Not clinging to anything including
a self, a religion or a
spiritual ideology is a better state.

Not being attached to any state is
not being attached to any state.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like Arkansas. I could take it or leave it. Nothing special.

183

Anonymous said...

Happy St. Petersburg Day, fellow Russians!

What?

It is?

Oh, my bad.

Happy St. Mysterion Day!

Mark Foote said...

Why is that craving better, indeed!

Didn't say anything about applying the four truths, said the four truths only apply when suffering exists.

Just to be where I am as a practice draws me, there's really nothing I can do about it. I knew I needed something, I found being where I am as a practice, and the half-lotus or lotus has been my teacher.

The cessation of habitual activity is gradual, so say those who repeat the four truths. In the first meditation, marked by thought applied and sustained, the habitual activity of speech ceases; in the fourth meditation, marked by a purified equanimity, the habitual activity of inhalation and exhalation ceases (this I think is what broken yogi refers to when he talks about unconscious habitual activity); in the cessation of the habitual activity of perception and sensation, the signless concentration, the habitual activity of perception and sensation ceases.

Waking up is sudden, falling asleep is usually more gradual.

"The essential thing in studying the Way is to make the roots deep and the stem strong. Be aware of where you really are, twenty-four hours a day. You must be most attentive. When nothing at all gets on your mind, it all merges harmoniously, without hindrance-- the whole thing is empty and still, and there is no more doubt or hesitation in anything you do. This is called the fundamental matter appearing ready-made."

("Zen Letters, Teachings of Yuanwu", translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary, pg 53. Yuanwu authored "The Blue Cliff Record", a collection of koans and commentaries, in about the 12th century C.E. in China)

369 said...

3 6 9

12 15 18

21 24 27

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Broken Yogi said...

"Why is that craving better, indeed!"

It is not better, but it offers the possibility of ending craving by turning the craving upon itself. Craving requires an object we crave, and we imagine that if we attain that object, our craving will be satisfied. This never actually happens, however. We just spawn new cravings for new objects. By turning craving upon itself, we deny craving an object, and it withers and dies on the vine. This is why meditation can seem like a death process. It is, so long as we do not become fixated on an object, but turn upon the subject. As the Buddha's final instructions state, "Be a refuge unto yourself."

As for the four noble truths applying only when suffering is present, when is suffer not present? Only in the final cessation of suffering, called nirvana. Before that, there is always an element of suffering in our mind and life, no matter how good things might get. Haven't you noticed? I certainly have, but your mileage may vary.

Mark Foote said...

@broken yogi,

Your practice is likely the same as mine, although I look to experience the substance of what I feel as consciousness takes place in the place of occurrence of consciousness, that is to say as a part of the place of occurrence of consciousness. In the end, it's just consciousness taking place, but the experience has a way of balancing pain, I would assume for as long as we have being (although I don't plan to press it anytime soon!).

I believe it was Thich Nhat Hanh who said, "the pain is mandatory, the suffering is optional"- yer right, the cessation of the desire for again-becoming is cessation of the asavas, but we sleep and we wake and the buddha by the back door is the one that counts. IMHO! :)

Mark

Broken Yogi said...

Mark, I don't think we have the same practice. My practice is to never have the same practice from one moment to the next. The only consistency I have is a daily meditation which never takes the same form twice, feeling everything including myself feeling the feeling of feeling feeling, and nearly constant gratitude in the form of feeling·thinking·breathing·saying "thank you" no matter what occurs.

What's yours?

Mark Foote said...

thanks for the description, I appreciate that- about the same, here, the Burma shave signs end but the road goes on. I guess that's the good part.

Moni said...

@Anonymus yes, I agree about Leonard Cohen, he is an artist interested in zen and nor reverse :).

Moni said...

*not reverse

Sherman Chin said...

Love your quote, "Even when someone says something 100% true, sometimes you need to question it. Because your interpretation of what was said may not be correct. It's not the fault of the speaker when his words are misconstrued. Everybody's words are misconstrued. Misconstruing what we hear people say is what we human beings do. This is why we have to be careful."

Posted it at http://www.facebook.com/GreatDoubt

Doba said...

Nice deconstruction of hagiographical tendencies: who is the real person? As opposed to our image of who they are, which may very likely be idealized, sanitized, or simply based on our own projections.

Adam said...

Well, the guy in the photo is Thich Nhat Hanh. I don't know who Thich Naht Hanh is, though.

big_buddha said...

Thanks for sharing, Brad. In Sex, Sin & Zen you stated 'He must've read that in a Thich Nhat Hanh book!' while ranting about spiritual masters. It was unclear if you were supressing anger towards Thatch. I recall digging up dirt on Thich Nhat Hanh on google. Nothing made sense about your statement until I read your blog post. It clears the consciencessness knowing who the REAL Thatch is. Recently finished a TNH book, I'm dissapointed it wasn't TNH talking to the reader, it was uncreditted followers of TNH. Disturbing. Their book Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames touches on good topics like non-self and mindfulness. Good Read. Be well.

Anonymous said...

I hate all this enlightenment shit and I wouldn't pay any attention to it at all if I wasn't trying so hard to stay clean and sober. But it does give me something to think about besides booze.

As to all the consternation I see here in this blog and it's comments, I think people should just try to be nicer to each other... at least that's a good start. I haven't met anybody in this life yet who isn't stuck in something.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Shake it up a bit. You're right. We should look past the obvious in life with a willingness to question/challenge things. How else does growth take place?

Anonymous said...

Well, this is cheap. You keep calling him 'Naht' but know the right name when you use twitter. You've been told by people 'who seem to know what they're talking about' he doesn't write his own books (which books? all books? some books? no books? which people? the real writers? someone who knows someone who knows... etc.?). And when you reply to comments you pretend that it is a proven fact ("I'm just pointing out that he doesn't"). No, you're pointing out that some people I don't know told you something about someone else. I don't care about that.

I thought your books would be a fresh change to the somewhat soft books people like TNH write, but this is just a silly post about another Zen author. And even a follow-up to a similar silly post.

I'll skip your books based on such silly posts alone.

Laura said...

I think your comments make some sense. Buddhism is all about questioning the teachings and teachers, right? I just got very curious to know how much money Thich and the Dalai Lama make from publishing all these books? Do they use all the money to help refugees from their respective countries? It has got to be a LOAD of money...I can not find this infor anywhere so far...

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