Monday, April 23, 2012

Dogen Sangha International Post Mortem



I'm going to keep posting commercials until everyone in the world buys a copy of the Hardcore Zen audiobook.

This one came out pretty good. This was a surprise because I'm working with iMovie, which is a pain in the butt compared to Final Cut. I used to use Final Cut. But now the program no longer works so I'm stuck with iMovie. iMove is made for dad to edit out the parts where little Molly drools on the dog and then upload it to YouTube and not much else. Bending it to do what I'm doing takes a certain amount of what feels to me like fooling the program into doing things it doesn't want to do.

Be that as it may. I was talking with Tim McCarthy, my first Zen teacher, yesterday about the demise of Dogen Sangha International (DSI) and about lineages in general. Tim pointed out that the Asian model for passing on lineages in things like Zen, the martial arts, tea ceremony and so on goes something like this. A teacher will often appoint several successors to whom he (or she, but I'll use he for now) gives his blessing to teach as part of his lineage. When the teacher wishes to retire or feels he's about to die, he will often single out one of these successors to inherit whatever that teacher has established in the form of a school. There may be property involved, there might be money, there might be a roster of students, teachers and other such members of that school.

In the case of DSI, the school was almost entirely conceptual. There was no property or money passed on to me and not even a list of members. The only property DSI may or may not have held were certain intellectual property items in the form of the copyrights to certain of Nishijima's written work in English.

I say "may or may not" because even this was never really made clear to me. However, I had long believed that if there was one thing all of Nishijima Roshi's dharma heirs agreed upon it was that some one person or entity should take charge of Nishijima Roshi's written work. There has been a hell of a lot of bickering about Nishijima Roshi's written material in English because he did not produce any of it by himself. He always worked with some native English speaker to turn his ideas into publishable English.

I had believed that all of this had been settled. I was well aware that a number of people were not entirely happy with the way it had been settled. But I had believed at least they accepted things. When I published my last blog I found out immediately that this was not true.

If I felt that Nishijima Roshi's written legacy in English might disappear unless I entered into the fray and fought for DSI to administer all of this material, I might be inclined to fight about it. But everything is available, even if there are several sources for it. What matters is that it's out there. Since this is true it doesn't seem important to me to spend any effort on consolidating things.

What has happened in DSI regarding this material is precisely what always happens when people produce some kind of collaborative piece of art without stipulating one single person or entity as the sole owner of that thing. This is why filmmakers these days are usually very meticulous about having everyone involved sign contracts specifically stating what sort of compensation they will receive and what, if any, rights of ownership they'll have over the finished product. You don't want some guy whose only role in Titanic was to go "Arrrrrggghhh!!" and fall off the ship to start saying he now owns the whole movie.

There are currently no legal versions of any of the Ultraman programs made between 1966 and 1974 available outside of Japan because of problems of this nature. Eventually all the animosity involved in this tore the original Tsuburaya Productions apart. None of the Tsuburaya family are involved in the company that now bears their name.

Some of you who like to post in the comments section appear to believe that, as far as spiritual organizations go, this situation is unique to Dogen Sangha. This is because Dogen Sangha is far more open about our own shortcomings than anyone else in this business. We don't have professional PR people, legal departments and so forth to promote a false image of solidarity like other spiritual organizations do. And trust me folks, they really do. Even the ones headed by those beatifically smiling faces you see on all the covers of the Buddhist mags. Especially them! This is one of the things I like about us. We are honest and open to a fault. It's one of the reasons Dogen Sangha will never be as "successful" as those other spiritual organizations. But in my way of thinking this is the true success of Dogen Sangha.

The issue of the matter of there being multiple successors with one person being singled out as a kind of special successor, or head successor, or whatever, will always be a problem for organizations like Dogen Sangha. The Western solution in many cases seems to be to either try to create some kind of legal framework around this process or to democratize it or both. That's how we handle things. That's how we arrogantly think things must be handled.

But Buddhism isn't like a government or a corporation. When you try to force it into that mold, it breaks. Lots of people will assure you this is not true. But they're mistaken.

Typically when one person is singled out as some kind of special successor in cases like these, the older members of the group refuse to accept him, those who joined around the same time as the newly appointed special successor may grudgingly agree to go along, and those who join after the appointment has been made simply accept it. This is precisely what happened with DSI.

I don't have any interest in trying to convince Nishijima Roshi's older students to accept me as their new dharma daddy. It's like asking me to join in a fight over who gets to eat the last chicken leg in the Col. Sanders bucket. I'm a vegetarian. I don't care who eats it.

I also have no desire to lead Dogen Sangha International. It's not fun. It doesn't make money. It doesn't make me a hit with the ladies. And worse than that it doesn't even help spread the teachings of Dogen. So why do it? That's a serious question that I have put to a number of people and I have never heard a single convincing answer.

Once when I was having some trouble with my little band of misfit meditators in Los Angeles, I went to see Mel Weitsman of the Berkeley Zen Center about it. After listening to me whine for a while, he asked, "What's your bottom line with your group?" I had never thought about it like that. I said that my bottom line was, "I sit zazen ever day. On Saturdays I invite other people to sit with me." And that was it. That's what was at the very bottom for me.

In that case if someone were to come on Saturday and start making a lot of fuss and noise, they'd be interfering with my bottom line and I'd ask them to leave. If they refused to go, I'd end the practice of opening my place to strangers.

As far as Dogen Sangha (International or otherwise) is concerned, I feel pretty much the same way. My bottom line is that I sit and you can join me if you want. Anything that interferes with that needs to be stripped away. Dogen Sangha International was interfering with that, and now it's gone.


SOMEONE SENT ME AN E-MAIL ABOUT THE SPANISH VERSION OF HARDCORE ZEN. I LOST YOUR E-MAIL. PLEASE SEND IT AGAIN IF YOU SEE THIS!

159 comments:

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Sit down and shut up.

Anonymous said...

That hurt my ego Seagal.

Anonymous said...

"If Mysterion had as many cocks sticking out of him as he's had stuck in him, he'd look like a porcupine."

- Rinpoche Seagal, in a teisho at Dogen Sangha International

pretaville said...

Whatever..

Maybe we link to some of his like Donny Osmond dumbass musick, with his dumbass buddies, who never quite made it to garage band 101 (dude, like what's an arpeggio)

Go home you mentally ill white trash romneyite.

Anonymous said...

prickly, aren't you?

Khru Jr. said...

Brad,

When you 'facefuck' (I picked up this term from an anonymous on your last post) do you grasp your partner by the ears and thrust into his/her mouth or there some other method you prefer?

Thanks in advance for your answer!

Anonymous said...

"Typically when one person is singled out as some kind of special successor in case like these, the older members of the group refuse to accept him, those who joined around the same time as the newly appointed special successor may grudgingly agree to go along, and those who join after the appointment was been made simply accept it."

Well said, Mr. Warner.

Khru said...

Let's stop all the hatin' and just start the lovin'.

Harry said...

... in a 'facefuck' way or a neoplatonic way?

Anonymous said...

Sit up and shut down.

nobody said...

I could have been somebody.

I could have been a contender.

A-Bob said...

Ya know Brad, Instead of disbanding the group you might have considered taking someone up on their offer of tea and Zazen.

Then later, while he was distracted in the afterglow of the visit, you could have asked him to become the new leader of DSI.

You would have been off the hook and he would have been overjoyed. It would have been a win win..

CAPTCHA : panti govestop : I kid you not

Misha said...

The practice of Buddhadharma, of zazen, is supposed to be very simple. We're just mucking all of it up slightly by creating these corporations, societies, with boards and lawyers. We muck it up in a big way when we try to monetize it, and create brands from dharma that we hope on day will bring fame and fortune.

We've seen how mucked up the Xtian churches have become. My cable provider has at least 6 channels with hucksters of all stripes, from Osteen to Creflo Dollar (!)...

What Buddha taught was a way out of this dungpile...why do we Buddhists try to climb back into the dungpile, some of us standing on the shoulders of others to get a better flying approach into the dungpile?

Dogen, I'm sure, never wanted a corporation named after him. If he was here with his staff, he'd crack some of you with it.

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

Don't think Dogen was a beater, and he seemed to have a more nuanced take on life than it being a shithole that we had to get out of.

He loved the complexity of it actually. He revelled in it, seemed to celebrate it in all its complexity like, as he put it, 'entwined vines' ('katto').

Never ceases to amaze me how we use Buddhism to sort of further loathe our human existence. It's something that I've heard several Asian teachers comment on; the strange (as they se it) tendency for guilt/ self loathing in the West. It's very likely a residue from our clunky old Judeo-Christian programming.

Regards,

Harry.

nowthis said...

proud of you, brad

Anonymous said...

These blogs about DSI are getting boring and repetitive, Bradley.

Can someone drag out some old Jundo shit?

Harry said...

Well, this is an eye opener:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Jundo

Anonymous said...

Wow! The wonders of our living language.. I'm not sure how that got in there Harry but it must be a fairly recent addition.

It's kind of like when you Google Santorum.

Anonymous said...

From Harry's link:


1. Jundo

A jundo is a basically fat girl, usually so called when they are in a club and obviously willing to pull anything. The Jundo is usually most prevelant at around 2am when the club's lights are turned on. At this stage they are determined to pull someone before they go home in order to build up a little self esteem before it is later shattered by their standard morning weigh in

Question: Where's Rob?

Answer: He's in the corner pulling some jundo

Anonymous said...

haha... so is this:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Harry

Anonymous said...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Warner

Anonymous said...

3. Warner

the last name of a whore with an abnormally large vagina, usually tries to imitate her slutty relatives.

Anonymous said...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bradley

could have been written by Khru Jr.?

Anonymous said...

Brad 1166 up, 539 down

Is known to be the ultimate sex machine. It's common to share his crazy sex stories to his friends. This sounds like torture, but it's actually entertaining when you meet a Brad. They usually play guitar really really really good, and know every single definition of every word on urban dictionary without having to look it up.
-"Hey you wanna hook up?"

-"Wait, aren't you a Brad?"

Anonymous said...

108:

A number synonymous with evil; a number that can represent and manifest evil; an evil omen; often identified with cult practices
The killer's identity was obviously foreshadowed when he stayed in room 108.

According to the dead sea scrolls, the anti-christ's birthday will be on October 8th (the tenth of August in Europe).

Anonymous said...

These are frightenly accurate.

Anonymous said...

Let's form DSI.

What is the first rule of DSI?

Harry said...

3. "Bradley"

When a police officer sticks his baton up your butt to check for drugs.

officer1: "Did you give that kid a bradley?"

officer2: "Yes I did"

Hee hee, I can't vouch for the editorial integrity of Urban Dictionary, but it turns up the odd nugget.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

Jundo Cohen (b. July 14, 1960) is a Sōtō Zen Priest, founder and teacher of the Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha located in Tsukuba, Japan. He was ordained in 2002 and subsequently received Dharma Transmission from Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima, and is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and American Zen Teachers Association. Treeleaf Zendo was designed specifically as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. Members now sit in over 50 countries. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. Jundo Cohen's netcast and video Zazen sittings and podcasts are available through the Treeleaf website.

Anonymous said...

Harry from the Urban Dic:

Harry's are near guru standard, people ask and we provide the answer. However our own problems are hidden, you may pester but we remain zen. It's like dropping a pebble in a lake, but no ripples emerge. A voice of wisdom people turn to when no one else knows what to say. If you don't tell him the problem. sometimes we already know...

Harry said...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dsi

"2. DSI stands for "Dick Suck Island". Basically referring to a girl taking a guy to any private place (which is considered to be the "island" to imply a sort of seclusion/privacy) to give him oral sex (blow job) without interruption."

"4. DSI: A text abbreviation that stands for "Dying Slowly Inside" and is used as the opposite of "lol" or "laugh out loud"

"7. DSI: Dangerous Somalian Immigrant".

Re: forming DSI. I propose Brad as the officer in charge of the gift shop. And Jundo for tea lady.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

DSI = "Dick Suck Island"???

Khru Jr. has definitely been working on the urban dictionary.

Harry said...

'harry' on dictionary.com seems closer to the mark:

1.
to harass, annoy, or prove a nuisance to by or as if by repeated attacks; worry: 'He was harried by constant doubts.'

2.
to ravage, as in war; devastate: 'The troops harried the countryside.'

Anonymous said...

gudo: gudo meaning thats weird or disgusting or anything that is is just random and spontaneous.
(someone yells fat cow and moons you)That's was gudo.

Chodo: an abnormal shaped dildo, usually in the form of a chode (a dick that is fatter than it is tall).

Harry said...

1.

"dogen"

another word for "chode"
usually used to describe a person

Do you see that guy over there?

Wow, what a dogen.



1.

"Chode"

A penis wider than it is long:

"My boyfriend wanted a hand-job but i couldn't get a good grip because he had a chode."

Anonymous said...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=soto


2. Soto

a sexy ass Cuban boy from Florida who all the ladies love . He usually has an asian girl girlfriend from California whose badass in every single way . He loves smoking than going to McDonalds to fufill his munchies . He's a sexy ass motherfxcking beast . He's a ladies man but he loves his girlfriend to death . So back up bitches , or his barking cat will attack you .


3. Soto

The act of being a Mexican and picking strawberries or other fruit on the side of Bemiss road in Valdosta Georgia.

John Baker said...

In the Gopaka Moggallâna Sutta just after the death of the Buddha, a minister of King Ajâtusattu Vedehiputta asks Ananda if the Buddha designated a successor. Ananda replies in the negative.

However, despite this seeming setback, the Sutta goes on to inform us that there are qualities the Buddha has taught which make a person worthy to be relied upon. Here is a smaller and more understandable list of the ten criteria which I have taken from Wendi Adamek’s book, The Mystique of Transmission.


“These ten qualities are (1) he is perfect in conduct according to the prâtimoksa, (2) he is learned in good teachings, has mastered them verbally, investigated them intellectually and penetrated them through his own insight, (3) he is content with the simple life of the bhiksu, (4) he obtains the four dhyânas (absorptions, higher levels of consciousness) at will, (5) he has mastered the various supernormal powers, (6) he has the “divine ear,” (7) he has insight into the minds of others, (8) he recollects his past lives, (9) he has the “divine eye,” and (10) he has realized the truth for himself and “abides in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints.”

What I find interesting about this list, no latter-day Zen master comes close to these qualities—just read the claptrap they write calling itself Zen, as with Brad Warner.

If somebody asked me to name a past Japanese Zen master who came closest to meeting all the qualities it would have to be Zen master Bassui. He, unlike, the so-called teachers of today, grasped the notion of pure Mind which is the key to unlocking the mystery of these ten qualities.

Mysterion said...

John:
"(5) he has mastered the various supernormal powers*..."

Right. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Leaps tall building with a single bound.

Wanna talk crap?

Mastered Supernormal (e.g. supernatural powers like levitation, ESP...

SuperPower WIKI

I just prefer the simple 3:

1) Drinks water
2) Passes water (e.g. takes a piss)
3) Walks on water (that is less than ankle deep).

What was said after Buddha died fills libraries and very little of it has significance beyond commentary, fantasy, or amusement.

The careful study of Sutta reveals that even the various and sundry Sutta collections are - to a degree - corrupted.

There is no successor to Buddha because each salient being IS his/her own Buddha. There is no other authority.

Here's a start.

Spend 45 years studying scriptures and you soon enough discover...




...of the lot, one rings particularly pure:

'Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our teacher." Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill," abandon them.' source

Harry said...

If we're quote fencing, don't forget the Urban Dictionary!

Harry said...

...and as the video footage with this blog post clearly indicates, Brad can fly a real UFO... Dead Buddha Guy couldn't do that for nuts!

Fred said...

The John Baker who co-edited
Chogyam Trungpa's books?

I read the two books you co-edited,
but I was disappointed with the
fornication and alcoholism of
one who had not dropped the
body-mind.

Mysterion said...

Harry:

did you contribute to the Urban Dictionary also?

Harry said...

Can't say I do, Mysti.

Anonymous said...

*Unleashes HUGE wad of cum in Mysterion's mouth*

Harry said...

So zazen/realisation is a cure for alcoholism now... is there anything this product CAN'T do???

Fred said...

Harry, wht don't you sit quietly
and look at where your ego has
taken you. Is this the man that
ponders koans? What's going on ?

Anonymous said...

*facefucks Mysterion until he gags and vomits...waits until he finishes vomiting and rams cock back down his throat and restarts violent thrusts into Mysterion's mouth*

Harry said...

Fred, my dear chap, your curious beliefs around 'dropping body and mind' seem matched by your lack of understanding regarding koan practice (I won't hold it against you, it's pretty widespread in the impovrished latter day Soto othodoxy that we've all been spoonfed).

But, really, I think you'll find that you are quite perfectly placed to have your very own insights into what you are calling the 'ego' here. You just have to buck up like a big boy and attend to the business that it is you can attend to.

When you can offer a few substantial words of your own on the matter then maybe we can even have a sincere little chat about it.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

I'm imagining that potato head icon doing the talking. so great.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that potato head FUCKING Mysterion in the mouth.

Harry said...

...you have to imagine one of his feet tapping too, for full effect.

p.s. To whoever: the mysterion baiting has gone from extreme to... whatever's worse than that. Not cool, but you hardly need that pointed out. You could at least include me in a gayporn fiction with him so as to 'spread the love'.

Harry said...

Great, you beat me to it!

Fred said...

There are no curious beliefs Harry.
All that is can be had right here,
without beliefs, words, doctrines,
dogma, philosophical debate.

You waste your time chasing words
and ideas.

A said...

After several moments of silence & tension, Mysterion sat up, pulling the quilt away from him, revealing his surprisingly large cock. It was about 9", around the same size as Warner's.

Harry then heard the bathroom door open & saw Warner walking in, completely naked & pulling his beautiful cock. Mysterion walked over towards the bed & sat beside Harry, who was now himself jerking off

Mysterion, now incredibly horny at the sight of these two hot studs, stood in amazement.

Harry said...

Yes, well, that's what a lot of them say, Fred.

Pretty easy really isn't it. But I'm no longer convinced.

It's also an attractive assumption I laboured under for a time myself. You're welcome to it, but, if indeed you are able to check, I think you'll find that assuming that it 'the way' for other people is to do with the erroneous function of your very own human mind that you are referring to as 'ego'.

It's a pretty classic, and tragic, human mistake (if we care to take a look back at the unfortunate history of religious and ideological clashes throughout history).

At any rate, do what you want, but here's a Dogenesque idea for you to chase: our words are time, our ideas are time. There's nowhere for time to go, if you care to take a look... so why not enjoy it where it all goes down

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Ejo didn't found the Soto-shu. Brad didn't found DSI.

Anonymous said...

Mebbe so but I Found Lovin' !!

Anonymous said...

*Forces Mysterion to toss my salad, though he warms to the task and licks my shithole clean*

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

Bathetic.

Bathos, from depth is often unintended by the writer. Straining for an elevated effect, the writer overshoots the mark and produces an effect that is ridiculous.

Personal attacks from an inept scientologist amounts to comedy. Fair gaming worked in the 60s and 70s until too many people caught on.

The rope you are pissing on is your own leg -- Sea Gull Rim Shotie

Rick said...

Once you learn something, it's yours.

kristien said...

Dear Brad,

Well done! You go to the bottom of it and drop the institutional bullshit. You are in essence a writer, a good one. And I sense, your practice of zen keeps you at the core of what life is about. So, I encourage you to keep on writing, always with that focus, straight and real, going to the bottom of things. It is a process of shedding what is not real. It makes you strong no matter what social contracts are broken. Therefore, your writings will stay interesting to us.
You said that your book “Zen wrapped in Karma..” is the one you liked the best but was the most difficult to write. Yet it is grasping your audience , because it is raw, the real stuff , recognizable to the being in its essence. Yet, someone felt ‘not at ease’ reading it. Not bad, that is where you may recognize that you are breaking with norms and allow people to feel what is beyond our day to day games we play . When loss and dead is in our face, we can not continue with the mummery.
I prefer your personal writings above your teaching. But I understand that it is the most difficult one to do because you also have to live the life. What to write next? How many losses and deaths are you willing to encounter in one life? When I meditate, a part of “me” dies. That is where my inspiration and strength comes from to tackle another obstruction that comes my way.. So, it is good to sit each day and die a little more …. Sit… and you will be able to keep your audience interested. Your writing is the real deal… your teaching is what you do to survive… but it is boring to me.
And then there is “ critique” of others, I do not like that at all. But, hey? Do I want to critique? No, I ‘ll stick to encouragement. Thanks

Mark Foote said...

"What I find interesting about this list, no latter-day Zen master comes close to these qualities—just read the claptrap they write calling itself Zen, as with Brad Warner.

If somebody asked me to name a past Japanese Zen master who came closest to meeting all the qualities it would have to be Zen master Bassui. He, unlike, the so-called teachers of today, grasped the notion of pure Mind which is the key to unlocking the mystery of these ten qualities."

'Suppose I owe Gautama the Buddha everything that is worthwhile in my character.

When the Gautamid taught the "meditation on the unlovely" and scores of monks a day took the knife, I'll bet everyone of those monks saw those ten qualities in him, and the thirty-six (or however many) marks too. May they rest in peace.

Real question to me is whether or not we can experience and communicate something that can transform our lives and the lives of people in Western society. That requires that we transcend our teachers, including Gautama the Buddha. Even brilliant practitioners can offer material that is largely irrelevant; it's a common mistake to assume that someone who has mastery of an art or science knows what they are doing and can teach, especially in words.

Even more common to assume that someone who has none of the ten marks or the qualities cannot teach. Do we want to be like Bassui, do we want to talk about Pure Mind with capitol letters? Ok, fine, we are all waiting for you to actually speak original words about Pure Mind.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line that sits on the zafu ... it sounds like a steady bottom line. :}

Soft Troll said...

Fred wrote:

You waste your time chasing words
and ideas.


Harry wrote:

...here's a Dogenesque idea for you to chase: our words are time, our ideas are time.


Elizabeth Bishop wrote, on her birthday:

Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,
the water in the bight doesn't wet anything,
the color of the gas flame turned as low as possible.
One can smell it turning to gas; if one were Baudelaire
one could probably hear it turning to marimba music


- from The Bight

Balshalk said...

Hey Brad, would you please explain Buddha's "poison arrow" parable. I have a rough Idea. It is something that seems to have an important message to me.( I applied mainly to God.) But what do you think it is about and how can I use its advice? In short Buddha's poison arrow story would be a good post.

Swami Rim Shotie said...

The wicca-hicks aren't exactly defining Baudelaire.

A Baudelaire:

Verb -

When a man wraps his partner's hair around his penis and masturbates.

Anonymous said...

Balshalk asked...
"Hey Brad, would you please explain Buddha's "poison arrow" parable."

Wikipedia has a accurate article regarding it...

Hey Brad, would you please explain Buddha's "poison arrow" parable.

"Malunkyaputta is troubled by Gautama Buddha's silence on the fourteen unanswerable questions, which include queries about the nature of the cosmos and life after death. Malunkyaputta then meets with Gautama and asks him for the answers to these questions, he says that if he fails to respond, Malunkya will renounce his teachings. Gautama Buddha responds by first stating that he never promised to reveal ultimate metaphysical truths such as those and then uses the story of a man who has been shot with a poisoned arrow to illustrate that those questions are irrelevant to his teachings."

It's pretty straightforward really - no intricate interpretations are necessary.

Anonymous said...

shoot that poison arrow!

anon #108 said...

It seems to me that the poisoned arrow analogy is pretty much ignored by many calling themselves 'Buddhist'. Apparently, many modern 'Buddhists' believe that Buddhism is ALL about believing/experiencing no self, believing reincarnation, avoiding re-birth/entering nirvana by achieving enlightenment and so on and so forth.

The 14 questions the Buddha insisted were not answerable are:

Is the world eternal?
or not?
or both?
or neither?

Is the world finite?
or not?
or both?
or neither?

Is the self identical with the body?
or is it different from the body?

Does the Tathagata exist after death?
or not?
or both?
or neither?


The Buddha said none of these questions are answerable. More importantly, he said that such metaphysical speculations are irrelevant to addressing the problems we human beings face. I agree with him.

Anonymous said...

I think they answered all that in the last episode of Lost, didn't they?

f**kface said...

At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

LOL

Hobgoblin of Small Minds said...

Is the self identical with the body?
or is it different from the body?


It seems to me that the possible answers to this question should also include "both" and "neither" even if it's just for the sake of consistency. Two other options that Buddha left out for all of the questions are "indeterminate at this time" and "unknowable".

The Magic 8 Ball says, "Ask again later".

ZenGirl said...

I don't understand what's up with all the sex-related insults that take up roughly 3/4 of these comments. How does writing a bunch of douchey, homophobic insults and fake references to UrbanDictionary contribute to discussion about Zen and institutions vs. practice?

Oh wait, this comments section is still the same boys' club / Buddhist pissing contest it always was. Go sit, boys, and come back when you have something constructive to say.

Anonymous said...

ASL?

Anonymous said...

*Accepts handjob from Mysterion and unleashes a HUGE wad onto his wrist and forearm*

anon #108 said...

Hobgoblin of Small Minds said...

"Is the self identical with the body?
or is it different from the body?


It seems to me that the possible answers to this question should also include "both" and "neither" even if it's just for the sake of consistency..."

Wiki, from where I got the quote, says "Pali texts omit 'both' and 'neither'" (from the eternal? finite? and after death? questions).

That makes the questions more consistent, and still does the job, I reckon.

Applespider, reviewing the Magic 8 ball for Amazon UK notes: "It seems to get 'stuck' on an edge more times than not." Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body ?
I don´t know...

anon #108 said...

And here's a link to the Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta, the sutta with the poisoned arrow analogy and the questions:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.063.than.html

Soft Troll said...

To ZenGirl, who wrote:

come back when you have something constructive to say

Didn't you know this was a Buddhist Motel?

There are rules to follow.

I hear you, but I'm tying my shoe.

Hobgoblin of Small Minds said...

Wiki, from where I got the quote, says "Pali texts omit 'both' and 'neither'" (from the eternal? finite? and after death? questions).

I think that omitting "or both" and "or neither" from the questions makes them less effective as brain teasers (koans?) and more likely to be answered according to one's unconscious, reflexive, dualistic, logical prejudices. But, after all, answering them isn't really the point. The point is to demonstrate that such questions do not "lead to edification".

Magic 8 Ball says, "Cannot predict now."

DJ FA said...

This ain't no party
This ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around!

Kirmet said...

Rise and Fall of the Smiths

as a band, they were bland.

There was no excuse for them...

If only they could speak English.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

post mortem

Brad Warner said...

RIGHT ON ZEN GIRL!!

Anonymous said...

Is Brad still a Porno-Buddhist?

Bug said...

I don't usually read the comments, and boy was this set of comments a good reminder.

Harry said...

108 started it.

anon #108 said...

Hee Hee

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry said...

Now here's an interesting chap (if a dirty Rinzaist!):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassui_Tokush%C5%8D

"There is no ice or snow apart from water, and the Buddhahood of ordinary people can be likened to snow and ice melting and becoming water. From the beginning nothing has ever been lost."

Regards,

H.

Harry said...

Cool, free book.

http://tinyurl.com/7uaqrxm

"The fourteenth-century Zen master Bassui was recognized as one of the most important Zen teachers of his time. Accessible and eloquent, these teachings cut to the heart of the great matter of Zen, pointing directly to the importance of seeing our own original nature and recognizing it as Buddhahood itself. Bassui is taking familiar concepts in Buddhism and recasting them in an essential Zen light. Though he lived centuries ago in a culture vastly different from our own, Zen Master Bassui speaks with a voice that spans time and space to address our own modern challenges in our life, and in our spiritual practice. Like the revered Master Dogen several generations before him, Bassui was dissatisfied with what passed for Zen training, and taught a radically reenergized form of Zen, emphasizing deep and direct penetration into one's own true nature. And also like Dogen, Bassui uses powerful and often poetic language to take familiar Buddhist concepts and recast them in a radically non-dual Zen light, making ancient doctrines vividly relevant. This edition of "Mud and Water" contains several teachings never before translated."

John Baker said...

I really don’t expect any of the posters who contribute to these Buddhist blogs to be budding religious geniuses like Gautama the Buddha or Bodhidharma who brought the secret of Zen with him to China, but I do expect a Buddhist blog to be more concerned with a small slice of the sacred world than with the everyday world of the profane.

Even as a form of escapism, I prefer that these blogs dwell on themes and intriguing stories about great teachers than, for example, dwell on perverse or mundane issues. Seeing Buddhism being presented this way I can see it is not going to last long in our culture.

Trying to clean the dust off of my general concern, I see an alarming trend in modern Buddhism that finds itself stuck between the sacred and the profane world, leaning more and more heavily in the direction of the profane with each new blog post that comes to the internet. Offhand, if I were to guess just one reason as to why the trend is going this way, I could say, “Blame it on microeconomics.” By that I mean, every financial enterprise, including a Buddhist blogger, has the right to make money, hopefully creating a demand for his product; trying to sell the profane mind on Buddhism because that is where the money is. I guess there are other reasons too, as to why Buddhist blogs, this one in particular, wish to appeal to the profane mind.

Harry said...

Hi there,

I don't think anyone in this comments section, especially the most gifted profanitarians, claims to be 'presenting buddhism'.

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Oh Alright then...

Sometimes the world has a load of questions
Seems like the world knows nothing at all

DJ F.A. said...

...ooohhh nice selection 108!

I try to make you see the world without you
That just turned black and white

Soft Troll said...

Sometimes the world makes a curious sex noise (play vid)

I'm not ashamed to say, I think I made one too, at that moment.

Ah...

Anonymous said...

"I think that omitting "or both" and "or neither" from the questions makes them less effective as brain teasers (koans?) and more likely to be answered according to one's unconscious, reflexive, dualistic, logical prejudices. But, after all, answering them isn't really the point. The point is to demonstrate that such questions do not "lead to edification".

It was called a Tetralemma...
Fancied by the Greeks in classical logic - adopted by Nagarjuna for use with his Madhyamaka.

X (affirmation)
\neg X (negation)
X \land \neg X (both) equiv.
\neg (X \lor \neg X) (neither)

The Laughing Baby said...

Brad, you ever taken a cock up the ass? I'm no Khru Jr. but I was just wondering in light of the comments that your blog posts inspire.

Anonymous said...

" but I do expect a Buddhist blog to be more concerned with a small slice of the sacred world than with the everyday world of the profane."

Expecting anything might be your problem. The everyday world is just that. You see it as profane where someone else obviously dosen't. So who is right and who is wrong?

john e mumbles said...

anon 108 4:46 P.M:

SO SAY S0

so say so

world of light
its gonna open your eyes up

(that was one blisterin' jam, thanks. Who's the bass monster -besides Tina Weymouth? That guys thumpin'-I saw Adrain Belew with Frank Zappa I thot around the same time... He wore the same silly pants anyway)

Anonymous said...

Mysterion, does cum from a Japanese guy taste different from a guy who is from Ohio?

Mysterion said...

Buddhism doesn't have:

"a small slice of the sacred world."

And with Zen, THIS MOMENT (whenever it is and wherever it is) is Zen.

This is Zen.

But you knew that from the moment of your birth so my bad for typing it.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Brad. Please moderate the comments section or something. This is getting ridiculous. I've no problems with the profanities, it's the sophomoric, irrelevant web-Tourette's postings of the fucktards who haunt this place who take a big dump on the time and effort you put into your posts. There are rules of behavior even in a mosh pit.

Anonymous said...

that is *nasty*. please stop writing stuff like that.

are you angry?

keif said...

It's not nasty. It's just words. YOU are nasty. Get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

Jesus bleeding Christ Brad. Please don't moderate the comments section. No one is getting harmed here. There are just a few people whose residual Judeo sensibilities are being dick bent. It won't kill them. It's not terminal. Let it go on as always.

Mark Foote said...

There are generally standards about obscenity and threats on most blog and forum sites. Comments with explicit language and violence are removed. I personally would like to see that made the rule here, but I can't volunteer to moderate for Brad at this time (didn't he have a moderator here for awhile?).

Mark Foote said...

Unsolicited sexual propositioning is considered a kind of harrasment, is it not, and possibly even an assault? Not clear on that.

James A said...

I bought it and I'm letting everyone read it over my shoulder so just mellow out.

anon #108 said...

jem - that's Busta Jones on bass alongside Tina Weymouth. Previously unknown to me, I confess.

And yes, latterly upper case potty mouth. Knock it the fuck off. It ain't big. It ain't clever. It's no longer funny.

Harry said...

Hear, hear. I'm all for unmoderated sites... when people can more-or-less moderate themselves. Cruelty ain't good for anyone concerned.

Regards,

H.

john e mumbles said...

Malcolm! That's Busta "Cherry" Jones? He's played with everybody, most recently with The Rolling Stones.

&
I've said it before for years now for what its worth, but I am also for a free, autonomous zone here at HC. Don't moderate.

Anonymous said...

Report a Terms of Service Violation

One of the hallmarks of Blogger is the importance of freedom of speech. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages, nor do we censor them. However, Blogger has standards and policies in place to protect our users and the Blogger network, as well as to ensure that Blogger is complying with all national, state, international, and local laws.

Please select the type of violation that you'd like to report:

Defamation/Libel/Slander
Copyright/Piracy issues
Spam
Nudity
Hate or violence
Impersonation
Someone is posting my private information
I think someone else is using my account

Anonymous said...

Is adult content permitted on Blogger?

As outlined in the Blogger Content Policy, adult content is permitted on Blogger; however, when adult content is flagged by users, we may show users a content warning page before they view flagged material to prevent people who don't want to see this material from stumbling on it accidentally. We feel that this is the best solution in order to maintain a safe online experience for users of all ages and to be a platform for the personal expression and creativity that has come to characterize Blogger and its users.

As outlined in the Blogger Content Policy, adult material used for commercial gain is not allowed on Blogger.

Anonymous said...

Is hateful material permitted on Blogger?

Blogger strongly believes in freedom of speech. We believe that having a variety of perspectives is an important part of what makes blogs such an exciting and diverse medium. With that said, there are certain types of content that are not allowed on Blogger. While Blogger values and safeguards political and social commentary, material that promotes hatred toward groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity is not allowed on Blogger.

Anonymous said...

Funny that it was absurdest sexual (mental) imagery that tamed the great porno zen master's blog. (Swami thinks the blog will now either be moderated or abandoned.) (No sex please we're British.) It seemed like comedy to some but to others it was pure torture. Which was it?

Bajarlman said...

hey; to brad (writer of the blog).

i am overjoyed to have just discovered this. i discovered some time ago during my getting friendly with the void a part of my self-actualization -which is to start work on a book or project (not sure whether it will be academic in nature or not)about psycho-spiritual development of various of my favorite youth cultures - most importantly the 80's D.C. hardcore, and more specifically it's middle "Rev Summer"....."death of the hypermasculine punk ego" is an academic idea ive been toying around with. I have not yet read your book (am very excited to do so) but basically from what i've heard about it i want to do a very similar thing about stuff i like but through the lense of general non dual self inquiry psycho-spirituality - and specifically relate it to the field of Transpersonal Psychology (ego transcending branch of psychology)
I was just asking the universe, and am asking you if perhaps we could get in touch and i could really get out some of these ideas to someone interested..hope u see this

peace!

----
a remainder refusing to be concealed
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPr212YE5-4

anon #108 said...

Meanwhile...

If Dogen Sangha describes anything, it describes the understanding and practice of Zen/Buddhism as taught by Gudo Nishijima and (most of) his Dharma-heirs. Gudo's teaching, representing his understanding and practice of Zen/Buddhism as understood and practised by Ehei Dogen, will continue as long as Gudo's students continue to practice and - in whatever form - teach. So, for me, "Dogen Sangha" has a meaning and a function, whether particular groups choose to use it or not.

"Dogen Sangha International," however, did not describe anything not already described by Dogen Sangha. And so, as I've said before, it always seemed like one idea too many. Brad killing off DSI signifies nothing more than a recognition of the fact that DSI described nothing real and yet, in the minds of some, created notions and expectations best left unrealised.

As for any legal/proprietorial problems still to be addressed...none of my business. But clearly they should be addressed by all involved/interested parties. Privately.

Malcolm said...

108 - A sangha describes a community, not an "understanding and practice...as taught by..."

anon #108 said...

Yes. Good point, M.

Anonymous said...

Outline of Dogen Sangha International

The main points of substantial activities of Dogen Sangha International are as follows.
1) Even after Dogen Sangha International will have started, the former Dogen Sanghas, and their members, will continue their former activities as before, and at the same time they will be included into Dogen Sangha International automatically in the overlapped situations.
2) The informations of Dogen Sangha International will spread relying upon Dogen Sangha Blog, and so the informations will be identified int one.
3) Main Contents of Dogen Sangha International activities
1: Propagation of the true Buddhism, which belongs to the authentic lineage of Gautama Buddha, Master Nagarjuna, Master Bodhidharma, Master Dogen, and so forth.
2: Daily practices of Zazen, which are the fundamental basis of the authentic Buddhism, should be done.everyday.
3: Daily continuity of the daily life style of Buddhism, which has been harmonized with the life style of human life in the modern age, should be established.
4: By accumulating those kinds of efforts in our daily life everyday, we will realize our gorgeous age of Realism, which can throw away the former miserable ages, when we have been suffered so much from the unhappy contradictions of idealism and materialism.
4) Relying upon those kinds of humanistic efforts, we will present to all human beings the ultimate philosophy of Realism, which makes our daily life follow the truth, minimizes the gap of the rich and the poor, makes our human societies follow the truth, and makes our daily life a little happier day by day.

Roberto Poveda said...

¿Hay una versión española de Hardcore Zen? Yo empecé a traducirlo desde el francés, pero quien lo estaba traduciendo del inglés al francés, dejó inesperadamente de remitirme sus traducciones en francés, y no pude seguir. Si existe una traducción en español o en francés, (y alguien sabe español y entiende esta entrada), por favor que me pase la información de cómo conseguirlo. Gracias

Mark Foote said...

Well, now that we've got that clarified and straightened out, as to Blogger rules and the existence or nonexistence of DSI, we can properly address what the UFO's are up to. My personal opinion is that we are talking about time-travel, not space travel, per Godel's reworking of Einstein's relativity theory:

Disclosure Conference, National Press Club 27 Sept. 2010

Who but future humans would have any interest in whether or not we blow ourselves to radioactive dust?

REAL practitioner said...

Buddhism is still a new phenomenon in the West. It's only about fifty years old, an infant in religious/historical terms. So it appears that we are still in the marketing phases of this thing, and when it comes to marketing you're going to see a lot of gimmicks, such as people talking about the "propagation of true Buddhism" or establishing an "ultimate philosophy of Realism," or even funnier trying to make "life a little happier day by day." That kind of evangelist-type language has no place in a discussion of zen.

anon #108 said...

Hi Mark,

Time travel? Alien visitation? Dunno. But from all I've seen and heard on teh internet - from apparently reliable sources - something other than weather balloons appears to have been flying about the sky in a mysterious fashion, and for some time.

Anonymous said...

A bit shocked by the reaction to the sophomoric posts.

I'll stop.

I thought it was really funny.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Brad.... I'd like your reaction to this place:

http://www.ecodharmacollege.org/employment

"Teachers and staff will live on site as members of the intentional community/collective that operates the college. (Potential locations for the college are currently under consideration.) Prospective teachers and staff should meet the following criteria as indicated:

Required
■Extensive dharma practice (preferably within Zen Buddhist tradition, though other Buddhist traditions are acceptable), preferably with some degree of realization or awakening (which is more important than longevity of practice)
■(Teachers only) A tremendous passion for teaching in your subject area, as well as verifiable teaching experience and the ability to provide positive evaluations and/or recommendations from previous students and colleagues
■A heartfelt appreciation and passion for the college’s mission and vision
■An extremely high level of expertise and experience in the relevant subject area
■A willingness to engage in some physical labor and to work within the college’s future business enterprises in addition to teaching and administrative duties
■An extremely high level of emotional and psychological maturity and interpersonal sensitivity
■An abiding interest and/or previous experience in living in an income-sharing intentional community/workers’ cooperative
■A willingness to work hard for 1-2 years with a community of others in order to launch the college
■A willingness to permanently relocate to the college’s chosen location
■High-level communication, teamwork, and organizational skills
■A passion for lifelong learning"

Brad Warner said...

Eco Dharma College, eh? I looked at their website. Where is the place? One would surely want to know that before committing to be a teacher or student there.

The whole thing seems a bit odd. But not necessarily in a bad way. It doesn't seem like a college in any sense I think of a college.

Brad Warner said...

Roberto,

Alguien se está traduciendo el Zen Hardcore libro en español. Pero yo no sé nada acerca de quién lo publicará ni cuándo. No hay traducción de este blog en español.

Brad Warner said...

ハードコア・ゼンの日本語版もありません。

Encino Man said...

El queso está viejo y pútrido. ¿Dónde está el sanitario?

Cidercat said...

Brad, you're posting so much these days I can't keep up! Every time I return there are 3 new blog posts. I hope Crum is well.

Mysterion said...

"A final determination of EcoDharma’s legal and organizational status has not been made, but it is currently anticipated that it will be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) or 501(d) nonprofit organization to be located on a separate land trust."

It's a pike dream...

Harry said...

Can pike remember their dreams?

Jinzang said...

It's a pike dream...

I thought the saying was, "it's a pipe dream." As in opium pipe.

Harry said...

Re UFOs...

The Shat will sort it all out for us (as so many times before!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnUy-naD0Yw&feature=related

Anonymous said...

To be clear, my request for moderation has nothing to do with profanity at all. It is the irrelevance of it all that is such a pain. Cuss, swear, insult away as long as it is related to the post. Otherwise start your own blog. It's like going to hear someone speak and when they open it up for questions a guy steps forward and says, "so I was fucking a dead pig the other day and...". No one in their right mind would tolerate that at any reasonable discussion. So, it's not about some neo-Victorian prudishness, it's about controlling your ADHD meds and staying on something resembling a coherent point. So talk about zen, dickwads!

Mysterion said...

Also, it occurred to me - in the shit and shinola department - that some wanna be gay basher doesn't know the difference between "the Castro" and Castro Valley.

A little HISTORY

So besides not being part of San Francisco and being south of Oakland and San Leandro - and East of San Lorenzo and Hayward, Castro Valley named after a Spanish Don and is RURAL while "the Castro" is named after a theater and is urban.

Sorry for givin' ya'all a little fetchin' up, but I s'pose that it was overdue.*

Cheers

*I am not responsible for all the other things folks may be wrong about. Ignorance is bliss - folks should naturally follow their bliss.

Anonymous said...

mysterion is an expert on the castro. he knows his impacted shite.

Anonymous said...

mysti, is that an an albert pike dream...

what a douche.. and he was teaching your children.

anonymous anonymous said...

It's what I always said. mysterion is a liar and a fake. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Anonymous said...

I don't have to be relevant, Anonymous. This ain't sworn testimony. It's a silly comment section.

Besides, I'd argue that any post on this comment section (now 144 long for this article) is easily as relevant as one of those self-indulgent Mysterion comments.

Anonymous said...

Look, mysterion is less than likeable. We get it. That is a given. You are preaching to the choir. Just shut up about him.

Mark Foote said...

It's as silly as we make it. Zen exists if we aren't vigilent.

Tom Sawyer invites us to help Ecodharma get established (after the fence is done); it's still the U.S. of A., land of wonders and snakeoil, just like the rest of the world. I admire the folks who can be positive in the midst of insanity to such a degree that they can sell themselves. I see that I could use more of whatever it is they have. The difficulty for me all along has been reconciling the beliefs I acquired about honesty and love with the institutions that have built the weapons the aliens are concerned to disarm (or in one case, to arm?). To some extent, I distrust institutions, especially those that come to be considered as though they were people.

Anonymous said...

ハードコア・ゼンの日本語版もありません

???

A Japanese edition no longer exists?

Anonymous said...

Dalai Lama dreams of women

ZG said...

That was a eyebrow lifting quote by Mr. Lama, "Women are too much trouble and dirty things."

But let's give Mr. Lama credit. When he's right he's right.

Get It Right said...

That's not the quote, not what he said. Listen again.

ZG said...

Sorry, it was "too much problems and dirty things."

Anonymous said...

...and he didn't say "women are" those things.

Dalai ain't goin' out like that, hater.

ZG said...

Don't call me a hater bitch! Mr. Lama is the hater. He thinks wimmons is dirty. I guess you do too. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. DL is an old school he-man woman hater like you.

Anonymous said...

Hater.

Anonymous said...

I'm a hater cause DL thinks chicks are dirty? Dude ain't really God you know. He's just a old monk who is talking about something he knows nothing about. He positively shuttered when answering the question.

Anonymous said...

And you are nobody at all. Except a hater.

ZG said...

Ok, I'm a hater. You got me..

But what did you hear the DL say?

ZG said...

Ah ha..

You heard the same as I.

Anonymous said...

zen