Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


I try to space these postings apart, leaving at least two or three days between them, so as not to wear people out. Last week I started uploading the new audiobook version of Hardcore Zen (see the cover to your left). My plan was for the next posting (i.e. this one) to be all about the audiobook. I invested my own time and cash into this project, so you'd best believe I'm going to be pushing it as hard as I can. All the haters who hate when I advertise anything (cuz that's sooo not Zen, maaaaan), get your hatred ready!

BUT it's taking forever -- at least in these highly speeded up times we live in -- for the thing to "go live" (as we say in the audiobook biz). I screwed up a few things. Plus the audiobook itself is way bigger than an ordinary CD. I made a CD version for my friend Jimi and it took up six discs! I have no plans to press any CDs of the audiobook, by the way. If anyone wants to suggest an economical way to make some CDs, hit me up. Or a cheap way to put it out on a boxed set of 18 record albums for that matter. Otherwise, it'll just be available as a download.

I've even got two commercials for the thing ready to go, and I'm going to shoot a third one on Sunday at the weekly 7 pm zazen thing I host at Akron Shambhala Center (133 Portage Trail Ste 202 Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221).

Alas, I have to keep holding on to the posting in which I tell you the amazing story of how I recorded the audiobook and what I think of Hardcore Zen nine years after it was published.

But I will tell you something else and that is...

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

That's because I have been doing my taxes today. My annual income for 2011 was not quite as dire as I had feared. Which isn't to say it was really great. But it wasn't so godawful as I expected. When I looked at my yearly book royalty statements of $2,951.08 from New World Library for three books and $4,133.98 from Wisdom Publications for Hardcore Zen I was all like, "Jeez. That's what I earned last year?"

Kids, do not become a writer if you want to get rich. Yes there are a handful of writers who are filthy rich. But most of us are barely getting by.

As most of you know, I do not have a temple or a Zen Center or any other such organization that supports what I do Zen-wise. The so-called "Dogen Sangha" is basically just a name. There are some folks out in California working towards making it more than that by incorporating it as a religious non-profit. But at the moment it's still basically just a name. I think we're established as an entity. But we haven't got the paperwork that makes us a true non-profit that can accept donations yet.

However, what I do have is a little PayPal donation button on this here blog (it's to your left <<<). And I made more in donations last year than I did in book royalties. This is figuring in the donations I received while on tour in Europe and America. But still, the stuff coming in from that little button was not insignificant.

So thank you very much for that. There are several people who send in a little bit each month and that really helps. And sometimes someone sends me a large donation, which is always as nice as it is baffling. Because it's never someone I know and it's almost always someone from a foreign country that I've never visited.

I don't really like the idea of living on donations. I feel like a person ought to work to earn his keep. Donations seem like charity.

But on the other hand, I don't charge anything for this blog. The ad revenue it generates is negligible. If I were writing a column for a magazine I'd be getting paid out of what readers paid to buy the magazine. So it kind of amounts to the same thing. Only the way I do this, you get to cut out the middle men and send the money directly to the writer. So I figure these aren't really donations in that sense.

In my youth I was always disgusted by television evangelists begging for cash contributions on their shows while surrounded by the most gaudy opulent sets imaginable. You could tell those guys were getting filthy rich by promising rewards in Heaven.

But all religious type people live on donations. Your contributions aren't always going to buy fancy houses and multiple Mercedes Benzes. And there are some people out there who really don't mind supporting some religious dude's five-a-day luxury car habit. I don't get that myself. But I know they're out there.

I feel like honesty is the deciding factor. The Sex Pistols called their reunion tour the Filthy Lucre Tour to specifically emphasize that it was for the money. And yet you could see that they really enjoyed playing those songs again and that their messages were still relevant. So was it really just about the money? It didn't look that way to me.

I've been highly critical of certain filthy rich Zen Masters not because they got rich. God bless 'em for that! I've been critical because they got rich by being dishonest, by promising things they could not possibly deliver. By pretending that what they actually did deliver was something it was clearly not.

Even though I have no compunctions about getting paid for doing work, and even though I consider standing up on a stage talking for a few hours work (it's lots harder than it looks, trust me), I still get all creepy crawly feeling when I hear someone at a Buddhist temple I've spoken at reminding the crowd about the merit of "dana" -- Buddhist generosity. I know that speech is what's going to pay my gas money back home and maybe even buy me a burrito or a veggie burger. But it reminds me too much of the old televangelist con game or of some of the crud I hear spewing from the mouths of crooked phony Zen Masters.

So I remain deeply conflicted about the whole thing. Nishijima Roshi advised his ordained teachers never to try to make a living out of being Buddhist teachers. I've been trying to kind of skirt the issue by making my living as a writer. Yes, what I write about mostly is Buddhism, as well as about being a Buddhist teacher. But still, it's the writing I'm trying to live off of, not the teaching.

I dunno, folks. I just don't know...

But that being said, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

And Crum the Cat thanks you too!

86 comments:

Mumon said...

You might get some money from me. My taxes aren't even started yet though.

At least your internal organs seem to be in the right places.

Unlike the Vulcans.

The second guy to comment said...

2

Khru said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Misha said...

Any of us in the realm of Dharma sharing or instruction will need to have a day job, unless one is a writer/lecturer on the order of Jack K. Brad is a smart guy and a fine wordsmith, and just needs to find some vocation that he can pair with his writing and teaching. What does Brad do all day? One can't write all day....so, find a vocation that you like that might allow for occasional travel, and use the book royalties to supplement your income, not be your income. It's very doable and consistent with what some Zen abbots require, that one have a real day job so as not to allow the zendo to be a refuge for the unemployed.

Blake said...

What if I sent a crate of cat food? What is Crumb eating these days?

Anonymous said...

More food for thought: A fraction of your donations came from people that read your books, but didn't pay for them. You might book that immeasurable income under book royalty statements. The reasoning might be either remorse or "try-before-buy" ;-)

Mrs. Scoony said...

Mumon said,
"At least your internal organs seem to be in the right places."

Yes, Thank goodness you haven't sold a kidney yet.. But I can't help but wonder why you don't take a nice part time job to supplement your donation income. Add that extra money to your $7000 book royalties, plus the speaking fees plus donations and all of a sudden you're making good money for an person living in Akron.

Jinzang said...

Japanese Translator jobs

Anonymous said...

You need to turn that new cover into another tshirt

Wayne Allen said...

Hey Brad,
Kunaki.com
I use it for my cd - dvd production. They require that you upoad the audio fill off a cd (cds)which you have, and cover art. They burn em, print the disc, print the case, and package em, for around a buck a disc.
The DON'T have an easy was to bundle groups of discs, although if you google "kunaki" there are a couple of 79 dollar programs that can take a link on your site, send kunaki a multi disc order, and kunaki handles the billing and shipping, paying you by paypal.
Love your books, amuse myself with your blog, and endlessly wish you well. palms together, Wayne

Khru Jr. said...

Post about your penis and I'll send in $250. I'm talking size, shape, smell, etc.

Charlie Cardoza said...

Hi Brad, My question is are donations to you via this blog tax-deductible? Do you send a an end-of-year statement to the people who donate? Thanks. Charlie

Dr. Pepper said...

Homeopathy jobs in India

an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
an3drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
an3drew said...

actually it was interesting the way sweeping zen changed from pro you to anti-you after jundo gave them some money !

how about as little "buy sweeping zen" fund?

i doubt you need much !

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

actually i think "the dogen sangha"
is more than a name.

it's as bizzare a collection of back stabbing fruit cakes as i have ever seen

more

power

to

dogens

dick !

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

so just set up a separate donation button for "sweeping zen advertising"

have a target of about $3000 fo a years advertising on sweeping zen and the world's your oyster !

it would just be bad luck if the tea leaf sangha has plenty of money and can outbid you though !

Brad Warner said...

Hi Brad, My question is are donations to you via this blog tax-deductible? Do you send a an end-of-year statement to the people who donate? Thanks. Charlie

Sorry, Charlie (I bet you're sick of that) but no. Once Dogen Sangha is set up as a religious non-profit, I plan to reconfigure the donations so that people can send them to Dogen Sangha and get an end-of-the-year statement. Then Dogen Sangha will pay me a portion of what they receive.

Until that gets set up it's just sort nebulous tax-wise. You might still be able to call it a charitable donation. I don't really know.

Robert said...

Hey Brad, you said you make basically squat off your books from royalties. So I'm wondering, do you make more from the ebook versions or the printed versions? Or are the royalties you get from each the same?

gniz said...

"Once Dogen Sangha is set up as a religious non-profit, I plan to reconfigure the donations so that people can send them to Dogen Sangha and get an end-of-the-year statement. Then Dogen Sangha will pay me a portion of what they receive."

I don't see this being much different from what any of the roshi's are doing (including Genpo) except in terms of scale of money flowing in.

And obviously you're not a lying scumbag...but there are some questions about how receiving and eventually depending on this kind of money may effect your teachings, imo.

Harry said...

I think Master Nishijima's thing of being a more self-sufficient person who lives and works in the world is a better model and example.

I'm open to reasonable discussion on the matter, but the suggested model gives me the creeps and strikes me as quite the wrong sort of 'backwards step' for Dogen Sangha.

Regards,

Harry.

mtto said...

I'm part of the small group trying to get the Dogen Sangha Los Angeles non-profit off the ground.

I don't know how similar or different what we're trying to do is economically from what anyone else is doing. As far as the economics influence on Brad's teaching, I'm not really worried about it, for two reasons. 1) I know Brad, and wouldn't be volunteering a single second of my time if I thought he was that type of person. 2) Part of the point of the non-profit is the donator will no longer donating directly to Brad, so the non-profit will be a insulator between the donator and Brad. When someone donates to the non-profit, the money will go into the general fund to pay rent, webhosting, print up some flyers, buy tea, candles, zafus, and pay Brad. When you donate, there will be no way of knowing if your dollar went to Brad or to webhosting, etc.

Harry said...

Funny sort of non-profit org that profits an unelected leader, no?... or maybe Brad will work as administrator, CEO, janitor or...?

I have no objection to a non-profit org otherwise (to support a practice community, centre, projects/publications etc for example)

Well, I suppose it's none of my business if it's just a Dogen Sangha LA thing (if it is my business at all!), but I always admired Nishijima Sensei's value of the importance of having 'ordinary' people living and working in the world as practitioners and teachers. This move would change things in that regard I think and might alter the tone of Dogen Sangha quite a bit.

Regards,

Harry.

an3drew said...

harry bites

"I think Master Nishijima's thing of being a more self-sufficient person who lives and works in the world is a better model and example. "

i think eckhart tolle is the best example, but not everyone gets to buttfuck oprah

what people here don't realise is that advaita is the borg and has taken over, whatever you do is in competition with tenthousand housewives setting themselves up

as the seventh patriarch i graciously give the best zen advice for generations, i don't expect to make money, in fact it costs me heaps through lost time

that's just todays paradigm,

it teaches me a bit and that's about it !

Rysman said...

Hi Brad,
I think you and everyone forgets that the Buddha went and begged for food everyday so he could eat. I think it is perfectly fine to have a friggin button where folks can give you a little cash because their grateful for your teaching. Or it could be that they just think your cute, don't know.

Also, don't forget that Buddha also had wealthy benefactors who provided land and shelter for him and his disciples. That's no different that someone making a large donation to you.

Mrs. Scoony said...

Harty said, "but I always admired Nishijima Sensei's value of the importance of having 'ordinary' people living and working in the world as practitioners and teachers. This move would change things in that regard I think and might alter the tone of Dogen Sangha quite a bit."

I agree with you. I wonder why Brad ignores his teacher's advice on matters of fame and money. I fear Brad deems himself too special for honest part-time labor.

Jinzang said...

an3drew: i had a vision in which the sixth patriarch authorised me to teach! so i'm the seventh patriarch

Okaaaaaay.

Juno said...

"So I remain deeply conflicted about the whole thing. Nishijima Roshi advised his ordained teachers never to try to make a living out of being Buddhist teachers. I've been trying to kind of skirt the issue by making my living as a writer. Yes, what I write about mostly is Buddhism, as well as about being a Buddhist teacher. But still, it's the writing I'm trying to live off of, not the teaching."

I'm personally jealous you can afford a living by teaching and writing books, and sure the blog is also paying some taxes. I have deep respect about how you manage to get your butt out of the seat and do all the stuff you are doing. I also dreamed a lot of times about escaping my life and do something different. Maybe which would be of use to people and not only earning money.
I think with a lot of money there also comes a lot of responsibility and that is not nice. I stay tuned and like to read your work.

But is it bad to chase after a normal day to day job? I don't think so - It is also not easy. But the day to day regularity can also bring structure. But a lot of times I feel like a rebel and want to get out of everything, live a life somewhere in nature without technology and the information overload these technics are bringing along into our lifes.

My grandparents are rejecting almost everything which has to do with internet, but sometimes I'm astonished because some time ago they bought a television on ebay and want to have a internet connection to watch youtube movies on the tv. That is so contradicory... But probably they don't understand me, living in the age of Internet.

Is it a bad thing to earn a living as a so called Zen Master? I personally think earning money with helping other people is like a provision of a service. If it helps other people, why the hell not! Of course it could harm the image if a Zen Master has a whole collection of expensive cars. But if he is so enlightened by which means can I judge if that is appropriate. I don't know, but probably I would decide to life a normal life like the buddha, letting go of all material commodities, living a life by bagging for food and keep the middle way. But I guess Buddha was kind of in a luxurious position back in the days, when his followers were basically following him everywhere. I'm wondering if Buddha would have lived in our times if he would have said: fuck off, leave me alone I just want to have my peace. Maybe that's the reason why everybody assumed he was the almighty one.
I didn't live in that times so it is hard to tell, but quite sure there was something spiritual happening. The people made so called experiences, but that was probably not why they continued following the buddha. Probably they realized the peace they experienced was something different than the full enlightenment of the buddha.

I'm wondering what is dogens take on it, as he probably made similar experiences. Sometimes there is something fancy happening and it causes some bees and butterflies in your stomach, but that's not it. Love is a way to overrated and outdated word, as it is used everywhere. From a certain point on people always think about Love but what is actually meant by Love. Love is a feeling and probably not very different to any other feeling which we might face in our lives.

...

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

...
A lot of times I'm fighting against emotions, and I'm sometimes wondering why I have to laugh in situations which are not meant to be funny at all. I think in different cultures laughing can be interpreted as aggression. But there have always been misinterpretations with foreigners. For example indians are wobbling if they want to agree like we are shaking the head.

I have to fart a lot the last couple of days, I'm wondering if it is related to my vegetarian food orientation. But as long as no others get harmed by my farts it is probably ok. I would rather not fart if other people are next to me, and I guess guys do understand the need to fart better than girls do. But probably this view is completely outdated. It is just that you as a guy want to leave a good impression towards the ladies. Leaving good impressions can cause a lot of problems. I met a girl lately and she thought she was developing some feelings, whereas it was not my intention. But sometimes you get caught up - what to do about it, it is really sad I have to admit. But why do I always have to think about sex? I should look for things that stay and also not these online dating-portals. But facebook & co are a different story.

I'm curious about the audiobook, keep us posted.

Rick said...

You could always get a job.

an3drew said...

jinzang quotes me

"i had a vision in which the sixth patriarch authorised me to teach! so i'm the seventh patriarch"

and replies

"Okaaaaaay"

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

my position is i am the current patriarch and since most zen today is a pile of shit and fake teachers i have deregistered all except three

any teacher who wants to appeal being deregistered can apply on my blog

i have actually deregistered brad because he has further to go and from a life point of view , taken a wrong turning, that is, i don't feel its to his advanatage anyway, a mistake is a mistake until we take the new road !

an3drew said...

juno writes

"I have to fart a lot the last couple of days, I'm wondering if it is related to my vegetarian food orientation. But as long as no others get harmed by my farts it is probably ok. "

the fart is in fact a gas from bad gut flora/biofilm fermenting what you are eating

that

is

they are getting to the nutrients first and creating toxic byproducts which screw the brain and health and dramatically raise the risk of cancer and thyroid malfunction and other diseases !

not

to

mention

joint

problems from the autoimmunity induction !

check out the compendium and biofilm carbohydrate diet

mtto said...

Didn't Nishijima also have some sort of corporate sponsorship?

Public radio works on the donations model. They come up with a lot of great stuff that way.

Mysterion said...

I don't know much about computers and audio, but:

Audacity is an audio editor

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/mac

LAME is an .mp3 audio encoder - you can export your audio book as an .mp3 file (e.g. low bit rate MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio)

Far better than .mp3 is AAC plus - the AAC being Dolby Digital Audio baded on MDCT - which works for perceptual audio coding v. the myth of 32 equally spaced band-pass filters (.mp3) which is obsolete by 15 years.

Remember, 384 KbpS is Dolby Digital theatrical 5.1 surround sound. And 384 is six hours of 5.1 surround audio on just one CD!

The Plus being Fraunhofer's Spectral Band Replication overdrive.

(google "The Reference Model Architecture for MPEG Spatial Audio Coding" .pdf)

The best professional stuff doesn't run on a MAC
http://www.orban.com/products/streaming/opticodec-pc1020/

12:1 compression is completely transparent (e.g. 1.54 MbpS --> 128 KbpS Stereo) and 64 KbpS is FM Stereo Quality. 32 KbpS is better than AM radio. 16 KbpS is AM monaural quality!

That's 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 96 hours of audio on one CD respectively using AACplus encoding!

Or, send me a set of CDs and I will encode them (e.g. compress them down to 1 .mp3 or AACplus CD) for you.

But not immediately.

Chas

Moni said...

Congrats to the audio book!

Not everyone has to have an ordinary 9 to 5 job..People should capitalize their talents. Some people earn quite good living from net poker, because they have good analytic skills for example.

People should find a way to make money from what they are good at and which is not killing their "souls". You might not become a millionaire, but if you earn your living and keep a free spirit it is already quite good result in my opinion.

That Nishijima video was quite impressing, but not everyone has that level of modesty to be willing to be part of the system if he /she knows that there could be an other way of living too.

Uku said...

Hi all,

Harry wrote:

Well, I suppose it's none of my business if it's just a Dogen Sangha LA thing (if it is my business at all!), but I always admired Nishijima Sensei's value of the importance of having 'ordinary' people living and working in the world as practitioners and teachers. This move would change things in that regard I think and might alter the tone of Dogen Sangha quite a bit.

I'm totally with Harry in this one. I agree that Nishijima's approach is the thing: to practice as a normal working citizen and to practice Buddhism with family, work and so on. And as a "leader" (fuck, that word gives me creeps!) of Finland's DS group, I'm not so happy, if DS is spreading into some kind of organization with official donations and all religious non-profit posse marks. I think that's not the point what Nishijima's ideas are.

anon #108 said...

As Brad says, "Dogen Sangha" is just a name. So is "Dogen Sangha International". There is no rulebook. There is no organisation.

If Brad and the guys at Dogen Sangha LA want to organise their finances in some way or other that's their business. Meanwhile, there are a bunch of groups around the world led by Nishijima's heirs/students, some of which call themselves "Dogen Sangha", some of which don't. As I see it, for "Dogen Sangha International" to refer to something 'real' there would have to be an organisation with a rule book. Any donations received would have to be carefully distinguished (money for Brad to live on, or money for "Dogen Sangha"?), accounted for and apportioned throughout the affiliated groups worldwide. Sounds like a nightmare.

"Dogen Sangha" and "Dogen Sangha International" are just names. Just ideas. One name and one idea too many if you ask me.

Uku said...

I agree with you, Anon 108. You wrote:

As I see it, for "Dogen Sangha International" to refer to something 'real' there would have to be an organisation with a rule book.

That would be a nightmare indeed. If that ever happen, I'm out.

anon #108 said...

I'm not sure I've ever been "in" Uku, but whatever Dogen Sangha is, it's not just Brad and the LA group. So when Brad writes:

"Once Dogen Sangha is set up as a religious non-profit, I plan to reconfigure the donations so that people can send them to Dogen Sangha and get an end-of-the-year statement. Then Dogen Sangha will pay me a portion of what they receive..."

I wonder what he's talking about and how many other Dogen Sangha groups he's consulted, worldwide? If he's only taking about DSLA he should make that clear.

Uku said...

Anon #108, yeah. If Brad is talking about DSLA, then it's perfectly clear and bueno. But if he's referring to all DS groups and registering DSI as a religious non-profit organization with donations etc., then I'll leave DS immediately.

Uku said...

I mean, I'll leave DS if it's getting registered and if it's going to Sotoshu direction. I'm not leaving it if Brad only talks about it, hahhaa!

Andrew said...

Hi Harry

I guess you're aware of this? Nishijima Roshi was fortunate enough to be financially supported by Mr Ida, of the Ida cosmetics Company, he didn't actually support himself. Mr Ida supplied him with an office and he was free to spend his time working on Buddhism. It wasn't a normal "job" by any standards. That support continued until Mr Ida died a few years ago; the dojo in Ichikawa was closed down at that point. Having a generous benefactor means you don't have to scramble around for cash, which I agree can seem quite undignified. I agree with Malcolm too - it would seem, at the very least somewhat discourteous to make moves towards institutionalising DS without consulting the more serious of Nishijima's Roshi's Dharma heirs who are running groups under that name.

Best
Andrew

Bodhidharma's Beard said...

Anon #108 said...
As Brad says, "Dogen Sangha" is just a name. So is "Dogen Sangha International". There is no rulebook. There is no organisation.

which reminds me of the Will Rogers quote, "I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat."

Harry said...

"I guess you're aware of this? Nishijima Roshi was fortunate enough to be financially supported by Mr Ida, of the Ida cosmetics Company, he didn't actually support himself. Mr Ida supplied him with an office and he was free to spend his time working on Buddhism. It wasn't a normal "job" by any standards. That support continued until Mr Ida died a few years ago; the dojo in Ichikawa was closed down at that point. Having a generous benefactor means you don't have to scramble around for cash, which I agree can seem quite undignified. I agree with Malcolm too - it would seem, at the very least somewhat discourteous to make moves towards institutionalising DS without consulting the more serious of Nishijima's Roshi's Dharma heirs who are running groups under that name."

Hi Andrew,

Yes, I was sort of aware of that situation regarding Nishijima Roshi. That is quite different to setting up a 'non-profit' org that effectively profits someone in particular.

I have no problem whatsoever with donations etc. I hope that works out for Brad... the problem may be that, when you set up an organisation in a certain way, the way you set it up very often (over time) determines the nature of that org despite your own best wishes, despite the fact that the leadership may be benign. You are installing a sort of organisational 'culture' based in the way an org is set up/ organised.

From an organisational point of view, the shape this 'non-profit' org has been described as having looks like a sort of disingenuous cult to me at present... Be careful what you wish for, in other words.

But maybe it is all a Dogen Sangha LA issue as indicated by others earlier. Even so, it would seem to mark a departure for DS in that the teacher would be being supported, in full or in part, by student contributions.

Regards,

Harry.

Fred said...

Yes they are just names and zen
teachers are selling water by the
river. Pretty much all of life is
a scam.

In a universe without duality
energy is shifting through
different states and phases. This
human smoke and mirrors show has
no merit.

The Zen Masters in the mountains
of China grow their own food and
build their own houses.

Fred said...

What would an authentic man living
an authentic life do?

Fred said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj7Q-3RFbro

Brad Warner said...

The religious non-profit thing is only for Dogen Sangha Los Angeles. I don't think I could set something like that up for the entire Dogen Sangha International (whatever it is) even if I wanted to.

And I do not want to.

This is just a way for the LA group to support itself. I would then be an employee of that group.

I think.

I really don't understand any of this stuff.

And, yeah, I could get a job. I probably will. If I can find one. Has anyone heard that the economy is kind of bad right now?

Brad Warner said...

"The more serious of Nishijima's dharma heirs?"

Who could you possibly mean?

What could you possibly mean?

Uku said...

Brad,

thanks for clarifying your plans and that they're only concerning DSLA. I already bought a ticket to Pure Land (just in case), but I need to return it now. I hope I'll get my money back. Gosh!

AccordingtoAndrew said...

Your not kidding about making a living as a "teacher" of Eastern arts! I am just starting to realize that the audience knows exactly what they want and are prepared to believe, let alone pay for, anything less (paraphrased from Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead). I just scrape happily by teaching classes on Yoga, Qi Gong and Pilates in this saturated area, yet I feel mostly happy and fulfilled doing it. I am attempting myself to start as a writer (we'll see where that goes), have published two DVD's and am still counting my pennies til my next quarterly tax period. Hmmm, rambling again. Anyway, as usual, your honesty is refreshing and life is as life is. That's about as Zen as it gets. I do support YZMC and am about to support you by purchasing your next book. Pennies galore.
Peace.

john e mumbles said...

I believe Mr. Ida's contribution to Nishijima would technically amount to patronage.

Having a wealthy patron is obviously an advantage to any cause or concern.

My question is this: Why is it "Dogen" Sangha or "Dogen" Sangha International, etc? These names are not meaningless. The use of Dogen's name is the bait. Maybe some day there will be "Dogenists" like Christians and Buddhists, huh?

Mrs. Scoony said...

Brad said, "And, yeah, I could get a job. I probably will. If I can find one. Has anyone heard that the economy is kind of bad right now?"

Brad, you sound just like my son. He doesn't even bother looking for a job because the economy is so bad. Oh you young people and your excuses! Why don't you just come right out and say it. You want to be handed money on a silver platter without the undignified and inconvenient process of actually working. What is the world coming to?

Brad Warner said...

Yep, Scoony,

Traveling to 27 cities in 7 countries to give lectures and run retreats, writing a blog posting every three days, writing a book, writing magazine articles, etc. These are not "actually working."

I tell ya, I'm gettin' bedsores from all of the sitting on my ass I do and my throat hurts from all the whining! Where's my silver platter full of money, damn it??

(I am being sarcastic)

Brad Warner said...

As for the Dogen in Dogen Sangha, I might as well be frank here.

Nishijima Roshi does not believe the Soto-shu as it exists today represents Master Dogen's true intent. It was his dream that a new school of Buddhist thought be established based on Dogen's teaching.

Very ambitious. Very arrogant. Quite dangerous.

john e mumbles said...

OK I get it. Ambitious and arrogant makes sense in relation to Soto-shu, but in your opinion, Brad, how is it dangerous other than challenging the status quo?

Mrs. Scoony said...

Go ahead and sarcastic Brad, But that is not actually working. That is the prolonged adolescence of a slacker. It is not work in the traditional American way of going in to work everyday, trading away the fun years for security later in life. You are trying to have your cake and eat it too. If everyone thought like you and my son, America would be no better off than Greece or.. or England. I guess you are OK with that but what about the generations to come? Is that idea too much of an unreality for Buddhists to consider? And what about your troll buddies busily typing away with their comments everyday.. Isn't that work also? Do you expect us to support them too? It's about time you grow up young man! That really does seem to be the common denominator around here. A bunch of lazy boys with big ideas and little common sense sitting still for hours everyday. I can see why that appeals to you. Zen Buddhism indeed! Mr. Mysterion is the only one of you who has gone out and made something of himself.

Andrew said...

""The more serious of Nishijima's dharma heirs?"

Who could you possibly mean?

What could you possibly mean?"

Not Jundo...

Robert said...

Mrs. Scoony...

You asked what about the generations to come?

I ask you the same question back. Do they ALSO have to work solely for the benefit of the future generations? So will no one ever work for their own life?

Also, please don't hate on your son too bad for being incredibly disheartened about the economy he was promised he would be a part of his whole life, only to have it completely destroyed by his parents' and grandparents' generation by the time he was old enough to join it.

And as for Brad? Don't hate on him too much either. If he were to get a side job, he wouldn't have as much time to spend on the blog, books, music, etc. that is already his job.

The Amazing Randy said...

Mrs. Scoony = Mr. Trolly Troll

Mrs. Scoony said...

Robert, My son often refers to the haters in the world too. That is very common nowadays. But what that means to you and what it means to me must be very different. To you, haters are people that tell you what you don't want to hear. They are not people that hate any more than you do. My son was promised nothing. Brad himself has been called a hater on this blog. He "hates" on Mr. Genpo. He "hates" on Jundo. I don't think he really does. I think he is just lazy. Not debilitatingly lazy, because he works very hard at trying to find a way to live comfortably doing pleasant work that has little actual value. I mean that is what bohemians do after all. If he could make good money making his silly music he would never write a "Zen" book again. He accuses Mr. Genpo charging too much for what he can't possibly deliver. But the facts are that Mr. Genpo gives people something of value. He gives them what they want, not what he thinks they need. People don't want that. Mr. Genpo is an entertainer who never fails to inspire people. People pay big money for that.

hatin' on old ladies said...

"bohemians!!!" Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!

That may have been a derogatory term in the, uh, NINETEENTH CENTURY (!) But it is just silly now. There's no present context for it, yo.

& the rest sounds like one of the middle school garage band member's mom's saying "the music is alright, but you need to put on more of a "show."

If you are all THAT traditional "Mrs. Scoony" then chances are you haven't worked a lick outside the house before or after your child rearin' days were over.

The whole thing sounds like you are just jealous of Mr. Brad for finding an alternative to your boring lifestyle.

And criticizing the young folks here social networking, when, why look! That's what you're doing with all this hard earned time on your hands! How on earth did you figure out the complex interwebs blogoshere anyways?

Fake ass troll.

an3drew said...

good   link  thanks fred,

so freaky to see that temple tower, who knows how old rising up with the trees growing on it !

brad, like you i have spent large portions of my life working on what was a waste of time !

zen is dead, just look at the morons who post here (including myself!)

you are actually not quite good enough at what zen is about to ever make reasonable money on it, why not face facts and give some focus to income since the net seems to have killed writing as a source of income except certain entertainment niches in ebooks

lol, write a paranormal zen romance thriller !

lots of cutting to thrill the female teenage audience (plus the inevitable requited love !)


you have a good graphics talent that would suit advertising

why trash your life entertaining the likes of us who post here, scumbags really and the rest of zen and the spiritual scene is no different !

karl renz who is one of the better and more popular advaita teachers is also complaining about money

the net has made anything of this nature essentially a volunteer effort, you are competeing with me for a start !

all it's done is cost me heaps of time and effectively money, why i do it i don't know ! ?

Anonymous said...

Because you're fucking bohemian.

an3drew said...

bohemians is an interesting term

"This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the 19th century[1] to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality and — in some cases — voluntary poverty. A wealthy and privileged, even aristocratic, bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as the haut bohème ("high bohemians")."

the voluntary poverty is true enough !

an3drew said...

for those interested in a medicationless approach to  sleep  shortfalls

really from the posting times this board is entertainment for insomniacs !

lack of sleep means you can't function !

Anonymous said...

Mrs, Scoony, the contemporary term is: slacker.

Anonymous said...

Nouveau: bohemians with money who attempt to join traditional bohemianism with contemporary culture Gypsy: drifters, neo-hippies, and others with nostalgia for previous, romanticized eras Beat: also drifters, but non-materialist and art-focused Zen: "post-beat," focus on spirituality rather than art Dandy: no money, but try to appear as if they have it by buying and displaying expensive or rare items – such as brands of alcohol.

Khru said...

The Christian God contacted me last night and asked me to pass a message to you all. He said to "please stop posting so much silly crap on the Brad Warner blog".

Anonymous said...

Yep. The xtian god called - collect - from Tulsa.

I asked him since when did the xtian god speak with an Okie drawl?

He didn't know anj just and wanted a credit card number.

I gave it to him and today all my cash is gone.

Should I do the Rosary or the Rotisserie?

Thanks in advance for your heartfelt advice.

Billy-bob Mudfish

Malloy said...

Khru, that's the silliest crap I've ever read on Bradley's blog.

Anonymous said...

taxation and inflation (AKA robbery and counterfeiting)

first they fuck you from in front -- taxation
then they fuck you from behind -- inflation


"For if the bulk of the public were really convinced of
the illegitimacy of the State, if it were convinced that
the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large,
then the State would soon collapse to take on no more status
or breadth of existence than another Mafia gang."

-- Murray Rothbard

Anonymous said...

Brad, your shirt is here.

A-Bob said...

Crum looks a lot like my old friend Johnny. Sniff.. I will buy the new book.

CAPTCHA : rainful odinsea : I kid you not

Mark Foote said...

When Obama asked Jobs what it would take to bring the jobs back from China, Jobs said the jobs are not coming back. The Chinese have subsidized the manufacturing infrastruture necessary to manufacture the toys of the next generation; moreover they control 97% of the rare earths, and limit the exports, and these elements are necessary to the production of hard drives and other parts of the new toys. This means that companies have great incentive to locate their manufacturing in China.

The use of servers on the floor of the stock exchange to make trades ahead of competition enables about 100 hedge funds and investment houses to profit at the expense of the rest of the Wall Street investors. The ability of futures traders to invest in commodities without ever taking possession of any part of the commodity has caused a situation where supply and demand has nothing to do with the price of commodities. Meanwhile a federal judge is preventing the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Here's an article about some slackers in the new America.

Not that the Scooneys are anything other than some regular attempting to further the discussion, but I thought it would be helpful for me as a slacker to clarify something of the dynamic of the new economy for us all.

Brad writes wonderful, engaging prose, and he speaks about practice in daily life. His practice hasn't gotten in the way of his having fun, and it hasn't changed his morals, which I think is his unique appeal (at least, I don't think it has!). Now all he has to be able to do is to teach people how to sit half-lotus and lotus, if he's going to insist that these postures have innate value distinct from others, and teach in such a way that folks can sit without pain or numbness. Simple.

I will hope to teach myself, and if possible to offer what I learn along the way to others. I have always accepted that I would not be able to earn a living at this, and for most of the last 40 years I was able to find work. Right now I'm looking. My heart is still with my hope to learn and exchange information about sitting in the traditional cross-legged posture and making self-surrender the object of thought.

Anonymous said...

Do hipsters in the 99-91 percentiles wear "99%" tshirts ironically?

Mrs. Scoony said...

Brad, You did not seem to mind revealing how much money you made selling your Buddhism books. So before Mr Scoony and I send you a donation we would like to know how much you actually do receive in donations and in ad revenue via your blog.

This will help us determine how much help you truly need or if you are just saving up for that new Camaro. hehe LOL.

After all Brad, if you make more money than Mr. Scoony does at the Lawsons it will be very hard for us to justify sending you much even though you are our son's favorite guru. He is down in the basement right now probably listening to one of your enlightening prodcasts.

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide. I think this is a reasonable request that your other readers will also appreciate.

Ohms, Lois

Sheila said...

"It frustrated him that people could so happily drop out of the world of conventional expectations; it undercut the pleasure he took in his home and his job and his family; it felt like a unilateral rewriting, to his disadvantage, of the rules of life."

Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

john e mumbles said...

Tune In, Turn On, and Drop Out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/sep/22/mingyur-rinpoche-buddhist

Harry said...

Interesting article, thanks.

Regards,

H.

gniz said...

This new non-profit idea for DS is not at all different from what Genpo claimed/claims about Big Mind or what Andrew Cohen says about EnlighteNext or what Shimano and the Zen Studies Society said.

All of them claim non-profit status, they say the bulk of their money goes to the running of the operations and spreading of the dharma, and that the teacher takes merely a salary.

In the beginning it's always small. Just like any other business. As membership grows and the teacher's notoriety so goes the money and the salary.

Brad is not infallible. In fact it seems to me that he has begun walking down that same path that many teachers have walked before him, and if he continues I don't expect it to end any better for him.

Does making it a nonprofit mean it has to be a bunch of bull crap? Heck no. But Brad has resisted doing this for so long for good reason. Teaching for money means you OWE something to your students and once your livelihood and security depends on keeping the money coming in, a lot can go wrong.

And you can take that to the bank!

an3drew said...

gniz, it went wrong for brad many years ago like the rest of us and guess what? it never comes right !

old age, pain and death right round the corner !

of course that can come quicker if you are teaching cause "health problems" are de rigueur in the "spiritual" scene !

blathering on a message board is the right way to go compared to real life contact with these stealth and other virus infected sickees !

Anonymous said...

Well
Back in the day, a friend contacted Brad and told him there was a place where he could for a monthly fee conduct zazen on a weekly basis: The Hill St. Center.

Later, after 4-5 years went by, a member broached the idea of non-profit status and incorporating and Brad absolutely was opposed to this idea.

A bit of time goes by and Brad, disenchanted with various things, is also disenchanted with handling the monthly rent stuff with Hill St. Center and tells those who meet on Saturday that he will no longer be the 'leader' or the contact person responsible for the Saturday sitting group. He will still on occasion, come and lead one day retreats and give talks by arrangement, but we all (those of us regularly attending at the time) are to manage and maintain the Saturday sitting group (at this time with a Gmail blog account name of Dogen Sangha LA) amongst ourselves if we so choose to.
We choose to, and we approach this in a kind of group collaboration/democratic spirit.
2 months or so goes by, Brad has left the building, and left the state. Out of the blue, it would seem, Brad by a phone call to one member, and subsequent announcement on the DSLA blog makes one of the Hill St. regulars 'president.'
The rest of the regulars were not consulted, no vote was taken.
It was odd that someone who had completely washed his hands of it, would return and appoint.

But not that odd.

People do have second thoughts about a lot of things. The person appointed was/is capable and well suited to the position. Had there been a vote, most likely the same person would have ultimately been chosen by the group. But it wasn't a group choice. And that's a shame. Or not.

People do have mixed feelings about things.
Or they don't.
They seem to feel so sure and certain about something and then change their mind.
Full speed ahead and then make a U turn.
I mean, what's that?
This 'solid' ground I stand on? It trembles. Subtly and not so subtly.

You try to keep this practice of zazen going: in your own life; and then you want to make sure you help keep a place going where other people looking for it can find it just like you did, when you first walked into a place and sat on your first zafu. Why?


So there you have it: all of us doing our best.
To earn a living
to help out the struggling underemployed adult children, the struggling aging parents, the struggling unemployed neighbors, while oneself is also struggling to make ends meet.

Looks like the cash just isn't going to be flowing like it usta: less of it to go around.

So I say let's go half 'n half:
everyone with a job share it with another person--
twice the number of people are now employed!
Expenditures: cut them all in half--now you can still live on half of what you make because the outflow is also half.

As for DSLA? It is and will be what it is and will be.

James A said...

I'll just wait until it's on the high seas ... aye, me beauty

Broken Yogi said...

I think your teacher was right that a teacher shouldn't depend on teaching to support himself financially. I also agree with you that writing is a good way to support yourself. Of course, you don't just have to write about Zen. You can also write fiction, or other topics. I think you need to take seriously the idea Gniz gave you that epublishing can offer you a very decent living if you take it seriously and apply yourself to it diligently. You clearly have writing skills. Now you just need to take it seriously as a career.

It will be better for you to see Zen teaching not as a career, but as a purely spiritual endeavor uncorrupted by financial concerns. I think the conflict you are going through over this is real, and not just some neurotic thing, it comes from the fact that you have genuine integrity and can feel that things just aren't right. To make them right, you have to make your money from something other than teaching. Donations aren't the ticket either. Fortunately, you have real talent and potential as a writer. And in the new world of epublishing, you can capitalize on that in a way that has real integrity and will not leave you feeling double-minded or conflicted.

You really should read up on the epublishing biz on the web. Do google searches on J. A. Konrath, Barry Eisler, Dean Wesley Smith, and others who are championing the new self-publishing model. Screw your publishers, they are taking most of the money and leaving you a pittance. You don't need an agent either. You just need talent and something to write about that has an audience.

There's nothing wrong with having a day job and being a Zen teacher after hours. If you are a serious and decently fast writer, you don't need to work more than a few hours a day at it to make a good living once you've built up a backlist. That will leave you plenty of time for teaching and sitting and messing around. Certainly quite a bit more than you are currently making. It will give you not just the freedom, but the self-respect you need to be a genuine teacher.

Good luck with it. I am certain you can make this work if you apply yourself to it. Do some research, run the numbers, and see what is realistic for you. I think if you read the blogs of the people mentioned above, particularly Smith's with his online books such as "Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing", and also read through the comments sections, you will find that a lot of people are having good success and making a decent living as writers who were only making, well, similar numbers as you before:

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=860

This could really change your life. In particular, read the chapter that explodes the myth "You can't make money writing fiction". It applies to spiritual books also. Be a trailblazer in this field, dude.

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=4983

Wish you the best of luck.

Broken Yogi said...

I would like to point also that Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, and Poonja Swami never solicited a dime in donations. They managed to get by somehow.

Ramana worked in the ashram kitchen for hours every day, saying he needed to earn his keep, and of course took no salary. Nisargadatta ran a beedi shop all his life to pay the bills, and taught at night. Poonja Swami worked many very demanding jobs, even after his enlightenment. He managed several mining operations in the jungles of India for over fifteen years, and retired on a pension that enabled him to teach without every taking a dime from his devotees (except for travel expenses if they wished him to come visit). You really can follow their example. It would be a good example to set for others in the west also.