A Quick Note From Your Webmaster…

First, I’m not Brad Warner.

Second, I’m sure people noticed that the site was offline for most of the day yesterday, and I apologize for that. It seems that a piece of add-on software for WordPress went wild, causing our CPU usage to spike, causing our ISP to basically shut the site off until we could sort out what the issue was, which wasn’t really possible until around midnight last night.

In any event, the probably-offending software is now disabled, and things should (::knock on wood::) be back to normal, or at least normal-esque.

As long as I’m here, I want to mention that I’m aware that the site’s SSL certificate has expired, and I’m hoping to be able to address that within the next few weeks. In the meantime, https will still function correctly, aside from the warning.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Hardcore Zen programming. I hope not to be making a habit of this.

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63 Responses

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  1. Steve
    Steve June 7, 2013 at 9:23 am |

    What the fuck? That’s a bunch of bullshit!

    Everyone knows that these internet problems are a function of proprioception.

    Will this post be available in kindle format?

    Hey! Where is everyone?

  2. stonemirror
    stonemirror June 7, 2013 at 9:34 am |

    “Will this post be available in kindle format?”

    Not today, no.

    “No, I am not a ‘hobo’.” – (the voice of) John C. Riley as “Ralph” in Wreck-It Ralph

  3. ch
    ch June 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |

    Thanks for the update.

    Shit Happens.

  4. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer June 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |

    Thanks for the work.


  5. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

    right (fill in the blank) f!#@& inghere, Steve!

  6. stonemirror
    stonemirror June 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |

    “Shit Happens.”

    I like to think of it all as “The Chain of Dependent Causation As Applied to Web Sites”.

  7. Steve
    Steve June 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

    Mark, I keed. I keed. For a minute there, I was excited that maybe you didn’t understand what my intention was or understand in the slightest bit I wrote. And the irony in that was too much! But then it occurred to me that you do understand the gentle kidding involved.

  8. GoatRider
    GoatRider June 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm |

    Gotta watch them wordpress addons!

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm |

    yes, the harangue is wry, wry… like swiss on ergot in Switzerland. Yodel-lay-hee-oh, welcome to the crew, Captain Jack will be along- shortly?

  10. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm |

    or not.

  11. sudhana
    sudhana June 8, 2013 at 2:28 am |

    Why did you do this site for Brad? Just to ‘help him out’?

  12. stonemirror
    stonemirror June 8, 2013 at 6:15 am |

    The site already existed, but the previous webmaster wasn’t able to keep it up any more. I like Brad, I consider him a friend, and I believe he’s one of the few people writing on the subject of zen who actually has a clue what he’s talking about.

    Brad found himself with the choice of either finding someone willing to keep the site going, or to fall back to blogger. I offered to keep the current site going for him.

    Why do you “ask”? Just “curious”?

  13. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 8, 2013 at 7:06 am |

    Question for stonemirror, from another WordPress plugin putzer- what plugin? Thanks!

    We return now to our regular programming:

    “—> How to Do Zazen <—"; an oxymoron.

  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 8, 2013 at 7:11 am |

    Maybe I should apply to sell popcorn at the ballpark; giving Brad a hard time for attitude doesn’t change my enjoyment of his duet with his cousin Skylar, nor does it provide his friend Coady (sp?) who passed away with the wherewithal to leave Tassajara.

    Sorry; what did you say?

  15. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 7:23 am |

    ^“–> How to Do Zazen <–"; an oxymoron.^

    The best way to do zazen is with fullness of emptiness.

    While Great Master Yakusan Kodo was sitting in zazen, a monk asked, “What are you thinking of in the still-still state?

    The Master said, “I’m thinking of not thinking.

    The monk asked, “How can you think of not thinking?”

    The Master said, “Non-thinking.”

  16. HarryB
    HarryB June 8, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 9, 2013 at 4:34 am |

      People who believe that “God is identical with the cosmos” but refuse to call themselves pantheists remind me of people who do not believe in any gods but refuse to admit or accept that they are atheists.


  17. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 7:34 am |

    Coady killed his body-mind because the pain of his neuro-chemical depression
    was too much to bear.

    Many find their way out of the abyss via a re-uptake inhibitor or electro-shock, but not all.

    Having been to the abyss I can relate to the pain and suffering of a human in
    similar circumstances.

  18. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 7:50 am |

    Daniel Ingram describes the Dark Night following the crossing of the Arising
    and Passing away:


    It could be that some aspects of Zen practice are too destabilizing for some people.

  19. stonemirror
    stonemirror June 8, 2013 at 8:13 am |

    “what plugin?”

    That wonderful Swiss-Army-Knife-With-A-Free-Bonus-Kitchen-Sink, Jetpack. As far as I can tell, the main effect of disabling it seems to be the vanishment of the WordPress.com-based stats on the admin dashboard, and I Don’t Care: I’ll get Google Analytics going, like I have for the rest of the sites I manage, and I’ll be happier with that.

    “…an oxymoron.”

    Sure, but when you get down to it, what isn’t?

  20. stonemirror
    stonemirror June 8, 2013 at 8:20 am |

    “…’not thinking’…The Master said, ‘Non-thinking.'”

    This works better with kanji, as Brad points out someplace (Sit Down & Shut Up…?) I’d put it as, “‘How do you think not thinking?’…’It’s beyond thinking.'”

  21. anon 108
    anon 108 June 8, 2013 at 8:53 am |

    Koun Franz blogs some Thoughts on Not Thinking about Non-thinking –



    “…I do want to pull away, even if just for a moment, the idea that zazen is some rarefied state, or that Yaoshan was doing something special, or that one can only bring authority to this encounter if they’ve plunged to the deepest depths of this practice. When we think what it might mean to not think, or what non-thinking is, it’s too easy to make the experience as complicated as the language around it. It’s not wrong to frame it in larger-than-life mystical terms, but we should know that there’s another way as well.

    And no matter how we approach it, in the end, we have to approach it from the inside. No one can do this for us. What it is we’re receptive to when we sit, and what it is that makes up that awareness ”• these are things that an EKG cannot measure. And neither can we.”

    He says.

  22. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 9:02 am |

    On measure Dogen says:

    ” Thus, deeply consider that without attaining balance you do not experience solidity. Just hanging on its own in emptiness, the expression of the dream within a dream allows objects to float free in emptiness. Within emptiness, stable balance is manifested. Stable balance is the great way of the balance scale. While suspending emptiness and suspending objects, whether as emptiness or as forms, expression of the dream within a dream brings level balance.”

  23. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 9:11 am |


    “It’s not not thinking. It’s a lucid, non-grasping, receptive awareness that, while it sounds like a big deal, is actually something we can understand very well. It’s mental activity that is something other than thinking. It’s a place we can always go, even if it’s a place that few people recognize at all.”

  24. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 9:14 am |

    You could say that form and emptiness are balanced in a lucid, non-grasping,
    receptive awareness.

  25. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2013 at 9:36 am |

    Someone please compile all of the comments on this site and sell the compilation on Kindle.

    I wouldn’t buy it and would recommend against anyone buying such drivel.

    Where has that “Andr3ew” guy been lately?

  26. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 10:07 am |

    He’s shooting wallabies and firing zen masters.

  27. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 10:12 am |

    Some important words from An3drew:


  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 8, 2013 at 10:18 am |

    Speaking of An3drew and Kindle, I recently read a free Kindle book on the Zen Patriarchs. It didn’t mention him as being one, though he consistently claimed to be so. I’m not sure what to make of it.

  29. HarryB
    HarryB June 8, 2013 at 10:22 am |

    “First, I’m not Brad Warner.”

    I thought that was a prelude to Brad channeling his higher self.

  30. Fred
    Fred June 8, 2013 at 11:38 am |

    That’s Genpo’s schtick

  31. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

    Thanks, Harry, for the link to the odd review of BNB by James Ford. While James feels readers might not interpret Brad quoting Alan Watts when he says that it is his wish to “entertain,” it seems that in his (Jame’s) revision of the term he also misses the point. I, for one, would hope that Brad’s intent in quoting the good Dr. Watts (it is from the same animated screed by Watts that I linked you to a few Bradblog posts back BTW, Harry) is more in line with James Hillman’s view here:

    That word “entertain” means to hold in between. What you do with an idea is hold it between—between your two hands. On the other hand, acting or applying it in the world and on the other hand, forgetting it, judging it, ignoring it, etc. So when these crazy things come in on you unannounced the best you can do for them is think them, holding them, turning them over, wondering awhile. Not rushing into practice. Not rushing into associations. This reminds of that: this is just like that. Off we go, away from the strange ideas to things we already know. Not judging. Rather than judging them as good and bad, true or false, we might first spend a little time with them. -James Hillman

    Which, IMO is also in line with what Fred linked via Daniel Ingram’s view on surviving The Dark Night of The Soul, which is simply about the difficult task of reconciling the opposites that rest within us, in alchemy quoting the Emerald Tablet dictum to Solve et coagula (and again) making solid what you have dissolved.

    You darkness from which I come,
    I love you more than all the fires
    that fence out the world
    for the fire makes a circle
    for everyone
    so that no one sees you anymore

    But darkness holds it all;
    the shape and the flame,
    the animal and myself,
    how it holds them,
    all powers, all sight -and it is possible; its great strength
    is breaking into my body.

    I have faith in the night. — Rainer Maria Rilke

    The Universe is Change; every Change is the
    Effect of an Act of Love; All Acts of Love
    contain Pure Joy. Die daily.
    Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life:
    Behold all opposites as necessary compliments,
    And rejoice
    – Aleister Crowley

  32. Harlan
    Harlan June 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

    This song doesn’t work as philosophy but it works as art.

  33. Harlan
    Harlan June 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  34. Harlan
    Harlan June 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

    one more try then fuck it.

  35. Harlan
    Harlan June 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

    fuck it then.

  36. Harlan
    Harlan June 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

    I blame you for this Steve. 🙂

  37. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 9, 2013 at 8:52 am |

    Is this the song you were trying to drop, Harlan?

    To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass
    to grow and die. I have plowed in the seeds
    of winter grains and of various legumes,
    their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.
    I have stirred into the ground the offal
    and the decay of the growth of past seasons
    and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.
    All this serves the dark. I am slowly falling
    into the fund of things. And yet to serve the earth,
    not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness
    and a delight to the air, and my days
    do not wholly pass. It is the mind’s service,
    for when the will fails so do the hands
    and one lives at the expense of life.
    After death, willing or not, the body serves,
    entering the earth. And so what was heaviest
    and most mute is at last raised up into song.

    “Enriching the Earth” by Wendell Berry, from Collected Poems. © North Point Press, 1985.

  38. Harlan
    Harlan June 9, 2013 at 10:08 am |

    That wasn’t it John. But I enjoyed the read. Thanks!

  39. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 9, 2013 at 10:57 am |

    Great poetry, Mumbles-san.

    Anonymous, are you An3drew?


    ” Thus, deeply consider that without attaining balance you do not experience solidity. Just hanging on its own in emptiness, the expression of the dream within a dream allows objects to float free in emptiness. Within emptiness, stable balance is manifested. Stable balance is the great way of the balance scale. While suspending emptiness and suspending objects, whether as emptiness or as forms, expression of the dream within a dream brings level balance.”

    The concern is:

    “Without a freedom of mind that allows the location of awareness to shift with contact in the senses, including contact in the senses of equalibrioception and proprioception, there is no induction of a hynogogic state, and likewise no relinquishment of volition in activity connected with the movement of breath.” (yours truly)

    But then, proprioception causes Jetpack to fill up the database, when the statistics option is activiated.

  40. Fred
    Fred June 9, 2013 at 11:40 am |

    We are born into a cultural trance of word, thought and movement that we come
    to believe is reality. Our senses are shaped by neural pruning within the confines
    of that limited, fictional shadow world.

    There is no escape from deludedness, even for Dogen, and consequently no
    relinquishment in volition of activity.

    We salivate like dogs at the ring of the bell.

  41. Harlan
    Harlan June 9, 2013 at 11:50 am |

    Word Fred.

  42. anon 108
    anon 108 June 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm |

    I gather Brad rejects the label ‘pantheist’ because, to him, it implies materialism.

    I don’t care what they say, for me, ‘matter’ is an all-inclusive term for that which the Universe is comprised of – regardless of the ever-changing lexicon of observations and measurements of science; regardless of whether notions of ‘living’ or ‘dead’ have any meaning in the bigger (or smaller) scheme of things.

    Is that a very loose definition of matter? I don’t care, that’s the kind of matter I believe in. If ghosts exist, they are made of my kind of matter. So on the occasions I need to be an ‘-ist’, that’s the kind of ‘-ist’ I am – a materialist. And if ever I needed to be a kind of theist, (surely deist?) – ‘pan’ is the kind of theist/deist I’d be.

    Since my announcement some time ago to this effect it on the old blog (prize?) my money has always been on “Brad Warner: Pantheist.” I haven’t read the book.

  43. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

    I gather Brad rejects the label ‘pantheist’…(etc.)…my money has always been on “Brad Warner: Pantheist.”


    Is he is or is he ain’t? Watchoosayin’Malcom?

  44. anon 108
    anon 108 June 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |

    Well HE says he aint. But I says he is. And that’s ma point, john e.

  45. HarryB
    HarryB June 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    It’s true that Brad owns a bewildering array of fine pants. He is certainly one of the most fancy pantheist people I’ve encountered.



  46. anon 108
    anon 108 June 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

    Not bad, H! The best anyone could come up with last time by way of a humorous rejoinder was anonymous’ “108 are you calling Brad a panthy?”

    – from here :


    Pantheism and B Warner commences just before about half-way down the comments, but there’s good stuff throughout.

  47. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm |

    OK, Mal 108, it was unclear (to me) is all. Thanks…

    I guess for me when it comes to concepts like “matter” (or any concept, for that “matter”), it is important not to confuse the word for the thing. Especially with a word like “matter” which is particularly “heavy” already, coming from the root of mater, mother.. and I suppose could refer to the ground, the ground of being… but might as well be “cloud.” ..such terms through their common usage are drained of their blood, or it is supposed that they “mean” something universally understood, and this is particularly disturbing, especially with a concept like “Pantheism,” for obvious reasons…

    “Every modern language, with its thousands of abstract terms and its nuances of meaning and association, is apparently, from beginning to end, but an unconscionable tissue of dead, or petrified, metaphors.” -O. Barfield, Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning (Middletown, Conn,; Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1983)

  48. Fred
    Fred June 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm |

    ‘Everything is “wakan” = sacred, in the sense of everything being on a basically level playing field, ie; this is not more or less important or insignificant than that, no distinctions between animate and inanimate.

    Rocks, for example, are Inyan, first born (of matter) and therefore the grandparents of everything materially manifest.
    During an ayahuasca/harmaline session almost 15 years ago I was laying outside on the ground near a guardian cedar tree looking up at the beautiful clear night sky and it hit me that the stars watch over us like ancient, patient grandparents. This realization penetrated matter to the core (for me at the time), revealing the building blocks of “the impermanent, non-continuous, interdependent arising of conditional phenomena.”

    ‘Course, I was trippin’ my balls off…’

  49. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm |

    Funny, Harry!

    Hanging over on Koun Franz’s Nyoho site with Harry, thanks to the link above, and he points out something I should have known but didn’t:

    “In the conventional Soto Zen world (meaning temples and teachers who do not use koans as teaching tools), there is no such thing as dokusan. I’m sure there are some exceptions to that, but in my 12 years in Japan, I have yet to find even one. A student can always meet formally with a teacher – structures exist for that. But even then – even if the meeting opens and closes with prostrations, even if it produces all the intensity we might expect – it is also more likely than not that tea will be served, and that the conversation will stretch on for an hour or more. There will not be a line of students waiting their turns; there will not be an attendant guarding the door.

    In the West, due largely to the influence of Philip Kapleau’s book (and some others), Soto Zen practitioners decided decades ago that dokusan is indispensable to Zen practice. ”

    Thanks, Koun Franz! I’ve been wondering about that for years, wondering about my reticence to take part in a ritual encounter that seemed somehow foreign to style of Soto as I understood it. Turns out it was foreign.

    Pass me the tea.

  50. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm |


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