Birthday!

BlixBdayHappy birthday to me! I have completed yet another trip around the sun. And my friend Randy Blythe is free. So that’s good news! That’s my friend Blixa’s birthday photo sent to me by his mom this morning. I got rid of a lot of my extra monster junk a year ago and Blixa ended up with a good bit of it, some of which appears in the photo.

Tonight at 8:00 pm I’ll be talking at the Nashville Zen Center who meet at 12 South Dharma Center 2301 12th Ave. South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204 (2nd floor, stairs in back of building). Be there or be a wuss. The rest of my Spring Micro Tour dates are listed at the end of this article. You will notice that I have now added a talk on March 10th (Sunday) at the Akron Shambhala Center in beautiful Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, home of Rex’s Erection and Time Traveler Records.

Birthdays are weird. I sorta like them and I sorta hate them. Time marches on, you get older. But you’ve also made it one year further. When I was a younger person I always worried I’d die before my time. Now I’m not so sure. I keep getting older in spite of myself. Lots of things are easier now than they ever were before and I’m happy about that. Life is good.

*   *   *

BRAD’S SPRING MICRO-TOUR 2013

• March 5th (Tuesday) 7:00 pm NASHVILLE, TN12 South Dharma Center 2301 12th Ave. South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204 (2nd floor, stairs in back of building). Meditation at 7pm (two 25 min periods with a 5 minute kinhin). Dharma talk following at 8. Newcomers are invited to come 15 minutes early for orientation.

• March 8th (Friday) 10:00 pm CLEVELAND, OHSpitfire Saloon 1539 W 117th St  Cleveland, OH 44107 Zero Defex with Dutch Babies and The Drexels.

• March 10th (Sunday) 7:00 pm AKRON, OHAkron Shambhala Center 133 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

• March 13th (Wednesday) 7:00 pm CHICAGO, ILZen Buddhist Temple of Chicago,  608 Dempster St., Evanston (near the Dempster Purple Line station). The event goes from 7-9, and includes one 40-minute period of zazen, 10 minutes of kinhin, after which I’ll give a talk.

•March 14th (Thursday) 7:30 pm CHICAGO, IL  – Logan Theater 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 Shoplifting from American Apparel screening. I’ll introduce the film and do a Q&A.

• March 17th (Sunday) 10:20 am MILWAUKEE, WIMilwaukee Zen Center 2825 N. Stowell Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211-3775 My talk will start at 10:20 am but come at 9:30 am if you want to sit zazen with me too.

April 26-28 ZEN RETREAT AT MOUNT BALDY ZEN CENTER F0r more info or to sign up, click here. No groping.

*   *   *

Birthday donations happily accepted!

57 Responses

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  1. Steven M
    Steven M March 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm | |

    Wonderful to hear that overall you’re happy with things. Have a great birthday, Brad.

  2. Sally M
    Sally M March 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | |

    Have a wonderful Birthday and another great trip around the sun. :)

  3. King Kong
    King Kong March 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm | |

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!

  4. Zen Maoist
    Zen Maoist March 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm | |

    Congratulations on your circuits of the sun, Brad. By a quick reckoning, I think you are getting toward 14 billion miles of solar circumnavigation. Someone correct my math, please, if I’m way off.

    See you soon in Chicago, and happy birthday!

    bill m.

  5. Adam Tebbe
    Adam Tebbe March 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm | |

    Happy birthday Brad.

  6. Zafu
    Zafu March 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm | |

    Happy happy birthday!

  7. Daniel
    Daniel March 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm | |

    So…first of all Happy B-Day Brad! :)

    But then I more and more get the impression that you sort off keep on losing the “zen-attitude” so to speak. I mean do you really believe there is someone, a person, a self that get’s older year by year? Time to read your book hardcore-zen what this blog was once about and think about “time” and “self”.

    No doubt you’re Brad and you’re whatever age now but this article would have been a nice opportunity to spread some “Zen” ;)

    Whatever, enjoy your day!

    Dany

    1. sri_barence
      sri_barence March 7, 2013 at 6:03 am | |

      But “zen mind is ordinary mind,” isn’t it?

  8. Fred
    Fred March 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm | |

    Joyful arising and decaying, Brad.

  9. boubi
    boubi March 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm | |

    Me too :)

  10. boubi
    boubi March 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm | |

    Thirty years ago looks like yesterday, fifty as the last week.

    Hey Brad, what is time?

  11. Zen Maoist
    Zen Maoist March 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm | |

    Whoah, I was way off–I think you’re closer to 30 billion miles, Brad. Sorry to take away 16-billion hard-earned miles. To all sentient beings on Spaceship Earth, rock on.

  12. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm | |

    I’m singing the birthday song in your honor tonight, Brad!

    Hope it’s a good day, and a good night…

    I’d like to thank you for bringing us together, all of the monsters that frequent your comment thread, and for tossing us toast once in a while to keep our feeding frenzy going.

    Happy birthday to you…

  13. Crispinseattle
    Crispinseattle March 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm | |

    Happy sun tripping. I’m currently reading “Hardcore Zen…” And I’m loving it. Use the donation wisely, whatever that means to you.

  14. Khru
    Khru March 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm | |

    So what’s this I hear about that Joshu Sasaki Roshi guy?

    Happy Birthday.

  15. Senjo
    Senjo March 6, 2013 at 1:54 am | |

    Happy Birthday Brad!

  16. blake
    blake March 6, 2013 at 7:08 am | |

    Let me know if you’d like to come visit the Lawrence/Kansas City area! We’d love to have you!

  17. readytomosh
    readytomosh March 6, 2013 at 7:08 am | |

    happy birthday sir brad

    is the wednesday event in chicago at is 7-9 is that AM OR PM

  18. floating_abu
    floating_abu March 6, 2013 at 7:43 am | |

    Happy returns, Brad!

  19. Sageor
    Sageor March 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm | |

    Let’s not forget all those trips the moon made around you – to be anti-neoCopernican. Happy B-day.

  20. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm | |

    Ok, I took a trip around Adam’s pages, and many wonders were there to be found.

    I’d like to thank Adam, for providing a venue for the truth to be told, in all its various incarnations.

    I don’t want to speculate on what will happen next at Rinzai-ji, although my personal sense is that the organization will have to look for another teacher to redeem the honor of the institution, even if Sasaki now appoints a successor.

    I would like to draw attention to efforts on the part of some teachers to begin to establish a training for those who interact with the public at Zen centers; here are the bullet points of a training to be offered in July at a Zen center near Yosemite:

    - Giving Dharma talks
    - Offering practice discussion
    - Working with sangha diversity
    - Working with sangha conflict
    - Developing a peer network
    - Fundraising
    - Sutra study

    The training is offered under the auspices of the Shogaku Zen Institute, the well-known and long-standing training body of Zen in the U.S.A. (Ok, just checking who is paying attention- I have no idea what the background of the Institute is, and even though I’ve been to their website (http://www.shogakuzen.org/), all I can say for sure is that Grace Schireson is listed as president and Lew Richmond as provost, along with Darlene Cohen and Steve Stucky as faculty).

    I’m sure there are many points that this faculty can pass on to individuals concerned with establishing and running non-residential Zen groups, that will be of benefit to the community.

    I’m also grateful that Mr. Warner has seen fit to go with inner happiness as his primary modus operandi as a teacher, and to be willing to accept the consequences of his lack of diploma from the S.Z.I.

    1. Andy
      Andy March 7, 2013 at 6:48 am | |

      You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s Grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.

  21. SoF
    SoF March 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm | |

    Do not mourn for a man when he dies.
    Mourn for him when he is born.
    - Gautama Buddha

  22. stonemirror
    stonemirror March 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm | |

    (Bah. The site doesn’t support Japanese in the comments. Anyway, happy birthday, now that it actually is your birthday.

  23. Chandra
    Chandra March 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm | |

    Happy B Day Brad, best wishes to you, it’s good to be a pisces!

  24. sri_barence
    sri_barence March 7, 2013 at 6:07 am | |

    Happy chronosynclastic infundibulum! (To those of you who think I made that up, the credit goes to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., in his novel, “The Sirens of Titan.)

  25. Fred
    Fred March 7, 2013 at 8:04 am | |

    “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s Grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.”

    There is a middle way. Yea, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,
    or so it appears to the blind. By God’s Grace, those who will never manifest as
    emptiness, seek the trappings of pomp and puffery.

    The true man walks alone without distinction.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 March 7, 2013 at 9:07 am | |

      “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up.”

      Me. I said that. School Play 1967. Happy Birthday Brad.

    2. Andy
      Andy March 7, 2013 at 9:51 am | |

      We’re dicks! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes who just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate — and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!

  26. Fred
    Fred March 7, 2013 at 8:08 am | |

    “I’d like to thank Adam, for providing a venue for the truth to be told, in all its various incarnations. ”

    Humans don’t have truths; they have agendas.

  27. Fred
    Fred March 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | |

    “What was inspiring our Sangha members to practice Zen and keep at it? Were we actually creating that “American Zen way of life” that Suzuki Roshi spoke of? We each seemed to be inching our way along by feeling and intuition, but without, as yet, a shared systematic approach”

    The shared systematic approach means the unquestioned , orthodox approach
    that burns heretics at the stake, and stamps out unapproved methods.

  28. Laurie
    Laurie March 7, 2013 at 9:49 am | |

    Happy Belated Birthday, Brad! Thanks for all that you do.

  29. minkfoot
    minkfoot March 7, 2013 at 11:25 am | |

    Andy:
    “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s Grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.”

    Fred:
    “There is a middle way. Yea, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,
    or so it appears to the blind. By God’s Grace, those who will never manifest as
    emptiness, seek the trappings of pomp and puffery.

    “The true man walks alone without distinction.”

    ~~~~~O~~~~~

    Don’t you see yon narrow, narrow road
    So thick beset with thorns and briar’s?
    That is the road to righteousness
    Though after it but few enquire

    Don’t you see yon broad, broad road
    That lies across the lily leaven?
    That is the road to wickedness
    Though some call it the road to heaven

    Don’t you see yon bonnie, bonnie road
    That lies across the ferny brae?
    That is the road to fair Elf land
    Where you and I this night must go

    — Thomas the Rhymer, as done by Steeleye Span

    Happy Mirthday, Brad!

    1. Andy
      Andy March 8, 2013 at 3:30 am | |

      “I leant upon a coppice gate,
      When Frost was spectre-gray,
      And Winter’s dregs made desolate
      The weakening eye of day.
      The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
      Like strings of broken lyres,
      And all mankind that haunted nigh
      Had sought their household fires.”

  30. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm | |

    Thanks, Fred, for that moment of stony silence. Anon 108, I like that! Andy, you surely didn’t make that up yourself, gave me quite a start, there. I’m supposed to have heard it before, and I’m sure I have, but I’d forgotten the details.

    Fred, who said: “What was inspiring our Sangha members to practice Zen and keep at it? Were we actually creating that “American Zen way of life” that Suzuki Roshi spoke of? We each seemed to be inching our way along by feeling and intuition, but without, as yet, a shared systematic approach”.

    I was googling “Zen teacher’s stick”, trying to find the name “nyoi”, when up came a post on cuke.com, which closed with these words:

    “On the last morning of the teachers’ visit, everyone sat zazen. Bob was carrying the stick and sporting a down-turned samurai scowl to let his old teachers, Maezumi and Yasutani, know that he hadn’t gotten soft, and that Soto Zen wasn’t sleepy. He stopped before a dozing student, placed the wide stick on her shoulder, and gave her a whack on each side. They bowed together and he went on. Walking slowly down the maroon linoleum aisle, he lifted his gaze to see in the kerosene lamplight the historic cast of dharma transmitters on the platform: Suzuki, Yasutani, Nakagawa, Shimano, Maezumi, Aitken (from Hawaii), Richard, Kobun. Every one of them was nodding, sound asleep.”

    Turns out it was really Chadwick who wrote the piece with the stick- he took liberties to protect the guilty.

  31. Fred
    Fred March 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm | |

    Mark, Lewis Richmond and Grace Schireson said that on the site that you linked
    to.

  32. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | |

    wow, ok!- missed that!

  33. Andy
    Andy March 8, 2013 at 3:24 am | |

    Hi Mark

    I’ve found the internet allows for one to playfully, and occasionally effectively, dispense with quotation marks. I didn’t expect you to recognise [no, no, not recognize, leave me alone!]* the quote. But I’m fiendishly grateful to Arthur that it gave you a start (although the capital G was my doing).

    There’s something about this whole scandal stuff, and the appropriation of such things like it in order to bolster certain institutional mindsets and bodies, that leave me with The Crucible Shivers.

    In fact, your last para gave me a start too. On first reading it, I’d thought it was a quote from a S.Z.I post on Sweeping Zen and that you’d forgotten to add the quotation marks. So your kind words for Mr. Warner took on the tone of a veiled threat!

    *The spelling correction thingy on this comments box keeps trying to turn me into an America English speller, and I’m finding that it’s red-underline drip-drip effect somewhat akin to a cult-leaders attempt to brainwash me.

  34. HarryB
    HarryB March 8, 2013 at 7:04 am | |

    Happy Birthday, Brad.

    One day you’re a back-flipping zen meister with a dashing stick and the next you’re sipping prune juice and dozing off reading that wonderfully miserable old bastard Hardy.

    I try to remember that I wasn’t promised anything, but I tend to forget and promise myself things. Life in the middle ages is tough for a surf.

    Regards, and partaay on.

    Harry.

    1. HarryB
      HarryB March 8, 2013 at 7:07 am | |

      …and for a serf too!

  35. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 8, 2013 at 7:56 am | |

    Andy, you picked up the tone, alright- I do find the notion of standardization of curriculum and training for those leading non-residential Zen centers a little odd and scary. Maybe it’s an “Out West” thing- like, don’t fence me in:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53v8xlyyGxw

    Lew Richmond’s comment about propriocepting our way along toward an “American Zen way of life” was pretty right on for me, even though I’ve never been part of a residential Zen community or even a regular with a non-residential Zen community. If we can’t talk about what we are not doing with our significant others and our children, as appropriate (see anon 108′s poem), then we have a quirky foreign religious cult but not an “American Zen way of life”, if you ask me.

  36. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 8, 2013 at 8:02 am | |

    It even creeps me out to go to Sonoma Mountain Zen Center and have the preceptor remind everyone that they should maintain silence, both because I know that Gautama specifically forbade vows of silence in retreat and because I rely on the kindness of strangers to learn how to practice an “American Zen way of life”. Or more correctly, a practice of zazen in a Western community while working a Western job and pursuing a Western love life (and for some, family).

    1. Andy
      Andy March 8, 2013 at 9:24 am | |

      Well, I can’t say much about ‘An American Way of life’ (any more than I would recommend an English one these days!) I do like the occasional sip of a good bourbon – and to pretend to myself that I’m imbibing a little of its romantic character. On the other hand, as to all this creepy stuff, sometimes the starch of Anglo-Saxon puritanism still seems to infuse the attitudes.

      btw, if you were referring to Anon 108′s quote above, that was also from The Crucible.

  37. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | |

    awww, I believed him!

  38. anon 108
    anon 108 March 9, 2013 at 1:52 am | |

    Playing the part of Reverend Hale in Hackney Downs School’s production of The Crucible in 1967 I did indeed say “Let you not mistake your duty…” and so forth. Never said it was a poem. Never said I wrote it. Regret if mislead.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 March 9, 2013 at 1:54 am | |

      misled

  39. Fred
    Fred March 9, 2013 at 5:23 am | |

    1967 was Hendrix and acid, the cultural revolution and the fermentation of
    illusion in our mislead/misled world to view/worldview.

  40. King Kong
    King Kong March 9, 2013 at 6:36 am | |

    1967 WAS THE YEAR I ARRIVED !! SORRY ABOUT ALL THAT ::((

  41. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 9, 2013 at 7:07 am | |

    Maybe I should think to read some of the world’s great literature, and take in a few plays while I’m at it; get educated, you know! :)

  42. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 9, 2013 at 7:17 am | |

    Fred, how do you feel about the cultural revolution these days?

    I correspond with two friends that spent their high school years in San Francisco until their graduation in 1968, and the only thread I can point to that perhaps remains intact is an appreciation for presence of mind and diversity of approach. Yes it’s true that in those days there were many ways to amplify the presence of mind, not the least of which was attending the concerts of artists like Hendrix, yet the three of us now only engage in unamplified presence in appreciation of our mutual history and present diversity.

    Or as Vanja Palmers responded at the memorial last summer, “maybe that revolution is taking a little longer than we expected!”- hear, hear.

  43. Fred
    Fred March 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm | |

    ” How do you feel about the cultural revolution these days?”

    “To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”

  44. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm | |

    “Layman Pang was with his whole family sitting around the fire. Layman Pang suddenly said, ‘Difficult, difficult– ten bushels of oil hemp spread out on a tree.’ Mrs. Pang said, ‘Easy, easy– on the tips of the hundred grasses, the meaning of Zen.’ Their daughter Lingzhao said, ‘Not difficult, not easy– eating when hungry, sleeping when tired.’

    … Only if you can forget the words and embody the meaning will you see how these three Zen teachers each put forth a hand and together held up the bottomless basket, how they strained out mussels and clams. You will see how in every move they had the ability to kill people’s false selves and conditioned perceptions, and how in every place they had a road to get out on.”

    (Zen Letters, Teachings of Yuanwu, translated by J.C. & T. Cleary pg 41)

    Les’see now, I am here…

  45. Fred
    Fred March 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm | |

    “You will see how in every move they had the ability to kill people’s false selves and conditioned perceptions, and how in every place they had a road to get out on.”

    Mr. Sasaki had a road to get out on as well. but he was blind to cause and effect.

  46. buddy
    buddy March 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm | |

    Yes, Fred, it’s more than a little ironic that Sasaki’s book ‘Buddha is the Center of Gravity’ is a talk on the Wild Fox koan, which basically answers the question, ‘Is an enlightened person subject to cause and effect?’, with a resounding ‘Yes!’ Guess Mt Baldy is gonna have it’s own furry red mascot once the old man passes on…

  47. Shodo
    Shodo March 11, 2013 at 6:29 am | |

    “April 26-28 ZEN RETREAT AT MOUNT BALDY ZEN CENTER F0r more info or to sign up, click here. No groping.”

    Shouldn’t it say, no groping – unless I fall in love with you. ;)

  48. MJGibbs
    MJGibbs March 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm | |

    Bummer! I should have been paying more attention and attended the Akron talk. I need visit Kent State for grad school preparations soon. I could have fed two birds with one worm.

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