Buddhism, a Religion Based on Not Giving a Fuck?

Buddhism Not Giving a FuckThis picture got posted on my Facebook wall (why is it called a wall?) last week. Apparently it’s one of those things that’s been making the rounds on the Internets lately judging by the number of comments it had attracted even before it reached me.

I don’t even want to get into the implied racism of choosing to illustrate this idea with a photo of a bucktoothed, bespectacled Asian with his head bowed submissively. Instead I’d like to focus on the caption.

First off, Buddhism is definitely not a religion based on not giving a fuck.

Someone posted a comment on this photo correcting it to “doctrine based on not giving a fuck” and someone else said, “Not a religion idiot.” But the problem isn’t whether or not Buddhism is a religion. That really depends on how you define the word religion. No, the problem here is about whether or not Buddhism is about not giving a fuck.

I’ve been doing some soul (or lack of soul) searching to try to figure out how exactly it got to the point where so many people imagine that Buddhism is about not giving a fuck. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

For one thing, Buddhism actually doesn’t give a fuck about a lot of the things that are considered by most religions to be extremely important. For instance, in Buddhism it doesn’t matter what you believe. I have to qualify this, though. Because there are Buddhists out there who do think it matters very much what you believe. Stephen Batchelor writes about his struggles with these kinds of Buddhists in his book Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. Batchelor was once part of a Tibetan-based Buddhist organization who cared very much about what he believed. I myself was called an anti-Buddhist by some who thought that my non-belief in what they called “literal rebirth” made me a heretic. But those Buddhists were confused and wrong.

Buddhism is not a belief system. It has a cosmology attached to it. But it’s not crucial to the practice that you believe any of that stuff. Gautama Buddha was concerned with relieving human suffering. He didn’t see any reason to think that belief played any great part in dealing with the pain he saw as inherent to existence.

Nishijima Roshi likes to say, “The only thing I believe in is reality.” That kind of belief is important to Buddhism. But that’s not what most religions mean when they talk about belief. Those other religions (or doctrines or whatever) want you to believe in things that you can’t verify for yourself. Deepak Chopra articulated this recently in one of his Twitter postings. It said, “Only the invisible is truly real.” That’s the complete opposite of Buddhist belief. We believe in reality, not in invisible stuff whose existence is found only in ancient books.

Buddhism also does not give a fuck about worship. There are no gods up there in the sky who demand compliments and gifts. We do sometimes bow down in front of statues. But we don’t do this because we believe the statue craves our praise. We bow to something higher within ourselves that the statue represents.

Buddhists also don’t give a fuck about certain behavioral issues other religions think of as terribly important. For example, I don’t know of any Buddhist organizations who oppose gay marriage. The Dalai Lama famously said that he thought homosexuality was a violation of the Buddhist principle of not misusing sex (I happen to disagree). But even Mr. Lama said it was not a very great violation and that if people were happy in their homosexual relationships he didn’t see any terrific harm in them. Abortion is not a major issue to any Buddhists that I’m aware of. The teaching of evolution in public schools doesn’t matter much to most Buddhists. In fact, unlike most other religions, Buddhism has no fear at all that science will one day come along and disprove its basic tenets. On the contrary, Buddhism embraces science.

But I’m not sure this is quite what the caption on the photo of that bucktoothed monk was referring to as not giving a fuck. I think whoever made that image may have perceived Buddhism as having a very casual attitude toward pretty much everything in life. He probably perceived Buddhism as a religion that had enshrined the attitudes of stoners like the guys from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure as its ideal.

But that’s not really it. Or maybe it is. But it’s not quite the same, I think. I actually like Bill and Ted and have quoted them as people (albeit fictional ones) whose philosophy is worthy of respect. “Be excellent to each other” is a great sentiment. But the real world people upon whom Bill and Ted are modeled are usually people whose system is too full of THC for them to be able to care about much of anything. They’re so unfocused that nothing can possibly matter because they’re too numb to their environment to care much about it.

Buddhism is about being extremely aware of everything that’s going on. By becoming more aware of reality, you also become aware that your own thoughts are not so important. This means that you can have as many fears, worries, neuroses and so forth as you want. You just don’t really care very much about them because, after all, they’re just thoughts.

It seems to me that for most people “giving a fuck” means being intensely wrapped up in your own thoughts. Buddhists don’t learn how not to worry. They learn how not to worry about being worried. It’s not that we don’t care. We care a lot. But we also see what our real role is in the things we care about.

Buddhism is not a philosophy of complacency.

There is a huge difference between accepting things as they are and being complacent or apathetic. I definitely want to change the world. I seek nothing less than to completely overthrow the current society, which is sick and depraved and headed for disaster. I give a huge fuck about that. But I’m not going to do it fast and I’m not going to do it alone. In fact, I will be dead and gone long before things change in the way I know they must.

But that’s not enough to make me simply lie back down and say, “fuck it.” I take action. But my action doesn’t seem like much. I meditate every day and I teach others how to meditate. I write. I give lectures. I devote all of my life to making the world better. But I do it in ways that probably seem small and ineffective to those who have a different definition of what “giving a fuck” ought to look like.

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75 Responses

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  1. lakhi47
    lakhi47 July 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm | |

    Curious that someone would post a picture of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and then say Buddhism is based on “not giving a fuck” when Gyatso’s group (the NKT) is totally restricted and belief driven. And you are so right, Buddhism “gives a fuck” about many things.

  2. mikeslominsky
    mikeslominsky July 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm | |

    “Buddhists … learn how not to worry about being worried… we also see what our real role is in the things we care about.”
    Very well written. Reminds me of the old adage, “Think globally and act locally.” I don’t think it is obvious how “locally” the actions that truly affect change can be, or even “need” to be.
    It seems like a lot of folks (myself included) get plenty worked up around things they can’t really do too much about *at the scale they imagine they should do something about* it. When I tell them that I’m doing my part to rid Africa of inequality by cleaning my bathroom, or suggest that the best way for me to really combat corporate greed is just to be kind and patient with people (myself included), they think I’m being aloof or naive.
    But that’s o.k. I don’t give a fuck about that, I just really want people to be truly happy. I care a great deal about it.

  3. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm | |

    I’m not sure why you have to defend Buddhism against this kind of criticism. I think the best response is to embrace it and be proud. Yes, it’s true, Buddhism really doesn’t give a fuck. Because, it really doesn’t. That’s what’s so great about it. It represents freedom from the whole bondage of feeling we have to give a fuck about anything in order to live a happy, loving, compassionate and free life.

    Most of the world propagandizes us into thinking we have to give a fuck about a lot of things if we are going to be good people. We have to give a fuck what people think about us, and we have to give a fuck about whether people think we give a fuck about anything. But Buddhism say, fuck that, we just don’t give a fuck.

    Now, that’s different from saying that Buddhists don’t live responsibly and love one another and take care of one another and the world as a whole. They do all of that. THey just manage to do it without giving a fuck, and actually find that not giving a fuck makes it much easier and more natural to do all that. People who give a fuck about a lot of things don’t have the freedom or clarity to handle life very well, and end up getting in pointless conflicts about all the stuff they give a fuck about.

    Not giving a fuck is a great approach that eliminates those problems. Instead of doing things because we give a fuck about the outcome, Buddhists just do stuff because its natural and enjoyable to do stuff.

    Giving a fuck is basically a form of craving for something, some end, some result, as if it’s the end result that matters. Buddhists don’t give a fuck because they know it isn’t the end result that matters, it’s the way one lives that matters. And the best way to live is without craving anything, which means, not giving a fuck. Living free of all those fucks you are supposed to give is what Buddhism is all about.

    Nothing wrong with being a laughing, buck-toothed asian guy who doesn’t give a fuck. That describes some of the greatest beings who have ever lived. Why give a fuck what someone on the internet thinks? Know the cessation of craving, which could be described as the cessation of giving a fuck, and be happy.

    Santosha for all.

  4. Khru
    Khru July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | |

    Well, to begin with…aw, fuck it.

  5. anon 108
    anon 108 July 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm | |

    That, Khru, is possibly the finest comment to be published on this or any comment thread, ever.

  6. Khru
    Khru July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | |

    You have low standards…

  7. Ted
    Ted July 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | |

    If we didn’t give a fuck, we wouldn’t practice.

  8. poepsa
    poepsa July 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm | |

    This may be just about the best thing I’ve read from Brad in a long time.

    Of course, it’s because I totally agree!

    Fuck, yeah!

  9. Fred
    Fred July 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm | |

    Sogyal gave a lot of fucks; Trungpa had them lined up at the bedroom door.

    Buddhism is based on giving a fuck.

  10. Taoist Dabbler
    Taoist Dabbler July 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm | |

    Why did Dogen say not to stare at the ocean? Is it similar to watching TV – where it hypnotizes you makes you dumber?

  11. Darkgod
    Darkgod July 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm | |

    Hello everyone and Mr. Warner. I am the person who posted that picture on your Facebook page. It was not my intention to cause any distress, I just happened to think the picture was funny and thought you might think so as well. I offer my sincerest apologies for my offensive behavior.

  12. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm | |

    Brad, yeah, I get what you mean also. He probably doesn’t get what “not giving a fuck” really means. But at least he thought it was funny, and anything that’s funny is a form of Buddhism, as far as I’m concerned.

  13. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm | |

    Ted,

    “If we didnt give a fuck, we wouldnt practice.”

    True, but for me at least, it works the other way around.

    Most of my practice involves taking a look at the things I give a fuck about, and essentially asking myself, “Why do I give a fuck about this?” The longer and more deeply I ask the question, the more absurd it feels to give a fuck about that particular thing. And so I give less of a fuck about things the more I practice.

    When the day comes that I don’t give a fuck about anything at all, I won’t need to practice anymore. Now that’s nirvana.

  14. PhilBob-SquareHead
    PhilBob-SquareHead July 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm | |

    What I gotta do to have me a spiffy profile pic?

  15. MJGibbs
    MJGibbs July 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm | |

    Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was kicked out of his monastery and does a deity practice that the Dalai Lama forbids. I don’t know the whole story (though I think Batchelor does mention the controversy in his book), just heard bits and pieces throughout my time in Tibetan Buddhism circles.

    What is interesting about that controversy is…when I first became interested in Buddhism, I called up a New Kadamapa Center (Geshe Kelsang’s group) whose number I saw in a book or magazine to ask some questions about Buddhist practice? He was nice guy and answered my questions. I don’t remember what my questions were or how he responded, but I remember feeling good about the conversation. I had drawn a portrait of the Dalai Lama at the time and decided to send it to the guy as a gift via the postal service for being kind enough to speak with me and answer my questions. Later, either I called him back or he called me. He thanked me for the picture, but told me they are not fans or friends of the Dalai Lama and went on this tangent about why so (which I don’t remember). When I got off the phone, I thought “well, that was strange.” I’m sure he tossed that picture in the garbage or burned it (and I worked hard on drawing that too dammit!) I find that incident somewhat funny now, knowing now how much they despise the Dalai Lama and protest when he comes around (at least I heard).

  16. Pjotr
    Pjotr July 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm | |

    Hello Brad and others.

    Not giving a fuck. Indeed why would we practice?
    And also like you wrote: maybe it is because of me why people (the maker of the ad on your wall) thinks it is about not giving a fuck.
    Because terms like emptiness, no attachment, letting go.. can trigger some kind of idea one needs to let go of all he thinks or feels. It is tricky! I always find myself in a kind of paradox trying to explain! My mind and the mind of other people keep on switching between points of view. Between a try to be objective and knowing one is always subjective…

    Pjotr

  17. Ted
    Ted July 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm | |

    Maybe that’s why the Tibetans refer to nirvana as “the terror of a lower peace.” But seriously, if your practice is to not give a fuck, why isn’t your practice the first thing you practice not giving a fuck about? If it’s not, doesn’t that mean that you are attached to it? If not, then why does the practice of not giving a fuck have this one exception?

  18. buddy
    buddy July 10, 2012 at 1:56 am | |

    BY, so basically you’re saying that the goal of practice is to be as detached and uncaring as possible? To not give a fuck about human suffering, war, environmental destruction? To not give a fuck about art, music, love, sex, friendship? And then call this goal of not giving a fuck about anything ‘nirvana’? That’s fucked up, and a perversion of true dharma, and, if I’m not mistaken, exactly what Brad was taking offense to in writing this post.

  19. wiggle87
    wiggle87 July 10, 2012 at 6:22 am | |

    Got to admire the NKT’s work ethic though. I don’t think anyone has as good coverage of Britain as they do, they even run meditation sessions in my university. Went along a few times and happened to mention when asked that most of my meditation experience has come from the zen tradition. I was politely told that zen meditation is not sufficient and needs backing up with more substance as it focuses only on concentration. Interestingly, their version of meditation was relatevely short, sat on chairs and focussed on relaxation. The ‘substance’ appeared to be an obsession with death. Lovely smiley people anyway.

  20. Brookemcdoodle
    Brookemcdoodle July 10, 2012 at 9:28 am | |

    There’s actually a kind of wonderful book out there called “Fuck it: the ultimate spiritual way”. At least I found it to be wonderful. I very much “give a fuck” about oh so many things, but I have also learned how to not let those things I can’t do anything about tie me up in knots, and how to approach those things I can do something about with courage. It’s funny how staring at a wall facilitates that.

  21. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm | |

    Ted, I didn’t say that I don’t give a fuck about anything. I do. I have many attachments, in fact. I just recognize these as attachments, and I practice to release them, rather than to justify be attached.

    It’s not possible to just suddenly not give a fuck about anything. Like I say, I’m already giving a lot of fucks about things. But my practice is about examining those attachments, recognizing them as such, and letting them go. One of those attachments is practice itself. So a part of my practice is to let go of my attachment to practice itself. In other words, it’s a self-undoing practice, or self-deconstructing practice, kind of like one of those Mission Impossible tapes that dissolves after hearing it. The best practice of all is no-practice. I’m just not there yet.

  22. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | |

    “BY, so basically youre saying that the goal of practice is to be as detached and uncaring as possible? To not give a fuck about human suffering, war, environmental destruction? To not give a fuck about art, music, love, sex, friendship? And then call this goal of not giving a fuck about anything nirvana? Thats fucked up, and a perversion of true dharma, and, if Im not mistaken, exactly what Brad was taking offense to in writing this post.”

    The short answer is, yes.

    But that would probably be misunderstood, or interpreted as a lack of sensitivity and love towards others and their suffering.

    “Not giving a fuck” about these things means not being attached to them, identified with them, or craving some result from them, but instead, accepting them exactly as they are, and feeling them all exactly as they are. That’s actually far more sensitive and caring a relationship to things than this endless cycle of attachment, identification, and cravings produces.

    It’s a radically different viewpoint, with radically different results. It doesn’t try to change the world, instead it radically changes your relationship to the world. It imposes no expectations on the world, or on oneself, but lives in reality as it is, and responds to reality with reality, rather than fantasy and craving.

    If you examine what is “wrong” with the world, the source of conflict, violence, and suffering, it’s all the “giving a fuck” that people impose on the world. Giving a fuck produces suffering, it doesn’t relieve it or end it. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. People are attached to their cravings precisely because they think their cravings for peace produce peace, that their craving for justice produce justice, that their craving for happiness produces happiness. It is actually the opposite way around. Craving not only produces suffering, but it produces the illusion that the solution to suffering is more craving. More “giving a fuck”. And so it never ends.

    Not giving a fuck is a path that brings that cycle to an end. It’s not what you think it is. It’s not indifference to suffering, it’s a recognition of the causes and sources of suffering. It releases us from the cycle that creates suffering in ourselves and others. And it provides a radically different way of life than what we are accustomed to thinking will change things in ourselves in the world. By not trying to change, not giving a fuck about changing, we have changed everything.

    It’s quite interesting, really, if you have the attention for it.

  23. Tattoozen
    Tattoozen July 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm | |

    The problem, as i see it, isnt giving or not giving s fuck, its that each person takes the phras “not giving a fuck” and interprets it their own way. To me it just meaqns not sweating the small stuff but to others it can mean being apathetic or even nihilistic. My “I dont give a fuck” is different than someone elses, but, and here is where language falls on its ass, someone else is going to interpret my “i dont give a fuck” in their context and thereby assign me an attitude I dont really have.

    If I was speaking to someone in person my tone and attitude would go a long way to explaining my real attitude, but in writing the chances that anyone will interpret my “I dont give a fuck” the way I intend it is really , sadly, very small.

  24. minkfoot
    minkfoot July 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm | |

    Some background on the split between HHDL and NKT:

    http://tinyurl.com/dy8qbas

  25. rowanm13
    rowanm13 July 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm | |

    Does Broken Yogi have a blog? Because I would so read it!

  26. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote July 11, 2012 at 1:54 am | |

    the terror of a lower peace, I like that!

    Craving for again-becoming, craving for sensual desire, craving for the cessation of existence: these are Gautama’s particulars of the craving that leads to rebirth. As I said, these seem to me to parallel “that which we will, that which we intend to do, and that wherewith we are occupied” which is described as leading to the five groups of grasping, which is suffering.

    If we don’t give a f*#k, we neither will, nor intend to do, nor are we preoccupied.

    The only time we really don’t give a f#*k is when we are waking up or falling asleep, because at those times we have consciousness yet we are only our consciousness taking place. Being physically there is actually just beyond the exercise of volition, although fundamentally we cannot be otherwise.

  27. Brookemcdoodle
    Brookemcdoodle July 11, 2012 at 7:14 am | |

    And does Master Brad give a fuck that others use his blog to post long, drawn out explanations that might or might not have anything whatsoever to do with what he has learned and what he is trying to teach? What the fuck, I want to show the world how smart and thoughtful I am, here’s a guy who has paid enough dues to gather an audience, I’ll just wax eloquent on HIS blog. This Internet is an interesting place.

  28. Ted
    Ted July 11, 2012 at 8:37 am | |

    Who do we pay our dues to? And who decides how much payment is enough? I don’t know about you, but I comment here partly because a number of interesting people from different traditions follow this blog, and I enjoy interacting with them, and partly because sometimes Brad responds to stuff I say or they say, and that’s interesting. But I don’t give a fuck what dues Brad has paid. :)

  29. Ted
    Ted July 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | |

    BTW, BY, you really didn’t answer my question.

  30. Fred
    Fred July 11, 2012 at 11:52 am | |

    Ted, the constriction of language is a maze that leads the mind in circles.

    That Buddhists should kill each other for power, money or enforcing doctrinal
    purity is a good enough reason to reject them.

  31. was-is-will-would
    was-is-will-would July 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm | |

    “Abortion is not a major issue to any Buddhists that Im aware of.”

    I never leave comments, but this line in the post reminded me of a book I came across recently in a Goodwill. It was printed by a Pure Land Buddhist temple (I think) in Singapore (this is it: http://www.kmspks.org/). It was a manga-type comic book in English and Mandarin (I think, but I may be wrong).

    I was very surprised to see how condemning it was of abortion. It claimed that an abortion would bring you very bad karma and bad rebirth. It was very literal about merit and rebirth, and out-rightly condemned abortion as murder.

    It was a learning experience, I suppose; it reminded me that Buddhism, like anything, has had forms that sought to appeal to the most people, often for good reason, and to do that, taught simple views on key life issues that require little to no homework. This temple seems like a huge community and very different from how sanghas work practically and culturally in the US. (I’ve never been to Asia.)

    Personal experience has taught me that abortion is a very heavy decision that comes with a lot of emotional, physical and psychological suffering. It’s not something to take lightly or carelessly. But I don’t think it’s wrong. I feel like Buddhism, as I understand it, is somewhere in this area. Abortion involves violence, but so does birth. So I don’t know.

    I just wanted to share this, as I enjoy reading this blog often.

    1. poepsa
      poepsa July 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm | |

      Abortion is most certainly a “big deal” to most buddhists throughout the world. Perhaps Brad’s view is conditioned by his time spent in Japan where abortion is the most practiced form of birth control, and so the buddhist establishment has accommodated this reality and even created a very lucrative “water baby” ceremony.

      For an eye-opening understanding of mainstream buddhist ethics, I recommend reading the following:

      “An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics” by Peter Harvey
      or
      “Contemporary Buddhist Ethics” or any other book by Damien Keown.

      While abortion is generally seen as the taking of life, most buddhist traditions would NOT try to politicize the choice to have one or not.

      I like a lot of what Brad writes and teaches, but often he paints with an overly broad brush, and this is one of those times.

  32. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm | |

    Ted,

    Not sure which question you’re talking about, but I’m guessing it’s this one?

    “But seriously, if your practice is to not give a fuck, why isnt your practice the first thing you practice not giving a fuck about? If its not, doesnt that mean that you are attached to it? If not, then why does the practice of not giving a fuck have this one exception?”

    Actually, a major part of my practice is not giving a fuck about my practice, or at least releasing those fucks into the wild.

    Maybe you think that “not giving a fuck about practice” means “not practicing”. Here’s where we (potentially) disagree. I don’t see not giving a fuck about something as not doing that same thing. It means doing it without concern for the results. It means doing it because it’s natural to do it. Not giving a fuck about what you do means you can do those things freely and without the bondage of all those fucks weighing you down.

    Fucks are heavy, man. Hard to carry around. Hard to actually do the things you give a fuck about, with all those fucks getting in the way. Get rid of those fucks, and life becomes less fucked up.

    So in many respects, maybe every respect, the less of a fuck I give about practice, the better I practice. Do you think that’s contradictory?

  33. Ted
    Ted July 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm | |

    BY, yes, it sounds like you are contradicting yourself, or else just not saying much.

    On the topic of abortion, it’s one of the ten bad deeds, and the five pratimoksha vows specifically exclude it. It’s a pretty heavy negative karma. But at the same time, it’s a personal choice. So this whole culture of trying to force the issue for women is profoundly un-Buddhist. If you want to prevent abortions, work for a society in which women aren’t forced to choose between abortions and massive sucking life changes from hell.

  34. poepsa
    poepsa July 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm | |

    Hi Brad,

    I know of no sutta/sutra where the buddha is reported to have specifically addressed the issue of abortion; of course, the early traditions hold that the vinaya is also “buddhavaccana” or the word of the buddha, so it is assumed that the monastic rules of conduct come straight from the old man himself:

    “The third Defeater (Paaraajika) Offence deals with murder. The rule can be summarized like this:

    “Intentionally bringing about the untimely death of a human being, even if it is still a foetus, is [an offence of Defeat.]” (Summary Paar. 3; BMC p.78)
    A bhikkhu must not recommend killing, suicide or help arrange a murder.[39] Also, because in this rule a human being is defined as beginning with the human foetus, counting “from the time consciousness first arises in the womb,” he must not advise or arrange an abortion.”

    The “Defeater” aspect makes this one of the rules that would require the monastic to have to disrobe.

    As for your question about any buddhist individual or group actively, politically campaigning against abortion (in order to prohibit it legally) I am also unaware of any such movement.

  35. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm | |

    Ted,

    I’m not aware of the contradiction. Seems like Buddhism 101, that the release of craving increases our capacity to live and practice more fluidly and easily. Maybe you could enlighten me?

  36. Ted
    Ted July 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm | |

    BY, I’m just saying that you seem to have a double standard, where practice is the exception. You explain this by claiming not to give a fuck about practice either, but since you can’t explain the distinction between not giving a fuck and giving a fuck when it comes to practice, and you seemingly can explain it with respect to other things, it leads me to wonder if you really know what the fuck you are talking about… (please read this as tongue in cheekotherwise it sounds much more vehement than I intend!)

  37. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm | |

    Ted,

    When I say I don’t give a fuck about my practice, I really mean that I don’t give a fuck about my practice. If you have trouble wrapping your head around that fact, it isn’t my problem. There’s no double standard. Of the things I give a fuck about “my practice” ranks pretty near the bottom.

  38. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm | |

    “since you cant explain the distinction between not giving a fuck and giving a fuck when it comes to practice, and you seemingly can explain it with respect to other things, it leads me to wonder if you really know what the fuck you are talking about”

    Well, giving a fuck about my practice would mean worrying about my practice, evaluating my practice, trying to improve my practice, wondering if I’m practicing right or wrong, getting help from people with my practice, working on problem issues and identifying weaknesses, etc. I don’t do ANY of that. I do practice, but I don’t give a fuck whether I’m doing it right or how it turns out. In fact, I have no idea how I’d even do anything about it in any of those respects, nor do I have the slightest interest in figuring out how I might do anything about it. I really don’t give a fuck about any of that.

    Impressive, no? (probably not)

  39. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote July 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm | |

    BY’s stance sounds like an ancestor in China: “it’s not that there is no practice, it’s that practice is undefiled.”

    To me practice is the cessation of volition in action. This is not strictly possible through the exercise of will, but the cross-legged posture seems to be conducive to cessation, as do many other postures that balance from the knees.

    As to being a parasite on someone else’s blog, Bodhidharma is described by the 12th century Ch’an teacher Yuanwu as a parasite at Shaolin. So you’re right, but I’m in the best tradition.

    I write to teach myself. Here’s a description of what I’m looking for when I write, from http://www.irva.org/remote-viewing/howto.html:

    ‘Bright, sharp, clear, static mental images are almost always “noise,” and therefore mistaken information. I know this sounds counterintuitive. Isn’t it called remote viewing, after all? Yes, that is so – but not everything we “see” in the remote viewing process is necessarily true. Often mental imagery is made up by our conscious minds to try (unsuccessfully) to explain more subtle things going on deeper in our minds.

    True remote viewing signals are often vague, fuzzy, indistinct – I like to say, “like half-remembered memories that we nevertheless know are memories you never had before.”‘

    ***

    PhilBob-SquareHead, go to WordPress.com, create an account, then in the upper right your userid will appear- click on that to get to your settings, or go to wordpress.com/#!/settings/

    That will give you a public profile option in the left hand column, and you can go there and change/upload your gravitar image.

  40. buddy
    buddy July 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm | |

    BY, if this is true: ‘Well, giving a fuck about my practice would mean(…) evaluating my practice (…) wondering if Im practicing right or wrong (…), . I dont do ANY of that. I do practice, but I dont give a fuck whether Im doing it right or how it turns out’, then how do you know that ‘the less of a fuck I give about practice, the better I practice’?

  41. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi July 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm | |

    “then how do you know that the less of a fuck I give about practice, the better I practice?”

    That’s a good question, and I don’t really know if I have a good answer. Even before you asked this, I was wondering if what I said there was even true. I’m not sure it is, because I don’t really know how to evaluate “my practice” even if I were interested in doing that.

    I suppose I could just say that I seem to have more equanimity and less reactivity. I don’t know if that’s due to my practice, however. It’s just my impression that not giving a fuck seems to improve my practice. I could easily be wrong there, but fortunately I don’t give a fuck if I am.

  42. buddy
    buddy July 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm | |

    BY, for someone who doesn’t give a fuck, you should spill a lot of ink on this blog defending your various positions.

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