BYE BYE TOKIO!

My World Domination Tour 2009 is officially done (though it looks like I’ll have some Canadian dates to announce in November). The retreat at Tokei-in temple in Shizuoka, Japan ended yesterday. It was real and it was fun and it was real fun. We had 14 people at the beginning and ended with 16. This is a reverse of the usual order of things, in which someone always runs away from the retreat before it’s done. We actually gained in numbers this time! How about that?

About my only complaint was that it was yet again another sausage fest. The ratio would have been a bit better but for the fact that two of the women who signed up had to cancel out before the retreat began due to personal matters. Even so, the ratio would have been still way too man heavy.

It’s not always like this. The retreat I led at Southern Dharma Retreat Center earlier this year had more women than men, and the one I led near Munich was even-steven with five of each. But the general trend tends to be more male dominated. I’ve mentioned this before and I still don’t have a good reason for it. Such is life, I suppose.

This trip has been a great opportunity to meet a lot of the other Dogen Sangha people. I spent a couple nights with Mike Leutchford, met Jeremy Pearson, had lunch with Richard Morrisey, got shown around London by Rachelle Allen, sat sesshins with Michele Proulx, Gabrielle Linnebach and Gerhard Wolfram, saw all of Finland with Markus Laitenen, made some really nice connections with Jurgen Seggelke, Gustav Ericsson, Nicole de Merkline and Kevin Bortolin, and even had some very friendly contact with Mike Cross. I’m starting to think this Dogen Sangha thing just might work after all.

In mere hours I’ll be winging my way back to the USA where I’ll stay for at least a couple of days (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Well until I go to Canada anyway.

And, HEY MEXICO, my dad’s moving to your country (he says) and wants me to come visit in December. So if anyone down South of the Border wants me to come speak there, shoot me an email (spoozilla@gmail.com). But don’t actually shoot me, OK?

All right. I gotta go. I promise a real Zen article some time after I get back.

Rock on, world!

195 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 6:53 am | |

    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
    A reminder for every day, no less. Astronomy and physics are fucking cool.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:22 am | |

    Hmm, this melodrama is vaguely reminiscent
    of Hui-neng, after receiving Hongren's robe
    and bowl, being chased by Ch'en Hui-ming.

    (Perhaps Jundo should become Brad's student
    and start showing up at Hill Street ;)

  3. jundo cohen
    jundo cohen September 25, 2009 at 7:24 am | |

    If you think any of this matters (even what I have to say) check out this picture…

    (I hope this works)

    This is the wisest comment yet. None of this matters.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:26 am | |

    Hmm, this melodrama is vaguely reminiscent
    of Hui-neng, after receiving Hongren's robe
    and bowl, being chased by Ch'en Hui-ming.

    More reminiscent of the Three Stooges

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:27 am | |

    This whole saga is why I have been unable to find a Zen group that I find worthy of my commitment. People are people, but like someone suggested, I do wonder what Brad, Jundo, and Gudo have truly learned from all their damn sitting. Has it made them more balanced and compassionate? I don't know. Maybe. But from this whole soap opera, I see no difference from these guys and those good people I personally know who have never sat a second of their lives in zazen. Makes me wonder.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:32 am | |

    Anonymous said…
    "Astronomy and physics are fucking cool."

    Indeed."

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:32 am | |

    not a word of this has been posted on Treeleaf
    Jundo's very own personal sand box

    I hope Jundo gets the psychoanalytical help required to get it–these dynamics at play–and not have to act this stuff out anymore

    These psychological themes…well, they are as old as human existence

    As far as being appointed the head of an organization goes, or deciding that one no longer wishes to be the head of an organization goes,
    well, ultimately there just is no such thing:
    there is no one to do the appointing and there is no one to do the accepting or the declining

    all these no ones getting on and off the train, drinking their miso soup with seaweed
    aaaahhh
    vast ocean's green patches now in this little bowl between my hands
    aaahhh

    what dogen sangha international?

    steam embraces my face ,
    warmth enters my hands, my mouth, my esophagus, my stomach

    I have eaten

    now is time to wash my bowl

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:38 am | |

    If none of this matters, Jundo Cohen Roshi, then why have you dedicated so much time to it?

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:41 am | |

    Anonymous Anonymous said…
    "Makes me wonder."

    I wish I had never heard of zen.
    If the time and energy I've spent
    sitting had been spent otherwise,
    I could be a mega-multi-millionaire
    by now. Instead, I'm a confused pauper
    who never gets laid. What a waste of a life.

    Aw crap, it's time to sit AGAIN?
    Oh well, back to the zafu, see ya…

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:45 am | |

    "This whole saga is why I have been unable to find a Zen group that I find worthy of my commitment. "

    Haha.. Did you get that quote from Groucho marx?

  11. Rick
    Rick September 25, 2009 at 7:50 am | |

    Supposedly, there's "no one" doing the appointing, accepting or declining…

    And yet, there is an I which has have eaten, has hands, a face, an esophagus?

    Someone pass me the Zen koolade…

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 7:56 am | |

    It looks like it could be 'emotionally neglectful father' patterning.

  13. jundo cohen
    jundo cohen September 25, 2009 at 8:04 am | |


    This is the wisest comment yet. None of this matters.

    Actually, that is not quite what I should say.

    None of this matters on a cosmic or historical scale.

    But within a Sangha of Buddhists, a family or the like, I do feel that people … especially those that have had some tensions in the past … should take a few minutes to meet, look each other in the eye and try to get over it. I asked my teacher to arrange such a meeting and (I still think from the emails sent me) Brad seems to have refused to show up. Not the first time.

    For Buddhists, this is not the way to go. Do you notice all the anger in many of the posts here? There is something very wrong in a Buddhist practice like that, for this path is – as one of its major themes – about making peace.

    So, I am protesting that attitude.

    On a cosmic scale … nothing.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:09 am | |

    practice is
    as practice does

    remember, zen buddhism is a philosophy of action

    one's actions express one's philosophy perfectly

  15. Rick
    Rick September 25, 2009 at 8:11 am | |

    I'm reminded of the adage, "Let sleeping dogs lie."

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:28 am | |

    so Jundo

    are you happy now?

    can you go away and leave us alone?

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:29 am | |
  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:38 am | |

    "For Buddhists, this is not the way to go. Do you notice all the anger in many of the posts here? There is something very wrong in a Buddhist practice like that, for this path is – as one of its major themes – about making peace."

    Hi Jundo. I think you might have to consider the fact that Brad just doesn't like you. Realizing that and not having anything to do with you is making peace. I too have noticed the anger present on this blog. I notice it and try not to let it bother me. All of us humans are a little angry, even you. The difference is that you hide your anger pretty well. But I don't think for a minute that you are not really pissed off.

  19. PhillySteveInLA
    PhillySteveInLA September 25, 2009 at 8:46 am | |

    Jundo.
    Go away.
    We are not flaming Treeleaf, stop flaming us.
    Enough with the "Boo-hoo, Brad doesn't like me. Waa-waa, my teacher's demented. Blah blah, I'm the one trying to resolve this despite my actions that only cause dissent(ie, posting on this blog)"

    I promised someone I wouldn't get involved in this, but I just can't help myself…
    It's time to let got of that ego, man.
    Great, Brad is petty and Gudo is crazy. If that's the case, show yourself the better man and let it go. So far, you've shown yourself to be far from the better man.

    …In your defense, however, I will say I asked around and am not able to corroborate Anon at 12:30's claim that you were in the Kwan Um School, or knew Seung Sahn.

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:53 am | |

    So… do you break other promises so lightly as well? Doesn't say much about you, now, does it.

  21. James
    James September 25, 2009 at 8:56 am | |

    Whilst I think it is sad that Brad is apparently unable or unwilling to let go of his grudge, I am more disturbed by the way he seems to have manipulated Gudo into taking responsibility for his actions – that aint right.

    That said, I'm not sure I like the way this has been made public, either.

    The whole thing stinks. If this is what decades of zen practice can do to a person, it might be time I sold my zafu.

  22. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 8:57 am | |

    Jundo,
    Brad, and the rest of us in here(including the trolls) are at least honest.
    If our anger shows through sometimes, so be it.
    At least we don't hide our intentions behind pretty words and pretend we want to end a feud we obviously only want to fan the flames of.
    You are a manipulator and a liar and I don't think anyone appreciates your unskillful manipulation in this matter.

    Can you please go away?

    (by the way everyone- my verification word is "sillys": somewhat appropriate, no?)

  23. PhillySteveInLA
    PhillySteveInLA September 25, 2009 at 9:00 am | |

    To anon at 8:53.

    Touche, touche.
    But no, I don't. I just have a hard time keeping my fool mouth shut when I can safely hide behind the relative anonymity of the web…A common problem for people these days.

    I'm pretty good on my other promises:)

  24. Rick
    Rick September 25, 2009 at 9:01 am | |

    Yes!!! We need more guys to give up on Zen so there are more Zen chicks for the rest of us.

    Just don't tell my wife.

  25. Rick
    Rick September 25, 2009 at 9:10 am | |

    As Brad once told me, "It takes far more energy to sustain an emotion than to let it go."

    Well… um… OK, I read that in his book… I never actually met him.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:22 am | |

    Jundo
    Gudo
    Brad

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:29 am | |

    Jundo wants things to be different than they really are. Fine, We all want to change the world to suit us. But I don't see how his actions regarding this situation is going to do anything other than backfire on him. I feel bad for the guy but it is apparent Brad won't touch him with a ten foot pole.

  28. jundo cohen
    jundo cohen September 25, 2009 at 9:45 am | |


    can you go away and leave us alone?

    Absent some other amazing development that might call for comment, I'm done. I have said my piece about peace.

    Buddhist Brothers should share a glass of tea, and sit Zazen together once in a long while … especially if there have been problems between them. This was a missed opportunity, for which I am sad for my Sangha. Buddhists should not be hard hearted, and should let all hard feelings float away, like water under a bridge. Whatever people feel, it is just a viewpoint. It is all just thoughts, and passed time.

    Well, in this case, the chance for this year has passed.

    Gassho, Jundo

  29. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:52 am | |

    Jundo, Don't let them kid you, they love having you here. You were making one out of every ten comments.. No one can say you have nothing to say..

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:56 am | |

    Yer actions belie yer words.
    If yer gone, get gone and take yer insincere gassho wit' ya!

    And don't come back!!

  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:56 am | |

    Just because one is a Buddhist doesn't mean they need to put up with such passive-aggressive crap. Thank God!

    Gudo…Brad's blog is not the form to attempt to settle your differences with Brad.

    I can understand why Brad doesn't want to meet with you.

  32. jundo cohen
    jundo cohen September 25, 2009 at 9:58 am | |

    Oh, then, one more! :-)

    I wanted to add that, if that crazy email was for real, I hope that Brad will reconsider his decision to resign as President/Successor to DFI, and from Dogen Sangha in general. It is his rightful place, and (whatever other disagreements we may have or had) he can make DS something good.

  33. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:01 am | |

    Thought you were done?
    Do you need the attention that much, or are you just that attached to lying??

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:02 am | |

    Cocky prick

  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:04 am | |

    "Gudo…Brad's blog is not the form to attempt to settle your differences with Brad.

    I can understand why Brad doesn't want to meet with you."

    Dude, Keep up with the frigging plot line before you post on it.. Somebody get Jundo a form to fill out.

  36. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:05 am | |

    Brad! Don't leave us!!
    If you quit DSI it's sure to fall into the wrong hands!
    Please say it ain't so!!

  37. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:08 am | |

    DSI doesn't exist as anything outside of Gudo and Brad's imaginations. It's an idea, a concept with no concrete implementation. Zen buddhism would probably be better off if the disaster that has become DSI would just vanish.

  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:17 am | |

    my verification is

    noings

    sweet!

  39. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 10:39 am | |
  40. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 11:04 am | |

    whole lotta skunks, but only one stinker

  41. gniz
    gniz September 25, 2009 at 11:05 am | |

    SmoggyRob,

    In all honesty, I remember reading your comments on thig blog back when you first started sitting with Brad (2-3 years back?). You seemed much nicer then.

    Now you say really angry things lots of times. Is that how this brand of Zen has benefited you as well?

    Smoggy said:

    Here's how you remove the tension: fuck off, and stay fucked off. You are the tension. If that email's legit, you're a putz. And do you think posting emails is the smart move for you?

    Man, with all the compassion I can muster, there's only suffering for you on this road. Find your own way.

    Rob

  42. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 11:56 am | |

    Gniz: The key word in your comment is 'seemed'. I don't believe you know Rob and if that is true you are in no position to make judgements. He might also be privy to things that you know nothing about. Are you shocked he said the F word? Is that it? It isn't nice middle class language but his point was clear. I don't really think you were even offended. I think your trolling is just more subtle now. Could be you're just bored at work and need a little excitement. Good guess?

  43. gniz
    gniz September 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm | |

    Anonymous,

    Yes, thats why i used the word "seemed." Clearly I dont know the guy. Do I know you?

  44. gniz
    gniz September 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm | |

    Also in answer to your question, yes, good guess.

  45. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm | |

    We do not need to concern ourselves about others' behaviour. We should focus on our own conduct. So I shall not discuss the failings of other Buddhists. Does anyone else scratch their balls during Zazen? Obviously I don't do it in a retreat situation but at home the itching is sometimes too much…

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm | |

    I don't have balls to scratch.

  47. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm | |

    Jundo's Blog

    Occupation: Zen Teacher

    Ha!

    What next?

    Location: A pedestal

    Interests: Demagogy

    Favorite Books: The Art of War

  48. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm | |

    Yes I know my head is on fire but you should see the drapes the new neighbors have chosen…

  49. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm | |

    The comments on this blog are hilarious, often snarky and insightful. Bravo peanut gallery! I enjoy watching you all ebb and flow together.

  50. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm | |

    meanwhile
    back at the leaf and let leaf ranch
    all hell is breaking loose while unmonitored students take advantage of the teacher being out of the classroom
    *sigh* this is what comes of shaping behaviour by monitoring it
    when the cat is away, the meeses go to pieces

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