I’m pretty happy with my life in most respects. I wish I could afford an Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar pedal and an Italia Rimini 12 String Electric Guitar. But then again, where would I put them? Besides material possessions are always a burden. And the cause of all suffering is desire for guitar equipment, right?

I’ve still got Crum the Cat. I’m having to learn to modify my mudra during morning zazen. A mudra is a hand position. The one you use during zazen is called the Cosmic Mudra. You can see an example of it in this photo set that I put up forever ago.

Problem is that Crum likes to sit in my lap and purr during zazen. So I need to accommodate by finding a place for my hands that works when a cat is there. I’m working on this.

Zen and cats have a very long history. In Japan zen temples almost always have several cats. I’ve never been to one that doesn’t. The one at the end of the road where I used to live had at least half a dozen that just hung around all the time. I’m not really sure where this tradition got started. But even Dogen moans about it somewhere in Shobogenzo. I’m not talking about his famous commentary in Shobgenzo Zuimonki on the koan “Nansen’s Cat.” I know there’s some chapter near the end of the Shobogenzo proper where Dogen is bitching about how degraded temples have become “these days” (the 1240s CE) to the extent that they even keep cats as pets. But I can’t recall exactly where that was anymore.

Then there’s the old story about tying up the cat during zazen. That one’s pretty funny.

“When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.”

I’ve been busting my balls for the last few days writing. Hope this next one sells a few copies. I owe pretty much everything I made in Germany last year to the hospital I went to who insisted I needed a spinal tap and a CAT scan. Speaking of cats…

I’ve also put a bunch of blasts from my past up on YouTube. Here’s a sampling:

Here I am as American News reporter Bradley S. Warner in the theatrical feature film Ultraman Zearth from 1996.

The French reporter is Nathalie Delin, another person who worked for Tsuburaya Productions’ International Division. Nathalie was probably a lot more “professional” in terms of the TV and film biz than I ever was. And perhaps as a result of that she didn’t last nearly as long as I did at the company. But she made it through a few years. I haven’t seen or heard from her since then.


Here I am in the late-night horror TV series Moon Spiral. I’m playing a vegetarian ghost.

The star of this show was Mariya Yamada who went on to become a huge star in Japan for a while. She also appeared in the Japanese edition of Penthouse magazine, though she did not remove all of her clothes for the shoot. She was just 16 when she appeared in this TV series playing a psychic girl who works with a couple of detectives. It was sort of X-Files-ish. I think there were only six episodes. But not because it got canceled. A lot of shows in Japan just run a few episodes. The mini-series concept is much stronger over there.

This show was written by Masakazu Mighita who also wrote The Calamari Wrestler, Executive Koala and Pussy Soup (which I first heard of just now when looking him up on IMDB. I gotta ask what that was!)


Here’s a clip of me getting blowed up real good in Ultraman Tiga episode 51

I wrote about this in Hardcore Zen. I had a crappy copy of this up on YouTube for a while. But now I’ve replaced it with this better one.


It’s harder to spot me in this. But I’m in most of the crowd scenes in the Ultraman Neos pilot film.

I’m also the guy on the right at the end of this, the one who points up at Ultraman Neos flying overhead.


I’m playing the monster Powered Baltan in this Tsuburaya Productions commercial from 1995.

The best view of me comes at about 1:00 or 1:01 in this clip. Those are my big blue lobster claws waving in the air. I was selected to play Powered Baltan because he was a monster from the only Ultraman TV show produced in the United States. Unfortunately, that happened to be the worst Ultraman TV show ever made, as well. Noboru Tsuburaya is the singer you see at the beginning. He was the president of the company and the man who hired me to work at Tsuburaya Productions.

69 Responses

Page 2 of 2
  1. Fred
    Fred February 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    John Baker said " while sentient beings have the Buddha nature, which is like cream, they still have to perfect it, that is, turn it into butter. "

    John, this is funny because there
    is no one there to turn the cream
    into butter. There is no agent that
    does something to become
    enlightened and see his/or her
    original nature.

    Gudo says that zazen is action.
    What does it mean?

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |


    that last vid was like
    a very creepy acid trip.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |

    Yeah I'm Mara.


    Stupid twat.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

    Mara, you are FUNNY!

    captcha = sherpood

    (you did that, didn't you?)

  5. Mysterion
    Mysterion February 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

    Anonymous Ron Popeil said…
    "Jesus fucking christ, MYSTERION, give your fucking stupid ass stories…"

    Dear (dildo head) Ron:

    For a while, people thought Randy Bass was dating Mayumi Itsuwa around Kanagawa Prefecture.

  6. Mysterion
    Mysterion February 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    HOT LINK attached.

  7. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

    Sesshin, "touch mind".

    Shikantaza, maybe "pure hit sit"?

    "Ch’an monk P’u-hua said:

    When they come in the light, I hit them in the light;
    When they come in the dark, I hit them in the dark."

    (“Dogen’s Manuals of Zen Meditation”, Carl Bielefeldt, pg 156, ©1988 Regents of the University of California)

    Eihei Dogen, said:

    "When we let go of our minds and cast aside our views and understandings the Way will be actualized. One sage clarified True Mind (Reality) when he saw peach blossoms and another realized the Way when he heard the sound of tile hitting a bamboo. They attained the way through their bodies. Therefore, when we completely cast aside our thoughts and views and practice shikantaza, we will become intimate with the way… This is why I encourage you to practice zazen wholeheartedly."

    (“Shobogenzo-zuimonki”, sayings recorded by Koun Ejo, translated by Shohaku Okumura, 2-26, pg 107-108, ©2004 Sotoshu Shumucho)

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |

    oh yes, let's see, WHERE AM I!

    right at home.

    How can you stand to look in the mirror, when your hands are stained with the churning of all that butter! The distance we feel with our heart is the lack of sound of a tile on bamboo, and the lack of sight of a peach blossom, and where am I when I feel my heart? Home…

  10. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Khru
    Khru February 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm |

    I'm more of a dog person.

    This thread is embarrassingly horrid. Especially after *this* comment.

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 1:29 am |

    Wow, I am really happy I did not have to grow up with such crappy and amateurish TV. Is that as good as it gets?

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 6:38 am |

    Mysterion wrote:
    "see my blog."

    –no. and you continue to need reminding that this isn't your blog.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 6:59 am |

    Absolutely. It's Brad's blog… and Brad's comment section. Are you Brad?

  15. Shodo
    Shodo February 13, 2012 at 7:01 am |

    John Baker said…
    "John Baker said 'Unfortunately, this "just sitting" seems to be the practice in Western Zen centers, which has led to the questionable practice of marathon sitting otherwise called in Japanese, sesshin…"

    LoL sorry buddy but that was stupid.

    So, what you are saying here the practice of "just sitting" here in Western Zen Centers have led to bouts of marathon sitting that the Japanese conveniently have a word for already…. sesshin?

    You speak as if the world never before heard of sesshin until Zen hit America, or that the Zen folks somehow erred when they set aside a week of intensified practice.

    Nobody tell the Theravadins – they outsit th' Zen folks with their 10 day Vipassana retreats!

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 8:22 am |

    I'm with Khru this time: these comments suck donkey balls. Up the game, folks. There's more to Zen than kitties and Saturday morning Japanese TV.

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    My kitties love to lie beside me and purr when I'm sitting too!

  18. John Baker
    John Baker February 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

    Dogen Fukan zazen gi is pretty much a copy of an earlier Chinese work. Dogen says nothing original at all. In his Fukan zazen gi, there is no treatment of 'parimukhasati', that is, 'recollecting the thoroughly antecedent'. In other words, that the beginner is supposed to strive to be anterior to the in and out breath in nowhere mentioned in the Fukan zazen gi.

  19. mieledi
    mieledi February 21, 2012 at 12:45 am |

    I like this post, because I think writing really good, Christian Louboutin will continue to pay attention to it, simply great.

Comments are closed.