Decoding Deepak

The real stars of Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen, Rachel McCrary and little Barbara Walters! (That's not a toy!)

The real stars of Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen, Rachel McCrary and little Barbara Walters! (That’s not a toy!)

First of all, thank you to all the people who attended last night’s screening of Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen in Los Angeles. I couldn’t be there in person. But I stayed up till 2 AM Eastern time to do a phone-in Q&A. This actually worked far better than I expected. So we’ll be doing it again for the San Francisco screening on April 20th.

Second of all, if you’d like to host a screening of the movie scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn how! I’m also available for public talks and to host daylong, three-day or other longer Zen events. All you gotta do is ask!

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The other night I was home alone and when scrolling around Netflix for something decent among the low-rent horror movies and gut-wrenching documentaries designed to make middle class people feel like their lives are at least better than whatever sad cases the doc is about, I came across a film called Decoding Deepak.

I had heard of the movie and was pretty intrigued by its premise. Deepak’s son, Gotham – who names their kid Gotham? – is an aspiring filmmaker. As a youngster little Gotham Chopra was groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and presented to the world as the heir apparent to Deepak’s Guru-to-the-Stars mantle. But he grew disillusioned with that and decided to make his own way in the world.

While working with his dad on what was initially supposed to be something like Deepak’s version of What the Bleep Do We Know, Gotham instead decided to make a documentary about the difference between the Deepak the world either praises as a famous wise guru or derides as a New Age clown, and the Deepak he knew as his often-absent dad who never seemed to know when to just shut the heck up.

I’m kind of tired of the overuse of the word “brave” when it comes to things like this. But I think it’s at least ballsy on Deepak’s part to have allowed this film to come out. It’s given me reason to respect Deepak Chopra even though I still think he often comes across as a kind of cartoony version of eastern spirituality (usually when he lets himself go on too long). This movie, along with the extremely brilliant and important film Kumaré and – dare I add it to the list? – Pirooz Kaleyah’s documentary about me, seem to be part of a very positive change in the popular meditation movement. They dare to ask the question about who our meditation masters really are.

The next question is; And what are we gonna do about it?

In Decoding Deepak, Gotham Chopra shows us the Deepak he knows as his dad. He’s a man Gotham describes as “obsessed with being relevant,” a guy who can’t leave his Twitter feed alone even when going off to spend a week in a Buddhist monastery, a dad who doesn’t really connect with his family all that well. In my favorite scene Deepak and Gotham are discussing who will be the real director of the movie that Deepak still assumes is going to be his film. Deepak starts in on one of his typical, “You and I are just one consciousness inhabiting different bodies” homilies. At the end of it Gotham says, “Does that mean I have final cut?” This stops Deepak dead in his tracks and after a pause he says, “I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

I see films like Decoding Deepak as the next step in our understanding of what mediation is and what happens to a person who follows the path to the degree of becoming able to teach it to others. At first, when various gurus, Zen masters and suchlike began washing up on our Western shores in the Sixties we were very credulous. We really believed these people might be supernatural entities, Gods on Earth, Messiahs. There’s a funny scene in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall in which Shelly Duvall plays a hippie bedazzled by a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi-like figure. “This man is God!” she gushes. Woody Allen points out that her guru is on his way to the toilet. “Oh look! God’s going to the men’s room!” he says.

The next phase, which is still going very strong these days, was and is a sense of betrayal and deep disillusionment when our gurus and masters turn out to be people after all. This lead to great masses of juicy sex scandal gossip that was for quite a while taking up an unfortunate amount of space on lots of websites that ought to be dealing with other things.

Everyone is shocked – SHOCKED! – to find that their teachers are quite capable of acting like total assholes sometimes. They still can’t seem to see how their insistence upon believing their teachers to be Godlike and their teacher’s misguided belief that they had to pretend to be Godlike created a weird feedback loop that was the actual cause of much of their teachers’ misbehavior.

Nobody wants to be God on Earth. You’ll never live up to that kind of hype. Nobody can! But if you’re surrounded by people who are demanding you be that for them, it’s hard not to want to at least try. At the same time, all of these “Gods on Earth” knew it wasn’t true. And so, to get out of it they often unconsciously but deliberately worked to destroy the illusion so that they could be free.

Now we’re at the very beginning of a new phase. Some of us are starting to understand that even if our gurus and masters are not Gods on Earth, they still might yet have something valuable to offer. In Decoding Deepak, Gotham Chopra has to admit that even though his dad is kind of a self-absorbed blowhard sometimes, a supposed anti-materialist who loves shopping for expensive glasses and shoes, what Deepak does and says has a positive effect on a lot of people. Something seems to be coming through even in spite of all the shortcomings of his dad as a human being.

The initial response many of us had to our disillusionment with our fallen Gods was to reject them completely while still clinging to the belief that even if that guy turned out to be a jerk maybe somewhere out there somebody else was the real deal. Or else we’d get cynical and say the whole spirituality and meditation thing was a big lie since even those who meditated for decades on end could still grope their students or get obsessed with money, power and the trappings of fame.

But what these movies are asking is; What if there is another way? What if we can allow our teachers to be real people with their own flaws and shortcomings and yet still be capable of bringing forth a wisdom that is somehow beyond all of that?* Can we maintain the deep trust and respect for our teachers that is a necessary part of the relationship while still allowing them to be fully human?

I hope we can. It’s important that we do.

 

(*Yes I’m aware that sometimes it goes well beyond just “being human” even sometimes to criminal behavior. I’m not advocating we just look the other way when it gets really ugly. Yet I wonder if sometimes the reasons it got so bad in such cases was due almost as much to the students heaping unreasonable demands upon their teachers as it was due to the teachers being bad people.)

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I ain’t Deepak Chopra. I don’t have a closet full of diamond studded glasses and Oprah doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall. Your kind donations make this blog happen and pay my rent (once again last year I earned more from blog donations than book sales). Thank you for your support!

Registration is now open for our Zen & Yoga Retreat at Mt. Baldy Zen Center May 9-11, 2014. Sign up now! Seats are going fast!

The events page is now updated! Take a look at where I’m gonna be!

You can see the documentary about me,  Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen:

– April 20, 2014 San Francisco, CA

ZERO DEFEX will play on May 16, 2014 in Akron, OH

BWHZ Movie Tour2HARDCORE ZEN LIVING ROOM MOVIE TOUR

Sometimes a movie is made to tour.

Are you interested in seeing HARDCORE ZEN with your local community? Would you like Brad Warner to speak at your university, meditation group, or personal guests?

Now you can have both. The film will screen at a location at your discretion. Simply contact booking@bradwarnershardcorezen.comwith the following specifics: your location, contact info, and potential date for the event.

 

 

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103 Responses

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  1. Thor29
    Thor29 April 18, 2014 at 9:16 am |

    Is the San Francisco showing on Saturday the 19th or Sunday the 20th?
    When you click on the link, it says it’s Sunday.
    A lot of people are going to be bummed out if they show up on Sunday and it already happened Saturday instead.

  2. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 18, 2014 at 9:17 am |

    For me, I don’t see that we have assimilated what these Eastern traditions have to offer until the heart of the experience of meditation can be communicated in Western terms. Personally, I think that’s happening. Teachers in Eastern traditions who meditate but rely on methods traditional to Eastern traditions for the communication of the heart of the experience of meditation while in the West will likely always set up the kind of interaction you describe, Brad. My guess. One way or another, if not them then someone they anoint.

    Consciousness empty of the notion of “mine is the doer, I am the doer” is very impressive, don’t you think? (thanks, Andy; where’s the video of John and the Mumbles, John, not that I didn’t enjoy Wray!)

  3. mb
    mb April 18, 2014 at 9:26 am |

    But I stayed up till 2 AM Eastern time to do a phone-in Q&A. This actually worked far better than I expected.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    It was kinda funny while Pirooz tried to establish a Facetime connection with you while standing up front in the dark. He tried twice, but it failed. Had it worked, I don’t know what he would have done – hold the tiny iPhone screen up to the audience? At any rate, holding a hand-held microphone next to the phone while in speakerphone-mode did seem to work – kind of low-tech high-tech. And the X-Men trailer that spontaneously came on in the middle of the film was hilarious. Mutants with superpowers – kind of a poignant counterpoint to your film.

  4. shade
    shade April 18, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    ” …I’m aware that sometimes it goes well beyond just “being human” even sometimes to criminal behavior. I’m not advocating we just look the other way when it gets really ugly. Yet I wonder if sometimes the reasons it got so bad in such cases was due almost as much to the students heaping unreasonable demands upon their teachers as it was due to the teachers being bad people.”

    This is a very astute observation and a fascinating post altogether. I want to add though I think something else often happens when a given individual is tagged as a holy person, spiritual guru, saint, what-have-you. Basically this queer logic comes into play that goes something like this:

    X is a righteous individual
    Righteous people are, by definition, virtuous
    Ergo, everything X does is virtuous

    What ends up happening is that behaviors which would normally be considered sinful, lawful or outright evil are not only ignored, but sometimes regarded as praiseworthy. And if this mindset ends up becoming institutionalized, you can end up with a whole religious structure engaging in a program of violence, exploitation, greed and lust while still promoting an ideology of peace, justice, charity and self-restraint. I’ll refrain from providing examples.

    *****
    On an entirely different note, something more trivial… Is it not possible Gotham is a completely common name in whatever part of India Deepak is from? I just remember trying to convince my mother that people from Spanish speaking countries called Mercedes were not necessarily named for a luxury vehicle (i.e. the name existed long before the advent of the car. She refused to believe me.)

  5. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel April 18, 2014 at 11:38 am |

    Mercedes was actually the name of the daughter of one Emil Jellinek, the most important Daimler dealer of the French Riviera at the beginning of the 20th C. He commissioned the first series of Mercedes cars from Daimler before becoming an associate.
    The Daimler-Benz AG was the real name of the company and, after their separation from Chrysler, became simply Daimler AG.

  6. woken
    woken April 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

    The problem with “gurus” is not that they’re just like everyone else, they’re a whole lot worse: ordinary people (generally) don’t have multiple affairs, neglect their families or become so obsessed with their own image/goals that they fail to form meaningful relationships and take responsibility for them. Ordinary people also don’t take loads of money off unhappy people and tell them bullshit that makes them feel better . Ordinary people generally have a certain sense of decency and compassion that “gurus” don’t seem to have. BTW, there are genuine spiritual guides out there, but by definition, they keep a very low profile.

    1. mtto
      mtto April 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      “Guru” means teacher in Sanskrit. If you study Indian music seriously, your teacher is your guru. There is a ceremony to formalize the guru/student relationship. Most teachers of Indian classical music don’t do the things you are accusing.

      By definition, anyone teaching spirituality with Indian roots is a guru, because guru just is the Sanskrit word for teacher. High profile or low profile, good behavior or bad behavior, doesn’t change the meaning of the word.

  7. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer April 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

    woken,

    I understand what you are saying, but greater power does give people more opportunity to express bad behavior.

    For example, I am pretty low on the totem pole at work so I can (at most) steal office supplies. The president of the company could do a lot worse because he controls more resources.

    When I see a news story of some powerful person committing some particularity nasty crime I can usually see at least the possibility that I might (in the same circumstances) do just as badly.

    So I don’t think gurus are automatically worse than normal people, but their power allows them to behave in more visibly bad ways.

    I do think that you are right about the low profile comment, if nothing else, a badly behaving low profile teacher can’t hurt as many people…

    Cheers.

  8. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm |

    “X is a righteous individual
    Righteous people are, by definition, virtuous
    Ergo, everything X does is virtuous”

    I think that does go to the heart of the matter: there’s a confusion between someone who is omniscient about the dharma (and by that I’ll refer to the part of the human experience that concerns meditative states as a part of everyday life) and someone who is omniscient about all aspects of life (especially morality and the ideal structure of society).

    That confusion will continue to exist until we know what we are talking about, and can communicate effectively, with regard to the heart of the experience of meditation IMO.

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm |

    By all means, take advantage of Whitney’s Netflicks account… if Whitney had an account with United, I’m sure you would be at the showing this Sunday, but I guess that she does not because you said you won’t be. I’ll just have to make due with the autograph I got in Petaluma, on Nina Hartley’s book (co-authored by Brad Warner). I probably can’t stay for Pirooz’s desperate attempts to cover for you, but I will wish him and you good luck, and thank you for your professionalism in the mosh pit;
    yours,
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/k0cNmxbkwjQ

  10. Conrad
    Conrad April 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

    I’m confused. Isn’t the real problem that we think God is virtuous? I mean seriously, look around at the world He created. Not exactly some sort of virtuous paradise.

    For all we know, some of these unvirtuous Gurus may be God whether we like it or not. At least, we won’t recognize the God in them if we insist that God be virtuous. Maybe what we consider their virtues are not the Godlike part of them at all. And vice-versa.

  11. Al Black
    Al Black April 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm |

    For what its worth Brad, the process regarding people and teachers/guru that you’re describing sounds an awful lot like stages of friendship(*). No reason those individual processes shouldn’t also be occurring on a societal level, but with a different time scale.

    Interestingly, there are parallels in these processes with the various stages of enlightenment too.

    If nothing else it strikes me as worth bringing attention to how these relationships are changing. In part to understand them better; in part to direct them toward healther and more mature ways.

    All the best,

    (*) I’d like to say “teenage crushes” given all the drama about the various guru outings, but that’s not being very generous or understanding of all the various strong emotions and experiences of the people involved.

  12. woken
    woken April 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm |

    They are fair points Alan, and I’m sure we would all behave more selfishly and irresponsibly if we were allowed to. At least, we’d be tempted. IMO, a “spiritual teacher’s” raison d’etre is to embody a fuller, richer way of living.I don’t expect them to be saints, but in most cultures, they are supposed to embody a degree of integrity at the very least. They definitely shouldn’t feed you bullshit just to make you feel better to keep the money rolling or to get their leg over. Red Pine/Bill Porter talks about Chinese hermits been given a certain authority in communities regarding advice because they are least likely to be susceptible to corruption. Similarly, spiritual teachers in India are given donations by celebrants, but they don’t hang onto the money: They are entrusted to hand out the donations to needy people fairly and compassionately (Obviously I’m not talking about the multimillionaire gurus that have sprung up on the subcontinent). Perhaps we can’t expect that level of selflessness in western society (we just seem too selfish and materialistic unfortunately), but hell, I don’t go around exploiting, robbing, defrauding and lying to people, even though it may enrich me, because it’s wrong, and I have no spiritual attainment, so if a supposedly “advanced” or “enlightened” teacher behaves worse than Joe soap, what’s the point in following their path?

    1. Alan Sailer
      Alan Sailer April 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm |

      woken,

      I’d have to agree with what you say since I have to confess that at an emotional level it’s also what I expect from a teacher.

      Perfect enlightened goodness. PewPew.

      I’ll also mention that it seems to be a rite of passage in the zen tradition to realize at some point that your teacher is fallible. And that you can still learn from a flawed( ie human) zen teacher.

      I realize that this is treading pretty near the Chriatian “hate the sin, love the sinner” that makes me squirm every time I read it, but I think that there is a core of truth to the saying.

      And as far as the point of following the path, that was Dogen’s fundamental question. He spent a lot of time and effort trying to answer that. I have a feeling that there are as many answers to that question as there are people asking.

      It’s a question I ask myself fairly frequently and my best answer (good for me only) is to just keep sitting and try not to spend too much time asking what I’m going to get from practice.

      Cheers.

  13. woken
    woken April 18, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

    BTW, this behaviour isn’t confined to “spiritual” people. Marie and Pierre curie refused to patent their discovery of radium/x-ray treatment because it would cut the discovery off from being of benefit to a lot of mankind. Beat that, Deepak!

  14. senorchupacabra
    senorchupacabra April 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

    Hmmm…. While I think it is silly to expect any “guru” or “teacher” to be “god-like,” I still don’t know why it’s “naive” or “unrealistic” (or whatever else anybody wants to call it)to at least expect them to be grounded, somewhat high-functioning, human beings. My wife is not a “guru” of any kind, nor were my parents, nor are any of my friends (that I know of), and, yet, I expect them to not exploit me or anyone else. I expect them to not just run around and fuck anything that seems attractive at the moment. And, by and large, those people meet my expectations of them (just as, hopefully, I meet their expectations of me to some extant). Again, I don’t look at any of them as “god-like.” I just want them to be mostly decent (and flawed) human beings.

    If someone is presenting themselves as “spiritually” mature, I expect them to also be mostly decent (if not flawed) human beings. While I expect them to be cross, or selfish, or even vain from time to time (just as I expect so of my family and friends, and they of me, I assume), I don’t think it’s out of line to expect them to not be exploitative, particularly on a regular basis. Again, it has very little to do with expecting “god-like” behavior and more to do with expecting them to be decent people.

    Deepak, as you pointed out, is supposed to be an “anti-materialist” and yet he obviously wallows in materialism. Again, expecting an “anti-materialist” to not wallow in materialism shouldn’t be perceived as having expectations of “god-like” behavior. It’s more just expecting people to not by hypocritical.

  15. boubi
    boubi April 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm |

    “Ordinary people” don’t do this nor that … “ordinary people” usually don’t get the opportunity to be on top of the world.

    Given the opportunity the vast majority of the “ordinary people” would behave as rampaging rock stars or top 100’s CEO, and a (i hope so) minority would behave as some Caligula.

    As stated before, i think that “enlightenment” thing is part of a modular thing. Strickly speaking the “enligtenment” thing should be the knowledge of the mind “true nature” (right Brad?), emptiness rhymes with “morality …? still to be proven.

    BTW japanese middle age’s (pre Meiji) morality had nothing to do with Sidharta’s India nor nowaday’s west.

    There has been great writers who were criminals and the examples aren’t lacking.

    Why a zen master should be something different from a chess master ?

    He doesn’t teach/preach “morality” but how to overcome pain from
    – illness
    – old age
    – death
    how?
    knowing the true nature of your mind.

    All the rest is unessential.

    As simple and plain as that.

  16. boubi
    boubi April 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm |

    Another element that i don’t see exposed here id the fact that in eastern traditions the “guru” had a specific and codified place in society. There were privileges and boundaries.

    Coming in western societies there was none of it.

    The product was, and still is, highly requested and relatively scarse, and it is sellable with no regulation (tradition).

    It gives sway over large bodies of people, opposed to most eastern cultures where he/she is seen as a normal priest doing his job (Soto Shu), as much as a physician.

    So you find a situation where a person has all of a sudden a great power over people wanting to believe in some heaven’s gate keeper and no frame to regulate the whole thing.

    You get some kind of far west situation, a no hold barren where some are grasping as much as they can.

    Maybe, those very same people would lead a “moral life” hadn’t they reach fame and power but would have led some middle class 9 to 5 kind of routine.

  17. boubi
    boubi April 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm |

    This said and even though i have some disagreements with Brad, i respect him for being an honest and nice person.

  18. Heffyson
    Heffyson April 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm |

    I just re-read DC’s Kingdom Come, a story where people with powers become real human and go around F’n everything up till the “old gods” (superman, Green lantern, etc..) show and everyone realizes they too are just assholes, more or less. We love our Gods, and we love our god complexes. How amazing is it to feel connected to a teacher, guru or powerful being that seems better and different from everything else.
    Unfortunately, Deepak has really come across too fluffy and for sale for to me and I have difficulty pulling any message out of his endless vapor trails of spiritual loftiness. Than, no more do I completely write the guy off, than I find out he (and Gotham!) are responsible for developing some amazing comic books based on Buddhist and Hindu lore. I can actually say I read Deepak now and feel like I fit in at the crystal shop. Yay me!

  19. woken
    woken April 19, 2014 at 1:10 am |

    SenorC expressed my points very well, thanks.
    The point made by boubi about there being social postions for these kind of people in many societies is a good one and points to the heart of the problem. In our western society, we only put value on something profitable, something that makes mony and courts popularity/fame. So our society doesn’t know what to do with people who just want to sit around all day doing nothing while the grass continues to grow. So you get chancers like Deepak (who could be the CEO of any business IMO), and you also get people like Tich Nan whatshisname, who seems like a genuine person who has had to turn his essential self into an easily packaged “product”. In these cases, there’s something going on, because they are using “non materialism” and “non dualism” to reinforce success in our materialist culture. They are creating goals and promises. The fact that Deepak “gives a lot of happiness and help to a lot of people” doesn’t absolve them IMO. A final point of morality: I’m pretty sure a certain level of morally consistent behaviour (or at least integrity) has always been expected of Buddhists: For example, aren’t many of them vegetarian?

  20. kirkmc
    kirkmc April 19, 2014 at 2:36 am |

    I think we need to remember that a lot of people who are attracted to meditation and “spiritual” practices do so because of serious feelings of dis-ease and, in some cases, mental health issues. Sure, we all recognize dukkha, but some people feel it a lot more acutely. When those people find a god figure who can help them (they think) fix what is broken, then the transference that occurs is powerful. If the god figures are unscrupulous, then they’ll take advantage of such weaknesses.

    Perhaps now, a couple of generations in on the Buddhism-meets-the-west train, things are getting better. A lot more teachers are explaining that they don’t know that much more than the students, and as westerners become teachers, they aren’t seen as exotic. I’m sure a lot of the same stuff is still happening, but hopefully on a smaller scale.

    Oh, and your SSL certificate is expired; you might want to look into that…

  21. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 3:25 am |

    I’m pretty sure a certain level of morally consistent behaviour (or at least integrity) has always been expected of Buddhists: For example, aren’t many of them vegetarian?

    To be vegetarian doenst’ mean anything, Hitler (fuck the bastard and his followers) was a vegetarian and Siddharta is said to have died from a meat food poisoning.

    We should ask ourselves what a “morally consistent behaviour (or at least integrity) “ is, and this is a matter of latitude as said a know guy.

  22. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 3:26 am |

    It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
    Voltaire

  23. woken
    woken April 19, 2014 at 4:36 am |

    My point about vegetarianism is that, within a Buddhist context, it is indeed a moral choice. Hence Buddhism does indeed contain guidance towards moral behaviour. it isn’t simply a matter of “understanding the nature of mind” and then doing whatever you want, regardless of the consequences. Which brings me to my second point: Most “religions”/”isms tend to expect that practicioners of a certain level of insight actually manifest this through behaviour and attitude: For example, they shouldn’t be overly attached to seeking money, fame and power: When spiritual practice is measured by one’s success in financial and other terms, well it has turned counterproductive. IMO, the modern “spiritual industry” in the west has been a complete failure in its own terms. Truly spiritual people would do well to actually avoid these practices. (BTW, Brad seems to be honestly trying to grapple with these issues, so I’m not lumping his stuff in here…)

  24. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 5:06 am |

    Taking from That Dirty Word “Buddhism”

    On one side i agree that the majority of rituals isn’t needed and has very little to do with dharma at large.

    But i totally disagree with whoever says that people have to blend and disapear in order not to awake racist, intollerant feelings and reactions in others.

    The question should be “why some people can’t stand diversity”?

    Shouldn’t we educate the intollerant kind instead of obliterating what could offend their intollerance?

    In short it is as if we were putting some kind of veil or burqua on people in order to erase what they are or what they look like.

    What is the problem of some (… fill the blank) that hindus burn jossticks in front of their divinity, that others do whatever the @$%# they feel like to until it doesn’t infringe into our own freedom to do our own kind of things?

    About changing the nam of the matter at hand i don’t think it to be necessary nor a good thing.

    In Japan they say Bukkyo (as in Buddha) and for what i know it is that guy of old Siddharta Gautama’s teaching on how to become buddha that is being taught.

    We don’t call the law of attraction “newtonism” but by the effect it has on physical bodies i.e gravity, as we don’t say “siddhartism” but buddhism for the effect it has on “minds” (whatever it could be).

    So let’s keep buddhism as the tag on the thing.

    It can avoid crooks from copyrighting it or making even more “Big Shit” corporations, dianetics pyramid schemes, new prophets and so on, in order to keep at bay con men and everybody as honest as possible.

    And if some feel like reciting sutras or other texts, so what?

    It’s their very own business, not my concern.

  25. Shodo
    Shodo April 19, 2014 at 6:47 am |

    DECODING DEEPAK…??
    Brad, if you can’t beat them, join them! 😉

    It’s the Deepak New Age Bullshit Random Generator!
    http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/

  26. Fred
    Fred April 19, 2014 at 7:09 am |

    “My point about vegetarianism is that, within a Buddhist context, it is indeed a moral choice. Hence Buddhism does indeed contain guidance towards moral behaviour. it isn’t simply a matter of “understanding the nature of mind” and then doing whatever you want, regardless of the consequences”

    Morality comes from the everyday conditioned self, and reflects that side of the
    coin.

    A sociopath could become “enlightened” in the Buddhist tradition and manifest
    no moral tendencies.

  27. Shodo
    Shodo April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am |

    Brad said:
    “The next phase, which is still going very strong these days, was and is a sense of betrayal and deep disillusionment when our gurus and masters turn out to be people after all. This lead to great masses of juicy sex scandal gossip that was for quite a while taking up an unfortunate amount of space on lots of websites that ought to be dealing with other things.

    Everyone is shocked – SHOCKED! – to find that their teachers are quite capable of acting like total assholes sometimes.”

    See, it’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if you understand the nature of the problem Brad…

    No doubt, It is a part of all of our “spiritual growing up phase,” coming to grips with the human-ness of our teachers.
    But with teachers like Eido and Sazaki, this isn’t the case – It’s decades long, unrepentant, predatory abuse and how their sanghas enabled that abuse.
    Everyone I think has a moment where they think, “my teacher isn’t perfect”… with Eido and Sazaki, it’s not just a “oh the pitfalls of my all-too-human teacher…”
    Those two are perfect examples of delusion, criminal selfishness and wasted efforts. It would have been better if they had never taken vows and donned robes. The justice system would have taken care of them a long time ago.

    Stop confusing the issues Brad.
    Just because you do retreats at Mount Baldy doesn’t mean Sazaki is on the same level behavior-wise as an otherwise good teacher who can occasionally lose their temper.

  28. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    Eido and Sazaki and many others got to know the true nature of their own minds, kept japanese medieval code of behaviour and broke our western modern behaviour rules.

    Nobody complained for a long while because :

    It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
    Voltaire

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm |

      boubi said:
      “Eido and Sazaki… got to know the true nature of their own minds…”

      I see no evidence of that at all.

      1. boubi
        boubi April 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm |

        Not to disparage other tradition, but being those two guys from Myoshin-ji i really think they passed the koans which are meant to show you the true nature of the mind.

        I don’t know for sure but most probably they had to solve at least the Mumonkan or some other set of koans.
        Myoshin-ji is a serious institution, they don’t give away the title of roshi as if they were peanuts.

        I know talking about koans here is a risky business due to the total lack of direct knowledge of the matter (kensho smensho etc) and of the urban legends generously spread around (carrying down through history old feuds originated for vying for imperial money from at least middle age Japan, if not China).

        BTW i personally never heard any derogative commentary about Soto while practicing in the Lin-chi’s tradition, in fact i heard nothing, the focus was far from intertradition gossips … and you all know that there’s matter to do it 😉 … as to any tradition, to say the truth.

        So Shodo, i really don’t knopw from which point you state that you “see no evidence of that at all” of them knowing the true nature of the mind.

        BTW i have no clue on which base Soto gives transmission.

        1. boubi
          boubi April 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

          Oh, yes, knowing the true nature of the mind is called “dropping body and mind” in Soto parlance, maybe saying it could help.

        2. Shodo
          Shodo April 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm |

          Boubi said:
          [i]”I don’t know for sure but most probably they had to solve at least the Mumonkan or some other set of koans.
          Myoshin-ji is a serious institution, they don’t give away the title of roshi as if they were peanuts.”[/b]

          Oh I’m sure they passed all the koans in their curriculum…
          Gateless Gate, Blue Cliff Record, Transmission of the Lamp, Precept Koans… maybe more.

          But that being said, they didn’t see the nature of anything – Their deeds attest to that.

          No amount of shouts, yells, circling the high seats, shaking of fly wisks or raising of fingers could speak louder than their conduct as evidence of their so-called “attainment”.

          1. boubi
            boubi April 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm |

            Shodo

            You don’t know what you are talking about, and it’s not the first time you show it.

            When you say :
            Gateless Gate, Blue Cliff Record, Transmission of the Lamp, Precept Koans… maybe more.
            No amount of shouts, yells, circling the high seats, shaking of fly wisks or raising of fingers

            you just show your ignorance and prejudice and that you don’t realize that it is the same as saying “they dropped body and mind”, i told you already once, so please try and understand.

            The proportion of Soto who “dropped body and mind” and behaved as assholes sexually or were plain drunkards is no less than other traditions. Do you see someone disparaging Dogen’s expressions ?

            But what would you say of that asshole of Machida in relation to the japanese outcast burakumin? He stated that they were not worthy of receiving teachings … and he had a high position in Soto, director of the board or something.

            You don’t understand, don’t you?

            Seeing the true nature of your mind means just this.

            “Morality” is a matter of time and place, but you’re so full of yourself that you cannot even conceive something that goes beyond it.

            Just a question for you, how would you define the “dropping ” experience? A kensho smensho by chance?
            And why “something” happened that particular day since he sat there for a few years?
            And what about the “sitting is being Buddha” and not dropping the very first moment?

  29. woken
    woken April 19, 2014 at 9:45 am |

    Fred, far from exhibiting some sort of state beyond normal human affairs, you realise you are in fact, you realise you are advocating pure late capitalist selling and packaging oneself? Nothing exists, everything is relative and therefore the only measure of anything is price and value. The individual becomes their own fetish. You realise people who preach this are actually marketing themselves to a very specific western middle class niche (who just so happen to have a lot of disposable income) ?

  30. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 19, 2014 at 10:38 am |

    “They are creating goals and promises.”

    That’s interesting; I think it’s probably true, even as applied to Thich Nhat Hanh. I would also say, that a lot of folks got involved in Zen in this country through their belief in enlightenment as a permanent state of mind in which desire, anger, and ignorance no longer occur.

    There is a passage in the Pali Canon where Gautama speaks of how these things of the life before “leaving home” do occur in the minds of those who have “left home”, but disappear in an instant like a drop of water in a red-hot cauldron. However, he did also tell Ananda that a drunk who had dropped out of the order was a never-returner, after the guy died; Ananda was pretty flabbergasted at that. I guess Ananda equated the “spiritual defeat”, as having to leave the order was regarded in those days, with sin and rebirth.

    I feel compelled to mention again that Gautama ate what he was offered, including meat, and although he prohibited his followers from ingesting any of the meal that killed him, he died about three months after eating a meal that included meat (apparently the pig had eaten some poisonous mushrooms?).

    Gautama’s cousin Devadatta apparently created his own order of monks with these rules (according to Wikipedia):

    “they should dwell all their lives in the forest, live entirely on alms obtained by begging, wear only robes made of discarded rags, dwell at the foot of a tree and abstain completely from fish and flesh.”

    Devadatta is also reported to have attempted to assasinate his cousin Gautama, no doubt so that Gautama’s monks could more easily see the light and adopt Devadatta’s higher standards of morality.

    Myself, I was fascinated with the notion of enlightenment, but the real attraction for me was the possible escape from the shared insanity of modern Western materialism through a means so natural that the actual Zen training might be considered superfluous. Or at least that’s how I looked at it at the time.

    Then I was introduced to Kobun’s lectures at the Santa Cruz Zen Center, and I could see that there was something very physical, and intuitively connected in his bearing and in his action. Not something I would get through understanding alone. I have followed his advice, which was “take your time with the lotus”; I do see that there’s a teaching built-in to adopting a “body-posture challenge”, and that in my life I need to adopt a “body-posture challenge” regularly now, for the sake of my physical and mental well-being.

    The difficulty I see with Western Zen is that many teachers go from “not something a person can get through understanding alone” to “not something a person can get through understanding”.

  31. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel April 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

    The meat thing, as for Gautama Buddha’s death, seems not to have really played any role. From the study of a pathologist, it would seem he died of a current ailment in elder people, which is mesenteric infarctus.

    1. boubi
      boubi April 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm |

      … and when did this pathologist would have done his post mortem examination?

      Before or after the cremation?

      BTW, what is important is not the real cause of death, but what the tradition transmitted. Tradition didn’t find anything wrong in stating that it was food poisonning and that it was meat (pork from a street vendor?).

  32. Fred
    Fred April 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm |

    “Fred, far from exhibiting some sort of state beyond normal human affairs”

    The state beyond normal human affairs?

    “you realise you are in fact,”

    What does this mean?

    ” you realise you are advocating pure late capitalist selling and packaging oneself? ”

    You mean like the Kartrashians?

  33. shade
    shade April 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm |

    Hey, this is working out to be one of the better comment threads that’s turned up in awhile (though perhaps I’m being premature. It’s only been a day and a half after all).

    Anyway, I’ve been mulling this whole issue over the past 24 hours and thinking that maybe some of the illicit behavior our spiritual idols engage in stems from an unconscious desire to knock oneself off one’s OWN pedestal. Like, to prove to one’s followers, once and for all, that one is human and fallible. I guess this is what Brad’s getting at when he says:

    “I wonder if sometimes the reasons it got so bad in such cases was due almost as much to the students heaping unreasonable demands upon their teachers as it was due to the teachers being bad people.”

    Now sometimes it takes no more than a relatively minor indiscretion (a smoking habit, the occasional obscene comment) to achieve this, because the expectations are so high. But other times the awe runs so deep it practically requires felony murder to shake the stars out of the acolytes eyes (and sometime even that won’t cut it!)

    Similar thing happens with secular idols, of course, celebrities and the like… only there it works a little differently, I think because we tend to consider celebrities less like angels and more like gods.

  34. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm |

    Proulx Michel, you have punctured my superstitions! 🙂

    http://fraughtwithperil.com/ryuei/2010/06/30/the-buddha%E2%80%99s-last-meal/

    1. Fred
      Fred April 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm |

      “If Ananda had sat by the stream long enough without interfering, clearly observing and mindful, he would have witnessed its growing calmness and clarity”

  35. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 19, 2014 at 3:38 pm |

    No one has anything to teach.

  36. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm |

    “Eido and Sazaki… got to know the true nature of their own minds…”

    Shodo
    I see no evidence of that at all.

    So please Sir, what would be the true nature of the mind that you don’t seem to see any evidence of it?

    What is he true nature of the mind ?

    You answer it and you show you know what you are talking about (dropping anything is not a good answer since it’s strict soto talk, but you can use sutras wording).

    As simple as it comes.

    1. Fred
      Fred April 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

      “What is he true nature of the mind ?”

      The true nature of their minds had nothing to do with the personalities/selves of Eido and Sazaki. It is their original nature.

    2. Shodo
      Shodo April 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm |

      boubi said:
      “You don’t know what you are talking about, and it’s not the first time you show it.”

      LoL. 😉

      “…you just show your ignorance and prejudice…
      The proportion of Soto who “dropped body and mind” and behaved as assholes sexually or were plain drunkards is no less than other traditions. Do you see someone disparaging Dogen’s expressions?”

      Have you made the assumption that I am a Soto person with a doctrinal axe to grind?
      Full disclosure, I’m not Soto. I am a koan practitioner.
      Do you think that when you pass a koan you get enlightened?
      Do you think that when you pass 100 koans you get more enlightened??
      Do you think that when you finish koan study that you’ve gotten anything???
      Do you think that enlightenment and morality are two separate things????

      “just this”… pffft.
      Did you just read to me one of Genpo Roshi’s Tricycle advertisements?

  37. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm |

    No one ever finished a koan study.

  38. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm |

    “If you meet YHVH/God in Heaven, Kill Him with the help of Lord Lucifer!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL4cFzbrb9M

  39. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 8:31 pm |

    Shodo

    Once more you play with words and you blame the other one.

    Where in hell did i asked you about enlightenment (which would be what by the way?)?

    What i asked you is to define what you denied other to have reached i.e knowledge of “true nature of the mind”.

    Can your highness define it?

    What your grace didn’t care to read nor considered because most probably not enough pure nor dharma related is japanese medieval code of behaviour vs ours.

    And then, please, find the relation with your view of “morality”.

    Bowing to your higher knowledgeand pleading for your kind benevolence, you can rely on my deepest feelings.

    PS
    I don’t know which kind of koans you practice but it would be interresting to know if you practice the “shouts, yells, circling the high seats, shaking of fly wisks or raising of fingers ” that you talk about …

  40. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm |

    Your Eminence could kindly explain to this low being what is “the true nature of the mind”?

    Maybe some of your grace could cast a ray of light on this ignorant being entraped in the vines of Maya.

    Your posture and bearing betrays a person of higher studies, so have pity of me and care to explain what is “the true nature of the mind”?.

    Just this, nothing more.

    Maybe your Highness could point your humble servant towards a single sutra that could, in a few words, give an example of “the true nature of the mind”?.

    I don’t read the tricycle, i go on bicycle, and i don’t give a fuck about gempo roshi nor about it’s big head.

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm |

      boubi said:
      “Your Eminence could kindly explain to this low being what is “the true nature of the mind”?”

      “Your posture and bearing betrays a person of higher studies, so have pity of me and care to explain what is “the true nature of the mind”?.”

      “Maybe your Highness could point your humble servant towards a single sutra that could, in a few words, give an example of “the true nature of the mind”?.”

      “So please Sir, what would be the true nature of the mind that you don’t seem to see any evidence of it?”

      You want the true nature of mind to be “just this” who am I to tell you any different.
      When sitting just sit, right?
      When writing just write, right?
      When killing just kill, right?
      When stealing just steal, right?
      When lying just lie, right?
      Anything is permitted as long as you do it mindfully and in the moment, right?

      NEWS FLASH everyone, “Just this” is the answer to all the koans.
      If the answer to your repeated question is truly “just this”, then this practice is fake and hollow indeed.

      “Japanese code of behavior” huh?
      Sorry for thinking that for a buddhist monk that code would be the Zen precepts…

      1. boubi
        boubi April 20, 2014 at 4:26 am |

        My my Shodo …

        You take “just this” which meant that i just asked Your Honor to answer just one question and you mount a non existing case out of it.

        Just have the condescension to answer your humble servant what is “the true nature of the mind” … just this answer.

        To further your twisting of my post your copy-pasted this post http://hardcorezen.info/decoding-deepak/2675/comment-page-1#comment-62159 taking out the part that you reproach … ts ts ts (wagging finger) see below :

        …care to explain what is “the true nature of the mind”?.
        Just this, nothing more.
        Maybe your Highness could point your humble …

        In more mundane circles it’s called forgery, but in your ohh so high adobes, where the clear light of enligtenment shines upon a few chosen lofty souls, maybe it’s called creative accounting.

        And are you the one spreading “morality” on every slice of word you utter?

  41. boubi
    boubi April 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm |

    By the way, since you are a koan practitioner, as you stated, why in hell do you think people are practicing koans.

    Why do you?

    For the sake of the silly questions?

    In order to have something to talk or to brag about during the breaks?

    Because it sounds better than watching a wall?

    Not to feel to lonely and having something to “think” about?

    Please don’t tell me that it’s because you fell into it without knowing, you knocked at a dojo door and they told you “sit down” and on you went chewing on koans …

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm |

      boubi said:
      “By the way, since you are a koan practitioner, as you stated, why in hell do you think people are practicing koans. ”

      Not for any of your silly reasons that’s for sure.

  42. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel April 20, 2014 at 2:59 am |

    re: “If you meet YHVH/God in Heaven, Kill Him with the help of Lord Lucifer!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL4cFzbrb9M

    Why is it that people so consistently use the second person singular in English in such idiotic ways? “thyselves”: utter grammatical bullshit.
    I am……………………………..mine
    Thou are……………………….thine
    He/She/It is……………………him/her/it
    We are………………………….us
    You are…………………………you
    They are……………………….them
    The possessives are my, thy, his/her/its, our, your, their (and not “there”).
    Grrrrrr

    1. CosmicBrainz
      CosmicBrainz April 20, 2014 at 7:44 am |

      It’s still cool.

    2. shade
      shade April 20, 2014 at 7:54 am |

      That’s supposed to be Lucifer speaking, no? Maybe the creator of this uh, computer game or whatever it is has determined that the devil’s minion should have bad grammar. Or eccentric grammar, rather. Maybe English is Lucifer’s second language and he’s only on the second primer in his community college ESL course.

      Being silly, but anyway, just because a character in a given piece of fictional text speaks poorly doesn’t neccesarily mean that the author of that text is linguistically challenged. Anymore than books about serial killers are written only by serial killers (least I hope not, given the number of books about serial killers there are out there).

      1. CosmicBrainz
        CosmicBrainz April 20, 2014 at 8:44 am |

        It’s a Japanese game that’s FAN TRANSLATED. They translated it for free.

        Stop being overly critical on grammar.

        It’s still immersive.

  43. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel April 20, 2014 at 3:00 am |

    sorry. Mistake. Thou arT. Thou hast. Thou livest. Thou writest. And so on…

    1. CosmicBrainz
      CosmicBrainz April 20, 2014 at 8:52 am |

      In SMT games Lucifer is a Buddha. Buddhism is ultimately about going against the flow.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruXy9nkRfAA&index=131&list=PL60C3BEE363BCAF9A

  44. Shamany
    Shamany April 20, 2014 at 3:53 am |

    I have lived and worked at seven retreat centers. In all that time I have met two teachers that really got my attention. Neither had much interest in being famous, having money, or being important. I am much more interested in the Richard Rose approach than the Genpo Roshi approach but I no longer am concerned with how it all plays out. Mostly I try to keep my mouth shut and sit.

  45. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2014 at 4:32 am |

    boubi said:
    “By the way, since you are a koan practitioner, as you stated, why in hell do you think people are practicing koans. ”

    Not for any of your silly reasons that’s for sure.

    So please your Grace could you enlighten your humble whatever on the reason people practice koans?

    The reasons given above were meant to be silly on purpose and once more you cling to whatever straw in order to avoid sharing your enlightening wisedom (would you charge instead) with some low bowing mud caked vilein.

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 20, 2014 at 5:02 am |

      boubi asked:
      “So please your Grace could you enlighten your humble whatever on the reason people practice koans?”

      No. You obviously overestimate my awesomeness. 🙂

      As far as our argument goes, (which you seem to have much butt-hurt about,) from what I can gather (because your grammar is a ball of shit,) I think I can venture to guess is mostly a misunderstanding.

      Correct me if im wrong here…
      When you said “Just this”, you were simply asking me to answer your one, oft-repeated question: “What is the true nature of mind”.

      What *I* thought was your “Just this” was *you* answering your own question.

      If that is true, then I apologize for misunderstanding you. 🙂

      boubi said:
      “To further your twisting of my post your copy-pasted this post…taking out the part that you reproach…In more mundane circles it’s called forgery”

      Huh…?
      What the hell are you talking about because I have no idea.
      Drop the fake sycophant routine, it’s making you incoherent.

      This is what I will say – there is a moral dimension to what is realized. A significant part of practice is bringing out what is realized on the cushion out into your life. Eido and Sazaki obviously never understood this. Their practice didn’t extend past the cushion. The vile things that they did, and got others to do, is a reflection of their shallow understanding.
      If they could pass all those many koans and still conduct themselves in a manner according to some “Japanese code of behavior” (which is bullshit, by the way,) then whatever they realized was not worth realizing.

  46. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2014 at 4:36 am |

    Shodo my darling

    You just announced to the world at wide that
    NEWS FLASH everyone, “Just this” is the answer to all the koans.

    I believe that Your High Grace can explain to us stinking and foot dragging low born this astounding new.

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 20, 2014 at 7:34 am |

      boubou said:
      “You just announced to the world at wide that
      NEWS FLASH everyone, “Just this” is the answer to all the koans.”

      Wrong… Read my above post.

  47. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2014 at 4:41 am |

    Your Highness Shodo

    It seems that you have three questions :

    – Definine “the true nature of the mind”
    – explain why people should practice koans
    – how the answer to all koans is “Just this”

    Before it was just this now it turned into just these

    Obligingly your unwashed servant

    boubi

    shit i was forgeting …

    gashoooo _/\_ (with a nice little bow)

  48. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2014 at 4:47 am |

    NEWS FLASH

    His High Knowlegde Shodo The Great has just introduced brand new fresh out of the box precets.

    the Zen precepts

    Thank you so much darling, there were not enough precepts around, we needed more of them.

    Piling up should be zen’s new way

    Gashoooo _/\_
    with a little bow, of course

    1. Shodo
      Shodo April 20, 2014 at 5:16 am |

      Why are you so mad boubi?
      Was Eido or Sazaki your teacher or something?
      I haven’t insulted you in any way to my knowlege, other than to possibly misunderstand you… why all the angsty writing style…?

      “- Definine “the true nature of the mind”
      – explain why people should practice koans
      – how the answer to all koans is “Just this””

      1) How…? Damn, how can I define something I have never seen or experienced?
      2) No. 🙂
      3) AhhhHA! I did misunderstand you, read my above post. My apologies boubi. 🙂

      All your questions don’t absolve Eido or Sazaki from their behaviors I’m afraid…
      A couple of fakers, if you ask me.
      They aren’t just terrible examples of Buddhist practitioners, but two terrible examples of human beings.

      1. Fred
        Fred April 20, 2014 at 8:13 am |

        …care to explain what is “the true nature of the mind”?.

        1. Shodo
          Shodo April 20, 2014 at 9:00 am |

          Is that for me or boubi Fred?

          1. Fred
            Fred April 20, 2014 at 9:10 am |

            Yes, the nature of the true mind is for me or boubi Fred.

  49. Shodo
    Shodo April 20, 2014 at 10:22 am |

    Fred said:
    “Yes…”
    (Nice word play, I will just assume that your question was directed at me.)

    As I have said, I don’t know.
    Nor can I say that I have much interest in knowing…
    Why would I want to acquire another concept, that I would have to philosophize about and defend and ply zen my word games over, or argue about what it is with anonymous individuals over the internet?

  50. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2014 at 11:02 am |

    Resuming :

    Direct from his Panditness Shodo:
    “- Definine “the true nature of the mind”
    – explain why people should practice koans
    – how the answer to all koans is “Just this””

    1) How…? Damn, how can I define something I have never seen or experienced?
    2) No. 🙂
    3) AhhhHA! I did misunderstand you, read my above post. My apologies boubi. 🙂

    1 – You don’t even know what you are talking about when you
    “see no evidence of that at all” of them getting to know “the true nature of the mind”.
    From your convulted answers i had no doubt about it since the beginning ;).

    2 – You don’t know either (why people do it), maybe you could share for free why you practice koans, btw which tradition/lineage? or is it a private practice, you with yourself … ?

    3 – You didn’t, you just went on rambling about “morality” as your usual self to mask whatever you feel neede to be masked

    So dear Dear High Recipiency of Transcendental Knowledge you plainly and simply don’t know what you are ramblling about.

    May i give you an humble tip from some outcast?
    Looking for morality have a look at what Hillel the Elder and sweet Jesus said. This way you don’t risk to shame yourself publicly , it’s nearer to your tradition and doesn’t require all the intellectual efforts you spend porring on strange litterature of which you don’t seem to grasp very much.
    Btw, why did you had to go till Far East to find love for your brethen?
    It’s been all the time just in front of you.

    Kisses

    PS
    About the sycophant tone, i think it’s the best way to put in evidence your importance, Your Grace

    Ah yeah!
    Gashooo _/\_

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