Episode 6: Brad Reviews “Fire Monks”

While Brad’s away retreatin’ and waitin’ tables at Tassajara, we do what we can to provide entertainment from time to time, and thanks to Pirooz Kalayeh, we have a brand-new episode of The Brad Warner Show for you this week!

Enjoy!

44 Responses

Page 1 of 1
  1. Mumbles
    Mumbles August 29, 2013 at 4:36 am | |

    Guess you had to be there, or know the fire dudes. As always, my favorite part of The Brad Warner Show is the jazzy sitcom intro music. Catchy!

  2. Fred
    Fred August 29, 2013 at 7:30 am | |

    Fire is a natural process in the natural world for redistributing molecules, and
    beginning a new cycle of growth.

    The process existed before human brains were invented.

    They should have let the place burn down, and rebuilt it.

    Toni Packer was right about the corrupting influence of thought.

  3. Fred
    Fred August 29, 2013 at 7:35 am | |

    “All contexts are created by thought and are therefore corruptible by thought. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever”

  4. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote August 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm | |

    Brad looks good in a suit and tie; at least, I like the look of that suit and tie on the man holding the book in the video, is that Brad?

    “When Touzi got to the assembly of Yuantong, he never called on the master or asked any questions; he just used to sleep a lot. One of the functionaries reported on this to Yuantong, saying, ‘There is a monk in the hall who just sleeps every day. You should enforce the rules.’ Yuantong said, ‘Don’t do anything yet; let me handle it.’

    Yuantong then took his staff and went into the hall, where he saw Touzi sleeping. He hit the seat and scolded him, ‘I have no extra rice here to give you so you can just eat and sleep.’ Touzi said, ‘What would you have me do?’ Yuantong said, ‘Why don’t you ask about Zen!’ Touzi said, ‘Fine food is not for a satisfied man to eat.’ Yauntong said, ‘What about the fact that many people do not agree with you?’ Touzi said, ‘What would be the use of waiting for them to agree?’ Yuantong said, ‘Who have you seen?’ Touzi said, ‘Fushan.’ Yuantong said, ‘I had marveled at such stubborness,’ and they both laughed.”

    Denkoroku, translated by Thomas Cleary, #45

    Shunryu Suzuki moved rocks so that his students would know he was no ordinary man.

  5. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote August 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm | |

    If I slept in the hall at SFZC or Green Gulch or Tassajara, I would be out on my ear. Maybe have to do something special to impress those people, like eat pie and fart. I’m a goner!

  6. Fred
    Fred August 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm | |

    Fine food is not for a satisfied man to eat.

  7. Fred
    Fred August 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm | |

    How about a review of the Fire Monks of Tibet. That’s a waker-upper.

  8. Fred
    Fred September 1, 2013 at 6:25 am | |

    Cuke: ” There was one large rock that Alan couldn’t move. Alan and Suzuki Roshi tried to move the rock together and they couldn’t. Alan said that what they needed was a block and tackle and more people. Suzuki Roshi told Alan to go away. “I want to work alone.” So Alan went to take a bath and when he returned the rock was moved and Alan found Suzuki Roshi asleep in his cabin. He also found vomit all over the floor. Suzuki Roshi slept for three days”

    We all have the power to do this. It is a matter of volition and intent.

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm | |

    I had forgotten about the vomit, or maybe I never read that. I did remember the part about sleeping for three days.

    No, I don’t have the power to do that. Yet. Maybe I never will. I do feel that I have the power to rest in the natural location of mind, and discover the physical stretch and mental acuity that natural location requires as a matter of routine health and the movement of breath. My belief would be that Shunryu Suzuki had a tenacious strength developed out of the freedom of location of mind, and that he moved that stone so that there would be no doubt of that fact among his students.

    I wonder, is there any kind of marking to commemorate what he did at that place? Don’t tell me it’s traceless, Fred!

  10. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm | |

    There’s a plaque on the floor of the cabin “this is where Shunryu Suzuki hurled one time after moving the immoveabe.” just kidding.

    I finally read The Zen of Steve Jobs this morning hot on the heels of finishing Reza Aslan’s ZEALOT. The two are unrelated otherwise but I would recommend both.

    The Jobs/Kobun book is well done, IMHO, great graphics and spare, to-the-point dialogue. I have a Mac and an iPhone and a little bit about Zen but virtually knew nothing about Jobs or Kobun. Not unusual, I drive an old Chevy but know v. little about Louis Chevrolet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i2mNLb8-oA
    Same drummer he had the last time I saw him, but a completely different hat.

  11. Fred
    Fred September 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | |

    What did Jobs say when Kobun told him you cross to the other side of
    Emptiness and hold the hand the hand of the Absolute?

  12. Fred
    Fred September 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | |

    Moving the immoveable; do you want it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-xPYX9MABI

  13. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm | |

    the real thing moves rocks, or rocks get up and walk around- Jobs said, I will never be, as perfect as a tree, but this guy’s bass player is sharp at 5:15

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF49nZ1ydJg

  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm | |

    From the Tao Bums favorite quotes thread:

    To talk without knowing is unwise. To know but to keep silent is cowardly.‘ [Han Fe Tse]

  15. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm | |

    Wrote a pome this a.m. fits with the fire monk theme…(P.S. that live Grandpaboy Letterman show clip drummer played with Prince! Minneapolis…)

    The thought
    was hot,
    the act…
    it lacked.

  16. Fred
    Fred September 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm | |

    The thought
    was fraught
    with naught,
    and caught

    the act…
    it lacked
    the tact
    exact

    enlightened
    but
    nevertheless
    deluded.

  17. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm | |

    song by PW

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7kw5zXVFVQ

    fred, that’s beautiful.

  18. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm | |

    Not much of a Glen Campbell fan, but that was mesmerizing; thanks, John.

  19. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm | |

    Well, Brad!– was it worth five folks risking their lives?

  20. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 2, 2013 at 10:40 am | |

    It took five to save Tassajara from the fire? Looks like its only taking three of us to hold down this comment section. We’re not monks, maybe more like mooks (I can only speak for myself here). The Blog Mooks?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3JEVhOAyMo

  21. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm | |

    mooky-tooka shooka too, nobody here but us looky-loos!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSmMyTO3XtQ

  22. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm | |

    ok, I admit it, I can’t do this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzvGkx8rAsg

  23. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm | |

    What I been sayin’:

    The other set of receptors in the Vestibular system are two sack-like structures called the utricles and the saccules. The utricles lie horizontal when the head is upright and they detect linear motion in the horizontal plane, while the saccules lie vertical in the upright head and they detect movement up and down and forward and back. These two pairs of organs keep us vertically oriented with respect to gravity, and any movement away from upright triggers the head-righting reflex, which leads to correcting postural adjustments. When we think we are standing quite still and vertical we are, in fact, rocking very slightly back and forth or side to side in order to trigger this reflex to help us to maintain correct vertical posture.

    Right where I am right now, in space, back and forth or side to side; can you feel it?

  24. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm | |

    didn’t put emphasis on that last line but it’s there anyway, intrestin’.

    And why was Touzi sleeping all the time?

    “Functioning with little or no Vestibular information is an extremely challenging and tiring business, so breaks and rest periods may need to be frequent and extensive.”
    (Ibid)

    Touzi discovered that back and forth, side to side, and around were wherever he was. Bet he walked funny too:

    “there is often a characteristic gait, some aspects of which may
    remain evident for many years – the feet spaced widely apart, the knees bent to lower the center of gravity, the body rolling from side to side with each step, the feet sliding along the floor
    or planted down very firmly on the floor with each step (maybe several times, almost like patting the floor with the foot), and the arms held up like a tightrope walker. Some children walk with repeating swaying circular movements of the upper body and
    head, as if trying to keep aware of the danger areas at the limits of safe posture by alternating from one ‘danger’ position to another”

    Exactly. Or as the Chinese describe it, “precarious sitting”.

  25. Fred
    Fred September 3, 2013 at 9:51 am | |

    The most dangerous position of all is the one with nobody home.

  26. Fred
    Fred September 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm | |

    ‘Having readied the posture, make one complete exhalation, and sway left and right. Sitting in balance in the mountain-still state, “Think the concrete state of not thinking.” “How can the state of not thinking be thought?” “It is different from thinking.” This is the secret of sitting-Zen.

    What is called sitting-Zen is not learning Zen meditation. It is just a peaceful and effortless gate to reality. It is practice-and-experience which perfectly realizes the Buddha’s enlightenment. The Universe is realized, untouched by restrictions or hindrances. To grasp this meaning is to be like a dragon that has found water, or like a tiger before a mountain stronghold. Remember, true reality is naturally manifesting itself before us, and gloom and distraction vanish at a stroke.’

  27. Fred
    Fred September 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm | |

    Shodo, there is no morality or ethics bound to the act of realization. There is
    no anything attached to realizing.

    Perhaps that is why precepts and the institutionalized religion are both necessary.

    ( Heated debate on Sweeping Zen )

  28. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm | |
  29. Shodo
    Shodo September 5, 2013 at 6:00 am | |

    I don’t understand the point you are making within the context of the discussion me and Kigen are having Fred…

  30. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 9:21 am | |

    “ Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever”

    When a petty criminal or sociopath achieves the awareness of what is, some
    people might expect that the neuro-circuits of that human would be modified
    by that realization in terms of a modification of personality.

    Or that enlightenment would alter the suchness of what is in terms of the human
    construct of morality and ethics.

    Morality and ethics are human inventions, ideas, thoughts and mental prescriptions.

    And thought manipulates the perception of what is for its own purposes.

    1. Shodo
      Shodo September 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm | |

      Hmmm… I don’t think I agree with you Fred.

      If a person truly has this experience of “Awareness” as you call it, I don’t think it is even possible to separate it from Morality even the width of a single hair.

      To think otherwise, means it’s pretty evident that it’s still just a fancy idea.

  31. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 9:28 am | |

    Not that you shouldn’t hold Kigen’s feet in the fire.

  32. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 11:34 am | |

    ” Scrubbed clean by the dawn wind, the night mist clears. Dimly seen, the blue mountains form a single line “

  33. buddy
    buddy September 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm | |

    ‘…there is no morality or ethics bound to the act of realization. There is
    no anything attached to realizing.’ Towards the end of his life Dogen began reorganizing the entire Shobogenzo so that the reality of karma and the central importance of living an ethical life were emphasized. This was in reaction to the perversion of his teachings by the emergent Samourai and other proponents of Zombie Zen who claimed that all that was needed is enlightenment and that a so-called enlightened person, a no-self in a world of no-selves, transcended such trivial concerns as right behaviour. Thus leading to the tolerance or performance of all sorts of atrocities.

  34. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm | |

    Ah, Zombie Zen, the reality of karma, an ethical life, and the corruption by thought.

    “The root of mindfulness is the red flesh ball of a decayed tree”

  35. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm | |

    “Morality and ethics are human inventions, ideas, thoughts and mental prescriptions.”

    So is “awareness.”

    “And thought manipulates the perception of what is for its own purposes.”

    Like using “awareness” to make a point about “awareness” as other/opposite “whatever.”

    “There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. You think you know yourself when you know what you are. But you never know who you are. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot. See that you are not what you believe yourself to be. Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable. You are not.”

    “When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.”
    ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol2EKnAdVEA

  36. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm | |

    “What is a dragon howl in a dead tree?”

    “Still joyful.”

    “What are eyes in a skull?”

    “Still conscious.”

    No reorganization, no attachments and no atrocities, Buddy. Just the corruption
    by thought.

  37. Fred
    Fred September 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm | |

    Awareness manifests through human consciousness. It is not that
    consciousness

  38. Mumbles
    Mumbles September 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm | |

    Using the term conceptualizes it. It is not conceptual.

  39. buddy
    buddy September 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm | |

    ‘No reorganization, no attachments and no atrocities, Buddy. Just the corruption
    by thought.’ Yes, Fred, because you’re more of an expert on these matters than Dogen.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.