I Am Not A Zen Buddhist… OK. I Am.

Alan Watts, author of a number of popular books about Zen including my personal favorite This Is It, said in a lecture, “I am not a Zen Buddhist; I’m not advocating Zen Buddhism; I’m not trying to convert anyone to it.  I have nothing to sell: I’m an entertainer. That is to say in the same sense that when you go to a concert, and you listen to someone play Mozart, he has nothing to sell except the sound of the music.  He doesn’t want to convert you to anything, he doesn’t want you to join an organization in favor of Mozart’s music as opposed to say Beethoven’s.  And I approach you in the same spirit: as a musician with his piano or violinist with his violin, I just want you to enjoy a point of view which I enjoy.”

This is pretty much the same way as I feel. Only I did something that Alan Watts was intelligent enough not to do. I got ordained a Zen Buddhist monk. So I guess I actually am a Zen Buddhist now. What can I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When I write that I’m a Zen monk I think people have a tendency to read that as almost a kind of boast. They imagine me flashing a big toothy smile and confidently announcing it like a proud accomplishment. But that’s not how it is for me. I say that I’m a Zen monk the way a guy at a twelve step program announces he’s an alcoholic. It’s something that will be with me all of my life like a bad accident that left a visible scar. I admit it because I can’t avoid the obvious. To say it aloud is part of the healing process.

This does not mean my position on these matters has suddenly changed, by the way. In my book Sit Down and Shut Up (New World Library, 2007) I wrote about how my teacher called the Soto-shu, an official organization of Zen Buddhist to which he belongs, “a guild of funeral directors.” In my first book, Hardcore Zen (Wisdom Publications, 2004), I wrote about how I was so conflicted when Nishijima Roshi wanted to give me dharma transmission that I had to take a year to think about whether to do it or not. It seemed to me like the ultimate sell-out. Still does sometimes.

I love Dogen’s teachings. I am dedicated to zazen practice. I do my best to follow the Buddhist Precepts. I even like some of the ceremonies Zen Buddhists do and do them myself. I haven’t burnt my robes yet. Even when I said I was not a “member of clergy” it was because Zen Buddhist monks are not members of clergy — even those who think they are.

But Zen Buddhism as an organized religion holds no appeal to me. The organizations who claim to uphold the Zen Buddhist Way can be just as corrupt, hypocritical and ineffectual as any other religious institution out there. I recently read that Genpo Roshi tried to resign from the Soto-shu of Japan and the USA but his resignation was not accepted. Of course he was resigning over a sex scandal rather than getting booted out for selling phony enlightenment experiences at $5000 a pop. All of which tells you just how incredibly clueless the Soto-shu is.

Besides that, this whole business of sex scandals has a bunch of folks in black robes acting just like the Harper Valley P.T.A. Watch the video below if you don’t get the reference.

Harper Valley PTA

Then there’s the hierarchy and the almost military way some of these “people of no rank” treat their various positions and accomplishments. Could there be anything less Zen than that?

When I mentioned my feelings about this stuff on Facebook someone said, “There would seem to be a disconnect between being a zen teacher that gives talks at centers around the world, writes articles for Buddhist publications, and makes a living as a writer that uses the ‘zen teacher’ schtick….isn’t there? Not that those things are bad in any way, but it would seem better to embrace it. Without the ‘title’ surely many doors would have been closed to you.”

Perhaps. But then again, the fact that I still get invited to these centers shows that maybe there’s still some hope for Zen Buddhism. It’s not that I’m trying to tear down the practices and philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Re-read my 4th paragraph above if you need clarification about where I stand on those matters. It’s just that I want these institutions to live up to the philosophy they espouse.

It’s easy to get lost. The crusaders slaughtered thousands of people in the name of a man who said, “love your enemies.” We need to be careful we don’t go the same way.

Just sayin’…

***

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63 Responses

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  1. gypsyjonga
    gypsyjonga February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | |

    Wow. You described a lot of how I feel about saying “I’m a Christian.” Especially the organized religion part and the last 5 sentences.

  2. mjkawa
    mjkawa February 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | |

    ” What can I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

    How many times, in my life that I could say this.

    I think that actually saying this, is much better than :
    “Hi, my name is Jon Dough, and I am an something-aholic.”

    I think it is much more honest and truthful.

  3. mithriltabby
    mithriltabby February 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm | |

    When I loaned Hardcore Zen to my mother, a year or so ago, she was quite pleased with it and said, “I think he’s the next Alan Watts!”

  4. Zafu
    Zafu February 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm | |

    “the fact that I still get invited to these [zen] centers shows that maybe there’s still some hope for Zen Buddhism.”

    hmmm… anyway, clergy characteristically over estimates it’s importance, doesn’t it?

  5. Fred
    Fred February 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm | |

    Alan Watts was an alcoholic. His books attracted me to Buddhism 46 years ago.

    Having been through alcoholism, drugs, I can say that people need to grow up
    and drop their crutches.

    Watts, Trungpa, Sasaki may be human, but they are huge disappointments.

  6. Fred
    Fred February 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm | |

    Shit, I would be proud to be a Zen monk or priest. You can take Buddhism in any
    direction you want. Take your robes apart and have a suit made out of them.
    It’s all impermanence and flux anyway.

    If there are no subjects or objects, but just action, there are no positions rigidified
    in organizations, just rainclouds floating in the blue sky.

  7. Brent
    Brent February 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm | |

    I say that I’m a Zen monk the way a guy at a twelve step program announces he’s an alcoholic.

    Hi Brad, I get the jist but believe this is not the right metaphor. An alcoholic has an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body. It’s not a matter of choice, whereas I believe you would say you chose to be a Zen Monk. It was an act of your own free will. (Correct me if I’m wrong). I was almost going to take issue as well with the similarity you seem to be making with being a zen monk or an alcoholic in this society as being a stigma. But I actually agree with that one, in that I believe it is equally unshameful to announce oneself as being a Zen Monk as it is to state plainly that one is an Alcoholic. I work for Avalokitesvara. I’m an Alcoholic Avalokitesvarite!

  8. Jundotreeleaf
    Jundotreeleaf February 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm | |

    Dear Brad,

    Thank you. This is clear and wonderful. I feel this way (even if my music of choice is more Merle Haggard than Meat Puppets).

    Gassho, J

    1. Zafu
      Zafu February 6, 2013 at 11:20 am | |

      You feel like an entertainer also?

      If that’s the case I would suggest attempting to make your act more entertaining.

      If you feel like an addict, I’d suggest getting help with that.

  9. Fred
    Fred February 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm | |

    You can dissolve the DSI and the position you inherited as a natural function.
    It has no inherent reality

    Or you could take it in a radical direction away from the orthodox funeral
    business.

    In the depths of alcoholism kicking the disease takes a certain amount of resolve.

  10. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm | |

    I’m a Zen Buddhist… ok, I’m not. Didn’t swear in as a monk, didn’t get transmission. Top foot still ends up half-numb sometimes when I sit, a sign of incompetence as a Zen anything I believe.

    Good news.

    I read a lot of Alan Watts in 1964-1965; my parents had him on the radio, KPFA Berkeley, California. Heard him speak a couple times. Decided that although his point of view was great, nothing changed in my life because of it. Somebody turned me on to “Three Pillars of Zen” with the instructions for sitting zazen in the back. I started sitting, painfully, for short periods. I went to UC Santa Cruz, and a friend took me to hear Kobun. I determined to sit more. Tried to give it all away and get involved with S.F. Zen Center, but I couldn’t sit like an Eiheiji graduate, so it seemed I needed to work it out for myself.

    Funny thing, unless I’m imagining things (which I’m good at) most of this country is right where I was in 1960 with regard to Zen, which is to say open to learn but lacking instructions suitable for a Westerner that wasn’t raised sitting cross-legged.

    Do we assume that it’s not possible to give meaningful instructions on zazen? Do we assume people who are adepts at sitting cross-legged are also the best teachers in our Western context? Do we assume Brad had a good time Saturday night?- inquiring minds want to know.

    1. Chelatenous Cubehead
      Chelatenous Cubehead February 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm | |

      I sit on a bench and feel that I am doing it just right. I cannot sit cross-legged either and I am fine with that.

  11. Hungry Ghost
    Hungry Ghost February 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm | |

    I think this is tremendously important. It’s easy to see how much Buddhism has been changed by the cultures it spreads to. The Taoist veneer and terminology adopted by Zen, the establishment of the Tulku system in Tibet stand as obvious examples. The elements of American/western culture I see being blended into Buddhism are childish self-righteous political engagement, psycho-therapy hybridism, bo-bo instant gratification-ism, intolerance of divergent views (I may have to count myself as an offender), scriptural literalism, etc. If some form of Buddhism is going to take root here it’s forms and functions and substance are likely going to derive from how we all practice now, what we learn and accept and pass on. That’s a lot of responsibility, I’m glad you approach it the way you do.

  12. Lateolabrax
    Lateolabrax February 6, 2013 at 12:42 am | |

    Hi Brad (et al.),

    I regurarly read your blogs and really appreciate how your view on zen (life?) differs from the usual buddhist talk. It is a nice different take on matters.

    The title of this blog stirs up quite something. Why “I am”? How come you identify so much with some ceremony that happened a few years ago? Did the world really change? Why so tied up in the terminology of being a Zenny, a Buddhist, a monk, a man, an individual, a human being?

    Religion seems to be derived from religare: reconnect. Which, in my opinion, doesn’t refer to a vertical connection (man – God), but more on a horizontal level, interhuman. And you don’t need an institution (though it may sometimes help!) to connect. When you do your groceries you’re taking on the roll of a consumer at the check out counter. A Dharma talk would be inappropiate, wouldn’t it? So, just relate on that level to others, in that situation. Then you walk out of the store, you get into your car and take on the roll of a driver.
    I’ve been inspired by quite a lot of people. They inspire me to do my best and find my way. Most of them didn’t inspire me because they are or were Christian, Buddhist, whatever. Though I’ve been inspired by quite some roshi’s. However, they are an inspiration mostly for how they acted, not for their ‘label’. The best deeds are done in silence.

    I guess, the point is that the identifications are triggered by these institutions you despise. You might not want them, yet you keep on kicking against them. Doesn’t that mean you ‘re still not have come to terms with them?

  13. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel February 6, 2013 at 3:22 am | |

    Watts was my introduction to Zen Buddhism, but also the reason for the late time I took on Zazen: when he mentioned it, it was to say that he never did it and that it was absolutely irrelevant.
    There is another thing: oragnisations may well be doomed to corruption, but without them, we, the human species, would not even exist.
    I have long known self styled anarchists for whom “anarchy” is, as Brad puts it in HZ, just inscribing an A in a O, and who just want to be able to do any sort of stupid thing that comes to their minds without being told off. Tea Partiers are exactly on that line.
    True Anarchy has generated cooperatives, mutual insurance companies and savings banks, and the like.
    I don’t hink it’s suppressing any kind of organisation that will make us get further on the road, if we don’t put up one, someone else will put it up for us; if we don’t want to organise, they will “organise” us… We just have to know what the pitfalls are, and be wary of them.

  14. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon February 6, 2013 at 3:23 am | |

    “You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.” Tyler Durden

    1. fightclubbuddha
      fightclubbuddha February 6, 2013 at 5:33 am | |

      Tyler!

  15. fightclubbuddha
    fightclubbuddha February 6, 2013 at 5:32 am | |

    “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are all a part of the same compost heap.” Tyler Durden

    It was Alan Watts that provided my first “intellectual” exposure to Zen, and I still listen to his lectures and read his books.

    But … It was Tyler Durden who got me to practice.

  16. fightclubbuddha
    fightclubbuddha February 6, 2013 at 6:37 am | |

    And, Brad , your comments might be a little unfair to Genpo Roshi. I clicked on the highlighted $5,000.00 link, and it showed an “early bird” registration for only $4,000.00. Maybe he isn’t a shameless, money-grubbing whore.

  17. HarryB
    HarryB February 6, 2013 at 7:28 am | |

    Most protracted identity non-crisis ever!

    Brad, do you mind if I call you ‘Vicar’?

    Peace be with you, Vicar.

    H.

  18. HarryB
    HarryB February 6, 2013 at 7:40 am | |

    Actually, because you are the High Priest of the Organisation-Previously-Known-as-DSI, you should be deferred to as the ‘Mothervicar’.

    H.

  19. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 6, 2013 at 10:15 am | |

    Chelatenous Cubehead, what leads you to conclude you are doing it just right? Is that ’cause you never fall asleep doing it, or because you’re not doing anything special but you haven’t fallen down yet, or because you’re climbing out of your skin without getting out of your chair, or because the way it makes you feel makes you feel that what you feel must be right?

    That last, that would be the way most American Zen teachers teach, I think.

  20. boubi
    boubi February 6, 2013 at 11:41 am | |

    To free those rich morons who believe that paying $ 5000 will give them the samadhi and other brain fireworks, somebody could offer for let’s say half the price a hell week were no matter what they cannot drop out and leave the course. Base jump included and compulsory.

    “Live the true samadhi of falling”, you’ll be here and now, no more thinking about mortgage, work, the bimbo living next door … just “here and now” (i think i’ll register this sentence)

    For sure they will get a better look at their “True Self” (with capitals), know themselves, know their limits, know how much bull is layered on top of their “True Self” (with capitals).

    Just get a very good lawyer to write down a contract where it their own business and they get full responsibility of anything happening there.

    Somehow Genpo is right, if those suckers wanted to give away their money for an instant samadhi it is their business.

    ———

    Hey Mark still waiting for that ticket ;)

  21. boubi
    boubi February 6, 2013 at 11:46 am | |

    There is 12000 $ “donation” event here http://bigmind.org/event/five-day-big-heart-circle-retreat-east-canyon-utah-may-2013

    and another one with no indication of “donation” – 16 Day Intensive in Maui, March 8 – 24, 2013 – JUST FOR PERSONS

    “Roshi is offering a 16 Day Intensive in the Maui House for only three people from Friday March 8th through Sunday March 24th. The actual intensive begins the morning of Monday the 11th with 10 days of intensive teaching 6 hours daily and ends the evening of Friday the 22nd. Participants may arrive as early as Friday March 8th, and leave as late as Sunday evening March 24th.

    This retreat is planned to include free time during the Intensive study as well as three weekends to enjoy the beautiful Island of Maui and its full array of wonderful sports and recreation activities, as well as the concentrated time with Roshi, which is a very special and rare opportunity.

    For further information contact Mary Ellen at 801-503-5656″

    It should cost a fortune , at least, and it’s tax free ;)

  22. HarryB
    HarryB February 6, 2013 at 11:59 am | |

    Hee hee,

    Don’t you just love the absurdities of language (and everything else outlined there)?

    I wonder how much ‘free time’ you get for yer 12 grand? :-))

    Regards,

    H.

  23. Kangen
    Kangen February 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm | |

    Hi Brad,

    thank you for your clear and open words – in your books, your conferences and this comment as well.

    Even if we would like: we “are” never “something”, neither buddhist, christian, muslim or whatever. All what we can do is practice with what all what is there – if we like , what is there, or not. And to be conscious, that there is no separation.
    To do, what is necessary and to let, what is not necessary. And to decide between both. Whatever that means. Nobody can help us out of this dilemma, neither an “ism”, nor an organization. Not even Buddha.

    Gassho

    Kangen

    1. Kangen
      Kangen February 7, 2013 at 7:39 am | |

      But to whom do I tell that: you are the master!

      Gassho

      Kangen

  24. A-Bob
    A-Bob February 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm | |

    Fred, You say that Watts, Trungpa, Sasaki are disappointing like it’s their problem and not yours..

  25. nozenji
    nozenji February 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm | |

    Brad – Lately I’ve been saying that sharing Zen with others is like sharing info about a great doctor, or a great restaurant I went to. It’s OK with me if people don’t go, but I DID want them to know about it, you know, in case they were hungry, or sick.

  26. minkfoot
    minkfoot February 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm | |

    Mark, when you’re doing it right, you know you’re doing it right.
    When you’re doing it wrong, you only think you know you’re doing it right.
    HTH

  27. Fred
    Fred February 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm | |

    “Fred, You say that Watts, Trungpa, Sasaki are disappointing like it’s their problem and not yours..”

    I don’t have any problems. Life isn’t a problem and neither is dieing.

  28. Andy
    Andy February 7, 2013 at 5:14 am | |

    Roshi is offering
    a 16 Day Intensive
    in the Maui House

    for only three people
    from Friday March 8th
    through Sunday March 24th.

    The actual intensive begins
    the morning of Monday
    the 11th with 10 days of

    intensive teaching
    6 hours daily and ends
    the evening of Friday

    the 22nd. Participants may
    arrive as early as Friday
    March 8th, and leave

    as late as Sunday evening
    March 24th. This retreat is
    planned to include free time

    during the Intensive study
    as well as three weekends
    to enjoy the beautiful Island

    of Maui and its full array
    of wonderful sports
    and recreation activities,

    as well as the concentrated
    time with Roshi,
    which is a very special

    and rare opportunity

  29. HarryB
    HarryB February 7, 2013 at 5:27 am | |

    Nice.

  30. HarryB
    HarryB February 7, 2013 at 5:28 am | |

    Could you work the 12 grand in with a title?

  31. Fred
    Fred February 7, 2013 at 5:55 am | |

    Enlighten yourself for only $11,999. Easy payment plan. First customer will
    also receive free sex with the Master*

  32. Andy
    Andy February 7, 2013 at 5:59 am | |

    Suggested Donation: $990

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    Samadhi
    in the beautiful
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  33. Katageek
    Katageek February 7, 2013 at 6:01 am | |

    Brad I have a Zen question that has been bugging me.

    Why the fuck the wall (other than Bodhidharma did it and so we do it too)?

    And if Zazen is enlightenment, and sitting with a straight spine in front of a wall is zazen. Then …

    (EVIL SMILE) …

    …can we turn enlightenment off and on like a light switch?

    EXAMPLE:
    Zen student sits facing a wall attached to the crane – ENLIGHTENMENT!

    Crane lifts up wall revealing a scene perfect for any Buddhist DVD cover. – NOT ENLIGHTENMENT.

    Our noble one waits patiently . . .

    The crane drops the wall in front of the noble one …

    ENLIGHTENMENT RETURNS TO THE POSTURE!

    Yeah, this is silly.

    But really, why the wall? Is the “wall” part of the posture?

    1. sri_barence
      sri_barence February 7, 2013 at 8:30 am | |

      I’ll play. First, you cannot turn enlightenment on and off like a switch. This moment, itself, is enlightenment. Since you can’t be anywhere else, nor can you be at any other time, you cannot avoid enlightenment. This is it!
      Second, the wall. I think the wall is just a tool for keeping distractions to a minimum. In the KwanUm school, we mostly look at the floor. Maybe other schools have different methods, but I think the point is to focus your attention on something dull and boring. That way you can just do zazen without worrying about anything else.

      Never mind. The wall is magic. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    2. Muddy Elephant
      Muddy Elephant February 8, 2013 at 12:20 am | |

      I’ve done zazen without a wall and imo the difference is functional not spiritual.

      Facing the wall is functionally better.

      Facing a wall is distracting enough, not facing a wall even more so. I think the same conclusion has been reached by others.

  34. HarryB
    HarryB February 7, 2013 at 6:32 am | |

    Why the wall?

    Because that’s what dirty Rinzai demons don’t do!

    If you don’t have a blank wall to stare at you may inadvertently start realising koans via your thinking mind, which is to Soto what masturbation is to Catholicism (officially speaking, anyways). For baby Buddha’s sake don’t do it: It makes you blind!

    Regards,

    Harry.

  35. Andy
    Andy February 7, 2013 at 6:59 am | |

    Okay. In the spirit of the BBC, I thought I’d sign out with this from the Protestant Zen Prayer and Hymn Book.

    I love Dogen’s teachings.
    I am dedicated to zazen practice.
    I do my best to follow the Buddhist Precepts.
    I even like some of the ceremonies Zen Buddhists do
    and do them myself.

    I haven’t burnt my robes yet.
    Even when I said I was not a “member
    of clergy”
    it was because Zen Buddhist monks are not members
    of clergy —

    even those who think
    they are.

    (amen)

  36. Fred
    Fred February 7, 2013 at 7:11 am | |

    Always have a wall between you and the female student or your self confuses
    having sex with union with the Absolute.

    “can we turn enlightenment off and on like a light switch?”

    Only in the Advanced Maui Intensive ( batteries not included ).

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 February 7, 2013 at 9:20 am | |

      Please do not fail to be overwhelmed by Mr Phil Lesh’s activities on the bass guitar in this number…and by all the other bits and pieces by the other people playing and singing along.

      1. anon 108
        anon 108 February 7, 2013 at 9:26 am | |

        …nice one, Mark.

  37. boubi
    boubi February 7, 2013 at 8:16 am | |

    to Katageek

    Why the wall why not eating a shit

    http://hardcorezen.info/retreat-2/1636/comment-page-2#comment-55187

  38. minkfoot
    minkfoot February 7, 2013 at 10:25 am | |

    The wall symbolizes . . . a wall! If you’re lucky in your practice, you end up down a one-way alley that faces a wall. You can’t back up, you can’t turn, you’re not Superman so you can’t break the wall, you can’t fly up and you can’t dig down. And, especially, you can’t stay there, because, if you do, something really nasty and horrible is going to happen. That’s when you know you’re doing your practice right.

    On the other hand, since they say closing your eyes tends to make you sleepy, it’s good to have something relatively featureless in front of you. In terms of avoiding attention hooks, it’s a damn sight better than facing an opposing row of sitters, the one just opposite you wearing skimpy summertime clothing and your eyes falling naturally upon where her legs are wide open. Then again, often the wall is made of wood, beautifully finished to show off its grain — like the dust that seeds raindrops, the knotholes take on the faces of demons and angels.

    Lately I’ve been often sitting in the Chan Hall at Dharma Drum Retreat Center. It can easily hold 200 sitters. Though it’s a dual-lineage school, the sitting orientation follows the Caodong. Only, since the retreats are usually only a tenth of the capacity, and the regular services even less than that, you’re pretty far from the wall you’re facing. It’s not even really a wall, but a row of windows, anyway. You become very familiar with the grain of the wood floors, if not the back of some poor schmuck who just can’t get his body to settle. But then, it’s the principle of the thing, and the principle is the symbol.

    And the symbol is turning the light around, away from engaging in the sensory world and reacting to it as little as you would to, say, a wall.

  39. MJGibbs
    MJGibbs February 7, 2013 at 10:37 am | |

    Nice post! I´m a fan of Buddhist practice, not a fan of Buddhist organizations. There is always something in the formalities of Buddhist organizations that end up rubbing me the wrong way.

  40. Fred
    Fred February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm | |

    “There is always something in the formalities of Buddhist organizations that end up rubbing me the wrong way”

    Mr. Sasaki had a solution for that.

  41. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm | |

    “And the symbol is turning the light around, away from engaging in the sensory world and reacting to it as little as you would to, say, a wall.”

    Stop that, that turning away! Ha ha!

  42. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm | |

    Seriously, turning the light around to me means discovering where I am, and how what I feel contributes to my sense of where I am.

    Equilibrioception, informed by proprioception; sharpening the senses, as a matter of relaxation in the movement of breath. I am writing, for myself mostly, and here’s one I like:

    “… it overflows into the sinews, reaches the bone marrow, fills the diaphragm, and manifests in the skin and hair.”

    (Master Cheng’s Thirteen Chapters on T’ai-Chi Ch’uan, by Cheng Man-Ch’ing, translated by Douglas Wile, pg 17)

    “Overflows into the sinews” is a reference to the sense of position and motion provided by the ligaments of the body and their associated muscle groups, the sense of “proprioception”. Gautama the Buddha referenced proprioception in his “contemplation of in-breaths and out-breaths” with the inclusion of the entire body and the relaxation of the activity of the body in a particular of breath.

    “Reaches the bone marrow” concerns the coupling of the sense of gravity provided by the ostoliths in the inner ear with the part of the body sensed through proprioception and the sense of equalibrium, in response to a necessity for relaxation in the movement of breath. That the reference is to “bone marrow” rather than “bone” indicates that the sense of weight connected with proprioception remains distinct from the sense of location even as the moment of the part in awareness informs the sense of location (the marrow in the center of the bone is weightless compared to the mass of the bone).

    “Fills the diaphragm” describes the manner in which the interplay between equalibrioception with the occurrence of awareness and proprioception through the ability to feel supports a relaxed movement of breath. The distinction between the ability to feel and the pleasant, painful, or neutral in what is felt becomes a necessary part of the experience of relaxation in the movement of breath.

    Lastly, “manifests in the skin and hair” describes an ability to feel throughout the body right to the surface of the skin that is synonymous with relaxed extension in the movement of breath.

  43. Muddy Elephant
    Muddy Elephant February 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm | |

    “Only I did something that Alan Watts was intelligent enough not to do. I got ordained a Zen Buddhist monk.”

    Oops.

    Nice take Brad. Your radical honesty is mucho appreciando.

    Especially (in a cynical mode) since what most of the world knows of honesty is of the Genpo type.

  44. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote February 8, 2013 at 6:22 am | |

    thanks, everybody; mo’ bettah:

    “Fills the diaphragm” describes the manner in which the interplay between equalibrioception with the occurrence of awareness and proprioception through the ability to feel supports a relaxed movement of breath: every stretch throughout the body frees the sense of location and adds weight to inhalation or exhalation. The distinction between the ability to feel and the pleasant, painful, or neutral in what is felt becomes part of the relaxed stretch in the movement of breath.”

    Phil Lesh, I’ll have to listen to it again! Ticket, wait, cheaper for you and Proulx Michel to send me a ticket, rather than for me to send two your way!

  45. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer February 8, 2013 at 6:41 am | |

    Brad,

    Enough zen crap already.

    Give us the dish on the Buzz Clic gig……how many panties thrown?

    Cheers.

  46. boubi
    boubi February 8, 2013 at 6:44 am | |

    Why two tickets? Just one, mine.

    Michel is a serious person.

    You were looking for someone to throw you down some rabbit hole, right? Could be cheaper to go to some of those Lin-chi’s evildoers, safer too.

    Peace

  47. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel February 8, 2013 at 9:54 am | |

    boubi wrote:

    “Michel is a serious person.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure…

  48. boubi
    boubi February 8, 2013 at 10:56 am | |

    Michel get out of the way !

    The guy’s got just one ticket, so until now i’ve been the one splashing more BS around, and this is what the guy wants, nonsense, complete nonsense, he wants to get exilarated, stripped of his neurones and turning into pure laugh.

    I think i rightly deserve the ticket and to be dined and wined at M. Mark’s expenses.

    By the way since were’re here, here is a video i was looking for to post it a few messages ago, in the one about music.

    Be careful this is the real stuff, no frills, no nerdoom, no brainy nonsense about being and becoming, it’s plain back to basics … life 101 , the origin of all things

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5dcgd_latin-dimes-remix_music

    enjoy

    PS
    and you Mark just stop fiddling around, send this *** ticket !

  49. boubi
    boubi February 8, 2013 at 10:58 am | |

    S***t

    It’s the right video with the completely wrong soundtrack, it should be regeatton !

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