I HAVE NOT RESIGNED AS PRESIDENT OF DOGEN SANGHA

As Iím certain most readers of this blog are aware, Mr. James Cohen (aka Jundo), President of Treeleaf Zendo, has recently uploaded a number of comments to this blog regarding my status as president of Dogen Sangha International. These comments appear in the post below this one entitled ďBye Bye Tokio.Ē There are only two people who can erase any of these comments, me and Mr. Cohen. I have chosen to allow them to stay up permanently. If you check and they have been removed, this is the work of Mr. Cohen. I am keeping this material in the form of a PDF file in case the original versions are altered later.

First of all, allow me to assure everyone that I have not resigned as president of Dogen Sangha International. In fact, just the opposite has happened. On Friday September 25, 2009 at around 11:00 AM Japan Time I made a personal promise to Nishijima Roshi that I would remain president of Dogen Sangha International (DSI) at least until Nishijima Roshiís death. Putting aside, for a moment, exactly what it means to be president of DSI, I intend to honor my promise to my teacher.

I must say that I was quite shocked to see Mr. Cohenís comments on my blog. The emails between me and Nishijima Roshi that he posted appeared to me to be quite clearly sent to Mr. Cohen in error. Remember that Nishijima Roshi is now 90 years old. Even I have sometimes forgotten that an email from someone else was appended to one I was sending to a different person. And I was far less than 75 years old when I first began using email technology!

Furthermore, even if Mr. Cohen would have us believe that he did not know these emails were sent to him in error, I believe they were absolutely unambiguously and unquestionably private emails that were never intended for public consumption. I believe there can be no doubt at all about this fact.

This extreme breach of privacy is the most utterly inappropriate thing I have ever seen carried out in the name of Buddhism.

I have no idea why the president of one Buddhist organization would feel it necessary to make public such private correspondence concerning the president of another Buddhist organization. I can think of no reasonable cause to do so. This seems to me to be a highly unethical and immoral act.

Mr. Cohen is not a member of Dogen Sangha International and has no authority to make public statements on behalf of the organization. He certainly has no authorization at all to make public statements on my behalf.

For the record, the private email from me to Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen made public was part of a much larger discussion between myself and Nishijima Roshi that Mr. Cohen was not privy to, and which I do not find any compelling reason to explain here.

Furthermore, I have not spoken to or communicated with Mr. Cohen except in a few very brief emails for the past two years. I chose to break off my relationship with him at that time because it became clear that every interaction between us always went very badly. There are times in life when the only thing you can do with certain relationships is put a stop to them. Sometimes, if the people involved stay away from each other for a while, they can resume some sort of relationship later on. In my own life Iíve recently been able to reconnect with an ex-girlfriend with whom Iíve had a rather stormy relationship for the past 15 or so years. Weíre friends again now and itís nice. But we would not be friends now if we had not stayed away from each other completely for several years.

In that case, she and I were once very close. We went through a lot together including an attack on the streets of Akron by a pair of men who seemed intent on killing me for no apparent reason (they appeared to be high on some kind of drug — drugs suck). In the case of Mr. Cohen and myself, we were never anywhere near that close. I can clearly recall meeting him only three times. Once at a Nepalese restaurant in Tokyo called Mt. Fishtail, once at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo called Raj Mahal and once at an overnight trip to Tokei-in Temple in Shizuoka. I suspect we must have met a handful of times other than this, but I do not clearly remember those meetings. It is entirely possible he came to some of Nishijima Roshiís talks at Tokyo University. But I do not recall seeing him there. As far as I can recall he was not one of regulars who came every week. Be aware that my memory is pretty dodgy. But this is my honest recollection. In any case, we were never friends.

When Mr. Cohen left Dogen Sangha International in 2007, I sensed that the time was right to end the relationship between us. As I said, it never seemed to go very well and once he was no longer part of the organization I could see no compelling reason to keep up what I found to be an utterly fruitless relationship with him.

And, yes folks, I did once send Mr. Cohen an email that said, “Go fuck yourself.” But this was not a hastily scrawled missive sent in anger. In fact I first wrote him what I believed to be a very reasonable email stating why I no longer wished to carry on our relationship. But then I reflected on the fact that I’d sent him what I believed to be very reasonable emails before and they never seemed to work. I thought that one very rude statement might convey what I wanted to say far more effectively. So I scrapped my longer email and just sent one sentence. I reasoned that most people who received an email saying “Go fuck yourself” would sense that the person who sent that email no longer wished to carry on communicating with them.

Personally Iíd prefer to cease all communications with Mr. Cohen for a period of five years. If, sometime in September of 2014, it seems that we might be able to have a reasonable conversation with each other, Iíd be willing to do so. I think it will take at least that long for the current series of emails to become mere ďwater under the bridgeĒ for me (you are only seeing the very tip of the iceberg here, there must be a couple dozen emails from Mr. Cohen similar to the ones he posted on this blog sitting in my inbox).

The thing that worries me most about this situation is the effect it is having on the health and well-being of Nishijima Roshi. I firmly believe there is only one person who can put an end to all of this, and I believe that person is Mr. Cohen. All he needs to do, I think, is to keep ďNoble SilenceĒ on the various issues that seem to be bothering him. I really hope he chooses to do so for Nishijima Roshiís sake. Nishijima Roshi is a very old man and when I visited him last week I could see the visible toll all of this was taking on him. It was the cause of the only argument I have ever had with Nishijima Roshi in the many years I have known him.

This post is not intended as the beginning of a discussion with Mr. Cohen or anyone else on this matter. It is my final word on the subject. I am going to be quite stubborn over the next few weeks about this. Even if the comments section of every article I put up is filled with nothing but hundreds of postings about the supposed ďJundo vs. Brad War,Ē I will steadfastly ignore them. Iíve just traveled all the way around the world and had a lot of really interesting adventures Iíd rather talk about.

But there is one last thing I would like to add. I have noticed a few comments over the past weeks from someone who identifies him/herself as ďanother DS guy on the outs.Ē I have no idea who this person might be. I would very much appreciate it if he or she would send a brief email to me at brad.warner@mac.com so we can discuss whatever the issues he/she has with Dogen Sangha and see if some solution can be worked out.

246 Responses

  1. mother earth
    mother earth September 28, 2009 at 9:07 am | |

    Anony 8:51

    Your summary is pretty close.

    I think it is blaringly obvious that Jundo is manipulative but like most manipulative people they are just expressing their feelings and are oblivious to themselves.

    Re: Radiohead

    "You do it to yourself, yeah you, you and no one else, you do it to yourself.. thats wahat really hurts.. you do it your yourself….

    And like most manipulative folk Jundo is a button pusher.

    Unfortunately and somewhat disappointingly so Brad did not have the substance to brush off Jundo's emotional tactics at the time of his outburst to Gudo.

    Sometimes, when there is a more emotional person in the room they cannot be dealt with face to face and the only sane thing to do is to leave the room. But Brad is flawed and he couldn't just do that–he had to whine and be a little bitch about it–reflecting precisely Jundo's little bich. Brad let his buttons get pushed for the umpteenth time and that is something that is his problem. Too bad. But we all have stuff to work on do we not?

    But Brad does have a solution: stay away. This is clear and bluntly known to Jundo. Unfortunately manipulative people do not understand how to take no for an answer, It is their overinflated feelings that get in the way of accepting rejection.

    Sometimes cutting all contacts with a person that is all that can be done.

    Peace y'all. Time to get out of this bitch cave.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 9:09 am | |

    "Boy, wouldn't that frighten people around here to find that Brad's nemesis is actually a decent guy not trying to pull a scam."

    No actually. What would be frightening about that?.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 9:14 am | |

    In reply to Ginz who wrote:

    "Who can really believe that these Zen teachers are really different than most power hungry politicans?

    Brad, Gudo, Jundo and the many others trying to insinuate themselves at the top of some bizarre religious food chain.

    When you step back and look, it becomes so obvious that this religious stuff is a farce. Our wishes and desires to find someone to trust, someone who has discovered the answers, keeps us rationalizing and defending these folks.

    I do believe meditation has some value. I'm not sure how much value. But i dont believe the value of Buddhism or Catholicism or any religious teaching can outweigh basic human decency.

    And most regular folks i know, muddling through their lives, appear far more decent and kind and honorable than 99 percent of these so-called Zen teachers."

    When I was in some difficulties, I found one day that reciting the Lord's Prayer gave me some considerable peace of mind. I am not and wasn't then a Christian. It had just lain there in the back of my mind from having recited it at school. It didn't even matter what the words meant, and when I thought about it I felt pretty daft. But it worked. But only for a bit.

    Later in life when I felt off-balance, I recited the Heart Sutra, instead, whose meaning seemed completely bonkers at first, but seemed at the same time to make some peculiar sense.

    Now the lines "No ignorance and also no ending of ignorance to no old age and death and also no ending of old age and death" amongst many others grow in meaning as I muddle through days and days muddle through me.

    These days, I try to say nothing and just accept what comes up in the silence, acknowledge it and then let it go. And keep failing at it, and keep acknowledging that failure as OK. And go on.

    I've got myself into a great muddle relying on basic human decency as much as a notion, including any assumption of the good or decent in myself. I've seen people who were basically decent do some ugly things, and then I witnessed basic decency come back up in them again– or whatever it is.

    Suddenly there's a new situation and sometimes the opposite seems true of how to view or act in that situation.

    I feel a great sympathy for those people who have put themselves forward to help others, in any area of life. The ink dries, the terms are fixed, an institution grows as anything grows, muddling through, and all this kept on going by muddle-ness and muddle-makers and muddle-throughers, muddle-ed up inevitably by the whole muddling process.

    But I'm glad some find their way to the top of whatever tree to point a way I can test for myself, especially those ones saying and revealing that actually, and of course, we're not all that different. Sort of stupid when we're forced or trying to be clever. Like an inertial frame, the whole thing, whatever it is (again), appears to add up to zero, each time.

    My wife recently sat chatting to a young muslim boy, who had been a rather strung-out presence at work. He confided in her at lunch when she asked him why that it was because he'd recently decided to be strict about his Islamic practice and felt alienated from the rest of the office — other muslims as well as non. She asked him if there was anything that didn't stress him out (jokingly) and he replied that at present on the time when he prayed– that it made him feel refreshed, but he didn't know why. She replied that her ten minute sits each morning did the same. She told me that the sense of relief on his face was palpable, with the surprise.

    Apparantly he likes to chat at lunch with my wife now. They don't feel the need to muddle anything up by talking about religion, or her low cut top and red lipstick, or his sometimes disparaging comments about muslim females. Or Mr Hitchens drinking problem. Or Mr Dawkin's anger. Or even the bohemian parents that thought 12 year old girls could do what ever they wanted, and muddle on through because 'freedom' rules and that not believing in that made you Nazi…

  4. Aaron
    Aaron September 28, 2009 at 9:39 am | |

    Anon,

    Thanks for your post. Some interesting, sincere sentiments there.

    Yes, nothing is so black and white. Not even everyone in power or trying to get in positions of power is an asshole.

    Aaron

  5. Aaron
    Aaron September 28, 2009 at 9:41 am | |

    At the same time, i find it best to be skeptical of those seeking power, or in positions of power in groups of any kind (including those who claim they dont want to be in charge)

  6. 156
    156 September 28, 2009 at 9:44 am | |

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 10:50 am | |

    Dogen's eyebrows got all in a tangle and said:

    "Those who say such things have
    never met a true master and they have no eyes of real Buddhist study; they are just little posters
    who do not deserve to be discussed. For the years on the web there have
    been many such demons, many such shavelings like [ADD YOURSELF FIRST POSTERS]. It is so pitiful that the great
    truth of the Buddhist Patriarch has gone to ruin. Their understanding cannot even match that of
    the sravaka in Hinayana Buddhism; they are even more stupid than non-Buddhists. They are not
    laymen, they are not monks, they are not human beings, and they are not gods in heaven; they
    are more stupid than animals that study Buddhism. What these shavelings call incomprehensible
    stories are incomprehensible only to them"

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 11:02 am | |

    Their understanding cannot even match that of
    the sravaka in Hinayana Buddhism; they are even more stupid than non-Buddhists. They are not
    laymen, they are not monks, they are not human beings, and they are not gods in heaven; they
    are more stupid than animals that study Buddhism.

    Come on Dogen, don't you think you are being a little too harsh on Brad and Jundo? I realize they act like children sometimes, but geeze louise…they're not stupid animals that study buddhism.

  9. Kyla
    Kyla September 28, 2009 at 11:18 am | |

    Hi all. i have no clue if i am doing "right" but thanks Rich. all i meant was that after someone hanging themselves, being assaulted at work and other things recently, i've been in kind of a shock and words escape me. i've just been sitting and trying to deal with these traumatic events. i, like everyone else, is just trying to muddle through life as anon 9:14AM said and i likely misinterpreted the other comment as referring to me given where it appeared. my mistake as i muddle.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 11:31 am | |

    Dogen's eyes got into even more of a tangle:

    Studying the buddha way is a stupid animal, why else would it study, if it weren't too stupid not to?

    I scratch my balls and fuck

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 11:42 am | |

    everyone is great! we're trying our best. the situation is really difficult. if we mess up, it's because we don't realize why. same story for each of us. it's difficult to accept our own mistakes, probably because people trained us to pretend we don't make mistakes, or rather, to think badly of ourselves when we make mistakes, to try do pretend we didn't and then to try to pretend we don;t even remember the previous two steps.

    Learning to remember that we make our own mistakes and learning how to go easier on ourselves and learning how to accept that we barely 'control' much in our own minds – so hard!

    But heading down this road lets the steam out. Makes it easier. Then it gets easier to chill a bit with others' mistakes because we understand that they too really aren't catching them, and they too are being hard on themselves and not realizing it.

    Oh how I wish I could learn this lesson today with regard to my own family members. At least the aspiration has been expressed.

    We're all great, just fine. The mind trained to contract can have a hard time with that. It likes a heavy judgement and the crunchy feel of that mental movement. 'Hurts so good' as they say. A hard habit to break, thus a lot of the crusty responses from the 'conscious' minds. But underneath, that soft vulnerability is terrifying!! Anyone could get cancer tomorrow. Anyone could drive head on into a truck.

    But the fluidity of the vulnerability is of great relief. Painful to inhabit it

  12. Rich
    Rich September 28, 2009 at 1:53 pm | |

    Kyla said
    "Hi all. i have no clue if i am doing "right" but thanks Rich. all i meant was that after someone hanging themselves, being assaulted at work and other things recently, i've been in kind of a shock and words escape me. i've just been sitting and trying to deal with these traumatic events."

    When someone very close to me died next to me, there was nothing else to do but sit. And I knew from that point forward that sitting was the 'right' thing to do. I'm sorry you have experienced these traumatic events. You are handling it in the correct way and will be stronger from it. Also, talking to a counselor / therapist may be helpful.
    /Rich

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm | |

    In reference to Jundo's notice(which, I'd like to point out, was given to Treeleaf, not to those he actually imposed himself on-perhaps an apology is maybe owed to us who were not involved but rather caught with the e-mail shrapnel?…Just saying- whatever his problems with Brad, few of us know anything about the dude.)

    I just wanna point out, as others have pointed out before, Jundo is NOT a member of Dogen Sangha. He talks a lot about "Buddhists in the same sangha". He and Brad are NOT in the same sangha.

    This will not be the first sangha to split in history and will probably not be the last. Other split sanghas however, in my experience, tend to stay split.
    This situation ( the split and the animosity) is not uncommon. The only solution is to leave it be and let it decompose. Eventually the members will mix again, once the water has time to pass under the bridge…Thing is, some people don't want to admit it's a big river and that the water's gonna take a while.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm | |

    Brad and Jundo are in the same Sangha. Don't let your ignorance of the term and its usage cause you to think otherwise.

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:23 pm | |

    Can the Jundo sycophants please go back to Treeleaf?.

    ..If he's so bloody awesome, what the fuck are you doing here.

    If you've got a problem with Brad, don't read his blog, attend his talks, read his books or pay attention to his teachings. It's that simple.

    I'm beginning to be o a mind to invade Treeleaf and cheer on Brad there.

    Why the hell not? Good for the goose, good for the gander and all!

    Whattaya think?

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm | |

    So long as you were polite in doing so, you'd be quite welcome there. Although, from that comment, I'm not sure you're capable of maintaining a civil discussion.

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm | |

    He may be in the same sangha in the more absolute, universal sense. What I'm talking about here is common usage as a Buddhist equivalent of parish.

    Jundo is a member of Dogen Sangha like Bob Moore is a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen- he's not.

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm | |

    Who gives two shits for civility? I'll take honesty any day!

  19. PhillySteveInLA
    PhillySteveInLA September 28, 2009 at 3:51 pm | |

    MTTO,
    Good point my friend!

  20. HidingThoYouKnowMe
    HidingThoYouKnowMe September 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm | |

    So, I checked out Jundo's little explanation note on Treeleaf.

    Here's my issue- Jundo says he extends the invitation every year and Brad refuses every year. He then goes on to say that he doesn't know if he'll make the invitation next year, but he might.

    My question is, why would he?

    Forget who's 'right' and who's 'wrong'- pointless distinctions anyway. If the invitation is clearly not going to be accepted- Brad openly says that he WILL NOT meet with Jundo for at least five years. Next year is only one year away….Someone needs to do the math!

    After all, didn't someone once say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

    PS.
    If any of you Jundo supporters are curious- Yes, I am going to put this question directly to him on Treeleaf.

  21. Rift in the Sangha
    Rift in the Sangha September 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm | |

    Brad and Jundo are in the same Sangha. Don't let your ignorance of the term and its usage cause you to think otherwise.

    Yes, they are in the same 'Sangha', both lineage holders of the still alive and kicking Nishijima Sensei (who, by the way, asked Brad to come. Brad's refusal caused all this mess as much as any invitation). People who say that they are not in the same "Sangha" are confusing the fact that Jundo and Brad are both Dharma Heirs of Nishijima, and thus in the same Sangha, with the fact that Jundo asked not to participate in an imaginary "Buddhist Organization" (as Brad calls it) and is in another imaginary "Buddhist Organization" both approved by their common teacher. Like brothers in a family, lineage holders are bound for life by a bloodline.

    Sure, Brad does not "have to meet with Jundo if he does not want to". It is a free country. But that does not me that Brad is not acting like a petulant child by not doing so ("I won't talk to him, I won't I won't!!!). That does not mean that it wouldn't be more Buddhist (remember that) to try to talk to one's Dharma Brother and settle things a little. Anyway, their root teacher asked them to do so.

    People here, being willing to explain away almost anything Brad does, are happy to point out all the reasons why Brad does not have to talk to Jundo. Why don't you instead think of why it would be more in keeping with the Buddha's teachings on healing a rift in the Sangha for Sangha members to meet and honestly try for something better in the future.

    The Buddha, in order to heal a rift in a Sangha, always required meeting face to face, honest mutual confession and repentance, a mutual look at the roots of the problem, and an effort to do better for the future. That is Buddhism 101, basic to the tradition for two thousand years.

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3644863/The-Buddha-s-Advice-on-Healing-the-Community-By-Thanissaro

    Not meeting with a Buddhist was only recognized in a few cases, such as when the person had committed a grave offense such as killing.

    But nobody around here cares much for what the Buddha might have to say on the matter, I guess.

    Who gives two shits for civility? I'll take honesty any day!

    As we too often forget in this world, we can have both. Sometimes we need not to be civil to be honest. But sometimes not being civil is just anger, petulance, insecurity covering itself, and not honesty. In Brad's case, and the case of some others around here, the lack of civility often seems to be as much anger, petulance and latent insecurity more than honesty.

  22. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm | |

    But nobody around here cares much for what the Buddha might have to say on the matter, I guess.

    Well, that goes back to the whole point that you rarely see the Buddha or other ancestors or even Dogen mentioned here or in Brad's public talks. At least, you don't see any discussion in any depth. Nobody here refers to Buddhist teachings and traditions about subjects, which is just strange for a supposed "Buddhist organization".

    Apparently, in this case of healing the Sangha anyway, you also don't see much "Buddha" in the organization's leader's actions either. I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do" or "what would Dogen" do on this, instead of "what would Brad do"?

  23. Lynn
    Lynn September 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm | |

    I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do" or "what would Dogen" do on this, instead of "what would Brad do"?

    Now that is so true! I often think the same thing about so much around Brad and this place.

    Let's all get little bracelets and bumper stickers: "Forget the Buddha: What would Brad do"?

  24. Jinzang
    Jinzang September 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm | |

    From the Lotus Sutra, the story of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging:

    "After the original Awesome sound King Thus Come One had passed into extinction, and after his Correct Law had also passed away, in the period of his Counterfeit Law, monks of overbearing arrogance exercised great authority and power. At this time there was a bodhisattva monk named Never Disparaging. Now, Gainer of Great Authority, for what reason was he named Never Disparaging? This monk, whatever persons he happened to meet, whether monks, nuns, Laymen or laywomen, would bow in obeisance to all of them and speak words of praise, saying, 'I have profound reverence for you, I would never dare treat you with disparaging and arrogance. Why? Because you are all practicing the bodhisattva way and are certain to attain Buddhahood.'

    "This monk did not devote his time to reading or reciting the scriptures, but simply want about bowing to people. And if he happened to see any of the four kinds of believers far off in the distance, he would purposely go to where they were, bow to them and speak words of praise, saying, 'I would never dare disparage you, because you are all certain to attain Buddhahood!'

    "Among the four kinds of believers there were the those who gave way to anger, their minds lacking in purity, and they spoke ill of him and cursed him, saying, 'This ignorant monk – were does he come from, presuming to declare that he does not disparage us and bestowing on us a prediction that we will attain Buddhahood? We have no use for such vain and irresponsible predictions!'

    "Many years passed in this way, during which this monk was constantly subjected to curses and abuse. He did not give way to anger, however, but each time spoke the same words, 'You are certain to attain Buddhahood.' When he spoke in this manner, some among the group would take sticks of wood or tiles and stones and beat and pelt him. But even as he ran away and took up his stance at a distance, he continued to call out in a loud voice, ' I would never dare disparage you, for you are all certain to attain Buddhahood!' And because he always spoke these words, the overbearing arrogant monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen gave him the name Never Disparaging.

  25. mtto
    mtto September 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm | |

    Our Hero aka the Lotus Sutra Song – a song about Bodhisattva Never Disparaging
    by the Dharma Cowboys

    lyrics

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm | |

    and they spoke ill of him and cursed him, saying, 'This ignorant monk – were does he come from, presuming to declare that he does not disparage us and bestowing on us a prediction that we will attain Buddhahood? We have no use for such vain and irresponsible predictions!'

    I wonder if Bodhisattva Never Disparaging would have invited them all for tea?

  27. Jinzang
    Jinzang September 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm | |

    He would probably ask them to leave their sticks, tiles, and stones at home.

  28. PhillySteveInLA
    PhillySteveInLA September 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm | |

    So, normally I'm not big into the Hindu teachers, but I came across this quote from Sri Yukteswar, teacher of Yogananda:
    "Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead lady. Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeon's knife; effective but unpleasant. Candor with courtesy is helpful and admirable."

    Maybe we should all soak that in a bit.
    Even me.

  29. ihtssm
    ihtssm September 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm | |

    This is all very interesting and confusing. I don't know much about Brad or Juno, so I don't know what to think. It just seems weird.

  30. ihtssm
    ihtssm September 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm | |

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ' Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son!

  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 6:54 pm | |

    Brad, a while back I decided to stop reading the comments on your blog; sadly, most of them are a complete waste of reading-time. Unfortunately, now the comments are even infecting your blog entries. I'll continue to read your blog as I enjoy and respect what you have to say, but please consider this a vote to turn off the comments – there are many, many other forums people can pour their words into.

  32. Mr. Reee
    Mr. Reee September 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm | |

    With regard to turning off comments, actually, um no.

    I like being able to comment from time to time and I also especially like reading comments from the regulars like Jinzang, Harry, Justin, Step and the others.

    Sometimes I have a question that I'd like clarification on, and it's nice to be able to get some feedback, as Brad does not reply to comments and questions (no problem with that–he's got his hands full.)

    I also like to screw off occasionally–but never in a harmful way.

    If the comments are causing some kind of 'rift' between groups–well, grow up and get over it. No one owns Zen.

    Again, I'd say that this problem arises from not doing what needs to be done and doing what doesn't need to be done.

    Jundo asked Brad to tea. Brad said no. Jundo should have said 'OK.' and gotten on. Seems pretty upeebont to me.

  33. Patrick J. Farmington
    Patrick J. Farmington September 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm | |

    "If you've got a problem with Brad, don't read his blog, attend his talks, read his books or pay attention to his teachings. It's that simple."

    Good show there. I say we bar the heretics from posting here. If you differ with Bradley on any given point, you simply are not welcome in our warm cozy sangha.

    My goodness the buddhist masters on E-Sangha do not allow people to post there if what they say disagrees with their views of True Buddhism. They threw poor Jundo off the entire site and have made it plain that Brad and Nishijima aren't welcome either. Shut the whole Soto section down, they did.

    I suppose that's the proper way to handle things. The Amish do it. Shun the unbelievers. This way, there's no one to disturb our right and correct views so lovingly instilled by zen master Warner.

    Or better yet, shut down the comments outright. I don't want to be swayed by any heretical views of Buddhism or zen. This way Master Bradley won't read anything that might hurt his feelings or cause him to doubt that his is the True Way. Shut it all down…fuck em, I say. If you got a problem with Brad, we don't want to hear about it. Bunch of ignorant haters and trolls, the lot of you.

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm | |

    I don't know anything about what is going here, therefore I'm the perfect person to tell you all about it.

  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 9:09 pm | |

    "Sure, Brad does not "have to meet with Jundo if he does not want to". It is a free country."

    What country are you referring to? The meeting was to be in Japan. Japan isn't any freer than the USA.

    "I wonder if Brad even once thought about "what would Buddha do"

    Jesus.. What a bizarre thought. No one has any idea what he would have done.

    anon@ 6:54: You are a good little citizen aren't you? Don't read the fucking comments if you find them so upsetting. I find an occasional pearl amongst the sheep turds.

  36. CanYouGuess
    CanYouGuess September 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm | |

    Has anyone here reflected on how much all this fighting in here might look to a newcomer to Zen?
    Many people discover Brad through his books and come here looking for help and advice and an example of the Dharma. What they see are screaming children, on both sides.
    I'm not an advocate of censorship, but perhaps the comments should be closed down. Brad's email is posted, people in need can get their answers there without being subjected to this incessant clamor of egotism and self cherishing.
    Or better yet, maybe Brad could post a link to some sort list of Zen centers across the country and they can go there and get some in person experience.
    Because I tell you what, while there may be internet sanghas out there, this sure ain't one.
    This is a bareknuckles boxing ring. The Dharma Combat version of a fight club- everyone comes out bloody and you're never really sure surviving is a win.

    Sure, this is all one hell of an adrenaline rush, but is anyone in a fight club practicing a real martial art, or are they just throwing punches?
    Is anyone in here really practicing the Dharma with this verbal barrage, or are we throwing our egos?

  37. Mr. Reee
    Mr. Reee September 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm | |

    If it was a bare-knuckles boxing ring, it'd be far more entertaining. There's be scantily clad girls waving round cards overhead.

    Mostly it seems to be pissing and moaning about the 'fate of Zen' like anyone actually has control over such a thing.

    Looks like simple prenstse ego-tripping.

  38. PhilBob-SquareHead
    PhilBob-SquareHead September 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm | |

    I'm not joining a Zen group. I'm not joining the Democrats OR the Republicans. And I hesitate to refer to myself as an American. There is ONLY ONE group for me:

    There's a new party being born. The People Who Hate People Party. People who hate people, come together! "No!" We're kind of having trouble getting off the boards, you know. Come to our meeting! "Are you gonna be there?" Yeah. "Then I ain't fucking coming." But you're our strongest member! "Fuck you!" That's what I'm talking about, you asshole! Fuck off! Damn, we almost had a meeting going. It's so hard to get my people together.
    - Bill Hicks

  39. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 1:10 am | |

    YEAH !!!

  40. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 2:50 am | |

    I belong (somewhat loosely) to Dogen Sangha and so in a way Brad is my Dharma uncle. As is Jundo. I wish both my uncles well. If they are pissed with each other and want a fight in the parking lot then that's up to them. Their father, nephews and nieces are upset by this but hey that's part of family life. I'm sure that they will sort it all out once they're both sober again. The power of Anger Beer eh?

  41. 1
    1 September 29, 2009 at 4:41 am | |

    Is seems happen that there is one who joins groups to be with others, where one values being one amongst many, and is generally OK with one as the many, many as the one, as occurs within the group. One can take a lead when required, one can stand back when required.

    It also seems to happen that there is one who joins groups to be with others, where one values being one amongst many, yet is only OK with one as the many, or only OK with the many as one, as occurs within the group.

    In the second instance one has a strong tendency to keep taking the lead, one has a strong tendency to remain back in the throng, notwithstanding the time to step forward, the time to step back, or the time to be unsure, as it appears to come up in the individual.

    Whether one thinks or says one doesn't want to be one or the other, or neither; or thinks or says one is one or the other, or neither, is, of course, the behaviour of talking and thinking.

    One has already been 'joined' to groups and groupness, when one became 'one' — a talker and thinker. One cannot think or talk one's way out of this without negating the very words and thoughts with their opposite in the realm of talking and thinking.

    Endless dialectic, arguments, and a de-centred 'throwness'. One can play with this in this realm, or one can chase neurotically for some fixed, secure terms that will inevitably and necessarily be undermined. One can get upset with the situation and others who appear to embody this. And one can retreat into an apparently safe cocoon, psychologically and then physically, bound within whatever conceit seems to hold.

    Unfortunately the conceit itself is not alone, nor does it want to be, is 'populated' by the other and its others as they have been framed within that one mind, constantly undermining that one, dividing it against itself, wherein: It seems happen that there is one with others, one amongst many…and so on. Wheels within wheels.

    The 'outside' of this arrangement constantly encroaches like demons, ghosts, a fearful darkness, to be fought off, suppressed, distracted from, even…oh dear. The impulse to be either in or out of it comes from both the in and out of it, happens at the interaction between the two.

    It seems one can only continue to re-locate ones self at that juncture and stay with it, lest one leans one way or the other; and as the centre necessarily shifts, becomes de-centred, this seems to necessitate a continual coming back to the 'posture' of that juncture. Which is why it occurs to me, increasingly, and more increasingly as I allow it to occur to me, that my behaviour should follow suit.

    To extend the metaphor, one must keep fitting one's self to the ever changing motley of the world, for the self is also a product of the various clothes available to it. All the materials have their own relative length of stay, some of which seem more permanent than others, or more flexibly enduring or accommodating, but all will go, become worn, too tight, wear away, or tear etc…ouch.

    The previously mentioned 'juncture' thus seems to be the axis on which everything turns and changes; and the constant-coming-back-to-that-axis, the best fitting 'posture' or 'position'– a constant process of being equal to the dialectic of is and isn't, by seeing where one has suddenly shifted to, over and over again.

    This is why it seems to make such sense to create the habit of this through sitting, which in turn provides a more secure groundless ground from which to maintain the best-fitting posture for action throughout the day, moment after moment, and so on.

    It does seem to me therefore that those who lean too heavily towards dogma and away from the basic practice of getting the right posture, might end up subtly configuring and re-configuring a Buddhism that stops acting as a handbook to maintaining that living posture, even where there is some practice. The danger might even be more powerful for those whose role it is to maintain the handbook, so to speak, and to provide the living contemporary version of it.

  42. 1b
    1b September 29, 2009 at 4:42 am | |

    Or in other words, if a teacher cannot throw off the clothes of Buddhism, is this the Buddha way? Surely precepts and all should exist for one in all their Newtonian stability and their Quantum instability.

    So perhaps, If I don't try and maintain my posture in life, my life's posture will be the same ultimately as some Buddha's– I'll just be a very noisy wavelength in comparison, unaware that all peaks and toughs add up to the same thing. And without me maintaining that posture, Buddhism like everything else is the noise or harmonies I make of it, be it in tune or not. Tree rot, leaf mould.

  43. gniz
    gniz September 29, 2009 at 5:48 am | |

    Has anyone here considered that part of the rift between Brad and Jundo is that Jundo appears to practice a kind of Buddhist style (in terms of how he speaks and teaches) that is the polar opposite of Brad's style?

    I can recall Brad talking about how he looks at all these Buddhist books with their flowery, nicey nice explanations and thinks–this isnt real Buddhism. its bullshit. If Jundo were to write a book, me thinks it would lean much closer to the kinds of books Brad probably hates. This is based on reading Jundo's posts and watching his blogs at Treeleaf.org.

    I mean, i'm not saying its right or wrong, but stylistically, Jundo is kind of on the "lite" side. Whereas Brad is in your face, antagonistic, and "real".

    I think there is a feeling on both sides that the other has kind of "got it wrong" and thats where a lot of this anger truly stems from. They really stylistically disagree with one another.

    Not sure that changes anything to realize it, but two people as different as that, with contrasting styles, who profoundly disagree, will probably never get along very well at all.

  44. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 6:12 am | |

    I mean, i'm not saying its right or wrong, but stylistically, Jundo is kind of on the "lite" side. Whereas Brad is in your face, antagonistic, and "real".

    Well, it is a good observation, Gniz. But some of us obviously have very very different perspectives on which of the two men is "lite" and which on is more "real".

  45. James
    James September 29, 2009 at 6:17 am | |

    I don't think Gniz was making judgements by using the terms lite and real, hence the carefully considered use of quotation marks. Read it out loud with air quotes and I think you'll get the idea.

  46. Smoggyrob
    Smoggyrob September 29, 2009 at 6:26 am | |

    Hi everyone:

    I have a standing rule to stay the fuck away from people who refer to themselves in the third person, or consider themselves "Gandhi-like".

    Rob

  47. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 6:41 am | |

    Yeah Rob?

    Really, who give a fuck what your standing rules are.

    Jeez, you're an arrogant little prick.

    non-Ghandi like enought for you, idiot?

  48. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 6:44 am | |

    That's not what Jundo did, Rob.

    I, myself, have a rule about staying away from people who lack basic verbal reasoning skills.

  49. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 7:54 am | |

    "Donít draw anotherís bow, donít ride anotherís horse, donít discuss anotherís faults, donít explore anotherís affairs."
    Wise words I have found.
    'Nuff said

  50. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 8:09 am | |

    "Donít draw anotherís bow, donít ride anotherís horse, donít discuss anotherís faults, donít explore anotherís affairs."
    Wise words I have found.
    'Nuff said

    Draw another's bow, ride another's horse, discuss another's faults, explore another's affairs.

    Wise words for every other occasion.

    "'Nuff said" is a very smelly tag. I suggest we follow our noses.

    Enough is enough, and enough is exactly not enough for that very reason

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