I’m Sorry, Toronto!

3 Stooges HerculesMy apologies to everyone in Toronto who was salivating to see me. I neglected to check my passport. I noticed at the airport that it had expired on April 1st. What a dork I am. I had to scramble and re-organize everything.

Why do we need passports between the US and Canada anyway? You can go from France to Germany without a passport and those guys used to fire machine guns at each other! By the way, that story about the 9/11 hijackers coming in through Canada is not true. Most Americans seem to “know” this as a fact whereas every Canadian I’ve met is aware that it never happened.

Anyway, I will deal with the passport issue and have one by the time of my retreat in Calgary on September 15th. More info on that soon.

I’m at the Newark airport now. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking in Ithaca. Which, by the way, is the setting for the movie The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. I hope somebody will take me to Dimsal’s Drug Store (which is the drugstore in Ithaca where the Stooges worked in the movie. Isn’t it sad that I know this?).


– 19-June    Toronto    7 p.m.    Snow Lion Bookstore 708a Pape Avenue, Toronto, ON  CANCELED!

– 20-June   Ithaca, NY    7 p.m.    Ulysses Philomathic Library 74 E. Main Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886    https://www.facebook.com/events/177703205728097/?ref=14

– 21-June    Pittsburgh    7 p.m.    Black Cat Tattoos 3419 Butler Street 15201 Pittsburgh, PA    https://www.facebook.com/events/167000203473975/?ref=14

– 22-June    Akron    7 p.m.    Arkham Tattoo 788 North Main Street, Akron, OH 44310 https://www.facebook.com/events/471238089631983/

– 22-June    Akron 10 p.m. Zero Defex at Old Haunts Tavern 1527 E. Market St. Akron, OH

– 23-June    Cleveland   6 pm zazen, 7pm talk 1360 W. Miner, Mayfield Hts, OH 44124    https://www.facebook.com/events/554215741287955/?ref=14

– 23-June     Cleveland 10 p.m. Zero Defex at Now That’s Class 11213 Detroit Ave  Cleveland, OH 44102

– 24-June    Pitman, NJ    8 p.m.    519 Grandview Ave, Pitman, NJ 08071    https://www.facebook.com/events/535192329849584/?ref=14

– 25-June    Philadelphia, PA    8 p.m.    1547 E. Berks St., Philadelphia, PA 19125

– 26-June    Newark, Delaware    5:30 p.m.    The Meadow (next to the co-op) 280 East Main Street, Market East Plaza, Newark, DE 19711 https://www.facebook.com/events/138021953061773/

– 27-June    Annapolis, Maryland    7 p.m.    Universalist Unitarian Church of Annapolis 333 Dubois Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401    https://www.facebook.com/events/541018419278312/?ref=14

– 28-June    Asbury Park, NJ    7 p.m. Pure Health Bar & Yoga 701 Cookman Ave Asbury Park, NJ

– 29-June    Long Island, NY 7 p.m.  Clear Mountain Zen Center 519 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead, NY 11553


– 10 July Upaya Zen Center 1404 Cerro Gordo Rd  Santa Fe, NM 87501 http://www.upaya.org/index.php


– Nov 8-11 We will hold another retreat at Mt. Baldy Zen Center. Registration open now!

*   *   *

You can help Brad out with gas money by donating here!

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32 Responses

Page 1 of 1
  1. Fred
    Fred June 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm |

    But Brad I shaved my head and bought an orange robe for our meeting
    tonight in Toronto.

  2. Fred
    Fred June 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

    No problem man. I’ll catch you in the next reincarnation.

  3. Harlan
    Harlan June 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

    Brad, You should have explained yourself at the border. Chances are they would have let you pass. It’s not written in stone that you need a passport.

  4. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

    About.com says, have a passport as of June 2009 or one of three limited alternatives.

    Naw, he f*#!ked up.

  5. DanJ
    DanJ June 20, 2013 at 5:05 am |

    What is this retreat in Calgary all about?

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

      It’s not just a retreat. It’s a Stampede!

  6. SoF
    SoF June 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |

    Instead of beating yourself up, say 3 Hail Marys, 2 Our Fathers, put $2 in the poor box and let the Cathaholic Cult near you beat you up. Ant thank god you are neither an altar boy or altered boy.

    I will donate your monthly stipend to M̩decins Sans Fronti̬res Рwhich, unlike Catholicism, is marginally useful.

  7. Harlan
    Harlan June 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

    Tongan Ninja vs. Action Fighter


  8. recurvata
    recurvata June 22, 2013 at 4:21 am |

    Idiotic security state. I grew up in Detroit, went to Canada hundreds of times. Never needed a passport. Now it’s a hassle coming or going. Too bad, Canada is a nice country.

  9. Fred
    Fred June 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm |

    ” That’s why I am so delighted that Gautama put forward his core teaching as dependent on the existence of suffering, and didn’t contend the truth of it outside of the existence of suffering. That would be suffering in the individual, not some Platonic, metaphysical quality that exists outside of the experience of an individual, as many “Buddhists” would have it: the “life is suffering” school. Similar to the “consciousness exists outside of sense contact and sense object” school that calls itself “Buddhist”.”

    1. What is the ” life is suffering ” school ” ?

    2. What is consciousness?

    3. What is ” consciousness exists outside of sense contact and sense object ” ?

    Of course, Brad asked me what is the Absolute, and I did not give him a straight

  10. Fred
    Fred June 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

    ” What is the Absolute ? ”

    Mu, there are no handles to hang onto it.

  11. Fred
    Fred June 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm |

    “Identification with personality and form dissolved completely”

    When the universe realized itself

    And the fundamental point was actualized

    “at the moment when a shift in the location

    of awareness with a cessation of volitive activity”

    While the bridge was flowing,

    The water was still,

    ” But there is this sense that

    there’s an underlying ground to the universe,

    and that … that we all partake in it

    and we’re all manifestations of that

    and that this underlying ground is not

    just dead matter, it’s something alive.”

  12. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 23, 2013 at 5:40 am |

    Nice little paragraph found in Wikipedia under “Animism:”

    “Animism in the broadest sense, i.e., thinking of objects as animate, and treating them as if they were animate, is near-universal. Jean Piaget applied the term in reference to an implicit understanding of the world in a child’s mind which assumes that all events are the product of intention or consciousness. Piaget explains this with a cognitive inability to distinguish the external world from one’s internal world.”

  13. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 23, 2013 at 8:18 am |

    “. . . and the fatal merciless passionate ocean.”
    -Delmore Schwartz’s “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities”

  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 9:25 am |

    “I’m sorry, Toronto; the Lone Ranger and Silver cannot appear as scheduled.”

    Example of the common misapprehension I referred to as the life is suffering school.

    One link per entry, or drive stonemirror crazy, so here goes.

  15. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 9:27 am |

    Here’s Thanissaro Bhikkhu repudiating that viewpoint:

    “You’ve probably heard the rumor that “Life is suffering” is Buddhism’s first principle, the Buddha’s first noble truth. It’s a rumor with good credentials, spread by well-respected academics and Dharma teachers alike, but a rumor nonetheless. The truth about the noble truths is far more interesting. The Buddha taught four truths – not one – about life: There is suffering, there is a cause for suffering, there is an end of suffering, and there is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering. These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They’re a practical, problem-solving approach – the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause.”

    from here

  16. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 9:37 am |

    I guess the phenomena of consciousness that matters in the truths about suffering is “somatognosia”.

    I got the word from this article by Olaf Blanke, which I’m still reading at the moment.

  17. Fred
    Fred June 23, 2013 at 9:44 am |

    Barbara O’Brien :

    “What we call a ‘being’, or an ‘individual’, or ‘I’, is only a convenient name or a label given to the combination of these five groups. They are all impermanent, all constantly changing. ‘Whatever is impermanent is dukkha’ (Yad aniccam tam dukkham). This is the true meaning of the Buddha’s words: ‘In brief the Five Aggregates of Attachment are dukkha.’

  18. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    “These data point to the importance of non-visual, body related, mechanisms in AP, such as proprioceptive and/or
    kinaesthetic processing as already argued by Sollier[93]”

    from the above article; more:

    “Another sensory system, which has been linked to AP, is
    the vestibular system that conveys sensations of the body’s
    orientation in three-dimensional space to the brain.”

    and more- I think this stuff is fascinating, am I alone?-

    “Thus, Blanke et al. [11] proposed that AP
    result from a disintegration in personal space (due to
    conflicting tactil, proprioceptive, kinesthetic, and visual
    information) and a second disintegration between personal
    and extrapersonal space (due to conflicting visual and
    vestibular information).”

    It’s about the consciousness that we identify as “self”, which is apparently a coordination of multi-sensory experience and the sense of inner and outer, and is subject to break-down as in HAS (heautoscopy- “a term used in psychiatry and neurology for the reduplicative hallucination of “seeing one’s own body at a distance”):

    “In addition,
    during HAS, the sharing of thoughts, voices, and agency
    might make it difficult for the patient to decide where the
    physical agent (‘‘the thinking, speaking, and acting person’’;
    [30,43] is localized: Am I in the physical body or in the
    autoscopic body?). These difficulties of the HAS-patient are
    increased by two visuo-spatial perspectives that either
    alternate or are simultaneously present between autoscopic
    and physical body. This situation makes it almost impossible for the HAS-patient to decide where the observing self
    is localized and might lead to the experience of two
    ‘‘observing’’ selfs [11, #2B]. It might thus be argued that,
    HAS is not only an experience characterized by the
    reduplification of one’s body, but also by a reduplification
    of one’s self. As strikingly reported by Brugger et al. [20]
    the high risk of suicide during this terrifying experience
    cannot be overstated as some of these HAS-patients try by
    all means to reestablish their unitary self.”

  19. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |

    3. What is ” consciousness exists outside of sense contact and sense object ” ?

    That would be the illusion that there is a self apart from the experience of sense (including as sense not just the thinking mind but also equalibrioception, proprioception, and the sense of gravity):

    “The self is experienced as distinct from other human
    conspecifics and may be described as an enduring entity (i.e.
    the feeling that we are the same person across time) to which
    certain mental events and actions are ascribed (i.e. the
    feeling that we are the authors of our thoughts and actions)
    and which is distinct from the environment[58]. The self has
    fascinated mankind from time immemorial[94] and its many
    concepts have been influenced by theology, philosophy,
    psychology [43,75,77], but also by clinical observations
    from neurology and psychiatry [41,58,73,74,50,89,90,93].
    More recently, cognitive neuroscience has started elucidating some of the cognitive and neural mechanisms of isolated
    aspects of self processing such as agency [25,37,38],
    ownership [43], perspective taking [36,85,99], self-other
    distinction [25,37,38,85— 87], and spatial unity between self
    and body [12]. Yet, as argued by Kircher and Davis[58] the
    neuroscientific study of the self is in its infancy, as there are
    currently no established models, very little data, and often
    not even the vocabulary to describe neuroscientific notions
    of the self.”

  20. Fred
    Fred June 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |

    I would guess that no-self upon the absolute might be a terrifying experience
    for a normal person who wasn’t sitting, meditating or doing exercises to
    ” drop the body-mind “.

    For others a locus-free ” primordial awareness ” is without dukkha.

    Thanks for responding in a clear, concise way, Mark.

  21. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |

    Specifically, most people take the consciousness that they think of as “self” to be something apart from the senses. Blanke’s article is all about the fact that the consciousness that we think of as “self” is a function of the senses, although some senses apart from the usual five or even Gautama’s six are involved, and that when those sense go wrong the sense of self can be confusing and even disturbing to the individual.

    The acceptance that continuity in the sense of self is a function of the realization of a subtle hypnogogic state, which state is dependent on a built-in flip of volition (wherein the relaxed movement of breath and the subconscious become the source of action), is I think consistent with Gautama’s assertion that consciousness only exists in connection with sense organ and sense object. The wildfire that jumps between trees still burns only in connection with fuel, even though the fuel is not seen and the fire at that point appears to exist outside of any fuel.

    The practice is the experience of the relaxed activity of the movement of breath, and as a part of that experience the distinction of the senses. We all do this automatically, but it helps to assume a posture of stretch associated with calm occasionally, and to recognize that what we normally experience physically as a continuous sense of self is really a construct of what I would call the nine senses.

  22. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

    Thanks so much for stating the questions so directly, Fred; I learned a lot today. I’m a firm believer in the serendipity and coincidence of the universe which some folks cannot resist describing in anthropomorphic terms.

  23. Fred
    Fred June 25, 2013 at 5:10 am |

    The thinking that is non-thinking acts through consciousness, but it is not

  24. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 9:06 am |


    Imagine my glee when I read you talking about “a mixed martial artist from San Diego” who claims to be Maitreya. The guy is from Sacramento, but let’s not get bogged down. You actually mentioned DAN QUINN in your book! Beauty, my friend! I have seen tons of this guy’s videos and he’s one entertaining dude.

  25. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 9:08 am |

    How does one embed YouTube videos here?

  27. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |

    How about, the coordination of the senses including the mind by the autonomic nervous system with the relaxed discrimination of the senses in the movement of breath? The relaxed discrimination of the senses associated with single-pointedness of mind induced through making self-surrender the object of thought , that is.

    “When you finally arrive at towering up like a mile-high wall, you will know that there are not so many things.” Yuanwu

  28. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 25, 2013 at 9:12 am |

    fer non-thinking, that is.

    cut and paste the URL, to embed the video. Sometimes they embed right, and sometimes you just get the link; that I haven’t figured out.

  29. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  30. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

    Seems like Dan Quinn posted a comment on the old blog at least once.

    “…acts through consciousness, but it is not

    awareness unaware of itself.

    And Mark, if I may quote G.K. Chesterton…

    “there is only one thing certain and that is that nothing is certain.”

Comments are closed.