Interview on The Beer O’Clock

Here’s the transcript of an interview I did for a radio show in Montreal called The Beer O’Clock in July, 2005. The interviewer was Thibault du Chene. It’s been a few years. But I still like this interview.

Thibault: So tonight our guest is Brad Warner. Brad Warner is a punk rocker, Monster Movie maker and author and Zen priest. He’s here in Montreal for the Fantasia Film Festival. How ya doin’ Brad?

Brad: I’m doin’ OK. How are you?

Thibault: So, for the people who don’t know you could you introduce yourself more than I just did?

Brad: Well - I think you said everything. I wrote a book called Hardcore Zen, about my experiences and about Buddhist philosophy, which I have been studying and practicing for the past 20 years. The book is about how it relates to my own path – which was not one usually associated with a Buddhist monk – which is being a punk rocker. I also work for a company that makes science fiction films. We make a series of films called Ultraman and we’re showing one of those films on Sunday at the Fantasia Film Festival. That’s why I’m in Montreal.

Thibault: So what is Zen?

Brad: What is Zen? Ooooh that’s a tough question. It’s Buddhist philosophy. It’s a branch of Buddhism and it’s a very ….hmm… An American I met last week was saying it’s like Buddhism without all the hoo-ha, without all the big trappings and very religious looking things.

It’s a very austere practice, very quiet, centered on a kind of meditation. I don’t even like to use the word “meditation” because I think it’s pretty different from what people usually think of as meditation. What we do is called zazen. In zazen practice you sit in the lotus posture with your feet up crossed and look at a wall for a long time. Zen is a branch of Buddhism which attempted to get back to the original teaching that Buddha taught 2500 years ago, before a lot of other things got layered on top of it, making it into something more like a religion than a philosophy. I think Zen strips away all the religious aspects.

It’s hard to use the words correctly, because when you say the word religion, people have a lot of different images what that word means. But to me, it strips away all the religious aspects and gets down to the core of the philosophy.

Thibault: Now, you just said you have a reluctance to use the word meditation. What is the difference between meditation and zazen?

Brad: Well, generally meditation means you’re sitting — and the posture is usually pretty much the same — you’re sitting in your lotus posture with your legs all twisted together and you’re trying to achieve some kind of special mental state which is usually described to you by your teacher or by books, or whatever. And you might chant, or you might repeat in your mind some kind of phrase over and over or you might kind of visualize something. There are various different practices.

In zazen you’re basically sitting in the same posture with your legs crossed and your back straight and you’re staring at a wall. But you’re not trying to ‘get’ anything out of that practice. You’re just sitting there, not particularly trying to stop your thoughts but not particularly trying to have thoughts or think about something in particular. It’s not really a mental practice, whereas, I think, meditation usually involves a lot of mental gymnastics, a lot of tricks with your brain. I think the process of zazen is a lot more valuable in the end because what you see is what’s really there, what’s really your life and what you really are without all of the trappings that you’ve laid on top of it in your mind and your thoughts.

Thibault: What is the end ‘point’ of zazen?

Brad: Ah, the end point is the beginning point. That sounds like a good ‘zen’ saying, but it really is. There’s nothing you’re trying to strive for, nothing you’re trying to achieve. It is true that if you do this practice for several years, for a decade or so, at least. In my case, it took fifteen years before I started to understand what it was all about. There is some kind of clarity of mind that you achieve. But I would also say that if you’re doing the practice correctly you can achieve a kind of clarity of mind right from the very beginning. Only you may not notice it, which is a funny kind of thing about Zen.

You need to learn to be satisfied with changes that you can’t notice. Like when you’re growing up, you don’t notice that you’re growing up. Suddenly you’re fifteen years old and five years later you’re twenty and you didn’t ‘try’ to become twenty from being five. But a lot of changes took place during that time and after the changes have taken place you can look back on it and say, “Ah, things have changed.” It’s a bit similar to that sort of process.

Thibault: Some people have criticized a lot of Buddhism in the west – that they’ve diluted it. I’ve heard of a Zen centre in the U.S. that taught their students to meditate while watching TV. Is there such a thing as couch potato Zen? Is there easy Zen?

Brad: No (chuckles) I’m afraid not. I’ve never heard about doing Zen while watching TV but it sounds pretty ridiculous to me. I’ve seen a lot of things. When I come across what’s going on in America in Buddhism in general, and Zen, a lot of it’s pretty bad. There isn’t really an easy way and that’s probably one of the reasons that real Zen is not ever going to be really big. I think, eventually it may become popular, but it won’t become popular until people stop seeking for easy ways out.

But, on the other hand, you could also say, in another way that Zen is very easy, because all you really have to do for the practice is just sit there looking at a wall, and it’s nothing particularly extraneous to that.

Thibault: Then why do people find it so difficult?

Brad: They find it difficult because they want to achieve something. They want a result. I think that’s a lot of what happens.

I haven’t heard about this watching television, but I have heard about some other practice that they were doing in American Zen called voice therapy, which I didn’t really understand. The whole point of the therapy seemed to be to try to give someone a taste of the enlightened state immediately, or something like that. Reading about what they do made me think that if you did that you’d probably have some kind of special mental experience or some kind of really exciting thing happen to you. But to me that’s not what enlightenment is all about and that’s not what Zen is about.

If you can learn to be satisfied with what you are right now at this moment, then Zen is extremely easy. But I think most of us try to run away from whatever we are at this moment. We’re trying to find something better — no matter what it is

Thibault: So are you saying that we should be complacent?

Brad: No, no not complacent. Complacency is when you kind of give up whatever you’re trying to do – there’s no hope and nothing is ever going to change. And that’s not what Zen is about. It’s a very active thing. But it’s active in that you are trying to honestly see what you are at this particular moment right now and not run away from it – which is difficult to do – so it’s not something you can take very lightly.

Thibault: What is awakening? Because a lot of people think that to practice is to become awakened, to be enlightened, to see what other Zen masters have seen in the past

Brad: You can do that…to see what other Zen masters have seen in the past. What other Zen masters have seen in the past is what they truly were at that moment. And that’s the important thing. People kind of romanticize it. So they think that the great Zen masters of the past had some great, wonderful experience of enlightenment, or awakening, or whatever they are gonna call it and they want to achieve that experience. Meaning they want to actually experience this thing they’ve read and heard about, which is completely different from experiencing your real life just as it is.

You can’t achieve somebody else’s experience. You can only achieve your own experience, and if you learn to do that, what you’ll find out is that your own experience and your own life is really something universal, something that includes the entire universe as well as your self, which sounds mystical, but that’s the way it is.

Thibault: Is Zen simply a language game? Have Zen masters simply acquired a certain way of talking consisting of particular sets of non-verbal and verbal  responses?

Brad: You’re probably talking about koans and the questions they ask…

Thibault: No. Let me put it this way; what differentiates a good actor from a Zen master?

Brad: That’s a good question. Actually I’ve seen a few good actors masquerading as Buddhist masters and what differentiates them is kind of in the quality of what they say. Because if you’re acting at it you’re always pointing somewhere else, you want to achieve this experience of “over there.” It’s not where you are right now. “If you do this then you will have the great experience in the future,” or ” I, the Zen master, have had this great experience in the past and now you can imitate that great experience if you follow my steps.” I don’t agree with at all. So that’s what acting is all about. Zen is much more straight-forward than that, much more realistic or in tune with what’s really going on at this particular time in this particular place.

Thibault: So what are some of the qualities of a good Buddhist teacher?

Brad: (chuckles) I don’t know… honesty… it’s difficult to say because when I … when I first encountered my current teacher – who’s a  guy named Gudo Nishijima – I went to his lectures, and I thought he was terrible. I didn’t like him at all. But, for some reason I kept going back.

He’s retired, well – he isn’t retired from Zen, but he’s retired from doing his lectures – but at the time he did these lectures every week. And, so I would go to his lectures and I would hate them and then I would come back the next week and go to another one. I kept doing this over and over until I finally realized that what he was saying was something very meaningful and very important, but I was resisting that.

So it’s difficult to give any kind of easy answer to what makes a good Zen teacher. It’s not like something you can see visually. It’s not like you can… you know… if he’s got a shaved head and he’s got the correct robes he must be a good teacher. It’s sort of an intuitive matter. If you come across a good teacher and you feel… (pause)

In my case — as far as my brain was concerned, as far as my thinking mind and thinking apparatus — my current teacher was terrible. But I had kind of an intuitive understanding that what he was saying was extremely sincere and extremely important, so even if I couldn’t agree with any of it, I could still see that there was this sense of sincerity coming from him. That I didn’t find very often from other people.

Thibault: In your book Hardcore Zen you’re very autobiographical

Brad: Yep

Thibault: My question is more concerned with communication. What exactly do you want to communicate with your writing and what is it that you want to say in your book Hardcore Zen?

Brad: What is it I wanted to say? It’s an interesting question. Because when I wrote the book…  I had two different teachers — I had a teacher when I was in America and then when I went to Japan I found a different teacher — and both of them told me “you should write a book.” And I thought,” I can’t write a book — especially I can’t write a book about Buddhism because I don’t know anything about Buddhism.” But I kept being encouraged to write a book.

So I just started writing a book about Buddhism and I thought that what I was writing was so strange, was so different from what I’d ever read that had the word Buddhism on the cover that there would be no audience for this and there would be no way anyone would ever publish this or would ever want to read it. So, I did what a lot of people do these days cuz it’s cheap and easy — I put up a website. And I got a lot of good response from that website which surprised me. I didn’t expect anyone to read it and here I was getting emails from readers almost every day who — some of them didn’t like it at all — but most of them did. So I continued on with that and I made it into a book.

So I guess what I’m trying to say in the book is: be honest and be sincere and look at what you really are honestly and sincerely, which is something quite difficult. I think most of us miss that and I think a lot of the trouble in the world is because people can’t look at themselves honestly. They have a lot of illusions about themselves and they have a lot of illusions about other people and those illusions are in conflict. And when those illusions are in conflict people fight with each other over nothing, over what in the end is just two different interpretations of the of the exact same reality. They’re fighting over the interpretations — which is a silly thing to fight over. It’s a lot better to just look at the real situation and deal with the real situation  than to fight over various interpretations of it.

Thibault: But I think it’s even more than difficult — it’s just not knowing how to do it, not knowing how to be honest and sincere

Brad: Hmm…it’s difficult ..I mean the practice of zazen is good because you’re sitting there quietly and just observing whatever comes up and a lot of things will come up if you’re sitting there. You’re not directing your thoughts or you’re not trying to do anything in particular except just see what comes up. You’ll see that your mind is full of a lot of really a lot of nonsense that you don’t need. It can be a very difficult process to learn to recognize the nonsense that your own mind comes up with.

I even wrote about that in the book in a chapter that I called ‘My Encounter with Demons’ but, you know, I was just trying to dramatize it a bit. When you actually start seeing the things in your mind that are just complete nonsense, that you’ve held onto very, very tightly and you don’t want to let go of, it can be really, really difficult. I actually think it’s more difficult to let go of those illusions.

I think this is why people have wars and fight and do all those terrible things — take drugs or whatever they’re doing with their lives, these terrible things that they do — because it’s easier to do that than to face what you really are, and say, “I’m just full of nonsense and most of the things I care most about are just nonsense and I need to let them go.” That’s difficult to do.

Thibault: So how does one practice more sincerely, with more desire? How does one really question?

Brad: Well really questioning is…. you just have to keep questioning and you have to keep looking and you can’t be satisfied with any answer that your mind comes up with. And that’s kind of the difficult thing because sometimes your mind will come up with great answers that seem to be really fantastic and hit the mark exactly. But it’s just what your ego is coughing up at you — all the things you’ve heard before. So you need to question everything even when you know that something is perfectly right and perfectly true you have to question that as well, you can’t be afraid of questioning.

Thibault: What I found most interesting about your book is when you were talking about dreams. You made it quite clear that a dream remains just a dream and you can have the perfect job, the perfect girl, the perfect whatever in your dream, but if you actually do get it then you realize all the hassles that come with having a job, even having the so and so perfect girl.

Brad: Yeah, I think that’s really important because you always have an illusion that there is going to be some perfect world somewhere else and if you can only get to that perfect world everything will be perfect.

In my own case — my own dreams were kind of silly. I wanted to work in Japan in a company that made these stupid monster movies and I dreamed of doing that since I was a kid and I finally got that job. And when I got that job I found  it didn’t fix everything. It didn’t solve everything.

I think that this happens to a lot of people. When you hear about these famous people who have a lot of money and a lot of power killing themselves or doing some crazy thing it’s because they have realized that their dream is just a dream. When it’s a dream it seems wonderful. When it’s your reality it’s something else entirely.

I used to have this idea that if people had a lot of money they could become more secure and this is the reason to have money because you want security and a stable situation. And  because I was in the entertainment business I would encounter people who were extremely rich and who should be very secure and very happy and they weren’t. In fact they were struggling even more than the ordinary people I knew because they were always trying to prove who they were. They were expending tremendous energy all the time just to let everyone they encountered know they were important or rich or whatever. It looked exhausting!

Thibault: Is life a problem to be solved?

Brad: Life is to be lived. There are problems and you encounter those problems and you solve them one by one and that’s the only way to live your life. So life itself is not a problem to be solved. Life is just for living.

Thibault: How is it that I’m responsible for everything?

Brad: Ah! How is it that you’re responsible for everything? That’s a difficult question. It’s really hard. I remember when I was 12 years old I was thinking about that song  ’Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Rolling Stones and there’s a line that says, “Who killed the Kennedys? Well after all it was you and me.” And I remember having this discussion with my friend “How did I kill the Kennedys? Other people killed the Kennedys – I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

What he said —he was smarter than me — was that by making the Kennedys celebrities we contributed, everybody contributed, to their death, by kind of putting the spotlight on them. So you’re responsible for everything that happens.

In some things you’re responsible for it in a very direct and personal way and some things that happen to you are more vague, or less personal. But you always have to accept that you have some responsibility and if you can accept that you have some responsibility for everything that happens to you, your life becomes better. Because you don’t blame other people or you don’t enter the fantasy, “If only this didn’t happen or if only these people weren’t so bad I would be happy now”. If you just say to yourself, “OK, I don’t understand how I’m responsible for this situation. But I am responsible for it. Then you have a lot more freedom to act and make a difference and to improve your situation.

Thibault: But you still stand as not knowing what to do.

Brad: Nobody ever knows what to do. There’s a kind of an illusion that some people know what to do at every moment and there are people who are extremely confident and act like they know what to do. But they don’t know what to do any better then you do. It’s just a pose. That’s all. Doesn’t matter who. Great politicians, great philosophers, great Zen masters. They don’t have a clue.

So not knowing what to do is a perfectly fine situation. I don’t know what to do so I’m just going to do something. And if your action is sincere and not motivated by some kind of greed or anger or some other negative quality or emotion then what you do will be right. It may not be perfect. It’ll never be perfect. It can’t be perfect. But it won’t be the wrong thing to do. You just do something that’s not motivated by greed or anger or ego, for want of a better word.

Thibault: In this book Hardcore Zen, what is there in the relationship between punk rock and a practice such as zen?

Brad: Hmmm…for me the relationship was the kind of sincerity. The thing that attracted me to punk was that it was honest. It wasn’t trying to put some kind of gloss on things and trying to make things seem better than they were.

Occasionally punk has the tendency to make things seem worse than they really are. But the best of the punk rock that came out when I was involved in it, and I think still today, is seeing things honestly and just being straightforward about it and not falling into the trappings. We didn’t want to be rock stars. We weren’t making music to try to become famous or to try to make a lot of money. We were doing it because we were musicians and this is how we expressed ourselves and this is what it was.  And so, to me punk rock isn’t just the genre – you know, the loud, fast three chord rock music. It can be just a state of sincerity, a state of actually being honest with yourself. With everyone.

Thibault: What does it mean to ‘stink of Zen’ and as a writer, how do you avoid that pitfall?

Brad: What do you mean? The pitfall of just fake awful zen?

Thibault: Yeah

Brad: Yeah …ummm…. I don’t know. Maybe I don’t do it myself! I could be awful. I wouldn’t know. But when my teachers told me I should write a book about Buddhism I looked at other books about Buddhism and thought “these are all terrible.” Well not all of them, but a lot of them were really…

Thibault: What made them terrible?

Brad: Uh…they were just dreamy, idealistic. They just had this kind of dreamy, far-off quality. They seemed to be dwelling in a lot of fantasies about, you know, far-off lands and the Buddha. They would be trying to project an image. The writer would be trying to show everybody how wonderfully Zen and how calm he was and, “Don’t you think I’m wonderful and don’t you want to imitate me and be wonderful like I am?”

And I always felt that what Buddhism showed me was how stupid I was and by extension how stupid everybody was. And all I’m trying to say in my books is, “Look, we’re all stupid, so just live with it, just deal with it.” I couldn’t write a book like the books I’d seen. That’s why I was reluctant to do it. So I just wrote and whatever came out was it. And this is the book. I just wrote about my life and said “here it is” and maybe somebody’ll like it or maybe they won’t but, anyway it’ll be out there.

Thibault: But is there any way out of this stupidity?

Brad: The way out of the stupidity is to realize your own stupidity. My  teacher’s Buddhist name means ‘the way of stupidity.’ Everybody when they become a Buddhist, when you become initiated into Buddhism officially, you get a Buddhist name and the one his teacher gave him was “the way of stupidity.”

So, once you realize that you are stupid you have total freedom because the other aspect of your stupidity is that you’re also God. I don’t like to use the word God, because it’s such a loaded word. But you’re also the sum total of the universe. You’re also the center of the universe and the center of the universe is stupidity itself. And to understand this is to be completely free from ever having to try to live up to some kind of fantasy you’ve created for yourself, and just be where you are.

Thibault: So, to finish it off, do you have any last words?

Brad: Last Words! Famous last words. Yeah — I don’t know… What do you usually say at the end of an interview…?

Thibault: What’s it all about ?

Brad: What’s it all about? I don’t know. Who knows? Nobody knows?

Thibault: You’re a Zen priest

Brad: Yeah

Thibault: Don’t you know what it’s all about?

Brad: There’s a joke that goes like that, but it’s not quite the way you said.  A guy goes up to Zen master  and says, “What happens to a person after he dies?”  And the Zen master says, “I don’t know.” And the guy says, “Whaddaya mean you don’t know? – you’re a Zen master.” And he says, “Yeah – but I’m not a dead one.”

So, knowing what everything is knowing what you’re living now. This is what it’s all about and you can’t put that into words. So sometimes “I don’t know” is the best way to put it into words. Because “I don’t know” is the admission that you can’t put it into words.

Any time you try to put what it’s all about into words, you’re limiting it. Your real experience is beyond words. Which doesn’t mean that it’s something mystical or fantastic, it’s just beyond words. Like if you go to the toilet in the morning and take a pee, you can’t describe that in words. Even though it’s a common, everyday act that everybody goes through, you can’t possibly put that act into words. And that’s the truth of every experience, from an ordinary experience like that to the most wonderful, mystical experience somebody’s ever had — it still can’t be put into words.

Thibault: Thanks a lot Brad.

Brad: Thank you. I appreciate it.

 

 

76 Responses

Page 1 of 2
  1. King Kong
    King Kong September 5, 2012 at 7:17 am | |

    JE VEUX POUTINE !

  2. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 5, 2012 at 11:10 am | |

    Kong, des banans… des banans!

  3. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 5, 2012 at 11:18 am | |

    This is the difficulty with teaching Westerners what zazen is about; we talk about being the sum total of the universe, but we beg off explaining why. We explain that no one can piss for anyone else, maybe we say it’s impossible to share so much as a fart, but we don’t talk about how to sit in the lotus posture or the half-lotus posture and what holding such a posture for thirty or forty minutes has to do with zazen. It’s possible to sit and stare at the wall in a chair, but last I heard there’s at least one person on this site who feels that at least in some sense that’s not zazen.

    We can’t teach someone else how to pee, but if I say the mind shifts around in the body when I’m falling asleep and this is the practice of zazen, then anyone can look for themselves at where their mind is when they are falling asleep- and then look again when they are waking up!

  4. boubi
    boubi September 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm | |

    Looking for juicy news …

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/

    That’s all for today :)

  5. Khru
    Khru September 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm | |

    Those who know
    cannot explain…
    And those who can explain
    do not know…

    Therefore,
    Reject teachings
    Renounce brilliance
    Abandon ingenuity
    Forget about words and ideas
    Empty and follow the ancient path…

  6. King Kong
    King Kong September 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm | |

    … AND EAT POUTINE !!

  7. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm | |

    “And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!”

    `’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `whiffling through the tulgey wood -
    Only this, and nothing more.’

    “The non-action of the wise man is not inaction. It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything. The sage is quiet because he is not moved, not because he wills to be quiet… ” Chuang Tzu

  8. boubi
    boubi September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | |

    … continues

    just trees

    http://karmagardri.com/wp-content/gallery/others/kagyu-refuge-tree.jpg

    (had to post it twice, cause moderation)

  9. boubi
    boubi September 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm | |

    Yeah, trees

  10. mtto
    mtto September 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm | |

    In case someone reads this and not one of the other Dogen Sangha LA online sites:

    No sesshin at Hill Street tomorrow. One 40 minute period of zazen at 10am.

    Zenshuji is celebrating their 90th anniversary and some of us are heading there in the afternoon.
    http://zenshuji.org/images/90thZenshuji.jpg
    http://zenshuji.org/

  11. GoatRider
    GoatRider September 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm | |

    That first picture is awesome, boubi. The list of names reads like a physics textbook.

  12. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz September 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm | |

    Non-linear dynamics and the dance of Hanshan. Bayesian emptiness. Feedback loop into Samsaric Hell. Glitching into stochastic everythingness. Got nuts loose in my head and lots of -racetam drugs. Fish oil.

  13. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm | |

    Article on the fish oil multiple orgasm diet- not for you, though, Cosmic.

  14. Fred
    Fred September 9, 2012 at 2:41 am | |

    “, I think, meditation usually involves a lot of mental gymnastics, a lot of tricks with your brain. I think the process of zazen is a lot more valuable in the end because what you see is what’s really there, what’s really your life and what you really are without all of the trappings that you’ve laid on top of it in your mind and your thoughts.”

    Not really. Thoughts come and go. The observer watching the thoughts come and
    go, and the observer following the breath in-and-out is just another thought.

    Seeing what is there without all the trappings of the conditioned self is a long
    journey. Making a distinction between zazen and other forms of meditation is
    located in samsara.

    Pure awareness is pure awareness. It is beyond names, techniques, religion.

  15. Fred
    Fred September 9, 2012 at 2:59 am | |

    Trungpa wrote about cutting through spiritual materialism when he wasn’t
    drunk or assembly line fornicating.

    He was critical of dreamy, idealistic, fantasy religion while numbing out his
    own consciousness.

    If Zen is alive at this moment without diverting off on some intellectual tangent,
    then it isn’t bullshit.

  16. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 9, 2012 at 7:58 am | |

    “Seeing what is there”- being where, like falling asleep. One place, acts.

    “The empty hand grasps the hoe handle
    Walking along, I ride the ox
    The ox crosses the wooden bridge
    The bridge is flowing, the water is still”.

    I believe I can find the hoe handle in this picture, and the bridge that flows.

  17. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 9, 2012 at 8:02 am | |

    when punk was real: the Avengers.

  18. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 8:45 am | |
  19. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 8:49 am | |

    widening horizons

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s91MBFwc4Bs

    it’s called rembetika

  20. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 8:52 am | |
  21. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 8:54 am | |

    from the other side of the rio grande

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiQ7S38nKog

    frangos hermanos ;)

  22. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | |

    People talking about “punk”, aghoris … but a lot of people are looking for some aseptic, well ordered practice.

    Sometimes i feel as if the real practice is what we do with ourselves.

  23. boubi
    boubi September 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | |

    National Hamburger Festival in Akron, Ohio … Akron … any clue?

    Anybody here watches “Breaking Bad”?
    Impressions?

  24. anon1253
    anon1253 September 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm | |

    Galileo (Science)

    Spanish Inquisition (Government)

    Was blind, but now I see (Grace)

  25. SoF
    SoF September 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm | |

    WHEN man forsakes the sacred and ancient path of Truth, and in the insolence of his evanescent power desecrates all that is holy and of a permanent value in the land, God the Merciful and Jealous Custodian of Right sends His personal messengers to reinstate in the human breast the eternal and fundamental things that constitute the greatness of Man. And these are the things that differentiate him from the beast who only obeys the law of the jungle. The Creator, through His inscrutable ways, sees that man must remain a man and fulfills his destined mission. The purpose that lies behind this division between man and beast must be realized.

    - Dr. Rajendra Prasad

  26. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm | |

    Bass player on Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile on Electric Ladyland was Jack Casady, of the Jefferson Airplane- he’s also the bass player on this song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjCdCVFrC7Y

  27. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm | |

    Article including a letter by Jim Carroll written to Brian Marnell’s family, after Brian’s death in 1983:

    http://www.catholicboy.com/jc_marnell.php

  28. boubi
    boubi September 10, 2012 at 8:13 am | |

    Here is example of what i meant before:
    “The day that I learned the basics of playing this song, the wah intro in the beginning and then the verse, I thought I was a master. The day I learned the solos and how to incorporate the wah effect in with it, I thought I was a guitar messiah. And then the day I realized that no matter what I do, I could never play like Jimi, well I became that much more humble and better? of a person. True story.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMyH4XTlVgs

    The guy looked sincerely inside himself … and became “more humble and better? of a person”

    “Gnoti seauton” said that guy who made seppuku/harakiri (… hemmm … sorry … drank the poison) in order to stay by his believes

    “Who am i?” asked the other guy Ramana

    We all respect those who walked on whatever path before us, that’s right, but i personally find a total bullshit to say (as we read everywhere) that “it’s not my vehicle, it’s not my school, it’s not my lineage, it’s not from my particular teacher”.

    I am myself “rather” full of it too …

  29. boubi
    boubi September 10, 2012 at 8:20 am | |

    I personally don’t believe that “to understand how much we are idiots”, or “to be a bit of a better person” is the end of the story, i have the impression it should be the “starting point” to here.

  30. Fred
    Fred September 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | |

    I saw Jimi live sober/no drugs in 68 or 69.

    Peeling layers to an empty core isn’t becoming a better person. It’s letting go of
    the dreams we live in.

  31. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote September 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm | |

    I saw the last two songs of Jimi’s set at the Fillmore with the Airplane, in 1967, maybe… not sure. Told a friend I was going to hear the Airplane, he wasn’t interested but said Hendrix was good. Oh well!

    “Peeling layers to an empty core isn’t becoming a better person. It’s letting go of
    the dreams we live in.”

    A fine line between realizing my own necessity, realizing my survival in the place of occurrence of my consciousness and how it enables feeling, and pushing the edge of survival to experience the same thing. In a way, that’s what I’m doing when I take the lotus.

    The folks with a natural talent amaze us with their feeling and presence, and improvisational musicians tend to amplify both artificially with some frequency. Nevertheless, they are playing with their survival.

    Faced with the news that scores of monks a day had committed suicide because of the “meditation on the unlovely” which he prescribed, the Gautamid gathered the monks and spoke of the “intent concentration on in-breaths and out-breaths”. This he said was a thing peaceful in itself, and a pleasant way of living.

    What I find is that the place of occurrence of consciousness and the ability to feel allow the natural movement of breath in a stretch, when the necessity is there. Neil Young spoke of digging down, just keep digging down he said; get your oxygen line going, then keep digging (on NPR Fresh Air). I think the safest thing is to center the practice on the oxygen line, really.

    Never going to impress them with my improvisational skills down at the open mike, but I do find my necessity sometimes in the chords and a beat; maybe someday my sitting will bleed over, as it were, I guess I still kind of believe it will.

  32. Fred
    Fred September 11, 2012 at 5:04 am | |

    “Faced with the news that scores of monks a day had committed suicide because of the “meditation on the unlovely” which he prescribed”

    Letting go of ego means letting go of the conceptual framework of what is
    labelled as lovely or unlovely. All form is transmuting. The reaction to a rotting
    corpse is rooted in the fear of an ego state that is shifting from moment to
    moment and experiences itself as being solid.

    Terminating the life within this body because of a misperception about the
    nature of form is pure nonsence.

  33. Fred
    Fred September 11, 2012 at 6:53 am | |

    The approach of senility means the degradation of neural networks encoding the
    spelling of words. All is decay…………..

  34. Andy
    Andy September 11, 2012 at 7:36 am | |

    The reaction to a rotting corpse has more about it than just an ‘ego’ reacting to something labelled. I’m sure what you’re referring to plays it’s part. But the way I categorize runs deeper than my socially constructed self – it’s wired in to what makes me a functioning survivor in this world. The smell of rotting flesh, for example, is repulsive. I can train myself to be the master of my response to that impulse.

    The concept of an ego is also a construction, and sometimes a useful way to mull over the issue at hand. So I should be wary of letting go of such a concept, lest I get caught up in a feedback loop of holding on to some notion of letting go, which might be a distraction from what I fear to approach or allow to approach.

  35. King Kong
    King Kong September 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm | |

    THANK GOODNESS SOMEBODY KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON HERE !!!

  36. Fred
    Fred September 12, 2012 at 2:36 am | |

    THANK GOODNESS SOMEBODY KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON HERE !!!

    Define somebody using Buddhist terms.

    Knows through the intellectual constructs of a cultually programmed machine,
    or knows by direct experience?

    Where is here. Here appears to be a bunch of words in cyberspace. How real is
    that?

  37. Fred
    Fred September 12, 2012 at 2:51 am | |

    “The concept of an ego is also a construction, and sometimes a useful way to mull over the issue at hand”

    Yes, the figment of fantasy in a bit of protoplasm, culturally wired to salivate at
    the sight of a vagina.

    Obviously, not so much useful for those abbots and other purported Buddhist
    masters caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
    Or superstar self proclaimed zeniths of enlightenment banging their goddess
    star pupils.

  38. boubi
    boubi September 12, 2012 at 3:22 am | |

    “salivate at the sight of a vagina.”

    HELP !

    An horrendous machistic sexist homophobic slur … will call straight the UCLA … as a minority i feel deeply … how would you say, moist ?

    this indelicacy, in times of elections , somebody must be totally nuts here!

  39. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel September 12, 2012 at 5:02 am | |

    Boubi wrote:

    “boubi September 12, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    (salivate at the sight of a vagina.)

    “this indelicacy, in times of eLections , somebody must be totally nuts here!”

    It seems to me that there is an Asian misunderstanding of a letter, here (R=L)

  40. Andy
    Andy September 12, 2012 at 5:18 am | |

    @Fred

    “…you are held by the hand of the absolute.”

    Is that how one cums to the other side of nothing?

  41. boubi
    boubi September 12, 2012 at 7:15 am | |

    Ts ts ts (disapprouving sound with index shaking towards bad kid)

    … dirty little frogy mind! Always the smart one aint you ? Put your hands where we can see them !

    What is it the blood red wine, the cock-shaped bread or the feet smelly cheese … or maybe the maple syrup?

    LOL

    There was a Milarepa’s pupil who acted completely nuts, but f*** nuts, will try and find his name :)

  42. Fred
    Fred September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am | |

    “Is that how one cums to the other side of nothing?”

    Only in their tantric dreams.

  43. boubi
    boubi September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm | |
  44. boubi
    boubi September 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm | |
  45. boubi
    boubi September 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm | |
  46. Fred
    Fred September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm | |

    Nice pics Boubi. The first is the primordial Buddha and the second is
    the unborn sphere of all phenomena Buddha.

    Which brings us back to being held by the hand of the absolute as no-self upon
    the absolute.

    What process brought these photos to be posted? Was it the pull of the Ineffable
    manifesting itself through the BoubiBlues fingers.

  47. boubi
    boubi September 13, 2012 at 3:48 am | |

    Feeling heretical …

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