Jesus F***ing Christ

This is not who served me at Enterprise in Philadelphia!

This is not who served me at Enterprise in Philadelphia!

First, here’s what happened.

Zero Defex, the hardcore punk band in which I play bass, is playing a show tonight (Friday May 18th) in Akron, Ohio as a benefit for our friend Logan Firestone who is dealing with stage four esophageal cancer. I went to high school with Logan and later on shared a decrepit punk rock house with him.

On Monday, I reserved a car at the only car rental place within walking distance of my house, the Enterprise Rent-a-Car at 510 N. Front St. near Philadelphia’s Spring Garden elevated train station. I arrived on Thursday morning a little after 9 am, which was about an hour and a half later than my intended departure time. It took me a lot longer to get packed than I thought it would. When I got there I wasn’t in the best mood I’ve ever been in. I don’t really like driving and I was looking at around seven or eight hours of it, and I was late.

I handed my credit card over to the guy behind the counter. He tried swiping it a number of times but it kept not working. After maybe the fifth time through I looked at the ground, shook my head and muttered under my breath, “Jesus fucking Christ.” The guy at the counter angrily slid my credit card and driver’s license across to me and said that he wouldn’t rent a car to someone who swore.

My first thought was, “You heard that?” I barely even vocalized it. It must’ve sounded like “jzisfgguncrise.” My second thought was, “What the fuck? Is this really happening?” I apologized to the guy. Which in retrospect is bizarre in itself. But whatever.

I told him I really needed to rent this car. Rather than go through the entire explanation of what I was doing I told him I was going to a funeral. He half-assedly ran the card through a couple more times but said it still wouldn’t work and handed them over again with no apology.

I made a mad dash back home to try to look up ways to get to Akron. I was now close to two hours behind schedule and had no idea what I was going to do. The first three places I called about renting cars said they were sold out. There was an Amtrack train getting into Cleveland at three in the morning. There was a bus to Pittsburgh.

But my plans didn’t include someone getting me from Cleveland or Pittsburgh, or finding someone to cart me around to the various other things I had to do that weekend. And how was I going to get a bass, amplifier and a box full of books along with my suitcase on an Amtrack train or a bus?

I knew the moment the Enterprise employee refused to rent me the car that it was going to be a desperate rush to get any kind of  contingency plan going. The guy behind the counter knew that too. He knew exactly what he was doing to me by refusing to rent me that car. He knew he was making a whole lot of trouble for me. He did so deliberately. He did so, I can only assume, because I had insulted his religion.

Eventually I found a Budget Rent-a-Car location that still had cars available. They also had trouble getting my card to swipe. You know what they did about that? They typed the numbers into their computer. Just like everyone does when that happens. Heck, I’ve even been to places where they’ve written the numbers down on paper because the computer was busted. It can be done. Primitive man did it this way for millions of years. I remember. I was there.

I finally got on the road around 1pm, now nearly six hours behind schedule. The time I had wasted was critical to the band being able to get in a decent rehearsal before the gig. As it was, I sped through the rain and made it in time for us to be able to get through our set once. But that was all we were able to do.

When I posted a two-sentence version of this story on Facebook a couple of people opined that I might have made the man feel threatened or created a hostile working environment. Maybe if I’d yelled that at him. But no. I muttered it just the way Popeye mutters stuff in the old black and white cartoons.

Anyone in Northern Philadelphia in the Year of Our Lord 2014 who is too sensitive to hear someone mumble, “jzisfgguncrise” probably should not have a job working with the public. If Enterprise Rent-a-Car has a policy against renting to people who insult Jesus, that is a big problem.

I don’t agree with everything Richard Dawkins says. But in one area we are entirely in accord. Neither of us has any sympathy at all for people who get butt-hurt when someone insults their religion. Insulting someone’s religion is on precisely the same level as someone saying to a Star Trek geek that Star Wars is better, or someone telling a Godzilla fanatic that he really liked the 1998 American Godzilla movie. Get over it.

The big difference, of course, is that Star Trek geeks and Godzilla fanatics won’t kill you if you insult their fictional time wasters.

But let’s move on to the other question – Should a Zen Master mutter “Jesus f***ing Christ?”

First off, get that word “Zen Master” out of your mind. I’ve only ever used the term ironically. Technically I am as much a “Zen Master” as all those guys out there in fancy robes introducing themselves as Zen Master Whatever and I like to point out that it’s just as ridiculous to call them “Zen Masters” as to apply that term to someone like me.

Shouldn’t a Zen person be eternally serene, and unperturbed? Surely the Dalai Lama would never say “Jesus f***ing Christ” at an Enterprise Rent-a-Car place.

No. He wouldn’t. Because he would never even be in an Enterprise Rent-a-Car place. He’d have a limo to take him where he needed to go and a bunch of Secret Service guys to make sure nobody gave him a hard time.

Deepak Chopra recently spent a little time with some Buddhist monks in a monastery and was impressed by how serene they were. But Buddhist monasteries are set up for serenity. They are designed to create an environment that is protected from the usual day to day troubles we all have to deal with. The monks’ needs are all taken care of so that they can devote themselves to deep inquiry without distraction. I’m pretty damn serene when I’m at Tassajara too. Put those same monks in a big time crunch in an Enterprise Rent-a-Car place with a born-again Christian who wants to give them a hard time and see what happens to all that serenity.

Maybe it would’ve looked better if I’d just been all like, “We are just one consciousness inhabiting different bodies. Even if I don’t make it to the benefit in this physical form, I will still be there as part of the eternal consciousness of the universe.” But actually, a lot of people were counting on me to be at this thing. I’d already spent a couple hundred dollars on it even apart from the car rental. This was not the sort of thing one can simply snap one’s fingers at and go, “Aw darn.” It was an important thing.

I’ve written in a few of my books and a bunch of these blog postings that I came to Buddhism in a large part to deal with how angry of a person I was. My default emotion was rage. I spent most of my days just being pissed off at everything. People who know me now seem to assume I’m exaggerating all this. But I’m not. I used to have big dents in my car’s dashboard from pounding on it. My closet doors never lasted long because I slammed them so much.

I don’t slam closets anymore or pound on dashboards. I rarely yell at anyone. Things have improved markedly. But you never really get away from who you are.

There’s a new book out about how meditation made a newscaster “10 percent better” in his estimation. I’ve been at it a lot longer that him and I’d say it’s made things 80 or even 90 percent better. I would’ve done a lot more than just mumble and apologize back in the day. I don’t believe 100% is attainable. But I’ve started to understand that we really wouldn’t want to be 100% better because that would take all the fun out of life.

As for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, I’m going to rent from Budget from now on.

*   *   *

I need a benefit to help pay my way to go to this benefit! Your donations to this blog really help! They’re my main source of income these days. THANK YOU for your support!

May 17, 2014 at 6:30pm Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen will be shown at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple 

On May 21, 2014 at 6:30pm, Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen will be shown at Drexel University in Philadelphia! I will be there the do a Q&A afterwards.

I will be hosting a five-day zazen retreat at Benediktushof in Germany (near Wurzburg) October 12-17, 2014. Contact Benediktushof directly to ask about registration.

BWHZ Movie Tour2HARDCORE ZEN LIVING ROOM MOVIE TOUR

Sometimes a movie is made to tour.

Are you interested in seeing HARDCORE ZEN with your local community? Would you like Brad Warner to speak at your university, meditation group, or personal guests?

Now you can have both. The film will screen at a location at your discretion. Simply contact booking@bradwarnershardcorezen.com with the following specifics: your location, contact info, and potential date for the event.

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103 Responses

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  1. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel May 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

    This would never happen to me. Because I would NEVER swear Geezus phoquing Crisis. I don’t believe in the lad, so I tend not to swear. The worse I’ll do is “putain de merde” which is in English “whore of a shit”. Not too offensive to religion. Yet, I’m amongst the most anticlerical persons you’ll meet…

  2. Mudo
    Mudo May 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm |

    A lot of words defending yourself, Zen Master Warner. What packing crisis could have possibly cost you an hour and a half? LOL. Wonder what the DL says when he stubs his toe in the middle of the night when he’s getting up to pee? As Zen Master Lennon said, “Instant Karma’s Gonna Get Ya!” Hope you arrive in Akron safe and sound.

  3. Conrad
    Conrad May 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

    Great example of how we create our own suffering, and then blame others for it.

    Expecting life not to be frustrating, and imagining our anger is the solution to it, is a recipe for endless rounds of misery.

    1. Mudo
      Mudo May 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm |

      Exactly.

  4. jiesen
    jiesen May 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  5. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm |

    One of your best pieces, Brad, IMHO.

    Sometimes I discover that this kind of roadblock was a gift. So much so that now I start trying to pry my white-knuckle grip off my entire body as soon as I catch a glimpse of the possibility.

    I’m betting that because you only got one run through, the show was fresh.

    My Zen name is “Pollyanna”.

  6. dougleader
    dougleader May 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm |

    Speaking as someone who was born, raised and spent most of his life in Philly, let me assure you the town is populated extensively by obnoxious assholes who will purposely go out of their way to make your life miserable. Repeatedly.

    1. Proulx Michel
      Proulx Michel May 17, 2014 at 7:00 am |

      Probably the backlash of calling a city “brotherly love”: such kind of wishful thinking tends to defeat itself. There’s a backwater town in Quebec called “l’Avenir” (the future)…

  7. boubi
    boubi May 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm |

    Hi Brad, what the heck is it all about here?

    The unfriendly guy who was pissed off because he was in for some additional work (maybe being already in a bad mood) and used (probably) your swearing as an excuse to tell you to buzz off?

    You who got pissed off because he didn’t even try to help you? For having given the guy an extra excuse?

    The fact of you not even trying to see the difference between an asshole who gives you the finger and some fanatic who actually try to kill you?

    In the end the guy was an asshole and you got mad at it … what’s the dharma in all this?

    So, putting things in order

    1 – Report the guy to the management, make a scandal on social networks, ask for compensation $$$.
    You are a “spiritual leader”, an “opinion maker” you got a following (shanga).
    The rental company doesn’t want any bad publicity.

    2 – The big difference, of course, is that Star Trek geeks and Godzilla fanatics won’t kill you if you insult their fictional time wasters.
    Maybe it would be better to start to understand that the guy didn’t try and kill you, he didn’t even threatened you, he handed back a credit card that didn’t pass !

    He was just being an asshole, in the end his god died on a cross forgiving his killers and this morron was just a morron (maybe already pissed off on his own, card didn’t work etc).

    So please try and understand the difference between being an asshole and killing people ! It would help everybody, you the first of all and your followers too in understanding the difference. Which is huge !

    Do yourself a favor. Understand the difference between killing vs giving the finger. In failing to do this the real fanatics end up being treated as “gross” (it’s an exageration but you get it).

    3 – Find yourself a part time job.
    Write sequels of “Unstoppable, unbeatable, unquenchably unquenchable! GILL WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET!”
    Do some nonsense movie.

    4 – Do you want to complain? Complain about this
    http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2

    PS
    For a change why don’t you tell us something about “Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way”?
    Maybe you could even get more donations

  8. boubi
    boubi May 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

    Go back to the shop and give your book as a present.
    “There Is No God And He Is Always with You”

    For the “make the world a better place” serie … flower power 🙂

  9. boubi
    boubi May 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm |

    Understanding the difference between killing vs giving the finger calls for some more thinking than usually requested by nowaday relativism coupled with the 5 seconds attention span typical of flash news on TV.

  10. Jinzang
    Jinzang May 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm |

    Sorry to hear your trip to Ohio was off to such a bad start.

    It’s good to remember when someone gets angry with you that you don’t know the stress that person may be under. Working retail is tough even at its best.

    Engaging in Bodhisattva Deeds has a chapter on patience and advice on how to deal with anger.

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/e-books/unpublished_manuscripts/bca_shantideva/translation/engaging_bodhisattva_06.html

  11. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm |

    Try writing a 4th step?

  12. Eric
    Eric May 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm |

    Look, I totally get the whole “butthurt” thing that a lot of Christians have about their religion. But surely you totally get how disrespectful it is (assuming the Budget guy was sincere) to say “Jesus Fucking Christ” in the first place in the presence of unfamiliar company.

    Brad, this isn’t your first day on the planet. You don’t get to act like you have no idea why anyone would find that offensive. Hardcore punk rocker schtick aside, you’re smarter than that.

    You’re also an awesome person and I appreciate you. Stay chill.

  13. pk
    pk May 17, 2014 at 3:19 am |

    Swearing when frustrated can happen to anyone. 😉

    I’m sorry you had to deal with that. It must have been tough.

    Being refused service by someone is a sad thing, especially when it’s based on some principle that has nothing to do with your agreement about getting a product from someone.

    I remember when a barber refused to cut my hair because I was Iranian. He found out I was from Iran after some prodding and told me to leave mid-haircut. He said he wouldn’t serve me or the rest of my family. “This is my establishment and I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone,” he said.

    My dad tried to reason with him. He told the guy it wasn’t the right thing to do to children, but the guy didn’t budge.

    “If you don’t leave, I’m going to have to cal the police,” he said.

    I remember my dad looking at me at that point. He was struggling with what to do. I could see that, but I could also see he made a decision.

    “Call the police!” my dad shouted back.

    That was it! My dad decided he’d do a sit-in right then and there.

    I thought we were going to get killed. I kept imagining the guy getting a gun and hurting us. I just went and sat next to my dad and my face felt real red and I felt like it was my fault. I wished I wasn’t Iranian. I wished I didn’t need a haircut. I wished we never walked into the place.

    When the cop came, he pulled us outside right away. He separated both parties and had what seemed a bit of a shouting match with the owner whom he seemed to know. Then he came over to the station wagon where we were all sitting and told us he couldn’t do anything.

    I’m sorry,” he said.

    It was the guy’s place, so we had to go. He even offered to testify if my dad decided to take him to court.

    “I can’t do anything here now,” he said, “but I’ll be happy to testify you in court about your treatment.”

    I was kind of confused about what was happening at this point. I mean, I was only nine years old and my little brother was five, but I can see in retrospect that the cop wasn’t a bad guy, even though I was scared of him too.

    Discrimination and prejudice for whatever reason can be really hurtful. It’s no fun to be excluded for what a person says, looks like, or comes from.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that with the Budget guy.

    I hate it when people try to enforce their belief systems on me.

    Have fun at the show. I wish I could be there. 🙂

    1. boubi
      boubi May 17, 2014 at 11:39 am |

      Hi pk

      I hope your father just sued the ass off the barber and it has been good to read the cop’s reaction.

      This said P L E A S E do everybody a favor and kick Master Zen Wiener’s ass (repeatedly and relentlessly) until he decides to stand for himself and do some blipping, cool, indy, hilarious, outrageously nonsense, grotesque etc etc etc movies as proposed in the following link

      http://hardcorezen.info/dualism-dont-knock-it-so-fast-it-saved-our-civilization/2619/comment-page-1

      and in this post (can’t post more than one link)
      Dogen Sangha Los Angeles Zafu Campaign

      There is Méliès and Karel Zeman who could give some hints plus a private post i sent to M. Vienna Sausage here.

      You could have (the) fun (of your life?) doing these short movies, everybody would laugh and give the guy some money in order to stop keeping asking, and the guy could get some occupational therapy.

      Do something demented, the public is here, the bucks will follow !

      Don’t forget the tin foil hats !!!

      … and the boobs (Suicide Girls?)

      1. pk
        pk May 20, 2014 at 10:20 am |

        “Zen Monks in Space” is a good concept for a film. It’s just tough to do space films since STAR WARS came out with its lavish budget.

        I could do a zero budget-Roger Corman-esque version of that idea, but even that would cost money.

        These days independent films start with a year of fundraising. If you like some of the films we’ve been doing, you’re welcome to donate.

        http://www.piroozkalayeh.info/#!donate/c8tt

        If I had lots of money, I could just make films all the time. 😉

  14. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon May 17, 2014 at 4:40 am |

    Jesus H. motherfucking cocksucking Christ…

  15. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 17, 2014 at 5:26 am |

    My frat name was ‘skunk’.

  16. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon May 17, 2014 at 6:41 am |

    Nightline segment by Dan Harris, author of “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sXBEfIXUno

  17. shade
    shade May 17, 2014 at 7:33 am |

    Goodness this is quite a post. Well, here’s my take, and apologies in advance for sounding like someone’s mother.

    If someone takes offense about something you say or do, but doesn’t explain why, you really can’t assume anything about what they’re thinking. I mean, it almost sounds like you (Brad) spontaneously generated a whole biography and personality profile for this guy on the basis of a single, brief interaction. Certainly it’s possible – even probable – that this man is a Christian and was insulted by your uh, blasphemy, but it’s just as possible he just had an issue with the swearing (the fuck as opposed to the Christ). Or that he’d been dealing with angry customers all day and was at the end of his tether. You know, like one of those situations where someone has a bad day at the office and then the first thing they do when they get home is slap their kid for leaving his legos all over the living room floor.

    All you really know about this guy is that he’s a prick – or that he was being a prick on this particular day. Not that that makes that kind of behavior excusable, or that you have don’t have good reason for being mad. But sounds like your anger is leading to jump to all kinds of conclusions.

    *****
    The other thing –

    “Insulting someone’s religion is on precisely the same level as someone saying to a Star Trek geek that Star Wars is better, or someone telling a Godzilla fanatic that he really liked the 1998 American Godzilla movie. Get over it.
    The big difference, of course, is that Star Trek geeks and Godzilla fanatics won’t kill you if you insult their fictional time wasters.”

    Actually I have met people with various pop culture obsessions who will get rabidly angry if you insult or belittle the novel, tv show, comic book, band, ect. in question. Maybe not to the point of homicide, but certainly to the point of throwing a few punches, at least when they’re in their cups. But my real issue hear is that this is a very bad analogy. The difference between Christians (Muslims, Hindus, ect) and Star Trek fans is that Christians, ect., don’t regard their religious beliefs as fiction. If they did, it wouldn’t be religion.

    I also have a big problem with those who are willing to assault others in defense of their beliefs, but for a different reason… I think the truth speaks for itself and doesn’t require defending. Any “truth” that’s enforced with violence or malice I consider suspect. And certainly I would question the legitimacy of any person who felt the need to proclaim their beliefs in such a manner.

  18. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel May 17, 2014 at 7:48 am |

    One of my first “enlightenment” experiences happened in the early ’70ies, as I worked as a tourist guide in Quebec City. One really hot afternoon, I had to drive my tourists back to their motel, stuck in the traffic, and knowing I had little time to get my next batch of tourists. I swore and angered myself at the stalled traffic, and then, all of a sudden, I kind of heard a voice in my head that told me, “And does that make you go faster?” My answer, of course, had to be, “No!” From that day on, I learned to keep calm when driving. Not easy, and not a permanent success, but it was a start for me.

  19. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 17, 2014 at 10:34 am |

    F***ing

    Flowing?
    Funking?
    Fencing?
    Funding?
    Forming?
    Farting?
    Fasting?

    the intention rides on the expression

  20. Mumbles
    Mumbles May 17, 2014 at 10:45 am |

    I counted two (there may have been more) mentions of mumbles in your post, Brad. I have years of experience mumbling, so I think I can help. When uttering curse words under any circumstances it is imperative that you enunciate properly.

    What I have personally found most effective when cursing is to be creative with your perfectly enunciated curse words. Instead of “Jesus Fucking Christ” for example, I would opt for “Jesus Fucking Frog Tits.”

    This engages the listening audience and allows them pause for reflection.

  21. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon May 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

    On the other hand…
    Pagan Invasion presents
    Meditation: Pathway To Deception?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf-BYf5hrLQ

  22. Mumbles
    Mumbles May 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm |

    I’ve never understood the cussin’ phrase Jesus Fucking Christ actually. How exactly is Jesus supposed to fuck Christ? Or is it the old “go fuck yourself” directed at the Mess-iah? Does it refer to some kind of auto-erotic Xtian practice?

  23. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm |

    Look at that, an email in my inbox with the subject:

    Jesus F***ing Christ

    (from Feedspot, my RSS reader)

    Even virtually, mumbles carry!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnKdg_H5Z4o

  24. Harlan
    Harlan May 18, 2014 at 12:06 am |

    Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

    Your decision to blaspheme the Christ was very wise Zen Master..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av7KJkiLYLI

    1. boubi
      boubi May 18, 2014 at 3:38 am |

      Very very right !

      It’s the legal explanation between the finger and death sentence.

      It would be very useful for people to understand it and try and see that there are degrees of (alleged) intollerance from frowning upon something to actually killing someone and making of this killing an article of law.

  25. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 3:44 am |

    I think Mohamad should be treated as any other spiritual leader, that is, as any other person and judged for what he did and for what his followers do in his/her/its name.

    If anybody’s follower feels entitled to kill by any alleged “prophet” words, then the killing falls also on the alleged “prophet” or “master” or “big zibu”.

    1. boubi
      boubi May 18, 2014 at 3:53 am |

      Naturally to determine the level of responsability of the aforementioned “big zibu”, “master of the universe” etc his/her/its words should be analysed in order to see whether his/her/its words were words of love or hate, if the “big bambo” or “Godzilla” actually killed people himself.

      In some cases as in “God-zilla” the being actually killed and maimed but it is still controversial if he recruited followers to mimic his reampages.

      In the end the key factor to determine the responsability of that person should be if the actions of the followers reflects the “prophet’s” words and actions.

      Anyhow, upheld the First Amendment and repel fanaticism !
      In case call 911 and write to your representative and social networks.

  26. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 4:27 am |

    Let’s do together a little exercise to see how it works.

    Take this new “Lawyers for a pregnant Sudanese woman plan to appeal an Islamic judge’s decision that she be flogged with 100 lashes and then be hanged for marrying a Christian man and converting.
    http://news.yahoo.com/pregnant-woman-sudan-wants-hang-marrying-christian-183155308–abc-news-topstories.html

    First of all it’s from a mainstream media Yahoo, not some whateverboro wacko church.
    So in case that someone wants to implement some homicidal behaviour, call Yahoo, not me, i’m only the messenger.

    After this needed disclaimer, ask yourself : “Where from did those so called judges took the legislation, what was the source of this?”

    You are all grown-up and can do the reasoning on your own.

    Just a word of advise … use your own brain.

  27. Enterprise Guy
    Enterprise Guy May 18, 2014 at 5:11 am |

    Uh, sorry dude 🙁

  28. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 6:02 am |

    A second line of thoughts could be, “how in hell denouncing this kind of barbarian behaviour can land you a condamnation for no less tha islamophobia and being scolded by the majority of selfrighteous pure heart stand byers”.

    … be my guests, fill the blanks.

    You can find some material in this very same title post, confusion between God-zilla and God and prophets.

  29. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 6:22 am |

    Being “open minded” shouldn’t mean condoning every and any fanaticism in the name of “not being judgmental”, “tollerant”, “talking will solve problems theory”.

    There is a hierarchy of values as life, food, dignity, freedom and so on and no Moloch cult can ever justify any threat to these fundamental values, in the name of freedoms it is the first to deny to others.

    Let’s stop wishful thinking of the like of “what is he trying to tell me when he kills”, or “maybe he is expressing some other side of divinity (which btw?)”, “but deep down he is a good person” (meanwhile he just kills).

    Let’s open the eyes, which in the end, is dharma.

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot May 18, 2014 at 7:25 am |

      Au contraire! That’s just a re formulation of the acid slogan, “Everything you know is wrong!” An immensely liberating realization.

      Unfortunately, too many hippies either forgot it, or took it so literally they didn’t notice it applied to itself.

      1. Mumbles
        Mumbles May 18, 2014 at 10:10 am |

        minkfoot, do you know Michael Elliston?

        1. minkfoot
          minkfoot May 19, 2014 at 10:27 am |

          Yes.

  30. Daniel
    Daniel May 18, 2014 at 9:55 am |

    Uhm…so just that I get it right. You got out of the monastary or whatever protected environment you live in.

    You tried to rent a car. There was a guy who didn’t like you. Your credit card didn’t work in a store.

    At the end you had to rent a car in another car rental.

    End of story.

    Now you think this deserves discussion and a post on facebook and a blog post.

    That’s interesting. Really man if that bothers you, maybe just go and live in a monastary or something like the other zen guys. This way everything will always run in the way people agreed upon and nothing unexpected will happen most of the time. You will not be faced with the mundane world out there where normal people live who don’t give a shit if you can recite the shobogenzo or not.

    Or if you want to live in the mundane world with us normal guys then maybe try and do some mindfulnes meditation. This might help deal better with such incidents on an emotional basis.

    But dude…such shit happens all the time, it’s really not that special. You might just ignore it, stop whining and move on.

  31. Shodo
    Shodo May 18, 2014 at 10:31 am |

    Anybody else wondering what the heck boubi is talking about…?

    Are you still trying to bait CosmicBrainz…?

    Gr8 b8 m8, I r8 8/8. 😉

    1. Fred
      Fred May 18, 2014 at 10:52 am |

      Don’t rile him up.

  32. Fred
    Fred May 18, 2014 at 10:51 am |

    Hey, my zen name is Jesus f***ing Christ. What a coincidence.

  33. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel May 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

    If we were just a little bit logical, we would say things as they are, that is not using some strange greek word substituting some strange hebrew word, and say just plain “oiled” instead of “christ”.

    Jesus Oiled would sound exactly like what it means…

    1. boubi
      boubi May 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

      Right but for the sake of clearity maybe anointed would sound better.

      “Oiled”, despite being correct, reminds me of some fish before backing it in the hoven … or some more spicy adult activities 😉

  34. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm |

    Sorry Brad for the following.

    I personally think you should step down from your lineage holding (? how do you say it?), at least for a while if not definitively.

    I have the impression that you are disgracing yourself, your lineage, your teacher, your shanga in general and maybe the expression of the dharma too.

    Pope Benedict did it, for other reasons though.

    Follow Gudo’s advice and earn your life. Stop pretending to have a Peter Pan life style, going around the world, (not) writing books and so on, collecting money when you seem to spend more doing it (my own dumb guess).

    Ever met those “artists” that nobody understands nor appreciates? Rambling and pestering over how unfair life is?

    So try and do as Dogen said once “conceal your splendor and hide your own foot prints” (very approximate translation), meaning (i think) become a normal person, an everybody, the guy next door you don’t even notice.

    I know you were this and you have been that, it was the past, what counts is the now.

    So now find yourself a job, settle your life (you sound more and more stressed), and on your free hours sit, write, express yourself, try and live the “unconditional every moment of life” which i think, is what is in front of us.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Huineng_Cut_Bamboo.jpg

    Good luck

    1. Fred
      Fred May 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

      ‘So try and do as Dogen said once “conceal your splendor and hide your own foot prints” (very approximate translation), meaning (i think) become a normal person, an everybody, the guy next door you don’t even notice.”

      This doesn’t mean become a normal person, and anyway Brad already is a
      normal person for this age and culture.

      That which is Zen shines through all types of people.

      And what Dogen said was about dropping the body-self, including the everyday
      guy next door that thinks it inhabits this mind.

      A man of no distinction leaves no trace because he isn’t clinging to a self.

      1. Daniel
        Daniel May 19, 2014 at 1:42 am |

        @Fred: Brad hasn’t dropped body and mind. He just had a short glimpse a decade ago while crossing a bridge that motivated him to write a book and then his teacher Nishijima who also once had a glimpse and nothing else made him his lineage follower. Liberation didn’t occur yet in the case of Brad. So it’s not the real thing at all,

        for the real thing have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWhua9jsgVk

    2. Alan Sailer
      Alan Sailer May 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm |

      boubi wrote,

      “I have the impression that you are disgracing yourself, your lineage, your teacher, your shanga in general and maybe the expression of the dharma too”.

      Your impression is wrong.

      Cheers.

  35. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm |

    Becoming a normal person is, IMO, the goal of “dharma practice” (yes, i already know the “goal-less” stuff), “the matter” itself.

    Thanks the same for your usual erudition, be happy with it.

    1. boubi
      boubi May 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm |

      Oh … yeah … btw, excepted if you go for the mahasiddha thing, which entails anyhow to pass by the “normal person” square (like in Monopoly) as a necessary step in the process of “shedding”.

      For me the “normal person” square is my goal, sorry to have one but i’m not so selfless as being goal-less.

      When you knock at my door there’s still someone answering, differently to others who shout “there’s no one here” echoing some … whatever the fuck it is

      1. Fred
        Fred May 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

        And what were you before you became your goal of a normal person?

        1. boubi
          boubi May 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

          Who became what?

          Take it easy Fred, don’t worry about that asshole of boubi, he doesn’t give a shit himself, so why should you?

  36. boubi
    boubi May 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm |

    Btw, for the sake of clarity

    Normal person : A person who is going into a market with his/her hands swinging loosely by his/her side

    1. Fred
      Fred May 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm |

      It’s good that you cleared that up.

      1. boubi
        boubi May 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm |

        I’m releaved by your satisfaction.

        1. boubi
          boubi May 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm |

          Sorry, relieved by your satisfaction.

        2. Fred
          Fred May 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm |

          I’m releaving in the forest with satisfaction.

          1. Enterprise Guy
            Enterprise Guy May 18, 2014 at 5:11 pm |

            I’m still at work.

  37. Vidvicious
    Vidvicious May 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm |

    Reminds me of my first time at a Zen temple. The octagenerian Roshi was preparing a meal for all of us newbies. At some point he dropped a piece of chicken on the floor and I heard him exclaim the loudest “Aww Fuck!” I’d ever heard.

    1. boubi
      boubi May 19, 2014 at 6:06 am |

      IMHO the fact isn’t swearing, Brad explained at length that “zen masters” are plain people, and he is right on this point.

      The fact is what the “zen master”/”enlightened person” does with it.
      You swear (for some reason, maybe as a reflex, why not) then you go on, you don’t start to build upon something that happened.

      This is my point of view worth as anybody else’s.

  38. Ascension
    Ascension May 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm |

    I’ve wondered for several years if Zen training renders character training unnecessary. Your behaviors as written here have answered my question: It does not. In 2002 I read somewhere in a translated text that a sage can be made in an instant, but the creation of a saint takes a lifetime. So it does. If a serene environment is required to maintain serenity, then the serenity is worthless. What kind of monastery is that? How one thinks and acts under difficult circumstances is a litmus test of progress, because of what is revealed. I think deep wisdom dwells within the precepts. Flaunting them does not show mastery.

  39. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm |

    Why I like Brad:

    1) he believes in happiness as a guide
    2) he practices zazen because it’s been his experience that’s it’s necessary to his own happiness
    3) he takes the faith that his teacher had in him seriously, although he doesn’t know exactly how to keep that faith– in the end, he believes in happiness as a guide (and not necessarily of the material kind although that’s pretty good sometimes!)

    I do not have someone who has faith in me, other than my high school senior class, who voted me most likely to succeed. I also do not have an extensive travel schedule and a lot of commitments to keep on a budget that depends on donations. Boubi, get a job and send Brad some bucks, would you…

    1. boubi
      boubi May 19, 2014 at 12:56 am |

      I like Brad too, that doesn’t mean i have to feed him.

      He is a grown up, able body, writer, traveler, musician, Zen Master, japanese speaker, movie actor and what more, a kind of renaissance man.

      I help homeless people.

  40. Jiulong
    Jiulong May 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm |

    Look for authenticity, not serenity. serenity is temporary but authenticity is to be where you are without illusion. Being real isn’t pretty

  41. Daniel
    Daniel May 19, 2014 at 4:35 am |

    Here’s something from the MAITREYA to make you more happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BihrV_GkMn0

  42. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 19, 2014 at 4:48 am |

    Jiulong,

    How can I know if someone else is being authentic?

    How can I know if their actions are coming from an authentic or deluded mind?

    If being real isn’t pretty, does that mean that it is ugly?

  43. Andy
    Andy May 19, 2014 at 4:59 am |

    Brad, I’m curious: why is it that the only assumption you can make is that the guy was Christian? Some people only need the slightest excuse at the right time. Were there other impressions or intuitions that led you to such a strong indication?

    1. Alan Sailer
      Alan Sailer May 19, 2014 at 8:57 am |

      Andy,

      Close to 80% of United States identify as Christian. In my experience its a good starting point to assume that a random person you are interacting with is Christian…

      Cheers.

  44. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 19, 2014 at 5:23 am |

    Maybe the enterprize dude was being authentic? Maybe he was the Zen Master? Some dude swears at him while he’s trying to do his job? See ya buddy…

  45. boubi
    boubi May 19, 2014 at 5:58 am |

    Daniel

    Never heard of the guy, very interresting, thanks.

    Which is another proof that there are infinite “ways”, beyond traditions or practices.

    The “open secret” is the “gateless gate” and it’s in front of you all the time H A H A H A !

    He says “there’s nothing to find, all there is is what there is, this is it ! ” H A H A H A !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RduPZ2FIZPc

  46. Shodo
    Shodo May 19, 2014 at 6:33 am |

    Ascension said:
    “If a serene environment is required to maintain serenity, then the serenity is worthless. What kind of monastery is that?”

    Don’t worry, living in a monastery isn’t as serene as you might think.

    “I think deep wisdom dwells within the precepts.”

    DING! 😀

  47. Harlan
    Harlan May 19, 2014 at 7:18 am |

    “He knew he was making a whole lot of trouble for me. He did so deliberately. He did so, I can only assume, because I had insulted his religion…”

    “If Enterprise Rent-a-Car has a policy against renting to people who insult Jesus, that is a big problem.”

    Consider this Buddha boy. Chances are he wasn’t as upset by the Jesus Christ part of the mutter as the Fucking part. The F-word still has power. Some people in the service industry take so much shit from others that they just shut it down when they perceive they are being disrespected or sworn at. It wasn’t like you were tearing him a new asshole but he was getting back at the last guy that did I guess. It was like you peed on his toilet seat intentionally and it pissed him off.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VCXywR7ExM

  48. Daniel
    Daniel May 19, 2014 at 7:45 am |

    Btw. as the leader of Dogen Sangha International, having taken the precepts like Nishijima defines them:

    #9 Do not become Angry.

    Shouldn’t at least YOU be able to actually DO what you PROMOTE?

    I mean in my oppinion the whole precepts thing is a big delusion, especially that there is a YOU that could DECIDE to be Angry or Not…..but then I love seeing those stupid ideas fail and fall apart. This is a perfect example of this happening….

    1. Andy
      Andy May 19, 2014 at 9:04 am |

      Looks like it’s your ideas about precepts that are way off the mark. As far as I understand it, if I took the precepts, I would be making a commitment to what are in effect a set of guidelines that would help me to see when I ‘broke’ them, and in doing so this would help me to deepen my understanding of what they mean.

      They’re called precepts, after all, not commandments or laws.

    2. Alan Sailer
      Alan Sailer May 19, 2014 at 9:09 am |

      Danial,

      In my understanding of Nishijima’s teaching about the precepts is that they are a set of recommended behavior. The claim is that Life is just easier if you follow the precepts.

      No one is monitoring you to see if you follow or fail to follow the precepts. The “punishment” for not following them is administered by the universe.

      In the example Brad gives above, his reward for getting angry is apparently a service rep who complicated his life by refusing to rent him a car.

      If Soto Buddhism used the precepts as a collection of sticks to punish the guilty I’d be out of this practice faster than you could say karma.

      By the way Daniel, I’m beginning to accept Andy’s opinion about your possible double identity.

      Cheers.

    3. Shodo
      Shodo May 19, 2014 at 9:27 am |

      Come on Daniel…

      If complete precept-ual perfection was a requirement, one couldn’t ever have an opportunity to practice the precepts.

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