NEW YORK RADIO — updated (again) edition

Check out this new interview on the Busted Halo website.

I’m going to New York next week. I’ll re-post the dates here. But while I’m there I’ll be doing some radio. Here’s the info.

Monday Aug. 27 (or Tuesday Aug. 28, if you want to think of it that way) at 2 AM I’ll be on the Joey Reynolads Show on WOR radio AM 710 in New York. More info about the show is here:

CLICK HERE FOR JOEY REYNOLDS SHOW INFO

At 1:45 PM on Aug. 28 (Tuesday) he’ll be on the radio show “Soundcheck” on New York’s WNYC

more info about that is at:

CLICK HERE FOR “SOUNDCHECK” INFO

Here’s the previous gig list (remember, attendance is mandatory, any of you who think I already get plenty of butts in seats at these things, think again):

New York City, New York:
• August 27, 2007 at 7 PM at The Interdepedence Project at Lila Center 302 Bowery at Houston (this will be the most like a formal lecture among all the NYC appearances) RSVP soon, space is limited.
• August 28, 2007 at 7:30 PM Barnes & Noble in Greenwich Village 396 Ave of the Americas at 8th Street, New York, NY 10011

Montreal, Quebec:
• August 30, 2007 at 7 PM at McGill University’s Education/Counselling Psychology Department 3700 Rue McTavish Room 233

Boulder & Ft. Collins, Colorado:
• Monday September 10, 2007 – 7:30 pm Boulder Bookstore 1107 Pearl Street – Author Event

• Tuesday September 11, 2007 Noon – Colorado State University Bookstore – The Lory Student Center at CSU Ft. Collins, CO

• Tuesday September 11, 2007 7 PM – CSU Anthropology Club The Lory Student Center at CSU, Ft. Collins – Author Event

• Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Interview for Elevision TV show. Be part of the live in-studio audience! Doors close at 7pm. The show will be at Trilogy, 2017 13th St. in downtown Boulder

Shizuoka, Japan
• September 22 to 25, 2007, Tokei-in Temple, 1840 Hatori, Shizuoka City, 421-12 (Prior registration is required. See http://www.dogensangha.org/sesshin.htm for details)

Cleveland, Ohio
• Oct. 6, 9:15 PM – my movie “Cleveland’s Screaming” will have its Cleveland priemier at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque
(I may not make this showing personally, but I’m gonna try. Be there anyway!!!)

Akron, Ohio:
•November 7,2007 at the Akron Public Library I think I’m on at 7PM. I’m certain it’s either at 7 or 8 PM. More details later…

Cleveland, Ohio
•November 9, 2007 “Cleveland’s Screaming” movie showing at the Beachland Tavern along with live performance by 0DFx!

A little thought on Zazen posture for the day — the reason 1/2 lotus, full lotus or Burmese posture are Zazen and sitting in a chair or on a seiza bench are not the same thing is because when you sit in these postures your weight is distributed among three points, like a tripod. On a seiza bench or chair the best you can hope for is to try & balance on one point — your butt. In fact, most folks I see doing it in chairs just sorta lounge and rest their back on the chair providing absolutely no balance whatsoever. For people with leg troubles, try a higher cushion or put cushions under the knees. Yoga exercizes are also good. Visit your local McYoga, take the free sample lesson, and ask the teacher about this at the end (don’t tell me there’s no yoga studio near you unless you’re writing from Antarctica). Then be nice & go back for a few more lessons.

80 Responses

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  1. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 27, 2007 at 8:55 am | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 27, 2007 at 9:46 am | |

    mysterion – that wasn’t my question. why did you drag rove’s father into the spotlight when he doesn’t have anything to do with american foreign policy? you are treating him like a something less than human just to embarrass his son.

    It’s easy to say hate nothing,
    think peace.

    those are just words.

  3. gniz
    gniz August 27, 2007 at 10:08 am | |

    Personally, I guess its fair to say Soto Zen requires a certain type of position if that is fundamental to the teachings of Soto Zen or Dogen or whatever.

    It seems to upset me when somehow I feel someone is telling me I’ve never really meditated correctly or something because I dont do Zazen in the lotus posture.

    But i suppose they arent really saying any such thing.

    There is baseball, football, and volleyball.

    They are all sports.

    There is Insight Meditation, Soto Zen, Iyengar Yoga, etc.

    If I want to only do Soto Zen as told by Dogen, then I suppose I should probably listen to what Gudo and Brad and so forth have to say about it.

    Makes good sense.

    Aaron

    http://www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

  4. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 27, 2007 at 10:22 am | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 27, 2007 at 10:26 am | |

    Mysterion, this is a buddhist blog and not some armchair political debating forum.

    Just thought i’d point that out :p

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 27, 2007 at 10:31 am | |

    mysterion – fine.. don’t answer then.

  7. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 27, 2007 at 10:48 am | |

    Anonymous said…
    “Mysterion, this is a buddhist blog and not some armchair political debating forum.

    Just thought i’d point that out :p”

    I agree. “a lust for power and the facilitation of greed for the powerful” is all about Buddhism. Didn’t you notice?

    LUST and GREED

  8. dood
    dood August 27, 2007 at 1:27 pm | |

    Brad –

    You are so smart (tricky) – getting us to sit more by talking aobut posture….absolutely brilliant sir – well played!!!

    take care,
    do

  9. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 27, 2007 at 4:44 pm | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Smoggyrob
    Smoggyrob August 27, 2007 at 6:00 pm | |

    Hi everyone:

    Diet Hardcore Zen is back by popular demand! Uh, popular demand for Brad to be somewhere else, that is.

    Next Saturday, September 1st, I’ll be performing the duties of Chief Door-Unlocker & Incense Lighter. I plan to delegate the duties of Chief Bell-Ringer. So join us at 9:30 AM at the Hill Street Center for three zazen periods spaced by two kinhin periods.

    Diet Hardcore Zen — a third more enlightenment and 100% Brad-free!

    Rob

  11. keishin.ni
    keishin.ni August 27, 2007 at 8:41 pm | |

    SmoggyRob–Good going. Thanks for posting the info here. I promise not to press you into tree trimming activities right before sitting again.
    Things get antsy enough on the zafu without creatures searching for more familiar habitat.

  12. Boonton
    Boonton August 27, 2007 at 10:18 pm | |

    Went into NYC to the ID Project to listen to Brad lecture and also try meditating in an actual Zen group (at least I think they are a Zen group). I was able to ask a question on how long one should meditate. The answer is about 30 minutes or so. Some places go up to 60 but you need a break of some sort.

    But I think what I’m really curious about is how long one can meditate. Over in India is this kid who they claim has been meditating straight for months (years?) now…doesn’t eat or take water. I’ll be the first to write that off as a hoax of some sort but there are a host of stories about masters meditating for days on end. I saw a report a while ago about mummified monks found in Tibet…they basically meditated until they died in the lotus position and their bodies mummified in the dry cold air.

    Is this stuff really possible or are these guys doing something other than zazen? What’s the absolute limit before you push yourself to a breaking point with meditation and what happens if you push beyond that? Over on zenguide.com they mention something called ‘meditation sickness’ which can come from too much zazen. Is this real or is this just local folklore and myths combined with Buddhism?

  13. Jinzang
    Jinzang August 28, 2007 at 6:16 am | |

    Generally there are three things which limit how long you can meditate. Your mind goes wild and you just have to get up, you sink into a stupor and start nodding off, or your body starts hurting and you have to move it. According the the Buddhist literature with enough practice and skill you develop a quality the literature calls pliancy. When this is achieved your mind will stay clearly focussed on an object as long as you wish and your body can hold a position as long as you wish. When you achieve this a deeper level of meditation becomes possible, which is named samadhi. There are plenty of stories about samadhi in the Zen literature. For example, the Chinese monk Han Shan was doing retreat in the mountains and started meditating while his rice was cooking. He entered samadhi and was only aroused when someone knocked on his door. When he lifted the lid to his rice pot, he found it was covered by several inches of mold. He had no idea how long he had been in samadhi.

    Of course, this is just what I read. I can’t hold a position longer than ten minutes without moving.

  14. Jinzang
    Jinzang August 28, 2007 at 6:22 am | |

    Meditation sickness is a mental and physical disturbance caused by pushing yourself too hard in meditation. It can manifest as high blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, or even paranoia. I think it’s more likely to be a problem for the Rinzai than Soto style of practice. Just remember to r-e-l-a-x and there should be no problem.

  15. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 28, 2007 at 8:27 am | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Boonton
    Boonton August 28, 2007 at 11:01 am | |

    Thanks for the feedback. Some of the stories seem fanciful. Did he really go so deep that he was out of it for months while the rice grew mold? His body required no food or water?

    Or is this more like the Lives of the Saints in the Catholic Church that sometimes have somewhat implausible stories that you are not really expected to believe. (One story I recall was a saint who was so sexually modest that he stood up as a baby and chastized a woman who wanted to give him a bath)

  17. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 28, 2007 at 11:31 am | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 28, 2007 at 11:47 am | |

    BTW, the Dalai Lama eats meat, and Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian. Go figure.

    hitler wasn’t a vegetarian. he ate fish

  19. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 28, 2007 at 12:20 pm | |

    Thanks for the feedback. Some of the stories seem fanciful. Did he really go so deep that he was out of it for months while the rice grew mold? His body required no food or water?

    Or is this more like the Lives of the Saints in the Catholic Church that sometimes have somewhat implausible stories that you are not really expected to believe. (One story I recall was a saint who was so sexually modest that he stood up as a baby and chastized a woman who wanted to give him a bath)

    i think you’ve answered your own question. of course it is not possible to sit for longer than it is possiblwe to go without food and water. other wise you die. no one has ever got round the fact that our bodies need food and water to survive despite what those guys who pretend to live on sunlight would have you believe.

    the other question is why the hell would you want to sit zazen for as long as humanly possible? exercise is good for you but that doesn’t mean i’m going to run a marathon every day until i collapse from exhaustion.

    doing too much zazen is an extreme. doing too little zazen is an extreme.it’s all about the middle way.

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm | |

    and to the guy who thought zazen gave you hamaeroids… i really hope you were joking. an office worker spends around eight hours a day sitting on his arse zen teachers ask you to sit about one hour a day. what’s more likely to give you hamaeroids (which as mysterion rightly pointed out aren’t even caused by sitting in the first place)? duh.

    it amazes me the stupid excuses people will come up with to avoid sitting zazen. to everyone who says they are too stiff to do i so they’d rather sit in a chair or in seiza…. that’s the point! it takes effort to be able to do it! keep trying and eventually it wont be so hard! it’s like with any other sport (my teacher always says zazen is closer to a sport than a ‘spiritual’ activity), there is a particular way to do it right which will be difficult at first. when you have surfing lessons they tell you a particular method which is difficult to learn at first. for some reason people have no trouble hearing a surf teacher tell them to surf in a particular way but as soon as a zen teacher says the same thing, people get all retarded about it and start getting defensive and sarcastic (‘what so someone with no legs and a deformed spine can never sit zazen?’ No! they cant! for the same reason why someone with no legs will never be able to play soccer!)

    surfing lying on your stomach is not real surfing but it is easier than surfing standing up. zazen sitting in seiza/on a chair is not real zazen but is easier than doing it in lotus/half lotus etc.

  21. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 28, 2007 at 3:20 pm | |

    The Hitler Card (fallacy)
    ‘Was Hitler A Vegetarian?’
    Berry presented quotes from several sources, including well-known biographer of Hitler Robert Payne, that confirmed that Hitler’s diet always included sausage, caviar, ham, and squab.

    At least we know for certain that Hitler was neither Catholic nor Christian.

    My father’s mother kept a Hitler scrapbook. She (like all of my dad’s family) was a confirmed cathoholic. Her konfirmation was in Bliedersdorf, Kingdom of Hannover.

    They almost always had ham feasts on Corpus Christi Day (Easter) to ‘out the Jews’ in the neighborhood. I wolfed down a lot of fat pigs before I encountered my first Hindu medical Doctor.

  22. Jinzang
    Jinzang August 28, 2007 at 5:29 pm | |

    Did he really go so deep that he was out of it for months while the rice grew mold? His body required no food or water?

    Well, I didn’t remember the story correctly, so let me correct that. In my defense, it’s been years since I’ve read it. The story is actually in the autobiography of Hsu Yun, not Han Shan, in the account of his 63rd year (1902). Here’s the account, decide for yourself whether it’s true or not.

    “Master Fo-cheng and others who stayed in nearby huts were surprised that I had not called on themfor a long time and came to my hut to present their New Year’s greetings. Outside my hut, they saw tigers’ tracks everywhere with no traces of man. They entered my hut and seeing I was in samadhi, they awoke me with a chime. When I returned to self-consciousness, they asked me, ‘Have you taken your meal?’ I replied, ‘Not yet, the taro in the cauldron should be well cooked by now.’ When the top of the cauldron was lifted, it was covered with an inch of mold. Fo-cheng was startled and said, ‘You must have been in samadhi for half a month.’ We ten melted ice, cooked taro, and ate our fill. They joked with me and left.”

  23. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 28, 2007 at 6:10 pm | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm | |

    Hitler’s Vegetarianism in some detail.

    To wit:
    Hitler did not describe himself as a “vegetarian” until 1937… From that moment on, Hitler never ate another piece of meat except for _liver_ dumplings.”

    In John Toland’s biography of Hitler, Dr. Kalechofsky comments: “This is consistent with other descriptions of Hitler’s diet, which always included some form of meat, whether ham, sausages or liver dumplings.”

    So at least we can agree that ‘vegetarianism’ includes the consumption of _ham_, sausages, and liver dumplings. (pardon me while I hurl)

    If you will buy into THAT, then perhaps you will buy into THIS:

    “The nurture of the new humanity included the need to “encourage the growth of a violent, domineering, intrepid, cruel youth… nothing weak or tender in it.” (Angeberts, p.209, Rauschning quoting Hitler) This reached its climax in SS training, and it corresponded to the Nazi view of “pure” Gnostic, Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, which did not teach compassion and gentleness, but Aryan duty and honor above all (Angeberts, p.220-221).”

    ROFLMFAO

    It’s using the ‘Hitler Card’ to attack Buddhists!

  25. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 28, 2007 at 7:42 pm | |

    how did mysterion take over this blog with his unrelenting chatter? the guy is like a furby..

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 29, 2007 at 1:35 am | |

    how did mysterion take over this blog with his unrelenting chatter? the guy is like a furby..

    LOL :)

    He doesn’t seem to have an off switch :p
    I suspect ‘he’ may really be a bot, his posts look like the output of one of those online random koan generators :p

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 29, 2007 at 2:18 am | |

    Charlotte Joko Beck has said:

    ‘Check your posture. No matter how you sit, the body should be erect (but not stiff), balanced, and at ease. The sitting place should be neat and pleasant. (But we can sit anywhere and in any position–even lying down if ill or exhausted).’

    Who to believe?

  28. Smoggyrob
    Smoggyrob August 29, 2007 at 5:39 am | |

    Hi everyone:

    I found a short Ultraman reference in a comedy routine by Ernie Cline, a real funny guy. Warning — there’s a fair amount of cussing. And the line, “Ultraman is Airwolf” means, “Ultraman is very cool.”

    Rob

  29. Jinzang
    Jinzang August 29, 2007 at 6:01 am | |

    Who to believe?

    You CAN sit in any posture. But some are better than others. This is not dogma or cant, it’s my personal experience. Why would I bullshit you? If for some reason, you can’t sit on the floor with your knees on the ground, you’re better off using a bench or chair. But it’s worth making the effort.

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 29, 2007 at 7:42 am | |

    Brad – Dogen said that the kesa is the heart of buddhism.. yet you rarely mention anything about that. Give us your take..

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