I haven’t updated this blog for a while, have I? I’ve been running all over the place for the past week or so. I put together the final(?) version of my movie Cleveland’s Screaming to send to Scat Records who will be issuing the DVD this Summer.

A bunch of people forwarded me the following commercial, which played on the Superbowl today:


I don’t usually post commercials here & Garmin’s not paying me. But the commercial is pretty funny. The company I work for had nothing to do with this. But I can even tell you which Ultraman episodes the guys who made the commercial referenced when making it. The setting appears to be based on the one in the episode featuring the monster Neronga (it’s like ep. 2, or 3 or 5, one of the early ones). The monster seems to be based on Keronia, who appears in one of the later episodes. And, of course, the hero is a knock-off of Ultraman.

Been reading a lot of Beatle books lately. I always like reading about The Beatles. Something about the obsessive nature of Beatle fans is fascinating. You’re just looking at a period of about 10 years in the lives of 4 people. You’d think you could exhaust the information that could be mined from such a narrow subject pretty fast. But it seems to be endless. Then you have the JFK assassination guys who seem to be able to extract endless data from an even that took just a few minutes to transpire. I don’t have any deep theories about that. Just something I was noticing.

Is there anything anyone out there wants me to write about?

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56 Responses

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  1. cromanyak
    cromanyak February 6, 2007 at 2:02 pm |

    I think drugs have too many side effects. Plus they’re addictive. Especially the ones they perscribe for my condition. I think that Zazen can correct chemical imbalances. When I was younger before I even knew about Buddhism I knew intuitively that awareness could restore balance. I just didn’t know what a slow process it would be. If I was so bad that I couldn’t hold a job I’d probably consider taking medication.

  2. Jim
    Jim February 7, 2007 at 7:57 am |

    If you haven’t and nobody mentioned it, I recommend “Beatles Gear”, which focuses on how they physically made the music, rather than…all that other stuff.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 7, 2007 at 11:13 am |

    How about your take on the relationship of Taoism to Zen? Not the historical connection, but the connection in actual practice?

    Oh, The Beatles- Abbey Road is my “stranded on a desert island with a lifetime supply of batteries” album. A masterpiece!

  4. rchinn72
    rchinn72 February 10, 2007 at 6:55 pm |

    Is it too late for me to suggest subject matter? I guess we’ll just have to see. I just recently have heard about this so-called “big mind” zen and was wondering if Brad, or anyone else had any thoughts about it.(Brad, I’m pretty sure you’ve touched on this, or something similar, a little bit)I’m thinking it’ll fall into the realm of instant gratification or whatnot.
    I just stumbled on it by googling ZEN;=related&search;=

    I went to the dude’s website.
    He wants $15 a month to be a member. He seems to be selling a large amount of stuff. He’s also sporting a pretty fancy site. That pretty much seems to say it all for me. I was just curious to hear another take.

    Also, I’ve been looking to find a decent zen center here in Chicago and every one that I’ve found seems to have these weird little quirks. For example, The most recent one that I’ve been looking into is The Buddhist Society for Compassionate wisdom..…it seems pretty cool
    but when I was looking through their site I found something about offering fruit to Buddha (which seemed like a waste to me. I guess I could be nitpicking, but crazy nonsensical rituals are what deterred me from religon in the first place…

    Okay I’m done writing.

  5. Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf February 16, 2007 at 10:53 pm |

    cromanyak – This might be to late to post this here, but I’ll give it a try.

    I had difficulties with anxiety myself, especially when I was 14. I was in a hospital for awhile and given alot of medication (zanex, anit-depressants, and other meds that made me feel like a zombie) then my insurance ran out. I finally took on the challenge to help myself. One of the things that helped me most was studying Kung fu, because my anxiety would come up during sparing. By facing the anxiety, I learned that the power it had over me was all in my head. So I suggest relaxing (this also means relaxing the tension in your physical body) when your in stiuations that give you social anxiety. Start out slowly and face these social situations and feel the tension and relax within the tension. The more you do this the more you will make friends with anxiety and you will see it’s not the big powerful monster that seems to control you. But don’t be massochistic and push yourself to much. Just keep working with it and face the situations that seem to bring tension more and more. Remember you will never get rid of anxiety fully, every one has it and for good reason, but you can work with it so it ceases to rule your life.

    Zazen also helps calm your mind down and create balance. My difficulties with anxiety was major part of my attraction to Buddhism.

    Also don’t try to figure what other people are thinking about you because 1. who knows, and 2. who cares. Just be comfortable with who you are and do not worry so much about other peoples praise or (shit I’m having a brain fart)whats the other word, blame or something I don’t know.

    I hope this helps, because these were the key elements in helping me with my difficulties with anxiety. Hell, I couldn’t even step foot out of the house at one point or I would go into a full fledge panic attack.

    I contiue to approve my situation and my difficulties with anxiety to this day.

    Ohh here is a letter I wrote a Zen teacher named Barry Magid (a student of Charlotte Joko Beck)who is a psychoanalysis guy once. I was talking about anxiety and Zazen making me sensitive to other people this is what he said:

    On social akwardness of Zazen:

    Sometimes sitting gets us so quiet we’re out of synch with others’ nervous energy – other times we go ga-ga over little things that nobody else bothers to notice and enjoy….I wouldn’t make too much out of either…

    On anxiety relapse at job “this is more complicated – practice is about facing stress we usually avoid, but you’re right that it shouldn’t become masochistic. We need to non-traumatically and gradually expand our boundaries. Panic attacks probably mean the job is pushing too hard and too fast. Try to find out what brings out the best in you – that can include the proper structure, support & encouragemnet you need to develop – not just what pushes all your buttons….

    Here is a email quote from Brad when I asked him a similar question to yours about feeling strange and not knowing what to say in social gatherings. I was feeling like this at a party and I had been sitting alot of Zazen at the time.


    “Are you dumb & dull now? Zazen won’t change your personality, even if you hope it might.

    If you apply yourself to learning something, you’ll be better able to learn it by relying on what you’ve gathered from Zazen practice. You’ll gain a better understanding of what’s important and what can be ignored.

    How important are these social gatherings, really? Could it be possible you make perfect sense when you talk, but no one can understand because they don’t have any experience of hearing anyone talk sensibly?

    There are times that Zazen makes you more aware of tensions you hadn’t noticed before. This sometimes leads people to believe that zazen has increased their tension. But it hasn’t really. Not in most cases I’ve seen, anyway.”

    When Brad said, “Zazen won’t change your personality” it helped alot, because if you are acting strange or feeling akward or feel like you should be feeling better after practicing Zazen, then you might want to look closely if your doing correct Zazen. Because what I noticed was that I was doing Zazen with a subtle goal in mind and that ruins Zazen. You have to do Zazen for Zazen itself. Any sort of feeling that “I’m doing this so my thoughts will calm down”, “so my anxiety will go away”, “so I will feel different” . I did this and once I realized it. I sat Zazen without any special idea in mind and the weird after effects went away. I think I was subltly changing my personality and behavoir with these subtle thoughts in my Zazen.

    I hope this helpful.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 12, 2007 at 7:26 am |

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