Ordination and Stuff

Back row: Nina, me, John. Front row: Caitlin, Polly.

Back row: Nina, me, John. Front row: Caitlin, Polly.

Happy New Year!

Before I begin there are a few things I have to mention. First, in just mere hours, Waylon from Elephant Journal will interview me and Pirooz Kalayeh, the director of Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen on a live streaming thingamajig. The link to the archived video is here.

Also, the last time I looked the screening of Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen in Boulder on January 18th had only sold a measly four (4!!)  tickets! In Boulder, CO! The home of thousands of supposedly edgy supposed Buddhists! What’s up with that? Has the whole legalized weed thing got everybody out there too forgetful to buy any tickets? The screening will not happen if we don’t sell enough tickets on-line. Please, people. I already invested in plane tickets out there. We’re also playing it the following day (January 19) in Denver.

Also, for those of you asking about a DVD of the movie or a Netflix release, here’s a chance to make your voices heard! We’ve put the film up on a site called Filmbreak. If you go there and “hype” the film (their term) they will pick it up for distribution and get it on all the downloading sites (iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc.). So go and make some noise!

Lastly, February 18-23 I will co-lead a sesshin at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico with Kazuaki Tanahashi entitled Dogen’s Circle of the Way. Kaz Tanahashi is a brilliant caligrapher and Dogen scholar, co-translator of numerous books about Dogen including the recently published complete Shobogenzo from Shambhala Publications, which I rate as the second best Shobogenzo translation after the Nishijima/Cross version.

*   *   *

On December 21st I performed my first ever priest ordinations. The four ordainees were Nina Snow, John Graves, Caitlin Fabens and Polly Perez. Caitlin’s husband Curtis is the ino at Tassajara. The ino is person in charge of the zendo. Their job is to make sure everyone is there and that everything in the zendo runs smoothly. It’s harder than it might sound. Curtis pretty much put together the ceremony, being far more knowledgable than me about ceremonial stuff like this.

Almost as soon as I announced I was doing this I started getting emails from people who said they’d also like me to ordain them. I’m sorry, folks. But this does not mean I am now in the priest ordination racket. These four people were all very special cases. I doubt I will be doing any more ordaining very soon. In fact I may very well never ordain anyone else. I’d certainly like to believe I won’t. But we shall see.

GasshoThese four people were folks I knew very well. Nina and John were among the first to start sitting with me weekly when I began doing zazen meetings at Hill Street Center in Santa Monica back in the far-off year of 2005. They’ve been the most consistent sitters ever since, showing up pretty much each and every week. They’ve both become close friends of mine outside the sittings, Nina especially.

When I left LA for a couple of years it was John and Nina who kept the Hill Street Center sittings running. I had figured those weekly meetings would fade away once I was gone. But they didn’t. In fact, they grew and prospered. And that made me really happy. I never wanted the Hill Street Center sittings to be something like The Brad Warner Show. I wanted people to come for the practice, not for me. John and Nina made that work.

A weird thing happened though, at one of the sittings I couldn’t attend because I was off in Europe last Fall. Someone new showed up and after the sitting was done asked if she could have her money back because “the real teacher was absent.” I don’t know if it was John or Nina running the show that day. Maybe they were both there. But I thought it was a shame someone would think either one of them was not a “real teacher.” So I’ve now made them fully legit Zen priests. Take that!

Caitlin Rakusu

Caitlin’s Rakusu

Caitlin is someone I’ve known for a few years. She’s a long time resident of Tassajara who I met one of the summers I worked there. This past summer she confided in me that she’d been having some doubts that training as a priest at Tassajara was the right way to go for her. She’d liked what I had to say at some of the talks I gave there and we had formed a friendship. When she told me she wanted me to ordain her I was pretty taken aback. But after some hemming and hawing I said OK. This caused a bit of a kerfuffle with the folks in charge of Tassajara who thought I might be poaching their students. That was smoothed over pretty quickly, though and now everyone is fine. I think…

Polly lives in El Paso, Texas and I met her there a while back. We had some very long discussions about her experiences in Zen practice and where she wanted to go with them. Much like Caitlin, she’d begun to wonder if the path she was following was right for her. I figured I could help her out by ordaining her as well. So I did.

John’s rakusu

People have asked what it means to be ordained as a Zen priest. The best answer I can give is I don’t know. I was ordained by Nishijima Roshi many years ago. But he never sat me down and told me what it was supposed to mean. He seemed to feel that I could work that out for myself. Whatever questions I asked him about it were met with answers from him that boiled down to, “You will figure it out.” Ordination was his ceremonial and public expression of his personal confidence in me to work out what ordination meant. I wasn’t sure if that confidence was misplaced or not. I’m still not absolutely certain. But I do what I do anyway.

A Zen priest isn’t quite like a Catholic priest. There are seminary-like institutions that will teach you what they call “priestcraft,” the various dance steps to be performed in rituals and ceremonies, the right way to wear your robes, what to call all the objects priests use and so forth. That kind of thing can be taught just like you teach any other similar activity. It’s all memorization and repetition until you get it right. But not everyone goes to these seminary-like places. In fact my guess would be that about as many American and European Zen priests don’t go this route as do. But that’s just a guess.

Nina's rakusu.

Nina’s rakusu.

What’s harder to teach is the other stuff priests do, like how to talk to a dying person about death or how to deal with someone who imagines a Zen priest should be able to magically solve all of their problems for them and gets very angry when that doesn’t happen. I don’t think that kind of thing can be taught. All you can do is recognize that a person has those sorts of abilities already and then give them the institutional authority necessary to get the job done.

I feel like the four people I ordained last month are going to be just fine. I only hope I am not wrong!

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35 Responses

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  1. Fred
    Fred January 6, 2014 at 9:49 am | |

    “Almost as soon as I announced I was doing this I started getting emails from people who said they’d also like me to ordain them. I’m sorry, folks. But this does not mean I am now in the priest ordination racket”

    Fine, we’ll see what Gimpo charges.

  2. drocloc
    drocloc January 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm | |

    Hello,

    Enjoyable G+ Hangout viewing. Everyone should “HYPE” your film/streaming project (and often!)
    Gassho, Edward

    P.S. site cert. is out of date. . .

  3. zucchinipants
    zucchinipants January 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm | |

    Are they supposed to keep those towels balanced on their heads at all times?

  4. CatsareInfinite
    CatsareInfinite January 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm | |

    Artificial hierarchies are a great way to encourage unity, alright.

    Yeah, you can continue sitting, encouraging complacency/passivity, and urge people to push through broken knees. You’re just an anti-intellectual unwilling to immerse your mind into great poetry such as Emily Dickinson, Bukowski, or etc. Just wallow in your dullness and parroting.

    1. Fred
      Fred January 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm | |

      Here’s a poem by Dogen:

      “The migrating bird
      leaves no trace behind
      and does not need a guide.”

      1. Fred
        Fred January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm | |

        And another:

        “Treading along in this dreamlike, illusory realm,
        Without looking for the traces I may have left;
        A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home;
        Hearing this, I tilt my head to see
        Who has told me to turn back;
        But do not ask me where I am going,
        As I travel in this limitless world,
        Where every step I take is my home.”

    2. Andy
      Andy January 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm | |

      Catsareinfinite, your post contains second-hand assumptions so wide of the mark, it is but another case example of how actual anti-intellectualism is not only confined to the obvious culprits, such as conservative christian fundamentalists.

      If you’d redirected some of that passionate intensity into a small amount of research, your intellect would have uncovered that Dogen, the preeminent guiding light for the tradition Brad hails from is very rational, and that the sitting practice is not a means for encouraging passivity or complacency. That might be true in other quarters, and it can even be said to be a pitfall some might slip into – a bit like a card-carrying intellectual lapsing into ideologically passive modes of investigation and complacently reductive categories.

      And I fear you might be limiting the value and enjoyment you get from poetry if your experience of it is being ring-fenced by the notions you have used as currency here. I’m sure you’d agree that the intellect is only part of what we use when engaging intimately with a poem, as either a writer or reader. And the same goes for those authentically engaged in the practice of Zen Buddhism.

      You might have an interesting take on such notions as ‘artificial hierarchies’, and there has been much interesting debate along those lines in these comments sections. Heated, engaged, active stuff. Sadly, though, you didn’t care to grace us with any intelligent reasoning on the matter. Which suggests to me that you’ve already made your mind up. Reactionary. Liberals, conservatives and all shades in between have so much in common.

      1. CatsareInfinite
        CatsareInfinite January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm | |

        I don’t have time for your bullshit, Andy. I’ve done enough reading of Dogen and I used to regularly go to ASZC and etc. I can tell you Shikantaza is stupid and very bad for the knees, especially to Westerners. You people speak of Shikantaza as being useless and letting one live more immediately in the present, accepting oneself as he or she is without clouded by judgments, but then you paradoxically worship Shikantaza and call the tool the one and only expedient means to realization. Even Brad in his other blog posts put down other methods and say Shikantaza was the best. He and you are clueless to what real realization entail.

        If you think sitting through chronic knee injury, reciting suttas whose meanings have been lost in cultural transition, and constantly ruminating on the present moment in Dharma Talks is what Buddhism is about, then leave me alone. You losers keep talking about “living in the moment”, “proper posture”, and other crap. This puppetry is so annoying.

        You wanna know what Buddhism is about? Then make your own CREATIVE work and not parroting the words of others. This requires immersing your mind in a diverse array of things, diverse poetry, diverse art, and diverse activities. It requires no censorship or fear in stepping out of one’s comfort zone. How can you step out when your knees have already crumbled, imbeciles?

        1. sri_barence
          sri_barence January 8, 2014 at 10:37 am | |

          Zazen is incredibly stupid and boring. That is rather the point of it I think. And it is totally unproductive. The more you try to get out of it, the less you get. This is also the point of it.

          If you don’t live in the moment, then where do you live?

  5. Fred
    Fred January 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm | |
    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am | |

      Wow! I didn’t know orcs could play.

  6. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm | |

    I have a house where I can go
    When there’s too many people around me

    I can sit and watch all the people
    Down below goin’ by me
    ‘Halfway down the stair is a stair
    Where I sit and think about you and me

    But I wonder will the sun still see all the people goin’ by.
    Will the moon still hang in the sky when I die,
    When I die, when I’m high, when I die?
    If you were a cloud and you sailed up there,
    You’d sail on water as blue as air,
    You’d see me here in the fields and say,
    “Doesn’t the sky look green today?”‘

    Dogen at Pooneil Corners (something for all the bass players in the audience)

    1. Andy
      Andy January 6, 2014 at 11:53 pm | |

      Bless your cotton socks, Mark!

      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
      A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
      Ask me a riddle and I reply
      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
      Why does a chicken? I don’t know why.
      Ask me a riddle and I reply
      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
      A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.
      Ask me a riddle and I reply
      Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

      A.A Milne.

  7. jiesen
    jiesen January 7, 2014 at 12:28 am | |

    :)

  8. blake
    blake January 7, 2014 at 6:46 am | |

    I am now taking applications to ordain people in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The only test is that you have to cook me the perfect plate of spaghetti. But be warned! I’m really picky when it comes to my pasta!

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 7, 2014 at 10:00 am | |

    “When the robe is put on for the first time, typically in the morning, we put it on our heads. The top of the head being seen as a vulnerable and open place. Then we chant the robe chant. ”

    (“Now we open Buddha’s robe
    A field far beyond form and emptiness,
    The Tathagata’s teaching for all beings.”)

    “Then subsequently you just touch the robe to your foreheard, take a breath, and put it on.” (Nomon Tim Burnett, Red Cedar Zen Community)

    Let’s offer another reason why the robe is on the head-top:

    “You should realize that on the crown of the heads of the buddhas and enlightened adepts there is a wondrous way of ‘changing the bones’ and transforming your existence. Only then can you get beyond conventional categories and sectarian limits and act like a trancendant person, so that even great Zen masters like Linji and Deshan would have no way to apply their blows and shouts to you.” (Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu, translation J.C. & T. Cleary, “Be Undefinable” pg 61)

  10. Mumbles
    Mumbles January 7, 2014 at 11:13 am | |

    Aha! Yes Mark/J.C.&T. Cleary!! I THOUGHT the robes on the head might have something to do with Brad hitting them with his Sensei Stick (see porch photo above)! But after ordination, they have magical Buddha powers that deflect the blows!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0n8N98mpes

  11. Wedged
    Wedged January 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm | |

    CatsareInfinite: Dude…mellow out, man. Take a deep breath. You should try meditation…it’ll help with your anger. You sound like you’re about to go Postal. Geezaz. Talk about buzz kill reading your comments.

    It’s funny, i always love reading Brad’s posts then reading the comments section for the token “angry Buddhist”. It’s always someone who claims to read Brad’s sh*t but takes the opportunity to bash him. You know…like a “real” Buddhist would do ;)

    1. CatsareInfinite
      CatsareInfinite January 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm | |

      http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/sitting-kills/

      I’ve been doing Zazen for 3 years now under a teacher. Why don’t you read what I say? You can go back to doing your shit rituals, Japanophile, instead of putting deep thought into what I’m saying. Zen/Chan teachers always slapped each other in the past; do my scathing words pierce your heart? Offended much? Why not listen then?

      Do you really think sitting for endless hours in lotus posture will do much besides chronic knee pain? My “sensei” would say to “sit through the pain”, attempt to distribute the pain between the knees, and apply other techniques to sit for long durations while maintaining mindfulness (i.e., full non-judgmental awareness). You bastards are no different than Christians who place all their hope in the symbol of a cross as a means to achieve “understanding”, as a way to “purify one’s sins”, rather than trusting in one’s own creative work, one’s own understanding. By sitting endless hours and parroting words like, “Let go of all desires of striving. There is no gaining or losing,” you imbeciles think it will make you more compassionate and crap. Just a bunch of rubbish.

      Instead of having endless Dharma discussions about Dogen, why not get off your asses and walk in the slums, so that way true compassion is cultivated? Why not walk anywhere a bit more, seek solitude in natural scenery, and practice celibacy for prolonged periods, instead of just placing all emphasis on fucking sitting for prolonged periods which is shown to be bad. Why not read more diverse poetry like Emily Dickinson or Charles Bukowski and exercise your creativity, get outside your comfort zone, and educate yourselves on a variety of topics? Toni Packer had it right in her approach, even though it can be improved upon. Cease pushing your anti-rationalist and excessively monistic bullshit onto others and touting it as Zen/Chan. None of you have any real understanding because none of you are willing to understand things for YOURSELVES without resorting to the solace of institutions or organizations. Get more solitude in natural scenery, motherfucker. Stop wasting my time with your bullshit!

      I had enough with all this Soto Zen shit. It’s worse than the current state of neo-conservative Christianity in America, and I’ve had my fill of it. I don’t want you to quote Dogen and then smile thinking you’ve rebuked my. Why don’t you speak from your own damn experience, write your own poetry, and stop putting faith in retarded instutions that demean people’s given meanings in life for the sake of a blobject that completely demolishes all private experience and the everlasting movement of life.

      1. sheelamonster
        sheelamonster January 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm | |

        Why don’t you take a nap, Catsareinfinite? You sound really cranky.

  12. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm | |

    Brad recommends sitting full or half lotus. My Tai-Chi teacher, when I was attending his free class in the park, recommended standing in the postures of Tai-Chi as a method of study.

    Issho Fujita demonstrated walking a slack rope as a part of his zazen instruction at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

    I’ve had good experiences sitting in a chair.

    A posture that involves stretch has its own motions, and engages the senses involuntary in the sense of location necessary to relax the motions. The sense of location sits, if the parts of the body are allowed to inform the sense of location in the movement of breath.

    The mind moves, waking up and falling asleep.

  13. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote January 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm | |

    Waking up and falling asleep happens in the movement of breath.

    “Thus with wits alert, with wits unhampered, he cultivates his mind to brilliancy” (Sanyutta-Nikaya, text V 263)

  14. Andy
    Andy January 8, 2014 at 12:50 am | |

    Catsareinfinite,

    Thanks for replying. I don’t think many of the assumptions you’re making address the actual situations and experiences of people here, but then at least I have a better idea of your angle on things.

    Bukowski and Dickinson isn’t a very diverse list. Do you have any particular favourites beyond these two?

  15. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel January 8, 2014 at 9:18 am | |

    Catsareinfinite

    I agree that a teacher that merely tells you to “sit through the pain” is quite likely to be at best an idiot, if not worse. I’ve had the same, but I’ve just managed to do the stretching required so that my knees no longer hurt. It’s taken some time, but it also happens that my general health has benefited from those stretchings.

    It is not necessary to hurl your hurt feelings like you do. If it’s not for you, just do something else, and look somewhere else. What does that abuse bring you? I can’t imagine anything positive.

    I agree that Zen has through the years attracted its following of cranks, crooks and crackpots: it is possible that you met some. I have, here in France, met an atrocious quantity of them. That doesn’t mean to me that Zen is, per se, bad. Just that its legend carries a tremendous lot of filth that needs scrubbing. But your abuse does nothing to change this.

  16. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel January 8, 2014 at 9:21 am | |

    Catsareinfinite:

    You write “Stop wasting my time with your bullshit!”

    Errrrr… I’m afraid that YOU are the one that is wasting his time. I have the worst difficulty to imagine Brad wrenching your arm in front of the computer for you to read his things. Actually, the mere imagining it is incredibly hilarious!

  17. CatsareInfinite
    CatsareInfinite January 8, 2014 at 11:58 am | |

    1. All of you continue feeling offended and talking about my tone, rather than addressing the points I’m making.

    2. You continue referencing Dogen like a scripture that gives more validity to your rigid “practice”.

    3. I can list more recommendations, but I am sure you will find good stuff as long as you step outside your comfort zone. Bukowski, E. Dickinson, Saadi, Gospel of Thomas, Schopenhauer’s aphorisms, and etc. are all good. The point is not to cling to your interpretations and do your best to study the cultural context of the piece you’re reading. Much of Zen/Chan has been lost in cultural transition. I made the explicit claim Zen/Chan was not non-dualistic for example.

    4. The problem with Zazen is it’s too exclusive even if it claims to be inclusive. The Christian mentality of people is transposed to the conception of the Lotus Posture. I said Toni Packer had it right, for she was a bit more flexible and humble in regard to diversity of approaches that works for others. She did not have rigid sitting hours or parroting Dharma talks.

    5. Brad Warner’s posts annoy me. However, they do not make me livid or violent. They just annoy me. I respond to him because I am tired of the double-standards I perceive. Zazen is passive become people dismiss these double-standards and contradictions as being part and parcel of practice. This is why people excessively talk about the Sasaki scandal without just ending it with a “he was wrong”.

    6. None of you have left your mainstream theistic Christianity. You have deepened it. In a sense, it would have been better if you went more into Gnosticism by reading the Gospel of Thomas, Tolstoy, and other similar texts, rather than jump to a shallow transition of the “Dharma” that is bastardized by the West.

    7. You want to know what Buddhism or Zen is about? You have to make your OWN creative effort. You can’t figure it out by just sitting with others, attending Dharma talks, and breaking your knees… You will become unhealthy before you know it, impeding real understanding. Read poetic greats, get solitude in natural scenery, and practice celibacy for long periods. Otherwise, you will never have a glimpse of any comprehension. You will waste your time, just like I did, trying to make sense of rubbish that was distorted even more in translations.

    1. zucchinipants
      zucchinipants January 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm | |

      Hey, Sepehr,
      Parroting you-know-who’s mannerisms won’t get you very far in life, especially since you’re not damaged like he is. He doesn’t seem to have a choice in the way he communicates; you do.

      You have a fiancé. Are you celibate with her?

    2. mb
      mb January 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm | |

      “1. All of you continue feeling offended and talking about my tone, rather than addressing the points I’m making.”

      So…you are encouraging everybody who reads your posts to engage in cognitive dissonance with you? Your tone is not at all separate from the points you are making – that’s an artificial distinction you are choosing to make (and attempting to enforce).

      Clearly you are mainly ranting and railing, calling people “imbeciles” and “losers”, speaking of others’ opinions as “bullshit”, and people being “clueless”.

      I’m sure you have ample and valid experience to strongly support your opinions and conclusions. And I agree with a lot of them – having to meditate in lotus, for example. In the modern yoga world, for example, there is tons of controversy about poorly-trained teachers unwittingly fostering un-necessary injuries in their students. Let alone lotus pose. Any posture that allows the meditator to settle down and have a good look-see into their local nexus of consciousness is a good meditation posture in my opinion.

      But please don’t challenge people to “overlook” your tone – that’s totally disingenous. IMHO.

      1. CatsareInfinite
        CatsareInfinite January 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm | |

        Only in America do people listen to the business man with a fake and perky voice when looking for answers to existential crises or other issues. As long as you are presentable and not Middle-Eastern, you can get away with any comment as long as it makes people feel good and gives a false sense of optimism. Rarely, do they listen to a Diogenes of Sinope, whose scathing remarks frighten their being and shake them out of their forced normality.

        If you cannot put your hurt feelings to the side and listen to the fundamental points I’m making, then what will you do when shit really hits the fan? I’m not standing in between you and any activity you wish to do. I am merely challenging what I see as disingenuous in you “Zen practitioners”.

        Everyone puts on a mask to survive societally. Even “spiritual greats” do that, as a way to secure a source income which is necessary for freedom. I am taking the mask off and reflecting everyone’s insecure search for freedom in an obviously bullshit practice that leads people to a ghost cave of physical illness (i.e., cartilage damage to the knee and other issues associated with too much sitting) and false conviction in an restrictive philosophical blobject, ala existence monism.

        1. mb
          mb January 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm | |

          ‘If you cannot put your hurt feelings to the side and listen to the fundamental points I’m making, then what will you do when shit really hits the fan? I’m not standing in between you and any activity you wish to do. I am merely challenging what I see as disingenuous in you “Zen practitioners”.’

          First of all, I am not a “Zen practitioner” at all. But for some unknown reason, I do follow Brad’s blog, because I like it. The sum total of my Zen experience in my life is having attended a 3-day session with Jiyu Kennett Roshi in 1975. I don’t think she made anybody sit in lotus, either.

          Second of all, although I’m quite capable of “putting my hurt feelings aside”, I’m moved to make the observation that this approach is eerily similar to the excuse of abusive spiritual teachers who proclaim “crazy wisdom” as a rationale for being abusive to their students. I was exposed to this first-hand as a teenage cult member with Adi Da in the mid-1970s – and I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have sufficient motivation to make it into his inner circle – where the real abuse took place. Those poor souls had endless practice with “putting aside hurt feelings”.

          Third of all, while you point out that you are not standing between me and anything I might do (which is blindingly obvious), I would just make the counter-point that by self-righteously ranting at people’s “stupidity” in an internet forum where most people only know you by what you write, you will almost certainly be convincing nobody of the validity of your otherwise-insightful points. Adopting the “fierce Diogenes” pose is best done in person, and even then…skillfully.

          I’ve been attending to a gazillion (OK maybe less) “spiritual” internet forums for many years now and the phenomenon of some anonymous participant getting down on the other participants for their “stupidity” is very common, dime a dozen. If you think people can be “frightened and shaken out of their forced normality” by your overheated rhetoric, well…good luck. In my experience, us humans are a very stubborn lot and will only change if we absolutely have to, and such changes could just as easily come about catalyzed by a gentle whisper as a shout.

          1. CatsareInfinite
            CatsareInfinite January 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm |

            Good points, but I am not trying to change anyone. I honestly do not care if people listen. Also, I’m not shouting.

            Maybe, if my left knee weren’t messed up from endless Zazen, I would be a bit more “warm”.

            I guess I’ll just leave it at “that I don’t like Soto Zen and view it as fundamentally flawed”. People who practice it are either deluded or Japanophiles. They don’t have much insightful things to add besides regurgitating poorly translated Dogen quotes as a way to justify the physical illnesses brought by excessive rigidity. They act as if they are open-minded, but they are generally not well-read and unaware of social and environmental injustices. They don’t care to do anything productive besides giving endless rubbish about the sanctity of sitting in a paradoxical, bullshit kind of way.

            I’m not a spiritual teacher and view most of them as a waste of my time. I have my own way of doing things, and I don’t care what others do. I simply do not like the double-standards being casually dismissed, and then people who call it out are ostracized on the basis of trivial matters such as “tone”.

            It’s the Internet. If you can’t look past some cuss words, then that’s your fault. I’m not trying to pull people into my creed and take advantage of them. Instead, I see they are already being exploited by obtuse rhetoric that is even more destructive than direct scathing language.

  18. Kogen
    Kogen January 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm | |

    First, an aside:

    “…[read you] instead of putting deep thought into what I’m saying”

    I think this is how we really feel. And it’s hilarious.

    I actually don’t feel too bad about these ordinations. At first, I felt sick to hear it. But maybe Brad is growing up.

    Deep bow,
    Kogen

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