I’m also Tricycle Magazine’s on-line Meditation Doctor this month. To see all the amazing advice I’m giving people, go to
And if you want to sit some zazen in LA tonight I’ll be hosting the usual Wednesday night session at Yogavidala in Los Feliz. The address is 4640 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Be there or be square. Be there and you can manifest the shape of the full moon! (Dogen nerds will get that joke)
On this coming Friday night (Dec. 7th, 2012 a day that will live in infamy!), also in Los Feliz, will be the world premiere of Shoplifting From American Apparel starring Brad Warner. To see more about that and to purchase tickets go to
You gotta buy the tickets on line! None will be available at the door! It’s gonna be a really cool show with lots of the cast and crew on hand as well as fabulous prizes and merchandise.
I’m sitting on my veranda with its lovely view of the 5 freeway, the Hyperion Street bridge and the magnificent Verdugo Mountains. It’s a brisk December morning here, 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). The sun is shining and the smog is not too thick. Back in London it’s snowing. They’re riding sledges (aka sleds) up in Glasgow. It’s below freezing in Helsinki.
My trip to Europe this Fall is done. And what can I tell you about it? It was fun. Here’s the short version.
In Finland I led a weekend sesshin. I was severely jet-lagged and it was all I could do to stay upright during the first day’s zazen. I gave the precepts to three people, two Finns and one Scotsman who has live in Finland for ages. I hope they enjoy their precepts. I slept on a “Goldilocks bed” at the home of a guy named Mika. It was very short, but warm.
In Malaga, Spain I addressed the International Lay Buddhists Forum, but did not get laid even once. What’s the deal with that? In the Oslo airport on the way down to Spain I paid $27 for egg and chips. Next time I’ll pack a sandwich. Burkhard, who organized the forum, called me “heteronormative” the first day we met. The whole front row was sound asleep when I gave my speech.
At the University of Koblenz I spoke to students in the afternoon and was videotaped. I wonder where that video will be shown. Then that evening I spoke to non-student type humans in what used to be a church of some sort. Or maybe it still is a church. A guy came with a ukulele. He didn’t play it, though. Across from my hotel were old German buildings and trees bursting with Autumn colors. The Muzak in the dining room played Mack the Knife. It was to be my last hotel stay of the tour. Usually people don’t put me up in hotels and I certainly cannot afford them for myself.
The train to Frankfurt wound past the Rhine river. In Frankfurt I spoke at the Dogen Zendo and then ate pizza. One guy who attended owned three of the Dimentia 13 albums! Golly! The following day I did what they called a satsang at Balance Yoga, also in Frankfurt. No one sang, but we sure sat! There I met another guy who had some of the Dimentia 13 albums! Were we big in Germany?
Then it was on to Berlin, where I re-visited Dharma Buchladen, where I had spoken twice before. My friend Vajra lent me his swingin’ East Berlin pad while he went home to see his folks in Denver. Groovy! A girl named Nikita with long dreadlocks came to the talk because her mom told her to. But she liked the talk anyway. In Kruezburg a West Indian guy tried very hard to sell me marijuana. I did not buy it. But I did buy the German edition of The X from Outer Space (Guila Frankensteins Teufelsei).
Then it was on to Glasgow where Judi of Merchant City Yoga put on an exciting day of zazen, which was fun for all. I did two events in Glasgow, one evening talk followed by a day-long zen thing. The talk was an “In Conversation” format hosted by Dr Cynthia McVey. I liked that a lot. I went and saw my friend Nick of My Niece’s Foot who I met when I first moved to Japan. He lives in Fife, Scotland now with his wife Tara and two children. I read Fox in Sox to them.
Then I went to Manchester where I saw a fine performance by Kunt and the Gang. After that, it was off to Fawcett Mill Fields in the Lake District. There I led a three-day Zen thing with lots of dokusan (individual interviews with participants). We took a long muddy walk to see a stone circle and I thought of Julian Cope.
After that I was whisked off to Hebden Bridge, the Lesbian Capitol of Britain, where I did a day-long Zen thing at a local youth hostel. The name of the hostel was Mama Weirdigan’s! And my room was called Stoodley! I kid you not. They had a cute kitty cat. I did lots more dokusan. I found Bill Oddie’s (of The Goodies) autobiography in a charity shop dedicated to local greyhounds. I didn’t buy it because it looked too heavy to add to my baggage. Then I ate delicious Tibetan food in the local Trade Union Hall.
Then it was back to Manchester where I did a talk, another “In Conversation” thing with a guy named Elliot. I’m sorry Elliot, I’ve forgotten your last name! That also went very nicely, although it was quite chilly in the schoolhouse where we did the talk.
Finally I rode the train down to London where I did a day of zazen at a place called the Vibast Community Center. It’s a community center on a council estate, which is what the British call a housing project. Though it wasn’t exactly the ideal venue for a day of zazen, it worked out just fine. I like doing zazen in non-ideal spaces. I think we need more of that. It’s lovely to do it in picturesque places far off in the country. But it’s also valuable to do it in the center of a big city with traffic noises in the background.
Big thanks to everyone who made this happen. If I start naming people, I’ll certainly leave some out. But here are a few who my jet-lagged brain can come up with today:
Thanks to Markus Laitinen of Kajo Zendo in Helsinki, to Prof. Burkhard Scherer for inviting me to Spain and setting it all up, to Wolf-Andreas Liebert at the University of Koblenz, to Regina Obendorfer of Dogen Zendo in Frankfurt, to Sybille Welker of Balance Yoga in Frankfurt, to Fritz at Dharma Buchladen, to Judi Ferrell in Glasgow, to Matt Ryan in Man Chest Hair, to Rebecca Habergrahm in Hebden Bridge, to Alicia in London, to Norman Blair also in London and to everyone else I have forgotten because my brain is like jelly at the moment.
Donate to the de-jellification of Brad’s brain here.