Would anyone be interested in hosting me in Albuquerque or in the Great State of Texas next month?

As you can see below, I have a talk at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe on July 10th. I’ve just been asked if I can make it to El Paso on July 15th. Albuquerque is in between. So if anyone wants me to speak in Albuquerque between July 11th and July 14th, I can do it. Let me know if you’re interested!

Also, I have been trying to find gigs in Dallas, Austin and Houston for a while now. But it’s been difficult to get anything worked out. If you’re interested in discussing the possibilities, please write to:


Here’s the latest video about my new book in case you haven’t seen it yet:


*   *   *

– 19-June    Toronto    7 p.m.    Snow Lion Bookstore 708a Pape Avenue, Toronto, ON

– 20-June   Ithaca, NY    7 p.m.    Ulysses Philomathic Library 74 E. Main Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886    https://www.facebook.com/events/177703205728097/?ref=14

– 21-June    Pittsburgh    7 p.m.    Black Cat Tattoos 3419 Butler Street 15201 Pittsburgh, PA    https://www.facebook.com/events/167000203473975/?ref=14

– 22-June    Akron    7 p.m.    Arkham Tattoo 788 North Main Street, Akron, OH 44310 https://www.facebook.com/events/471238089631983/

– 22-June    Akron 10 p.m. Zero Defex at Old Haunts Tavern 1527 E. Market St. Akron, OH

– 23-June    Cleveland   6 pm zazen, 7pm talk 1360 W. Miner, Mayfield Hts, OH 44124    https://www.facebook.com/events/554215741287955/?ref=14

– 23-June     Cleveland 10 p.m. Zero Defex at Now That’s Class 11213 Detroit Ave  Cleveland, OH 44102

– 24-June    Pitman, NJ    8 p.m.    519 Grandview Ave, Pitman, NJ 08071    https://www.facebook.com/events/535192329849584/?ref=14

– 25-June    Philadelphia, PA    8 p.m.    1547 E. Berks St., Philadelphia, PA 19125

– 26-June    Newark, Delaware    5:30 p.m.    The Meadow (next to the co-op) 280 East Main Street, Market East Plaza, Newark, DE 19711 https://www.facebook.com/events/138021953061773/

– 27-June    Annapolis, Maryland    7 p.m.    Universalist Unitarian Church of Annapolis 333 Dubois Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401    https://www.facebook.com/events/541018419278312/?ref=14

– 28-June    Asbury Park, NJ    7 p.m. Pure Health Bar & Yoga 701 Cookman Ave Asbury Park, NJ

– 29-June    Long Island, NY 7 p.m.  Clear Mountain Zen Center 519 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead, NY 11553


– 10 July Upaya Zen Center 1404 Cerro Gordo Rd  Santa Fe, NM 87501 http://www.upaya.org/index.php


– Nov 8-11 We will hold another retreat at Mt. Baldy Zen Center. Registration open now!

*   *   *

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98 Responses

Page 1 of 2
  1. Fred
    Fred June 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    So it’s a mistake to not use the word God, because that is the way western people
    label or think of the Absolute, and if you want to sell them Buddhism you better
    approach it that way?

    ( And then later on we will yank the concept away ). Disingenuous?

  2. Alizrin
    Alizrin June 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

    Sigh, still no info about Philly . . . I can’t go but I am sending a good friend.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

    I’d like it if it works out that you’re able to hit the Dallas area. Wish I had some sort of promising lead for you.

  4. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

    The primary material condition of a substance conceals its essential nature. It does not even know itself, seeming merely a symptom without worth. The adept works to discover the value in what appears as dull ore or discarded slag. His labors move the material from its first or primary presentation to a moment of revelation when it becomes psychologically intelligible. The practitioner seeks not only to free the metal from its dross but to free the meanings of the metal, their linkages with the intelligibility of the cosmos. To the alchemist, the world is signed by the gods and we learn to read their signatures and gain the significance afforded by each thing.

    Assumed here is the inherent intelligibility of the world. This innate knowledge does not reside in God’s omniscient mind, but is immanent in the world of things, giving to each its specific value and allowing it to be understood. By reading the world as animals do, we adapt to it and can better aid it on its way toward its aims. Alchemy was not merely gold making for the benefit of the alchemist and his patron. Within the labor was the vision to bring the world itself into a golden age, fulfilling its desire for perfection, a soul making of the world itself.

    -James Hillman, Alchemical Psychology

  5. Fred
    Fred June 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm |

    “The ultimate man is empty and hollow; he has no form, yet of the myriad things there is none that is not his own making. Who can understand myriad things as oneself?”

  6. recurvata
    recurvata June 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

    Are you sure you want to be in Texas mid-July? I live here and I don’t want to be here.
    Anyway, Austin Zen Center seems like a good venue. I’m a member, but not in the hierarchy, such as it is. I’ll try to remember to mention it next time I’m there, but I live an hour and a half away, so not there regularly.

  7. SoF
    SoF June 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

    My sister read your latest book yesterday and gives it 5 stars. It is more readable then “Sit Down” owing to your seasoning as an author – perhaps seasoned by the Suicide Girls experiences. She took it with her to Reno to reread!

    She reads 450-600 WPM and a second reading is a compliment!

    If she can read it in a day, then I can reed it in a week to 10 days…

    No “cone of silence” required…

  8. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm |

    Brahmajala Sutta, here’s the fourth of the four semi-eternalistic beliefs:

    The fourth semi-eternalistic belief is based on logic and reflection. The people who embraced this belief concluded their faith based on their thoughts and logics as follow: “Here is what is called (atta) of eyes, nose, tongue, and our physical body, which are always changed. But, there is also atta of mind: the state of mind, awareness of ‘atta’, which is eternal.”.

    (wikipedia article, here.

    Gautama spoke of gods living before the earth was born in celestial light, and of Brahma, the supreme among the gods. In one of his sermons, he makes it clear that he mentions the gods only to make the point that the gods cannot speak to the issue of suffering, only Gautama the Buddha could do that.

    It’s just a little tricky, to tie ignorance to the exercise of choice and choice via the chain of dependent causation to grasping, and then call grasping after self suffering. How the heck are we supposed to do something that involves not doing anything? Makes no sense! Easier to find divine meaning behind things. I don’t think I can follow broken Yogi’s prescription to quench desire, that seems as much an action of volition as any other.

    No, I think I just have to sit here; les’see, now, where was I.

  9. SoF
    SoF June 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm |

    reed, a pun, get it?

  10. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

    Listen to the story told by the reed,
    of being separated.

    “Since I was cut from the reedbed,
    I have made this crying sound.

    Anyone apart from someone he loves
    understands what I say.

    Anyone pulled from a source
    longs to go back.

    At any gathering I am there,
    mingling in the laughing and grieving,

    a friend to each, but few
    will hear the secrets hidden

    within the notes. No ears for that.
    Body flowing out of spirit,

    spirit up from body: no concealing
    that mixing. But it’s not given us

    to see the soul. The reed flute
    is fire, not wind. Be that empty.”

    Hear the love fire tangled
    in the reed notes, as bewilderment

    melts into wine. The reed is a friend
    to all who want the fabric torn

    and drawn away. The reed is hurt
    and salve combining. Intimacy

    and longing for intimacy, one
    song. A disastrous surrender

    and a fine love, together. The one
    who secretly hears this is senseless.

    A tongue has one customer, the ear.
    A sugarcane flute has such effect

    because it was able to make sugar
    in the reedbed. The sound it makes

    is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
    let them go by without worrying

    that they do. Stay where you are
    inside such a pure, hollow note.

    Every thirst gets satisfied except
    that of these fish, the mystics,

    who swim a vast ocean of grace
    still somehow longing for it!

    No one lives in that without
    being nourished every day.

    But if someone doesn’t want to hear
    the song of the reed flute,

    it’s best to cut conversation
    short, say good-bye, and leave.

    From Coleman Barks’ translation in “The Essential Rumi”

  11. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon June 15, 2013 at 4:01 am |

    “Some of the earliest people who explained Buddhism to Western audiences, for example D.T. Suzuki, called it a religion without god. Suzuki very clearly says that in one of his most often quoted quotes. He says ‘Buddhism is a religion without god.'” – Brad Warner

    I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say that D.T. Suzuki probably knew, understood and was able to accurately explain a little more about Buddhism than Brad does.

  12. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon June 15, 2013 at 4:40 am |

    If when Brad uses the word “god” he doesn’t mean what at least 90% of people understand when they hear the word “god” perhaps he should use a different word.

    “There is a thing confusedly formed,
    Born before heaven and earth.
    Silent and void
    It stands alone and does not change,
    Goes ’round and does not weary.
    It is capable of being the mother of the world.
    I know not its name
    So I style it the Tao”

    – Tao Te Ching, verse 25, translated by D.C. Lau

  13. Fred
    Fred June 15, 2013 at 5:33 am |

    I propose the words ” the Godless Void “, the Unborn, Unoriginated, Unformed
    Nothingness, the unarticulated unknowing unknown.

  14. Shodo
    Shodo June 15, 2013 at 6:17 am |

    “Buddhism says, (to me anyway,) that there is a god… it’s just that we can’t define god in any meaningful way because to define “god” is to limit god and god is limitless.”

    If you cannot define god, then how can you assert god exists? It’s not even a fully-formed concept.
    If you say we cannot define god, why do you then define god in the next breath as “limitless”…?

  15. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 15, 2013 at 9:37 am |

    This bullshit about “god” is just sensationalism, another way to cash in on a “transmission” or spiritual claim to fame and sell a book that loosely associates buddhism with a “controversial” topic like his last book(s) did with sex, punk rock, blah blah.

    Its a bit galling, considering Brads no scholar like Stephen Batchelor, who despite his ample research and experiential knowledge still makes one wonder what all the fuss was about…and if his own book would’ve been such a big deal if he had not used “buddhist atheist” in the title, a concept he wasn’t able to explain IMO (but I did like most of the book).

    So how does Brad have the cajones to become a self-appointed authority on “god” OR “buddhism?” He’s an entertainer, nothing more, nothing less.

    “I find it unfortunate he consistently refers to his perspective on God as “the Buddhist” view, when in fact it is “a Buddhist” view, and I’m confident, a minority report, to boot.” -James Ishmael Ford

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

      I thought that Stephen Batchelor explained his “Buddhist Atheist” label fairly well when he wrote about his skepticism regarding the supernatural elements of Tibetan Buddhism such as reincarnation, bardos, deities, demonic possession, protection spells, etc. When he talked to his teachers about his doubts he was basically told that he just had to have faith that the scriptures were true and had been verified by more advanced practitioners. He didn’t see how that was any different from the unsupportable supernatural claims of all other religions and he felt it contradicted Buddha’s statements that his teachings should not be accepted without being verified by practice and experience. When Batchelor could no longer pretend to accept the supernatural elements he renounced his Tibetan Buddhist monasticism. His lay practice and study since then has mostly involved Seon Buddhism (Korean Zen), Theravada, Vipassana, and the Pali Canon. Supernatural elements of the Pali Canon he either disregards or considers poetic metaphors. At least that was the impression that I was left with after reading his “Confession.”

  16. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 15, 2013 at 9:43 am |

    (And from my last comment on the last post as it seems apropo:}

    Been perusing a couple of the “Brad Warner Show” youtube things you’ve been doing with Pirooz, and just saw the one w/a book review of Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. Is “historiosity” really a word? You used it twice during the review so I guess that means it is..(?)

    Hardcore scholarship! Intellectualosity!! But it was entertaining…

    1. Shodo
      Shodo June 15, 2013 at 11:18 am |

      “Is “historiosity” really a word?”

      Yes. You just spelled it wrong.


      1. Harlan
        Harlan June 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |

        Shakespeare is said to have coined 1,700 new words. Hardcore Bill.

  17. Harlan
    Harlan June 15, 2013 at 11:07 am |

    It’s not a mistake to use the word God but three possible things can happen. Some people will avoid you like the plague. Some other people will have no idea what you could possibly mean by the term. More will figure you must mean the God that they themselves already believe in.

    There is no forth thing. 🙂

  18. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 15, 2013 at 11:17 am |

    A whole movie based on a made-up word: The future is now, kids…But it was entertaining…


  19. Harlan
    Harlan June 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

    Daddy failing – hands that were once so busy for our welfare, so wasted – mind clouded – body so frail – not even able to stand or walk alone – like a little child in dependence. No word from him as to what he thinks of it all – I wish often for light on this – But it seems to be God’s will – To be this way – for me – all my life – from infancy on – Truth has shunned me – I’ve sought and often missed her – Why? When I love her so – I’d like to be immersed in the radiant light of the beauty of Truth – It is God.

    From a diary I found at a flea market. Dated 1922

  20. Alizrin
    Alizrin June 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

    Fact: No one frigging knows who/what GOD is or whether he/she/it exists or what is actually going on outside of a very small bit of space around our planet. By golly, can I even be sure that what I think exists in the next town over actually exists?

    Who cares whether Brad is an academic or an entertainer or the most knowledgeable guy on earth about Buddhism or a sleazy no good for nothing charlatan? All I know is that some of the stuff he writes and says resonate in some way with me and I agree with them and find them helpful, and some of the stuff he says seems kind of whacked out or slightly self serving or even arrogant, but heck, I bet the same could be said of every single person on earth! That just makes him like any one of us.

    Take the parts that you find valuable, step away from the parts you don’t!

    Okay, that was my two cents regarding Brad and his work. Or as it used to be said after an opinion piece on the local news in NY “That’s just my view, I welcome yours.”

    1. Shodo
      Shodo June 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

      Alizrin said…
      “Fact: No one frigging knows who/what GOD is or whether he/she/it exists or what is actually going on outside of a very small bit of space around our planet.”

      Sort of my point – if nobody knows, any opinion is going to be uninformed.

  21. shade
    shade June 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

    Brad has never struck me as someone much interested in being controversial – are sex and punk rock controversial subjects anyway? I think he writes about these things simply because they are important to him. Same reason anyone writes about anything I imagine.

    As far as being an authority on God – that idea strikes me as a little queer. You can be an authority on ideas ABOUT God, but I don’t think you can be an authority on God himself. It’s like asking a fish if he’s an authority on swimming, or Nev Campbell if she’s an authority on pulchritude.

    But I think Brad has the prerogative to write about God simply by virtue of being a human being. Anyway if the book sounds stupid to you, don’t read it. No one’s putting a gun to your head.

  22. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

    Shodo, I’m referring to the “word” Brad pronounces in the video the way I spelled it here phonetically. I know historicity is a word. That’s not what he said.

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 16, 2013 at 4:12 am |

      Brad saying the word “historiosity” instead of “historicity” doesn’t bother me much because I still understand what he means. On the other hand, when he uses the words “god” and “the ground of being” I have no idea what he is really trying to say. It reminds me of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s book “Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation” which eventually “reveals” that the basis of all existence is god or consciousness or god consciousness. Or god equals consciousness equals god consciousness. It’s more than a little unclear. He claimed that consciousness exists prior to matter but he never really gave a coherent explanation of exactly how that works or any solid evidence to support it.

    2. Shodo
      Shodo June 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

      Well, I thought it was funnier that Brad misspelled “Buddhism” for the title of his video… But to each their own. 😉

  23. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

    Harlan, Shakespeare was an artist. That’s the big difference. He could bend and invent words to suit his creative purpose. On the other hand, this shit just makes Brad, -who would apparently like to be looked upon as an artist, a wordsmith in the tradition of Shake, perhaps- look stoopid.

    1. Harlan
      Harlan June 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm |

      Ha ha.. Maybe so Mumbles. But maybe it was just a mispronunciosity. I would have had to look up the word to make sure it wasn’t a real. Tell the truth, did you look it up?

  24. SoF
    SoF June 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    Great Caesar’s Ghost, Zorro are we talking QBL as if it is some kind of scientific FACT (it is a parlour game, like Ouija). Think outside the sphere!

    “It may be well to warn the casual reader of this treatise that its Title “THE BRIDE’S RECEPTION” is not intended to imply that the contents will read exactly like a French Novel. I shall make no attempt to explain my choice of this title, but rather rely upon it attracting those who have already made at least a superficial study of the Holy Qabalah, sufficient to enable them to get a glimpse of its meaning.”

    QBL is NOT the study of God. It is a study of the men who made the Abrahamic God – of the Tribe of Jacob.

    Remember, in one fable, YHWH begat (e.g. created) Israel. In another, he was apportioned (e.g. inherited) the Tribe of Jacob (e.g. Israel) by (from) his father, El.

    see also:

    The fables are great – to collect.

  25. SoF
    SoF June 15, 2013 at 8:16 pm |

    Somebody was a word-smith, but it almost certainly was NOT will shakspur.

    I have a major doubt about Will.

    About Shakespeare.

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 16, 2013 at 9:43 am |

      Knowledge is power. France is bacon.

  26. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm |

    Breath of fresh air, John; and nice review of Stephen Batchelor’s journey, Grand Canyon.

    I would say that Gautama spoke of his practice like a scientist. He spoke of tiny fairies, of stroking the sun and moon, of once-returners and never-returners, but when he spoke of the four “noble” truths he seems to me to have spoken based on his own experience, as a scientist who was interested in a real description of cause and effect.

    My personal understanding is that the first truth, “suffering exists”, is the universe of of Gautama’s teaching as a science. Just as in geometry, where you actually have three different geometries all of which are valid and each of which is the consequence of a particular version of the parallel postulate, so Gautama’s teaching offers the relationships that apply to human experience when suffering exists. The teaching has meaning, the cause and effect he describes is real, if and only if suffering is experienced. And what Gautama taught was intended to bring about an end to the experience of suffering, at which point the truths of his teaching have no basis, no universe, no meaning.

    This is fundamentally different from any concept of the eternal, or of annihilation. To me, practice is enlightenment in a world of delusion, yet there is also no practice, no enlightenment, and no delusion. Knots in a dead tree whistling in the wind, a dust devil lifts the tree and for a moment it seems to walk.

  27. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon June 16, 2013 at 4:49 am |

    I’m beginning to wonder if the essence of Brad’s writings and talks about “god” are just a restatement of the Advaita Vedanta belief that behind the “illusions” of Saguna Brahman is the “deeper reality” or “ultimate reality” of Nirguna Brahman.
    I always wondered how or if it would be possible to know that there wasn’t a “deeper” or “more ultimate reality” behind Nirguna Brahman. Is something “the ultimate” just because you define it as being “the ultimate”?

  28. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 16, 2013 at 5:31 am |

    “Brad saying the word “historiosity” instead of “historicity” doesn’t bother me much because I still understand what he means. On the other hand, when he uses the words “god” and “the ground of being” I have no idea what he is really trying to say.”

    That’s all fine and dandy, and I would agree; but my point is that if he’s comfortable posting a video presumably to show the world how hip and knowledgeable & erudite he is, you’d think he would make sure the big words he thinks he needs to use are actually words.

    You let things like this slide, how do you expect anybody to take you seriously or respect your views when you talk about “god” or “buddhism” or anything else?


  29. Fred
    Fred June 16, 2013 at 6:18 am |

    “My personal understanding is that the first truth, “suffering exists”, is the universe of Gautama’s teaching as a science.”

    If it is science then it must be able to be replicated and verified.

    If you take the position that all things are as they just are, and that in the real
    natural world things live, die and eat each other, there is no suffering, because
    that is what is suppose to happen.

    The conditioned consciousness in a hairless ape makes a big hairy deal out of
    suffering, but that is just immature whining.

  30. Brent
    Brent June 16, 2013 at 6:22 am |

    Is something “the ultimate” just because you define it as being “the ultimate”?

    GC, take a closer look at that interesting verb “is”, upon which so many things are constructed.

  31. Fred
    Fred June 16, 2013 at 6:39 am |

    I find the Brad Warner Show videos to be excellent.

    Brad says that everything in Zen is negotiable, and I’ll hold him to that.

    And the word is hystericalosity not historiosity.

  32. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 16, 2013 at 7:32 am |

    Happy Father’s Day, everybody!


  33. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 16, 2013 at 8:01 am |

    And this, for all you old old Daddios like me with young younguns:


  34. anon 108
    anon 108 June 16, 2013 at 8:25 am |

    FWIW, I think I understand the notion of a ground of all being of the kind I believe Brad’s getting at. I’ve not read the book.

    Whatever’s going on – and I do believe there’s something going on – it makes sense, from my limited human perspective, to understand its apparently various and individual manifestations as co-arisen, inter-dependent aspects of singular totality. In appropriate circumstances, I can call that totality ‘the ground of all being’, or even ‘God’.

    Perhaps ‘God’ and ‘the ground of…’ suggest intentionality, even personality, outside of the Universe – an unnecessary and unsupported step too far? I don’t belive they have to.

    To avoid reification/anthropomorphism, I can qualify my notion of the ground of being/God with modifiers such as ‘unknowable’, ‘infinite’, ‘beyond understanding’ – or nir-guna, ‘without attributes’. For the nature of such a singular totality is certainly beyond my ability to conceive; as is its relation to anthropocentric(?) ideas such as cause/effect.

    So I may end up with no more than a label for an inference, but it’s a valid one, I think. As long as I don’t kid myself I have now defined into existence something I can access, grasp or know, the label has its uses (sense of awe inducing humility, ‘bigger-picture’ perspective, good vibes, handy in debates), and the inference has its place.

  35. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 16, 2013 at 10:01 am |

    Steve Earl, “remember me”- wonderful stuff, Mumbles m’ man!

    I hear you, anon 108, and I use the concept that way too. When you get right down to advancing civilization, however, I think more important than E=mc^2 is the notion that human logic yields paradox and contradiction with the inclusion of the concept of infinity. That’s my interpretation of Godel’s result, and of course it was Godel who reworked Einstein’s relativity to its logical conclusion that time travel would be possible and presented it to Einstein for his birthday. Beside the point. Godel’s result is a pretty worthless in everyday life, unless you consider a man in India in 500 B.C.E. (give or take), who limited his discussion of what was important in human life to four truths about suffering, which were only intended to describe cause and effect in a meaningful way when someone was experiencing suffering. The power in accurately describing cause and effect when a certain circumstance exists is the power of the atomic bomb, but it is also the power of human transformation. Ok, that qualifies as a belief of mine that I can’t prove, and I will continue to use god in the way that Gautama used it, to indicate that there are levels of energy and existence in the universe in the course of explaining what really matters to me and other sentient beings, the cause and effect that the nature of suffering.

  36. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 16, 2013 at 10:06 am |

    …the cause and effect that is the nature of suffering.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 June 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

      Point taken, Mark.

  37. Harlan
    Harlan June 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  38. John H
    John H June 16, 2013 at 11:51 am |

    As usual I just ignore the long-winded posts by Mark Foote since he is usually off in his own world rambling-on about something that obviously really impresses himself, and only himself.

    And, as usual, mumbles keeps making arrogant smart-ass comments until someone takes the bait and he gets the argument that he was looking for.

    You need to ask yourselves, if you are so smart, why are you relegated to pontificating in the comments section of someone else’s blog?

    Blood in the water…

  39. Harlan
    Harlan June 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm |

    John H, I’m curious why Mumble’s being an arrogant smart ass offends you so while you tear into Mark whose only fault, as far as I can tell, is being a rather wordy Buddhist nerd. Aren’t you afraid of coming off as a person who criticizes someone for doing what he himself does?

    By the way, Nerd is an obscurely derived expressive formation. It is a made up word.

  40. Harlan
    Harlan June 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

    No offense Mark. I like Nerds.

  41. John H
    John H June 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm |


    I am not offended by mumbles, I am simply stating my opinion just as he does.

    Your assessment of Mark Foote isn’t much more flattering than mine, except you attempt to avoid accountability for your opinion by making an excuse for your word choice. I, on the other hand, stand behind mine.

    Harlan, are YOU afraid of being criticized for doing what you yourself do?
    Is this why you are playing the role of hero here, hoping someone will in turn defend YOU when you are the one receiving criticism?

  42. Fred
    Fred June 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |

    “Whatever’s going on — and I do believe there’s something going on — it makes sense, from my limited human perspective, to understand its apparently various and individual manifestations as co-arisen, inter-dependent aspects of singular totality. In appropriate circumstances, I can call that totality ‘the ground of all being’, or even ‘Godless Void’

    That’s very good

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 June 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm |

      To avoid possible confusion: Fred quotes something I wrote but substitutes (his) ‘Godless void’ for (my) ‘God’.

      Credit where due, I say.

  43. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

    Hmmnnn, lets see here, John H, it seems you have “relegated” yourself to the dubious level of commenting on other commenter’s comments on someone else’s blog.

    That sorta makes you a flea on the butt of a barnacle on guru Brad’s ship of fools.


  44. SoF
    SoF June 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm |

    Brad’s description – not unlike that of Thom Hartmann’s experience – is a kind of expansive “out-of-body” experience in which one realizes that one is NOT just an ambulating bone bag.

    It answers the question often asked: What did the monk say to the hot-dog vendor?

    A: Make me one, with everything.

    I like the story Soko Morinaga told: “If you want to know what it is like to urinate, you have to go urinate for yourself.”

    I also like Brad’s description (in Chapter 5) of Enlightenment Porn.

  45. John H
    John H June 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm |

    Oh mumbles,

    According to your own logic, you are now commenting on someone commenting on another commenter’s comments on someone else’s blog. Thus, your attempt at a witty observation has pretty much backfired, wouldn’t you agree?

    But what I find more surprising is that you aren’t even intelligent enough to understand how self deprecating your “ship of fools” comment was.

    Happy sailing mumbles…

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 June 17, 2013 at 6:20 am |

      Hi John H,

      Part of me says “Don’t bother.” Part of me says “Go on, bother…”

      I want to point out that mumbles – I’m very sure – is intelligent enough to realise that his “ship of fools” reference is “self-deprecating”. In fact, I’m sure that’s how he meant it in the first place; he’s said and meant similar before.

      Have I bothered only so that mumbles might like me and so stick up for me on a future occasion? Quite likely. There are no doubt other self-seving reasons that have caused me to bother. Whatever, mumbles has previously come to my aid when attacked, and one good turn deserves another.

      When pointing out a fault, being nice to people works better than pissing them off, I’ve found. And it allows an easier retreat if you turn out to be wrong.

  46. TheTempleWithin
    TheTempleWithin June 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm |

    Can someone explain to me page 163?
    Brad mentions that not being prepared to see the truth (god) can result in catastrophic consequences, such as psychosis. And he warns that it’s dangerous to to practice some sort of get enlightenment fast scheme sold by some teachers,and the truth should be approached gradually and slowly.
    What the hell is he talking about? Not mad,just confused.

    For starters, he says that to meet god is no walk in the park, it takes alot of hard work to even glimpse God, in other words the truth would never reveal itself to you unless you have the right glasses on. And putting the right glasses on is alot of trial and error.
    If that’s the case than the get enlightenment quick schemes wouldn’t work, and you’d never see the truth through such means.
    From my understanding, the use of drugs or get-enlightment in a day scheme’s are all failures at putting the right glasses on,even in zazen you get some mistaken experience of the truth(like when brad went flying through the cosmos and Nishijima told him that was stupid).
    I gathered that psychosis was a result of putting on the WRONG glasses and mistaking this distorted view of reality for truth. It doesn’t make any sense to me that seeing the truth(seeing reality clearly and not distorted) could result in catastrophic consequences. What the hell.
    And when i say psychosis, it varies in degrees, for instance if you have a flight tomorrow and you’re afraid to fly, your heart rate, blood pressure etc goes up, affecting your body/mind but in reality your underneath your bed covers very safe and nothings harming you, i think of that as a mild version of psychosis. And realizing your actually safe in this present moment under the bed covers is a form of seeing this moment as is,in accordance to truth, so how the hell could this result in bad consequences?
    What does it matter if i’m prepared to see that i’m safe under my bed covers or not? Why do you have to be prepared to see that?

    1. DanJ
      DanJ June 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm |

      Here’s how I understand it, which is probably wrong. There is so much shit- thoughts, feelings etc… that make up who you consider yourself to be. When practicing zazen, you are slowly slowly shoveling all this shit out. I take this slowness to be important so that if you do have a so called one with the universe moment, that which you consider your self to be wont snap or become too attached to this experience as could happen if you forced the experience with drugs or some other quick method.

  47. DanJ
    DanJ June 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm |

    There is a part in the new book about spiritual porn and guitar porn. One of these leaves you craving certain shall we say “enlightenment” experiences and the other makes you want to go out and buy a kickass guitar. I am disgustingly guilty of both of these and never really realized it till I read it in the book. Thanks Brad you’ve ruined two of my favorite porn sources. Ha! Anyways as any good friend would do when he has good porn I will share some with you from the granddaddy of spirit porn. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Allan Watts: http://youtu.be/tPIUEr2790U

  48. Fred
    Fred June 17, 2013 at 4:24 am |

    “When practicing zazen, you are slowly slowly shoveling all this shit out. I take this slowness to be important so that if you do have a so called one with the universe moment, that which you consider your self to be wont snap or become too attached to this experience as could happen if you forced the experience with drugs or some other quick method.”

    Shovelling out the shit sounds like you’re trading in the bad shit for good shit.
    The Aghoris live in shit and eat rotting human flesh.
    They don’t discriminate between the molecules of the universe.

    “All is decay. Strive on.”

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