White Buddhist tells Singhalese Buddhists about Buddhism / Philly Debut!

SickestBuddhistThis coming Saturday I will make my debut into Philadelphia society! All y’all who keep saying, “When are you gonna do something in Philly?” are required to be there. Here are the details.

SATURDAY MAY 3, 2014 10:30 AM

MONKEY MIND ZENDO (operating out of Studio 34) 4522 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143.

The program will begin with 20-25 minutes of chanting in Korean (Monkey Mind is part of Seung Sahn’s Korean Kwan Um Zen lineage), followed by 30 minutes of zazen, a short break and then a talk by me. I’m also hoping to meet and talk with those interested in helping me set up a stable and regular sitting group here in Philadelphia. So if you want to help with that, come on by!

Also happening in Philly, on MAY 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm the film BRAD WARNER’S HARDCORE ZEN will have its Philadelphia premiere at Drexel University! I will do a Q&A after the screening. I’ll announce the exact location once I get it.

The film will also play in Cleveland at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple on May 17th, 2014 at 6:30pm. I’ll do a Q&A afterwards and there is talk of Zero Defex doing a short performance before the film.

Also, you can still sign up for our 3-DAY ZEN & YOGA RETREAT at Mt. Baldy near Los Angeles, CA May 9-11, 2014. Cushions are going fast, so book now if you want in! I will be there and offering dokusan (private consultations) to anyone who attends.

*   *   *

Last week I read a story about a British woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of Buddha. I tweeted a link to the story adding, “Anyone who thinks a tattoo of Buddha is offensive doesn’t understand anything the Buddha ever said.”

Most of the responses I got were pretty positive. But a few people objected. A guy on Twitter said, “White Buddhist tells Singhalese Buddhists about Buddhism.”

It’s the prevailing attitude among certain folks that those of the white, privileged West shouldn’t arrogantly impose our attitudes upon other cultures.  The days when our Western attitudes were considered more advanced and therefore better than the primitive ways of other peoples are over. And we certainly should not feel entitled to steal ideas from those cultures, change them around, make them our own, and then come back and tell those cultures the “right” way to do the things they came up with in the first place.

Generally I would agree with that sentiment.

My Twitter friend appears to believe that my sentiments represent those of an arrogant, over-privileged American telling people who have been steeped in Buddhism for thousands of years what their religion is really about. How dare I?

But does the mere fact of being an American Buddhist really make one less qualified to say what Buddhism is actually about? If we were to follow that line of thinking to its logical conclusion, then I, as a person who grew up in a Christian country, would be more qualified to speak about the true meaning of Jesus’ life than a Singhalese Catholic monk who spent thirty years studying and practicing Christianity.

Having lived a large portion of my life outside of the United States, as a child in Kenya and an adult in Japan, it seems to me that people all over the world are very much alike, often in surprising ways. The kinds of Buddhists who find tattoos of Buddha offensive or who attack their neighbors for being of the wrong religion are pretty much the equivalent of American Christians who think Jesus had blond hair and blue eyes and hated homosexuals. They don’t know any more about Buddhism than our homegrown reactionary, racist “Christians” know what Jesus’ message was about.

I think it is perfectly reasonable for those of us who know better about what the Buddha taught – whether Asian or not – to take these folks to task, and to shame them for using their woeful misunderstanding of the Buddha Way as a justification for acting like assholes. The same as I would accept a Sri Lankan Christian shaming Americans who used Christianity as excuse for intolerant violence and just plain ridiculousness.

Simply growing up in a culture in which most people answer “Buddhist” when asked what religion they follow does not automatically qualify a person to explain what Buddhism is really about. Most Japanese people I knew when I lived in Tokyo knew far less about Buddhism than I did.

I was surprised by this at first. But as I continued to live in Japan, learn more Japanese, and become more attuned to the culture, it dawned on me that it made perfect sense that I would know way more about Buddhism than they did. I’d spent a significant proportion of my life studying and practicing it and they hadn’t. It had nothing at all to do with what race I was or where I was born. People who study and practice a thing know more about it than those who don’t. That’s just how life works.

This begs another question about whether Western Buddhism is more or less legitimate than Asian Buddhism. This question, which used to come up all the time when I first started practicing Zen in the early 80s, seems to be less important to people I meet these days. In fact, once I was accused by someone on the Internets of not being a legit Zen teacher because I was ordained in Japan! That was an interesting turn around, I thought. Because back when I started it was the teachers who were ordained by fellow Westerners who were considered somehow less legit.

When people ask me about the differences between Buddhism in Japan and in the US and Europe, I usually tell them that in the US or Europe you’re far more likely to be able to walk into a Buddhist center and actually start practicing Buddhism than you are in Japan. Japanese Buddhists, by and large, are far less interested in meditation, which is the core of what the Buddha taught, than Buddhists in the West.

But I think this is what usually happens when Buddhism travels from one country to another. The Chinese Buddhists brought meditation back into Buddhism when Buddhists in India had largely abandoned it, the Korean and Japanese Buddhists brought meditation back into Buddhism when the Chinese had largely abandoned it, and now we in the West are bringing meditation back at a time when the Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan and other cultures we’re getting our traditions from have largely abandoned it.

I think those of us in the West who are deeply interested in Buddhism also tend to understand Buddhist philosophy better than the average Asian who tends to assume they know all about Buddhism because they’ve grown up around it. It’s a bit like how some of our most hardcore Christians in the US don’t know much about what’s actually in the Bible.

A Pew Forum survey showed that agnostics and atheists in American tend to know more about the Bible than those who call themselves Christians. That’s because atheists and agnostics don’t just assume they know. They go look the stuff up! It’s the same with Western Buddhists. We don’t have any reason to assume we know what the Buddha said just because we’ve been raised around a miasma of mixed up misquotations and folk sayings wrongly attributed to the Buddha – the same as American Christians often think that things from Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare are part of the Bible.

Tattoos of the Buddha are not offensive to anyone who really understand the Buddha. That’s all there is to that.

*   *   *

Your donations are always gratefully accepted!

I will be hosting a five-day zazen retreat at Benediktushof in Germany (near Wurzburg) October 12-17, 2014. Contact Benediktushof directly to ask about registration.

I am going to be in Norway from Sept. 24 to 28, Finland from Oct. 3 to 5, the Netherlands from Oct. 24 to 29 and the UK sometime after that. I do not have details yet. But I do have a few large gaps in my schedule that I’d like to fill. They are:



I’m talking to some folks in Munich about doing something there during one of these weeks. I’d really like to set something up in Berlin one of those weeks as well. If you’re interested in helping me set that stuff up, please write to me at bw@hardcorezen.info and we’ll get to work on it. It doesn’t have to be Munich or Berlin!


Sometimes a movie is made to tour.

Are you interested in seeing HARDCORE ZEN with your local community? Would you like Brad Warner to speak at your university, meditation group, or personal guests?

Now you can have both. The film will screen at a location at your discretion. Simply contact booking@bradwarnershardcorezen.com with the following specifics: your location, contact info, and potential date for the event.




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231 Responses

  1. boubi
    boubi May 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm |

    I’m not hurt, i’m disgusted, it’s different.

    Why should i be hurt?

    For being called a bitch?
    Is there any bad in being one? It just proves your macho thinking due to your sexual issues, your problem not mine.

    For being called a nigger?
    Is there any bad in being one? It just proves your racism thinking, your problem not mine.

    For being judged not needed to live and invited to die?
    Thinking you to be some supreme leader and disposing of other people lives at will? It just proves your power issues, your problem not mine.

    I think you are a threat, a ticking bomb, like all the fuck ups that ended up in the news.

  2. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm |

    You should never compare any Middle Easterner to Islamic terrorists simply based off their views.

    My views are not even Islamically based. They have to do more with my desire for my country to improve and get stronger while remaining sovereign (unlike pre- ’79).

    I called you the n-word because you constantly compared me to terrorists. Don’t you understand how what you’re doing could be construed as hateful?

    I’m not disgusted, I just view you as being kinda slow.

    You spelled “amendment” and “embassy” wrong, for example, yet you have the audacity to critique my intelligence? Seriously, I think you got your degree in something like “International Relations”, hence why you think your insults of my heritage are more “educated” than my praise of certain elements of it.

    I told you all of that hateful stuff because you instigated it, Boubi. You are the instigator. If you want, we can both apologize for ALLLLLL of our past arguments and let it dissolve. A lot of people who have not seen our full arguments will condemn me, based off not seeing the full context, and you are using this advantage to your leverage.

    Like I said, sit back a bit and THINK. Who cares who said what at this point. If you can’t drop it, then why are you on this Zen forum? Like I said, I will forgive you for your past rudeness, and then I will do the same too.

  3. boubi
    boubi May 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

    A nigger neoconservative… does not make a good mix…

    Is it okay if you quit with the fucking subtle attacks against my country everywhere*? I know all your fucking references… immediately after my own comment too.

    Go shit around somewhere else, ape.

    I missed the “ape” thing.

    Unbelievable … and you are rambling selfrighteously on a buddhist blog?

    Go on some white suprematists or klan site to unload your sickness !

    * plain delusional

    1. Shodo
      Shodo May 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

      Hey boubi…


  4. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

    Are you even reading my previous messages?

    Because, man, you really do sound like an ape regardless of your race or background. It’s like, there is no progress here. It doesn’t matter what I say at this point.

    Yeah, and you can continue likening me to “terrorists”, acting like that isn’t tinged with any prejudice or hatred.

  5. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  6. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm |

    I already saw it when I was younger, The Idiot.

    It’s stupid. There is no uniqueness to Seth McFarlene’s sense of humor. He is trite and a horrible artist.

  7. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

    Haha, yes CB. You and Boubou are like this across posts.

  8. boubi
    boubi May 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

    Sorry kiddo, i don’t have anything to apologise.

    You are barking up the wrong tree.

    And yes, i do believe you have all the potentialities to become a top news. You are not happy? Your business, add it to the list of grievances against the world, just keep piling up all your delusions.

    I’m slow?
    So be it, i’m for some kind of more relaxed way of life, you know, having a sweet bottle of moonshine, a fishing rod and watching the river flowing, dozing sometimes, or knitting on the porch watching bugs flying around, bare feet a danglin’.

  9. Shodo
    Shodo May 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

    boubi said:
    “So be it, i’m for some kind of more relaxed way of life…”

    you just want to be free to antagonize – if you *really*want to stop a fire from burning, stop adding fuel.

  10. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm |

    “Sorry kiddo, i don’t have anything to apologise.”

    Alright, I won’t retract all of my hateful comments to you then. I feel they were well-deserved, especially since you’re saying that. I guess they stay.

    “And yes, i do believe you have all the potentialities to become a top news. You are not happy?”

    Yeah, I’ll probably find a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease or something like that, since my lab’s research relates to it. You know, maybe something like that. Or I’ll get published in a good journal and make top news on a sensationalizing magazine that tends to oversimplify publications for general audiences.

    I don’t appreciate people comparing me to terrorists, slyly portraying my heritage as being backwards, telling me to get therapeutic help, making poor deductions of my sexual functioning and interpersonal relationships, and recommending obscene bullshit like putting a chip in certain regions my brain that periodically fire to keep me ‘in check’.

    I do have a lot of empathy for people who have Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, and etc. Outside of my sociopolitical opinions, I am very kind person and have volunteered in helping homeless animals. Probably after calling you the “n-word”, I go cuddle my cats and feed the stray dogs and deer. Can you wrap your mind around this paradox? No, you can’t wrap your mind around paradoxes because you are too slow and impaired from too much drinking and weed, hence your inability to put aside your ego and apologize.

    I apologized at least 3-4 times to you. You have yet to apologize to me once. So I take back all my apologies. You deserved each of my insults.

  11. shade
    shade May 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm |

    Okay I’m gonna say what I’m gonna say without naming names and let anyone who might be reading this decide for themselves if it might apply.

    The thing about a online discussion forum like this is it pretty much encourages a certain amount of impulse control by design. Before you say whatever it is you want to say you have to take the time to type it out and are then forced to see your words printed in black and white before you press the button. This allows for far more reflection than, you know, a conversation at a party or bar. And that’s all to the good, I think. But if one proves themselves incapable of exercising any restraint whatsoever – again and again and again – under such circumstances, well maybe it would behoove a person to stay offline for awhile.
    And out of bars too probably.

    The other thing about the internets – if someone says something insulting or offensive to you, no matter how far out of line, you do have the option of ignoring that person. It’s a lot easier than in “real life”. Not that that sort of behavior is cool, but trying to contend with an angry person usually just adds fuel to the fire.

    As far a what a person actually in charge of a particular forum wants to do in regard to a given situation, obviously that’s their call. Just a word the wise, which applies to pretty much any corner of cyber space one happens to wander into. In hope of tamping down on this kind of ugliness.

  12. Harlan
    Harlan May 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm |

    I could pretend to know what is going on here, but I don’t. Do these two people with so much free time on their hands think they are impressing anyone with their impressive tail chasing ability, or are they just having casual sadistic fun?

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles May 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm |


  13. Andy
    Andy May 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm |

    Cosmic, apologizing for what you have done wrong should really be unconditional. By attaching conditions you are merely attempting to use the forms of an offer of apology and reconciliation in order to actually do neither and still come up smelling of roses.

    If you are not prepared to apologise, then don’t. Boubi’s choices in this respect are not yours to fruitfully bargain with. Apologies are precious.


    What if you were completely spot on about Cosmic boubi? Or if he was in a worse head space than you thought? … and you turned on the TV tomorrow to find Cosmic had gone and pressed that button?

    [this is a thought-experiment Cosmic, so please don’t take it the wrong way]

    1. Fred
      Fred May 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm |

      Here’s an apology. I am sorry for publishing your real name on this board
      previously, CosmicBrainz. I was an asshole for doing that.

  14. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer May 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm |

    I am reminded of a statement in one of Brad’s books that really impressed me. I don’t have the book in front of me so I’ll try to paraphrase it…

    “When we try and hurt someone who has hurt us, do we really believe that other people have never really experienced pain in their life?”.

    Nobody needs our help figuring out what pain feels like. It’s not our job to add to the burden…


  15. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  16. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  17. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm |

    whoa… be well CB… do some good for the world in your work… peace

  18. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm |


    “That’s mostly what you’ll be doing: exploring varied dimensions in an attempt to find your way out of this Schwarzwelt and regroup/not die. But instead of the demonic looking world you’d normally expect, each dimension’s setting acts as a sort of social commentary on the world today. For instance, one dungeon looks like a demonic version of a shopping mall, and the message there seems to point to human consumption and greed, with the endless rows of food and “BUY! BUY! BUY!” signs everywhere. Another dungeon is a bit more horny, and looks like a massive red light district. Eventually you begin to see that the demon inhabitants of the Schwarzwelt disapprove of what humans have done with Earth, and the whole game ends up making you a bit more environmentally aware and perhaps a bit less proud to be a human. There’s some deep and interesting parallels between how you use the demons and how humans use the Earth.” – Destructoid Review

  19. boubi
    boubi May 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm |


    What if you were completely spot on about Cosmic boubi? Or if he was in a worse head space than you thought? … and you turned on the TV tomorrow to find Cosmic had gone and pressed that button?

    The guy is ticking, i cannot think of a worse head space than this. He doesn’t only trash talk or wish death, he is actually thinking of killing people …

    Tomorrow fairy press the button? Maybe he will be stopped before because of his exposure here, who know? Should we all nod and smile because he could get violent?

    Anyhow we cannot and must not cave in every time that baby threatens to through a tantrum.

    Then what?

    Do we have to selfcensor ourselves, because some weirdo of some kind could take what we say or don’t say as a “threat” to the ghosts haunting his sore brain?

    Brad, do you want i stop it here? Just say the word, you’re the boss.

    But i cannot know beforehand what will be the next thing that will trigger wingnut here.

    He is mad as a hatter, he is dangerous, he sees himself as some kind of übermensch … “have the audacity to critique my intelligence” … as someone said before … sweet sweet Jesus!

    1. Shodo
      Shodo May 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

      boubi said:
      “But i cannot know beforehand what will be the next thing that will trigger wingnut here.”

      You don’t have *any* idea??

      “The guy is ticking…”
      “…he is actually thinking of killing people ”
      “He is mad as a hatter…”
      “he is dangerous, he sees himself as some kind of übermensch?

      Stop being a asshole boubi, and don’t play innocent.

  20. boubi
    boubi May 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm |

    Btw, my slow brain thinks that “critique” is a noun and NOT a verb, the verb should be “to criticize”.

    But i’m not intelligent … LOL LOL LOL


  21. mb
    mb May 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm |

    Do I have to add my 2 cents to this out-of-control flame war between Boubi and CosmicBrainz? No! But I will anyway…

    As pointed out by various very-well-intended spectators here, the most effective action to take is: non-action. Ignore the person making the offensive remarks. This applies equal to both Cosmic and Boubi, in my opinion. Seems like both of you are very stubborn in having the “last word”. I assure you that “last word” will never be had.

    On some other internet forum many years ago, I (apparently) got a little over-the-top with my opinions and was promptly and (insultingly) told to go “take my meds” as a response. The lessons I took away from that were:

    1) People on internet forums don’t know you personally! Therefore, their out-of-kilter judgments should be taken with at least one grain of sand, and probably more, i.e. grow some skin!

    2) Ask yourself (in a private moment): is what this other (unknown) person said about me actually true? If the honest answer is NO, then that should be enough. Nobody needs to prove themselves to a hostile internet stranger. You know who you are. I repeat – that should be enough.

    3) Brad (and Stone Mirror) are very lenient moderators when it comes to this kind of stuff. The moderator of the forum I refer to simply banned what he considered to be truly offensive posters, never mind who was on what side of the equation. And he would check IP addresses to make sure that the offensive poster didn’t come back under another name. I duly note that the CatsAreInfinite logon was banned, was it not? But like a tube of toothpaste, it’s easy show up again under different login.

    I think most people here would prefer that the comments section remain open and relatively on-topic. Nobody likes when a comment thread has absolutely been “hijacked” as it certainly has been here. It takes an uber-mensch to recognize and ignore provocations, and certainly Boubi is an A-1 expert at getting under the skin of CosmicBrainz with the incendiary insults.

    There’s an analogy in all of this to the process of meditation, I daresay, when it comes to recognition and letting-go. I’ll say no more. I’ve said too much in fact. Now will “I” be ganged-up on?

    OK, end of my 2 cents, FWIW. Probably nuthin’

  22. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm |

    boubou, critique can be a verb:

    critique |kriˈtēk|
    verb ( -tiques , -tiqued , -tiquing ) [ trans. ]
    evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way : the authors critique the methods and practices used in the research.

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot May 2, 2014 at 7:19 am |

      Made you jump through a hoop, didn’t they?

      I doubt that bothers you, which is refreshing in itself.

      1. The Idiot
        The Idiot May 2, 2014 at 9:30 am |

        I’m certainly caught up in this due to my own blindness and grasping. Yet I’m here so why not pitch in with some administrative work :0)

        The story of Mae Chee Kaew is fascinating and inspiring, especially the “Luminous Essence” chapter:


  23. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm |

    I’d like to say that I have appreciated the comments of boubi and CosmicBrainz, regarding the practice commonly known as Zen. And I find it amazing that people can offer such insightful analysis and advice, beginning on this thread with Andy.

    Seems like from the beginning, there was dissension in CosmicBrainz stance concerning the cross-legged pose, and the notion that a body-position challenge could be more useful to having a sense of humor and some compassion than the great art and literature of the world. Boubi has a keen nose for doubt (and maybe wine and cheese, hard to say), and took CosmicBrainz’s mind completely off his original take on the whole scene.

    But wait, you say: we weren’t talking about a sense of humor and some compassion, we were talking about nailing a 40 minute meditation with a walk in the woods. We were talking about stinkin’ badges. We were realizing some mystical aspect of ourselves in the way we put words to paper, in exposing what our self truly believes in the public confessional. In batting the shuttle to anyone that might acknowledge us, in whatever way, to continue the exposure.

    And now, we hope to see video at 6.

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot May 2, 2014 at 7:28 am |

      We weren’t talking about much, much more.

      Hey, catch that guy(/dudess), mb? Sure has some nerve trying to be rational and all.

      Hope the plug doesn’t get pulled too quick – this comments section is showing some movement toward self-healing. Like a bump of mud in a swamp that moves when you touch it with a stick.

  24. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
  25. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
  26. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
  27. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 1, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  28. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 2, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    I made a single typo on my grant proposal that may cost me all my hard work.

    I attribute it to the stress of talking on here.

    I wish I never talked to Boubi or any of you.

    I’m not feeling well. All that hard work for nothing.

  29. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 2, 2014 at 10:22 am |

    Good Luck CB. I hope the grant comes through for you anyways.

  30. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 2, 2014 at 10:38 am |

    Yeah, I meant to write 24-25 in a superscript, but I forgot the 24. This means the 24th reference was not cited…

    I do not know if that’s enough to reject my proposal… even though everything else was perfect.

    It makes me lose hope. I have no energy for anything else today. My fiance is also saying I’m overreacting and it’s sapping her energy too.

    I put so much effort into it and my PI helped so much…

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles May 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm |

      Fuck you worthless motherfucker, you have wasted my time, so many people’s time (jesuz why do we waste our time here?) here. God damn you. I hope you and your fucking kitties die in front of a truck. A truck made of angry dogs. If I could, I’d cut your stupid horrible miserable haid (head) off and shit down your bleeding cocksucking nig… neck. Flunk the fuck out of school and have a shitty fucking life. Well, that’s how I really feel. Just sayin. For real. This mutherfucking kid.

  31. Harlan
    Harlan May 2, 2014 at 10:42 am |

    CB, You attribute your problem to spending time writing to this blog
    and yet here you are again. What does that say about you? Do what you need to do and forget about boubi. Focus on what’s important and take responsibility. You can do it.

  32. Alan Sailer
    Alan Sailer May 2, 2014 at 10:51 am |


    I’m pretty sure that CosmicBrainz is trying to tell us something. I’m am still puzzled as to what his message is.

    Unless he figures why he is posting here, what he is trying to communicate will probably remain a mystery. I think that he is correct when he says that trying to analyze someone over the internet is impossible.


  33. Harlan
    Harlan May 2, 2014 at 11:07 am |

    Hi Alan, I think you are right. But this isn’t the place to clear his head. He should quit this blog and get on with his life. Real life real people interactions are better for him at this point. He is letting this ghost play affect him badly. He should think about what it all means in private or with a friend.

  34. Harlan
    Harlan May 2, 2014 at 11:16 am |

    And all my unsolicited stupid advice applies to boubi as well.

  35. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon May 2, 2014 at 11:30 am |

    What is zazen?
    What is dancing?
    Zen Master Rama knows…

  36. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 2, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    CB, you’re tired after working hard for a goal. Take a nap and see how you feel. Seriously. Good job.

  37. Jinzang
    Jinzang May 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

    And now for something completely different: Miss Shapiro by 801 Live (Phil Manzanera/Brian Eno).


    Ah, the Seventies … how I miss you!

    Obligatory Buddhist content: the only rock song that mentions the Dalai Lama and Father Christmas in the same verse.

    Also, I’ll be giving a talk on “Buddhism in America: A Personal History” here.


    My lama twisted my arm. Date still to be decided, but it will be a Wednesday night.

  38. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm |

    The big lesson for me now is that I come up against not knowing all the time, and it triggers enormous anxiety on my part, a thrashing about with plenty of hopelessness and sometimes blame to spare. Maybe that’s an amygdala response; learned about that in “Emotional Intelligence”, by Goleman.

    The more I come to see that my breath is intimately associated with the knowledge that give me freedom, the more I can surrender.


  39. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm |

    see, it’s like this, really:


  40. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
  41. Mumbles
    Mumbles May 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm |

    “…not knowing all the time…” About time to let go now, Mark. Quit thinking you have to post stuff, roam the internet, share, convince others that you have a valid opinion. Of course you do, everyone understands that. Relax…

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot May 3, 2014 at 4:45 am |

      Yeah, you don’t want to end up in the family of the Sons of the NeverWrong.

  42. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 3, 2014 at 6:58 am |

    I’ve been watching Heidi and playing Harvest Moon games lately.



    I wish I could upload my brain into a universe like Harvest Moon, a Ghibli movie, or Heidi, girl of the alps. I want to be an intelligence “as disembodied computer software running entirely within simulated reality-based communities” based off happy fictions such as Harvest Moon, My Neighbor Totoro, Heidi, or whatever. It would be like the hard sci novel Diaspora.

    This world is a mistake. It needs to be destroyed and replaced by a cartoon. If a God existed and had something akin to a neck, I would choke him. I am his shadow and then I will be a light onto the world by fixing this mistake.

    Here’s the My Neighbor Totoro theme song:


    Check out the book “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race” by Thomas Ligotti. This world truly is a mistake, and I would be like Lucifer by destroying the “core” or “source” of it and replacing it with a cartoon. I am the ultimate Bodhisattva.

  43. Andy
    Andy May 3, 2014 at 7:23 am |

    Cosmic, you’re a Bergman fan, innit?

    Have you ever watched the 5 hour version of Fanny and Alexander? It might not be your favourite, but, with my thoughts on courses and horses, in need of some ripe escape into the joys, tears and mystery of human expression, I heartily recommend a good bottle of single malt (or a well structured bourbon like Four Roses Single barrel), intermittently and sparsely nosed, sipped and savoured with appreciation and gratitude, with your fiance, while immersing yourselves in the film.

  44. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz May 3, 2014 at 7:32 am |

    I haven’t watched Fanny and Alexander yet. I’ve watched Wild Strawberrys, The Virgin Spring, Winter Lights, The Seventh Seal, Persona, The Silence, and Hour of the Wolf.

    I’ll be sure to watch the director’s cut of Fanny and Alexander.

    One film I recently loved and heartily recommend is Jet Li’s Fearless. Be sure to watch the Director’s Cut because the theatrical cut takes out all the good stuff.

    My favorite ritual at my Sangha is having moments of mindfulness randomly interspersed in Dharma talks or even while working. The film Fearless has that when the main character works on the small village’s permaculture farm. That is, there is more stuff in the Director’s Cut about the tribes people
    such as their spirituality and stuff. Every time the wind blows, while working the land, they stand mindfully to let it wash over them. The first time they do it, Huo (i.e., the main character) does not do it, and instead, he tries to out-compete others in placing the rice patties, but he messes up because the blind woman goes back to the rice pattie to fix his careless mistakes due to his rushingl he feels remorse and realizes he should not constantly compete and measure himself to others. As a consequence, he starts working sincerely, so he does the rice patty more mindfully and actually stands up silently facing the direction of the Summer breezes to let it wash over him – showing that one should not be concerned with measuring up to others but simply living in the moment, be compassionate to people, and feel connected to environment. I recently had a dream like this which resembled Harvest Moon video games.

  45. The Idiot
    The Idiot May 3, 2014 at 7:33 am |

    Nice…. and on the topic of renouncing this world I heartily recommend “The Burmese Harp”


  46. Andy
    Andy May 3, 2014 at 8:44 am |

    Cries and Whispers, alongside Persona and Fanny & Alexander would be my essential three, if I had to choose – I like them all. C & W can be a traumatic experience at times, but can cut through a funk like acid. It’s mise en scene and cinematography burn into the memory; the hauntingly ambiguous consolation at the end offer a sip of driest white wine with one hand and a tear of clear vinegar with the other.

    1. Andy
      Andy May 3, 2014 at 8:51 am |

      …and the blood, the blood everywhere. Oh Christ!

  47. Mumbles
    Mumbles May 3, 2014 at 9:19 am |
  48. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 3, 2014 at 9:23 am |

    I’ll do that, Mumbles, though I should say that I was referring to sitting in the lotus and writing JavaScript, in particular, not my process as a writer. My take is getting old for you; then maybe I need a breath of fresh air.

    Singing loud from the rooftop, who said that!

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles May 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

      Mark, please, never insult me by taking my bs seriously. Thanks.

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