Whose Mind?

Before we get started, I’m looking for places along the East Coast of these here United States to give talks, lead retreats, show the movie about me, play 0DFx gigs maybe, eat pad thai and just generally hang out.

There’s been some interest expressed by folks down south, in Nashville, Atlanta, Richmond, Asheville… Places like that. Maybe I could do a brain boiling Southern Summer Tour.

Or I could be smarter and head up north to avoid some of the summer heat in Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Saskatoon…

It’s all up to who invites me.

Also, the weekend of April 26-27, I will be in the Boston area. Does anybody want to set up a talk or something while I’m there?

And I’m still looking for a regular gig in Philadelphia.

Send your inquiries to bradwarnertour@yahoo.com

I am happy to consider a huge range of things. I’ve spoken at Zen Centers, tattoo parlors, people’s living rooms, etc. I’ve run retreats in places that were specifically designed for meditation retreats and I’ve done them at yoga studios, apartments, libraries, etc.

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Yesterday I came across a short YouTube video that I found intriguing. Here it is:

The title was “Math Professor DESTROYS Atheist.” I often click on videos with titles like this because I find them endearingly stupid. Nearly anything with a title ending in “OWNS Atheist” or “DESTROYS Atheist” is bound to be silly. The use of ALL CAPS clue you in that it’ll be especially inane. The various arguments that religious fundamentalist think absolutely prove God exists are usually so ridiculous and full of logical holes that I find myself wondering how anyone finds them compelling.

This one isn’t really that great either. It’s a bit more clever than most, though. A number of commenters on the clip say that the math prof is using something they call the “Ignorance Fallacy.” I had to look that up. Here’s what I found. It says, “an ignorance fallacy occurs when a person mistakenly believes something to be true that is not, because he or she does not know enough about the subject to know otherwise. For example, an argument based on stereotype or hasty generalization is an example of ignorance fallacy. Such an argument is persuasive because the audience is ignorant.”

I’m not sure I see how the math prof’s argument is based on that (and none of the commenters who call it that seem to believe they need to say more than those two words). The flaw I find in it is that he says a creative mind can create a universe out of nothing. But this creative mind wouldn’t be creating a universe out of nothing since the creative mind itself would have to exist prior to the universe it created. So that’s not nothing. At best it’s a creative mind floating around in nothingness.

All the arguments for the existence of God that I’ve come across fall apart at this point, if not before. If everything needs a creator, which these guys often say proves God must exist, then who created God? And if God has existed forever, what the hell was he doing before he created the universe? It must have been awfully boring.

Logical arguments for the existence of God are really only useful for providing cheap entertainment. Yet I believe in God. If you want to know why read my latest book.

But what our math professor says about “mind” got me thinking about the fundamental difference between the Buddhist idea of mind and our usual idea of mind. The math prof in the video says that the orderliness of mathematics points to the existence of a mind behind it.

I’ve seen a lot of non-religious people say things that are somewhat similar. We may not believe in God, at least not the kind of God who creates universes because he’s bored, but it is intriguing that the universe is orderly rather than chaotic. That’s a valid mystery. Solving that mystery by envisioning a gigantic white man who decided to make things orderly is silly. But just because that’s not a valid solution doesn’t make the mystery any less mysterious.

The thing about our usual concept of mind is that mind is always paired with a possessor. It’s my mind, your mind, Frank’s mind, Linda’s mind, etc. It’s difficult for us to picture a mind that isn’t possessed by someone. So if there is a mind at work in the fabric of the universe, it has to be someone’s. And the only someone who could have a mind that big would be God. God is the someone who possesses the mind that created the universe.

The Buddhist notion of mind, though, is often presented in the sutras as not having anyone who possesses it. It’s not the mind of God or Buddha. It’s just mind. And mind is not the creator of the universe. It’s an aspect of it.

Buddhist cosmology is almost topsy-turvy of the way we usually envision how stuff works. The 12-fold chain of co-dependent co-origination goes:

1. Ignorance (avidya 無明)

2. Action (samskara 行)

3. Consciousness (vijnana 識)

4. Name and Form (nama-rupa 名色)

5. Senses (sadayatana 六入)

6. Contact (sparsa 触)

7. Feeling (vedana 受)

8. Love (tirshna 愛)

9. Taking (upadana 取)

10. Existence (bhava 有)

11. Birth (jati 生)

12. Aging and Death (jaramarana 老死)

Consciousness, which most people I know identify with mind, is #3 on this list. Most religious folks or New Agers would put it as Big #1 and probably call it God or Mind or even (gak!) Big Mindâ„¢. But Buddhism doesn’t give it that coveted spot. Even in the formulation of the Five Skandhas, which are the constituents of what we call a person as well as what we call the universe, consciousness is way on the end (Form, Feelings, Perceptions, Impulses, Consciousness).  (You can read more about the 12-fold chain in my book Sit Down and Shut Up, and about the Five Skandhas in Hardcore Zen, by the way)

So I feel like our mathematician is onto something. But he gets it wrong. It’s not that there is a mind behind the universe and its creation. Yet it is reasonable to include mind in with the other things that make up the universe.

Because we have a very mechanistic view of things and because we think that a mind is always possessed by a someone, it’s hard for us to come to terms with the idea that mind is part of things. We falter and say that if there is a mind it has to be someone’s mind but we can’t rationally come up with any someone who could have a mind like that. All the someones that we can posit who would be of that order of size, age and complexity also turn out to be kind of ridiculous when we examine them in any detail.

I think our mathematician is at least partially correct. There is a mind involved in all of this. It’s just not someone’s mind. The mind that we each imagine that we individually possess, that we imagine is ours and ours alone, turns out not to belong to us at all. It doesn’t belong to anyone. But we know it exists because… well, otherwise who is reading these words?

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I wouldn’t mind some donations (see what I did there?). This blog is free but my rent and electricity are not. Your donations help me survive. Thank you!

Registration is now open for our Zen & Yoga Retreat at Mt. Baldy Zen Center May 9-11, 2014

The events page is now updated! Take a look at where I’m gonna be!

You can see the documentary about me,  Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen, at the following locations:

– April 17, 2014 Los Angeles, CA

– April 20, 2014 San Francisco, CA

ZERO DEFEX will play on May 16, 2014 in Akron, OH

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182 Responses

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  1. Daniel
    Daniel April 3, 2014 at 7:49 am |

    You have no mind! See this teacher, he’s pretty much like the real zen/chan teachers in the past, going right to the essence!


    1. senorchupacabra
      senorchupacabra April 4, 2014 at 7:43 am |

      Eh. I was sort of with him until he went into the whole “free will” thing and dismissed the brain simply as a “computer” based on some kind of study done in Germany a decade ago. S0-called “free-will” is an abstract idea that neither exists nor doesn’t exist. It’s literal gibberish, and therefore it cannot be “disproved” nor needn’t be.

      The brain is not a “computer” and the body is not a “machine.” I hate these two metaphors because they create perceptions that are so wrong. Computers run on a series of zeroes and ones–binary code, and therefore–despite what many claim–will never have consciousness. The binary code is self-limiting by its very nature. Our best guess at the moment is that the brain runs on some kind of “non-symbolic” algorithms. But even the researchers who believe this have a tough time using those algorithms to make accurate predictions about such things as whether a person will choose to drink coffee or tea. Now, whether the brain runs on some kind of non-symbolic algorithms or not, it’s not running on a “code.” It is not self-limiting. The brain (and “small-mind” consciousness) will forever be plastic and malleable, capable of learning new ways to learn.

      Also, neuroscientists have not learned nearly as much as many people believe and would have you believe. Nassim Taleb goes into this issue much more clearly and coherently than I would be able to, but I would encourage you read some of his work. The primary problem, as I understand it, is that neuroscientists treat the brain in as much as a vacuum as they can create, but the brain doesn’t work in a vacuum. It exists in a random, absurdly complex environment and it is reacting to trillions of pieces of information at any given moment and a change in one of those trillions of pieces of info (much less a more realistic change in millions or billions of pieces of info) influences how the brain reacts.

      1. Hungry Ghost
        Hungry Ghost April 5, 2014 at 11:30 am |

        The whole brain is a computer/body is a machine thing irks me too. It seems like, inevitably, whatever the most complex thing we as a species have invented becomes a metaphor that explains life or the universe. Like all the descriptions of the universe as functioning like a clock or god being like a watchmaker when the clock/watch was the most elegant and complicated thing we could make.

  2. blake
    blake April 3, 2014 at 7:51 am |

    “Of course this is YOUR mind!” -My Mind

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot April 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm |

      And so I said to myself, “Self . . . get ahold of yourself.”

      1. Mumbles
        Mumbles April 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm |

        That’s okay, my mind doesn’t mind.

  3. boubi
    boubi April 3, 2014 at 8:01 am |

    “For the sake of all creature” (kind of beyond the known universe et similia)

    … and a flying carrot appears against a night stary sky , children jumping exited, nerds grasping the pocorn bowl shiny eyed … the next episode of “Brad the Super Zen Rabbit” is going to start !

    Really Buradu-san, think about it:
    Plastic puppets to put of the shelf or the cubicle
    Merchandising in general
    Advertising for nerdy things
    Brad watch (remember Mickey Mouse watch?, too young?)
    Visibility : Brad the “super cool” Zen Master …
    Invasion of the SGs
    More famous than Bieber?
    Lady Gaga wants your in her show
    Twerking with … forgot the name (not the twerking though)
    Next James Bond movie? hmmm better not being too carried away , rather thinking about Austin Powers 5th episode

    Riches and fame, just there to be caught !

    Go for it Tiger!

  4. boubi
    boubi April 3, 2014 at 8:18 am |

    “I think our mathematician is at least partially correct”

    Here we go again …

    You say that he is of those you “find them endearingly stupid”, you debunk what he says but in the end your theism overrides everything and you find him “at least partially correct”.

    Is there some detox for it?

    My take is that our mind isn’t made to think beyond a certain point, evolution produced us to eat, reproduce, avoid dangers and the complexity of our brains allows to make and implement projects.
    Is our mind made to describe what masters experienced if not in terms that didn’t fit very well, with contorted wording of unclear meanings?
    Is the green i see the same as the one you experience?

    Is that during meditation we experience,/feel a force/field, whatever/something/WTF? and does it has to be “god/God”?

    Does it has to be “something” at all?

    The are things that Siddharta G. himself (ipse dixit of olds) left untold and considered non essential to the solution of the problem at hand :
    – suffering from illness
    – suffering from old age
    – suffering from death

    I find interesting that you agree, when it’s good, with Gudo for instance in considering Vajrayana (tibetans) non-buddhists, and disagree for other things.

    What was his take on the divinity thing?

  5. boubi
    boubi April 3, 2014 at 8:23 am |

    “Beyond avidya 無明!”

    You can even have ballons in esoteric kanji or sanskrit script while you pronounce some broken engurish … 🙂

    1. boubi
      boubi April 3, 2014 at 8:26 am |
  6. Daniel
    Daniel April 3, 2014 at 8:33 am |

    Another thing I want to share in that context is this talk of Thomas Metzinger, I highly recommend his book “The ego tunnel”!


    He makes very clear that whatever “experience” you have, it’s just whatever happens in your brain and even if it really really feels like it’s “big mind” or whatever…you can’t get out of that tunnel! So give up…?! 😀

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles April 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

      Great TED talk, Daniel, thanks for posting. I’ll check out his book, too.

  7. Dunkindogen
    Dunkindogen April 3, 2014 at 10:48 am |

    Apologies for the cliche, but mind is what the brain does. There is an everyone’s mind to the extent we share the same brain structure which is the product the same evolutionary process, and we’re all made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe. We also share the same problem tackled by Buddha, Dogen, Jesus and every other human being who’s experienced an existential crisis– what to do with all this self awareness slapped in a terminal state? I do not see a conflict between a materialist view of existence/mind and Four Noble Truths or Genjokoan. For me it’s all about realizing my brain’s ability to recognize patterns, while pretty darned interesting, has almost nothing to do with reality, and every day I have to wake up to that again and again. Asking for a why, a prime mover, or even renaming reality as god only gets in the way of that daily awakening.

  8. boubi
    boubi April 3, 2014 at 10:56 am |

    The Heart Sutra states that form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

    Form and emptiness are products of our “mind”, we create “forms” and when we stop sticking “forms” there is “emptiness”.
    This to me seems what is called “samsara is nirvana and nirvana is samsara”, it’s the same “thing” with or without those “form creating glasses”.

    What we percieve is in the end non-understandable without being put in those little boxes (“form”).
    When we stop adding a “name” (i.e “form”) we stop “knowing” (1) what we percieve.
    What we know in the end is no more than the sticker we put on “things”.

    There is this “undetermined phenomenon” (Kant, if i remember) to which we put a meaning.

    What lays beneath (noumenon) is beyond us (Kant again).

    According to old masters words, that kensho-shmensho so despised by some, is a(2) way, rather abrupt to say the true, to have a more or less short glimpse to the “formlessness”.
    Masters relate that sometimes it doesn’t make sense right away for being so alien, but that its significance seeps slowly.

    ” … and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free…”


    (1) illusion of knowing
    (2) one not the only way

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 3, 2014 at 11:21 am |

    Tony Parsons sounds a lot like Alan Watts, in what he has to say. I started out with Watts, being in the San Francisco Bay area growing up and so able to listen to him on the radio (KPFA).

    “Either… the human mind infinitely surpasses the powers of any finite machine, or else there exist absolutely unknowable Diophantine problems.” — Kurt Godel

    “Decades later, in the 1960s, Chaitin took up where Turing left off. Fascinated by Turing’s work, he began to investigate the halting problem. He considered all the possible programs that Turing’s hypothetical computer could run, and then looked for the probability that a program, chosen at random from among all the possible programs, will halt. The work took him nearly 20 years, but he eventually showed that this “halting probability” turns Turing’s question of whether a program halts into a real number, somewhere between 0 and 1.

    Chaitin named this number Omega. And he showed that, just as there are no computable instructions for determining in advance whether a computer will halt, there are also no instructions for determining the digits of Omega. Omega is uncomputable.

    …Number theory is the foundation of pure mathematics. It describes how to deal with concepts such as counting, adding, and multiplying. Chaitin’s search for Omega in number theory started with “Diophantine equations”–which involve only the simple concepts of addition, multiplication and exponentiation (raising one number to the power of another) of whole numbers.

    Chaitin formulated a Diophantine equation that was 200 pages long and had 17,000 variables. Given an equation like this, mathematicians would normally search for its solutions. There could be any number of answers: perhaps 10, 20, or even an infinite number of them. But Chaitin didn’t look for specific solutions, he simply looked to see whether there was a finite or an infinite number of them.

    He did this because he knew it was the key to unearthing Omega. Mathematicians James Jones of the University of Calgary and Yuri Matijasevic of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in St Petersburg had shown how to translate the operation of Turing’s computer into a Diophantine equation. They found that there is a relationship between the solutions to the equation and the halting problem for the machine’s program. Specifically, if a particular program doesn’t ever halt, a particular Diophantine equation will have no solution. In effect, the equations provide a bridge linking Turing’s halting problem–and thus Chaitin’s halting probability–with simple mathematical operations, such as the addition and multiplication of whole numbers.

    …Because finding out whether a Diophantine equation has a finite or infinite number of solutions generates these digits, each answer to the equation must therefore be unknowable and independent of every other answer. In other words, the randomness of the digits of Omega imposes limits on what can be known from number theory–the most elementary of mathematical fields. “If randomness is even in something as basic as number theory, where else is it?” asks Chaitin. He thinks he knows the answer. “My hunch is it’s everywhere,” he says. “Randomness is the true foundation of mathematics.”

    (from here)

    From Chaitin’s website at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro:

    “Gregory Chaitin is well known for his work on metamathematics and for the celebrated Ω number, which shows that God plays dice in pure mathematics.”

    or maybe, there exist absolutely unknowable Diophantine problems.

  10. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 3, 2014 at 11:32 am |

    I agree with boubi, God is irrelevant.

    ignorance -> volitive action -> station of consciousness -> conceptualization (name and form) -> nonspontaneous experience of the senses -> nonspontaneous experience of feeling -> craving for feeling -> grasping after “I the doer, mine the doer” with respect to form, sensation, perception, habitual activity, or consciousness.

    sickness, old age, death– “in short, the five groups of grasping”.

    When suffering exists, the truth regarding the origin of suffering (above) applies, and the truth regarding the cessation of suffering (the cessation of ignorance) applies, and the truth of the existence of a path leading to the cessation of suffering applies.

    Otherwise, not.

  11. woken
    woken April 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm |

    George Berkeley had this to say:

    22. I am afraid I have given you cause to think me needlessly
    long-winded in handling this subject. For what is the point
    of hammering away at something that can be proved in a
    line or two, convincing anyone who is capable of the least
    reflection? Look into your own thoughts, and try to conceive
    it possible for a sound or shape or motion or colour to exist
    outside the mind, or unperceived. Can you do it? This simple
    thought-experiment may make you see that what you have
    been defending is a downright contradiction. I am willing
    to stake my whole position on this: if you can so much as
    conceive it possible for one extended movable substance–or
    in general for any one idea or anything like an idea–to exist
    otherwise than in a mind perceiving it, I shall cheerfully
    give up my opposition to matter; and as for all that great
    apparatus of external bodies that you argue for, I shall admit
    its existence, even though you cannot either give me any
    reason why you believe it exists, or assign any use to it when
    it is supposed to exist. I repeat: the bare possibility of your
    being right will count as an argument that you are right.
    23. ‘But’, you say, ‘surely there is nothing easier than to
    imagine trees in a park, for instance, or books on a shelf, with
    nobody there to perceive them.’ I reply that this is indeed
    easy to imagine; but let us look into what happens when
    you imagine it. You form in your mind certain ideas that
    you call ‘books’ and ‘trees’, and at the same time you omit to
    form the idea of anyone who might perceive them. But while
    you are doing this, you perceive or think of them! So your
    thought- experiment misses the point; it shows only that you
    have the power of imagining or forming ideas in your mind;
    but it doesn’t show that you can conceive it possible for the
    objects of your thought to exist outside the mind. To show
    that, you would have to conceive them existing unconceived
    or unthought-of, which is an obvious contradiction. However
    hard we try to conceive the existence of external bodies, all
    we achieve is to contemplate our own ideas. The mind is
    misled into thinking that it can and does conceive bodies
    existing outside the mind or unthought-of because it pays
    no attention to itself, and so doesn’t notice that it contains
    or thinks of the things that it conceives. Think about it a
    little and you will see that what I am saying is plainly true;

    90. Ideas imprinted on the senses are real things, or do
    really exist. I don’t deny that; but I deny that they can exist
    outside the minds that perceive them, and that they resemble
    anything existing outside the mind–since the very being of
    a sensation or idea consists in being perceived, and the only
    thing an idea can resemble is an idea. The things perceived
    by sense can be called ‘external’ with regard to their origin,
    because they aren’t generated from within by the mind itself,
    but imprinted ·from outside· by a spirit other than the one
    that perceives them. Perceptible objects can also be said to
    be ‘outside the mind’ in another sense, namely, when they
    exist in some other mind. Thus when I shut my eyes, the
    things I saw may still exist, but it must be in another mind

  12. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm |

    (my previous message was formatted poorly)

    “I am a neuroscientist and so 99% of the time I behave like a materialist, acknowledging that the mind is real but fully dependent on the brain. But we don’t actually know this. We really don’t. We assume our sense of will is a causal result of the neurochemical processes in our brain, but this is a leap of faith. Perhaps the brain is something like a complex radio receiver that integrates consciousness signals that float around in some form. Perhaps one part of visual cortex is important for decoding the bandwidth that contains motion consciousness and another part of the brain is critical to decoding the bandwith that contains our will. So damage to brain regions may alter our ability to express certain kinds of conscious experience rather than being the causal source of consciousness itself. ” “I don’t actually believe the radio metaphor of the brain, but I think something like it could account for all of our findings. Its unfalsifiable which is a big no-no in science. But so is the materialist view- it’s also unfalsifiable” (Lieberman, 2012).

    Since we are playing at the level of abstract substances…It can still be the case that there is a kind of internal mental life of matter, or that it coalesces itself into certain material forms, or any number of other scenarios, because these abstract, substance-based answers/questions simply don’t have the sort of connection to empirical matters that their proponents would like to believe.

    So like Lieberman is suggesting, don’t make an “either” out of two arbitrarily picked options.

  13. Andy
    Andy April 4, 2014 at 1:27 am |

    I agree and disagree – I think – with Mark and Boubi.

    ‘God’ is as irrelevant/relevant as – pick a word: “ignorance -> volitive action -> station of consciousness -> conceptualization (name and form) -> nonspontaneous experience of the senses -> nonspontaneous experience of feeling -> craving for feeling -> grasping”… and so on.

    It really depends upon the context and mode of expression.

    Mark, I wonder if your project to couch Buddhist practice in contemporary scientific terminology leads you to presuppositions about language that are consonant with the pragmatic attitude many mathematicians take when asked to consider Godels Incompleteness etc.: that such considerations have to be put on the back-burner in order to apply what they know to useful things they are working on.

    ‘Proprioception’ doesn’t have to be real to exist either. It has the positivistically intellectual advantage of indicating other discretely indentifiable phenomena into a scheme that can be embedded in other like schemes and procedures. As such it can be applied to empirical phenomena.

    Such systems ‘see’ themselves, and that seeing can aid our understanding of relative phenomena. Yet, when these types of systems for understanding are extended beyond the scope of their utility, I’m reminded of the research that was supposed to prove that Africans are less ‘intelligent’ than Caucasians and Asians.

    We are living through times where the anti-myth mentality is so strong, so reinforced by the Spag Monster mongerers, as well as the success of the applicability of its terms in the relevant spheres of engagement, that our notions surrounding and informing the mythic strike me as mere reflections of it. The anti-myth myth, to my mind, manifests own political bias, superstition, symbolic hegemony etc., and yet is locked in by ideological presuppositions that entail mind-sets which assume that in adopting the terms of such systems and schemes that they are already involved in a mode free of those all too rife pitfalls.

    A fish out of water dies, and those that eat it might find they get a bad stomach or even die, unless said fish has been freshly caught on our hooks or in our nets. To extend the analogy, I think sometimes we can find ourselves trying to catch fish with our mind-nets and mind-hooks – and succeeding! We eat ourselves up and encourage others to do so too.

    Meanwhile there are many sound fishermen who dream of catching that old, fierce pike in the ancient pond, and if they didn’t, how could we find out if it’s possible?

    I think you have admirable dreams, Mark, and look like a Fine Fisherman (Form is Form; Emptiness, emptiness).

    While taking much from

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles April 4, 2014 at 4:54 am |

      Fine Fishermen, indeed!…

      Wynken and Blynken and Nod one night
      Sailed off on a wooden shoe
      Sailed down a river of crystal light
      Into a sea of dew

      Where are you going and what do you wish?
      The old moon asked the three
      Well, we’re going out fishing for herring fish
      That live in the beautiful sea

      Nets of silver and gold have we
      Said, Wynken and Blynken and Nod

      The old moon laughed and sang a song
      As they rocked in their wooden shoe
      And the wind that sped them all night long
      Ruffled the waves of dew

      While the little stars were the herring fish
      That lived in the beautiful sea
      Now cast your nets wherever you wish
      Never a feared are we

      So sang the stars to the fishermen three
      Wynken and Blynken and Nod

      All night long their nets they threw
      To the stars in the twinkling foam
      Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe
      Bringing the fishermen home

      T’was all so pretty a sight it seemed
      As if it could not be
      And some folks thought t’was a dream
      They dreamed of sailing the beautiful sea

      But I shall name you the fishermen three
      Wynken and Blynken and Nod

      Now Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes
      And Nod is a little head
      And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
      Is a wee one’s trundle bed

      So close your eyes while mother sings
      Of the beautiful sights that be
      And you will see the wonderful things
      As you rock in your misty sea

      Where the old moon rocked the fishermen three
      Wynken and Blynken and Nod

      -Eugene Field

  14. Andy
    Andy April 4, 2014 at 1:30 am |

    That last sentence was a left-over from the Last Supper.

  15. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 2:42 am |

    About Berkeley and divinity

    He says that things exist because we perceive them, or better that God does it for us when we aren’t perceiving them personally (correct me in case).

    I’m rather sceptical of either of the two, but the interresting thing is that if you “think hard enough” then “things happen”.
    A friend cured his wards visualizing his hand free of them, after reading a book of Bernard Siegel, i have personal experience with healers and other similar things. It goes on with major “miracles” (Spinoza’s brackets) and siddhis …

    Now, for me, calling what we can perceive in particular moments as an all pervading “force” or “field” as “god/God” is not only useless to solve the riddle of the three sufferings, but also a rather gratuitous assumption on our side.

    We have no clue at all of what things are (undetermined phenomena) once we stop interpreting them through our evolution induced grid (hardwired to transmit genes).

    Why is it so alien to conceive that phenomena can have a double nature, light as a particule or a wave? Ok, we can pronounce the words and make the calculations, but can we “know” it? feel it? the same way we think about a falling apple?
    And the interference of a single photon … WTF? interference of one photon, what does it interfere with?

    Quantum mechanics is actually impossible to explain in words, it’s so outworldly.

    IMO then when we “drop (1)” our interpretational grid, we are totally out of our depth, and we start “dressing” the perceived with another layer of “names”/”labels”.
    It seems to me as if we can’t stand that unknown we find “out there”(2) and need to bring it back to the “known world”, so to speak.

    Giving a name to the “dropped perception” equals to return back to “before the dropping”, putting new shackles after spending so much time trying to free yourself!

    Sorry for the form, it’s rather difficult for me to make a linear presentation of this point of view of mine, and i recognize that there are a few non-continuities in this post.
    Being a meat and potatoes kind of guy (3) and this subject being rather hairy, so hairy in fact that big brained philosophers have been arguing over it for the last two or three millenia.

    In the end it looks to me as if we can’t stand the nakedness of what we find and as soon as we have a glimpse to it we need to cover it with something reassuring.

    As if we can’t stand nakedness … WOW ! as in Paradise when Adam and Eve had to cover themselves … interresting …

    *thanks again woken for bringing him to my attention
    (1) blink blink Dogen
    (2) X-files
    (3) ah, yeah, BTW, Mark, i’m a dude, don’t take it bad, as much i didn’t take it bad when you though i was a girl, didn’t give a shit actually – LOL LOL, reading again it sounds as if Mark picked me up in a bar, and arriving home he finds a meaty surprise LOL LOL BTW don’t know how you came to think it

  16. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 2:46 am |

    Going on after reading again.

    Could it be that this need to “give names” after “the drop” is a sign of not having “dropped” enough?

  17. Andy
    Andy April 4, 2014 at 3:58 am |

    “Now, for me, calling what we can perceive in particular moments as an all pervading “force” or “field” as “god/God” is not only useless to solve the riddle of the three sufferings, but also a rather gratuitous assumption on our side.”

    Hi boubi,

    Using the word ‘god’ is like using any word. Trying to use certain words as explanations for certain things can find us barking up the wrong tree, whatever word we use.

    You appear to be thinking about language use in narrowly instrumental and transactional terms, for the purposes of this discussion, and I would agree with much of what you say if we limit what we are talking about to that. But even in that sense, for some people, the word god may be used as a way to highlight aspects that other words such as ‘field’ or ‘force’ might not. There is a reason why scientists extending their explanations to the limits of their and our knowledge, often end up using the word god.

    Think about ‘time’. How can we investigate what time is, unless we drop our usual way of thinking and take a look at what’s going on. We might find that ‘time’ as we assumed and commonly understood it doesn’t really exist. And yet, both Buddhists and scientists offering up very counter intuitive explanations for time, still use the word, but it is meant in a much different sense, while still expressing aspects of that previous understanding. The same goes for ‘god’.

    But, to my mind, there is much more to our ‘active expressions’ that we don’t usually acknowledge.

    I remember reading an American Buddhist’s account of going into a classroom full of young children and making a singing bowl (or something like) ring out into the room until quietness gathered itself up again. He asked them where the sound had gone and one of the children piped up ‘god’. Now maybe having a Buddhist bloke turn up to class, induced some answer that the child thought was appropriate. But, on the other hand, maybe the child spontaneously and intuitively expressed something that was real and intimate, but noumenal and ungraspable, and ‘god’ was the best way for that at that time.

    There’s the ‘pen’, and then there’s the contingent emptiness of that designation; when those two foci are not seen as mutually exclusive, even a pen or ‘pen’ or ‘[could you pass me the] pen’ or ‘[that’s my] pen!’ etc., might be full of wonderous and strange mundanity – and ultimately beyond our other descriptions and explanations of each speech event involving ‘pen’.

    And what a wonderful thing it is to witness a child naming it’s first things! What an odd thing it is indeed to engage my body and mind, as my lungs gift precious air to my lips and mouth, and form the word pen. Pen.


  18. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 4, 2014 at 4:50 am |

    & Teller
    & Teller
    & Teller


  19. Andy
    Andy April 4, 2014 at 6:08 am |

    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d
    g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d g d

    1. Andy
      Andy April 4, 2014 at 6:23 am |

      Well that didn’t work! It was supposed to spell TIME as spaces inside a block of g d g d g d. Now I know better.

  20. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 7:20 am |


    “You appear to be thinking about language use in narrowly instrumental and transactional terms, for the purposes of this discussion, and I would agree with much of what you say if we limit what we are talking about to that. ”

    Let’s start to stop assuming things, as the other time when you talked about “samadhi and sidhis” and i had to show you got a bit confused “syntatically”, after you stating things about “petty intellectuals” or similar.

    If you want to start talking about the use of language (narrowly or broadly), please, tell me what is “language”.

    I used “field” or “force” in between ” …” marks just to use some wording vaguely correlated to “that thing” that simply has no name for being beyond any wording.

    “That thing” is what emerges when we stop … when we stop doing what Adam did in the myth that is : “naming things”.
    What is in front of you in this instant in non-knowable to you (as much as to me), we have no clue at all.
    But in order to survive we “call” things, as much as we could evoke ghosts. An what we call reality amounts to nothing else as ghosts created by our mind (WTF is it BTW?), things exist, but what we perceive is a figment of our imagination. As much as medieval medecine that thought that illness was produced by spirits or similar.

    In buddhist parlance i think it is called “form”, when you take out the “form” you get “emptiness”, as simple and plain as this. But it is so difficult to reach, so alien a concept that it slipped into “religion”.
    I’m not at all learned nor versed in buddhism philosophy (which sounds to me as aestethic) but in deep ignorance it looks like that tatagata … hope not to have said some bull.

    People who lost sight very early don’t “recognize” anything when they recover sight after surgery.
    The same photons hit their retina, as they do to us, but they don’t know yet to stick a “form” to this “formless” input.

    Now for the time matter, have a look at this
    “parietal lobe during meditation (lower right shows up as yellow rather than the red in the left image). This area of the brain is responsible for giving us a sense of our orientation in space and time. We hypothesize that blocking all sensory and cognitive input into this area during meditation is associated with the sense of no space and no time that is so often described in meditation.”

    “Emptiness” and “no time” come from switching off some brain functions.

    What does this imply?

    ??? don’t know, or at least not sure at all.

    That’s why when i hear people saying “it’s this, it’s that” be it a divinity or the other it seems to me they are going back inside the platonic cave conjuring some ghost of a shadow. Renouncing to bask in the nameless.

  21. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 7:26 am |

    “And what a wonderful thing it is to witness a child naming it’s first things! ”

    For direct experience babies just repeat sounds, it take some time before they “name” anything, knowing what they do.

    I’ve seen a baby “creating sympathy” with a puppy … the baby made wuf! wuf! , he barked!

  22. woken
    woken April 4, 2014 at 7:59 am |

    Berkeley’s argument is usually thought to assume that he believed nothing existed outside of our minds, but this is a mistake. Berlely saying “nothing exists that is not perceived” is analgous to koan such as if a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it, does it make a sound?

    Berkeley points out that our perception of sensation and our attributes of certain qualities to them are separate things, yet we confuse them as being one and the same. Essentially, we confuse our mental creation of our sensations (our mind created imagination) with reality. Berkeley calls this attribution “ideas”. Hence his line: “We eat ideas, we dress in ideas and we bathe in ideas.”

    David Hume developed Berkeley’s basic arguments to a more sophisticated level (for example, he showed how we create all sorts of problems for ourselves through mixing up the ideas of cause and effect) and managed to undermine the whole edifice of western philosophy in the process..

    BTW, Berekeley also trained as a mathematician and much of his argument was to highlight the limitations of Newtonian physics that was beginning to dominate intellectual life in his time. In doing so, he also posited essentially the same arguments that were put forward by Einstein in his theory of relativity!

  23. woken
    woken April 4, 2014 at 8:01 am |

    BTW, there’s nothing technical or heavy about Berkely whatsoever. If you read and attend to your thoughts (as he advised) you might get the glimpse of his point and see behind the veil. it’s no big mystical thing. it’s just a thing our brains seem to be prone to, and is reinforced by our culture.

  24. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 8:18 am |

    First i don’t say Berkeley is right or wrong, i said i’m sceptical, so don’t take it bad.

    “Essentially, we confuse our mental creation of our sensations (our mind created imagination) with reality. Berkeley calls this attribution “ideas”. Hence his line: “We eat ideas, we dress in ideas and we bathe in ideas.” ”

    Agree 100%, turn “ideas” into “form” and you get some sutra.

    But didn’t he said somewhere that if we don’t perceive something it is god that does it? Thus maintaining this thing into existence? Why not? It’s kind of Vishnu dreaming the word in which we live.

    “Berlely saying “nothing exists that is not perceived” is analgous to koan such as if a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it, does it make a sound?”
    Are you familiar with koan solving?

  25. Andy
    Andy April 4, 2014 at 10:07 am |

    Let’s start to stop assuming things, as the other time when you talked about “samadhi and sidhis” and i had to show you got a bit confused “syntatically”, after you stating things about “petty intellectuals” or similar.

    Boubi, you’ve got me confused with someone else. I have no recollection of talking about “samadhi and sidhis” ( I don’t know what sidhis are) or “petty intellectuals”. You’re referring to someone else – An3drew perhaps or another Andy/Andrew?

    I don’t believe I was making spurious assumptions there. When you wrote about god etc being “useless to solve the riddle of the three sufferings” you are talking about language in term of utility and purpose.

    On emptiness:

    Zen Master Shakkyo asked Zen Master Seido, “Do you know how to grasp space?”

    Seido said, “I know how to grasp it.”

    Shakkyo said, “How do you grasp it?”

    Seido made a grasping gesture at the air with his hand.

    Shakkyo said, “You do not know how to grasp space.”

    Seido said, “How do you grasp it, brother?”

    Shakkyo firmly grabed Seido by the nose and gave it a tug.

    Seido cried out in pain, saying, “Don’t be so rough! You’ll rip my nose off.”

    Shakkyo said, “Now you know how to grasp space.”

    1. Andy
      Andy April 4, 2014 at 11:40 am |


      I had a look and noticed that you discussed siddhis and samadhi with a poster called ‘mb’ on the ‘Is Zazen Really Zen?’ thread a week or so ago.

    2. mb
      mb April 4, 2014 at 11:43 am |

      Boubi, you’ve got me confused with someone else. I have no recollection of talking about “samadhi and sidhis” ( I don’t know what sidhis are) or “petty intellectuals”. You’re referring to someone else — An3drew perhaps or another Andy/Andrew?
      It was me! I was the bad person who conflated samadhi with siddhis (though unintentionally) What’s this got to do with the price of tea in China? Why was it brought up in this context? Boubi? Gallic humor?

      The “petty intellectuals” is a reference to comments made by some on the Reddit forum that Brad referred to a couple of posts ago.

      Boy, these blog comment sections sure can induce bizarre “identity crises” sometimes! Viz. 1) Cats-Cosmic-Daniel-S…… (real name not to be used!)
      2) Confusion of Boubi gender (Mark F) 3) Attributing something I said to Andy
      4) etc. etc.

      If I were Tibetan, I’d say that we’re all travelling through the
      “comment blog bardo” on our way to a better rebirth! But I’m not Tibetan so I can’t say that…darn.

  26. woken
    woken April 4, 2014 at 10:46 am |

    Oh, I don’t take it bad at all. Like I said, virtually every critic of Berkeley takes him to be a pure idealist and denial of all reality outside of one’s imagination. I was clarifying this fundamental point. His assertion about God as perceiver is worth discussion in its own right, and you’re right, it raises problems, but his initial insights into perception and mind are worth highlighting on their own terms, especially in relation to this post.

    As for your questions on koan, I’ve had some experience, but people should attend to their own thoughts and examine this for themselves.

    IMO, the insight into the workings of mind plus the “thought experiment” proposed by Berkeley fulfil similar functions, especially in relation to that particular koan, and I believe you will see this.

    1. Andy
      Andy April 4, 2014 at 10:50 am |

      Great stuff on Berekeley, Woken.


      1. Andy
        Andy April 4, 2014 at 10:51 am |


        (I’m such a berk!)

  27. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

    Sorry for confusing a poster with another, my bad, didn’t take the care to check.

    “As for your questions on koan, I’ve had some experience”
    Where did you practice?

    “Attributing something I said to Andy”
    With no avatars it get sometimes difficult to remember who said what, sorry again. Sorry again.

    Ok, but beyond Berkeley and others, what do you think happens when we do the idealess/formless thing?
    When we stop “naming” things?

    What is your take of the meaning and consequencies that switching off some parts of the brain we enter a timeless and empty world?
    And from here what about all the chatter philosophers produced about the nature of time, if our sensation of time is produced by a few hundred grams of grey matter?

    What do you think about the “wards episode” of my friend?

    On my side, i don’t consider myself as “idealist” or “materialist” because i do believe we don’t and cannot know what is beyond our “formating” (form / Berkeley’s ideas*) of the input our senses are receiving (Kant).

    Now just for the sake of curiosity, where did Berkeley think those ideas were coming from?

    Related to this “formlessness” thing i find that this sentence from the Gospel is fitting pretty well, it makes me want to laugh …

    ” … and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free…”

    * not Plato’s

  28. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm |

    Hi Mark

    I never cared very much what people said about me here, excepted when some demented psychopath start knowing who deserves to live or not.

    So i kept you thinking me a woman out of fun, it’s harmless, and i really didn’t take any offense.

    But what got you started with it? I’m curious.

    Don’t worry, have fun.

  29. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

    “If I were Tibetan, I’d say that we’re all travelling through the
    “comment blog bardo” on our way to a better rebirth! But I’m not Tibetan so I can’t say that…darn.”

    Speaking about Bardo, anybody saw it, at least the beginning of it?

  30. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon April 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    “Lose your mind and come to your senses.”
    – Friedrich Salomon Perls

  31. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm |

    “I taught myself Japanese and managed to land a dream job in a company whose work I had admired since I was seven years old. I published five books and recorded five albums and I’ve been in a few movies. I even made a movie. I’ve done plenty to …”

    Being a writer :
    – write something new

    Being a teacher :
    – virtual dokusan
    – you can even do virtual seshins, put a camera and life feed teishos (you can even do a few in the same time, time sharing stuff)

    Being a speaker of japanese :
    – find pupils

    Having lived in Japan :
    – travel companion to Japan or some tourist related thing

    Being an ordained Soto priest :
    – attend to asian buddhist congregations

    Being a theist :
    – find some christian congregation to do some christian awakening

    Being an Ultraman and Godzilla oldhand :
    – make some demential videos as Brad The Super Rabbit

    Being an able body adult :
    – find some part-time payed job

  32. yesno
    yesno April 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm |

    The self-manifestation ( of awareness) tantra says:
    authentic buddha-mind is present
    in the continuum of every sentient being
    as dimensions of awakening and pristine wisdoms.

  33. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm |

    “The self-manifestation ( of awareness) tantra says:
    authentic buddha-mind is present
    in the continuum of every sentient being
    as dimensions of awakening and pristine wisdoms.”

    Can you explain please?

  34. boubi
    boubi April 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm |


    “…..The brain is not a “computer” and the body is not a “machine.” I hate these two metaphors because they create perceptions that are so wrong. Computers run on a series of zeroes and ones—binary …”

    Our brain made of neurons, seems to work on binary too, neuron on, neuron off.

    A neuron (/ˈnjʊərɒn/ NYEWR-on or /ˈnʊərɒn/ NEWR-on; also known as a neurone or nerve cell) is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.

    If the voltage changes by a large enough amount, an all-or-none electrochemical pulse called an action potential is generated, which travels rapidly along the cell’s axon, and activates synaptic connections with other cells when it arrives.

    Please notice : “an all-or-none electrochemical pulse” as in 0 or 1.

    As in microtransistors in a computer that change of state if it receives a large enough amount of electricity.

    No more no less.

    Why do we have to be something oh sooo much different?
    Are we the marvel in the crown of creation?

    We are apes, hairless at it.

  35. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |

    mb, I’m not fucking Daniel.

    Also, how do you know my name? Are you a stalker? Have I gathered that much attention, making people look at my Facebook and not the content of what I say?

    Anyways, I gave my 2 centers to this topic by positing Liberman’s opinion on the Hard Problem of Consciousness and my commentary on his quote.

    We are not at the point in Neuroscience or empirical science to answer the Hard Problem of Consciousness. The function of science is not to make premature ontological conclusion but rather, to gather experimental data in order to either reject or not reject null hypotheses. A theory is substantiated by falsifiable and replicable evidence, and we can derive predictions from theories or models. However, these models do not lead to any ontological schemas except provisional knowledge we can utilize for the sake of goals.

    In this sense, Zen/Chan never provided any ontological abstractions. There is no mind, there is no body. Rigid designationers (in the Kripke sense) do not exist in Zen.

    1. CosmicBrainz
      CosmicBrainz April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |

      This is why phenomenology > ontology in Zen/Chan. You cannot jump from phenomenology to ontological conclusions easily. I’ve read all of Metzinger’s nonsense, and he never explains what informational content is or how it emerges from physical substances. Quite frankly, I think some humility is needed in order to understand we don’t really understand what we even by physical or information. or example, Chomsky argued the Hard Problem of Consciousness “doesn’t make sense, since there is no cogent way to frame the physical at all – physics, he says, has no definition of ‘the physical’ since it abandoned contact mechanics with Newton – so he says the question ‘is the brain, or this table, physical’ doesn’t make sense, since nothing is physical, there are just different parts of the world that we try and make sense of. His essay ‘Naturalism and Dualism in the Study of Language and the Mind’ makes his position clear” (Brain Science Podcast, 2011)

      This is what Nagarjuna pretty much gets at. Ultimately, we can only speak of contingency (i.e., what x depends on for its existence) and not necessity. It leads to an inclosure schema when we acknowledge everything lacks a determinate characteristic (or inherent existence). I remember reading a good analytic philosophy paper on this, but I lost it.

      Do not conflate scientific enquiry with Zen. Zen has nothing to provide as Kodo Sowaki rightfully says.

    2. mb
      mb April 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm |

      mb, I’m not fucking Daniel.
      Well, Daniel’s girlfriend must be very relieved to hear that!

      Anyway, puns and double-intendres aside, that comment was to illustrate this very point, that people here sometimes confuse who said what and make wrong attributions when replying.

      As to your first name, well I’ve been reading the comments here for several months, so I know! But I only put the first letter, followed by periods! Guess I was tempting fate just by doing that, eh?

  36. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm |

    Here I recommend reading this when you have time:



    1. Fred
      Fred April 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm |

      “You have no mind! See this teacher, he’s pretty much like the real zen/chan teachers in the past, going right to the essence!


      “I” arrived at this position without ever hearing about Mr. Parsons, and since
      there is no one to grasp the insight into the infinite, it must be the infinite
      experiencing itself.

  37. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm |

    I don’t really think you can posit an Unity or One either.

    Sometimes not one
    sometimes not two
    sometimes not one and not two

    Depends on what side of the bed you wake up in the mornings.

    Sometimes I wake up extremely grouchy
    the coffee and chirping of birds help invigorate me
    then it’s straight off to work

    1. boubi
      boubi April 5, 2014 at 7:19 am |

      The important think is that you keep taking your medications and keep getting psychiatric help.

      Talk to your psychiatrist about your grand vision of what the universe should be and your regulatory role in putting it to shape. Who is needed and who isn’t needed and they ways to solve the problem of the non needed persons.

      I think he will get the hint.

      Maybe he could implant some device into your brain to stop the episodes, a brain pacer … zapping some area when abnormal activity appears. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt, and nowaday batteries are very small.
      You can even get a kick from the zapping, you know it, you should already be a neuro-scientist with all the of your contact with this medical discipline.

      You’ll feel better and everybody will feel more secure.
      Because it’s a more secure world you want, right?
      Ah, yeah, keep watching movies.

  38. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 4, 2014 at 11:23 pm |

    boubi, that turned me a good shade of red! As to how I came to mistake your gender, that would be because of posts a long time ago which I don’t think I could find now, but I apologize. Probably my ignorance continued out of wishful thinking on my part that the distaff side of humanity might be represented here regularly (where is Anne MH, when we need her!).

    “What an odd thing it is indeed to engage my body and mind, as my lungs gift precious air to my lips and mouth…”- Andy

    “Now, for me, calling what we can perceive in particular moments as an all pervading “force” or “field” as “god/God” is not only useless to solve the riddle of the three sufferings, but also a rather gratuitous assumption on our side.”- boubi

    “Three sufferings”– three asavas, three poisons? don’t recall three sufferings, but might be there.

    ignorance –> willful action–>station of consciousness–>name and form

    We got the “name and form” discussion going in this thread, but I like the Gautamid’s causal origination explanation. It posits a reason for an explanation, which is that if ignorance exists, then there is a certain causality leading to the suffering that is “in short, the (five groups of graspings”, and the path toward the cessation of suffering also then exists.

    Now the ninth and tenth aspects of what is usually called “the eight-fold path” are right knowledge and right freedom.

    “What an odd thing it is indeed to engage my body and mind, as my lungs gift precious air to my lips and mouth…” and gift the relinquishment which is right knowledge and the loss that is right freedom to my eye sockets and bones.

  39. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm |

    winken right out, them eye sockets, need some fishies


  40. boubi
    boubi April 5, 2014 at 3:06 am |

    Hi Mark

    Why get red?

    BTW i wrote the three sufferings instead of
    — suffering from illness
    — suffering from old age
    — suffering from death

    This is the aim/goal of the whole search (Siddharta’s), and i have the impression that it’s being neglected on this blog, the point being rather to “sit for the sake of sitting” and being buddha as soon as the buts hit the cushion.

    I know i’m hitting a raw nerve here, but again, among you soto* people how many are already buddha? I mean i assume you all sat at least once … so ?

    And with such a wide sample of living buddhas, anybody can tell me how does it feel to be a buddha?

    Please refrain from citing obcure wording from dead people even if more nicely worded.
    I’d be very happy to read direct experiences even in broken grammar.


    gasho _/\_

    * again, i hereby declare that, in case some medication deprived psychopath wants to eliminate me, because unworthy of living and not needed in the deluded universal masterplan of the afored said frustrated individual, i don’t have anything against Soto or any other tradition.

  41. boubi
    boubi April 5, 2014 at 3:28 am |

    Hi Mark

    The 8thfold path is just a path, a way to avoid getting entangled in attachements, bad psychological situations, it sounds to me some how, as the “preliminary practices” of the Tibetans.

    The goal/aim* of the whole “matter” is, to my poor understanding, to get to know our mind’s true nature (1) and as in the Gospel
    ” … and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free…” (2)

    Mark, i’m just a meat and potato kind of person, but in a way, sometimes, it helps, through dislike and difficulty to bear too much sofisticated thoughts, to get to the core of things.

    Mark, try and take out what is not essential, whoever wrote whatever book or treatrise was just a person like you, even Siddharta Gautama had to take a crap once a day and swat the flies away from his arse.

    He was a genius like Einstein, but a human being, in the end he died of food poisoning or other wordly cause.
    Even Zen is not the think he taught, which should be Theravada, so what?

    Know yourself, know the true nature of your mind … and kick any ass that lays betwen you and the knowledge of the true nature of your mind ( Linji Yixuan)

    * again, i beg the pardon of those with a much better understanding of The Bard’s language for the not always so precise use of these two words
    (1) anybody thinking that it is not the case is welcome to say it
    (2) wording used here most probably with a different meaning from the one in the mind of the evengelist who wrote it

  42. boubi
    boubi April 5, 2014 at 3:38 am |

    The wording is foreign to us but maybe it could be of use to some


    1. boubi
      boubi April 5, 2014 at 3:41 am |

      BTW, don’t ask me any explanation of this text, please find your neighbor Rinzai center, i think they will be glad to try to.



      1. Fred
        Fred April 5, 2014 at 7:24 am |

        “And with such a wide sample of living buddhas, anybody can tell me how does it feel to be a buddha?”

        There is no one to experience this Buddhaness. The Buddhaing is the absence of
        attachment to any self, thought, feeling.

        As for suffering, there is none. A body is meant to die. If ” you ” die psychologically to yesterday ( as Krishnamurti might say ) there is no clinging
        to any has to be. Watching the body fall apart as it should, the concept of
        suffering has no meaning.

  43. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 5, 2014 at 8:49 am |

    Wtf did that red herring have to do with anything, boubi?

    Are you even capable of understanding what I was talking about?

    Clinging to premature ontological schemas as a way to “better understand oneself” or the world isn’t going to help you. Zen is about letting go of such things, especially in Zazen.

    Boubi, how many men have ran away from you? I don’t think you have maintained a relationship for even 2 yrs.

    I have maintained one for 4 yrs and it’s still going strong.

    Anyways, why don’t you go back to fucking the cross, you ethnocentric bastard?

    1. boubi
      boubi April 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

      Baby is throwing a tantrum … don’t take the diapers out and throw them around , you’ve filled them again !

  44. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 5, 2014 at 10:17 am |

    Something about the insults on this blog is very endearing, don’t you think? The threats not so much, but I hark back to the fact that we are all talking primarily to ourselves here, and if I look at a person’s comment in that light it’s mostly compassion for the fate that they are wishing upon themselves that emerges.

    And the questions we ask ourselves while under the illusion we are speaking to another– I will try to write something new to myself, so as not to waste time, and I appreciate those who do the same!

    How to write, to sit, to do before Mark Foote is born? If I suffer Mark Foote, then right knowledge and right freedom present themselves in every movement of breath. Feels more like letting go of having to know, and a relaxed movement to me; nothing special.

    So he abides fully conscious of what is behind and what is in front.
    As (he is conscious of what is) in front, so behind: as behind, so in front;
    as below, so above: as above, so below:
    as by day, so by night: as by night, so by day.
    Thus with wits alert, with wits unhampered, he cultivates his mind to brilliancy.

    (Sanyutta-Nikaya, text V 263, Pali Text Society volume 5 pg 235, ©Pali Text Society- I give some of the expansion and how it is for me here)

  45. CosmicBrainz
    CosmicBrainz April 5, 2014 at 11:33 am |

    What I dislike is when I respond to a topic and then someone brings up something completely unrelated based off what I’ve said in the past about different topics.

    I responded to the subject matter of this post, and I didn’t resort to insults until someone else brought up something completely off-topic attempting to put me down. If you don’t want the comments section to turn into shit-flinging contests, then respond to on-topic posts without bringing up past infantile grudges, boubi. If you keep holding onto grudges and view people as an “accumulative build-up” or a “one-to-one correspondence to one’s projected mental images”, then we can’t even discuss pertinent topics.

    1. boubi
      boubi April 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

      It’s not unrelated darling, it’s called cause and consequence, it’s called karma, it shows that your medication is wearing down and that the time is coming to implant you with a schizo-zapper in your brain.

      It could turn wrong and you could turn into kind of clockwork orange or terminal man, but it’s worth trying. It’s for your own good, you have to understand.

      BTW it’s know that you already threatened a few posters on this blog … life is hard and you lost it.

      Weren’t you supposed to dedicate yourself to a life of fame and riches, money and carrier … what?

      You flunked?

      It’s not a reason to take on other people, could land you in a confined place, eating in a plastic tray and with a couple of alfa men imposing themselves on you 😉 … you know.

      Your relationship, do you have to inflate “her” often? It’s good to have someone who just shut the fuck up and listen, like a real man deserves. Do you put her in front of the entrance so that she welcomes you when you come home? And there are the new models, just in case you smash this one … but you know if she deserves it … you are a man who has to be respected, no respect is worrysome.
      At least at home you are the one in command.

      Take your thorazine, please, i’ll feel better too knowing it.

  46. boubi
    boubi April 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

    It’s not a red herring, it is your usual unstable unmedicated self

    “Andrew, the reason I would rather want you dead is become you defile the Dharma. I would recommend committing suicide, you aspie. We live in a time where competition for resources is becoming harder, and it is kind of necessary to judge who’s lives are worthless or not. People like you, who do nothing but piss people off, are better off dead, Andrew. Either kill yourself or find some mental help. Do not fuck with people anymore, or I will continue pulling on your strings much harder than you’ve done to anyone else. I really mean it: you are a lonely fucker who has made Zen into a ideological squabble.”

    As visible here your obsession with “unnecessary people” is not of yesterday, it’s an obsession of yours.

    The idea of “defiling the dharma” is rather alike to the insane ideology of Khomeini and of his other demented followers.

    Were beated when a child? Your older sibling were competing and winning for your parents care, did you feel abandoned and did you grow a sense of inadequacy that caused a need to compemsate feeling that you needed to become some kind of superior being?

    You’re fucked up kid, really, do you realise it?

    What happens when M. Hyde takes over? do you kill cats? neighbohood pets?

    You’re just fucked up big time

    It’s scarry man.

    What resources are scarse where you live, and you feel that eliminating “useless individuals” will improve your survival chances?

  47. boubi
    boubi April 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    “Boubi, how many men have ran away from you? I don’t think you have maintained a relationship for even 2 yrs.”

    When they were scared, maybe LOL

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