Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hardcore Zen Remix


I don't think Brad Warner is God. He simply has some useful things to say about Buddhism and is in my opinion an important figure for people who recognize the value of just stopping for a sec and questioning reality. The following are quotes taken directly from the blog 'Hardcore Zen' by Brad Warner.

WHAT'S THE POINT?

"I guess all I’m really trying to do is make a public record of my own experience in the hopes that it might be of some use to someone. I’m not trying to win followers or converts to myself or even to Buddhism. That’s a waste of time and effort." 10.2.06

"Don't ever accept crap teaching." 9.8.06

"A loosely defined but generally accepted picture is emerging in the West these days of what is and is not 'Zen.' …If I’ve ever given the impression that the things I say and do are somehow supported by some nebulous thing out there in the ozone called 'Zen,' I apologize. I’ve never deliberately set out to do so. Ain’t no such thang anyhow." 10.17.06

"There is no such thing as a written teaching that means exactly the same thing to whoever reads it no matter how hard you try to preserve the words." 11.19.06

"I can't stop people misinterpreting me unless I just shut up forever. And I'm not gonna do that. So, go ahead and misinterpret away. It's not my problem." 9.20.06

"I’m also trying to ruin the ability of people to run scams like this(spiritual/religious scams) by constantly demonstrating that, in spite of being a Zen Master, I, for one, am still a buffoon. …In the end, though, I do this because, in Katagiri Roshi’s words, 'You have to say something.'" 10.2.06

ZAZEN

"It(Buddhism) is not based on thought but upon action. It has nothing to do with belief and everything to do with what you do." 7.31.06

"…you can't just talk and dream about Zen. You've got to actually do it. …Far too many would-be Zen practitioners are waiting for some perfect moment to begin practice. Maybe they're hoping the meet the Zen Master of their dreams, or they're waiting for a chance to attend some hot shit retreat way off in the mountains, or they're saving up for plane fare to Nepal. Anything to put off actually getting down to business. The only ones who ever get it, though, are the ones who just say 'fuck you' and get on with it." 7.18.06

"Zazen is perfect freedom. But you can only find perfect freedom in what is a very restrictive practice. It’s ironic. But it happens to be true. Real freedom has nothing to do with vainly trying to tear down all boundaries and restraints. Real freedom is when you discover that the only person who has ever, or could ever, bind you is you. What appears to you as outside sources or authority do not come from outside. …This is very hard to accept. I know it right down to my toenails and I still have a tremendously difficult time with it. I still fight it every damned day." 8.26.06

"It's not really an appealing practice, when you get right down to it. It wasn't terribly appealing to me. But once I got into it, I could see its practicality and truth. It's like dieting and exercise. Dieting and exercise are hard work. But it's really the only way to lose weight. Other methods may be quicker. But they never really work. We all know this. Yet still we hope there might be an easier solution. There isn't. And there never will be. It's inherent in the problem itself. The human body just works like that. Same deal with Zen, which is very practical and very much physical labor." 8.4.06

"Most people, when they do some kind of meditative practice like Zazen, hope to be successful at it. …It may be that the times you feel least successful in your sittings are the most valuable while the times that Zazen feels successful are times when you've gone wrong in the practice. …What you are doing in Zazen is quietly and carefully studying whatever happens to be going on at the very moment of your practice. And by 'studying' I don’t mean intellectually considering it. You study yourself by allowing yourself to be exactly as you are without any consideration. Consideration can only get in the way. It’s a distraction. Even considering your breath is a distraction from practice. Any effort you make to become calm, clear, Enlightened, Awakened, have an 'Opening experience' or whatever you call it, is just a distraction from real practice." 8.24.06

"We are constantly dumping obscene amounts of toxic garbage into our minds and then we wonder why we're so muddled and unable to stay focused. There's a kind of centeredness you get from Zazen practice that you cannot get anywhere else. And there's a power to practice with a group that cannot be found in any other activity. It is truly an amazing thing our buddy Mr. Gotama discovered all those many years ago. You ought to try it sometime." 10.15.06

"If you cannot find the truth of your life right here, you will not find it anywhere else. There is no anywhere else." 4.20.06

THE WORLD


"The person who reacts is responsible for his own actions. No one gets let off the hook. That ain't the way this universe works. …Take some responsibility for the things you have made." 4.22.06

"There are burning issues of international and historical importance that you must take care of right this very second and they are not thousands of miles away. They are right here. It's only when you attend to these matters very close that you can do anything about the ones that are far away." 11.13.06

"The world out there is not something apart from you. When it changes in ways you don’t like, who is responsible? Someone else? Not you? Yeah, right. And when things go the way you want, watch out. See what your own reactions really are. See what they are not." 11.9.06

"Peace is established by and large through the threat of violent retribution towards those who would disturb it. I do not like this fact. But I cannot deny it. This is something which we must certainly change. But we will not change it by refusing to face it, by pretending that the way to peace is all beads and flowers and love-ins, and incense and groovy spirituality. It isn't. The real way to lasting peace is to establish a realistic outlook and stick with it no matter if we like it or not." 9.19.06

"We exist for the people and things we encounter as much as we exist for ourselves." 10.10.06

IT'S JUST LIKE THIS

"Basically I hate talking 'Zen.' I'd much rather discuss just about anything at all other than Zen. This is because most people who want to talk Zen have no real interest in the subject. They're not serious at all. They'd never even consider sitting on a cushion for an hour every day facing themselves down the way you'd face down an angry Rottwieller intent on making mincemeat out of your internal organs." 7.3.06

"It's(Buddhism) an understanding arrived at by not thinking about anything. This sounds impossible to most people because we assume that the only way we can understand things is to think about them." 7.26.06

"The reason we do not see the truth for ourselves is only because we are closing our eyes, holding our hands over our ears and shouting, 'Lah! Lah!! Lah!! I can’t hear you!!!!' …The pain we experience in life comes not from the outside world and circumstances beyond our control doing awful things to us. It comes from our constant and entirely futile attempts to shut ourselves off from the reality that is actually the largest part of our true selves and to try and live in an absurd and artificial universe of our own mental creation." 10.2.06

"Buddhism has nothing to do with attaining higher states. Higher states are just a fantasy. You may be able to create a pretty fantasy and devise ways of attaining it. But what you have attained is only the fulfillment of your fantasy. …What is really needed is not the ability to induce temporary lapses into so-called 'higher states,' but the ability to understand thoroughly and exactly what this state we have right here and right now truly is (and is not). This is the key to everything." 8.22.06

"'From birth to death it's just like this' means that this moment, this reality, right now is what is really true. Everything else is bupkiss. All your thoughts, ideas, clever notions, fears about the future, guilt about the past, plans, schemes, and all the rest are just images in your head. Nothing more. The only thing that ever really counts is what's right here, right in front of your nose." 9.30.06

1 comment:

Francisca said...

Thanks muddy for this remix. I only recently discovered Brads website and weblog and it seems I have a lot to read there...you gave me a headstart. He writes in a very nice fashion.

Now...lets read what you have to say ;)

Take care, Francisca
my weblog "Meditation Air"