Politically correct is a term that has many problems attached to it. Many people attack Muslims. I spoke with someone who was attacking them, I asked him which Muslim he meant – those living in Australia, in Iraq or Iran, or wherever? He called me politically correct. I asked him which one of his neighbours was he referring to? He hesitated. Then a week later we had the same conversation because he had been listening to mainstream media again – he is retired and watches crap without deeply accepting it’s crap. When the West is waging war on Muslims MSM has to paint them as evil to justify our heinous acts. Turning the term “politically correct” into a derogatory term is just collateral damage. Unfortunately it is not helped by the PC police who demand the use of appropriate language, and are satisfied with the language being enough – and not being concerned with the awareness that the language is supposed to reflect.

When it comes to speaking of issues concerning gender, race, religion there is only way one correct way to speak and that is “genuinely correct”, what used to be politically correct, for the simple reason that we can never be detached when we are speaking of these issues. How can a black man speak truthfully of how a white man feels and vice versa, how can Muslims speak truthfully about Christians, and how can women speak about men? Why have I put it this way round? White men says blacks do this – this is racism. Christians decry Muslims, and men put down women. This is the norm not everyone does it but it is the norm, and thinking people need to work to promote awareness amongst this ignorance. These forms of prejudice need to be our priority to correct because whites, Christians and men are the power within those debates, and their power produces racism that disempowers, war that kills Muslims, and sexism that disempowers women. But it does not make it acceptable for black people to describe whites as honkies (or whatever the current phrase is), but their prejudice matters less because they don’t have the power to disempower.

However because I am a white man I must be PC – genuinely correct because I am male and white. At the same time I cannot be detached. With regards to religion I consider myself tolerant, with racism quite good – years ago I ran anti-racist training, but with regards to women I have never felt control of myself – I am definitely not detached. I have detached myself from women in many ways, I live alone and have no desire for a relationship, but this is not mental detachment – real detachment, nature says I can never be completely detached. To overcome this attachment when I speak of women the only legitimate way I can speak is PC.

But being PC is not always easy.

Here is a clip of Jane Fonda taken from her talk on her book “My Life so Far” at university of Santa Barbara:-

janefonda

Jane Fonda describes herself as a feminist but does she speak for all women?

In the talk she says “patriarchy is not to be replaced with matriarchy, patriarchy has to be replaced with democracy”, is this analysis appropriate in the world of the 1%? Stereotypically the 1% are white and male but patriarchy in my view is a consequence of the 1%-system rather than the cause. Historically those with power were men, those men have developed 1%-world so that they can accumulate wealth. Because they were men that world has characteristics that could be described as patriarchy but the objective is accumulation. There is no desire amongst wealthy men to share wealth with other men, but it is also true that the characteristics of patriarchy enable the 1% to accumulate. It would be beneficial for humanity to break down the patriarchical structure as that structure inherently benefits the 1%.

Jane describes feminism as “movement into whole being for both men and women”. If a man makes the effort to be a whole being slowly his sexism would disappear. In other words sexism is not a characteristic of a compassionate whole male, it is a characteristic of the conditioning that men are subjected to, what Jane calls manhood. It is a characteristic of the process of whole being that any ism that does not treat all as equal disappears. It is important to investigate this further. Part of whole being is the emergence of zen, the essence of intuition, insight, truth, compassion, unity and wholeness; this essence is not different for women or men, white or black, Muslims, Christians or Buddhists. I do hope feminism is concerned with whole being for all but I am not sure. Emergence of zen removes the conditioning but what that is differs for all people. The conditioning is different for men, for women, for black, for white, for Christians, for Muslims etc. These are conditioned characteristics of who we are, and what is necessary is for each person to see the nature of those characteristics in themselves and remove that conditioning. For a man to describe the conditioning of a woman is impossible. When Jane describes the need for man to find his heart, it is only something she can observe (her 7-year-old grandson) or glean from research – especially research involving case studies where men describe themselves. However here I agree, it is good to say that man needs to find his heart.

The issue of gender has an additional problem. In nature there are roles for women and men – the obvious one being procreation. Nature imprints certain behaviours on women and men to ensure procreation, how do we distinguish those behaviours from the social conditioning? Due to social conditioning a person’s sexual orientation can bring them into conflict with society to such an extent that there have been LGBT suicides. This is shameful. But how does conditioning impact on those of heterosexual orientation? I observe the conditioning that implies I am unusual for not marrying – the conditioning that says as an old man I should still be seeking a relationship. These conditionings fit in with nature but are they always appropriate? Are there other roles that nature imprints? Is it not important to determine what these roles are, so that we do not have a conflict between nature and conditioning?

Jane describes ownership of self. She describes adolescent girls emptying of being, and in this emptiness seeing themselves in terms of relationship with boys. On a personal note I have observed this in schools amongst adolescent girls across the world, and I consider that emptying process soul-destroying for the girls and deeply saddening for me as I was never able to counter this social conditioning. If, by ownership of self, Jane means a process of removing conditioning and accepting the whole being as who she is, then I have wholehearted agreement. But there is a concern. Female emptiness could be seen as a shell where preoccupation with the idea of a perfect body for the relationship with men is the set of ideas that the girl tries to live by. “Being a man”, or manhood, is a set of ideals that boys are conditioned to live by. But what if there were no ideas at all for people to live by, just be yourself – live for now.

In this talk Jane talks much of her relationships with different men, and draws conclusions about men accordingly. When I speak “off the record” I discuss past relationships with women, and draw conclusions about women. However these can only be a subjective view about a few women – as I was in relationship with them, and when I generalise are those views appropriate as a description of all women? Unfortunately as a human being those subjective conclusions become most of my experience and therefore the basis of my conclusions. It is hard for me to dismiss that analysis but if I am to be detached and PC I have to dismiss that, detach myself from that past experience, and attempt to find women’s views that can form the basis for my analysis. Whilst I don’t feel Jane discusses all that I wish to determine, it is a good place to start, hence I have edited her clip to discuss.

Finally I wish to speak about the manosphere, what a horrendous group of men they are. But they are addressing an issue that has arisen, using Jane’s terms this issue could be considered as replacing patriarchy with matriarchy. When horrendous men say they are being disempowered it is best to ignore them, but are good men discussing this? One of the consequences of PC is that such good men do not air their voice. It is a form of oppression. A good man might feel that there is a need to voice a concern about gender relations but is unable to do so because it would be felt as not PC to do this. This places an onus on analysis. For years men dominated and analysed. Their analysis was a failure in the area of women because that analysis failed to analyse their treatment of women and how to adjust accordingly. Often the treatment of women was violent, and this was the main factor I understand for the development of feminism; it is a factor Eve Ensler repeats. Because of this PC oppression analysis needs to be complete. Whilst men have demonstrably oppressed women and their analysis has been weak, as there is increasing power for women – by no means equal – analysis needs to ask whether good men are able to express themselves. “Men from the manosphere” – as a generalisation – were the source of the “feminist” movement by their oppression, it is important for the voice of good men to be heard. With PC oppression this is not always possible so I do hope feminist analysis will be complete and not simply a response to male oppression.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Who is Brad the monk?

Posted: 20/05/2016 in Freedom
Tags:


I have just read Brad’s latest blog on psychedelic zenand I completely agree with him in the way he was riled up “One of the things that never fails to get me riled up is when I see some guy in a set of Buddhist robes advocating the use of psychedelic drugs as a way to study the dharma.” For me these dressed-up guys do not understand the dhamma and precepts, how can you look at and understand your mind when they have been perverted by drugs? My drug of “choice” was alcohol, and when an alcoholic it used to come up with all kinds of justifications for my actions. If you are justifying drugs spiritually then you are not justifying it in terms of what I call Buddhism.

But I was more interested in this article concerning the hoops Brad runs through as a Zen Monk. First of all I am not a monk so do I have right to criticise?

Anyway!! “This is why it’s extra super important when you put on the robes of a Buddhist Master to be really careful what you advocate. I have deep regrets about some of the stuff I’ve said myself in the context of being a Buddhist teacher. People listen to that shit! It’s scary!”

As a retired teacher I would say that as a teacher you should be conscious of what you say, and as a Buddhist priest and teacher even more so. “But at least I usually avoid saying such stuff while wearing a set of formal robes. Those robes take every damned thing you say and turbo-charge it. This is why lots of people who wear the robes stick very closely to tried and true formulaic stuff. In fact, my personal policy with the robes is to wear them only when performing rituals. I feel like they’re kind of dangerous things.”

What makes Brad interesting is that as a Buddhist teacher he does not hide behind the restrictions that most monks constrict themselves with. Theravada something I have looked into a bit is typical of this. Even followers use a format of quoting suttas, and express all in terms of suttas and Buddhist terminology. Whilst this does allow a high level of investigation eventually – once enough is understood, it is restrictive – and in my view prevents a certain level of introspection.

Brad, putting on robes does add centuries of study and experience to comments you make. Becoming a Zen monk also adds centuries of study and experience to comments you make. When you draw a distinction between robes and civies it concerns me. For example when you write this blog, are you “wearing robes”? When you write your books are you “wearing civies”?

I believe with all such things, Buddhist monk or otherwise, there is a public and private persona. If I am a Republican politician and I am sat at home and telling a friend that Donald Trump is a complete megalomanic dickhead who is a global danger whilst throwing darts at his picture, I have a right to do that without anyone knowing or hearing of it – private persona. But once I go on record in whatever form, blogs books interview, whether I wear a suit or am in casual dress, that is public record, and I am accountable.

It is my contention that a Zen monk has only two personas, the public and private one. To suggest there is three by adding the wearing of robes is wanting icing on the cake – seeking a way out. Should a zen monk be doing anything or saying anything in public which they cannot be held accountable for?

My interest in Brad is that he addresses issues other monks do not address. I feel monks should be addressing these issues. I have a feeling that amongst some monks they are afraid to address issues and hide behind robes, suttas et al. By seeking an additional category of “wearing civies” as perhaps denoting less accountability brings doubt on what has been said. It is important for followers to have confidence that what has been said and written is 100% wearing-robes Brad, and not 90% civies-wearing Brad.

I am hard-nosed – sorry, comes from being a retired leftie trade-unionist teacher.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Karen Carpenter

Posted: 08/05/2016 in Media, Struggle, Zen
Tags:

What a tragedy!

Recently I have taken to listening to the Carpenters in the car. When I was young and really into music I couldn’t listen to them, they were mainstream. Whilst not into heavy rock I had my own interests that changed with the years. As a teenager I remember posters of black soul bands especially women – that wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows my personal history. At university I got into more folksy stuff but this changed back when I started teaching and listening to some soul music again. Until now I have never listened to the Carpenters but because of the amount of time I listened to music when young I know many of the songs.

None of the above matters much, it’s facebook drivel. Except for the fact that I now think Karen Carpenter’s voice is perhaps the most creative musical instrument I have ever heard. Like many people of my era there was a mental block towards this straight-laced couple, and because of that I never heard her quality – and the quality of Richard’s arrangements.

This era brought about many rock tragedies, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Sandy Denny and I guess many more. And through all that I never even knew that Karen had died so tragically.

Yesterday I watched this you-tube movie with tears in my eyes. I have never personally come into contact with anorexia, it must have been awful for her and her family:-

kc1

I don’t know that I can listen to her voice without a tear in my eye again, you cannot write tragedies like this – such quality.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

I received a tweet about an excellent man from a surprising source

pepemujica
Open Democracy True Activist Al Jazeera Interview Humans Latin America Wikipedia BBC Farewell

As President he did not live in the Presidential Palace – neither does the current President, his abode was humble. In this article he invites 100 Syrians to live at his Summer Retreat. Humble abode and Summer retreat – a conflict? I couldn’t find out why – would welcome explanation.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Promiscuity and Monks

Posted: 01/05/2016 in Insight, Struggle, Zen
Tags: ,


I tend to feel that there are many issues in society caused by promiscuity. This is intentionally vague as it is so difficult to describe what is promiscuous, and equally it is hard to describe problems whose source is lust.

I can only understand lust in one way – from my own experience of lust and the sex-drive. I would not assess my own experience as being typical nor would I say all men are the same. Nor would I say the sex drive of men is the same as the sex drive of women.

In traditional communities a teenage girl’s sexual needs were repressed, some such communities requiring virginity as a prerequisite for marriage. This tends to be associated with chauvinist societies. In the West now I feel that the fashion is for promiscuity on behalf of both girls and boys. As a boy I grew up just feeling the need “to get my end away”. Without going into more detail than that as I don’t know whether anything can be generalised from my personal experience, this “getting the end away” had no love attachment, and was simply an idea that satisfaction could be obtained sexually with any woman. Now it appears that “hooking up” is the feeling that satisfaction can be obtained physically by both men and women. Both “”getting the end away” and “hooking up” are promiscuous, and I consider dangerous because of the issues that arise.

I do however feel that discussions of sexual conduct need to be increased and dealt with in a more serious manner. My own sexual education was predicated on a shameful titillation culture, typified by “Carry On” films. As I went to a boys’ school I had limited contact with girls, and was completely ill-equipped socially especially because I had a huge shyness. My knowledge of where society perceives sexual conduct should be has come from observation when being a teacher, observing gender interactions over the years. It appears that people grow up and it is hoped they don’t get into too much trouble. In my view so many problems arise from sexual relationships, and this lack of appropriate guidance is reprehensible.

The real problem lies with sila, we are not societies guided by moral integrity. Compassion and sila should have been what guided my relationships, not “getting my end away”. Unfortunately I only got to see that later in life, possibly when the lust was waning. It is often accepted that mothers shackle their daughters but fathers tend to encourage boys to “sow their wild oats”, such male irresponsibility is a disgrace. Whilst I would prefer to see an end to promiscuity I do not envisage that as a possibility, however responsible parents and other responsible adults ought to do more than insist on prophylactics – they need to insist on compassion and sila. In sexual matters there is limited discussion, limited compassion and limited sila, it is not surprising that many young people begin life in trouble.

Spiritual leaders need to see the importance of exemplary guidance on sexual matters because of all the problems caused in society by the limitations discussed above. I support the idea that monks should be celibate and not homosexual. This at least demonstrates that monks can control their lust, showing lay people that they do not have to be driven by these urges. Many spiritual teachers are monogamous although before such relationships they were vulnerable and so therefore was their message.

All Buddhisms have a form of precept which refrains from sexual misconduct, so I do not know how Buddhist teachers can accept of themselves sexual liaisons with women attending their talks. There is no doubt they bring disrepute to Buddhism. Here is a comprehensive list of teachers who have allegedly misused their position and brought Buddhism into disrepute (note this list includes more than sexual allegations) :-

CONTROVERSIAL ‘BUDDHIST’ TEACHERS & GROUPS

By their very position of being a spiritual teacher such people have accepted an authority and responsibility. We do not expect school teachers and lecturers to take advantage of students, whether legal or not, it is even less acceptable amongst spiritual teachers. Equally it is not acceptable for schoolgirls to flirt with teachers, so it is not acceptable for students to flirt with spiritual teachers. But in both cases the responsibility of control lies with the teacher, both in school and in spiritual relations. Unfortunately in both situations there are vulnerable women, vulnerable schoolgirls and vulnerable spiritual students. It can never be acceptable to take advantage of vulnerable people, and all teachers should be aware of this sila imperative.

In the US a group of teachers of Buddhism put out a statement, I would welcome more of such.

On the View on Buddhism page the writer noted that HHDL advised students to confront these teachers. One such teacher was Sogyal Rinpoche, and HHDL has publicly supported that teacher since the allegations have arisen. The writer made a note that they still study Sogyal’s teachings. As soon as I read the allegations I stopped studying him – discussed here (there are pertinent comments). I thought then as I do now, if there is doubt that a teacher cannot conduct themselves properly how can s/he have understood the teachings?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

“The Buddha remained silent when asked these fourteen questions. He described them as a net and refused to be drawn into such a net of theories, speculations, and dogmas. He said that it was because he was free of bondage to all theories and dogmas that he had attained liberation. Such speculations, he said, are attended by fever, unease, bewilderment, and suffering, and it is by freeing oneself of them that one achieves liberation.” Taken from Wikipedia.

If asked what type of Buddhist I am now, I will answer Zen, but if asked which Buddhist dogma I know about and the answer is Theravada – I am in transition. So when Brad Warner talks about the existence of life here, I immediately react by saying that the Buddha considered it an unanswered question. In the above wiki quote, which I find consistent with what I have studied, it basically says that the question doesn’t lead anywhere, is headbanging and doesn’t help. Perhaps zen takes a different view. Consider koans, they are headbanging. And they lead somewhere in the sense that they unhinge the intellectual mind allowing truth in. Would zen consider the unanswered questions in a similar vein – “koanic”? I would like help in resolving this issue of zen and the unanswered questions.

One important point about unanswered questions is that they can never be proven, and to accept one or other theory or dogma concerning any unanswered questions means accepting something that cannot be proven. In the Kalama sutta, a Theravada sutta – is it accepted by zen/Mahayana?, the Buddha says you have to know for yourself – that is the proof. For me this sutta was important in considering all the discussion of reincarnation. How can I prove reincarnation? I don’t accept it, many Theravadans do – amongst others including some Mahayana and zen? Reincarnation is covered by unanswered questions.

Buddhadasa, a now-dead Thai monk, discusses reincarnation when considering consciousness (vinnana) one of the 5 khandas. “In Thailand the Hindu teachings came here first, way before Buddhism came. When the Hindu or Brahmanistic teachings came, they brought this idea, this teaching, of vinnana in the sense of the soul or spirit that inhabited all kinds of things, not just people but trees and rocks – all over the place. All things had this spirit, and when the body died, that thing died, vinnana would go to be reincarnated. This is a Hindu teaching which existed in Thailand long before Buddhism came, and it was very firmly and deeply implanted in the Thai religious culture. So later when Buddhism came, everybody already had this Hindu understanding of vinnana, and so many people have been unable over the centuries to understand the Buddhist teaching of vinnana. It must be understood in light of the central teaching of Buddhism, anatta, that is that in life there is no self, no soul and no spirit in the Hindu sense; Buddhism denies that there is any such thing (self, soul or spirit),” [here and scroll]. He considers Thai belief in reincarnation as Hindu, and as many of the western Theravada monks have trained in Thailand – Forest Sangha, this “Thai-Hindu” thing has become a Theravada thing.

So to life as an “unanswered question”. Buddhadasa uses a device to examine the suttas in which he talks of truth and relative truth (truth in daily life). With regards to life I try to understand it in a similar vein. There is Unity, One life that I often refer to as Gaia; I specify that Gaia is not just the ecology of earth but Gaia includes all lives (relative) including humans. We are all One. In description of life there is a theosophist phrase that Annie Besant uses that “there is consciousness in every atom”, similar to the Hindu view of vinnana. Every atom is part of Gaia. Because of the schism of knowledge into religion and science I feel science rarely has anything to offer on such matters. Whilst science demands proof as discussed above with the Kalama sutta, science does not accept subjective experience and the empirical proof of meditation. However in this case (quoted in Brad’s blog) the scientist has come up with an interesting comparison. “Consciousness resides … in the microtubules of the brain cells, which are the primary sites of quantum processing.” Without getting into the question of mind and brain, this is similar to what Annie Besant says. However it would have to be if we accept the universal description of life as Gaia.

As to relative truth this is more the question that Brad is asking. The relative truth says that Brad and I are different lives – separate beings. Then there is life animals, bacteria, microbes and other small stuff. The smaller you go the harder it is to establish the meaning of life, but as the universal truth of Gaia there is no separation, no unity, only One life – and all is alive “universally” but not relatively.

Science works on an unwritten axiom, and acceptance of this axiom leads to many of the problems to do with the separation of scientific knowledge from other knowledge – such as insight or zen. That axiom is that we are separate beings as opposed to the Unity – Gaia. Science does not see ant but separate ants and wonders how they communicate. But as part of Gaia there is no need for such an explanation. In Brad’s blog the quoted science has all subscribed to axiom of separation, and so can only determine definitions and conclusions within the realm of relative truth.

With universal truth of Gaia Unity or ONE planet there is no need to be confused by that – there is existence of ONE life.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Zandtao Writing

Posted: 13/04/2016 in Writing
Tags:

No blogs since 14th March but writing on website.

New project – reading Pirsig and writing my retrospective reflections.


platform

And this week I have tidied up Wai Zandtao leading to my working on Sannadee.
When I retired the first novel I finished was Baengoi, and there was then a sequel Sannadee – I am now in the middle of Sannadee which was started in 2008.

Baengoi

sannadeebutton

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

I am totally enamoured with Brad’s style – despite the political issues, his style typified in this post on enlightenment and virginity. In his talk on sin sex and zen in “some Brad stuff” the manner in which he discussed the dharma was human – as opposed to what might be called sanctimonious dogma. OK, that’s an exaggeration, probably unfair, and is against this Dogen Sangha precept:-

6criticism

but still …. I haven’t retracted it.

This post is going to be too arrogant so I will take my time before putting it up. I have spent my retirement time looking at Theravada, and it has been a great help – no doubts. Coming to terms with all the dogma has helped understanding but of course it has fed my intellect – and I am too intellectual. Too full of ideas, stick too much to idea sets – even sticking to realisation sets that are past their sell-by-date.

In searching for the esoteric I have determined that mu appears to be an answer. To be fair to my underlying dharma I have spent much of my time with the intellectuals arguing for insight, and have had some nasty encounters with intellectuals because of this. Brad just sits there and says zazen is finding intuition – no mu, no jhanas, just experiences and intuition. Intuition – a fine word by me.

My first monastery attendance amuses me with irony now. I applied to the guest monk who normally asked for a stay of a few days. For some reason I could only stay overnight and he was kind enough. I have no recollection as to why in a Summer break of maybe 6 weeks or more I could only stay one night but that was it. I had a litmus test, and in the middle of the night there they were, the guys, the muse, the visual vibrations that I associated with experience – that I now relate to mu or the innate dharma from this Dogen quote:-

“Consequently, those who sit in meditation will, beyond doubt, drop off body and mind, and cut themselves free from their previous confused and defiling thoughts and opinions in order to personally realize what the innate Dharma of the Buddha is” Shobogenzo[p35].

In the morning before I left the guest monk asked whether I had got anything, and I was so pleased to tell him that the guys had visited me – and that I had got it. He was polite, I don’t think he’d got the guys, but that monastery was my spiritual home in the UK.

Over the years I associated with Theravada I don’t know how many of the monks got the insight, I think they got the lifestyle. In the lifestyle there was freedom from wage-slavery and steady sustenance, there was study and learning from senior monks, and there was meditation. For many the routine of meditation controlled their lives, gave them insight, but – here comes the arrogance – some might not have realised the importance of insight – maybe it just came with the package. Some monks repeat the dogma, have touched the insight, and gained from it, yet have not released the intellect or the need for faith – continuing to accept the idea set of dogma, maybe seeing this as the source of the insight. Other monks will have got it, the experience, mu, but they are caught in the lifestyle, the institution, and accept the experiences within those parameters. To be clear the lifestyle can confuse meditation, dogma and insight, how much does this matter? For the monks probably not but for me it is the insight and not the lifestyle that matters, and that insight is not from a lifestyle but from meditation and understanding. When it is confused it allows intellectual proliferation however, something that Theravada has in abundance.

Where in Theravada is mu? I cannot answer that except for one person – Buddhadasa.

And here again is his quote from the Ariya Sacca that reinforced my jump to Zen:-

“For example Theravada Buddhism is very straightforward, and is kept within certain fairly strict limits. People who don’t have enough intelligence and wisdom are unable to understand the Theravada teachings properly. Mahayana has tried to open everything up and simplify things so that even foolish people (old grandmothers in the street the ordinary man in the road) can have access to Buddhism with the idea that Mahayana, being the great vehicle, can take even the foolish people along. And then in Zen. Zen knows it’s never going to work, and narrowed it down and made it an exclusive refined teaching for only the most intelligent people. If one isn’t very sharp and clever, one can never figure out Zen Buddhism. It is the most direct teaching but it’s also only for the most intelligent. In Vajrayana, in all those things – tantra and all that, they have kind of packaged the teachings in the most attractive, most colourful, most enticing and interesting way. So you’ve got basic approaches to presenting Buddhism, the direct approach, the big approach, the quick and fast approach and the attractive approach, but even though there are these distinctions, all of these come to the same point – to the same fact, which is “removing attachment from the 5 khandas.” Ariya Sacca.

I so much like Brad’s minimalising of the mu effect – the experience. It reminds me of Jim Carrey’s excess, I hope he is still effusive but I don’t know. The experience does not bring with it sila I am ashamed to admit. It was only when I began meditating regularly that sila was added – and it has been a virtual bone of contention with Openhand – who seem good people to me.

I have a question. Meditating old-style on sila or the 4 brahma-viharas was beneficial, I feel it suffused me with their attributes. Zazen doesn’t do this focus on a “concept” leading to suffusion, do zen monks do this sort of meditation sometimes? Should I introduce it?

I liked Brad’s comparison with virginity, I do not however remember my own the same way. I was young and stupid – and very lucky on that day. After the drunken night when the “loss” happened, the next day I must have been exuding a glow because others spotted the breaking of the duck – I responded with typically chauvinist cameraderie. I am ashamed of the details but I can remember later an encounter with the lady concerned with a new boyfriend – and he glared but was good enough to leave it at that. I apologise to the lady in the comments and all the women who have suffered from the ignorance that is male sexual development in the West. If my then friends were anything to judge by, their own breaking of the duck might also have left other women with regret. I never had serious sila until 20 years or more after my first “bells and banjos”, and I regret this. And there were those with morality I belittled because of arrogance coming with that experience. These belittled probably never had any bells banjoing – still never have, but they do have some sila hard-wired and with whom women never had to hold regret at their losing of virginity.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Enzymes

Posted: 12/03/2016 in Health
Tags:


Diet has struck again. I have put on weight, and this week have had digestive problems that have woken me up. Because of the lungs I have stopped eating raw food, somewhere in my blog I had a raw food phase and concluded 50% raw food. The lungs threw that out of the window, and now I am 10kg over BMI – 5-10kg weight, knew I had a problem and didn’t know why.

Enzymes.

I thought the problem might have been fermented foods, and made a token effort with this but the digestive issues waking me up made me get up at 04.00 today and work out what the problem was. Hence this blogentry.

Because of my lungs all my food was cooked, this has been for at least two years. I have taken some probiotics but nowhere near enough. But of course the real issue is salads – raw food, because of the lungs I haven’t had a salad for more than a year.

I have also not taken account of the natural day:-

zbullet04.00 -12.00 Elimination
Eating fruits and fruit juices. Carrot juice and fruit if you want. Kombucha tea.

zbullet12.00 – 20.00 Appropriation.
Meal near 12.00 (just after). Rice and salad, rice and veg. Baked potatoes with salad. Fermented foods.

Snack on nuts.

Just before 17.00 snack. Poached egg. Fish. Fermented with every meal. No rice or tatoes. Drink water before eating. Have papaya or pineapple before the protein. Yoghurt.

animated_favicon119.30 Liver rice milk to help with assimilation. Carrot juice.

zbullet20.00 – 04.00 Assimilation. Avoid any intake of food, no snacking, if any – fruit. Drink more water.

Shopping:- plant-based enzyme supplement, salad food.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

 

Brad, Precepts and the 1%

Posted: 05/03/2016 in Struggle, Zen
Tags: ,

I am confused as to why I stopped zazen last time – and surprisingly I did not blog the decision. First reading of the Dogen Sangha’s precepts definitely shows that morality cannot be the issue – see here [p4]:-

silaprecept

The first thing I looked at when retiring was sila and order link . The rest of the precepts bring sila with them. Maybe it was the 4NT that was why I stopped. On reflective retrospection I did not get from zazen what I am getting now so maybe that was the reason.

Amongst some Brad stuff is a talk on Zen and Politics. Here is a clip.

In this he describes Zen as doing the little things because the bigger things lead to frustration – the frustration that was at the basis of punk rock. Let’s examine this in the context of the 1%. The 1%-system includes the control of change. Colonialism changed to neo-colonialism primarily because maintaining a colonial presence was too expensive – this was before the politics of the MIC and before a shift in economics. Let me try to explain this shift in economics. As ordinary people we understand economics as we pay for something, if we don’t have the money we don’t have – unless we borrow. If we borrow we have to pay back and this is a millstone around our necks. The 1%-system does not work like this. Over time economics has changed, and let’s consider the MIC as an example. War is big business. He amounts of money are spent on war products that creates a flourishing economy in the areas where those products are made. The money for such products come from governments, and that money they argue is taxes but in reality most of it is fiat money – money created. America has a huge amount of debt because of this fiat money that it keeps creating but who do they owe it to? Who is going to make them pay it back? Through the MIC the 1% get vast amounts of money, and the economy ticks over. This is a pack of cards, totally unstable, but where will that instability come from? It requires an awareness of the instability. In 2008 the 1% wanted to control the economy, too many people were getting rich through hedge funds. Through the media the crash was engineered – see the Two Johns for an explanation of these hedge funds and download Money Masters for an analysis of the crash. Much instability was exposed then and since 2008 the gap between rich and poor has increased, to understand the hand of the 1% we have to examine what happens and not what they say; this is now economics. The instability is still endemic in the system whilst the 1% get richer. This is what economics is – a mechanism to make the 1% richer, and not the delusions of the textbooks.

Colonialism changed because policing was not financially effective, it is cheaper to get people to police themselves. In the West this is what we do. We live in the 1%-system, and we accept the benefits of that system; previously in “Am I extreme?“, I have examined how those benefits arise. We collude with all that is wrong. In this audio clip Brad says that Zen deals with the little things and avoids the frustration of the bigger stuff – I surmise because the frustration causes suffering. The little things are part of the 1%-system – they allow you to have small victories to give you the delusion of effecting change. Typically unleaded petrol came in when it was practical for them to make a profit from it, health and safety regulations were first used by unions to make better working situations now they insist on them so profits are made from sticking to the regulations. Whilst winning little things can be beneficial to the winners, in the bigger picture they don’t matter. In the bigger picture Snowden is in exile, Assange is under arrest on trumped up charges, and Manning is in prison for 30 years – all for telling the truth.

So the zen issue is as Brad describes it, (paraphrasing) accept the status quo and work for the little things. Morally this is unacceptable because of all the hurt that is caused by the 1%-system, but can it be accepted because it reduces suffering? In my life I found less frustration by being true to myself, it was frustrating but I was not deluded. I definitely feel this was better for me, would it be better for all? Or is accepting the status quo better, accepting delusion? I do however completely agree with what he says about the speed of change, but I would maintain that if that change grew out of a grassroots movement in which all participants owned the change then the speed would appropriately change.

As for political leadership I feel that spiritual people should lead in spiritual matters only, that is their field of expertise. Brad sees Zen as not being spiritual, that is his decision. However he is not a wage-slave; he chooses what he wants to do, his zen teaching and writing, and hopes he has sufficient money to live. If you have not learnt from the life of being a wage-slave perhaps you are not equipped to understand the struggle, and politics in the 1%-system is fundamentally about controlling the wage-slaves. Can someone not in the struggle lead those who are struggling?

Such people as monks end up advising because they are respected for their spiritual knowledge; some advise about sex when they are celibate!! I have difficulty accepting this but it is up to those concerned.

So where does this leave me? On the question of morality and zen I was confused. On the 4NT that is not zen but there is nothing to say I can’t do them …. so far, and as zazen is helping I continue. I have to work on Dogen’s Shobogenzo whilst continuing with zazen.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.