The Good, the Brad, and the lucky.

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  • Keishin
    Member
    • Jun 2007
    • 471

    The Good, the Brad, and the lucky.

    I have to say the Brad Haters and the Brad Bashing Fests have been a bit odd for me.
    You see, I like the guy, I like the man. I sit with him. I've been sitting with him weekly (I think I missed one Saurday out of all of them). He's my teacher.
    As luck would have it, I've had several teachers. So I actually have others I could compare him to. He's beyond compare. I feel very lucky, at this stage in my practice to have met such a person--a person of no rank--

    He is completely unassuming, he is humble. He is funny, he is respectful, he in person is not his writings, but his person. Having met the person, the writings assumed a different perspective for me. Kind of like hearing a radio personality, meeting them in person and then hearing them on the radio again: once you've seen them in person, you can't go back to the way you imagined they would be from only hearing them.
    Brad's writings are like that for me now--I don't remember what I thought he would be like from his writings....but they didn't put me off. He put things in a way that was refreshing to me. Actually Brad's style at its core is not dissimilar from my own.
    The latest article which caused so much ruckus--all I could say was meh, I've read other things I've liked better--but what he wrote I had a clear understanding for--there was nothing shocking to me.

    Of the different sangha's I've sat with, the group at Hill Street Brad leads is my favorite of all. I enjoy each and every member--it is quite a special group, kind of like this group, here at Treeleaf, only live and in person.

    So I count myself quite lucky. Here in my own town, within walking distance (if only my foot would fully heal), my favorite sangha, and a truly wonderful teacher.
    Just this last Saturday, after sitting, 14 of us went out for lunch together and took a walk back along the beach. Brad and I walked together for a while, he, asking me how the week had gone...we chatted a bit, at the light someone wanted to ask him something...there is nothing about him to dislike...he is a thoroughly likeable person.

    Strange so many people here who have never met him, never heard him give a lecture, never sat with him, have so much to say about him--sure, responses to his books/articles are valid--but that's such a narrow slice of the whole.

    Oh, well, I don't understand it, but it does leave me an 'outsider' here because I am not a Brad hater, and Brad hating crops up on a fairly regular basis here.

    I've been sitting with him weekly just coming up on a year in a month or so--so I barely know him but all in time, zen time, zazen time. This is a slow practice, this zazen. I do know that there is no other way for me.
    I do know that Brad's excellence as a teacher for me is as evident to me as my legs carrying me forward (bad foot or no).

    I'm sorry there is so much bad feeling here for my teacher. I see no point in defending him, as I do not, could not, and would not speak for him.
    I feel protective of him--as if he were a rare sighted bloom of an endangered plant. I'd like to put a fence around him, a glass globe over him--but that won't do at all. His very fragility must find its own way in this world exactly as it is, after all isn't that how he (we all) got here in the first place?
    The world is a small sangha, after all is said and done.

    in deep gratitude to all teachers, past, present and future,
    keishin
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39026

    #2
    Re: The Good, the Brad, and the lucky.

    Originally posted by Keishin
    I feel protective of him--as if he were a rare sighted bloom of an endangered plant. I'd like to put a fence around him, a glass globe over him--but that won't do at all. His very fragility must find its own way in this world exactly as it is, after all isn't that how he (we all) got here in the first place?
    The world is a small sangha, after all is said and done.

    in deep gratitude to all teachers, past, present and future,
    keishin
    Hi Keishin,

    I am glad you feel protective of him. He needs you. I am glad.

    Nobody hates him here.

    I also know he is the sweet, quiet guy you describe.

    However, also, his writing is his writing, and he can be not quite so easy going (in my trying to reach out to him) as you describe. People are complex, and the side you see on Sundays in person and the side in his written persona are both Brad and the side I have encountered in trying to talk with him the last few years (not so easy to talk to) .... ALL true and all sides of Brad.

    But nobody hates him.

    It is wonderful that his teaching style and manner resonates with you.

    Take care of him. Please offer him your Wisdom.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Rev R
      Member
      • Jul 2007
      • 457

      #3
      and please give him a big ol' kiss from me.

      Comment

      • Dainin
        Member
        • Sep 2007
        • 350

        #4
        Keishin,

        I have been promising myself that I will lay low around here for a long awhile. I just don't think posting here (or anywhere else) has really helped my practice lately, and sometimes I ruminate much too much on the stuff I read here. But, to quote Michael Corleone in Godfather III, "Every time I try to get out, they bring me back in!" That's how I feel about this post.

        I certainly don't hate Brad. I will always be grateful for Hardcore Zen and how it inspired me to get my ass on the cushion after years of just reading about it. I've emailed him a few times to thank him, and he has always responded in a cordial manner. I even bought one of his Godzilla toys on eBay to help him out (I'm really not into monsters and all that - but my son dug it). I even told him that if I lived close to him, I'd sit with his group.

        But, I really only "know" him via his books and blogs. I am happy to hear how you describe him. I'm glad he's such a nice guy/good teacher in person. But he does come across quite vitriolic sometimes in his writings - at least to me. And I'm unsure why a "nice" guy needs to do that. I'm all into the iconoclastic things about Zen. But, one can be iconoclastic and powerful, and even critical and angry, in their writings without being vitriolic and rude. Listen, Brad can do whatever he wants. I'd never say he doesn't have the right or anything like that. More power to him and God bless him. But sometimes I think he's full of shit. Sometimes I think Nishijima, Seung Sahn, and Jundo (all teachers I am somewhat familiar with) are full of shit. And I am most aware that I am sometimes full of shit.

        That still doesn't mean I hate Brad. No sir! I'd still love to meet him, and if he were ever in my neck of the woods, I'd certainly attend a lecture.

        For whatever that’s worth - not much, I think - that's my stupid and not-very-informed take on the Brad matter.

        Now, if I can only lay low around here........

        Best,
        K

        Comment

        • Dainin
          Member
          • Sep 2007
          • 350

          #5
          Double post (damn).

          Comment

          • Martin
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 216

            #6
            Keishin, All

            Like Keith, I shall always be grateful to Brad for Hardcore Zen. It was the right book at the right time for me. It set me on the path to Soto Zen and without it I wouldn't be "here" at Treeleaf, where I'm very happy to be.

            Some of what Brad writes now (ok, most of what Brad writes now) doesn't work for me. Probably that just means that I've become an old fart. But nobody makes me read it, and nowadays I mostly don't. But I can see that Brad's voice may still be the right teaching at the right time for others. I have a fifteen year old son with long hair, whose only interests are X Box war games and snowboarding, who drives me, my wife and his teachers equally to distraction who won't listen to anyone - but who reads Brad and thinks he's cool.

            I think there's a koan about how can imperfect Zen teachers manifest the perfect teaching?

            Gassho

            Martin

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39026

              #7
              Now, Keith, who actually lives down the road and breaks bread with me about once a month or so, knows me pretty well and has said the truest thing. Please, everybody, keep this in mind (and ask my wife for further confirmation) ...

              Jundo ([along with] all teachers I am somewhat familiar with) are full of shit
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • TracyF
                Member
                • Nov 2007
                • 188

                #8
                Aww, Keishin, I was one of those people who bad-mouthed Brad. I'm so sorry if anything I said made you uncomfortable.

                Actually, I like some of Brad's writing. But I still think he tries a bit too hard to be cool. I'm surrounded by colleagues just like Brad (actually, I'm one of them - heh). His dirty talk really doesn't faze me at all as long as I can get the point he's trying to make. Sometimes I don't get what he's rambling on about. Hey! Maybe that's the point he's trying to make! :idea:

                And I was drawn here by the smell of Jundo's shit. A combination of incense and green tea. :shock:

                Comment

                • Jun
                  Member
                  • Jun 2007
                  • 236

                  #9
                  And I was drawn here by the smell of Jundo's shit. A combination of incense and green tea.
                  Ah, and I thought it was something I'd stepped in!
                  Gassho
                  Jun
                  The life and teachings of Suzuki Shõsan Rõshi - http://kongoshin.blogspot.com/

                  Comment

                  • Skye
                    Member
                    • Feb 2008
                    • 234

                    #10
                    Bla bla Brad Warner bla bla bla bla. Bla bla.
                    Even on one blade of grass / the cool breeze / lingers - Issa

                    Comment

                    • Stephanie

                      #11
                      You know what Brad is?

                      He's a Pisces.

                      'Nuff said. :lol:

                      Comment

                      • Kelly M.
                        Member
                        • Sep 2007
                        • 225

                        #12
                        :lol: :lol: :lol:


                        ...incense and green tea. Classic.
                        Live in joy and love, even among those who hate
                        Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted
                        Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled
                        Look within and be still; free from fear and grasping
                        Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

                        Comment

                        • Ankai
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Nov 2007
                          • 877

                          #13
                          Nah...Brad Warner doesn't matter. Nobody cares about Brad Warner. nobody pays attention to Brad Warner. Brad Warner is wrong. Brad Warner... etc. etc.. etc...
                          Now we have a whole Brad Warner thread on here.
                          Awesome.
                          Gassho!
                          護道 安海

                          -Godo Ankai

                          I'm still just starting to learn. I'm not a teacher. Please don't take anything I say too seriously. I already take myself too seriously!

                          Comment

                          • Dainin
                            Member
                            • Sep 2007
                            • 350

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jundo
                            Now, Keith, who actually lives down the road and breaks bread with me about once a month or so, knows me pretty well and has said the truest thing. Please, everybody, keep this in mind (and ask my wife for further confirmation) ...

                            Jundo ([along with] all teachers I am somewhat familiar with) are full of shit
                            And Jundo knows better than anyone (except my wife) that I am often full of shit! This is why I love Jundo. He and his family have a big place in my heart. I feel blessed to know them.

                            Deep Bow, Teacher,
                            Keith

                            Comment

                            • Keishin
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 471

                              #15
                              I agree with Skye:

                              Blah blah Brad Warner blah blah blah Brad Warner blah blah


                              Anyway, it was a surprise to find so much here, much ado about nothing, really.

                              keishin

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