Thursday, July 26, 2012

You can't spoil what's rotten: Batman Spoilers Today!

10 of us signed out from Zazen on Monday evening, and the tenken pad read, "nananananananananananananananananananana BATMAN!"

The tenken pad is a record we sign so the Ino (monk in charge of Zendo etiquette, practice discipline) knows who's seat is available. It might also provide some long view insight for any resident sangha members who might need extra support for showing up. You'd be surprised how hard it can be to maintain the way seeking mind, even with the zendo just footsteps away. 

Batman refers to the movie that everyone is talking about. And tragedy aside, it's the worst movie I've seen in a really long time.

It might be unfair to point out its capitalist, patriarchal, and techno-Utopian propaganda, but I'll write it anyway because I haven't read anyone else actually say anything about it. A couple messages I received during the movie was: 

1. Big business has the only real potential to save us in time of crisis. 
2. Any female villain is only as strong as her male support and any female hero is really in need of a man.
3. Nuclear energy, if used correctly, could be our new sustainable energy source, as long as the occupy crowd doesn't get in the way. 
4. There's an occupy crowd and there are cops and the rich. Which side do you belong on?

It might be unfair to mention this in so far as patriarchy and capitalism probably permeate every major motion picture. Say for example, The Avengers. I couldn't remember anything about the Avengers' message, just that I liked seeing Thor and the Hulk duke it out, Thor drops his hammer, the hulk tries to pick it up, but can't, because it's THOR'S hammer. Magic!

However, Batman is such a bad, bad, bad movie. It's so long it feels like a hostage situation. 2 hours in, Batman is in some prison which is luckily filled with sweet old men who are doctors and physical therapists who fix his broken back and teach him that if he wants to win his fist fight with the main villain, just punch him in the face (duh). Batman also doesn't die. He drops an atomic bomb in the bay, escapes it, and Gotham also escapes nuclear fall out. There's even a mushroom cloud. 

One wise farmer that didn't abandon his Zafu asked me in the seed shed, "So even after all those people got killed, you still went?" He was referring the massacre in Colorado.

And I never really connected the violence to the movie. When violence happens, I usually take it as a given. Please excuse me, but New Orleans is a home, and a block from Mid City Zen, they pull bodies from Bayou St. John and sometimes bullets race between the houses and we hide in lofts or bathtubs. I didn't try and figure out why someone went to a movie to kill people, as I exhausted trying to figure that out as I sat by the bedside of one of my students was shot in the stomach with a 357. by a woman who had 4 stories as to why she shot a 15 year old. I don't ask, because like most of what I'm engaging, these questions seem to point at branches off the trees with roots of greed, hate, and delusion. 

This may seem radical, but I don't believe gun laws are going to help us, only Zazen will.. Laws and control are a push in one direction and there will be an equal or greater push in the opposite direction. 

It's exhausting trying to manage the universe. I'm starting to see that we humans are looking to heal our heads, tuck our tummies, address our amputations, and all the while, the heart of our collective body is twisted with greed, hate, and delusion. 

It also is Buddha nature.

Someone asked me if I was a-political. Another person called me a leftist, or a radical leftist. I think, left of what? And what are politics if not dividing? I'll vote in the favor of women, people of color, the poor, education, and organic, sustainable, agriculture, as it seems my turn to play the game, but I think the only way out of this is in into just this

The Dalai Grandma, on Dangerous Harvests said,  "I found myself thinking, How can we reach the children and give them Buddhist wisdom and teach them meditation?" And my heart rests in relief; Let us do it, but particularly our elders, let them do it. Nathan and the Dalai grandma have been staples on my blog roll. They're wiser than me. I know their spreading Buddhist wisdom as lay people, but I'd like to see them shave their heads and wear the kesa, because the kesa could use their wearing it.

Kodo Sawaki Roshi, said, "The kesa is the symbol of the substance of the Buddha's Law, the garment of "drizzle and dew, mist and clouds." Heaven and earth, the entire universe, are one single kesa. No world exists outside of the kesa. We do not fall into hell or rise up to heaven-we go nowhere, we come from nowhere. There is only one kesa. The towns of Kyoto and Nara were laid out in the pattern of a kesa. "Drizzle and dew, mist and clouds cover our bodies." We owe it to ourselves to wear the kesa