Skip to main content

Brad Warner Says We're Beholden

Just ask Brad Warner, he'll tell you.

Here I go again. And yes, I will.

Brad wants to talk about zen center's abbots. Yet he admits he doesn't really know how the abbots are chosen, he pretends to know our problems.

Brad says, "The other more serious problem with the SFZC solution is that it makes the abbots beholden to what Marx called the “tyranny of the majority

He goes on to insinuate that our teachers are "forced to act and speak according to the wishes of the majority of her students, she becomes unable to speak the truth as she sees it and the teaching suffers." He might say he didn't mean to say that about SFZC and he was applying it broadly, but this quote follows the previous quote in the following paragraph. 

Why am I bothering to say anything? Because he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's never been anything but a guest student at SFZC. He is not qualified to make the above statements. 

Here's what I know: I'm anja to our zen center Abbess Linda Ruth, and she really put herself out on a limb when it came to supporting the farm and Califonia's prop 37, which aimed to push mandatory GMO labeling in California. This was an unpopular move for two reasons: One, we actually hung political signs on the temple farm gates, and two, there are zen center priests who do facilitation work with major genetical engineering firms. When she pulled political signs out of the sleeve of her kimono, at 70+ public Sunday Dharma talk, she threatened our dana base as a means of standing up for what she believes is the truth. 

Further, being abbot at zen center is a labor of love. Every time we get more responsibility here, the less time we have to sleep. You do get a huge pay increase as abbot, but like he says, it's a temporary rotating position, and it is tiring. 

Ejun Roshi Linda Ruth said once if you're upset with zen center, and looking for zen center, look in the mirror, you are zen center. 

It must be really nice to not be beholden, to say what you want, live an ethically open lifestyle, write books, and wear a brown okesa. 

I call shaveling. 

Comments

  1. Just couldn't help myself. Shitsurei Itashimasu!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really awesome to hear what Roshi Ruth and the rest of you on the farm did. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A Zen Priest going on about something he doesn't know anything about? Say it isn't so!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm surprised and interested in why the farm would be opposed to labeling GMO's. Can you say more about that?
    Thank you,
    Dave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mistake! I put "against" in the wrong spot. She helped us support the labeling effort.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How To Become A Zen Monk (or die trying)

"Now, if you have decided to become a monk because you think that life in this world is too hard and bitter for you and you would prefer to rather live off other people's donations while drinking your tea - if you want to become a monk just to make a living, then the following is not for you." -Kosho Uchiyama
So you want to be a Zen monk or priest? Unsui, which means clouds and water? Good on ya. Me too. 
Having googled that very aspiration for the first time in 2003, I was convinced it was impossible. I'll admit I am as thick headed as they come. I was also resistant to meet some figure in a robe. I heard my father's voice when I begged him to get my fortune read in Jackson Square, New Orleans, "I'm not paying some fat asshole in a bathrobe to tell you lies." Instead, for the first four years of my Zen practice, I committed as little as possible to my local sangha, left when they started chanting, and never talked to the teacher. I was so unapproacha…

Boredom and Buddhism

To say I feel bored feels disrespectful. How could that be? I have a three month old daughter, I'm training for a demanding job in the temple, I'm a wilderness medic responding to incidents every 4 days or so, and I'm sewing my priest robes for ordination. And I have this sense of disinterest.

I have a few theories as to why I feel bored. One could be the natural come down from having the baby and becoming stable in our schedule. Another come down plays out in the adrenaline crash after responding to a medical emergency or the general up keep work I do at the temple when compared to fixing something crucial to operations. When I hear there's a fire in the area I'm pretty excited to be mobilized for stay and defend duty. I feel pretty guilty about that, too.

So I read Beyond Boredom and Depression by Ajahn Jagaro and I was reminded to be careful about looking outward by this passage:

So what is boredom? It is a subjective experience that occurs when the mind is not i…

Vows and Compass

Being in new Orleans reminds me that my way seeking mind ripened here. Maybe it was the level of maturity my father's recovery actualized. Maybe it was the Ben Wren book I found at Beaucoup Books on my lunch break. Maybe it was my step mom's copy of things fall apart by Pema Chodron sitting in the bathroom.

Later I would witness the host of suffering post-katrina offered to a young public school teacher. How could I help? I took my first set of vows not really knowing where they would lead, like the old black metal compass my dad put in my Christmas stocking when I was about ten. Beautiful to hold, difficult to understand.

Now, years later, I feel a bit subdued as form,sensation, perception, impulse, and thought tag everything, beckoning some purchase for the price of belief. I'm home, but a home leaver. People wonder when I'll move back and being a home leaver means being ready to leave home again and again, which could mean coming back.

How will I actually engage all…