Skip to main content

Breaking Bad: Salt, Fat, Sugar.

Biology is a kick! Dopamine, the instinct to chase...the body wanting once rare tastes of salt, fat, and sugar, which are now readily available, even in a Zen temple. Add this to the karmic condition of wanting to alter every experience, and you have a hungry ghost.

Do I even need to mention sex or beer or epic meditative mind states?

So I read the series synopsis of Breaking Bad after watching about three seasons on my lap top. It was my attempt to pour it down the drain. I returned the unfinished DVDs and sat it my room, staring at the carpet. I opened Norman Fisher's Taking Our Places and read about half a page. Bullshit, it can't be this easy. This book is good, but it's not magic.

In Allan Wallace's teaching on meditation, he talks about concentration but warns against turning into orange juice. You don't want to be concentrate. And last night, Sara Tashker, our director and my old farm manager said the mind of a farmer is the mind of a good Zen student. We have to have a soft focus to see what the causes and conditions are and a not knowing mind when you realize that what you thought cause and effect were wasn't much more than perception as deception.

How long will we live our life traveling? What does it take to see our arrival?


  1. life is all travelling and no arrival !

    the kaleidoscope shatters :o)(

    1. Dosho just made a point of that with me recently. No arriving . . . but there is Samadhi Waystation now and then.

  2. How do you read a series synopsis of a series that isn't finished yet? Breaking Bad isn't done (has about four episodes to go to its end).

    1. You might not want to read this:

    2. Yeah, that isn't complete. It is complete to roughly two episodes ago.

  3. "Allan Wallace's teaching on meditation, he talks about concentration but warns against turning into orange juice"

    alan wallace suffers the same disease as zen , it's all about and not actually doing, like ‘concentrating’ has become an icon you do, but those actually “doing” don't intend to concentrate, they simply do and some concentration occurs as the result of that !

    that's why zen is mired in incompetence, idiots waffling on about how to do something whereas the talented just do and are not too bothered about how to do it :o)

    1. and an open window makes the curtain go flap, flap, flap, flap.

    2. Is the curtain moving or your mind? :-)

    3. Al - talented or enlightened?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. a window is open or closed, it may have a curtain drawn or not, neither curtain window or house but oh, the so lovely garden............:o)(

    how do you spell r - e - g - r - e - s - s - e - d ?

    green gulch, tassajara and the san Francisco zen center? tv, alcohol and relationship ?

    maybe you need b-12 and chromium or something?

    sex on a vegetarian diet ?

    this is not the zen of old............ who do you think you are fooling ? :o()

  6. Replies
    1. try turning off the echo function ! : o(

    2. Hello, hellooo, hellooo....all you can know is an echo!

    3. if you are just going to be a defensive knot you are not going to get anywhere are you ! I don't think I have had one real comment from you who is supposed to be what, I can't write it, or if I did, something nonsensical like "following in the footsteps of the ancestors" ?

      well whatever, they didn't draw masks down or make nonsensical sophistical reply patterings

      the zen world seems to be composed entirely of this sort of behavior, even brad warner who slides off into avoidance at any/the slightest sign of trouble

      where are the real people in zen

      I don't mean the fake mice ! :o(

  7. you write:

    "Hello, hellooo, hellooo....all you can know is an echo! "

    well that's the heterodox viewpoint, you must have crappy teachers at green gulch if you think this sort of nonsense is a faint gleam of the real zen !

    1. That came from the Lankavatara, actually.

  8. oh deary me ! crap by any other name :o()

  9. what's the point of being so defensive, don't you have any thoughts of your own? you know, speaking from your own experience and not hiding behind pages of nonsense like the lankavatara which must have been put together by some drunk yogis who were tired of masturbating !

    1. Okay. Here's me not being defensive. Ready? ...

  10. If you think this is bad, get going on Candy Crush. Once you learn how to get endless new lives . . .
    wish they would extinguish it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Goodbye Green Gulch Sama! Hello Tassajara!

About two years ago I left Mid City Zen in New Orleans. I feared I was leaving something, and now I'm about to leave Green Gulch and that same fear has arisen. I imagined there was wealth, a sort of freedom, and a lot to "renounce."  I had a car (a fast one!), a playstation 3, many books, many articles of clothing, and as I look around our little cabin, that same perception has arisen- I have too much stuff! And I like it!

My book collection that I sold or gave away in New Orleans has somehow manifested out here. And I have quite the collection of farm hats and farm boots. Rubber ones, Redwings, Ropers, Bogs to the ankle, Bogs to the knee, a navy seal Solomon for the wet spring weather. Most of them are fit to throw away, glued back together and stitched with fishing line, and just so smelly, so smelly my wife won't let me keep them in the cabin, so I hide them all around Green Gulch.

So I started packing, and while that fear of renunciation has arisen, it's not …

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…