Friday, May 07, 2010

Re: Brad Warner's post: MAD Non-Conformists and More Bitching About Internet Zen

I would have liked to have seen how your teacher would have reacted to being clicked off when you did not like his response. Not to mention it is hard to pretend to be something you are not while sitting in a room together all day. Pretending you are something you are not is easy on the internet. If you are fooling yourself as to how great you are it is nearly impossible to do that for a whole day in a room together, yet it can go on for years on the internet where relief is just a click away. Which is why many internet zen people never set foot in a real zendo as their being a legend in their own mind would be over in a few minutes. .

In real life your ears have to burn long enough to get your shoes on and boogy your ass out the door.This is an experience one tends to remember. On the internet one can click off and be out of there in a split second, and never look back.

Recently I got invited by an internet group to submit a lecture on a precept for them to study as they were returning to the basic teachings of Zen. They told of all the wonderful teachers that would be taking their turn with me as if this showed how honored I should be that they asked me. This is a group that had previously moderated my posts because they did not like what I had to say, or more specifically my using words like shit and bull crap which went against their understanding of right speech. Evidently I was not nice enough for them back then but they still wanted a lecture now, go figure .

I responded to their request by saying that I had not thought about the precepts in years and yet another reading of someone else's wisdom about the precepts had nothing to do with the basic teachings of zen as I had been taught. I mean come on.. If one googled the precepts one probably could spend the rest of one's life reading about what people thought about them, and would never have to survive a single moment of actually living them. Another lecture on the precepts is probably as needed as another oil spill in the gulf. If one has to take the time to think about how they should respond according to the precepts they are lost before they start.

My teacher does not lecture on the precepts, once in a great while he will read one of his teacher's lectures to an intro group. For those of us who practice with him he demonstrates how to live in the precepts by how he gets up in the morning, how he eats, how he sleeps, how he chops wood and how he rolls up his sleeves and carries the shit bucket from the latrines down the mountain to spread on the temple garden before heading up to the Buddha Hall to lead noon service. Not one of these essential teachings could be gotten from the internet. There is something about holding up one end of a pole bearing a shit bucket that requires one to really completely step in harmony with the Buddha on the other end. Either you learn to do it or you get shit on your shoes and probably the Buddha's as well. This was for me the essential teaching of Zen. To bad some miss this kind of experience. I know I would not trade a minute of it for years of typing questions and reading answers on the internet.

Sure an Internet practice is an easy way to practice, but I was taught not to seek an easy practice. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

All your points were great in this post. Here is my bitch about the same topic.