Monday, November 17, 2014

The CoS of Buddhism

A Cos of Buddhism? Surely, you've got to be kidding!

No. I am not kidding and don't call me Shirley.

An anti-military organization with a decidedly militaristic bend.

They may not be "Moonies," but I - for one - am certainly tempted to moon them! So, we now can moon the Moonies, moon the Cos, and moon SGI. Things seem to happen in threes.

Get the picture?

Want the whole picture?

Mooning can be a form of art!

IMO, Like Cos, SGI is close to being a cult - very close.

If you see the Buddha, kill him.

The Ch'an (Zen) master Lin-chi said, “If you see the Buddha, kill him.”

Or, put in other words, "If you see a follower or advocate of SGI, CoS, or Moon, kick 'em in the arse."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Buddhism NOT (waiting for the altar call)

So after the SFZC event, I had a chance to chat with an old Zennie about the good old days.

The good old days ended just 20 minutes before you were born (regardless of your generation).

In fact, I spent 25 years (on the log) working in Broadcast (e.g. free, over-the-air) Television - retiring in 1998.

And the good old days of television ended just 20 minutes before I got my first job in television in 1971.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Anyway, in the good old days of Richard Baker, [the discussion went...] just WHAT did some (wanna-bes) expect? AN ALTAR CALL!

There is a bit of fetchin' up HERE.

Well, there IS NO ALTER CALL in Buddhism!
And there are a few cracks in the gloss...
Don't trash the midgets!

CHANGE doesn't happen like on TV. Buddhism isn't Willy Graham and Cheeses on Rye!

The closest thing is Joya no Kane participation...

Medium sized here.

The Jumbo version is HERE.

The Toyokuni Shrine is an old Buddhist temple that was converted to a Shinto Shrine (WWII?).

Them Shinto Folks don't know how to SWING.

In my thinking, to do it (Joya no Kane) right, SFZC needs a 9 ton bell.

Zazen is nothing special.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Not even the Japanese are Japanese anymore.

In discussing the migration of Soto Zen Buddhism from Japan to San Francisco, I mentioned that Zen came from Korea (or China) and was already transformed by time and culture from the ancient Buddhism of Nepal.

That is to say, we need not worry that Japanese Zen is "pure" and that San Francisco Zen is currupted. Such distinctions add little value to the conversation. What matters, as students, is taking ownership of our OWN research and understanding of the Dharma (or recitations of the Buddha).

San Francisco Zen is no longer Japanese in the same way that not even the Japanese are Japanese anymore.

"A decade ago a new generation emerged in Japan: the shinjinrui, the “new human species.” The term described Japanese who seemed to be a people apart."

I have previously commented about this complex subject of Buddhism crossing cultural boundaries HERE.

So, where do we begin?

One of many places is HERE.

The idea is to translate the archaic Nepali to modern English while maintaining cognitive equivalents.

In other words, where the ancient idea might have been: "While he sat under the tree of enlightenment a sense of understanding emerged..." a rendering of "While seated beneath the Ficus Religiosa, a light turned on in the head of Siddharta Shakyamuni Gautama."

It is NOT the Buddha's head that we should worry about!

Buddha was an early notorious psychologist. He though deeply about the human condition AND he thought deeply about thinking about the human condition. Psychologists call this metacognition - thinking about thinking (or questioning our own biased perceptions).

"Do not go by reports (repeated hearing), by legends, by traditions, by rumours, by scriptures, by surmise, conjecture and axioms, by inference and analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by specious reasoning or bias toward a notion because it has been pondered over, by another's seeming ability, or by the thought, 'This monk (contemplative) is our teacher."

However, Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "Such and such things are unskilful (bad); blameworthy; criticized by the wise; and if adopted and carried out lead to harm and ill and suffering," you need to abandon them."

In Pali, Buddha's reply is recorded thus:

Ma anussavena.
Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations.
[Simpler: Do not be led by what you are told.]

Ma paramparaya.
Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice.
[Do not be led by whatever has been handed down from past generations.]

Ma itikiraya.
Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere.
[Do not be led by hearsay or common opinion.]

Ma Pitakasampadanena.
Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text.
[Do not be led by what the scriptures say]

Ma takkahetu.
Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning.
[Do not be led by mere logic.]

Ma nayahetu.
Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy.
[Do not be led by mere deduction or inference.]

Ma akaraparivitakkena.
Do not believe something because it appeals to "common sense".
[Do not be led by considering only outward appearance.]

Ma ditthinijjhanakkhantiya.
Do not believe something just because you like the idea.
[Do not be led by preconceived notions (and the theory reflected as an approval)]

Ma bhabbarupataya.
Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy.
[Do not be led by what seems acceptable; do not be led by what some seeming believable one says.]

Ma samano no garu ti.
Do not believe something thinking, "This is what our teacher says".
[Do not be led by what your teacher tells you is so.]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Religoius scams, 3 for 10¢

I wish I could say: "It has been a long time since I have seen a good religion-based scam."

Well it has not been a long time and there have been more scammers than I count on all my fingers and toes combined. The longer you live, the more you see - the PTL Club and Heritage USA, Fall-Well and the girls basketball team, Swaggert and the hooker, and so on (ad nauseam)

Jimmy Swaggart I Have Sinned by dm_521f8d3360410

P.S. The lawyers say you have NO EQUITY in the property.

Legal announcement Heritage USA - you lost EVERYTHING.

Lifetime partners have no rights!

In other words, F*ck Y*o fools!

PTL Claims Clerk... (for thems thats willing to identify thems selves as bein' screwed).

He's dade! And the line was short!

Above, the faithful on the steps of the church.

Later, they staged a big send-off.

"Finish the towers, which we are committed to..." LOL

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's a stupid world, after all.

Half of the people on this planet have a BELOW AVERAGE I.Q.!

(Hint: what does average mean?)

Need I even remind you of who Palin is???

"The People Don't Elect U.S. Presidents, God Does"
Upon being asked by James Dobson if the McCain ticket's precipitous slide in the polls gets her down:
... [it] strengthens my faith, because I'm going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. So I'm not discouraged at all.
... and I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation.
Ah yes, the always helpful "prayer warriors," whose appeals to the Almighty actually count for more than the average American citizen's vote. Apparently the next president of the United States will be handpicked by God.

Except Barak Obama was NOT (in the nutty Right thinking) god's choice.

Well. perhaps not one, among the many gods, made a choice!

"It's a young Earth, after all."

Or is it?

In a developing story from Kentucky, the Creation Museum is running out of money due to declining attendance, bringing their “Ark Encounter” project to a stand-still because of a lack of funding.

“At the end of the day young earth creationism requires you to throw out pretty much everything we know about science,” says Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education.

“We would just need one piece of evidence...”
“We would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another,
we would need evidence that the universe is not expanding,
we would need evidence that the stars appear to be far away but they’re not.
We would need evidence that rock layers can somehow form in 4000 years…
We would need evidence you can reset atomic clocks and keep neutrons from becoming protons.”

We would need a significantly higher I.Q. over on the Right.