Archive for Brad Warner

Warner Smoke

Posted in Buddhism, Fighting, health, martial arts, meditation, Religion with tags , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Looks like I’m going to go see Brad Warner on his book/talk tour thingy. I don’t really know what kind of turnout he’s going to get, but the booking joint near my town is very random and out-of-place, so there’s a chance no one will show up. At the same time, I’m sure the most random spots can get tons of visitors. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a total cattle herd or maybe no one will show at all (we’re truly godless and savage where I live) and I can freak him out with some chit-chat. Hahaha!

I actually don’t want to hear more talks on zazen and Vippasana/Shamatha meditation though. So sick of that! And not just from him. Yet I’d rather hear Brad ramble about it than the New Age hippie Buddhist teacher that leads a bunch of yuppies in meditation every week at the church across the street from my house. Of course, what do I know? I’m just some punk.

Anyhow, I got injured sparring the other day. A nice facet of martial arts training is the ability to deal with injuries, and in turn, avoid them. In other words, you get injured and learn how to deal with it. This skill comes the same reason any skill is developed: practice and experience. But other bonus points: I never roll my ankle over anymore (haven’t twisted my ankle in ages), I never get jostled in crowds, I never fall on ice or in the rain, etc.

But from the way the MA stuff is presented in pop culture (or shall we say, marketing), you wouldn’t know that almost every serious martial artist has experienced serious injuries. The only time you hear about it is in weepy stories about how a person couldn’t practice anymore, or in cases like Bruce Lee, where they hype up his injuries to make it seem like only one such Herculean man-god could still practice after being wounded. These are most of the stories people regurgitate to one another, like dopey myths. And my question is similar, myth or otherwise — why not just do that stuff yourself? It’s only magical because you haven’t put forth the effort to do it. Most people float around like driftwood, giving little thought to the direction of their lives — like me and this blog post.

But hopefully there’s an end to this physical means. Hopefully one day there will no longer be any sort of fear with relation to any thing — be it future inhibitions, physical pain, mental and emotional anguish, fear of damnation and so forth. Really all you need to train into yourself is a firm disposition to keep going. I know a lot of guys who are super tough badasses that can plow through all sorts of insults and threats and violent scuffles, but as soon as they get really depressed because their girlfriend left them — they’re cooked! What the hell kind of willpower is that? Perseverance and willpower get shifted around to be useful in every possible medium of expression and experience. Even if you have to start from scratch again and again in everything you do, if you master that ability then you won’t be afraid to let go of things when the time comes. Or something.

Anyway — Brad Warner! We’ll let you know how it goes.

Zen Fiction

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, Monasticism, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Ah, love or hate Brad Warner, the “reform” Zen master, I can give the man props for one primary element of his particular brand of Zen Buddhism: his denial of the existence of an ultimate being/teacher with superpowers. He routinely points out how there is no such thing as a religious superman or infallible leader. I think this is an idea that is overwhelmingly sparse in religion, even amongst Zen Buddhists.

A ha, of course there’s tons of stuff to disagree with Brad Warner about (his Zen Buddhism, like a lot of Zen Buddhism these days, seems watered down — but what do I know?). For example, he claims rebirth does not exist. Which is a major no-no with almost everyone else in Buddhism. And he writes for Suicide Girls, which is questionable, since SG has the potential of being a grimy business scheme.

Still, Brad was only a pretext to discussing religious infallibility, which he has conveniently written about on his most recent post. I know people are afraid of dismissing the idea of a superhuman. The problem is only when people fail to see how “super powers” are only the result of intense practice in any particular thing. It seems the “super” powers of realized minds are actually just the result of incredibly sensitive, mundane mental awareness. I do wish you could protect people from all cults by telling them no person is infallible, there is no superhuman state of existence, etc. But no, everything else sucks people in just as hard: sporting events, politics, romantic relationships, and so on. Still, if Brad is honest, I admire his intention to help people see cults for what they are.

I tend to see “magick” and the traditional occult sciences (astrology/divination, geomancy, Kabbalah, elemental magic) as having been misappropriated by “New Agers.” Most of these practices are considered bunk in the modern scientific world, but they hold esteem– at the very least– as cultural traditions which continue to operate, but as fringe novelty beliefs.

Some hermetic sciences are more like “internal sciences” or “theorems for experimentation with one’s inner mind.” And when people go mad in sorcery, it’s not all that different from a traditional religious teacher going nutso. Sorcerors, like all community leaders and organizers, often fall into the ideas of thinking they’re a god or an excessively powerful person. They think their ability to manipulate people is a sign of their intelligence (the basic tenet of Ayn Rand-ian “philosophy”).

But I think, without all the fancy esoteric dressing, the only honest “answer” to the average human’s need for salvation and deliverance from this world, is one which prescribes that the individual sit and only think of the present moment — the breath. It’s kinda hard to make a cult out of something so simple. Or is it?

Those things I’m wary of: certain kinds of Tibetan Buddhism; martial arts groups like the Bujinkan — I wonder if their dogmas aren’t just intentionally powerful illusions, meant to pull in initiates. Because this stuff totally happens in every religion in the world. So don’t you dare think you have the key while no one else does.

Tantric Meat and Potatoes

Posted in Buddhism, Occult, Reality Bites, Religion, Stayin' Alive, Tantra, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Here’s the deal: I’m not a big fan of turning my soul over to other people. I’m not into letting other people lead me by the hand. And I’m sure as hell not about to willingly give up my body to a bunch of random spirits that aren’t from my neighborhood.

You know what else? I don’t like all this talk from religious folks about “the highest wisdom” or understanding. Sounds nice, but the practice of having tantric sex with female consorts to promulgate worshiped deities so they can live on in our samsaric world and further continue to have a bunch of tantric sex under holy pretexts sounds like a scam to me.

What pisses me off is those people will resort to saying, “this is the one true way” or “this is the fastest method”. I’m just saying, if there’s a faster method to reality, there’s a catch. I know guys like Bradley Warner don’t have much in the way of an extensive vocabulary or particularly profound view or artistic expression, but he’s right when he says you can’t let people do your work for you. If there’s a tantric method to speeding up awakening you’re either (A) getting possessed by a foreign spirit or entity or (B) being fed an illusion of what the primordial state is and working from there or (C) being fed a placebo. That’s fine if it works, but you still didn’t get there yourself, and even if you’re just being given an illusion that’s not that much different than a mushroom trip.

And to say “you don’t understand this method until you’ve experienced it” is making a lot of wily, denigrating claims about other people’s experiences. It also sets off an alarm in my mind. I, like many others on the path to reality, have looked at sutras, black magick grimoires, done a lot of shamanic drugs, met martial arts masters, done various meditations, qi circulation, Western hermetics. I’ve also been to a lot of haunted locations, shrines, battlegrounds, and war and pagan burial sites. I don’t think I’m incapable of figuring out when something is a spiritual possession, ya know? And for those who are wondering, I’m not a pervert about finding these energies, nor am I an obnoxious encyclopedia of knowledge.

I’ve realized, I can’t wake up by throwing my faith in some other person. Faith is only real when it comes from personal experience and insight. And even then, you have faith in your path as achieving the specific results you want to achieve. It’s not some flawless path with flawless results while it exists in the world. I agree that there might be a level of experience or dwelling that involves something beyond comprehension on the conventional level of existence, but it’s still a path you create for yourself and it arises out of faith. On some level, people are creating their own truth. When belief in truth is strong enough, it will manifest in a multi-dimensional reality.

I’m not necessarily trying to rag on people, and I’m not deluded into thinking I’m so wise or that I have all the answers. Still, I know a few things that are worthwhile. Being a good person is worth doing because if you don’t do it, no one else will. The reason people are cynical and jaded and resentful of the world is often because they themselves are not such great people. Being good is largely a product of taming the mind and pointing it towards worthwhile pursuits.

So, if you lie and lust after sex, food and want to make a lot of money, but somehow get fucked over… it’s not such a surprise because it’s not like you were a particularly good person in the first place. You didn’t have your priorities down clearly in a way that would allow you to foresee calamity. Not that you deserved a beat-down, but being a good person takes very strong conviction in improving things for the best, can help one avoid or deal with problems, and doesn’t result in some kind of radical, shallow or politically-correct goodness.