Back around 2004, zen monk Fudo and his wife met with one of the folks who
used to post on the Zen Forum. I forgot his name, but I thought that was
pretty neat. Then the same guy that met Fudo was travelling to some other
part of the US and met with another member of the group.

We are not talking orgies here. They met for lunch and I guess they spent a
couple of hours hanging out somewhere and posted a couple of photos. These
were nice people. Sadly, I did not appreciate them as much as I should have.
I have often noticed that most of the time it is the first person that I
meet who turns out to have been the best of the bunch. But that is another

As far as I know, those meetings in 2004/05 are the only time in the nine
years that this group has existed when any of the thousands of members have
ever met in person.

Now I am the moderator of some hobby forums where people have opportunities
to meet each other at conventions or shows, and so there are many folks on
those lists who have met each other, etc. It is not a big deal. People send
me things and I send them things. Sometimes people send me gifts. I send
gifts to others. I get Christmas cards from them. It is nice to deal with
nice people.

However, when it comes to a group like the Zen Forum, we have a bunch of
people talking about enlightening themselves, sentient beings, karma,
dharma, etc., and yet I always get the feeling that these are the phoniest
bunch of people that are on any of the groups that I moderate. It is hard to
explain why, but when you are dealing with normal people, usually they are
outgoing and interactive.

Like if you wanted a zen cushion and this was a nice group then someone
would offer to send you one at a reasonable price and/or free. You would
return the favor to that person or someone else. That is what happens on
other groups where there are real people involved. I recall a few years ago
I tried that here. I sent a few people some of my zen books. Not a single
one ever posted a thank you or emailed me. Not a single one ever passed it
on to anyone else.

I recall back when this group was posting about 300-900 messages a month
that at some point it just seemed like endless waves of bullshit. Everyone
was on a roll talking about enlightenment and the dharma wheel and the
dharma combat was rocking and rolling. Did a single person get any closer to
enlightenment? I don't know. I often wonder about that, because I have often
wanted to delete this group because I feel that I am participating in a
fraud by giving anyone the impression that there is anything wholesome going
on here. It is a lot like the practice of law where legal precedents are
cited in order to advance certain theories with the ultimate goal being
victory and the monetary rewards that usually come with it. The law governs
people and yet it is usually about codes and statutes.

It is hard to explain what I mean, but when you are on some groups there is
a certain warmth of the people that really comes across, and even though
they are not seeking to help sentient beings they are reaching out to people
in a positive way all the time. I guess it is unfair to compare one group to
another. It is like apples and oranges?

There is the real deal and then there is the rest. I see real zen all the
time in a lot of other places, but all I see here is discussion about it. I
am glad that there is some participation here now, but I think that the best
days of this group happened several years ago when there were some nice
people on board who actually travelled across the country to meet each other
for lunch. That was neat. That was then. This is now.

As far as I know, there is not a single person on this list who actually
practices zen at a zen temple. Please correct me if I am wrong. I really
gave up on zen a long time ago. I went to a start-up zen temple and the
leader was a lawyer. Supercillious, sarcastic, cynical. His focus was on
keeping time with the gongs and chanting in rhythm. The temple was gone in
less than three months. So much for precision.

Zen is ? It means something to me. What does zen mean to you? What is zen?
What are people? Who are you?

Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are 
reading! Talk about it today! 
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