On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 5:14 PM, Kristy McClain <healthypl...@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Chris,
> To the contrary. I do not recommend Big Mind , necessarily.  In fact, I
> have said here that it is not a process that works for me. It seems a bit
> like group therapy, but not about zen.  I know it well, as I have a home in
> UT, (though I live in CA).  Gempo Roshi's  zen center is just two miles from
> my home there.   I did attend many meditation  groups , classes and even a
> few  retreats there..   I am friends with Diane Musho Hamilton, and she
> received her transmission from Gempo Roshi.  Actually, I have been critical
> of this teaching model in the past, but now--  Well, I truly feel that there
> are different methods that work for different  personalities and cultures.
> So, if one finds Big Mind meaningful, thats okay by me. I don't believe in
> one recipe. I do think it may attract people who would not normally include
> zen, or any spiritual practice in their lives. If so, then, I think there is
> a benefit to society at large.

I would be interested then in your response to his criticism of Big Mind and
a general tendency in the West to make zen easier and more palatable to
people that don't want to do the irritating work of sitting daily.  He even
insists on lotus or half-lotus - no chairs at his retreats!  And Brad does
not merely not recommend Big Mind, but uses rather strong language to
condemn it.  He seems rather upset at the idea of people thinking that a few
hours of anything purchasable can replace years of daily zazen.

His blog is here:


He is one of the very large category of things and people I enjoy but don't
really recommend to others.  I think he is an enjoyable writer who seems to
manifest a long experience with non-dual ways of living, but he also enjoys
writing stuff that pisses people off.

>  I mentioned athlete, as you seem to be a cyclist, and  you mentioned  how
> poignantly your sweat cools on your shirt.

Cycling is great for non-athletes - way fewer calories/mile than walking.
 The sweat on my back comment was my attempt at "Just this" - I was at the
time typing on a phone and a bit sweaty (it is a very warm fall here in
northern California).  As I sit zazen more, this stance to is generally
softening up, but I've always styled myself as anti-exercise; normal life
can provide all the physical activity our bodies demand.  This stance was
more true when I stayed at home with the kids than as a computer programmer,
and I did just bike up to a smallish mountain merely for the fun of it, so
perhaps I'm not really anti-exercise any more.

> I was going to add that I  was very impressed.  Not only are you getting
> exercise, you are reducing your carbon footprint, and  saving trees by using
> an e-reader;)

That is really why I bike, the carbon foot print thing; that and I really
don't enjoy driving at all.  Biking is fun in the way that 12 year olds have
fun.  And for distances up to about 5 miles it is basically as functional as
a car, and way way less work than walking.  And more free than mass transit.

> I will definitely look at the book your children enjoy.  Might be a fun
> surprise for my nephew.

Sit Down and Shut Up is in no way suitable for kids - my kids just liked the
title (no doubt because normally shut up is forbidden to them).  They love
to tell me to sit down and shut up when it's time for me to sit.

The full title is *Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha,
God, Truth, Sex, Death, & Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye*
I found it to be an interesting and well informed (by experience and
knowledge of Japanese Zen) commentary on Shobogenzo, as well as very funny.


Yours in typing,


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