Wednesday, 28 May 2008

I, Mr. Wrong,...

I, Mr Wrong, wish to be clear in my intention to clarify wrong views of what Zen Master Dogen meant by full lotus sitting.

The negation of idealism, is not it.

The negation of materialism, is not it.

Philosophies of action, are not it.

Keeping the spine straight vertically as a means to bring the autonomic nervous system back to balance, is not it.

Soto Zen practice of shikan-taza, is not it.

What Master Dogen meant by full lotus sitting might be not anybody's view but just full lotus sitting itself -- physical sitting, mindful sitting, and just sitting.

A teacher who writes on his blog, "We, true Buddhists...." have such and such an understanding in regard to mindfulness, whereas they who have that understanding of mindfulness are non-Buddhists: such a teacher is not my teacher. I totally renounce the viewpoint of such a teacher. My sitting practise is utterly different from, nay, opposed to, his sitting practice.

Gudo's thesis is the thesis of "We, true Buddhists, have such and such an understanding of True Buddhism."

Without my going wrong in my endeavor to subscribe authentically to the thesis of True Zen Patriarch Gudo, there would be no chance of me, as Mr Wrong, being clear in regard to the proper anti-thesis to Gudo's thesis.

So I bow to Gudo, and thank him for putting his head above the parapet. I thank him for his heroic and courageous putting forward of his static true Buddhist thesis. And I say to Gudo: Go to hell, you old bastard, who fell so hopelessly in love with his own view, thinking it to be true Buddhism.

This is my attempt at a less fixed, less rigid, more dynamic anti-thesis.

But nobody comes from a more fixed, more rigid, more frozen-in-fear-ful place than me, with all the compensatory mechanisms I have constructed over the course of a lifetime to try to appear all right on the surface in spite of deep vestibular dysfunction within.

The insincere cloth-eared Paddy whom I slag off, the one who would like to bask in the warm glow of having asked the True Zen Patriarch a good question, is nobody but Mr Wrong himself.

FM Alexander said, "To know when we are wrong is all that we shall ever know in this world."

What FM said is true, at least for me it seems to work. For me, as one individual in my own chunk of spacetime, FM's approach seems to have opened up a kind of mission in life: to clarify, as Mr Wrong, what this wrongness is -- at least until such time as some more dynamic individual is able to see through my anti-thesis, truly expose me as the insincere fraud I am, and send me to join Gudo in that dustbin in hell that is reserved for the ashes of Zen teachers whose view turned out to be false.


Pierre Turlur said...

Mr wrong,

On the little picture you seem to be smiling. A nice reddish happy looking being, in your prose, quite the opposite. You only have nice words for birds, deceased patriachs or Alexander guys and the likes. For the living, a huge contempt. You may call this being true. True to your mistakes. And indeed you are, persistant in swearing, mistreating people and thinking you are giving a good lesson to the fake venerable, the empty stupid heads asking you questions...You have big issues man. BIG. So do I. But that is not the point. The point? You are the only one to really know. Sitting four times a day all these years is quite admirable, but, you know, I much more respect the guy next door that doesn t sit but has a kind of descent life. He is kind, just kind. Sometimes pissed, aren t we all, but no big deal. He just lives. Sitting four times a day and swearing at everything and everybody that doesn t seem to fit in your view, for YOU HAVE A VIEW, a big one. A sad one. An angry one. A frustrated one. So do we.

At that point, my point , I need to make something clear: in sitting and being, quite amazing and simple and human, so are you. In speaking...You open your mouth, and mud is showing. You are a wonderful person but a fucked up teacher ( I use your own words, that might help you to understand my point...).

At least, to forgive. Can t you?

Ok, Gudo behaved badly, is a big liar, so what? What about this blaming system? Let it go, give us a rest. Give yourself a rest. Wanking, you are, not like Kodo sawaki, but with your own old wars, again and again. This is wanking, man. leave Kodo alone.

When I was a child, my drunked daddy tried to kill me. A big thing really. When you are ten. And powerless running in a field with your mummy screaming and crying. Ok, Big MR wrong, for so long I hated that dad until I met him and saw everithing was OK. My daddy was a very powerful Buddhsit teacher, his wrath hiding a great vulnarable heart. A broken heart.

You could do that anytime. Forgive. Drop the gun, the words, the preaching.

Please,,,Just talk so well about what you are and know and experience, you have so much to bring to the world than this habit of insulting the dying, the elderly, your dharma heir and the all planet.

Be in peace

Mr Nobody

Mike Cross said...

Hi Pierre,

Who let you out of your cage?

If you wanted a teacher to tell you, like your Dad, to sit down and shut up, you found the wrong address when you came here.

"Sit down and shut up!" is not my real message, even if it may sound like that.

My true message is: Sit up and speak up!

Please don't confuse me with somebody else.

Now, Pierre, you insubordinate French worm: SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

Harry said...

I suppose a group hug's outta the question?



Mike Cross said...

Enough of this healy-feely talk!

Any more of it and I will set my friend Laurie on you.

Plato said...

When a teacher answers a question not carring about his image, but carring only of transmitting what he received then, I think, he is a good teacher. Not many people like this around, I tell you!

Mike Cross said...

Not caring about his image but caring about what he received is a good description of Gudo. And yes, there might not be many Zen teachers in recent times who reached his level.

But going on up beyond Gudo's level, there is the possibility of not caring about what you received, either. I am rarely, if ever, on that level -- certainly not at time of writing. But Alexander work has caused me to glimpse that possibility -- the possibility of Sitting that is untainted by any kind of care.

Not to care, about anything, because of being totally absorbed in Sitting -- a simple teaching but not an easy one.

Chogyam Trunpa blunders in drunk for his precepts ceremony. Pierre loves that story, but when my language doesn't meet his standards of politeness, he complains! Maybe Jundo Cohen is the teacher for him!

For 15 years now I have been consciously practising carelessness. Still, to do a careless translation of Shobogenzo does not come at all easily to me.

I -- in common with most people who are attracted to the Buddha's teaching -- tend to be too careful, too mindful. That is what Gudo was trying to say (albeit talking out of his "my brain is Buddhism itself" arse) in answer to Harry's question about mindfulness. Being too careful, too mindful, is off the middle way.

An aphorism of the Alexander Teacher Patrick Macdonald was that if you are careful you will never get anywhere in the Work, but if you are careless you might.

Pierre Turlur said...

Mr Wrong,

Careless, no. Carefree, yes. And there is a huge difference you might need to learn one day. Maybe, you are a teacher in the crazy wisdom style of Trungpa. And you are right, I much prefer gentle and compassionnate teachers like Ryokan, Dorsey and the likes.
I tend to see your reactions to criticism as tandrums but don t mind hearing your swearing about is so ridiculous, i find it funny if not true. What I mind is this careless way of handling people who disagree. I mind this illness called arrogance. It is getting in the way of your work, of the work, and doesn t help what you could bring the world. The is a kind of sabotage. I feel sorry for you, really. And sorry for your lack of skillfull means.

Will said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry said...

Big Hairy Balls!!!

... or that.

Paddy the Unrepentant Cloth Eared Clown.

Mike Cross said...

I truly regret it when I upset people unnecessarily through my lack of skillful means, which I sometimes do.

I thought that, by training as an Alexander teacher, I could acquire more skillful means to point people away from their habitual sitting down, and in the direction of sitting up.

Among many heavy people I have put my hands on, people labouring under a misconception of what up is and where up is, you, Pierre Turlur, just about took the biscuit when it came to sitting down! When it came to pulling the legs up into the pelvis, few could match your power! You are a man of strong feelings, strong (dare I say, French) healy-feely feelings, but those feelings are not always reliable. In regard to where up is, you must confess, I demonstrated to you that your feelings were not at all reliable.

During my training, I loved above all other Alexander teachers the hands and eyes of Ron Colyer, who was and is magnificent at giving students infinite space in which to go wrong and not be afraid to be whoever they are. There were some more interventionist teachers with whom I didn't always get on so well. I didn't like even a hint of the sense of being manipulated. So I decided that when I was teaching I would be like the supremely indirect Ron, not like the teachers whose more direct intervention tended to upset me.

But guess what? I am not Ron Colyer. I am, in no small part thanks to the wisdom of Ron Colyer, for better or for worse, just Mike Cross.

The way I tend to teach adults, generally, is to cause them to become more aware of any misconceptions under which they are labouring. It is quite a negative style of teaching. Some people seem to flourish under it, but yes, it is true that some people tend to be upset by it.

So far, what I am doing and what I am writing is the best I can do. If it is not your cup of tea, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from visiting another blog or from visiting another teacher who you feel to be more compassionate.

But if you believe that your feelings with regard to who is truly compassionate are reliable, you might be labouring under a misconception. Not necessarily, but possibly.