Good points.ijohn wrote:You do have to be careful with American Zen. It is an odd mix of old forms brought from Japan, the meditation itself, a healthy doze of judgementalist calvinist protestantism combined with faux new age spirituality that insists on everything as sunny cheery optimistic and people are always only ever nice and an obsessive, frightened political correctness, the last three of which have nothing to do with Zen.From a business perspective, I think he's afraid to agree with you Winston because he does not want to upset his Amercian clientele/customers.
Also, don't be surprised that he's not as open minded as you would think because he's probably not a real "zen master" or whatever anyway. For example, most of the martial arts taught in this country is a water down version that is solely used to make money.
The graceful ease, that immense quiet silence that you would feel from an old style zen teacher from Asia, you won't see much of it in american zen. You certainly can find good teachers who are real but you do have to be a little discerning. Every teaching can be taken in various ways but if you are not careful you could combine mindfulness with the worst of calvinist judgementalism and find yourself rather than being at ease every moment, judging your every moment. Given the kind of people whom it draws you are also less likely to make long term friends there.
Still american zen does not have the dour rigidness you might find in the Japanese version. It can be a little more colorful and light and a little more fun. Leaving your conditionings is a difficult process fraught with anxiety, fear and danger and you can find yourself in spaces of great aridity and emptiness. Sometimes you don't leave your conditionings, they leave you and it can happen to people anywhere, not just in America. If you are in America and going through a process of leaving your conditionings spending some time in a zen center is a good option. You will have a safe healthy container in which to rebuild yourself and have people to share with which is vital. Preferably find a center that is full of people and allow yourself to be immersed in the practice for a while. Just don't take it too seriously, don't expect to make too many long term friends and know that your teachers are highly imperfect and have their own conditionings, take what they say with a grain of salt. After all everyone who is in American Zen is a convert of some kind, and has the general anxiety and neurosis of someone who has converted.
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Yes, that's true about the confidentiality agreement, but openly you are asking him to comment on a sensitive topic that he might not want to share his thoughts on out of fear of backlash.
I know for me, as a business man who caters to people from all walks of life, I know it's a chance that many of my customers might not want to work with me if they found out that I dislike America, and dislike Amercian women. I would be viewed as a unpatriotic misogynist.
Just though simple talks with Amercian women, and Amercian people, I have found out that they get highly upset and defensive if you try to shed some light on our eroding civilization. They just don't want to hear it as they are suffering stockholm syndrome.
I feel so sorry for guys like you, I have been studying all the complications that the solders came down with after returning from Operation Desert Storm and I'm certain it's from the vaccines.
The government was experimenting with weaponized mycoplasma which is so small the body can't fight against it so the body appears to be attacking itself. You then can't get treatment from a conventional doctor because they know nothing about bio warfare let alone how to do the proper testing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU12h6lW ... re=related
For you people who think the government would not do this think again. I'm reading a book right now that I have been told is required reading for a CIA employee and the book gives examples how the government funnels money into "black" projects to develop advanced weaponry. Biological warfare is very real.
Last edited by NorthAmericanguy on January 2nd, 2011, 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I know it's a chance that many of my customers might not want to work with me if they found out that I dislike America, and dislike Amercian women." - Northamericanguy
You have just offered the very definition of gynocratic dictatorship. Females walk around openly with shirts that say "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" but men must cower in fear over the thoughts they express in the privacy of their own home.
Dont feel sorry for me, I knew what I was getting into when I joined the military. What I dont appreciate is being exposed to toxic omnicidal weapons like DU and mycoplasma.
How to deal with newbies that talk much but do little.
Pics or it didn't happen.
Cool story, bro.
Just finished reading those articles about your fight against the VA. I am pretty impressed with what you are doing Grunt. It's always something to catch the government throwing citizens under the bus. I've always felt the U.S. government and the American public's sentiments about always supporting veterans to be so much smoke and mirrors superficial hogwash. When it comes down to budget cuts and actually interacting with old vets the government and people are generally apathetic and even contemptuous when you are in actual need.
Well, those people I would say are fine with the way things are because they don't care to compare their life to anything else.
As for myself, I'm a throwback, and the more I study the past the more disgruntled I get over living under the conditions that I do in modern America.
I don't have any stock in the bible. Not only is that book a plagiarization from older manuscripts (i.e.,The Book of the Dead) but over the past 2000/3000 years, the contents of that book have changed so many hands and been re written that it can no longer be trusted. Also, we have never found any evidence of any people that the bible talks about.
Christianity and Islam today are nothing more then political tools use to control people, the spiritual elements have been taken out long ago. I think the Coptic Christians were the last of the real followers.
I too have a counselor, in his late 50s, who is both a psychologist and a hypnotherapist. Though he's a nice fellow, he's quite blind about American women and even now, still hasn't found his stateside *soulmate*. He hasn't given up but it's kinda obvious that the hourglass is running out.
All and all, I wouldn't put too much stock in any stateside therapist on these matters. And in particular, your Zen Master is a public persona (my guess, by pursuing his website) and probably doesn't want to steer into controversy. Realize, there are contrarian spiritual seekers who're insistent on fighting with spirit possessions and transmediumships; these folks tend to be unpopular in the various Zen/Buddhist circles. I think your teacher wants to stay out of controversy and seek a type of optimistic happy ground where he can seek detachment and bliss at all times.
I guess in some ways, this forum would be seen as a "Rage Against the Machine" (no, not the metal band) type of angst gathering place but it's necessary esp considering that it's tough to find places to discuss controversial subjects.
Thanks for the support. I am not overly offended by the apathy of the American people. What I do mind is the VA and its minions actively seeking the rip off and destroy any and every veteran they can. The Roanoke Virginia VARO is known to be among the worst in America, and I can confirm that since I have dealt with half a dozen VARO's.
My goal was to force the VA to commit itself and all its resources against me, and they have done just that. The VA thinks it "winning" but all they are doing is sinking deeper into a sand pit that they will not escape from. As the old adage goes, the die is cast. Come spring of 2011, the next phase of the plan will kick in...THEN the fun REALLY starts. Let me just say it is quite likely you will all be seeing me on Fox News again.
Welcome to the forum dreaux. That was a great post but I think you should have put it in the introduction board.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
I broke away from my mother after my parents divorced in my mid teens, previously she had attempted to mold me in her pattern of thought and action. My father was indifferent for the most part as I did not see him much because of his employment. After high school I joined the Navy to get away from both their influences and start a new life pattern of my own. However, I avoided my mothers while getting myself into a very similar situation that my father got himself into with my mother. Basically having kids in a loveless relationship, but sticking it though for the benefit of the child. So whatever causes these life patterns to repeat themselves, Karma, genetics, social conditioning, childhood experiences, etc... I've accepted it as a learning experience that is to be overcome and hopefully not do again and avoid passing on the same pattern to any current present or future children of mine.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
(If family dynamics don't interest you you can skip the rest of the post)
It is good to let go of destructive inherited patterns of behavior. But it is also good to understand the patterns you are seeking to get away from. Which are removable so worth giving energy to and which are inherent to human nature?
Well, let us take a look. Regardless of the cultural form there is a certain universality to the human experience. You get up in the morning, do your morning things and go to work coming back to your home and your family. You might take a day or couple of days off every week and a larger holiday after a bigger interval.
Even if you had a lot of money and didn't have to work you'd still live a similar pattern on some level. You may have more comfortable living, longer more expensive vacations but this would still be it. If you decided you were not going to work how long could you do that? After a while you would get bored and if you didn't find something to do end up in a bad way.
Your parents lived out these human patterns too. So you will repeat many of your parents patterns by default simply by the fact that you are human too.
Let's say we tear down all the cultural structures and forms. In the empty space anything is possible. We can live any nature we want, there are no patterns and there is that one special thing we have to find that will give us the happily ever after. This is the belief system of post modernist life. It is largely untrue.
There is no escape from being ourselves. Animals are bound to their natures largely unconsciously and we are bound to our natures too but we can be so consciously and go deeper into our nature.
There is no escape from the first noble truth either, that life is suffering, no matter how much the new agers might organize seminars to teach otherwise. Life is lived in the field of time, everything is temporal so there is loss and sufferring. A marriage without love to raise the kids? That is by far the common human condition.
And no one escapes childhood without the 'wound' from the father and some dollop of shame and guilt from the mother. This is also guaranteed. No parents can ever get everything 'right' and meet the growing boy's every psychic need.
The mistake is in assuming that this is wrong; that we shouldn't have gotten the 'wound'. The work you have to do to know who you are is the work you have to do to heal the wound.
So only within this framework of what human beings actually are can you release yourself of some of your parents' patterns. You can have different interests. You can have different priorities and a different set of desires and fears while letting go of those you got from your parents.
The natural state of human beings is to be neutral, neither high nor low, neither happy nor sad and this is what we are pulled back to regardless of whatever else we wish. It is not natural to constantly be entertained and anyone seeking that will eventually be burnt out by it. Our source patterns, the ones we make in childhood give us our earliest, most primal sense of being, of naturalness, of egolessness and timelessness. In reflexively repeating our parents patterns we seek to keep that sense of egolessness and timelessness.
Also we can feel a reflexive guilt at doing better or differently than our parents. Doing something different is like a betrayal of that space of 'home' we remembered from our childhood. Since that space can have such powerful associations for us - the 'wonder years', this guilt can feel very strong, almost like a death in some ways.
It is a death of sorts for no one can live in the paradise of childhood forever, you have to leave and become different anyway. So you can't remain the innocent child who only wants to please his or her parents, no matter how much they may want you to, if they do, no matter how much the guilt may move you to try. That child must 'die' and be replaced by an adult living in the world.
Anyone going through a process of deconditioning, or looking for a heathier framework to live by rather than some old possibly inherited destructive patterns, I recommend a stint, if it is possible, learning some martial art - kendo, aikido, kyudo, karate etc or zen cooking, painting etc for those more inclined to the other side of life. Remember in all of these disciplines, although they do have contests, winning is secondary, it is how to play that is what you will be learning.
What these disciplines can help you do is set out a new neutral baseline, a stable way to live that allows you to live different more healthy patterns than those destructive ones you inherited. Remember it is a new neutral baseline, and even with this life will continue and continue to happen to you. You will continue to experience happiness, sadness, gain, loss etc. Nothing here is said about 'happily ever after' because that isn't who we are.
That is one of the mantras of post modernist life - hey if its not making you happy what is the point, why do it? Of course since you can never be happy all the time, that is not human nature, this means you will constantly be moving from one thing to the next perennially unsatisfied and never be able to accomplish anything.
So no martial art teacher in Asia will teach you that you will find happily ever after and if you aren't feeling it what's the point. Rather they will teach you what do you mean are you feeling happy? If you are so constantly focussed on your feelings of happiness how will you actually learn anything and accomplish anything? And how will you then have anything to contribute to society?
Those old teaching forms from Asia are tremendously beautiful and hold in them much potential for healthy transformation. They give you a structured disciplined container to mindfully work out your old unhappy ways and come to a more stable, more fulfilling pattern of living.
It can be done, many before you have done it. Good luck!
<remainder of post snipped for brevity's sake>
Everything you've said pretty much sums up what life is like in Canada. Although there are some cultural differences between Canada and the US, they're so small they're virtually unnoticeable. And that is the end result of Canada becoming progressively more Americanized to the point that it has essentially become America Lite. Canadian women are no better than their American counterparts - a very high proportion of them are very stuck-up and snooty, and downright anti-social. Nice women in Canada are about as rare as hen's teeth.
As for family, I have no real family to speak of. Both parents died years ago. The only sibling (my sister) I have hasn't talked to me in years, and I'm pretty convinced that she hates me. She doesn't love me, that's for sure - when I left my wife, never once did she call me to see how I was doing, or to express any concern or care for me, and she has yet to ask me where I live or ask for even my phone number. I could drop off the face of the earth tomorrow, and she would neither know nor care.
I have an aunt and uncle in town, and two cousins, and the only time I ever really see them is at Christmas - you know, the token invite so they don't feel guilty about the other 364 days of the year where they don't even bother with me.
I have no close friends. The city I live in is so cold that friends are difficult, if not impossible to find. At work, I there are several people I'm on really good terms with, but the friendships are the usual workplace friendships that end when the clock strikes five, although I trade e-mails every now and then with one woman who is married. All strictly platonic, of course.
Women tend to look at me like I've got three heads when I approach them, and usually move away from or get very standoffish if they can't get out of the way. I'm getting to the point where I wonder if I'm so ugly that people can't even stand to look at me, or if it's the case that no woman could ever really want me.
I have had relationships in the past, none of them particularly satisfactory. I once dated a chick who was older than me, and the sex was great while it lasted, but I had to break it off because I discovered she had a serious gambling addiction and was an alcoholic to boot. Several years later, after breaking up with her, I met my first wife. The marriage started out well, and then the passion she seemed to have for me in the beginning evaporated. It was a a reflection of a classic pattern found in many marriages - marry the guy, then stop having sex with him and don't show him any love once you figure you've got him locked-in and he's just a slave. Well, the marriage ended, not just because of that, but because of things my wife's son did that I simply couldn't get past - things that are too involved to discuss here. In both cases, the women I was involved with were users - only interested in me for whatever money I could throw their way.
I've tried several online dating services with absolutely no luck. If the women on those sites aren't super-picky, or super-unrealistic, then they're attention whores incapable of engaging in reciprocal relationships with anyone. Plus, many online dating sites engage in outright fraud by filling up their sites with fake profiles or are infested with scammers. And a lot of the women on such sites have baggage - have kids and are essentially married to them, have issues with their ex, or are just simply incompatible or unsuitable.
Needless to say, my life has become quite arid and empty. I'm only 48, yet I can't see living my life this way until I retire at 60, and then what? I've half a mind to chuck it all but don't want to see the pensions I expect to collect at 60 chopped in half due to quitting my job in a couple of years if I decide to go expat. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are days when I wonder if I shouldn't just say 'f**k it' and blow my brains out, or wonder what else there is, if anything, I could do to turn things around. In short, it's truly a state of not knowing whether to shit or go blind. And that's why I'm here - looking for some answers.
And do I feel unloved/unwanted? f***ing right I do!! Western society sucks donkey balls, and it's only getting worse.
Well, the remedy offered on this site is: change your circumstances and your outlook will change. Pretty much everyone here grapples with the issue of how to do it financially. I'd really recommend you read some of the posts by Ladislav, both for inspiration about how much a change of circumstances can do for you, and practical tips about how to finance the whole business.