do you like my new stationary?

[click image]


I sometimes find the websites of places from my past. Last night it was the site of the Zen temple where I lived for two years. They have a fairly comprehensive catalog of dharma talks there. I started listening to various of them... the ones still at their charlatans' game after these decades... the ones I know. I hear them still spouting all the tropes I found so vexing back then, and gasping inside that they could consider it helpful to seekers after enlightenment.

I see them using quotes from masters to illuminate things completely off the uses for which they were so concisely conceived. My teeth want to gnash. I see all their mystification tricks. I hear them letting their mouths go on running away without their brains and having at some point to pull it all into something that at least superficially seems to tie all that blather into a theme. My spirit is choking.

I think of all the tortured souls coming to them in such mortal agony and want to get in my car to make a journey to bean them all with a bat. This on the heels of having skimmed a few "Zen" sites to try to get a feel for the current state of things, the great grandchildren dharma heirs vying for the perfect English to put on their cue balls, mostly... well, almost exclusively... concerned with the means of support for "Zen teachers" in America. See, this is supposed to be free. Never mind that what they sell is not worth free. Charging for the Dharma is unspeakable.

Still, I catch myself having some compassion for them since it is still a good crash course in the Buddhist landscape. Public teaching centers can boast at least giving the clueless the first part of a clue about how they might scratch their way to something that might hint strongly enough of where they want to go. I try to apply provisionally the term "bodhisattva" to these witless drones because of this small favor for which they charge so much, but it doesn't wash. The only thing keeping them at it is the free place to live and eat... and the oceans of reverent or piously perplexed seekers softly gaping at them with pools of need in their eyes.

It did not ruin me to spend that long there, but I am weird. I saw almost immediately that these people were incapable of teaching me, but noticed I could hear snippets of things to explore for myself, and I used my time there strictly as my means to effectively "leave the world". That is mandatory anyway and not a bad trade as long as the human leaving the world there is not deluded that the bald men in dresses and bald women in bibs are their spiritual friends. Who do you know who could enter such a playground in a state of utter pulverization and not lose every chance there would have been in life from that hate answering their point of greatest need?

And it is hate. It is that thing they say they are there to redress. Greed, hate and delusion. People go in thinking those are separate things. You don't come out alive if you still think that. These "dharma heirs"... keepers of claptrap... are greedy for adulation, jealous of each other and anyone who doesn't fall for their act, deluded that their thing is anything other than the world on steroids. No. If you can't keep your consciousness distinct from that sucking vortex, it isn't worth what little preliminary information you get, and it is in no wise leaving the world. It could so easily be where you give up, where your true self stops knocking on your throat for its life once and for all, where you go to learn how to be a fraud, a zombie, in a relatively chic way, or where you go to simply jump off into your river of tears and drown.

How does one go from that to light it for suffering sentients? How does one show those portraits of piety only stick needles in you like their voodoo doll, train you to carry on killing with them in a thick brume of benignity dust? What stationary is the most apt?