(addendum: If you find the tone of this post puts you off try reading through to the comments for some resolution. Some good folks have been introspecting and kindly shared.)
In comments recently:
very nice blog — I also blog on Buddhism + yoga
If you think my blog is “very nice” you ought to read it a little more carefully. I was going to delete your comment as comment spam since you are really only advertising your own blog here but instead I feel like coming out with a few words for you linda and others who wish to use this space which I maintain as a free bulletin board for your own indulgences.
If you are not interested to actually read the things here GO AWAY! DON’T COMMENT! DON’T ADVERTISE! JUST GO AWAY!
As for my opinion about yoga and Buddhism-well I haven’t one since yoga is not my thing and is almost never mentioned in this blog. Yoga and Buddhism are two different systems. (you would know about Patanjali and so on I’m sure or maybe Seane Corne hasn’t put that in her latest video) The commercial yoga empires of the United States are not anything I have any interest in whatsoever.
I run into so many “Yoga people” and their “Buddhisty” blather that I’m fed up with it. Yeah I checked your blog too. I’m sure you have an audience for that kind of thing but it ain’t here.
Be careful where you comment sometimes.
Yoga is not Buddhism.
Now some folks might think my response is a little harsh. After all linda is only leaving a comment on an old blog post. What’s the harm in that? NellaLou is “over-reacting” to a few words. Well…NO! Hell…NO!
First point is I did not go to linda’s blog and invite her comment. I acknowledge that I do put this blog out there for valid comments on the content and I take what I get and roll with it as well as I can. Even if I disagree with a commenter I try to do so in a manner that is respectful of their humanity, work involved in making a comment and to their words. I (hopefully) am never so dismissive as to say “nice comment – now here’s my shit” so as to invalidate the other completely.
Next point is this isn’t Craig’s list-advertise your blog there.
Another point (Ohh feeling a little prickly today!) is that comment spam however well disguised is still that. It is just rude. Not something one would imagine coming from a “yoga facilitator”, Taurus-moon cusping whatever, hippie chick, yada yada yada. But then again a blog so full of ego-wanking self-worship and adoring quotes from fans might belie the actual state of mind of it’s writer. There’s a blog review for you to put up! You quote Emma Goldman and that’s what you get!
The past while I’ve been contemplating the tone of this blog. It’s seeping into the insipid sometimes. And that seems to invite all kinds of lame wankers to comment and even send me email (Will you help me find peace/a place to stay/a teacher/etc. when I come to India? I’m not running a travel service, guru matching agency or anything else. ) This writer is not one of those mushy love and light types who’s going to smile at you while grinding her teeth. That’s bullshit. There’s way too much of that kind of bullshit in the world as it is.
The objective is not to insult people but to get real with stuff. And I’m getting as real as I can with myself here as well as anyone who cares to read this stuff. And my gratitude to those who choose to do that. But to those who don’t bother and then EXPECT something (anything) here can go and ego-wank elsewhere.
If all that seems harsh here’s a few things that I’ve also encountered in the past week that might be of interest. In the Shambhala Sun issue March 2009 there were two articles that had points that really struck me.
First Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche while talking about cultivating certain qualities of mind in our daily path talked of gentleness. But at some point that can be taken too far. He said:
If we become too gentle, however, we might become feeble. So fearlessness comes next.
While he was discussing one’s relation with mind it is also in the context of engagement with our lives. We can sit meekly by and all manner of things can occur while we smile idiotically but what’s the point of that. Might as well go for a lobotomy. My mother, while not a real activist sort of person used to say that one can’t spend their lives being a milquetoast or everyone will walk all over you. I love that word milquetoast. And my father spent some time with the Canadian army (a sergeant!) so milquetoast he isn’t either.
In that same magazine issue Barry Boyce wrote:
…if our reluctance leads us to imagine that we can foster an enlightened world free of boundaries and sharp edges, our Pollyannaish efforts are doomed to failure. A world where silent dogs have no teeth and roses have no thorns is a dream born of fear.
And even to go beyond that, one of my favorite quotes from Ven. Kobutsu Malone:
We don’t have to be subservient. We don’t have to practice love and light. We don’t have to go around handing out imaginary lotuses and telling each other that we’re buddhas-to-be. That’s horseshit. That’s watered-down Dharma for children. We’re not buddhas-to-be—the first thing the Buddha said when he awakened was, “Wonder of wonders, all beings are fundamentally awake.” They’re not going to be–they are.
Talking the straight goods is not a sin. It may be the only way people can wake up from that comfy cocoon reality is wrapped in. Keep killing that fucking cat Nansen til it ain’t gonna die no more! Or until somebody finally opens their mouth.*
*So Un-Buddhist-like! What is Nansen up to?
Nansen Kills a Cat 
Once the monks of the eastern and western Zen halls in Nansen’s temple were
quarrelling about a cat. As he saw this, Nansen held up the cat and said,
“You monks! If one of you can say a word, I will not slay the cat.”
No one could answer. Nansen cut the cat in two.
: Cf. Case 14 in the Mumonkan.
**Nansen may have had something else in mind at the time but it’s a great illustration for the point!