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Hoodie Monks Music

Finally got some music out there. Check out http://www.reverbnation.com/gomyo

For Dad and the Family

After sending the link to the Peace Pilgrim song below to my dad to check out and asking him to pass it on to the family, he replied that he also checked out my blog from the link on the music page and, though he thought I 'did a good job' with the blog he felt that it was 'tainted' by 'bad words' and that he wasn't comfortable forwarding the link to the song to any members of the family in case they should stumble onto my blog and, I guess the implication is, find out what a bad little boy I really am. So in honor of that I'm putting up a video that I love just for Dad and the family to enjoy. Not sure if they will get the joke though...


People Are Good

Over a year ago I posted some lyrics from a work in progress based on Peace Pilgrim's 'Steps Toward Inner Peace'. The English version of the song has been posted in the music section of the Peace Pilgrim web site. Please check it out, along with all the great stuff by and about Peace Pilgrim that you'll find there. It easy enough to find at http://peacepilgrim.org/ and if you just wanna hear the song and not be bothered with navigating the site you can go straight to http://peacepilgrim.org/htmfiles/music.htm and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Sometimes, in the middle of dealing with all this crap about fake teachers and sexual predators, it's good to take a minute and remember that 'there is a spark of good in everyone, no matter how deeply buried' as Peace put it...some of us call that spark the Buddha nature.

People Are Good

Hook (the free, schizophonic)
People are good
We walk until we're given shelter
People are good
We fast until we're given food
People are good
Never asked for but freely given
People are good
No matter how deep the spark is

(gomyo)
Right attitude toward life
Bringing lives into harmony
Unique place for each being
in the pattern
Simple, start and see
Purification of the body
thought, desire, motive
Service is the key
And it's the set you wanna roll with
Met a few who had to
Change their job to
Change their lives
But many more who only had to
Change their motives up to thrive
Relinquish your self will
Not separate, just a cell
Relinquish all attachments
Negativity as well

HOOK

(griffin)
When I wake up I grasp a cup
Thinking of all the past times
Circulating through my mind
Then I find life is a trip
I take sip and visualize
a solar eclipse in the mist
Where there's light
It casts a shadow
Meaning that sometimes
Life is a struggle
A constant battle
Like the trapped cattle
This is the mantle
That will rattle the cages
And tame the faces
Of the courageous
For all my brothers
From a different mother
They always got my back
In tune with the track
Never lack the ambition to rap
I look on a map
And realize the gap
And the beauty of contact
In the moment of changing
Your frame of mind
See the light and flow
On a positive vibe
So reach out a hand
And try to understand
All the mistakes are just lessons
Inside the message that

HOOK

(gomyo)
Walking this path
Shit that I've seen
Sometimes just makes me
Wanna get into the green
And when I do I remember
How it felt when i saw
Burning ember
Now awakening
On the path again
On the road in Shikoku
I'm back again
Henro Sendatsu
I'm on the road
And I flow
Cuz I gots to
Keep walkin on the henro michi
I'm coming through
Where are you?
Come and see me
Only go where I walk
and I'm writing
On the walls of the halls
That enlighten
My stencil is as sharp as my mind
No drips this trip
Pure grip, no crime
I'm staking out my claim
Street graff and rap my game
Step to me where I live
You gonna get seen man

People Are Good

Hook (the free, schizophonic)
People are good
We walk until we're given shelter
People are good
We fast until we're given food
People are good
Never asked for but freely given
People are good
No matter how deep the spark is

(gomyo)
Right attitude toward life
Bringing lives into harmony
Unique place for each being
in the pattern
Simple, start and see
Purification of the body
thought, desire, motive
Service is the key
And it's the set you wanna roll with
Met a few who had to
Change their job to
Change their lives
But many more who only had to
Change their motives up to thrive
Relinquish your self will
Not separate, just a cell
Relinquish all attachments
Negativity as well

HOOK

(griffin)
When I wake up I grasp a cup
Thinking of all the past times
Circulating through my mind
Then I find life is a trip
I take sip and visualize
a solar eclipse in the mist
Where there's light
It casts a shadow
Meaning that sometimes
Life is a struggle
A constant battle
Like the trapped cattle
This is the mantle
That will rattle the cages
And tame the faces
Of the courageous
For all my brothers
From a different mother
They always got my back
In tune with the track
Never lack the ambition to rap
I look on a map
And realize the gap
And the beauty of contact
In the moment of changing
Your frame of mind
See the light and flow
On a positive vibe
So reach out a hand
And try to understand
All the mistakes are just lessons
Inside the message that

HOOK

(gomyo)
Walking this path
Shit that I've seen
Sometimes just makes me
Wanna get into the green
And when I do I remember
How it felt when i saw
Burning ember
Now awakening
On the path again
On the road in Shikoku
I'm back again
Henro Sendatsu
I'm on the road
And I flow
Cuz I gots to
Keep walkin on the henro michi
I'm coming through
Where are you?
Come and see me
Only go where I walk
and I'm writing
On the walls of the halls
That enlighten
My stencil is as sharp as my mind
No drips this trip
Pure grip, no crime
I'm staking out my claim
Street graff and rap my game
Step to me where I live
You gonna get seen man

http://peacepilgrim.org/audio/mp3/PeopleAreGood.mp3

Shit Talkin'

Well it's been over a year since I decided to hell with the online community and went back into my digital cave, traded a keyboard in for a mic, and started touring and working on an album for High Life Records as my Dharma work, rather than just spitting into the whirlpool that is the online Buddhist world.

Now it seems the eBuddhists have finally decided the time is right call out the fakers and abusers among the clergy, and I've decided it's time to get back online.

Maybe it was the fact that the Catholics finally decided to acknowledge all the harm caused by their pedophile priests or maybe it was Robert Aitken Roshi's open letter to Eido Tai Shimano to answer the many reports of his alleged sexual abuse of students that brought about this change of heart.

My own experience would lead me to believe that it was the Catholics that inspired the eBuddhists to pull Umon's shit stick out of their asses and take a good hard look at abusive clergy, since I was labeled a Dharma Bully for making a similar request to Barry Graham when I asked him, just to put all the rumors to rest, to show me his inka. Hell, Ven. Kobutsu Malone was the victim of ad hominem attacks for simply putting evidence of abuse out in the open. So it must be the Catholics that inspired the eBuddhists, right?

But then there is this praise of Aitken Roshi for his open letter:

Wow! It's a big step to challenge a colleague publicly, Roshi. Well, I think on the whole it's good to bring the issue of Zen teachers abusing students out into the open.

I'm slow to rise to anger, but when senior students of disgraced teachers tell me that what their teacher did to female students was actually a "teaching that the unenlightened women somehow didn't understand", I tend to give them an tongue lashing they don't easily forget ...

Good on you, Roshi!

palm to palm

So maybe it just matters who it is that does the questioning. After all, the one thing all good followers need is a good leader. I guess maybe it took someone with the stature of Aitken Roshi to make a similar challenge for all the eBuddhist followers to recognize the validity of such a move. Thanks for joining us out here in the cold Aitken Roshi. Your presence is warming. Nine bows.

Now maybe you can all take another look at Graham. I've been silent, but he has been quite busy, enjoying your pussyfooted apathy toward his transgressions in the name of a clerical office that hasn't even been properly transmitted to him. Shame on you for looking away...
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Walkin this path, shit that I've seen
Sometimes just makes me wanna get into the green
And when I do I remember
How it felt when I saw burnin ember
Now Awakenin', on the path again
On the road in Shikoku, I'm back again
Henro Sendatsu
I'm on the road and I flow cuz I got to
Keep walkin on the henro michi
I'm coming through, where are you?
Come and see me
Only go where I walk, and I'm writin
On the walls of the halls that enlighten
My stencil is as sharp as my mind
No drips this trip pure grip no crime
I'm stakin out my claim, street graff and rap my game
Step to me where I live, you gone get seen man...

New Hoodie Monks Song - first English Verse

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Right attitude toward life bringing lives into harmony
Unique place for each being in the pattern, simple, start and see
Purification of the body, thought, desire, motive
Service is the key and it's the set you wanna roll with
Met a few who had to change their jobs to change their lives
But many more who only had to change their motives up to thrive
Relinquish your self will, not separate just a cell
Relinquish all attachments, negativity as well

This verse is a reworking of Peace Pilgrim's Steps Toward Inner Peace, the 4 Preparations, 4 Purifications, and 4 Relinquishments, which can be found here: http://www.peacepilgrim.com/stepssumry.htm

New Hoodie Monks Song - Hook

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Here's the hook from the new HM song:

People are good
Walk until given shelter
People are good
Fast until given food
People are good
Never asked for, freely given
People are good
No matter how deep the spark is

Comment on the Comments

Thanks to everyone for their interest and input into the whole expulsion from Sitting Frog situation. The comments seem to have run their course and gotten far afield from the original issue though, and for that reason I will be closing the comments on that particular entry soon. It looks like a couple people still have an unfinished conversation going on and I don't want to cut anyone off so I'll leave the entry open to comments for at least another day or two.

While I appreciated everyone's input on things like the ass pic and jerkoff tanka, they really don't concern me and have become distractions from the issue at hand. All I have stated so far is that I was kicked out of the Sitting Frog Sangha for asking the self proclaimed "abbot" to make documentation of his ordination and Dharma transmission available for examination. In a single email he stated that he would be removing all reference to myself and my artwork from his various web pages for asking, and at the same time promised to forward the address of his place of training in Japan for verification of his claims. The removal of all reference to me from his blog happened within the hour, yet I'm still waiting for the address, or any proof of ordination or Dharma transmission for that matter.

People have asked why I care and that is a fair question that I will now address. Myself and others associated with the Hoodie Monks have donated money and materials to Barry for use in the creation of an inner city training center to be called Daihizan Jigen-ji. It appears that there may have been misrepresentation on Graham's part involved in obtaining support for this project. Nothing was ever done to bring it to fruition, it has been suspended, and I'm left answering to people about where their money went. I simply asked Mr. Graham to back up his claim of Dharma transmission to alleviate the doubts that had been beginning to grow in my mind about his behavior and manner of teaching, so that I could continue in good conscience my association with SFZS, assure backers that I sent his way that all was well, and consider his request to study the Shingon teachings with me as his teacher.

His reaction was to not only cut off all contact with me, but to start rumors that I am no longer a monk and that I am a convicted felon, while at the same time leveling outrageously false charges against Ven. Kobutsu, who has been remarkably generous and kind to Mr. Graham. These claims are simply not true. I am very much still a monk in good standing with my teacher, ryuha, and the Shingon school here in Japan. I have never been charged with or convicted of a crime here in Japan or any other country. His claims against Ven. Kobutsu have been thoroughly discredited at http://www.engaged-zen.org/Kobio2.html.

I let these false accusations go without comment when he posted them the first time, apparently clever enough not to name me directly in charges that he knew to be untrue. Now that these charges have been repeated on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Barry_Graham_(author)&oldid=275057461), naming Ven. Kobutsu and myself directly, either by Mr. Graham hiding behind the anonymous internet, or by someone influenced by his intentionally false post, I feel the need to respond, as well as answer the question of why I asked to see his transmission papers in the first place.

So there it is. I became suspicious of a person that I had provided financial and material backing to, and asked him to show the credentials that he claimed to have. His response was to cut off all contact with me while attempting to smear my name, and that of the teacher that had rejected him, in the process. Considering Mr. Graham's unfulfilled promise to provide proof of Dharma transmission, or even the most basic monk's ordination, coupled with his personal and untrue attacks on myself and Ven. Kobutusu as a result of my asking, I am lead to only one conclusion...Barry Graham obtained our support through false claims and it is highly unlikely that he is even an ordained member of the Buddhist Sangha.

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

Haven't been in the mood for blogging much lately, but a couple things have brought me out of my shell. The first was being named the blog of the week by the Planet Japan podcast. Thanks Doug and Jen! Check them out at http://planetjapan.org/ for a wacky look at Japan through the eyes of two...interesting foreigners. This week on the popular segment "Dick of the Week" they discuss the apparently drunken performance of Japanese Finance Minister Nakagawa at the recent G7 Economic Summit that resulted in his resignation.

The other thing that brought me back to the keyboard was the flu. I'm home from work today and have a minute to get back online.

So...changes...the High Life Records tour has been postponed due to our southwest tour planner going incommunicado despite assurances that the recent hullabaloo over kyosakus and inkas would have no bearing on the Arizona dates and the Dharma Dueling rap battle mentioned back in December. Because of the sudden lack of communication we have had to refigure our budget and reschedule the tour. The tour is now set to take place in September and will focus on the west coast and the midwest...cuz that's where I'm from and we wanna make a stop there. The tour is tentatively being called the LA to LA tour, which refers to Los Angeles and the Lansing Area, Lansing Michigan being my hometown. As far as the Dharma Duel goes, I guess I'm the winner by forfeit unless I hear otherwise from the challenger...

It's A Riddle

How many Sitting Frog Zen Sangha teachers does it take to change a light bulb?

Not two, apparently.
I've just been kicked out of the Sitting Frog Zen Sangha for asking Dogo to show me his inka.
Huh...
The cheese stands alone.


I'm a Buddhist priest living in Japan. Also a muralist and calligrapher, as well as essayist.

I was the first non-Japanese to be given Dharma Transmission in the Omuro School of Shingon Buddhism.

Became a Shikoku Pilgrimage Temple Association Sendatsu (Pilgrim Guide) in December of 2006.
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