[Noisebridge-discuss] update on the shrine!

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Sat Jul 16 05:35:38 UTC 2011

So, as some of you may know, the old shrine got re-activated as a working
shrine a few days ago, and the Church classroom cleared away for meditation
and contemplation, led by Fa Zang (Rinpoche), the guy in the buddhist monk
robe who has been doing a lot of sewing in the craft area recently.

Not everybody was happy with this. I was a bit personally miffed because in
the process, the membership binders were moved. I am agnostic about almost
everything, but in my eldritch role conferred on me by the consensus of
Noisebridge, I really am all about the membership binders.

So, anyway, subsequent to that, the following Noisebridginess occurred:

1) We found the membership binders! They are now in the black desk. I have
updated the wiki. Yay.

2) The shrine was de-activated, and the chairs and tables put back in place
in Church as a re-activated classroom.

3) The next day, the shrine was put back together, and Church once again
cleared away of all other earthly furniture. Perhaps a bit gallingly for a
prominent General and war deity, Guan Yu was relegated to a side-deity, and
a framed postcard of another Bodhisattva put in prime position. Incense and
pillows were now made available.

4) The shrine was subsequently dismantled, more forcefully. For avoidance
of doubt, Guan Yu was put up for sale by Miloh:

5) The shrine was erected and re-activated, and I believe Church cleared
once again, before Tuesday meeting. Crutcher, as the minutes show, said
that if it remained so prominent, "it is my personal plan to do-acrat that
shrine to pieces with powertools tonight."

6) After the meeting, but prior to said do-acratic action, a gentlemen
interceded. It was agreed that since he said that as he had a good home for
Guan Yu away from the powertools of the unrighteous, he could take the
shrine with him.

7) When I left the meeting, Guan Yu was sitting a bit forlorn at the bottom
of the stairs, waiting his new home.

8) On Thursday, I bumped into the Fa Zang (Rinpoche) who was sewing. I
apologised for my mistake about the binders, and explained some of the
reasons why some people felt it was inappropriate to use Noisebridge and
the shrine for active religious worship.

Zang said that he understood that this wasn't a place for meditation. I
said that meditation was interesting, but agreed that this probably wasn't
a good place for lessons or explicitly religious ceremonies.

The lama (Rinpoche is an honorific attached to lamas) told me that the
person who took Guan Yi was one of his disciples. As his master he would
instruct him what to do with it.

We had an interesting chat about masters and disciples. Fa Fa Zong told me
of the error of believing in a world without masters, and averred that if I
didn't believe in reincarnation, I would not be a good buddhist. I said I
was down with that, and learned some knots.

9) Today, Maestro mailed Al that the shrine was back up, and Church had
been cleared of chairs and tables again. I popped down to the space. Guan
Yi wasn't back, but three little bowls, more incense were in an otherwise
empty Church. I spoke to Maestro and a few others. They said that folks had
been chanting and ringing bells early in the morning. Also, and this was
unclear, there was some rumors of people walking around ringing little
bells also. We ascertained that at least one little bell was the
Noisebridge dinner bell, so that was put back in the kitchen.

10) I grabbed hold of Jorgen from the Free School, who had just came in. He
also expressed some exasperation with the Rinpoche. Together, we had a
little chat with someone present who said he was a disciple of Fa Zang. He
said that he and his master had heard that anyone could come here, and as
long as the space was not being used, it could be used for anything.

I said that noooo, that really this was a hackerspace, for the creative
uses of technology.

10.5) I got the Rinpoche's cellphone number from his disciple. I totally
have a real Lama in my Google Contacts now.

11) I called up the Rinpoche (a trusted disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha
III), and told them that I thought we'd gone over this, and really it
wasn't appropriate to do religious ceremonies at the space.

Fa Zang, who became a rinpoche when three other rinpoches had omens in
dreams about his nature as a reincarnation of a previous rinpoche, and was
conferred with the title by His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III in 2009,
hung up on me.

12) A few hours later, Fa Zang left me a voicemail. I have the MP3 if
anyone wants it. It is awesome, and here is the transcript:


    This is Fa Zang (Rinpoche). You seem to have forgotten that this
    country was found... to things written in the Constitution. Our
    founding forefathers promised us we would have freedom of speech,
    and freedom of religion. You remember the things that Thomas
    Jefferson said, about tyranny and religion?  If you don't you should
    look it up.  What you people are doing is completely erroneous, I
    haven't held any ceremonies there, I've simply been paying homage to
    the teachings I listen to there. And so you are breaking your own
    by-laws and the constitutional rights of people who come there by
    doing what you're doing. I think you should reconsider what you're

So there you go. As someone who is also a fan of the founding fathers and
...things written in the Constitution, I'm sensitive to issues regarding
religion, so I've been actively seeking out someone who is okay with the
meditating, and the incense, and the shrining, and the constantly bloody
moving of the tables and chairs. Let me know if you want to represent the
Rinpoche's position in this disagreement.

In the mean time, if you agree with what is smelling to me like consensus,
and if you see the Rinpoche in the road, or even in the space, can you ask
him to keep the ceremonial stuff to Macang Monastery, where he lives. Or
else some folk may start exercising their constitutional and by-law given
rights to pay homage to Discordia, Emperor Norton and/or the Great
Spaghetti Monster's Rites in said Monastery (1822 Eddy St, x Scott +
Divisadero, https://foursquare.com/venue/9311185 ).


Danny O'Brien (Genuine and Authorized Pope + Rinpoche Forever,
House of the Apostles of Eris)


PS If you haven't already, you totally should look up "Tyranny" "Religion"
and "Thomas Jefferson" on the Internet.

PPS Honest to god, I fucking love this place. I haven't had so much fun in

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