[Noisebridge-discuss] update on the shrine!

Rameen emprameen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 18 17:35:30 UTC 2011

It seems like the main issue is that the Church class was being rearranged.
To me that's unexcellent for others who generally need furniture, etc. to
study. Religion and (non)religious beliefs aside, why don't we just ask them
to arrange everything back to western-type classroom style when they're done
with their practice?

I see religion as a tool, like science, and meditation can be like
experimentation. I think it's unexcellent to oppress
metaphysical/spiritual/belief system hacking. Has anyone ever watched a
programmer? Don't they sit in quiet contemplation rearranging intangible
reality in a meditative way for hours? Both are projects of
manipulating/constructing/programming reality. One pertains to the physical
objects our senses encounter, and the other with the methods by which we
encounter the objects. Both of these are aspects of science just as much as
any religious/magical/spiritual practice, aren't they?

On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 10:35 PM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:

> 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:
> http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/atq/2489669725.html
> 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:
>    "Sir,
>    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
>    doing."
> 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 ).
> Salut!
> Danny O'Brien (Genuine and Authorized Pope + Rinpoche Forever,
> House of the Apostles of Eris)
> d.
> 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
> ages.
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