Bukowski's funeral

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Does anybody know anything about this?

It's a wonder they didn't film it? I guess Linda and his Family were against it?
So many questions...so little answers.

Can anybody tell me anything about it...

where was it
how many people attended
anything?
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Montfort took some photos. It was a small handful of people, the ceremony (performed by Buddhist monks if I'm not mistaken) was held at the cemetery he is buried in, Green Hills in San Pedro.

I think A Sure Bet has a chapter about it...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
The buk bios by Sounes and Miles also has info on the burial. The ceremony was performed by 3 Buddhist monks. It was described by Locklin as being in 2 languages,neither of them understandable, but with much bowing and chanting. In attendance were Linda and Marina,John and Barbara Martin with friends and colleagues from BSP, Carl Weissner,Gerald Locklin,John Thomas and Philomene Long,Red and Mina Stodoldsky (Baroque Bookshop),Sean Penn,Dr. Dick Ellis and friends and neighbours from San Pedro,. Buk went to his grave dressed casually with a row of pens in his pocket...
 
I'm fascinated by the Buddhist monks chanting, would love to know more about how that came to be? Buk's wishes or Linda's?
Tibetan Monks, Japanese Zen Monks?
As a novice in Buddhism I know about funeral monks but did not know they would do the chant service for someone who was not an 'official Buddhist' i.e. someone who had taken refuge in the three jewels, etc.
Anyone know more about this, or anything about Buk's interest( if he had one) in Buddhism?
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Anyone know more about this, or anything about Buk's interest( if he had one) in Buddhism?
He had none. Linda does.

He took up meditating shortly before he died, but he often wrote that Linda had her "thing" and he left her to it. Other times (though much less frequently) he openly ridiculed her beliefs in letters to others.

What he would have thought of monks chanting over his coffin, I don't know. He probably would have said, "If it makes Linda happy..."
 
i saw the biograhpy on ShowTime a few weeks. I think it was show time. Anyway they had a couple clips from the funeral with monks...and it was really peaceful.. Linda explained the way he died, and how the funeral was a very peaceful ceremony...
 
I'll look it up. It was on a few weeks ago, and very recent. It included clips of Bono and Sean Penn...But it also included the way he acted toward Linda sometimes....in one seen he was drinking and being interviewed and she was next to him, and he says...."so you think you can just go out at night and leave me" Linda replies "oh yeah i do" he says something like "fuck you no you fucking do not" and started to kick her off of the sofa. much respect as a poet but very much openly disrespectful to her.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
was it born into this? because i don't remember seeing anything about the funeral in there and I've seen it quite a few times.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Neither do I. I never heard that the funeral was filmed. Interesting...
 
G

grayxray

I think he was drunk, or just plain pissed off; didn't think much of women with Linda maybe a exception That file is now showing on HBO; but it is not complete;
 
I don't know if this was asked or not before on some other thread but, I seem to recall that a buddhist monk(s) attended his funeral. Did Buk himself request this or maybe it this was Linda's decision? Just wanderin'.
 
...the ceremony (performed by Buddhist monks if I'm not mistaken) ...
... The ceremony was performed by 3 Buddhist monks. It was described by Locklin as being in 2 languages,neither of them understandable, but with much bowing and chanting ...
from:
Gerald Locklin: 'The Funeral of Charles Bukowski' in: Charles Bukowski - A Sure Bet' (Sudbury: Water Row Press, 1996):

"... As the pigtailed, teal-veiled monks are chanting around the cascet, he [Sean Penn] whispers to the pall-bearer next to him, 'Don't they know this is America? Why aren't they speaking Spanish?' ..."
 
Wow I just logged on to ask this very question. Interesting, even though it didn't really answer my questions. So that's it though huh, the buddhism thing was Linda Lees thing and Bukowski was kind of anti-religous to the end? I've always found it interesting that he ended up meditating at the end.

But yeah, I could see it as Buk describes her as a new age nut (no offense intended as I'm into buddhism and consider myself a new age nut)

Neat.
 
Buddhism is not 'new age'. It is one of the oldest practiced religions in the world. I'd be the first one in front, to ream American/Western 'new age' goofee-ness. But let us please draw, at least a squigely line, between Buddhism/ Bullshit/ and Because...
More often than not, funerals are for the living, not for the dead.

Christ, I don't even know why I'm writing this. I'm drunk. All I do know is that if you watch 'Born Into This', and see how Linda talks about his death, and how she starts to cry, and needs to catch her breath....
well if Buddhist Monks at the very end brought her peace/comfort, then good for her. Bukowski would have wanted her to have that. He Loved her. CRB
 
Buddhism itself is not new age but it is classed into that category and those that practice new age beliefs. The way that Buk presents Linda in "Women" she is most definitely a new age nut. She ran a health food store, worshiped breyer baba (or maha rishi, whatever) and had all these cooky ideas. Not that this is a bad thing mind you. Buk loved her for a reason.
 
OM MANI PADME HUM.

Any new age adherent who professes to Buddhism knows nothing of Buddhism nor truth. There are some things that cannot be circumscribed into pop culture, and truth is certainly not one of them.

I study Buddhism because it interests me, and it makes far more sense than any other spiritual philosophy; I would in no way consider myself a Buddhist.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Any new age adherent who professes to Buddhism knows nothing of Buddhism nor truth.
Well, some of them certainly think they do.

I lived next door to a yuppie in Venice (CA) for a couple years who had meetings every Saturday morning where a couple dozen other yuppies would congregate with their Range Rovers and Jaguars and drone Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is as robotic a tone as they could manage, as fast as possible for like an hour straight.

NamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyo

Then they'd come out, start dialing their giant cell phones, crack open the day runners, pull on their Louis Vuitton sunglasses and tear out of the neighborhood at generally dangerously high rates of speed.

I knew what Nam Myoho Renge Kyo meant - or rather I knew it was a chant related to some flavor of Buddhism - but honestly, after almost a year, I couldn't tell that's what they were saying. It was just one (really loud) drone, like construction equipment or a camel with a broken leg.

So I'm out mending the picket fence or something, and the neighbor is standing right there, so we say, "Hi," and I ask, "Hey, so what are you doing over there every Saturday?" He tells me that they are chanting. Okay, fair enough. Then he goes on to volunteer way more information than I was looking for, telling me with his wide eyes how you can chant for anything you want - cars, money, a big house.

"Ah, I see," I say as I back slowly into the house, smiling, while he keeps telling how GREAT it is and how I should just come over next Saturday, and I smiled and nodded until I got to the door, then waved goodbye and went in.

Maybe those nuts are to Buddhism what snake handlers are to normal Christians, I dunno. But that experience certainly tainted my view of Western Buddhists.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Can I interest you in some Buddhism today?

No disrespect intended, I lived in Japan from age 2 until 6 and I respect Buddhism more than most religions. ( the Japanese Buddhists never came knocking on our door trying to shove it down my parents throats.)
The first forum spam I got here at Bukowski.net was from someone about Buddhism. I do not remember who it was, they probably liked the corgi, but they were trying to get me to go along. It's not like they rode up to my house on their bicycle and offered to help me around the house, but the same idea. In High School and City College their were people selling the old chanting for riches promises but I don't think they are real Buddhists.
Like I said Buddhism is one of the oldest religions and for a reason.
 
In High School and City College their were people selling the old chanting for riches promises but I don't think they are real Buddhists.
That's the sort of thing I was getting at with my earlier statement. So here's my opinion based on what I've learned along the way: Unlike watered-down and spoon-fed western religions that indicate that you go to church once a week and you're a good Methodist or Baptist or whatever, being a buddhist requires complete renunciation of all things but a robe and a bowl of rice a day.

Sure, you can study and practice Buddhist principles, and that may do you a world of good in your life, but that doesn't make one a Buddhist. More than any other religion, you are either completely in or completely out with Buddhism.
 
Buddhism and Miller and Kerouac

Both Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac of course were pretty deeply into Buddhism, along with Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, etc. William Burroughs had no use for it. Apparently a new "biography" of Buddha by Kerouac entitled Wake Up has been or is about to be published. I have Kerouac's massive Some of the Dharma. I don't know if this new book is new material or not but am curious.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Well, some of them certainly think they do.

I lived next door to a yuppie in Venice (CA) for a couple years who had meetings every Saturday morning where a couple dozen other yuppies would congregate with their Range Rovers and Jaguars and drone Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is as robotic a tone as they could manage, as fast as possible for like an hour straight.

...NamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyoNamMyohoRengeKyo...

Then they'd come out, start dialing their giant cell phones, crack open the day runners, pull on their Louis Vuitton sunglasses and tear out of the neighborhood at generally dangerously high rates of speed.

I knew what Nam Myoho Renge Kyo meant - or rather I knew it was a chant related to some flavor of Buddhism - but honestly, after almost a year, I couldn't tell that's what they were saying. It was just one (really loud) drone, like construction equipment or a camel with a broken leg.

So I'm out mending the picket fence or something, and the neighbor is standing right there, so we say, "Hi," and I ask, "Hey, so what are you doing over there every Saturday?" He tells me that they are chanting. Okay, fair enough. Then he goes on to volunteer way more information than I was looking for, telling me with his wide eyes how you can chant for anything you want - cars, money, a big house.

"Ah, I see," I say as I back slowly into the house, smiling, while he keeps telling how GREAT it is and how I should just come over next Saturday, and I smiled and nodded until I got to the door, then waved goodbye and went in.

Maybe those nuts are to Buddhism what snake handlers are to normal Christians, I dunno. But that experience certainly tainted my view of Western Buddhists.
This particular sect call themselves Nichiren Shoshu and what you describe is exactly what they do... they chant for "stuff." When I was young they had a big building on PCH in Santa Monica and used to send pairs of nubile young hippie-like girls out to the beach to try to intice young guys to join. I'm sure it was a more effective recruitment technique than sending out groups of dancing, bell-ringing, orange-robed, shaved-headed guys shoving flowers in your face and asking for money.
 
bukowski's "soul expansion"

... Bukowski, when i knew him (1973-1983), wrote me, circa 1981, regarding "soul expansion" (his words regarding Linda Lee's study of buddhism): "I am not one to compete with the eternal wonders of the Universe"... Bukowski was quite self satisfied with his earthly stance amd pursuit of the pleasure of his own company enhanced with wine, women, typewriter and poetry... one drunken night in august, 1976, while he celebrated his 56th birthday alone in LA, we talked loong distance on the telephone for hours, some of our conversation abt astology which buk contended to be amused by, if not "believe in"--because he loved being a Leo, a Lion; also, he liked, asper Chinese Astology, being Year of the Monkey... if buk embraced buddhism in his later days, it might not be much of a lengthy leap of philosophical ideal if considering his yin-yang comment to me in 1982: "Life's bad but not too much so." Bukowski, however much a chronic cynic and despondent fatalist throughout his writings often tempers despair with hope and humor...
 
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