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Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye

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In Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad Warner tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo by 13th-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Warner intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and pain of the punk In Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad Warner tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo by 13th-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Warner intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and pain of the punk rock ethos. Riffing on his triumphant return to Ohio for a reunion concert of Akron punk bands, Brad uncovers the real heart of Zen, in teachings and stories with a sharp smack of truth.


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In Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad Warner tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo by 13th-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Warner intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and pain of the punk In Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad Warner tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo by 13th-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Warner intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and pain of the punk rock ethos. Riffing on his triumphant return to Ohio for a reunion concert of Akron punk bands, Brad uncovers the real heart of Zen, in teachings and stories with a sharp smack of truth.

30 review for Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    First off, can I just say how much I love, love, love the title: “Sit Down and Shut Up”. This is why I love Brad Warner so much: he takes the lofty concepts of Zen and explains them in the most down-to-earth, straightforward, in your face sort of way. Which is exactly what I had needed for a long time when I stumbled upon his books. This one is his second, and it’s a commentary of what he refers to as the cornerstone of his intellectual understanding of Zen: Shobogenzo, a text written by Zen mast First off, can I just say how much I love, love, love the title: “Sit Down and Shut Up”. This is why I love Brad Warner so much: he takes the lofty concepts of Zen and explains them in the most down-to-earth, straightforward, in your face sort of way. Which is exactly what I had needed for a long time when I stumbled upon his books. This one is his second, and it’s a commentary of what he refers to as the cornerstone of his intellectual understanding of Zen: Shobogenzo, a text written by Zen master Dogen in the 13th century. Now I have seen copies of the English translation of the work, and they are doorstoppers. They make my copy of “War and Peace” look portable… And if I am honest, I have always been too intimidated to even attempt dipping my toes into that pond. That kind of book always makes me feel hopelessly dumb, so you can imagine how excited I was to find out that my favorite Zen weirdo had written a commentary on some chapters of Dogen’s work! The book starts with a quick intro and biography of Dogen’s life, to put us in context and explain the work’s relevance. Each chapter then fleshes out a passage of the Shobogenzo: Warner makes the often mind-bending quotes a little more accessible, and demonstrate their more concrete meanings in simple words. His narrative is interweaved with the story of a trip he made back to Akron for a punk rock reunion show (and the shooting of a documentary). But he does this to make a point, to show how his understanding of Dogen’s work has been directly applicable to the most mundane aspects of his day-to-day experience. And because he is Brad Warner, the text is peppered with (often lame) jokes, nerdy references and the occasional mild profanity. Some chapters helped me understand some teachings much more clearly, and helped keep me motivated in my practice and studies. Other chapters, I am still trying to figure out (I have no given up on Hyakujo’s fox story, but I’m still scratching my head about it). That’s probably why I’ll pick it up again from time to time and flip through it: Brad’s insight are definitely worth revisiting periodically! I mentioned it in previous reviews of his other books (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... if you don’t like irreverence, stay away from Brad Warner’s work! If the idea of someone saying of Dogen that he “wrote his little balls out” offends you, read something else: you are not the target audience. Warner writes for people who are interested in Zen and who don’t want the serene, lofty style that often comes with works on the subject.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Awesome! Brad Warner uses the writings of his favorite zen author, Dogen, as a springboard to discuss a little of everything, and a lot of nothing—thereby striking the perfect balance for a kick-ass zen book. The only thing that kept me from giving this five stars is Warner's tendency to pick on other schools of Buddhism for getting it wrong. Although even this punky attitude is presented in a totally zen manner, since he simultaneously has it all figured out while admitting to being just as dumb Awesome! Brad Warner uses the writings of his favorite zen author, Dogen, as a springboard to discuss a little of everything, and a lot of nothing—thereby striking the perfect balance for a kick-ass zen book. The only thing that kept me from giving this five stars is Warner's tendency to pick on other schools of Buddhism for getting it wrong. Although even this punky attitude is presented in a totally zen manner, since he simultaneously has it all figured out while admitting to being just as dumb as the rest of us. The whole point of the book is perfectly encapsulated in its title: Sit Down and Shut Up. Just meditate. Don't seek "enlightenment" (whatever you think that is), and don't assume the act of meditation makes you super special or anything. What happens happens, what is is. Just sit down, and shut up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I love titles like "Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death and Dogen's Treasury of the right Dharma Eye" because while the title is waaaaay too long and the book focuses little one God, Truth, Sex and Death; however, the core of the entire novel flows throughout: Sit Down and Shut up. I've learned a lot about Buddhism from Brad Warner's writings. From my own background, I have a mild understanding of buddhism: I've taken 3 seminars on Buddhism (well, it wa I love titles like "Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death and Dogen's Treasury of the right Dharma Eye" because while the title is waaaaay too long and the book focuses little one God, Truth, Sex and Death; however, the core of the entire novel flows throughout: Sit Down and Shut up. I've learned a lot about Buddhism from Brad Warner's writings. From my own background, I have a mild understanding of buddhism: I've taken 3 seminars on Buddhism (well, it was on Buddhist art, but you can't really have an understanding of art without the cultural/religious context wrapped in as well (hence, why art is so important to understanding anything, but that's another tale...)), and even then I'm feeling a bit fluxed and washy on what Buddhism really is. Warner walks us through Buddhism, through the eyes of one Zen master Dogen, and explains in very apt chapters (on God, Truth, Sex, and Death... and more) what the Dogen meant and how we can apply these ideas to our current practice of Buddhism. And being a Zen practitioner, this means that your practice of Buddhism comes chiefly in the form of zazen, or seated meditated. Heh, Sit Down, and Shut Up. If you are curious about Buddhism or would like Dogen explained in laymen terms (and I guess in Warner's antiquated "Punk Rock" jargon, which is actually very funny and refreshing, but totally screams like a 13-year old at some points), this is a really great book. Warner does a wonderful job of breaking down the meaning and understanding of what zen practice is, what buddhist philosophy concentrates on, and how to achieve the ability to recognize and appreciate reality. I found this a really fun, light read on heavy concepts that really appeal to my interest. I've even started meditating, in an effort to concentrate on how my body and mind operate simultaneously. I'm not sure what I'll get out of this, Brad Warner even writes the disclaimer that he won't know what I'll get out of this, but in the meanwhile, it's a good practice to sit down and shut up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I have always enjoyed and held the greatest respect for Zen Buddhism. The problem with Zen is that frequently, what you are reading is poorly translated materials from 14th century Japan or was written in the late sixties and is therefore steeped in hippy-dippy vibes. Lately, however, a new generation of young Buddhists have become mature enough to write about the experience and Brad Warner is my favorite. From former punk rock bassist to ordained zen monk to working in the Japanese Monster Movi I have always enjoyed and held the greatest respect for Zen Buddhism. The problem with Zen is that frequently, what you are reading is poorly translated materials from 14th century Japan or was written in the late sixties and is therefore steeped in hippy-dippy vibes. Lately, however, a new generation of young Buddhists have become mature enough to write about the experience and Brad Warner is my favorite. From former punk rock bassist to ordained zen monk to working in the Japanese Monster Movie Industry, Brad is irreverent, smart and dead on... and he'll answer e-mails. Gotta love that accessibility in an author. Read his first book too,,,

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Swensen

    Occupies a nice space between Hardcore Zen (which is a great overview and introduction to Warner's outlook) and Don't be a Jerk (which digs much deeper into Dogen and the Shobogenzo). A great book to follow up with if you got anything out of Hardcore Zen. Occupies a nice space between Hardcore Zen (which is a great overview and introduction to Warner's outlook) and Don't be a Jerk (which digs much deeper into Dogen and the Shobogenzo). A great book to follow up with if you got anything out of Hardcore Zen.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Young

    Overview of some of Zen legend Dogen's teachings as Warner interepretes them. Not aimed quite so much at the casual reader as HARDCORE ZEN but still not really a full-on Zen textbook. Didn't enjoy this as much as HARDCORE ZEN but I think that's partly 'cos I kept slogging through it when was I too tired to give it my full attention and partly 'cos Warner kept quoting Dogen using Japanese characters, then again in English, then gave his own extremely paraphrased version where he finally explains D Overview of some of Zen legend Dogen's teachings as Warner interepretes them. Not aimed quite so much at the casual reader as HARDCORE ZEN but still not really a full-on Zen textbook. Didn't enjoy this as much as HARDCORE ZEN but I think that's partly 'cos I kept slogging through it when was I too tired to give it my full attention and partly 'cos Warner kept quoting Dogen using Japanese characters, then again in English, then gave his own extremely paraphrased version where he finally explains Dogen's Zen wisdom. Got a bit annoying. Personally I feel he could have skipped the Japanese bit as this isn't an in-depth Zen book so it served no purpose other than to show off the fact that Warner can read Japanese.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Warner doesn't mess with evocative metaphor or fluffy language to talk about Zen practice and life. His direct, irreverent, no-bullshit attitude toward the subject is not only refreshing, but imperative to cut through the sheer about of misinformation out there about the subject. Unfortunately, most will undoubtedly find this approach off-putting - simply because it's not how books on religion/spirituality are typically packaged and presented. Too bad. There's great wisdom to be had here. Warner doesn't mess with evocative metaphor or fluffy language to talk about Zen practice and life. His direct, irreverent, no-bullshit attitude toward the subject is not only refreshing, but imperative to cut through the sheer about of misinformation out there about the subject. Unfortunately, most will undoubtedly find this approach off-putting - simply because it's not how books on religion/spirituality are typically packaged and presented. Too bad. There's great wisdom to be had here.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam Pateman

    I super liked it. It's pretty blah blah at points, but I found myself enjoying it like crazy. The chapter on death blew my mind a little. I super liked it. It's pretty blah blah at points, but I found myself enjoying it like crazy. The chapter on death blew my mind a little.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Page

    First of all, I loved this book. I loved the author's approach that was playful while also being straightforward. It is unpretentious and in no way condescending unlike many Buddhist books I have read. That said I am sure this author ruffled a lot of feathers among other Buddhist teachers because he flat-out contradicts many commonly held ideals of Buddhism in the West. Which is to say this is not the book for everybody. However it is likely to be a book I return to. It's another one of those book First of all, I loved this book. I loved the author's approach that was playful while also being straightforward. It is unpretentious and in no way condescending unlike many Buddhist books I have read. That said I am sure this author ruffled a lot of feathers among other Buddhist teachers because he flat-out contradicts many commonly held ideals of Buddhism in the West. Which is to say this is not the book for everybody. However it is likely to be a book I return to. It's another one of those books that found me at exactly the right time. I had purchased it at a discard sale sometime ago and finally started reading it at a time when I was ready to receive what's inside. And to finish it in the midst of this pandemic mess, was a gift.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dubzor

    Probably the best Buddhist text I've read all year, and definitely one of the most valuable I have in my library. As someone who has been struggling with the concepts of traditional Tibetan concepts and interpretations, it was quite enlightening (no pun intended) to get a different perspective on things. Brad Warner does an excellent job of cutting through all the BS and laying out Buddhism and specifically Zen Buddhism in a practical, accessible manner. I can't wait to read his first book! Probably the best Buddhist text I've read all year, and definitely one of the most valuable I have in my library. As someone who has been struggling with the concepts of traditional Tibetan concepts and interpretations, it was quite enlightening (no pun intended) to get a different perspective on things. Brad Warner does an excellent job of cutting through all the BS and laying out Buddhism and specifically Zen Buddhism in a practical, accessible manner. I can't wait to read his first book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Olbris

    Sit Down and Shut up is a pretty decent set of reflection on various topics, sex, death, greed, informed by the writings of the early japanese Zen teacher Dogen, author of the Shobogenzo, "Treausry of the Right Dharma Eye". Brad warner does a good job of presenting how buddhist ideas apply to the lives of ordinary people, in a down to earth manner. Sometimes he tries a bit too hard to be funny, adding footnotes where he makes little digs at himself, but that's no big deal. I did learn various thin Sit Down and Shut up is a pretty decent set of reflection on various topics, sex, death, greed, informed by the writings of the early japanese Zen teacher Dogen, author of the Shobogenzo, "Treausry of the Right Dharma Eye". Brad warner does a good job of presenting how buddhist ideas apply to the lives of ordinary people, in a down to earth manner. Sometimes he tries a bit too hard to be funny, adding footnotes where he makes little digs at himself, but that's no big deal. I did learn various things about buddhism from his take on it, in particular with regard to the the japanese term inmo, "it" which means something like "the inexpressible law of the universe". Sometimes I found the book frustrating, Warner might start a chapter about a mysterious and interesting buddhist topic, but in the middle of the chapter he would get kind of sidetracked onto a line of discussion that he feels is important from his perspective of serious pragmatism, where I myself would have preferred that his discussion continue in a more metaphysical, philosophical, and speculative vein. But that's just how I would have preferred it. In any case,much of buddhism is a discussion about various things in this world, not a preachy ultimate pronouncement about them. And as a work of discussion SDSU is a very substantive and meritorious work that stimulates thought, whether you agree or disagree with a given point that Warner is making.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kris Stark

    I really enjoyed this. Warner lacks pretension to the point that he's comfortable to read on stuffy subjects; he even makes fun of himself. This isn't the first commentary that I've read by an American Buddhist, but he's probably the most accessible. Here is where I must add a caveat: to call this a commentary, in the traditional sense, is somewhat inaccurate. He doesn't actually cover that much of Dogen's Shobogenzo; this is not a negative criticism, however. Despite sounding irreverent (which I really enjoyed this. Warner lacks pretension to the point that he's comfortable to read on stuffy subjects; he even makes fun of himself. This isn't the first commentary that I've read by an American Buddhist, but he's probably the most accessible. Here is where I must add a caveat: to call this a commentary, in the traditional sense, is somewhat inaccurate. He doesn't actually cover that much of Dogen's Shobogenzo; this is not a negative criticism, however. Despite sounding irreverent (which I certainly am), the Shobogenzo is excessive in length and ultimately much of it is without much use (to me). I see Brad Warner's choice of subject matter to be concise enough to give an appropriate introduction to Dogen while not exhausting the reader with too much esoteric fluff. His addition of his personal journey, while admittedly not analogous with Dogen's (Warner makes a lot of effort to show he isn't attempting to make it so), makes his commentary a hell of a lot more entertaining. Two thumbs up.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is the most practical and unpretentious look at buddhist philosophy I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. This is partly due to the fact that it deals specifically with zen buddhism, which has a tradition of doing away with the ceremonial noise of other sects, and partly due to the straightforward, colloquial style of the author (a punk rock bass player), who has no interest in anything that isn't immediate, real, practical and meaningful. This is the also the first book I have ever This is the most practical and unpretentious look at buddhist philosophy I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. This is partly due to the fact that it deals specifically with zen buddhism, which has a tradition of doing away with the ceremonial noise of other sects, and partly due to the straightforward, colloquial style of the author (a punk rock bass player), who has no interest in anything that isn't immediate, real, practical and meaningful. This is the also the first book I have ever come across that describes God exactly as I have described my conception of God to others: not an anthropomorphic, separate entity that is the one exception to it's own rules that operates like an overgrown parent doling out reward and punishment according to its whims, but rather as the operation of the universe itself. God as the law of cause and effect, and the logic of the workings of all things. A very definite deviation from most of the writing to be found in the field.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    This was my first Brad Warner book. I will admit that the title caught my eye when it comes to the reason why I picked it up. I am glad I picked it up. Warner does two things in this book. One, it is a travelogue for a punk bands reunion in Cleveland; Warner was a member of the band Zero Defects. Two, he is writing a commentary on an ancient Buddhist text by a man named Dogen. In between those two things, he provides insights, comments, and lessons on Zen Buddhism practice and beliefs. Warner wr This was my first Brad Warner book. I will admit that the title caught my eye when it comes to the reason why I picked it up. I am glad I picked it up. Warner does two things in this book. One, it is a travelogue for a punk bands reunion in Cleveland; Warner was a member of the band Zero Defects. Two, he is writing a commentary on an ancient Buddhist text by a man named Dogen. In between those two things, he provides insights, comments, and lessons on Zen Buddhism practice and beliefs. Warner writes in a plain, direct style with a tone that is not the usual guru tone. He expounds on all sorts of topics from religion to death to sex and managing your anger. For me, it was a good book to read as it gave me some things to think about. I probably need to read it again to get some things or understand them better. Nice thing also is that you do not have to be Buddhist to appreciate and enjoy the book. The book inspires readers and teachers them. Overall, it is one I recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    I've read a lot of books on Buddhism and many of them are filled with flowery or "Zenny" language due to the time period of the book or the choices of the modern writer. Sometimes that's useful and sometimes it feels like bullshit to wade through to get to the kernel of truth it obscures. Brad Warner largely avoids the bullshit and delivers straightforward teachings based on everyday life while at the same time pointing to the wisdom of Dogen's Shobogenzo (which itself is just pointing) in ways I've read a lot of books on Buddhism and many of them are filled with flowery or "Zenny" language due to the time period of the book or the choices of the modern writer. Sometimes that's useful and sometimes it feels like bullshit to wade through to get to the kernel of truth it obscures. Brad Warner largely avoids the bullshit and delivers straightforward teachings based on everyday life while at the same time pointing to the wisdom of Dogen's Shobogenzo (which itself is just pointing) in ways that a Westerner living in the year 2014 can understand. I practice in a Korean Linji lineage and my practice has been the huatou style of zazen. One thing I found interesting about this book is how Warner often poses questions to the reader that are exactly the kinds of questions one asks in huatou practice even while the practice he teaches in shikantaza. It was a good reminder to me that ultimately they are both fingers pointing to the moon, not the moon itself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordan O'Leary

    In my opinion, one of the best books written in Zen. This is the book that brought me all the more closer to Dogen's teachings in the Soto Zen Buddhist school. Dogen was such a brilliant, yet far ahead of even our times guy, and it can be very difficult tackling such monolithic reads as The Shobogenzo. I've tried to tackle this collection of 96 books, and it is not for the beginner, I assure you. Once again, Warner comes forth with his razor sharp sword of ordinary language and practicality to d In my opinion, one of the best books written in Zen. This is the book that brought me all the more closer to Dogen's teachings in the Soto Zen Buddhist school. Dogen was such a brilliant, yet far ahead of even our times guy, and it can be very difficult tackling such monolithic reads as The Shobogenzo. I've tried to tackle this collection of 96 books, and it is not for the beginner, I assure you. Once again, Warner comes forth with his razor sharp sword of ordinary language and practicality to dispel the cryptic teachings to ordinary Zen thought. Such as, when we read Buddhist teachings, often the author will say somehting like "there are the 10,000 things that keep us off the path" that simply means that there are "a lot" of things that keep us off the path. Putting flowry, mystic, ramantic Buddhist language in to plain English. He should go through all the old texts and translate them in just such a way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    A little more abstruse than Warner's first book. This one is a bit rougher going conceptually but just as entertaining as Hardcore Zen. Warner is a Zen master (priest) ordained by his Japanese sensei when he was working in Japan in the monster (Godzilla and friends) movie industry. He teaches a form of Soto Zen that involves Zen at its most basic: Sitting meditation and not much else. No Koans, no chanting, no complex theology, no waiting for thousands of rebirths before enlightenment. Maybe not A little more abstruse than Warner's first book. This one is a bit rougher going conceptually but just as entertaining as Hardcore Zen. Warner is a Zen master (priest) ordained by his Japanese sensei when he was working in Japan in the monster (Godzilla and friends) movie industry. He teaches a form of Soto Zen that involves Zen at its most basic: Sitting meditation and not much else. No Koans, no chanting, no complex theology, no waiting for thousands of rebirths before enlightenment. Maybe not for everyone, but I would think that this form of Zen would be a good place to start a meditation practice or dip one's toes into Buddhism. Cultural overlays from Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, or even Western Buddhism might then be seen as enhancements or hinderances.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    I really enjoyed reading this -- it was quite literally laugh-out-loud funny at times, and very thought-provoking -- but it was more Buddhism and less punk rock than I expected, and it hung rather tenuously on the punk rock framework it did have. It is, basically, a religious book by a monk about his faith; what I probably should have read was his first book, which I understand is more of a memoir along the lines that I was expecting for this book. Now that I know how well he writes, I'll defini I really enjoyed reading this -- it was quite literally laugh-out-loud funny at times, and very thought-provoking -- but it was more Buddhism and less punk rock than I expected, and it hung rather tenuously on the punk rock framework it did have. It is, basically, a religious book by a monk about his faith; what I probably should have read was his first book, which I understand is more of a memoir along the lines that I was expecting for this book. Now that I know how well he writes, I'll definitely make an effort to get my hands on that book! (It does turn out that Buddhism sounds cooler than I knew, although I was a bit put off by the author's occasional generalizations from his own experience.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tim Weakley

    Warner offers a view of current Zen Buddism that is a little lighter hearted than most. As a punk rock bassist, turned worker in a monster movie company, turned zen buddhist monk, his point of view is always interesting if a little rough around the edges. His stories, and his interpretation of Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye show insight from a point of view outisde of the usual buddhist book. His writing style is engaging, although not always polished. Well worth reading. Warner offers a view of current Zen Buddism that is a little lighter hearted than most. As a punk rock bassist, turned worker in a monster movie company, turned zen buddhist monk, his point of view is always interesting if a little rough around the edges. His stories, and his interpretation of Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye show insight from a point of view outisde of the usual buddhist book. His writing style is engaging, although not always polished. Well worth reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sonny Zaide

    This sequel to "Hardcore Zen" is just as brilliant as the first. I actually read this first. This time he discusses the writings of the Shobogenzo, written by Dogen, and creatively incorporates these philosophies into his punk band tour. Great book. I finished it in a week when I usually finish a book in a year (slow reader lol) This sequel to "Hardcore Zen" is just as brilliant as the first. I actually read this first. This time he discusses the writings of the Shobogenzo, written by Dogen, and creatively incorporates these philosophies into his punk band tour. Great book. I finished it in a week when I usually finish a book in a year (slow reader lol)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Feels like a repeat of his other books, but without the insight. Additionally, Brad's format gets tired after 3 books. How often can you hear the same jokes about how people steal his book, etc.? I was hoping to learn something here, but I found this book mostly to harp on the importance of zazen. Feels like a repeat of his other books, but without the insight. Additionally, Brad's format gets tired after 3 books. How often can you hear the same jokes about how people steal his book, etc.? I was hoping to learn something here, but I found this book mostly to harp on the importance of zazen.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Well it took me over a year to come back to this book and finish it...and I'm glad that I did. I heart Brad Warner's take on Zen, even more that I like Graffin's take on evolutionary biology. Working my way backwards through these books for some reason...first book coming up! Well it took me over a year to come back to this book and finish it...and I'm glad that I did. I heart Brad Warner's take on Zen, even more that I like Graffin's take on evolutionary biology. Working my way backwards through these books for some reason...first book coming up!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hernandez

    Strongly disagree with the insistence on the half or full lotus posture and that using a meditation chair is wrong. I'm a 51 year old man with bad stiff knees. I'll keep on saying the Nembutsu and meditating with compassion, gratitude and loving kindness. Strongly disagree with the insistence on the half or full lotus posture and that using a meditation chair is wrong. I'm a 51 year old man with bad stiff knees. I'll keep on saying the Nembutsu and meditating with compassion, gratitude and loving kindness.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe Ryan

    A great book on the confusing world of Zen. Most of this stuff puts me write to sleep but Brads stories about his days in Hardcore Punk and working for a Monster Movie company kept me very entertained. Plus, makes me laugh to hear a Zen Master Buddhist monk curse so much. Ha. See?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Inge Bird

    This book is a continuation from Brad's first book "Hardcore Zen" I recommend it for those who are interested in Zen and would like to apply its teachings relating to the modern world This book is a continuation from Brad's first book "Hardcore Zen" I recommend it for those who are interested in Zen and would like to apply its teachings relating to the modern world

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bodhi47

    It was good. I liked it because it was an irreverent and plain spoken break down of the Shobogenzo. Throwing in Japanase Monster movies and punk rock helped keep it real.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott Ashlock

    Brad makes Dogen seem accessible even to Shobogenzo-newbs like myself. The book seems like it would be a great starting point for anyone looking to learn more about zazen.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    *3.5 stars*

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Engaging chapters and fascinating topics. I learned a lot and it was well worth the read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I'll start this review with a personal note. The author, Brad and I were born the same year and we were both punk rockers in the early 80's playing in local bands that never amounted to much. We don't know each other but I felt an affinity for his mindset. I related to where he came from so to hear about where he's been since that time felt sort of like a long letter from a friend I haven't seen in decades. That said, I think where he's been and, more importantly what he has to say is quite inte I'll start this review with a personal note. The author, Brad and I were born the same year and we were both punk rockers in the early 80's playing in local bands that never amounted to much. We don't know each other but I felt an affinity for his mindset. I related to where he came from so to hear about where he's been since that time felt sort of like a long letter from a friend I haven't seen in decades. That said, I think where he's been and, more importantly what he has to say is quite interesting. I've been a curious student of religions for quite a while. (Yes, I meant it like that) I subscribe to none but they provide a unique way of dissecting what amounts to a philosophical cornerstone that many people contend to have based their lives upon. A primary objection I have to most religions is their hierarchy and dogma. (Which I guess is 90% of what most religions are.) So what attracts me to Buddhism is the extremely limited nature of these. The hierarchy consists of a teacher. They instruct you until they think you are ready to be a teacher. As Brad points out, you can find more hierarchy if you want to. Specifically, if you want to join a particular sect you must submit to some additional scrutiny and ceremony. As far as dogma goes, Buddhism basically consists of good advice and the admonition of "Take it or Leave it". Or maybe that's Brad's take on Buddhism. Or my take on Brad's take. Yeah, that's probably it. I should point out that this is what I essentially think about what Brad essentially told me in his book about what he thinks Buddhism is all about. He is at odds with most of what he sees in western civilization regarding Buddhist books and training. His primary historical sources for information are Buddha from thousands of years ago (or at least words that are attributed to him) and Dogen from hundreds of years ago who wrote extensively. Then he has a couple of teachers in the present who helped form his understanding. Historically most Buddhists have not found it relevant to write about their insight so sources are limited until recently. And recent sources are questionable. Brad wants you to know that enlightenment is not a state. It is a place that you may reach with practice. And the primary tool for practice is zazen which is a form of meditation that he describes in the book. His main focus however is to be present. Be here now. It takes practice, and zazen is his proven method. This is a fun, irreverent introduction to Buddhism. Actually, I guess it's a fun, irreverent follow-up to his introduction to Buddhism, "Hardcore Zen", which I should probably read as well. I don't expect that there's going to be anything new in it that I didn't already get out of this book but, I could always use another letter from an old friend!

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