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Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Zen and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye Paperback – 31 May 2007


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Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Zen and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye + Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock Monster Movies & the Truth About Reality + There is no God and he is always with you
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (31 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577315596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577315599
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Brad Warner is a Zen priest, Japanese monster movie obsessive and former punk rock bassist. In 2003, he blew the top off the Buddhist book world with his irreverent autobiography/manifesto, "Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies", and the "Truth About Reality". Now in his second book, "Sit Down and Shut Up", Brad tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the "Shobogenzo" by thirteenth-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen's enigmatic teachings in plain language, Brad intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and the pain of the punk rock ethos. With a travelogue of his triumphant return to Ohio for a reunion concert of Akron punk bands, Brad melds the antiauthoritarianism of punk with the antiauthoritarianism of Zen - with a good dose of pop culture thrown in - challenging orthodoxy and questioning everything. For those who have felt drawn to Buddhist teachings, but scared off by its stiff austerity, Brad writes with a sharp smack of truth, the real heart of Zen, in teachings and stories that cut to the heart of reality.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pelagius on 15 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback
Pretty good, once one gets over the annoying 'how cool' elements.

The man is genuinely insightful into Zen ... aka everyday reality. He has a fine way of putting the essence of the wisdom of Dogen, the great medieval Japanese Zen master, into contemporary language: do the right thing - for its own sake.

I like the way he grapples with the challenges which Zen brings to just about every aspect of modern Western attitudes, continuously relating Zen to everyday life - often with refreshing personal anecdotes.

However, Warner has a typically old-fashioned and hazy understanding of Christianity, which he sees as centring on a crude, father-figure who exists separately from human life. He rightly dishes this type of Christianity, but has not been curious or thorough enough to go deeper. He also has a somewhat mechanistic sense of science, which therefore seems to him to be hard to reconcile with religion.

But there is much in his book - indeed, all of life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rpmeme on 7 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
Very little to say which hasn't been mentioned below . Maybe this will mean something : just finished this wonderful little book yesterday , and started reading it again today .
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By calmly on 15 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
How much do I envy Brad Warner? Hard core punk rocker. Japanese monster movie work. Lived in Tokyo. A Zen Buddhist master. One hot book already ("HardCore Zen" and now this one.) A column in Suicide Girls. And in one of his recent Suicide Girl columns he reveals that his well-known master Gudo Nishijima has asked him to be his sucessor ... and Brad has accepted. This from a guy who reveals in this book he hates being a Zen master, hates the challenges, the assumptions of his authority. Yes, I shouldn't envy him, I don't know his actual condition or what awaits him (or me) but it's hard not to envy a guy whose accomplished so much...yet is telling me to just go and sit facing a blank wall. Here's a guy who I expect might next show up on Entertainment Tonight having been spotted clubbing with Paris Hilton (could that be, Brad? Probably not) and yet he's the successor to Gudo Nishijima, who along with Chudo Cross, translated Dogen's masterwork Shobogenzo into English. So impressive it is distracting. Rather than sit down and shut up, I want to fly to Tokyo, I want to enter a cool-sounding rap into my word processor. Did Nishijima have sales of the translations of Shobogenzo in mind when he asked Brad to be his successor? No, I'm too cynical. And Brad's power to explain Zen, to the extent it can be explained, shouldn't be slighted.

Do you recall the Fuller Brush Man? One used to come lugging a suitcase to our neighborhood in New England periodically when I was young. My Mom would always be glad to see him and he's spend time showing her his latest products. She's always buy at least one. He was well-trained, could explain each product convincingly and was polite with her.
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This is a fantastic follow-up to Hardcore Zen, Warner's first book. In "Sit Down..." the author clearly explains aspects of Dogen Zenji's masterwork "Shobogenzo," - a notoriously complex work which most people find a little daunting. Warner's writing is funny, concise, clear and engaging and is a real contribution to Zen literature. With chapters regarding "Death," and "God," there is something to engage every reader and Warner doesn't pull any punches. His understanding is obvious and hopefully there will be numerous books to come.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. M. Brown on 15 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Brilliant! Shows how to interpret a lot of the harder to understand thoughts, ideas and theories and really brings Buddhism 'home'. I cannot reccommend highly enough. Read Brads' first book Harcore Zen first though............. Thanks for taking the time and effort Brad.
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By fitzpatrick on 19 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback
learnt more about buddhism in 15 minutes than the last 15 years . a classic well worth getting , especially for your teenage kids !
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not finished with the book yet but I am really enjoying Warner's book. He doesn't mince words. He lets his quirks, his flaws and opinions shine right through in his words. I don't agree with everything he says but that's ok. I still appreciate his DIY punk rock Zen Master attitude. Its actually really refreshing after reading so many mindfulness/Buddhist Studies books that are full of new agey language. He presents Zen (in particular Dogen's Shobogenzo) as just straight forward effort and change happens in tiny increments. Warner language can be brash, maybe even crude, but its real and there is poetic rhythm in his words. I'm loving it and looking forward to reading Hardcore Zen next. Yeah, I'm kind of going backwards then I'll go forward to read his latest book.
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This is the only book on Zen I ever needed to read.And I have been "doing" zen for the past eighteen years and have read many books on Zen.And I never came close to finding Zen while reading these other books,yet it was in front of me all the time.There are a few words in this book that come close to distilling the essence of Zen.I won't tell you which words because this book isn't just about Zen.Mr Warner also puts something of his entertaining self into the book.I would recommend most of his other books as well.
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