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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the other books first!
As the review above says, this book will be best enjoyed after reading the first two.

It is a book with a mission - to debunk gurus, holy people, god men and other such types who might claim that they are anything other than a normal person with an unusual job (and possibly a fancy costume). The way he sets about doing this is by using his own life as an...
Published on 6 Aug 2009 by E. de Bosdari

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3.0 out of 5 stars now and zen
brad warner continues to write honestly about himself and infomatively about zazen but has probably said all he has to say about both subjects even before his latest book
Published 13 months ago by a j pitt


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the other books first!, 6 Aug 2009
By 
E. de Bosdari (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate (Paperback)
As the review above says, this book will be best enjoyed after reading the first two.

It is a book with a mission - to debunk gurus, holy people, god men and other such types who might claim that they are anything other than a normal person with an unusual job (and possibly a fancy costume). The way he sets about doing this is by using his own life as an example (being a fully ordained Zen monk/priest and a normal person who finds the fancy costume a bit of a drag). If the reader hasn't built up a bit of a rapport with him by reading his earlier books, then they might find themselves wondering why this book is all about him. Although he writes well, it's not as though the events of his life are the stuff of an epic memoir. Which is sort of the point.

An important read for anyone who is involved with "spiritual leaders" of any flavour. If you haven't read the other books, don't worry, you will still get the message loud and clear.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "As for enlightenment, that's just for people who can't face reality.", 26 Mar 2009
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate (Paperback)
In his previous 2 books, Brad Warner combined Soto Zen Buddhist teachings with sometimes only vaguely relevant biographical anecdotes. Zen Wrapped In Karma is more of a straight biography, illustrating that Zazen is a philosophy of action by showing the effect it has had on his life. It covers how meditation helped him cope with the death of two family members, divorce & dealing with the expectations people have of a well-known Zen teacher.

In this book, there is no seperation between Buddhist theory & Brad's life - this illustrates how everyday life IS the practice, rather than the practice being esoteric theory written by a 13th century monk who didn't get out very much. Because the situations Brad outlines are particular to him (we all deal with the death of relatives at some point but each do so under our own unique circumstances) it isn't just saying 'be like Brad' but instead demonstrating that wherever life takes us, meditation will help us through the bad times.

Brad Warner is very much the marmite of Zen writers - people tend to either love his stuff or knock everything he does. How you feel about Brad will very much affect your reaction to this book. For instance, he illustrates the point that 'zen masters' are merely human & not pure superbeings who levitate during meditation by outlining the circumstances under which he slept with one of his students. He does this fully knowing that certain people will use this information as a weapon to discredit him, while other readers (eg. me) will appreciate the tragedy of Soto Zen organisations being as riddled with gossip, back-biting & power struggles as any other. This point is a crucial one - Buddhism is about accepting whatever we confront with equanimity, not blindly conforming to a dogma laid down by someone from an entirely different culture.

I have read both of Brad's previous books & while I enjoyed this one as well, I felt that if I hadn't read the others first, I wouldn't have warmed to the narrator as much & wouldn't have been able to relate to it at all. For this reason, I would recommend people who haven't read his stuff before to start of with either 'Hardcore Zen' or 'Sit Down & Shut Up'. I'd also recommend them because while 'Zen Wrapped' is a page-turner which makes it point well (meditation helps you through the bad times, treat others with respect but don't worry about pleasing everyone) because it only has a few points to make, I'm less likely to take take it back off the shelf than his other two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful modern read, 2 July 2013
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This review is from: ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate (Paperback)
Wriiten like a personnel email from a friend. A very honest indepth look at the life of a dare I say one of the most modern Zen Master's around.
Brads way of making Zen understandable to the everyday person is wonderful and makes an interesting read. Especially his explanation of 'Koans', which tickle and tanterlize the brain.
Humourous, witty, sarcastic, honest and real.
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3.0 out of 5 stars now and zen, 26 Mar 2013
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brad warner continues to write honestly about himself and infomatively about zazen but has probably said all he has to say about both subjects even before his latest book
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in Zen, read this book., 28 Dec 2009
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This review is from: ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate (Paperback)
Brad Warner writes in an honest, no-nonsense style. The book is not overly 'thinky' and can appeal to anyone who is either just getting interested in Buddhism, or someone who already is, and enjoys learning about the 'realities' of the Zen way.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warner's Worst Yet, 3 Feb 2010
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This review is from: ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate (Paperback)
Don't believe the hype. Warner's books have been getter poorer and poorer. The first one was spectacular. The second ok. This not worth reading.
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ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate
ZEN Wrapped in Karma and Dipped in Chocolate by Brad Warner (Paperback - 1 Mar 2009)
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