Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
The Best so far
on 11 March 2007
After 20 years of zen practice this is quite simply the most accessible account of Zen practice I've read. Warner is a student of Nishijima who translated the "shobogenzo," which is widely regarded as the most astounding testament to zen in the world written by Dogen Zenji - the first patriarch of Japanese Zen. Brad's book is refreshingly irreverent, dispensing with the usual endless diatribes on traditional practise, the cultural nuances of which can be very confusing for western students. Down to earth and accessible Warner inter-mingles his own autobiographical experiences with an unidentifiable leaning towards zazen (meditation) - he doesn't know why he's doing it - he just has to. He almost reluctantly describes his "enlightenment" experience, despite slagging off Kapleau for doing the same and then suggests that it is accessible for everyone as long as you do enough zazen. Fine. I disagree on this point: for whatever reason, not everyone experiences what he has experienced but that's OK as I think it is a minor point.This is the most honest and dogma free book on zen I've read. Even if you're not a Buddhist, you should give this a go.
I've just had to update this review after reading an article on Warner's website in which he apologises for including what people (including me) called his "enlightenment experience." He says it's a result of his bad writing and that he's never had an "experience," as such,it was just a point in time where he kind of "got" what it was all about so I take it all back! Sorry Brad.