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Don't Be a Jerk : And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master
by Brad Warner


Overview - A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
Even if the whole universe is nothing but a bunch of jerks doing all kinds of jerk-type things, there is still liberation in simply not being a jerk. Eihei Dogen (12001253 CE)
The Shobogenzo ( The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye ) is a revered eight-hundred-year-old Zen Buddhism classic written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dogen.
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More About Don't Be a Jerk by Brad Warner
 
 
 
Overview
A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
Even if the whole universe is nothing but a bunch of jerks doing all kinds of jerk-type things, there is still liberation in simply not being a jerk. Eihei Dogen (12001253 CE)
The Shobogenzo (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) is a revered eight-hundred-year-old Zen Buddhism classic written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dogen. Despite the timeless wisdom of his teachings, many consider the book difficult to understand and daunting to read. In Don t Be a Jerk, Zen priest and bestselling author Brad Warner, through accessible paraphrasing and incisive commentary, applies Dogen s teachings to modern times. While entertaining and sometimes irreverent, Warner is also an astute scholar who sees in Dogen very modern psychological concepts, as well as insights on such topics as feminism and reincarnation. Warner even shows that Dogen offered a Middle Way in the currently raging debate between science and religion. For curious readers worried that Dogen s teachings are too philosophically opaque, Don t Be a Jerk is hilarious, understandable, and wise.
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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781608683888
  • ISBN-10: 1608683885
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publish Date: March 2016
  • Page Count: 328


Related Categories

Books > Religion > Buddhism - Zen
Books > Philosophy > Zen
Books > Social Science > Popular Culture - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-02-22
  • Reviewer: Staff

The Shobogenzo (SBGZ) by Eihei Dogen is considered one of the masterpieces of Zen literature, but its length and the many opaque, philosophical koans often prevent general readers from approaching the text. Warner (Sit Down and Shut Up), a Soto Zen priest, popular blogger at www.hardcorezen.info, and punk bassist, offers a spiritual summary of the first 21 chapters of the SBGZ for those unfamiliar with it but interested in an exploration of the work. He maintains a consistent structure throughout: a short introduction to each chapter, a rephrasing of the text in modern language, and then commentary and reflection. Warner gives readers the rich historical and textual history of the SBGZ, covering times when the Japanese Soto School shrouded the work in secrecy and also providing a brief synopsis of its translation history. Due to his spiritual proximity to his teacher, Gudo Nishijima, Warner's rephrasing looks often to the classic Nishijima and Cross translation of the SBGZ, but Warner's voice is unique and sometimes irreverent. His liberal attempts to paraphrase the text can be jarring and awkward, including strained references to pop culture (the Flintstones, Twinkies, etc.). Despite some awkward choices in wording and oddly timed tangents, Warner renders the esoteric SBGZ into a fun, readable text, conveying its spirit with humor and deep respect. The self-serious aside, those interested in a preliminary romp through the SBGZ should find this an enjoyable read. (Mar.)

 
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