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Zen and the Art of Rock Guitar

Zen and the Art of Rock Guitar

In high school I knew a guy named Dave. Dave was a great guitar player even when he was 15. I remember seeing him play Eddie Van Halen’s solo guitar piece “Eruption” when Van Halen’s first album was still fresh and nobody knew that he played the really fast part by using his right hand on […]

Dogen's Cookbook

Dogen’s Cookbook

I don’t usually write out my talks. But the one I gave at Benediktushof retreat center in Holzkirchen, Germany this year needed to go through a translator so I wrote it out before giving it. It’s based on a chapter from the forthcoming follow-up to my current book Don’t Be a Jerk. Because it was […]

I KNOW NOTHING!

I KNOW NOTHING!

I love collecting weird bits of cultural ephemera on my international trips. One of the oddest and most entertaining things I picked up this year is the DVD set of the German version of Hogan’s Heroes. For those of you who weren’t raised on a steady diet of junk TV and don’t remember Hogan’s Heroes, […]

The Iron Butterfly of Zen

The Iron Butterfly of Zen

A guy I met in Berlin last week told me he was in a band a few years ago that got a gig opening for a European tour by Iron Butterfly. You remember Iron Butterfly, don’t you? Their big hit was the 17 minute proto-prog-rock opus Inna Gadda Da Vida. Other minor hits included Flowers […]

Bodhidharma

Wild Beast Jerky

I have no idea what Zen is or how it should be done. I don’t know what a Zen priest is or how you should ordain one. I don’t know what it means to be a “Zen master” or even a Zen teacher. I can’t assess the relative value of one way of practicing over […]