Living Room Tour 2013

LivingRoomTour2013As many of you already know, I have a new book that’s about to be released called There Is No God And He Is Always With You (you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound).

This is without any doubt my best book yet. But I feel like the promotion isn’t gonna amount to very much. Which makes me sad. Because I’d hate to see a book as good as this one sink without a trace. And that’s what I think is going to happen if I don’t grab hold and do it all myself.

So I’m trying to come up with novel ways of letting folks know it’s out there. My roommate Pirooz Kalayeh has been pretty helpful. He has set up an Internet-based book launch party on the website spreecast. The party will happen on June 11th at 7:00 pm Pacific Time. You can watch it live or watch it when it’s over by clicking on this link. More on the party soon.

What I want to talk about here is another one of Pirooz’s ideas, a “living room book tour.” PK’s parents live in upstate New York. We plan to fly out there on or about June 17th, borrow their car and spend 8 – 10 days (until June 25 or 27) on the road going from town to town holding book related events in the living rooms, garages, treehouses or other such spaces of willing victims.

Check out the map Pirooz drew (above). We figure we can hit the following cities:

– Montreal, QC

– New York, NY

– Cleveland, OH

– Akron, OH

– Philadelphia, PA

– Baltimore, MD

– Washington, D.C.

– Newark, DL

– Princeton, Trenton, Patterson or some other city in New Jersey

If you’d like to be involved in this, please send an email Pirooz at

You should email Pirooz even if you have already emailed me and even if we’ve already emailed about me coming to your town (I lose track of stuff really quickly and efficiently). Or even if you live in a different town but think it is near enough to one of these so that it would make sense to go there.

At these events, I will talk about and/or read from the book. I’ll have books for sale. I’ll have other merch for sale. I’ll sign whatever you want to have signed (books, boobs, whatever, bring it & I’ll sign it). There’s no minimum number of people who have to show up, but I would like to reach as many folks as possible. We’re hoping most of the friendly folk who host these events will also let us sleep on their couches, thus saving us from having to shell out for hotel rooms. I am way too old for this kind of punk rock thing. But you do what you gotta do.

We will video record these events and post excerpts on the web for all to see.

We won’t charge a speaking fee for these events, though we will be paying for all of this out of our own not-very-deep pockets. Neither my publishers nor any other organization will be kicking in so much as a penny for airfare, gas money, food money or anything else. So we will happily take any donations people who come to these events feel like handing over to us to help us not go broke.

This is probably the dumbest scheme I have ever said yes to doing. But I really want this book to make some kind of impact and I’m going to have to do it all guerrilla or more like gorilla style.

So write Pirooz an email and he’ll try and schedule this so it works out.

We’d also like to do another one of these in California perhaps even earlier than the East Coast one, so CA folks, email Pirooz about that one. We could hit LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Bakersfield, Santa Cruz maybe Sacramento too. Again, even if you’ve already emailed me, please email Pirooz too. He won’t lose your emails the way I have.

If this goes well and we don’t end up hog tied in someone’s basement begging for hand lotion or just flat broke, maybe I can do others in other areas like a Midwest one including St. Louis, Cedar Rapids and so on, or a Northwest one including Portland, Seattle and do forth or a Southern one taking in Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and other cities. The possibilities are endless.


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Please feel free to donate now if you want to get a head start!




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37 Responses

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  1. drocloc
    drocloc May 23, 2013 at 2:26 am |

    Pre-ordered new book and highly recommend everyone do the same.

    Give ’em hell Brad!

  2. Mumbles
    Mumbles May 23, 2013 at 4:37 am |

    Pretty punk rock way to get the word around. I like it, and here’s another idea:

    All of the cities you list have regular bookstores that are on facebook, have phone numbers, e-mail addresses even designated people who book such things and would love to have a reading/book signing by a well known author such as yourself, Brad. The trick will be to contact them asap so they can get some copies of the new book in stock.

    This will also alert your publisher that there is interest they didn’t anticipate, and maybe they will give you some candy or something :)…

  3. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon May 23, 2013 at 4:43 am |

    I suggest that before anyone reads “There Is No God…” they should read Stephen Batchelor’s “Confession Of A Buddhist Atheist”.

  4. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 5:05 am |

    Rock on, Brad Warner

  5. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 5:14 am |

    “If this goes well and we don’t end up hog tied in someone’s basement begging for hand lotion or just flat broke, maybe I can do others”

    Better stock up on the butt cream

  6. Andy
    Andy May 23, 2013 at 6:14 am |

    Brad, maybe you could persuade someone (or yourself) to run the New York marathon wearing that funny bunny suit of yours, and with a poster of the book cover pinned to his/her/your back.

    “There Is No God And He Is Always With You” might resonate nicely – especially at around the 20mile mark.

  7. HarryB
    HarryB May 23, 2013 at 6:21 am |


    Have you looked at doing anything to try and break into the university lecture tour circuit, like sending your book or books to the heads of department with an expression of interest in lecturing and your ‘resumé’?

    I imagine you might drum up some interest by sending it to philosophy or theology departments etc. Just a suggestion.



  8. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 23, 2013 at 7:44 am |

    Friend of mine was expressing interest in the university lecture tour, he claimed there are agents for this kind of thing. I don’t know, but I would think you would be a sell-out, Brad.

    Good luck on the New York reality show. I will talk to the significant other, but you would be on the floor where the floor can be found in the living room, somewhere in Sebastopol. Which wasn’t on your itinerary, but you did do Copperfield’s in Petaluma once and the mother store is here. Ok, not enough of an offer to email Pirooz, I’m afraid, unless you say otherwise.

    “Okay so harry and mark, just to clarify with you guys what do YOU consider a “Genuine insight into the absolute”? how would you define that from your experience. Give me an example. I’m asking you in a testing matter to satisfy my own curiosity/questioning .So be careful.

    The insight into the absolute, are you looking for that? Crazy. Maybe some ayahuasca or something. Harry’s response was pretty solid, don’t you think (last comments section).

    “Beauty is as beauty does”, as a friend of mine reported her family believed. Not so much an insight into something as an experience of action in the absence of volition. Happens all the time, but like the toad and the catepillar, as soon as someone brings it up it’s a wonder we still know how to breathe.

    “Good morning, where am I”- the old fish, groping for a way to teach his students.

  9. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 23, 2013 at 7:54 am |

    Harry talked about not thinking, which I think some Dogen translations refer to as “non-thinking”; comes from Fukanzazengi, I think.

    That is in the practice Gautama claimed as his own, in the four instructions of which he said: “of mindfulnesses of the mind, this is one”. Here’s the entire practice of “intent concentration on in-breaths and out-breaths”:

    “Mindful [one] breathes in. Mindful [one] breathes out. Whether [one] is breathing in a long (breath), breathing out a long (breath), breathing in a short (breath), breathing out a short (breath), one comprehends ‘I am breathing in a long (breath), I am breathing out a long (breath), I am breathing in a short (breath), I am breathing out a short (breath).’ Thus [one] trains [oneself] thinking, ‘I will breathe in experiencing the whole body; I will breathe out experiencing the whole body. [One] trains [oneself], thinking ‘ I will breathe in tranquillizing the activity of body; I will breathe out tranquillizing the activity of body.’

    [One] trains [oneself], thinking: ‘I will breathe in… breathe out experiencing rapture… experiencing joy… experiencing the activity of thought… tranquillising the activity of thought.’

    [One] trains [oneself], thinking: ‘I will breathe in… breathe out experiencing thought… rejoicing in thought… concentrating thought… freeing thought.’

    [One] trains [oneself], thinking: ‘I will breathe in… breathe out beholding impermanence… beholding detachment… beholding stopping… beholding casting away.”

    (MN III 82-83, PTS III pg 124)

    As I explain in “Letting Go of Action: the Practice of Zazen”, the difficulty here is in the second instruction; the comprehension of the long and short of in-breaths and out-breaths already requires the induction of a hypnogogic state. Nevertheless, I would point out “freeing thought”; is this “non-thinking”?

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 23, 2013 at 8:59 am |


    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon May 23, 2013 at 9:42 am |

      Read it on Kindle? Dude. You should read it… on WEED!

  11. anon 108
    anon 108 May 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |

    Mark: Harry talked about not thinking, which I think some Dogen translations refer to as “non-thinking”; comes from Fukanzazengi, I think.

    ‘Not thinking’ and ‘non-thinking’ are two different words in the original Japanese, Mark: FU-SHIRYO and HI-SHIRYO – they’re not different translations of the same word.

    FU-Shiryo translates pretty literally I’m told, as ‘not thinking’. HI-SHIRYO has been translated as ‘non-thinking’ or ‘different from thinking’ or ‘without thinking’…(I recall Brad saying on the old blog that this stuff drives him nuts – what the words mean and how to translate the distinction. Brad said that the HI- prefix is like the ‘i-‘ of ‘immoral’ or ‘illogical’. But you can’t say *i-thinking* in English.)

    The terms come from a koan story – goes like this:

    “What are you thinking in the still-still state?”
    “Thinking the concrete state of not thinking [FU-SHIRYO].”
    “How can the state of not thinking be thought?”
    “It is [HI-SHIRYO].”

    (Trans. Nishijima & Cross)

    For whatever it may be worth.

  12. anon 108
    anon 108 May 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |

    In fact, go here:

    and scroll just before half-way down and you’ll see the “drives me nuts” convo I’m taking about. You, me, john e mumbles, Mysterion (all long-since self-deleted), gniz and Brad – all waxing lyrical and puportedly cognisant of something or other of importance. Same old thingumy.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 May 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |

      – Oh, and Fred! Sorry Fred. (something about the ego)

  13. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 10:48 am |

    What are you thinking in the still-still state?”
    “Thinking the concrete state of not thinking [FU-SHIRYO].”
    “How can the state of not thinking be thought?”
    “It is [HI-SHIRYO].”

    The concrete state of not thinking can be thought by the concrete state of not
    thinking, but it is not the I that is thinking it.

    Perhaps the I can remember that something happened, and the I can take credit
    for what happened and wear a big shirt that says ” Hey, I’m fucking Enlightened ”

    And perhaps the enlightened master can speak from the unknowing, but I doubt
    it. Sasaki tried that and his dick kept popping out of his kesa.

  14. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |

    Mumbles said:

    “the sense that there is that directionless, where am I, am “I” even, presence that has no identification “with” anymore, as if you were always there anyway, without yourself, and you will stay forever…

    Often after sitting anymore I get up with no idea at all how much time has passed, where I have been, etc. How nice!

    Carrying this stateless state into consensus reality has its advantages, in that things generally seem not to possess the heavy aforethought conceptual baggage, and when whatever arises,it just arises. ”


    1. anon 108
      anon 108 May 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |


  15. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |

    “as if you were always there anyway, without yourself, and you will stay forever”

    gate, gate, para gate ………………………………..

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 May 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |


  16. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

    funny, Fred; I was thinking of quoting the same bit from friend Mumbles!

    Maybe I can add something to the “non-thinking” discourse, based on what I figured out in the course of writing my latest piece. For me the additional information is that the passage from thought applied and sustained to one-pointedness without thought applied and sustained is partly due to “the wits unhampered”, the appreciation of the senses as acting to sustain a balance of body and mind merely through their presence in the sphere of experience.

    The fact that I was blind to the presence of equalibrioception, proprioception, and the sense of gravity in the sphere of experience for so long didn’t help me as I undertook to learn to sit zazen, although I don’t think I could have continued this long without something of their presence.

    Maybe non-thinking is the abandonment of thought applied and sustained, in favor of the “here” that John the Mumbler spoke of. Certainly Gautama speaks of the state after that, in which physical ease gives way to what I describe as the continuance of stretch and activity outside of the boundary of ease, with the words “Joyful lives (the one) who has equanimity and is mindful.”

    Maybe the pivot of zazen is the continuance of distinguishing all the senses in the sphere of experience outside of the boundary of ease that is mental happiness.

    And where does all this happen, someone might ask (but not us).

  17. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

    clear as mud, as I reread. Ok, so the frame of my remarks is the controlling faculties: in the first meditative state, the controlling faculty of ease is present; in the second, the faculty of happiness; in the third, the controlling faculty of ease that was present before ceases; in the fourth, the controlling faculty of happiness that was present before ceases, and according to Gautama the controlling faculty of indifference is present until it ceases with the cessation of volitive activity in perception and sensation.

    And the key aspect of the mind is that it moves or shifts, that when all the senses are allowed to contribute through detachment from the pleasant, the unpleasant, and the neutral, consciousness shifts. I’m thinking that’s why Gautama said consciousness only arises in connection with sense organ and sense object, apart from which consciousness doesn’t exist, although I do not experience it with quite that fine a degree of distinction.

  18. Kman
    Kman May 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

    You know, when I read a lot of these comments, I wonder: Are these people enlightened, full of shit, or do they simply have ADHD? The jury’s still out on that one.

    Brad, here’s a question: Is there a difference in how much money you get to keep from selling a book in-person at one of these things, as opposed to Amazon/elsewhere?

  19. Fred
    Fred May 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

    The Zensite:

    “Authentic practice – which is realization – is the heart of the matter for Dōgen. That doctrine is authenticated in the process seems almost beside the point until we can see what significance it might have in itself. Indeed, the text’s insistence that doctrine not be considered a means to the goal of realization, raises the question: Why does Dōgen bother with doctrine at all? An adequate answer to this question requires a brief clarification of the apparent opposition between Dōgen’s terms “thinking” (shiryo) and “without-thinking” (hishiryo). If realization isho) is truly “without thinking” (pre-reflective), and if thought does not function as a means to realization, then doctrine would seem to have no role to play in Dōgen’s Zen. But realization is not a negation of thinking (jushiryo), and the Shōbōgenzō is Dōgen’s finest doctrinal expression. For Dōgen, to ground oneself in pre-reflective experience (hishiruo) is not to abandon thought. On the contrary, such experience gives rise to thought of the purest kind, thought that reflects perfectly the “presence of things as they are.” “To think without thinking” is to have so thoroughly set aside one’s own will, desire, and subjectivity that one’s thought reflects the occasion or situation at hand and not one’s own design on it. Thought responds to the situation that evokes it by taking its bearings primarily from what is present, both here and now.

    Ordinary thinking (shiryo) is the subject’s own creation. It accords more with the subject’s desire or habits than with the situation at hand. The failure of ordinary thought is that it pre-forms all experience; it simply cannot allow what is to be present as it is. “Thinking without thinking” requires that the subject let go of its own plans and devices, and attend to what is as it comes to presence. Rather than eliminating thought, this simply realigns thought with reality, beyond the subject’s own will to enframe it. On some occasions, it is sufficient to be aware of the situation at hand directly, without thinking. More complex situations call for more elaborate and systematic reflection. Both extremes, however, are grounded in the situation rather than in the subject, and both call for an openness that is uncharacteristic of p 273 anything we typically regard as thinking. Pure experience then, gives rise to thought of its own accord, and Dōgen’s religious thought is one form that this thinking can take.”

  20. HarryB
    HarryB May 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm |


    That’s good. What book is being quoted?



  21. Brent
    Brent May 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  22. Tattoozen
    Tattoozen May 24, 2013 at 6:21 am |

    That spot between Philly and Ohio is called Pittsburgh, we can definitely set you up with a place to sleep and a place to sign and sell books. You have my email and cell, we’d be happy to help.

  23. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 24, 2013 at 7:12 am |

    The professor speaks to the same “sphere of experience” that this ADHD correspondent remarked- groovy!

    Sitting this morning, many other aspects of my writing came into play, principally the reverberation of the ox hooves of the rotations of the sacrum in the location of awareness, and the relinquishment of the flavor of what is felt in favor of the pure ability to feel in all the senses, without which it seemed I couldn’t breathe. The drowning man, groping for the mass of twigs he has yet to sink below the surface of the water or cover over with brush on the shore.

  24. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote May 24, 2013 at 7:22 am |

    gassho to the dead ancestors, here with me today, selling me Hoover vacuums and attachments with every breath in and breath out. I will gladly repay you next Tuesday, in return for your needles today…

  25. Fred
    Fred May 24, 2013 at 11:29 am |

    gassho to the aghoris, here with me today, eating the dead ancestors, and selling
    me the attachment to the vacuum and the void with every breath out and in. I will gladly pay you next Tuesday, in return for your needless today…

  26. Justin Lewis
    Justin Lewis May 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm |

    I’m probably one of the most awkward socially inept people in this world (in fact6 I suspect I belong somewhere on the “autism spectrum”), but I’ve told people here and there about your book coming out. Hope that helps!

  27. SyrtisMajor
    SyrtisMajor May 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

    For the Los Angeles circuit, UCLA has some potential options. Here are a few associated with the campus:
    -UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
    -UCLA/Urban Zen Center
    -UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies
    -Buddhist student groups/campus events.

    Hope that helps!

  28. SoF
    SoF May 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

    Mark Foote or Richard Chadwick should be able to set up something in the North Bay. Mel in Berkeley???

    Les in Mountain view???

    and, I’ll ask around…

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