Living Room Tour Part 2

ThereIsNoGodI’m now getting ready to fully commit to the Living Room Tour of the Northeast. This is definitely going to be fun. But it’s also definitely — and I do mean definitely — not the most financially sensible promotional thing I’ve ever thought of.

Pirooz and I calculated it out and in the best case scenario this tour will cost me $1000 out of pocket. That’s if we sell a fair number of books each talk, if people come through with donations, if nothing goes wrong with the car, if none of the gigs end up getting cancelled, if none of the gigs turn out to be some dude and one of his buddies in the garage with a bong… And about half a dozen other ifs. Chances are greater this tour will cost me closer to $2000-$3000. Will it make back that much in extra book sales? No one knows.

My publishers are not covering this cost. I have no organization paying my living and travel expenses and buying me three houses and a fleet of Harley-Davidsons. I gotta pay for this out of my savings from the “real job” I quit back in 2009. But I really believe in this book and I want it to do well.

The idea of these gigs is as guerrilla (gorilla?) promotion for the book, bypassing traditional venues and taking it right to the people, speaking in living rooms and other such spaces to small groups of people who are specifically interested in the book rather than trying to win over anonymous crowds at the usual new age bookstores and occasionally hostile Zen centers I generally end up speaking at.

I know this is the best book I have ever written. And I’m sorry if this sounds cocky or whatever, but it’s also a tremendously important book. Nobody is writing about this stuff and they should be. Because people need to hear it. Which is the case with all of my books.

The dates we have set up are as follows. I’ll have the actual addresses and times and other such specifics soon and will make them public as soon as I do.

• June 19 TORONTO, ON

• June 21 PITTSBURGH, PA

• June 22 AKRON, OH

• June 23 CLEVELAND, OH

• June 24 PITTMAN, NJ

• June 27 ANNAPOLIS, MD

• June 28 ASBURY PARK, NJ

You will notice that there are no gigs on June 20, 25, 26 and 29. People are talking to us about those date, but nobody’s come through with anything concrete. If you have any good ideas please let Pirooz know by writing to pk@ilikenirvana.com

We’re especially keen on playing NYC on June 29th.

Here is a PDF of the press release for the book. And here’s the same thing in MS WORD format.

Now just try to ponder this in context. Is Thich Nhat Hanh offering to come to anyone’s living room? Is Deepak Chopra telling his fans he’s going to hang out at their houses? Is Ken Wilber gonna give a talk in your buddy’s garage? What about Ekhart Tolle? Genpo Roshi? Is the Dalai Lama gonna pay you a visit with all his secret service men in tow?

I didn’t think so.

See you soon!

*   *   *

Thanks for your donations they really help!

36 Responses

Page 1 of 1
  1. rtmyers
    rtmyers June 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm | |

    Is there some particular reason you don’t seem to be putting out a Kindle version of your book?

  2. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm | |

    If you insist, Brad, I will move “there is no God” ahead of “Karma wrapped in” in my future book purchase order. Buy ‘em both, I know…

    here’s some travelin’ music I made today for ya:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAPtpZihOmg

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 3, 2013 at 3:36 am | |

      I bought and enjoyed “Hardcore Zen”, “Sit Down And Shut Up”, and “Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate” and would recommend all of them. I have no intention to read “There Is No God…” because of what I have read about it so far, including the excerpt available using the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon.
      But that’s just, like, my opinion, man…

  3. My_name_is_Daniel
    My_name_is_Daniel June 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm | |

    Good luck, Brad! I wish you only the best.

  4. spamnik138
    spamnik138 June 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm | |

    My living room is your living room…you should tidy up this living room.

  5. Kryzys
    Kryzys June 3, 2013 at 12:34 am | |

    Speaking of new age bookstores… Brad, do you know that “There Is No God” is labelled by amazon.com as New Age? Is that correct?

  6. Kryzys
    Kryzys June 3, 2013 at 12:35 am | |

    In fact, it is #9 top selling in “Religion & Spirituality > New Age > Mysticism”. Congratulations! (well, among such stuff as Madame Blavatsky and “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide”).

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 3, 2013 at 3:43 am | |

      That seems more appropriate than putting it in the Zen or Buddhist categories.

  7. Buddha Buddy-Dude
    Buddha Buddy-Dude June 3, 2013 at 1:12 am | |

    Brad,

    If you don’t mind Denton, TX, I could probably put a word in with the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and the Philosophy and Religious Studies department at UNT. No guarantees but they might be able to book you in the fall. They love having guest speakers, especially for incoming freshmen.

  8. MJGibbs
    MJGibbs June 3, 2013 at 2:11 am | |

    Good luck with the tour, Brad.

    I was happy to get a message from Amazon saying my copy of There is No God and He is Always With You will arrive earlier than expected.

    Wish I could make it up to Akron, but it doesn’t look I will this time. But I should never say never.

  9. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon June 3, 2013 at 3:27 am | |

    A title suggestion for the almost inevitable book that will result from the Living Room Tour: “Brad Warner’s Guide To Zen Buddhist Living (Room)”

    You’re welcome

    1. The Grand Canyon
      The Grand Canyon June 3, 2013 at 3:38 am | |

      Upon reflection, I thought that adding one more letter at the end would make it better.

      “Brad Warner’s Guide To Zen Buddhist Living (Rooms)”

  10. anon 108
    anon 108 June 3, 2013 at 3:39 am | |

    Hi Brad,

    You’ve said before that you’re having a great time and appreciate that you are in many ways fortunate, but you still complain about your situation and lack of money.

    If I was getting books published, and/or making fun movies with my buddies, and/or regularly recording and performing with a band I loved, and/or in a position to risk $1000-3000 dollars travelling the country talking to people about the stuff that lights my fire…I very much doubt that I’d complain about it.

    Perhaps you’re not complaining and I’m missing the point. Perhaps you’re simply contrasting your circumstances with those of big-time, financially succesful Buddhist teachers. But what’s the point of that?

    Whatever, have a good one!

  11. Fred
    Fred June 3, 2013 at 4:42 am | |

    I’m living in my living room
    With the cockroaches and emptiness
    There is no God in my empty tomb
    Of unformed, unborn plentiness

  12. Harlan
    Harlan June 3, 2013 at 5:31 am | |

    108.. I don’t think Brad is complaining as much as blogging about his troubles and fears.. He has to write something on the blog and I imagine that is at the top of his mind right now. He is generally positive sometimes even grandiose about his projects, so when he writes about his worries it can come off as complaining, or whiny.. It might just rub you the wrong way for some reason. It happens.

  13. anon 108
    anon 108 June 3, 2013 at 6:06 am | |

    It might just rub you the wrong way for some reason.

    Yep. Don’t mind me, I’ve been feeling sorry myself lately.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 June 3, 2013 at 6:07 am | |

      * for myself

  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 3, 2013 at 6:52 am | |

    Thanks, Brad!- yeah, raised on John Fahey, Buffalo Springfield, and Neil Young. The acoustic guitar in open tuning, these days I listen to Andy McKee and Cyril Pahinui a lot.

    Thanks, SoF, I will check out the Amazon inside before I make my next purchase. Thinking maybe to buy directly from Brad.

    I can relate to the uncertainty of a personal economic future. Since monks have traditionally made their living from alms, I can see where Brad probably feels he has tradition on his side in that regard. Begging was held in disrespect, even in Gautama’s day in India, so it is a radical stance. I think Brad has written about the line of thought that says he is providing people with an opportunity to exercise charity, and that exercising charity is a useful practice, so that he is in fact performing a public service. Maybe so. Thervadins are prohibited from handling money and killing mosquitos, but they have found ways to obtain the benefit of other people’s funds and get the water tank cleaned nonetheless, so even with the strictest rules of the Order there is a recognition of the role of dana other than food and robes. Maybe especially since the Order went to a stationary residence in the winter, I don’t know.

    Brad is doing good work.

  15. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 3, 2013 at 7:01 am | |

    My qualms about supporting monks and supporting the order has only to do with the efficacy of the modality of teaching that assumes an institutional authority; not surprisingly, I like the style of a teacher like Issho Fujita, who teaches zazen talking about how certain physical postures and gestures are associated with certain states of mind (like scratching the head is associated with puzzlement, hands on the hips with expectation), asking what is the state of mind associated with the posture of zazen?

    I like Brad, and I support his open-minded understanding of the teaching; I realize that apart from Issho Fujita, there are not many who actually try to teach zazen without the Shadow’s mystical mind bend, or a similar association with super-heroes and mysterious other-worlds.

  16. AnneMH
    AnneMH June 3, 2013 at 7:46 am | |

    I will see what I can do for Denver, or Colorado in general, with the Against the Stream people. It is a great help to have the flyers. I want you to come this way but certainly not for a living room and me and one friend. Although if you are driving through I will make you both a nice veggie dinner and I am crowded but I have a lovely tent or couch to make your dollars go further.

    Keep up the good work

  17. sri_barence
    sri_barence June 3, 2013 at 8:03 am | |

    “…if none of the gigs turn out to be some dude and one of his buddies in the garage with a bong…

    DANG!! And I had such great plans…*

    * this is a JOKE!! Only a joke. Jeez!

  18. Fred
    Fred June 3, 2013 at 11:15 am | |

    Fujita:

    ” If we can understand Bodhidharma’s “wall gazing” as an effort“ to keep sitting with bodymind being like a wall, whatever happens, let it flow as it is, without clinging to or fighting against it”, it is very similar to Uchiyama roshi’s definition of zazen. In this kind of practice, to do zazen means just to sit solely aiming at a correct posture. There is no other need to reach a certain state of mind as a goal or to attain a special experience.

    Therefore we are freed from anxiety and frustration which comes from seeking for a special state of mind and experience which we have not yet attained and are able to peacefully rest in the here-and-now as it is, nothing special. There can be no competition or ranking based on what is achieved because there is no fixed attainment target.

    All those human struggles are totally suspended in zazen. That is why zazen is called the “dharma gate of joyful ease”. We simply make a sincere and straightforward effort to sit zazen with body and mind all together without desiring to get something however lofty it may be. This is the way of zazen and in that sense it is quite different from shuzen.

  19. HarryB
    HarryB June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am | |

    Good luck with it, Brad.

    …And kudos for having confidence in your book; I hope you don’t pay too much heed to the ‘nay-saying cyborgs’:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGsNEFPBisQ

    Regards,

    H.

  20. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel June 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm | |

    Phoque! Even if you had a fleet of Harley-Davidsons, you don’t even have a motorcyclists driving license!
    And then, outside of Northern-American roads, HD’s are useless…

  21. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm | |

    “…occasionally hostile Zen centers I generally end up speaking at…”

    Plain white T’s!!

    Livin on the road my friend,
    is gonna keep you free and clean;

    Now you wear your skin like iron
    Your breath as hard as kerosene… -Townes Van Zandt

    1. Harlan
      Harlan June 4, 2013 at 7:22 am | |

      Hi Mumbles, You have excellent taste.
      But it’s “Living on the road my friend WAS going to keep you free and clean.”
      I’m not nit picking but that word is so important to the meaning of the song.. Cheers.

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SjwO17gsqU?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360

  22. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote June 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm | |

    “Issho is interested in inventing new and fun ways to articulate the depth of the simple practice of shikantaza (just sitting).” (from SFZC guest teacher bio)

    “Zazen is not so-called “inner work” to get absorbed in the “inner world” of the psyche by shutting ourselves down from the “outer” world. Rather it is to open up ourselves to the world and to go beyond the duality of the “inner” and the “outer.” In zazen we need to keep the subtle balance, moment by moment, between the input from inside (muscles, organs, thoughts, images) and outside (eyes, nose, mouth, ears). But this is not easy for us because we unconsciously tend to create imbalance among the six senses by “focusing” too much on one of them.

    In this workshop we will try to look at zazen practice from this angle and through various exercises explore the possibility of deepening zazen by fully integrating the six senses.

    No previous experience necessary.” (workshop SFZC last February- I was sorry to miss it)

    Ok, I mailed off a copy of Letting Go in Action to the Rev. today; I hope he will appreciate that what he refers to as “the subtle balance, moment by moment, between the input from inside (muscles, organs, thoughts, images) and outside (eyes, nose, mouth, ears).”, I describe this way:

    “the experience of awareness generated by muscle, joint, or ligament has an impact on the sense of equalibrium, and because the equalibrium of the body affects the alignment of vertebrae and the ability to feel, what is felt can be said to depend in part on the impact of proprioceptive consciousness. Each organ of sense is a source of the proprioceptive consciousness of place as well as a source of the consciousness of sense, and in this regard each has an impact associated with the experience of sense.”

    I believe we are talking the same language.

  23. HarryB
    HarryB June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am | |

    Gotta love when Dylan comes in on Pancho and Lefty after Lee van Cleef’s grannie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsR0Y-sWk-E

    Brilliant song.

    Regards,

    H.

  24. Mumbles
    Mumbles June 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm | |

    Hey Brad, I don’t follow comments (or sometimes blog posts) that closely, so forgive me if this has already been addressed, but I am wondering about the sedate cover art (or lack of it) of the new book as opposed to, oh, say all of the rest of your books? Possibly you had little or no input, but that somehow seems unlikely. So, uh, WTF? Mellowing with age?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.