In 2003, Brad Warner blew the top off the Buddhist book world with his irreverent autobiography/manifesto, Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth about Reality. Now in his second book, Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo, by thirteenth-century Zen master Dogen.
Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Brad intertwines musings on sex, meditation, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the punk rock ethos. In chapters such as “Evil Is Stupid,” “Kill Your Anger,” and “Enlightenment Is for Sissies,” Brad melds the antiauthoritarianism of punk with that of Zen, mixing in a travelogue of his triumphant return to Ohio to play in a reunion concert of Akron punk bands. For those drawn to Buddhist teachings but scared off by their stiff austerity, Brad writes with a sharp smack of truth, in teachings and stories that cut to the heart of reality.