4.12.2010

10 Minutes - Zen Buddhism for Beginners and Confused Kids With Lots of Teen Angst

Hi. It's Joe.

A friend of mine recently returned to me the copy of Brad Warner's humble book, "Hardcore Zen," which I'd forgotten I had lent to her.

I have seldom in my life read a book twice, mostly because of laziness and a lack of time management that precludes me from reading most books even once!

I had casually placed "Hardcore Zen" on the dining room table, planning to return it to the bookshelf in my study some time soon, possibly without ever looking at it again.

But as I sat down for dinner the next night, I began paging through it and again found myself consuming its contents as voraciously as I did my dinner. Thus, a meal that usually lasts about 30 minutes went well over two hours. It was worth it.

This is a well written book and I am going to read it a second time. It isn't just because the author is a punk rock bass player, although I definitely relate to him on that level.

The book just flows. There is no other way to explain it. It is full of typographical errors, a pet peeve of mine that has caused me to quit reading many other less engrossing screeds. Somehow, I gloss over those when I am reading this book.

Brad Warner's subsequent book "Sit Down and Shut Up" is about the practice of Zen Buddhism itself and it is kind of dull.

But "Hardcore Zen," his first book, is more transcendent of the actual practice of Zen. I suppose that is appropos.

"Hardcore Zen" is more of a biography about truth and life from the Zen Buddhist perspective. Thus, it seems less preachy and also tells a kickass story with a moral lesson.

Reality is the one thing that THE MAN cannot do a goddam thing about. It's an untouchable truth no matter how far you want to bury your head in the sand. And that's awesome.

Time.

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