Now reading: Brad Warner “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip
Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the
Zen teacher and punk bassist Brad Warner had a tough year: He lost his dream job, his mother died, his grandmother died, and his marriage fell apart. In “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate”, Brad follows the form of his first two books, mixing his real-life adventures with Buddhist philosophy and pop culture examples. He applies the Buddha’s teachings to his own real-life suffering, deconstructing the popular image of the Buddhist Master.
How does a “real” Zen Master deal with death, divorce, job loss, and personal discord? How does he perform the work of trying to help others get over their tough times while going through some pretty heavy pain of his own? How do you sit and meditate while your world crumbles all around you? Warner also explores whether real Buddhism exists in the West, travelling around North America in search of authentic Buddhist practice. ‘While I’ve found shining examples of the Buddha’s way in prisons and at heavy metal shows‘, he writes, ‘I’ve also seen sad perversions of Buddhism in temples and among those supposedly propagating the Way in America. Authentic Buddhism doesn’t always come packaged the way we imagine it should’. This isn’t another esoteric book about the ancient, venerable, and exotic philosophy of Buddhism. It’s a book about what it means to live your life as a real human being. According to Warner, although Zen does not offer the kind of pie-in-the-sky ‘ultimate solutions’ many religions and cults promise, it does provide a real and exceptionally practical way to deal with what life dishes out to all of us. In fact, he says, Zen practice and philosophy provides the only truly rational and realistic way to live a balanced and happy life.
The bassist for the punk band Zero Defects, Brad Warner is a Zen priest, filmmaker, and Japanese monster-movie marketer living in Los Angeles. The author of Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality: Punk Rock Monster Movies & the Truth About Reality and Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye, he is also is also the director and producer of Cleveland’s Screaming, a documentary about the Ohio punk scene. He teaches Zen in Santa Monica and writes a monthly column for Suicidegirls.com.
Available at Amazon Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma. You can read an excerpt here.