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Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Alternative Medicine > Meditation > B01BQYYBQM
  1. Don't Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master - A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
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  2. Don't Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master - A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

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    Customer Ratings (53 reviews)
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Additional Information

The Shōbōgenzō (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) is a revered eight-hundred-year-old Zen Buddhism classic written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dōgen. Despite the timeless wisdom of his teachings, many consider the book difficult to understand and daunting to read. In Don’t Be a Jerk, Zen priest and bestselling author Brad Warner, through accessible paraphrasing and incisive commentary, applies Dōgen’s teachings to modern times. While entertaining and sometimes irreverent, Warner is also an astute scholar who sees in Dōgen very modern psychological concepts, as well as insights on such topics as feminism and reincarnation. Warner even shows that Dōgen offered a “Middle Way” in the currently raging debate between science and religion. For curious readers worried that Dōgen’s teachings are too philosophically opaque, Don’t Be a Jerk is hilarious, understandable, and wise.

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Brad Warner
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
New World Library
New World Library
New World Library
New World Library
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Have you ever tried to read any of Dogen's Shobogenzo? I have. A bunch of times, actually, and failed, and decided I was just hopelessly not the right person to be a zennie (though I practice in the Theravadan school, I try to keep up). But I follow Brad's blog, and even though I'm not exactly his target audience -- I was never into punk music, I don't really know much about Godzilla or care much about Japan -- I like Brad's voice. So I've been reading Don't Be a Jerk, and I love it, and I feel like I actually understand Dogen a tiny little bit. Note Carefully: this is NOT a translation -- it's a retelling, or a paraphrasing, of Dogen's first 20 or so Shobogenzo chapters. But Brad includes lots of commentary, including the Japanese kanji and other people's translations of difficult passages. And he also makes it very very fun to read some really difficult teachings. So where Nishijima (Brad's teacher) translates the last line of Genjo Koan as "Because the nature of air is to be... Read more
Coming from someone who doesn't know anything about Buddhism, Japan, meditation, and dare I say - doesn't have a single spiritual bone in her body, I loved this book!
I'm not sure why I started reading it - maybe because of the title, or the other reviews, or because I was promised a good laugh.
I got all of that, and more!
- The book is indeed hilarious. It's definitely not one of those annoying spiritual books that make you fall asleep within a couple of pages.
- It explains Buddhism, Dogen, Zen, the art of meditation... well, it explains all these things in a way that a completely non-interested and non-spiritual person like me can get them. Even better, the book tells you about all these things but for information purposes only. It does not try to indoctrinate you, or make you feel guilty for not practicing, or condemn you to eternal damnation. It's more about, this is what Dogen said (paraphrased in a funny modern tone), this is what people teach, here is some... Read more
I highly doubt I would have been interesting in reading Shobogenzo if it wasn't for this book. The paraphrasing is very readable and funny at times without losing its meaning or overall seriousness. After each paraphrasing, Brad discusses the passages in more depth and even why he chose certain words/phrases to paraphrase. He also discusses what other various translations have used for a particular passage. I found this book fascinating and will definitely read again.
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