Brad Warner is a Zen priest, author (Hardcore Zen) and former punk rock bassist with an idiosyncratic voice. It may be hard to reconcile the idea of Zen having anything to do with the hard, often angry, energy of punk rock, but Warner does so easily: “It was a philosophy that asked questions rather than providing pat answers. It didn’t have any time for bullshit.”  

With clear, bold, prose and a disdain for anything that takes the easy way this book offers education, provocation, and reward. The core is essentially a textual commentary on Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye, a key book in Zen all the while providing insight into Buddhist teachings anger, sex, loving-kindness, dependence, and other familiar themes.

A profound insight comes with Warner’s statement that (Buddhism is) a philosophy of action, a philosophy you do rather than read about (pg. 4)" and thereafter the perspective broadens, deepens, and enthralls. If you aren’t a Buddhist, learn more about this intellectually satisfying religion. If you are, refresh your insights and reawaken your joy.

Highly recommended.


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Brad Warner

New World Library, 2007

pp. 256, $14.95