Sit Down and Shut Up by Brad Warner – Book Review
Book Title: Sit Down and Shut Up – Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death & Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Eye Dharma
Author: Brad Warner
Publisher: New World Library
This is the next book after the popular “Hardcore Zen – Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth about Reality” written by Zen Buddhist priest and punk rocker Brad Warner.
Brad Warner was the bassist of the hardcore punk band Zero Defects in the 1980s who is now a Zen priest, filmmaker, and monster movie marketer and studied with Zen master Gudo Nishijima. He received the Dharma transmission from Nishijima when he was living in Japan.
In this book, Brad Warner tackles the Zen work known as Shobogenzo (translated as “Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye”) which was written by Zen master Dogen in the 13th century CE. Warner provides a very down to earth commentary on Dogen’s work that provides even more insight into the teaching of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.
A lot of the creativity of this book can be seen in the chapter titles, some of which are quite amusing:
Chapter 1 Why Dogen Matters
Chapter 2 “Genjo Koan”
Chapter 3 Proper Posture Required
Chapter 4 Four Points of Zazen
Chapter 5 Zazen by Alone
Chapter 6 The Colors of the Mind
Chapter 7 Kill Your Anger
Chapter 8 Zen and Stress Management
Chapter 9 Buddha Never Metta Man He Didn’t Like
Chapter 10 Cleaning Up Your Room
Chapter 11 Evil is Stupid
Chapter 12 “Hyakujo’s Fox”
Chapter 13 The Twelvefold Chain
Chapter 14 Sex and Sin
Chapter 15 The Futile Pursuit of Happiness?
Chapter 16 The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg
Chapter 17 Death
Chapter 18 God
Chapter 19 It! The Thing from Beyond the Realm of Mind
Chapter 20 Buddha is Boring
Chapter 21 Bad Hair Day
Chapter 22 The Same Difference
Chapter 23 Enlightenment is for Sissies!
Chapter 24 The Eight Truths of Great Human Beings
Chapter 25 The Ultimate Truth
As you can see from the chapter titles, there are a lot of topics that are covered in this book including a lot of guidance on Zen Buddhist meditation practices or zazen.
This is by far one of the most profound, simply laid out, and entertaining Zen books that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. And it’s written in a way that makes Zen Buddhism accessible to everyone without using difficult language or riddles.
This book shows an improvement over the last book (Hardcore Zen) in terms of the depth the author goes into the Buddhist teachings in this book.
If you want to learn about Zen Buddhism, then I would highly recommend this book to you. In fact, I would recommend this book to everyone since there are a lot of profound insights and lessons that one can easily apply to his/her own life.
Thanks for reading my review of Sit Down and Shut Up by Brad Warner and feel free to leave a thought or a question in the comments below.