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Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye
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Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,272 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
In Sit Down and Shut Up, Brad Warner tackles one of the great works of Zen literature, the Shobogenzo by 13th-century Zen master Dogen. Illuminating Dogen’s enigmatic teachings in plain language, Warner intertwines sharp philosophical musings on sex, evil, anger, meditation, enlightenment, death, God, sin, and happiness with an exploration of the power and pain of the punk
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 13th 2007 by New World Library (first published April 10th 2007)
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Dawn
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: enlightenment junkies
Awesome! Brad Warner uses the writings of his favorite zen author, Dogen, as a springboard to discuss a little of everything, and a lot of nothing—thereby striking the perfect balance for a kick-ass zen book.

The only thing that kept me from giving this five stars is Warner's tendency to pick on other schools of Buddhism for getting it wrong. Although even this punky attitude is presented in a totally zen manner, since he simultaneously has it all figured out while admitting to being just as dumb
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Allison
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love titles like "Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death and Dogen's Treasury of the right Dharma Eye" because while the title is waaaaay too long and the book focuses little one God, Truth, Sex and Death; however, the core of the entire novel flows throughout: Sit Down and Shut up.

I've learned a lot about Buddhism from Brad Warner's writings. From my own background, I have a mild understanding of buddhism: I've taken 3 seminars on Buddhism (well, it wa
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Paul
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have always enjoyed and held the greatest respect for Zen Buddhism. The problem with Zen is that frequently, what you are reading is poorly translated materials from 14th century Japan or was written in the late sixties and is therefore steeped in hippy-dippy vibes. Lately, however, a new generation of young Buddhists have become mature enough to write about the experience and Brad Warner is my favorite. From former punk rock bassist to ordained zen monk to working in the Japanese Monster Movi ...more
Daniel Swensen
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Occupies a nice space between Hardcore Zen (which is a great overview and introduction to Warner's outlook) and Don't be a Jerk (which digs much deeper into Dogen and the Shobogenzo). A great book to follow up with if you got anything out of Hardcore Zen.
Stuart Young
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Overview of some of Zen legend Dogen's teachings as Warner interepretes them. Not aimed quite so much at the casual reader as HARDCORE ZEN but still not really a full-on Zen textbook.

Didn't enjoy this as much as HARDCORE ZEN but I think that's partly 'cos I kept slogging through it when was I too tired to give it my full attention and partly 'cos Warner kept quoting Dogen using Japanese characters, then again in English, then gave his own extremely paraphrased version where he finally explains D
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Jason
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Warner doesn't mess with evocative metaphor or fluffy language to talk about Zen practice and life. His direct, irreverent, no-bullshit attitude toward the subject is not only refreshing, but imperative to cut through the sheer about of misinformation out there about the subject. Unfortunately, most will undoubtedly find this approach off-putting - simply because it's not how books on religion/spirituality are typically packaged and presented. Too bad. There's great wisdom to be had here.
Adam Pateman
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I super liked it. It's pretty blah blah at points, but I found myself enjoying it like crazy. The chapter on death blew my mind a little.
Daniel Olbris
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Persons interested in buddhism.
Sit Down and Shut up is a pretty decent set of reflection on various topics, sex, death, greed, informed by the writings of the early japanese Zen teacher Dogen, author of the Shobogenzo, "Treausry of the Right Dharma Eye".


Brad warner does a good job of presenting how buddhist ideas apply to the lives of ordinary people, in a down to earth manner. Sometimes he tries a bit too hard to be funny, adding footnotes where he makes little digs at himself, but that's no big deal.

I did learn various thin
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Kris Stark
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Warner lacks pretension to the point that he's comfortable to read on stuffy subjects; he even makes fun of himself. This isn't the first commentary that I've read by an American Buddhist, but he's probably the most accessible. Here is where I must add a caveat: to call this a commentary, in the traditional sense, is somewhat inaccurate. He doesn't actually cover that much of Dogen's Shobogenzo; this is not a negative criticism, however. Despite sounding irreverent (which ...more
Sara
This is the most practical and unpretentious look at buddhist philosophy I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. This is partly due to the fact that it deals specifically with zen buddhism, which has a tradition of doing away with the ceremonial noise of other sects, and partly due to the straightforward, colloquial style of the author (a punk rock bass player), who has no interest in anything that isn't immediate, real, practical and meaningful.

This is the also the first book I have ever
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Angel
This was my first Brad Warner book. I will admit that the title caught my eye when it comes to the reason why I picked it up. I am glad I picked it up. Warner does two things in this book. One, it is a travelogue for a punk bands reunion in Cleveland; Warner was a member of the band Zero Defects. Two, he is writing a commentary on an ancient Buddhist text by a man named Dogen. In between those two things, he provides insights, comments, and lessons on Zen Buddhism practice and beliefs. Warner wr ...more
Samuel
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism, philosophy, zen, soto
I've read a lot of books on Buddhism and many of them are filled with flowery or "Zenny" language due to the time period of the book or the choices of the modern writer. Sometimes that's useful and sometimes it feels like bullshit to wade through to get to the kernel of truth it obscures. Brad Warner largely avoids the bullshit and delivers straightforward teachings based on everyday life while at the same time pointing to the wisdom of Dogen's Shobogenzo (which itself is just pointing) in ways ...more
Jordan O'Leary
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, one of the best books written in Zen. This is the book that brought me all the more closer to Dogen's teachings in the Soto Zen Buddhist school. Dogen was such a brilliant, yet far ahead of even our times guy, and it can be very difficult tackling such monolithic reads as The Shobogenzo. I've tried to tackle this collection of 96 books, and it is not for the beginner, I assure you. Once again, Warner comes forth with his razor sharp sword of ordinary language and practicality to d ...more
Cait
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in religion or funny/serious scholarship thereof
I really enjoyed reading this -- it was quite literally laugh-out-loud funny at times, and very thought-provoking -- but it was more Buddhism and less punk rock than I expected, and it hung rather tenuously on the punk rock framework it did have. It is, basically, a religious book by a monk about his faith; what I probably should have read was his first book, which I understand is more of a memoir along the lines that I was expecting for this book. Now that I know how well he writes, I'll defini ...more
Tim
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A little more abstruse than Warner's first book. This one is a bit rougher going conceptually but just as entertaining as Hardcore Zen.

Warner is a Zen master (priest) ordained by his Japanese sensei when he was working in Japan in the monster (Godzilla and friends) movie industry. He teaches a form of Soto Zen that involves Zen at its most basic: Sitting meditation and not much else. No Koans, no chanting, no complex theology, no waiting for thousands of rebirths before enlightenment. Maybe not
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Tim Weakley
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Warner offers a view of current Zen Buddism that is a little lighter hearted than most. As a punk rock bassist, turned worker in a monster movie company, turned zen buddhist monk, his point of view is always interesting if a little rough around the edges. His stories, and his interpretation of Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye show insight from a point of view outisde of the usual buddhist book. His writing style is engaging, although not always polished. Well worth reading.
Justin
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Feels like a repeat of his other books, but without the insight. Additionally, Brad's format gets tired after 3 books.
How often can you hear the same jokes about how people steal his book, etc.?

I was hoping to learn something here, but I found this book mostly to harp on the importance of zazen.
Sonny Zaide
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This sequel to "Hardcore Zen" is just as brilliant as the first. I actually read this first. This time he discusses the writings of the Shobogenzo, written by Dogen, and creatively incorporates these philosophies into his punk band tour. Great book. I finished it in a week when I usually finish a book in a year (slow reader lol)
Joe Ryan
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great book on the confusing world of Zen. Most of this stuff puts me write to sleep but Brads stories about his days in Hardcore Punk and working for a Monster Movie company kept me very entertained. Plus, makes me laugh to hear a Zen Master Buddhist monk curse so much. Ha. See?
Jacob
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Engaging chapters and fascinating topics. I learned a lot and it was well worth the read.
Bodhi47
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was good. I liked it because it was an irreverent and plain spoken break down of the Shobogenzo. Throwing in Japanase Monster movies and punk rock helped keep it real.
Natalie
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it
*3.5 stars*
Inge Bird
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a continuation from Brad's first book "Hardcore Zen" I recommend it for those who are interested in Zen and would like to apply its teachings relating to the modern world
Nikmaack
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hate this book. 4 stars. I fought the author every step of the way.

You have to sit in the lotus position to meditate. Too fat to do that? Lose weight. He says that. Fuck you, Brad.

Buddhism isn't about belief, he says, and drowns you with beliefs. Annoying footnotes that just aren't funny. "Duh!" is literally one of his footnotes. And who gives a crap about his punk band bullshit? That barely works as a thread to hold the book together. Fuck you, Brad. Fuck you.

Much to my irritation, fighting
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Niccolo Pirata stamboglis
A very clear commentary on the work of Dogen Zenji made available in a Westerner's language. The author does a really good job in explaning how he interpreted Dogen's insights using examples from his own life. A very good down-to-earth and punk rock view on zen.
Gill
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very accessible version of some Buddhist principles. Entertaining and easy to read.
Jordan
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This was good, but I didn't like it quite as much as his other books. I get what he was doing talking about his punk rock reunion, but it just made it feel a little too all over the place and distracted for me.
Amber Tucker
What I didn't like: the continual stream of Dad jokes, low-budget swears, slang and apostrophizations ('freakin',' 'darnedest', 'bit the big one,' etc.). Then there are all the tongue-in-cheek Trademarked names, and generally dated pop culture references that Warner employs throughout the book - all, it would appear, to keep things from getting too serious

What I honestly can understand the intent behind even if I don't usually love the execution: see above. While these 'lighter' elements of the
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Jodi
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was expecting more of an autobiographical nature to this book than I got, though still found the explication of Dogen's philosophy to be more than tolerable. The author admits that Buddha is boring, and talking about Zen kind of defeats the purpose of Zen... but it is a great read if you want to get into the mind of a Zen practitioner without falling asleep. After reading this book I am more than ready to purchase and/or steal the rest of Brad's work. ;)

The same thing that is holding me back f
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Steve
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an informative and well-written book about Buddhism, specifically focusing on the teachings of Dogen and the form of practice known as Zazen. Right off the bat there are two things I had no clue about! I am not a practicing Buddhist but merely a nascent observer and someone who finds much to like about it. Whether I ever end up literally sitting down and shutting up is a place I haven't really come to but it seems to be a place I grow nearer and nearer to thanks in large part to this bo ...more
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Brad Warner is an ordained Zen Master (though he hates that term) in the Soto lineage founded in Japan by Master Dogen Zenji in the 13th century. He's the bass player for the hardcore punk rock group 0DFx (aka Zero Defex) and the ex-vice president of the Los Angeles office of the company founded by the man who created Godzilla.

Brad was born in Hamilton, Ohio in 1964. In 1972, his family relocated
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