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A Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
Even if the whole universe is nothing but a bunch of jerks doing all kinds of jerk-type things, there is still liberation in simply not being a jerk.” Eihei Dogen (12001253 CE)
The Shobogenzo (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) is a revered eight-hundred-year-old Zen Buddhism classic written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dogen. 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 Dogen’s teachings to modern times. While entertaining and sometimes irreverent, Warner is also an astute scholar who sees in Dogen very modern psychological concepts, as well as insights on such topics as feminism and reincarnation. Warner even shows that Dogen offered a Middle Way” in the currently raging debate between science and religion. For curious readers worried that Dogen’s teachings are too philosophically opaque, Don’t Be a Jerk is hilarious, understandable, and wise.
A Soto Zen priest, Brad Warner is a punk bassist, filmmaker, Japanese-monster-movie marketer, and popular blogger based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Hardcore Zen, Sit Down & Shut Up, Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate, There Is No God and He Is Always with You, and Sex, Sin, and Zen. His writing appears on Suicidegirls.com and in Shambhala Sun, Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and Alternative Press. His website is hardcorezen.info.