Brad Warner

Brad Warner is a Zen Buddhist monk, author, hardcore punk bass player and former head of the Los Angeles Office of the company founded by the inventor of Godzilla. These days he makes his living mainly by traveling around giving talks about Buddhism, punk rock and monster movies. He has just finished a two-month long tour of the US and Canada and will soon leave for Europe and Japan where he has been invited to give more talks. Brad's lectures are nothing like what you'd probably expect from a Buddhist Master. They're funny, occasionally raunchy and often deeply profound musings on the meaning of life, the meaning of Zen, whether or not Mothra could beat up King Kong and who was the best drummer in The Ramones. A typical talk will begin with a few minutes of almost stand-up comedy style monologue about Zen and life while Brad primes the audience into speaking up for themselves. After that the fun really begins as Brad fields questions on anything and everything from the true significance of Buddha's Enlightenment to whether monks are allowed to jack off. Everything is permitted except math questions! Brad has appeared on CNN, NPR, CBC as well as in the magazines Shambhala Sun, Tricyle and Buddhadharma. He has also been on more radio shows than even he can count. His books are: Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality (Wisdom Publications, 2004) Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye (2007, New World Library) Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma (2009, New World Library) He writes a monthly column for the website and maintains a blog at His documentary film about the Northeast Ohio punk scene, Cleveland's Screaming, had its premier at Los Angeles' famous Egyptian Theater and is set to play European film festivals this year. His hardcore band Zero Defex just released a new CD and is playing shows to support it.

Sex, Sin and Zen

This class explores the moral implications of sexual behavior from a Zen Buddhist perspective. In Zen there is only one rule about sex, "Do not misuse sexuality." All Buddhists take a public vow to uphold this precept (along with nine others). But what, precisely, constitutes a misuse of sexuality and how does one avoid it? This is a vital question and one that is left up to the practitioner to answer for herself or himself. Brad will speak about what this precept means to him, and how other Buddhists in Asia and in the West have explained its meaning. Brad will invite discussion from attendees and make himself available for personal conversation after the workshop.

The Art of Sitting Down and Shutting Up

This simple workshop will focus on the Shikantaza style zazen practice described by Master Dogen in his 13th century classic, Shobogenzo: Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. This unadorned, bare-bones style was said by Master Dogen to be the deepest and most profound of all meditation methods. Brad Warnerís second book was titled Sit Down and Shut Up because essentially thatís all there is to this style of meditation. There are no mantras, no breathing exercises, no visualizations, no one talking you through what youíre supposed to do. You just sit down and stay very still with your eyes open looking at the wall in front of you. There is a bit more to it, which will be explained in the workshop. But basically thatís it. Yet a mountain of literature has emerged from people who have dedicated themselves to this simple practice. In the time allotted for this workshop, Brad will attempt to explain why itís so incredibly profound and will allow for a few minutes of actual practice at the end. There will also be jokes.

















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