Warner Brad - Don't be a jerk


Author : Warner Brad
Title : Don't be a jerk And other practical advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master
Year : 2016

Link download : Warner_Brad_-_Don_t_be_a_jerk.zip

Introduction. It used to be that nobody outside the worlds of stuffy academics and nerdy Zen studies knew who Dōgen was. And while this thirteenth-century Japanese Zen master and writer is still not one of the best-known philosophers on the planet, he’s well-known enough to have a character on the popular American TV series Lost named after him and to get referenced regularly in books and discussions of the world’s most important philosophical thinkers. Unfortunately, in spite of all this, Dōgen still tends to be presented either as an inscrutable Oriental speaking in riddles and rhymes or as an insufferable intellectual making clever allusions to books you’re too dumb to have heard of. Nobody wants to read a guy like that. You could argue that Dōgen really is these things. Sometimes. But he’s a lot more than that. When you work with him for a while, you start to see that he’s actually a pretty straightforward, no-nonsense guy. It’s hard to see that, though, because his world and ours are so very different. A few months ago, my friend Whitney and I were at Atomic City Comics in Philadelphia. There I found The War That Time Forgot, a collection of DC comics from the fifties about American soldiers who battle living dinosaurs on a tropical island during World War II, and Whitney found a book called God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell. The latter was far more influential in the formation of this book. The publishers of that book, Top Shelf Publications, describe God Is Disappointed in You as being “for people who would like to read the Bible … if it would just cut to the chase.” In this book, Russell has summarized the entire Christian Bible in his own words, skipping over repetitive passages and generally making each book far more concise and straightforward than any existing translation. He livens up his prose with a funny, irreverent attitude that is nonetheless respectful to its source material. If you want to know what’s in the Bible but can’t deal with actually reading the whole darned thing, it’s a very good way to begin. After she’d been reading God Is Disappointed in You for a while, Whitney showed it to me and suggested I try to do the same thing with Shōbōgenzō: The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. This eight-hundred-year-old classic, written by the Japanese monk Eihei Dōgen, expounds on and explains the philosophical basis for one of the largest and most influential sects of Zen Buddhism. It’s one of the great classics of philosophical literature, revered by people all over the world. However, like many revered philosophical classics, it’s rarely read, even by those who claim to love it. I immediately thought it was a cool idea to try to do this with Shōbōgenzō, but I didn’t know if it would work. I’ve studied Shōbōgenzō for around thirty years, much of that time under the tutelage of Gudo Wafu Nishijima. Nishijima Roshi was my ordaining teacher, and he, along with his student Chodo Mike Cross, produced a highly respected English translation that was for many years the only full English translation available. ...

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