Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma

Overview

"How Does A Real-Life Zen Master - not the preternaturally calm, cartoonish Zen Masters depicted by mainstream culture - help others through hard times when he's dealing with pain of his own? How does he meditate when the world is crumbling around him? Is meditation a valid response or just another form of escapism? These are the questions Brad Warner ponders in Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate." During a year that Warner spent giving talks and leading retreats across North America, his mother and grandmother died, he lost his dream job,
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Overview

"How Does A Real-Life Zen Master - not the preternaturally calm, cartoonish Zen Masters depicted by mainstream culture - help others through hard times when he's dealing with pain of his own? How does he meditate when the world is crumbling around him? Is meditation a valid response or just another form of escapism? These are the questions Brad Warner ponders in Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate." During a year that Warner spent giving talks and leading retreats across North America, his mother and grandmother died, he lost his dream job, and his marriage fell apart. In writing about how he applied the Buddha's teachings to his own real-life suffering, Warner shatters expectations, revealing that Buddhism isn't some esoteric pie-in-the-sky ultimate solution but an exceptionally practical way to deal with whatever life dishes out.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Zen monk and punk rocker Warner offers a "big snarly ball of confessional vomit" in his third book, following Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up. The snarly ball is his own suffering, fodder for the Zen cushion: his mother's and grandmother's deaths, the dissolution of his marriage and lots of day-job insecurity when the Japanese monster-movie company he works for downsizes and gets sold. As ever, Warner is unafraid to smash idols, including his own celebrity status as a Zen master. "Not only am I not that thing, but no one is," he writes, and that means everybody from the Dalai Lama to fellow students of his Japanese teacher who disliked his being picked as the teacher's successor. Warner is honest-he would say his attitude is seeing things as they are, a Zen bent. Those familiar with his previous work will find this book exceptionally plainspoken and pungent, in keeping with his idiosyncratic vow "to be an a**hole for the rest of my life." That's a lot of honesty. (Mar. 1)

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Library Journal

Sometimes spiritual writers make their mark by demystifying the mystical. Warner's (Hardcore Zen) effort goes beyond rendering Zen Buddhism itself accessible to showing how his own unglamorous and knockabout life indicates that special reverence for Zen "masters" is misplaced. Becoming the Answer is by two Christian activists whose work, together and separately, emphasizes the radical and communitarian aspects of Jesus's message; along the way, they offer new insights into the Lord's Prayer, John 17, and Ephesians 1:15-23.

Fatica, the controversial speaker and focus of the HBO documentary Hard as Nails, espouses a more athletic, theologically conventional Christianity in his ministry. His is an evangelical Catholicism with a hectoring overtone that reinvents "muscular Christianity" for today's adolescents. Here he mixes memoir, story, example, and anecdote to drive his message of heart-conversion home. All are for most collections.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577316541
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 465,427
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The bassist for the punk band Zero Defects, Brad Warner is a Zen priest, filmmaker, and Japanese monster-movie marketer living in Los Angeles. The author of Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up, he is also is also the director and producer of Cleveland’s Screaming, a documentary about the Ohio punk scene. He teaches Zen in Santa Monica and writes a monthly column for Suicidegirls.com. His website is hardcorezen.blogspot.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Zen Death Trip 1

2 Los Angeles 8

3 Dallas to Cincinnati 16

4 Money Changes Everything 21

5 Does Real Buddhism Exist in the West? 25

6 The Abuse of Power in Zen, or What Happens When a Zen Master Sleeps with His Students 33

7 My Mom Is Dead (and She's Not Gonna Take It Anymore) 43

8 Where Do We Go When We Die? 53

9 I Don't Know 59

10 Working for Weird People 63

11 Goal/No Goal 68

12 Meeting Three Godzillas in Tokyo 73

13 Working for the Suicide Girls 78

14 The Porno Buddhist 83

15 No Sin, or How I Spent My Fourth of July 90

16 Misusing Sex 97

17 If You're Going to San Francisco Be Sure to Wear Some Reality in Your Hair 104

18 Ozzfest 110

19 Zen in San Quentin 116

20 Canned! 121

21 Ain't Got Nothin' Yet 129

22 Thunder on the Prairie 135

23 In Which I Have to Take a Pee Really Bad 142

24 Psycho Kitty, Qu'est Que C'est? 147

25 Altered States in an Isolation Tank 152

26 Your Life Is Not Your Own 158

27 Sold! Cheap! 163

28 Retreat! 167

29 Taking and Giving the Precepts 175

30 Meanwhile, Back in Tokyo 183

31 Akron 187

32 Room 666 192

33 Taking Aim 196

34 Meeting Death Face-to-Face 200

35 In Which I Vow to Be an Asshole Forever 205

36 Doc Martens Outside the Door 214

37 The End(?) 221

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    Warner is a new, refreshing voice in American Buddhist writing.

    I read this book twice, then reread his other two books, Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up. Warner combines anecdotes with useful Buddhist information and occasionally astounding statements, like unpacking the Heart Sutra in Hard Core Zen, where he explains clearly the Form is Emptiness--Emptiness is Form "riddle."
    American Buddhist writing has gotten rather sanctimonious, and it's nice to see a profane, contentious, freewheeling and honest voice in face of this.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This was such a great book....less like "old testamenty" Zen and Buddhism books.

    Brad Warner is a balm to my searching and points the way to what I feel as truths. Great enough that I promptly read Hardcore Zen. I'm waiting on the arrival of Sit Down, Shut Up. Wish he was my personal guru, zen master....whatever. His writing is so fresh, entertaining and different than anyone else.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    Best Brad Warner Book Yet!

    For those who have read Brad Warner's other books, this will be great experience (it will be great for those who haven't, too, but be sure to check any sense of piety or reverence at the door). It is less academic than the first two - more of a memoir - but it also has a very clear theme, which is that religious authority figures must not be perceived as super-human. This message appears in the first two books as well, but the message is much more compelling and deep in this book. But all themes or messages aside, this is just a good read; fun, intelligent, compelling ... the type of book that makes you laugh but gets you thinking both at the same time. I've read a lot of Buddhist memoirs and most seem to repeat the same themes and lessons - its especially annoying when a single author repeats the same stuff in several books. Brad Warner manages to write an original book with fresh ideas and he definitely doesn't repeat himself. I can't recommend this highly enough!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    This book was so much more then I expected.

    He is a real guy, with no hold backs. Reminds us that we are all normal :)

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