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Don't Be a Jerk Audiobook

Don't Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master

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Publisher's Summary

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 (1200 - 1253 CE)

The Shobogenzo (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) is a revered 800-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. In Don't Be a Jerk, Zen priest and best-selling 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 listeners worried that Dogen's teachings are too philosophically opaque, Don't Be a Jerk is hilarious, understandable, and wise.

©2016 Brad Warner (P)2016 Brad Warner

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  • Clint J. Latham Jr.
    24/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You don't need to use bad theology"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, as someone who has been studying and practicing the dharma and zazen for over 10 years, this is a great way to get some insights into Shobogenzo. I've really enjoyed Brad's other books as well.


    What other book might you compare Don't Be a Jerk to and why?

    This is hard because there are not a lot of books that try to give you an understanding of a specific theological work. If you like Brad Warner I would recommend Dharma Punks by Noah Levine.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, Brad uses some really bad christian theology to try to prove a point. What I mean by that is; he uses theological ideas that are not grounded in the actual Judeo-Christian theology. But rather generic post christian reformation points you would get from an Atheist Facebook group, rather than true 1st century Judeo-Christian theology. This is the reason I'm giving this book 4 stars out of 5. I'm sure if Brad were to read a book by a Christian theologian and they were to make some of the same type of statements about Buddhist Theology to prove their point he'd feel the same way. If you're going to make comparisons make sure you fully understand both sides before you use them.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • RZ
    19/05/17
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    Story
    "Brad Warner at his best"

    Great synopsis and "translation" of Dogens book Shobogenzo. Easy to understand in modern terms. highly recommend it to any practitioner of zen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rich Tanguy
    Arkansas
    16/05/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "The truth is a pathless land."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    First, I recommend listening to the last chapter before starting the book. <br/><br/>This is a difficult audio book to review. What I learned is that Dogen was contradictory, metaphorical, and open to interpretation with great latitude. My chant too often became "Wait.....what?"


    Would you recommend Don't Be a Jerk to your friends? Why or why not?

    In fairness, this interpretation was probably deeper than I was prepared to dive into the tradition. Much of it was simply beyond my level of understanding. I would not use my review to determine its worthiness. I think, there is an awful lot to digest. I will likely get the print version and go back to it from time to time.


    Which character – as performed by Brad Warner – was your favorite?

    Dogen - he did the accent perfectly.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Actually that's not as crazy an idea as it sounds.


    Any additional comments?

    Authors reading their own works seldom works well. Warner's reading does, however, add to the enjoyability of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    04/04/17
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    Story
    "same witty Brad"

    I have returned to Brad's books time and time again because I understand him. down days some nutty stuff and I need a guide to slog through those crazy koans. thanks Brad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jo-Anne Phillips
    03/04/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific"

    This is a very instructive book at the same time it is quite entertaining. That's always a winning combination! If you like them and Dogan you're gonna love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • agreenbuddha
    23/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Accessible Dogen"

    This is the most easily accessible introduction to Dogen's writing. Brad Warner makes Zen approachable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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