Vol. 2 of Brad Warner’s Radical but Reverent Paraphrasing of Dogen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye
In Japan in 1253, one of the great thinkers of his time died — and the world barely noticed. That man was the Zen monk Eihei Dogen. For centuries his main work, Shobogenzo, languished in obscurity, locked away in remote monasteries until scholars rediscovered it in the twentieth century. What took so long? In Brad Warner’s view, Dogen was too ahead of his time to find an appreciative audience. To bring Dogen’s work to a bigger readership, Warner began paraphrasing Shobogenzo, recasting it in simple, everyday language. The first part of this project resulted in Don’t Be a Jerk, and now Warner presents this second volume, It Came from Beyond Zen! Once again, Warner uses wry humor and incisive commentary to bridge the gap between past and present, making Dogen’s words clearer and more relevant than ever before.
“Warner blends accessible language and irreverent humor in his second paraphrase of the work of 13th-century Buddhist monk Dogen (after Don’t Be a Jerk). Warner parses both highly philosophical and fairly straightforward works of ethics and shows the range and depth of Dogen’s Zen teachings by staying true to the original meanings while excising stumbling blocks for modern readers. . . . Warner’s slightly silly but still serious renditions create a charming and readable (though not particularly systematic) exploration of Buddhist approaches to the good life.” — Publishers Weekly
Praise for Brad Warner’s Don’t Be a Jerk
“A delightful blend of irreverent everydayness, precise scholarship, and heartfelt commitment to practice.” — Stephen Batchelor, author of After Buddhism
“Warner renders the esoteric [Shobogenzo] into a fun, readable text, conveying its spirit with humor and deep respect.” — Publishers Weekly
“What’s clear in reading Warner’s book is his deep respect and lifelong engagement with Dogen. . . .While Warner’s approach to Dogen may be unorthodox, its freshness might be exactly what the doctor ordered for anyone wanting a way in to the old monk’s still fresh perspective.” — Adam Frank, 13.7:Cosmos & Culture blog, NPR.org
“Each chapter opens with a passage from the original, which is then carefully and often humorously unpacked. . . . Although the tone may be irreverent and humorous, the book shows the utmost respect for the monk, who has influenced so many over the centuries.” — Booklist