Hardcore Zen


I first got into zen when I was about 16, and lost interest about about three years later, when I started college. Now, at the venerable old age of 31, I’m starting to dig it again. Supposedly, there is a new wave of gen-Y (or whatever) kids who are getting into Buddhism and doing it up right, orthodox style, without LSD shortcuts to enlightenment unlike thier boomer predecessors (and my former teacher). The author of this book is an early gen-Xer so i guess he is kind of bridging the gap.

I picked up this book because I liked the toilet on the front cover. It tells the story of a punk rock musican who becomes a buddhist priest. The author tries to retain his punk street-cred throughout the narrative by describing similarities in Buddhist and Punk thought. The similarities and the author’s punk street cred seem a bit strained at times. Then again, I’m no expert on Punk philosophy, so what the fuck do I know.

It’s a pretty quick read, and doesn’t assume any prior experience with Zen or Buddhism or anything, and it doesn’t get all mystical-new-age-hippie-bullshit on you either. It’s a good book to keep on the back of your toilet, which I bet is why there’s a toilet on the cover.

I give it 4 Jihadis out of 5
4 Jihadis out of 5