EP109: Sex, Sin and Hardcore Zen | Brad Warner

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We have a quite enlightening episode today, with Brad Warner as our guest. Brad grew up in Ohio, but also spent a significant amount of his life in Kenya and Japan. He got into Zen whilst being the bass guitarist for punk rock band Zero Defex, he is also a blogger, and the author of Sex, Sin, and Zen.

Sex, Sin, and Zen is probably one of my favorite books out there and has made me realize how I relate to Zen Buddhism and the similarities of its teachings to basic principles I live by. In this episode, we talk about Zen Buddhism, its teachings, meditation, and how Zen Buddhism views some of the most controversial subjects of our time.

Clear your mind, get grounded and tune into our conversation as we discuss:
• How Brad views the correlation of punk rock and Zen Buddhism, and its similarities in terms of questioning realities (3:09).
• What are the forms of Buddhism, and what is Zen Buddhism (4:43)?
• How Brad ended up writing about sex, Buddhism’s interpretation of sex and sexuality, its background, the percept that Buddha used as a guide on this subject (8:06, 18:26; 19:57); and its rules for lay people (20:54, 24:11).
• How meditating can make it easier for an individual to reflect on their behavior and if one is going wrong (14:10).
• The Four Noble Truths, dealing with desires, and how Brad interprets these based on his teacher’s wisdom (16:43).
• The Buddhist stand on homosexuality and an anecdote on how it was misinterpreted a few years ago (21:34).
• The Bodhisattva vows and his understanding of it (28:00).
• How Buddhism views porn (31:06), and an analogy he made about porn to vegetarianism (34:49).
• Buddhism’s perception of abortion, where we’re introduced to Jizo (36:12), and of prostitution, where we will be introduced to Ikkyu (41:02).
• The concept of attachment and how this leads to pain and suffering (43:35).
• How non-attachment may seem like complacency, the truth about the concept of acceptance (46:51), and how to fight for something while still practicing compassion (49:16).
• A Zazen meditation crash-course (51:30).

To connect with Brad Warner and his works, you may check out these links:

Here’s a link to his book:

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