torsdag 9 september 2010

Bookreview: Sex, sin and Zen


Brad Warner's book Sex, Sin, and Zen is funny, witty, useful and a fresh breath of air as it takes on one of the maybe least openly discussed subjects in Buddhism, that of SEX!

Now, this book is not for everybody.
It contains some strong language (both about buddhism, buddhists and sex), and some might not like that being brought forth.
The same goes that he still takes a standpoint in his own experiences some times, and some might not like that either.
And i think some chapters could be somewhat left out or edited, but where would that leave the book, kif there were no "not-so-good"-chapters.
Not to mention his, and he makes a pun of it in thebook, constant talking about his earlier books.
You either like his style or not.
He has been described as being all sorts of bad-boy archetypes.
As he himself admits, he takes a certain pleasure in being oppositional.
But it seems like somewhere down there is something you like about him.
The same goes for this book.

The new thing he brought forth is some chapters where he takes "sexual angles on Buddhism".
Which is exactly what they are, certain aspects of Buddhism from a sexual Angle.
This is something new, and as for me, not seen before.
I found these chapters more entertaining and "educational" than many of the regular ones...

Next to that he Discusses zen tachers and some of his dealings within the sexual sphere.
More exactly his writings for Suicide girls and his interview with Nina Hartley.
Now, i really liked some of the things he says here, and would like to hear more from Nina, who said some really good things in the interview by the way...

And a quote from him, which, i think, in its essence says so much towards his view on practice (my bold)...  

“…Teacher-student romantic relationships will always be a part of the landscape of Zen and other spiritual traditions. It’s important to understand that these relationships do happen and to understand that when they do, the reasons are always various and complex. Sometimes the relationship is clearly abusive and wrong, but not always. In fact, I’ll also be so bold as to say that most of the time there is nothing any more sleazy or abusive going on than goes on in any other romantic relationship. It’s also vital that members of the community examine the real reasons behind whatever feelings they have about the matter. This is after all, what the practice is for – self-examination rather than the examination of others.

Finally the gem is turning into an diamond.
Don't get me wrong, Brad Warner has done some good books before.
Sit down and shut up is a classic amongst Zen/Buddhism literature.
But this book shows he's getting on the path of good authorship. 
He's being both witty, thoughtful and really readable.
And at the same time, he's not really there..
But please read and enjoy yourselves.

May the force be with you

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