Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen: Win A Date With Brad Warner!!!
Apr 2011 04

Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen: Win A Date With Brad Warner!!!

Posted In Blog,Love,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Brad Warner

That’s right! Here’s your chance to win a date with Brad Warner! You know he’s a dreamboat! You know he’s a famous author! Now here’s your golden opportunity to actually go on a real live date with Brad Warner! Where will you go on your date with Brad? Will he take you to his favorite Thai restaurant? Or perhaps you’ll go on a shopping spree to the comic book store! Who knows?

There’s no purchase necessary! All you have to do is put a short video of yourself on YouTube explaining why you are uniquely qualified to date Brad and send the link to askbradwarner@hotmail.com! The lucky winner will be notified personally by Brad. And here’s a bonus. If you’ve ever had a set published on SuicideGirls, you’re automatically a winner!

OK. I’m not serious. Well, not totally serious anyhow. Maybe a little bit serious. It’s just that I haven’t been on anything resembling a date since September last year. I’m starting to wonder if my nose has melted off my face and I didn’t notice it or something. Social networking sites don’t work. The women on online dating services apparently find me repulsive. Grabbing girls by the ankles on the street and dragging them back to my apartment hasn’t led to anything but jail time. I’m at my wits end, I tell ya!

The truth is, with all the horrible shit going on in the world right now the fact that my social life is a wash-out is not the most pressing thing on my mind. But it’s on my mind, nonetheless. I think everybody worries about this kind of stuff. No matter what our priorities are, this is a tough one to ignore. It’s biological!

For most of us there’s a large disconnect between how our lives are and how we’d prefer them to be. Some people want to fill that gap with money, some with fame. Some of us try to numb ourselves to that gap with drugs or other thrills. Since I don’t like drugs, I’d probably numb myself with sex if I could, like Gene Simmons. Pretty much everybody imagines that great romance would bridge this gap once and for all. But I’m not so sure.

I’ve been following the path of Buddhist meditation as my chosen method of dealing with the huge chasm between life as I’d prefer it to be and life as it actually is. It’s the only one of the methods on offer that never claims it will fill that gap, bridge that chasm or numb me to the point where I fail to recognize it exists.

Instead it says that the gap between what I want and what I have is where the real joy of life exists. It says that there is nothing better in the whole universe than life as it is right now.

The reason there’s nothing better is simple. There is demonstrably nothing else. Every idea you might entertain about what you’d rather have or who you’d rather be is just that. It’s idea, a fantasy, a series of on-off switches clicking in your brain. It’s not reality.

But Buddhism is not a call to complacency. My Zen teacher liked to say, “My life is always improving.” You do what you can to make your situation better. But you do that by taking action here and now, real action – not imaginary action.

It’s a shame that this philosophy bears the rotten name “Buddhism.” It makes people imagine that it’s a religion, a sectarian belief, a matter of faith. Buddhism is none of these things, even though there are plenty of self-proclaimed Buddhists out there who mistakenly think that it is.

Stephen Batchelor has just published a very good book called Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist that argues for a new kind of Buddhism that has nothing to do with belief and deals only with what is undeniably real. It’s something I’ve been pushing for in my own books for years. Maybe one of these days someone will listen.

My life is not what I want it to be. What can I do about that? There are obviously things I can do to improve stuff. I can publish a blog on SuicideGirls jokingly soliciting dates and see if that works, for example. Or maybe I can simply learn to enjoy my un-vowed vow of celibacy. There must be a million things I can do to make my situation a little bit better.

But one thing I’ll never be able to accomplish is the permanent closing of that gap between what life is and what I think it should be. Not only that, I can’t even permanently rid myself of the desire that things be other than they are.

This is one of the fantasies that people project upon meditation teachers, that they are or ought to be somehow without desire. But Batchelor’s investigations into the earliest Buddhist writings have shown clearly that even Buddha himself never claimed to have gone beyond desire.

What Buddha did was to recognize that desires can never be permanently satiated. Further, he understood that satiating our desires was not the way to happiness. He didn’t argue with those who said that some measure of happiness can be attained by satisfying one or two of our current desires. But he knew that this was only ever a stop-gap measure. New desires always appear and they always seem just as urgent as the ones we’ve just satisfied. That’s the nature of the human mind.

True happiness, he said, was to be found in accepting our dissatisfaction with life and learning, ironically, to be satisfied with dissatisfaction.

***

Brad is on tour right now and may be in your area. To see where Brad will be speaking next visit his blog.

Brad Warner is the author of Sex, Sin and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between as well as Hardcore Zen, Sit Down and Shut Up! and Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. He maintains a blog about Buddhist stuff that you can click here to see.

You can also buy T-shirts and hoodies based on his books, and the new CD by his band Zero Defex now!

7 comments
Chris D
Chris D

I gave up and decided to be alone for a while and focus on the tokudo process. About a month or two after that my now-wife and I started hanging out. I recommend giving up, as best you can.

esmerelda_verde
esmerelda_verde

too bad you left nyc, I'd be happy to take you out to a punk rock show no strings & I'd get the tickets. 

ClpX
ClpX

Aw.  The "contest" is probably only open to residents of the  continental US and maybe Japan, but I would totally make a video :D.  Thumbs up from Canada Brad, it can't be easy being a veritable wandering monk... 

Johnny Tet
Johnny Tet

"action" as opposed to thinking/fantasizing this is when I meet my bliss......good Luck on the hunt..

Brad Warner
Brad Warner

Take them? Well, I'm not gay. But it's been so long, would I even know the difference at this point?

Anonymous
Anonymous

haha youre so cute it makes me laugh :)

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