Author: Brent R. Oliver

Unsubscribe: Opt Out of Delusion, Tune in to Truth {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver I’m a champion of the modern mindfulness movement. I think the scientific path of rigorous meditation unbound from religious traditions is the key to improving our human condition. It’s easily accessible to a massive audience and doesn’t require any beliefs to yield benefits. It’s what I study; it’s what I teach; it’s what I practice. But I am a Buddhist. Secular and post-traditional, but a Buddhist nonetheless. I’m not a joiner and I never settled on a specific lineage or approach that felt right for me. The one that comes closest, the one that’s...

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Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order) {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver If you’ve read Shozan Jack Haubner’s first book, Zen Confidential, you know he’s an unorthodox figure in modern Buddhism, especially considering he’s a monastic. If you haven’t read it, you’ll just have to trust me on that. And also, you should read it because it’s fucking great. His follow up, Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order), is further proof that his approach and habits are anything but usual. But don’t think his twisted tales and odd tendencies obscure his spiritual insights. Mr. Haubner is...

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You Don’t Need to Commit, Just Sit

  By Brent R. Oliver Some of us here at The Tattooed Buddha (TTB) tend toward the hardcore side of practice and study. We’re sort of Buddhist nerds; we read a lot, we pore through sutras, commentaries, and blogs, we have discussions between ourselves that are thankfully private. If the general public was privy to the monumentally geekish discourses we engage in, or the breathless debates we have over the smallest snippets of Buddhist minutiae, they’d give us toilet swirlies and jam us in lockers.  ​This is a passion, not a hobby. It’s something that infuses our lives entirely; it’s the lens we see through and the yardstick we...

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More mindFully Human, Less A**hole (The Reason I’m Retiring the Gonzo Buddhist)

  By Brent R. Oliver When I first asked to write for The Tattooed Buddha, I knew what I would offer: entertainment value. I had been contributing to one of the big Buddhist publications and, while I wasn’t particularly well-known or well-loved, I’d carved out a tiny niche for myself. It was a filthy little space, full of curse words, self-deprecation, and fart jokes. In the generally staid and sober world of American Buddhism, I was the vulgar prankster, the crass bodhisattva stumbling drunkenly down the path, regaling readers with his missteps and misdeeds. I figured I’d do more...

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Fighting Buddha {Book Review}

  By Brent R.Oliver   There’s a lot of drippy, misplaced love in Western Buddhism, but not much toughness. I’m delighted to say that Jeff Eisenberg’s first book, Fighting Buddha, is the much-needed dose of tough love I’d hoped it would be. Mr. Eisenberg has been practicing martial arts for over 45 years and is focused on finding what works in real-life situations. Over nearly five decades of training, he realized that far too many martial arts emphasize tradition and philosophy over applicable fighting skills, making them pretty damn artistic, but not at all martial. He’s taken issue with...

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