Author: Brent Purple Oliver

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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My 32-Day Meditation Streak: How it Happened & Why I Broke It

  By Brent R. Oliver I just spent 32 days being the most bad ass meditator in my area code. For a whisker over one month, I sat every day, sometimes twice a day. My concentration muscles started to bulge under my skull. My clarity was as sharp as a young bald eagle’s. My equanimity spread and deepened like sweet water behind a goddamn dam. I was a superstar of sitting, a perfectly sane madman of meditation, an institution of insight. Then I quit for a couple of days. Here’s how it all went down. Meditation has never become...

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The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers by Scott Edelstein {Book Review}

By Brent R. Oliver Scott Edelstein has done a great service for anyone interested in studying with a spiritual teacher or becoming part of a spiritual community. I’m generally disdainful of the term “spiritual,” or at the very least confused by it. Too often people seem to separate the “regular” parts of life, such as work, family and washing the car, from what they consider the “spiritual” aspects—which are, I dunno…prayer and meditation and talking about the Dalai Lama, I guess. But let’s leave that aside for a moment. Despite my strong feelings that the spiritual and material aspects...

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