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Brad Warner has been touting this as his best book, and I agree It is his most mature book, his best written, and it actually takes up the most daring subject His last book was about sex, which some people might have thought daring, but this book uses the word God in connection with Zen practice, and that causes people to explode.What he says, basically, is that what we re actually connecting with as we sit zazen is God, though he doesn t use that word in the childish simplistic sense that many people mean by it In fact, he has searched through religious tradition to find various descriptions of God, and has done a remarkable job of showing how the great mystics in all religions largely agree His whole religious quest has been a search for God, and he feels that he has found God not just in major openings, though he has had at least one and describes it beautifully but in his ordinary moment by moment existence Sitting zazen has been his means of discovering God I completely agree with his central thesis, and though his book was somewhat uneven, as all his books are any writer who writes so much from his own experience is bound to be that way , I thought the best sections were marvelous I strongly recommend this book. [[ E-PUB ]] ⇜ There Is No God and He Is Always with You ☔ Can You Be An Atheist And Still Believe In God Can You Be A True Believer And Still Doubt Can Zen Give Us A Way Past Our Constant Fighting About God Brad Warner Was Initially Interested In Buddhism Because He Wanted To Find God, But Buddhism Is Usually Thought Of As Godless In The Three Decades Since Warner Began Studying Zen, He Has Grappled With Paradoxical Questions About God And Managed To Come Up With Some Answers In This Fascinating Search For A Way Beyond The Usual Arguments Between Fundamentalists And Skeptics, Warner Offers A Profoundly Engaging And Idiosyncratic Take On The Ineffable Power Of The Ground Of All Being Examination of concept of God seen through a buddhist lens Very readable and thought provoking. Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book Anyone who wants a fresh perceptive of God should read There Is No God and He Is Always with You A Search for God in Odd Places In its search for God by challenging us to understand the meanings of words, this book is engaging and funny These topics include God, Heaven, Hell, creation, existence, death, morality, and miracles.The author, Brad Warner, is Soto Zen Buddhist priest and Punk Rock Bass guitarist He is also the author of 2003 book, Hardcore Zen, and 2010 book, Sex, Sin, and Zen In his recent book, Warner discusses Christianity in addition to Buddhist philosophy regarding his perspectives on God Peppered with personal anecdotes, he relies heavily upon the Bible as well as the works of Dogen, the Buddhist teacher who founded the Soto school of Zen in Japan in the thirteen century and known for his extensive writing concerning Buddhist practice and enlightenment, such as the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.Uncompromising close minded attitudes of God believers and militant God deniers have resulted in extreme cruel behavior No communication can reach them Ancient Hebrews stoned their prophets Religious members demanded the death of Socrates for being an evildoer and not believing in the Athenian gods Religious leaders murdered one of its own with cries of Crucify Him, crucify Himincluding Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas Middle Age Christian leaders frequently tortured and killed both heretics and reformers It was so bad that these Christian leaders close mindedness stood in the way of human progress by forcing Bruno, Galileo, Darwin, Haeckel and other scientists to deny what they knew to be the truth Religious beliefs became so strict that groups of Christians, many led by Martin Luther and John Wesley, broke away and revised their beliefs without the strict rigid adherence of their time.Today, many historians and scientists identify the faith of many religions as that of blind credulity, retrospective backwardness, and idle superstition These same intelligent people also consider much of these beliefs to be emotional in nature with little tolerance for rational analyses and criticisms I believe that evolution should occur with religious beliefs when better data is discovered that affects those beliefs Our religious beliefs should evolve continually with better data and not remain static Faith in our beliefs must be rationally grounded since it s impossible for a rational person to believe in something that he knows definitely isn t true I firmly believe that a rational God can t expect His followers to think irrationally.So, what does having an open mind mean to us In the basic purest sense of its meaning, the adult mind contains numerous facts of events, experiences, and beliefs such that it s virtually impossible to have a blank slate or a completely open mind Instead of this extreme condition, an open mind for should mean that the mind is not closed to the introduction of new knowledge and understanding, even though it may contradict previous ideas.Sadly, most people today prefer to be intellectually lazy and let others assess the data for them and tell them what it means Further, we tend to interpret information based solely upon our own biases and frame of references Warner s book provides us another frame of reference regarding the concept of God In his words, when we try to possess God and freeze him in books and enshrine him in temples we go terribly wrong. There Is No God and He Is Always with You may not be to everyone s taste Yet, this book provides a fresh perspective on God to those with an open mind. Buddhism is a practice, an attitude not a belief or a philosophy To convey an attitude, and the feelings associated with it trust, faith, etc , is harder than mere description The author did a very good job of beginning to convey some of that attitude, some of those feelings It s hard, because a lot of what he conveys is not some grand philosophy or insight that lends itself to dynamic, thought provoking reading It s the commitment, the patience, the fortitude, the daily practice and attitude that may or may not eventually begin to crack open the doors of perception I think a few quotes from the book do a better job of capturing what it s about than any description I could try to write In my opinion it s entirely wrong to say that Buddhism is a religion without a God In fact, it s quite the opposite To me, Buddhism is a way to approach and understand God without dealing with religion Buddhism is not a religion or a philosophy It s a practice and an attitude Trying to understand the meaning of life in terms of the human brain s activities is like trying to understand the ocean by going to the seashore and scooping out a bucket of water and then analyzing it Trying to assign a meaning to life is like trying to stuff the whole ocean into a bucket Faith is commitment Buddha believed that we need to deal with the practical questions of how to live in this world now It is our suffering here and now that matters When someone gets hit by a car, you don t wait to help until you know the name of the driver, speed of the car, road conditions, etc you just help As a Buddhist, my duty is to try to come to terms with the reality that stares me in the face every single day The standard attributes of God given by religious people are that he is wise, good, infinite, sovereign, holy, omniscient, faithful, loving, self sufficient, self existent, just, forgiving, immutable, merciful, eternal, gracious, omnipresent, and omnipotent In addition we would have to add an infinite list of other qualities, many of which would be the opposite of the standard attributes. I grabbed up this book because of the title and the fact that when I leafed through it the chapter on Sam Harris caught my eye his The Moral Landscape is one of my favorites If I had known that this book was primarily about Zen I may have passed it up My bad I m not really into Zen But I would have hoped that a book about Zen would have at least piqued my interest in it, which this book did not I didn t find Zen any attractive after reading this book than I did before. I really like Brad Warner This is his second book I ve read, the first being Hardcore Zen What I like about him is his no nonsense, American, but not American approach to Zen he has spent time in Africa, Ireland, but most importantly in Japan where he gathered much of his zen bonafides He is a normal, albeit, dorky guy who likes b grade monster movies, punk rock and women.not something you typically here from a Buddhist monk.His sense of humor often carries the day and he has a very easy approach to a rather difficult topic To sum it up, his whole thesis rests on the notion of however you conceptualize God is wrong because our brains can not fathom what god really is, so we put a anthropomorphic mask on the universe and call it God He believes in God, but not in the Judeo Christian sense, but in of a Zen Koan sense god is a riddle.God knows he doesn t exist.Brad Warner is a funny, relatable guy that has better helped me in my understanding of zen. Summary,Its hard to review this book In general a book has its merit to me by how much I learn change.I don t feel like I learned anything from this book, but I think Brad said something important Brad also seems to have matured greatly in this work.Brad, historically, has seemed to intentionally put forward a branding of himself he is pretty consistent in his humor to the effect it seems forced and can be too negative hating on zigzagzen Deepak Chopra for my guru tastes.In this book he improves in these regards and may be able to draw in readers who disliked his earlier works As a background, I still haven t gotten over my concept of perfect guru teacher wise one.This book actually helped with that indirectly as I now realize that people that I look up to Pete Holmes, Duncan Trussell, Brad who do things I disagree with are human and even with their imperfections still have things to teach Brad s work shows the benefits of listening to the imperfect wise person than any I can think of I think this is because he doesn t seem to censor himself much and gladly exposes his flaws which in my opinion is another flaw as it seems to be an intentional branding Hopefully, I can better forgive other teachers now. I absolutely love Warner s writing He is funny, insightful, and very accessible He has certainly helped me with my own quest to gain balance through the teachings of Buddha This book is, or less, an overview of how he views the concept of God Why recognizing the existence of God is important and how the creation of the anthropomorphized God is a nothing than a fantasy I suppose what keeps the book from getting five stars is I couldn t figure out the entire time I was reading why acknowledging the existence of God is even important at all People have different ideas and definition for what God is and is not, but I just had this nagging feeling the entire time that someone can still lead a fully productive and happy life, while incorporating many lessons from the Buddha, and not really give a second thought to the metaphysical At least that is how I see it. Unlike some of the other reviewers I haven t been that crazy about Brad Warner s other books, but I loved this one.One caveat I ve been a formal student of Soto Zen Buddhism the same school in which Brad Warner is a teacher for lots of years So he didn t say anything that was utterly new to me, but I think the way he put it together was very fresh and readable However, I suspect that someone with no exposure to Zen whatsoever might find some of this book baffling And if you are either an atheist or a God believer looking for confirmation of your opinions, you may be disappointed.