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The Broken Buddha: A Tattoo Artist's…

The Broken Buddha: A Tattoo Artist's Struggle With Zen, Paganism, Steroid…

by Erick Alayon

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Recently added byTrismegistus
2013 (1) Buddhism (1) gadawful (1) rdo (1)



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This book is part of the Amazon Prime lending library, which is good because I would not have been pleased to have paid money for it. The title evokes to mind Hardcore Zen or Against the Stream, or even something along the order of Stephen Batchelor; in other words, a book about Buddhist that doesn't subscribe to the fluffy clouds and bliss tone so much popular publishing on the subject adopts. Unfortunately, there's not much Zen here beyond the title.

Because if fluffy clouds and bliss isn't Zen, neither is "If someone I love does something stupid it just might anger me, I would have to let them know how stupid it is and to try not to do it again," or "Sometimes people just like to run their mouths and talk shit about you. Sometimes the only way to shut them up is with a good right hook to the jaw" two examples of the purportedly "Zen wisdom" Alayon dispenses in this book. We are told that he doesn't sit zazen because it's "unnatural" and that zen has "no dogma." And I'm a Norse Pagan like Alayon because I read Beowulf and knock on wood...but the reality is that this doesn't make me Asatru any more than reading Robert Persig and Siddharta(!) makes Alayon a Zen Buddhist.

Alayon is obviously devoted to his family and theoretically to trying not to fly into irrational rages anymore, which is commendable. But he's equally devoted to letting everyone know that he's tougher than they are and won't take any crap, whereas if he actually practiced Zen he might find himself responding to that guy "running his mouth and talking shit" not by "shutting him up with a good right hook to the jaw" but by not giving a fuck. Maybe a good ghost writer could have worked with Alayon to remove the massive inadvertent contradictions and formulate a cohesive thread between individual chapters, paragraphs, and sentences, as there are flashes of insight here and there, but in its current state, I don't recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  Trismegistus | Mar 16, 2013 |
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