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Brad Warner (born March 5, 1964) is an American Sōtō Zen monk, author, blogger, documentarian and punk rock bass guitarist.

Brad Warner
Brad Warner
Born (1964-03-05) March 5, 1964 (age 55)
SchoolSoto Zen
EducationKent State University
OccupationAuthor, blogger, documentarian, musician, Zen teacher
Senior posting
TeacherGudo Wafu Nishijima


Brad Warner was born in Hamilton, Ohio,[1] in 1964. His family traveled for his father's job and Warner spent some time in Nairobi, Kenya,[2] but grew up mainly near Akron, Ohio,[3] and attended Kent State University. As a teenager Warner got into the music of the 1960s and hardcore punk,[4] and a friend of his took him to a show by Zero Defex. He auditioned for and joined the band[5] after finding out they needed a bass guitarist. He began practicing Zen Buddhism under his first teacher, Tim McCarthy.[3][6] Warner later studied with Gyomay Kubose.[4]

He has played with Dimentia 13. After the financial failure of his Dimentia 13 albums, Warner got a job in Japan with the JET Programme, and then later in 1994 with Tsuburaya Productions, the company behind Ultraman.[4] Warner played the roles of various foreigners in their programs. While in Japan, he met and trained with Gudo Wafu Nishijima, a student of Rempo Niwa Zenji, who ordained him as a priest and named him as his dharma heir in 2000.[6][7][8]

He agreed to write articles for SuicideGirls, the online soft porn site but stopped after a few years.[9]

In 2007 he directed the documentary film Cleveland’s Screaming, which depicts the punk rock scene in Akron and Cleveland in the 1980s.[10][11]

Also in 2007, Gudo Wafu Nishijima named Warner the leader of Dogen Sangha International which Nishijima had founded.[6][12] Warner dissolved the organization in April 2012.[13][14]

In 2008 Warner lost his job with the Japanese company he had been working for in the States and as of January 2009 he was self-employed.

In 2012, Warner moved to California[15][16] and started Dogen Sangha Los Angeles.[17]

In 2013, Pirooz Kalayeh directed a film about Warner entitled Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen[18][19] The film premiered on October 5, 2013 in Amsterdam at the Buddhist Film Festival of Europe.[18]



  • Warner, Brad (2011). Death To All Monsters!. Hardcore Zen Books. ISBN 9781257647248.
  • Warner, Brad (2013). Gill Women of the Prehistoric Planet. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781482712155.



Dimentia 13
  • Dimentia 13. Midnight Records. 1985.
  • Mirror Mind. Midnight Records. 1987.
  • Disturb the Air. Midnight Records. 1989.
  • T.V. Screen Head. Midnight Records. 1990.
  • Flat Earth Society. Midnight Records. 1991.
Guest appearances
  • drop the A-bomb. Get Revenge Records. 2007. (1982 demo reissue)
  • Discography. Get Revenge Records. 2007. (1982 demo and 1983 debut, 2 CD)
  • War Hero. Get Revenge Records. 2007. (1983 debut reissue)
  • Zero Defex. 0DFx Records. 2008. (New recordings 2007/2008)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Warner, Brad (2007). Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye. New World Library. p. 248. ISBN 1-57731-559-6.
  2. ^ Walters, Sarah (November 18, 2011). "Zen and the art of punk rock . .". Manchester Evening News.
  3. ^ a b Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye. New World Library. 2007. p. 254. ISBN 1-57731-559-6.
  4. ^ a b c "'Question of Authority' ...?" Interviewed by Gary Gach in The Buddhist Channel, Sep. 6, 2007
  5. ^ Hynes, Mary (2007-08-14). "Interview with Brad Warner". Tapestry. Archived from the original on 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
  6. ^ a b c "Sex, Sin & Zen: Brad Warner and the Lust for Enlightenment". The Huffington Post.
  7. ^ Clarke, Liam (June 15, 2010). "Meet Brad, the bad boy of Zen Buddhism". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "Brad Warner: 07-10-2013: There Is No God and He Is Always With You - Upaya Zen Center". Upaya Zen Center. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
  9. ^ Brad Warner's articles for Suicide Girls
  10. ^ "Cleveland's Screaming!". Distrify.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Tone, Joe (October 3, 2007). "Cleveland's Screaming: New Doc Looks at 80s Punk Scenes". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Hardcore Zen (Interview)". Here and Now. 2003-09-26. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
  13. ^ "Dogen Sangha International is No More".
  14. ^ "Dogen Sangha International Post Mortem".
  15. ^ "Going to California". Hardcorezen. April 28, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "I Love L.A." Hardcorezen. July 6, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  17. ^ "Dogen Sangha Los Angeles". Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Hardcore Zen: The Movie". Hardcorezen. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  19. ^ Quinn, Megan (January 11, 2014). "Zen's bad boy Brad Warner translates to film". Daily Camera. Retrieved September 10, 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit