Friday, September 23, 2011


I'm gonna go to the hospital in a few hours and be sedated. I do not want to be sedated.

The last time a doctor recommended a procedure for which sedation was required, I cancelled at the last minute. Actually, at that time I didn't know sedation was required. As soon as I heard it was, that's when I cancelled. As it turned out the reasons for the procedure turned out to be spurious (trust me, you don't want any further explanation than that). So I was fine. This time I feel like it may be necessary for them to go have a look at what they want to have a look at. Although I'm pretty certain it'll turn out to be nothing very serious.

The timing for this could hardly be worse. I'm doing this stuff on Friday and leaving for nearly two months in Europe on Sunday. People ask me how I prepare for these trips. The answer is "very badly."

I don't earn enough to pay for an assistant. So I have to set everything up myself. Luckily some very kind people over on the continent are booking me trains and planes and stuff. But I still have to coordinate it all. And I am very bad at that kind of thing. I'm not the kind of guy who really knows much about how to plan ahead.

Which is one of those weird questions I sometimes get. "If zen is all about being in the moment, are you allowed to plan ahead?" Yes, you are allowed to plan ahead. You plan ahead in the moment. You plan for two months in Europe now. Or at least you should. But if you're me, you barely do.

Plus a this week Zero Defex started recording what will eventually be its second album. I laid down some sitar on Wednesday. I be that's the first time a sitar was used by a hardcore band! The rest of the band will finish the tracks off while I'm away.

So I gotta go get sedated and still manage to pull together all the last minute stuff. Which is why this blog entry is short and messy.

I'm not a fan of drugs, as I think everybody who reads this knows. That includes even drugs that are "good for you," like the sedatives they give you in the hospital. I really don't want them. But I've heard what the procedure I'm going for is like without sedation and opted to get knocked out. Well, apparently not fully knocked out. They call the thing they're doing to me "twilight." I guess that means you're mostly knocked out. Knowing me, it'll put me under. Since I so seldom partake of drugs, whenever I do they knock me for a loop.

Anyhow, I figure if I write about the procedure maybe I can claim the whole thing as a tax write-off. Plus it may have some zen appeal. It is an altered state of consciousness after all. Not that zen is about altered states. But people who read about zen seem to like to read about altered states.

Good luck to me! See you on the other side!

P.S. Here's an interesting article by Susan O'Connel of San Fran Zen Center. Someone posted the link in the comments. Thanks.


Elizabeth B. said...

Is OK. You'll be fine.

Jody Lee said...

Hope your procedure goes well, and that Europe is a fruitful venture for you!

Anonymous said...

See you on the other side of the
lake, bro. Gudo's waiting there,
and even Genpo's invited.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

I hope everything is fine and that your European trip is excellent!

Mumon said...

I don't earn enough to pay for an assistant. So I have to set everything up myself. Luckily some very kind people over on the continent are booking me trains and planes and stuff. But I still have to coordinate it all. And I am very bad at that kind of thing. I'm not the kind of guy who really knows much about how to plan ahead.

A good travel agent can do this, albeit usually not as good as those that can do it in-country, at least regarding China.

If you find a good travel agent, let us know.

I'm still trying to find one.

Hans Christian Stucken said...

Oh my Buddha...number one....can it be true?

Hans Christian Stucken said...

Can it be true? Number one?

Anonymous said...

1st. Ownage.

Anonymous said...

Brad looks so cool in that picture.


Mri said...

Hi Brad - I think dealing with medical stuff is just a fact of life for people our age, so might as well get used to it! Good luck with your procedure...

Blake said...

The thing they are doing to you is "twilight"? Does that mean you'll wake up a sparkly vampire?

Good luck with your procedure!

Rick said...

If it's a colonoscopy, you really do want to be sedated.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean...I cherished my consciousness and my brain's virginity for the longest!
But having been put under once, made being put under again easier.
These anesthetics are powerful and there are a lot of different ones and combinations out there.
Make sure you note down what you were given and any side effects after. It will help a future anesthesiologist choose best for you next time 'round.
Believe me, there is always a next time!

Anesthesia is a kindness and I am glad you are letting some be extended to you.

did you ever consider getting yourself a jisha?

hope your procedure goes well!

joshr said...

Does sitar playing require that only one sock be worn?

Mysterion said...

Rev. Susan sez:
"In recent times, there has been a wholesome effort to extend Zen teaching and the many benefits of zazen to more and more people. And, in order to make zazen increasingly palatable, and possible for people, this ancient radical practice is sometimes clothed in blue jeans and Nikes -- and quietly introduced into the medical and mental health systems as "stress reduction."


good post & good link.

Mysterion said...

the upscale MUSIC helps

but as a public speaker...


Anonymous said...

good luck, god speed, and dont get all "enlightened" while your trippin maaaaaan. . .

Anonymous said...

Brad, we are in and out of altered
states all day long when we
identify with the contents of our
mind. We directly manipulate the
trances through drugs, sex, music,
movement, ideas.

That's why sitting for itself is
the balanced state.


Korey said...

I wanted to ask you about this practice I invented. Brad, I've developed my own sort of pseudo-Zen lineage/ teaching style. The lineage is called Psychedelic Zen.

I've been practicing Psychedelic Zen for about a year now and want to teach it to other people and help them. It basically involves reclining back in a bean bag chair in the dark with some VERY trippy music playing. You also light a bunch of nifty candles and incense and you just lie there and you enter a very deep state of relaxation.

There's a little something you... "take" beforehand but I won't get into that. I'll just tell you that it's most likely a lot more potent than this silly "Bliss" nonsense.

Anyways Brad, what is your thoughts on Psychedelic Zen and do you think I should wait to recieve dharma transition before I start teaching it? Thanks

Steve said...

I just had a hernia op. was knocked out, it was fine, did not even realize when I woke up that the op.was over.! was fully recovered in a couple of hours, I think better then being semi sedated , when you are conscious and in a drugged state, being knocked out is really just a deep sleep.

scmgeek said...

Thanks for sharing this Brad.

Anonymous said...


Sounds like Brad is going to get his ass probed.
He is soo uptight about these things.

Such a prude, just shows how hard it is to get past our puritanical culture.
I would have thought his time in Japan would have cured him of that.
Imagine, a Zen monk who is shy to talk about his own anal probing!

Olivia said...

@Blake - if it's anything like "Twilight Sleep" he could wake up with a baby.

@ Brad - Have a safe trip, and have a safe trip! Hope both go well.

Anonymous said...

Saying that I see it, is not it.

Consciousness is suffering, Saying
that there is a balanced ANS is
suffering. There is Action that
has no goal.


Khru said...

This is probably the worst comment thread I've ever seen on Bradley's blog...

...and Brad, you're correct as usual...drugs are please send me all your unused Vicodin...I promise to dispose of them properly...

Jeff said...

I've been sedated, not just that "twilight" state, but fully sedated several times in my life and for some reason it still scares the shit out of me to be honest.

anon #108 said...

Well, we don't know if it is the Warner bottom that's to be probed...

I can share that my bottom has been probed by medical staff and I was offered no sedation at all - other than the unnecessary enquiry "Embarrassed?" I felt no pain.

I guess Brad is undergoing a more penetrating procedure.

Wishing you a smooth procedure, Brad. And may all your troubled be little ones.

anon #108 said...

Of course it's all over now.

Still with us, Brad?
How'd it go?

Anonymous said...

Like Mike, I have not arrived

Spending $2000 to go to Europe to
tell people that there is nothing
special about arriving in the
blessed state, or that the Mind
and Body fall off when the ANS is
balanced, seems kind of crazy. But
what do I know?

Have a safe arrival.

Dionys said...

I recently dislocated my shoulder (so unbelievably painful) and they put me out to re-locate it. The anesthesiologist 'sold' it to me by telling me "it's the same drug that killed Michael Jackson. But don't worry, there will be two doctors in the room with you."

He and I had a long talk about maybe not selling it that way to other people.

Dionys said...

(P.s. For those who aren't FB'd with Brad, he's suffered some complications which ended him up in the ER from midnight to 4am last night.)

Anonymous said...

Strange how Brad's hard-line on drugs comes back to haunt him now.

Suppose it's the same with every hard-liner.

Mysterion said...

complications or adverse reactions?

hope he recovers quickly and fully.

jay uhdinger said...

I understand when you talk about sedation like that. It is a bit creepy being knocked out like that.

I also had to go through a couple of checkups in which I got sedated and somehow came to terms with it. It can be quite interesting when the sedation kicks in.

Hope all is well and you enjoy Europe :)

Monica G said...

Good luck at the doctor!
I'm hoping to catch one of the stops on your book tour. I'm living in London, but my school schedule won't let me see you in the UK, so I'm hoping to make it to one of your talks in Belgium. I would love to dedicate a post on my blog to something to do with your book tour, if that is at all possible please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Episode 83 :: Owen Flanagan :: The Bodhisattva's Brain

Brad Warner said...

Anon, the $2000 is my guess at the cost of my operation. But it also is about what the euro trip costs.

Brad Warner said...

Dionys, re: Michael Jackson.... funny!

Brad Warner said...

Anonymous (who else?) said:

Strange how Brad's hard-line on drugs comes back to haunt him now.

Suppose it's the same with every hard-liner.

There is a huge difference between fucking with your brain for fun and silly imitations of "enlightenment" and being sedated for surgery.

Or is that too obvious for you to see?

Anonymous said...

Did you die, Brad? What was it like?

Details, man! Details!

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson wasn't fucking
with his brain for fun. The only
way he could go to sleep was to
induce the short term coma from
Propoful - a funny way to spend
your life, coma to coma, illusion
to illusion, reincarnation to

Leah McClellan said...

One of my all-time favorite songs. And it sounds like not mentioning what the procedure is led everyone to think it's not nasal or dental surgery (and I'm lmao here)

Cool sitar--I knew a sort of hardcore band in the 80s who used one though they're now into 60s stuff.

Did you consider a railpass? AAA auto club issues them. Gives a lot of freedom to come and go, as long as trains aren't on strike (in which case you hop on anyway, as long as they're running, at least in France and hope you don't get kicked off in the middle of the night :)

And planning is good, a good skill to develop. Working on it myelf :)

Good luck with everything. Sedation isn't fun--kinda scary to have people doing all sorts of stuff to you and you don't know what's going on. For me it's a giant leap of faith and trust. Of course, my first time was due to a bad accident so guess I got used to it. Helps to have a friend there before and after and to manage things.

Anonymous said...

A drug can alter how the synapses
are firing, but it can't lay down
new neural pathways the way
Zazen rewires the plastic brain.

And recreational drugs can damage
the machinery. Aspirants want the
quick fix. The ego wants the high
that resembles nirvana. The addict
chases that high forever.

Bliss isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments here make me really sad. I mean it's okay if you think Brad is an idiot or whatever, but there are some lines that should not be crosses that lightly.

I mean cmon!

Korey said...

Brad, can I please get your take on my Psychedelic Zen practice?

Anonymous said...

Glad you are well enough to respond to comments!

Anonymous said...

You're assuming I mean taking a psychedelic or hypothetical lifesaving drug which is perhaps deliberately not accurate. Who cares.

Glad to see you're back and working to drop the drugs are for bullshit weaklings attitude.

an3drew said...

i agree that zazen rewires the brain. but in my observation it's the wrong way ! it creates a sort of schizophrenic entrenchment of existing ideas.

an3drew said...

actually the nearest thing to "nirvana" imo is good health except for the blindness and satisfaction with life that comes with it! ; o )

you really












properly !

Korey said...

Okay Brad, here's a more serious question:

I've been doing zazen for about 3 years daily (even more than 3 years but it wasn't always on a consistent, daily basis) and i've been to this one sangha about half a dozen times to this Sunday public service they offer. They're always using words like "love", "compassion", "enightlenment", "cultivate a heart of enlightenment", and talking about giving donations generously to the temple to help "cultivate generosity".

Should I be weery of this?

Anonymous said...







j hat said...

Brad if ive gotta be a whore at least you showed me you gotta do what you gotta do. i'm gonna keep posting this on your videos until you shoot me an email.


some guy from new jersey said...

That video is visually stimulating. Try watching what everyone is doing. Plus, there is nothing or nobody more new york than The Ramones. Except maybe Spider-Man. (and not his lawyer, Bernie Spiderman)