Brad Warner

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

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 1980s 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]