8:00 a.m. The first thing I do after waking up is walk my dog, Ziggy. He’s a 3-year-old rescue. People started noticing him in the background of the videos on my YouTube channel, Hardcore Zen, so now I make it a point to always include him.

brad warner zen

9:00 a.m. After I walk Ziggy, I have my first sit of the day. I took a class on Zen Buddhism in college and was hooked. Later, I spent some time in Japan with Gudo Wafu Nishijima and he encouraged me to ordain—I thought that was crazy at first, but I eventually went through with it.

brad warner zen musician

10:00 a.m. I’ve been playing bass for over 40 years. I started out playing Beatles songs when I was 14; the first one I learned was “Blackbird.” Punk rock took over and I joined the band Zero Defex, then started Dimentia 13.

1:00 p.m. I spend a lot of time editing videos for my YouTube channel. I think Zen teaching should really take place in person, but videos are a good start. I’m also working on a follow-up to my recent book, The Other Side of Nothing: The Zen Ethics of Time, Space, and Being.

2:00 p.m. I’ve been getting back into my routine at home after being on my annual teaching tour, which is something I’ve been doing since 2009. This year, I went to Finland, England, Germany, France, and Belgium.

brad warner zen

5:00 p.m. We grow succulents and native plants, since water is limited in California. My wife is the one who’s really in charge of our garden—I just water what she tells me to.


See more of Brad Warner’s day on Instagram @tricyclemag.

Check out previous installments of “A Day in the Dharma” featuring Shifu Shi Yan Ming, Roshi Joan Halifax, Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Mindy NewmanWangmo DixeyJosh KordaSensei Koshin Paley Ellison, the members of the Village Zendo, and six Buddhist teachers in quarantine.

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