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Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – June 11, 2002
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This book shows Maezumi's unique teaching style throughout, providing us with insight after insight unto both the philosophy, and more importantly, the practice of Zen Buddhism. He covers zazen, koan work-and in a nutshell, how to simply appreciate this life we all have. After all, having life is truly awesome! This being so, we go through some rough periods, as well. That's why we practice and sit zazen, why we hold a koan. And yet not only for ourselves, but for everyone we encounter. We literally practice for everyone. I also recommend Tuttle Library's "Teaching of the Great Mountain: Zen Talks by Taizan Maezumi" for those interested in further reading on him. Sincerely, buy this book. It's not "just another book on Zen"; no this book is about life. Guaranteed to not simply collect dust!
The underlying message here is: Appreciate your life! The direct message is: Appreciate your life! Maezumi Roshi's Dharma talks cover a variety of subjects, from an exploration of Dogen's Fukanzazengi, to the actual practice of sitting zazen, to the effects of daily practice on daily life, but it all comes down to simple humanity and the cultivation of character.
This is a wonderful book for teaching, and zendos frequently use it as a touchstone for discussion and study. Whether you are a Zen practitioner, merely Zen-curious, or know nothing about Zen at all but want to understand the human condition a bit better, APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE is a comfortable and accessible little book, a way to appreciate not only your life, but the good heart of this very wise Master.
Appreciate Your Life: Zen Teachings of Taizan Maezumi Roshi ([...]) is an important - and VERY readable - book for anyone interested in Zen practice.
Compiled and edited by Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi (Abbot of Zen Center of Los Angeles) and Eve Myonen Marko after his death, Appreciate Your Life is a series of 3- to 7-page chapters organized into three sections relating to key aspects of Zen: The Essence of Zen (basics of practice), Clarify the Great Matter (seeing into who we are), and Where is the Hindrance? (getting past obstacles in our path to realizing Zen in everyday life).
These short chapters are drawn from numerous dharma talks delivered by Maezumi Roshi at ZCLA and other places. These talks are transcribed so that when I read Appreciate Your Life, I felt myself sitting with Maezumi Roshi and hearing him speak. His thinking and delivery are straightforward and clear. Maezumi connects his lessons to everyday life and practice in a very plain, matter-of-fact manner. He also brings his very broad perspective to bear on how Zen relates to Western religions: persons of all faiths can gain considerable insight by reading about his experiences with religious leaders and celebrations.
Egyoku Roshi and Myonen Marko have done a masterful job of transmitting the message of Maezumi Roshi. Many of the lessons arose from questions asked by students, others are his commentary on traditional questions arising in Zen practice.
I highly recommend this book. I also recommend reading it slowly to give time to absorb the material - I read only one or two chapters per day, and plan to re-read the book later this year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book! He explains Zen is such a clear way and he has a very good sense of humor! I enjoyed it very much!Published 9 months ago by Richard Wigton
A wonderful, charming life - filled with moments that will wake you up.Published 11 months ago by Eric C Schwartz
Great book, very helpful for anyone interested in the practice of Zen.Published 13 months ago by jake
Without a doubt, one of the best teachings of Zen available. It is not enough to read it one time. So much wisdom, so much grace. Perfect for any level of Zen practitioner.Published on January 6, 2014 by CMountain