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Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – June 11, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Do a roll call of the major foreign Zen priests who lived in America to transmit Zen, and you have a pretty short list: Shunryu Suzuki, Seung Sahn, and Taizan Maezumi. Of these, Maezumi is the least well-known, though he transmitted to 12 successors and established 35 Zen centers. In the great Zen tradition of recording a master's words, Maezumi's students have brought together a number of his teisho, presentations to the disciples of a master's realization. Rather than general lectures or public talks, these short pieces were meant to be heard at times of intense practice, during breaks in meditation, when the student's mind is piqued for sparks of enlightenment. Maezumi touches on subjects relevant to the serious practitioner--the bodhi mind, life as a koan, practicing the paramitas, copying sutras, etc. Though not technically difficult, these pieces assume a background in the fundamentals of Buddhism, perfect for the increasing number of readers who have progressed beyond the introductory level and seek more sophisticated guidance. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"A brilliant, simple, infinitely subtle appreciation of this precious life."—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard "With a loving heart, Maezumi Roshi carried these teachings in his two hands across the ocean to offer to the West. Now you hold them in your hands, the subtle, profound, enigmatic Zen that awakens trust in your own true nature. Enjoy."—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry "We are fortunate, with Appreciate Your Life , to finally have a volume that evokes the voice and broad-minded teaching that have meant so much to all of us in Western Zen."—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Zen priest and poet, founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation, senior dharma teacher at the San Francisco Zen Center "Maezumi Roshi's dharma is gentle, generous, accessible, humorous, and above all encouraging."—Robert Aitken, author of Taking the Path of Zen and Original Dwelling Place --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Shambhala Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (June 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570629161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629167
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the book "Appreciate Your Life", we come in contact with a compilation of teachings once given by one of the West's greatest Dharma propogators. One would not be making an understatement in saying that Taizan Maezumi was quite possibly one of the most influential Zen masters of modern times. Three of his Dharma heirs include Bernie Glassman Roshi, Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi, and Charlotte Joko Beck. If you know anything about just one of those 3 individuals, you understand Taizan Maezumi's wonderful teachings.
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!
Enjoy:)
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Format: Paperback
Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931-1995) was the founder of the White Plum Asanga, one of the largest and most successful of the Western Zen lineages. It is also among the best in its approach to Zen practice, and this slender volume of short teisho shows why. Maezumi Roshi's language is simple and concise while being elegant and yet quite ordinary.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. I'm almost done with it. It's got a clarity similar to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. There's a lightness and spaciousness to the writing, and what makes this quality particular effective is that it accomplishes this while addressing very substantive ideas. To find that kind of clarity and light touch combined with real substance feels artful. I might even say it's a five star book.
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Format: Hardcover
10-Aug-2011

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its quite a while ago i bought this book and i recall enjoying it so much, i even attempted a second reading which for me is rare. I have passed through my Buddhist phase and now and this was a book i read fairly early on. I've recently given it away and already regret doing so.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! When most people think of Japanese masters who brought Soto Zen to the US they think of S. Suzuki, but I feel this book is way better than Maezumi's San Francisco counterpart's Zen Mind Beginer's Mind. Appreciate Your Life is far better at getting to the heart of Zen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maezumi Roshi led the Zen Center in Los Angeles (ZCLA) while I was living in California... he will forever echo in my mind. Nothing replaces his energy, but his wisdom rings on every page.
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