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Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers Paperback – May 11, 2011


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Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers + Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (May 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616083158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616083151
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I highly recommend this book to not just teachers, but others in the helping professions... to reconnect with the self and evaluate potential numbing to the present moment."

-- Prof. Michael L. Tebbe, University of Cincinnati

"This book is a gift for students and teachers alike on the spiritual path. Highly recommended."

-- Larry Payne Ph.D., Co-Author, Yoga for Dummies, Yoga Rx and The Business of Teaching Yoga

"A practical interweaving of daily life with lessons from the Buddha. Donna Quesada writes with an ease that breeds familiarity from the first page."

-- Darren Littlejohn, author of the 12-Step Buddhist

"A gentle tonic of Eastern wisdom to calm the modern teacher - ageless insights to restore the compassion and equanimity in the heart of every educator."

-- Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold

About the Author

Donna Quesada is a professor at Santa Monica College. Although she has taught all facets of philosophy, her concentration is in Asian Philosophy. She has been a practicing Zen Buddhist since 1992 and is a certified yoga instructor. She took her Buddhist precepts in 2005 with Nyogen Yeo Roshi, the last successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and abbot of Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles. Taizan Maezumi Roshi was one of the first Japanese masters to bring Zen to the West and a seminal figure in twentieth-century Zen. Quesada lives with her family in Culver City, California.

More About the Author

Instructor of eastern spiritual philosophy; spiritual disciple raised on Zen; teacher and student of Kundalini Yoga, and author of Buddha in the Classroom; Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers.

Customer Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover.
Carole M.
This book is the best book I have ever read because it has changed my life and the way I view the world.
Sean Ashoori
I think it is the time for you to read this book and make your life much more peaceful and easier.
YX ZHU

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adam Kō Shin Tebbe on May 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a teacher in a university setting I found this book to be inspiring and educational. The author addresses issues of burnout in the teaching profession and suggests a "path" toward "life and restoration," where so many teachers tire or lose enthusiasm due to multiple demands. My own belief about teaching is that it is a difficult and demanding profession because teachers are to "ensure" the infusion of knowledge to their students - and now at primary and secondary levels students are tested to evaluate the caliber of teaching which the teachers did. This leaves little room for student individuality-factors.

I teach mental health practice in a school of social work and have for years taught "mindfulness practice" as part of the interviewing course I teach. I bring this up because the author advocates a mindful awareness in her writing that promotes better teaching. I include it to ensure for students better interviewing. She begins her book with a suggestion that teachers could practice mindfulness on the way to class and thus be in a better frame of thought before giving lecture. "When I do this," says the author, "I always end up truly enjoying (the) class." She speaks also to the issue of feeling bored and being boring, suggesting that we slip into mindfulness when we aren't aware of the present moment. She states, "Just as there are a hundred ways to get bored, there are also a hundred ways to get interested."

Donna Quesada uses numerous examples from the classroom to make her points about energizing yourself as a teacher. These examples and subsequent ways of practice are the larger part of the book. The format is to cite one example from life and then the second part of the chapter addresses applications to Buddhist practice.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy Jacobowitz on May 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Donna Quesada's The Buddha in the Classroom. I should start off by saying that although I have been awaiting this book for quite some time, I myself was unsure of the impact that it might have for me. As someone who is an atheist, neither religious or spiritual, with a somewhat marked disdain for certain religions over others, I was a bit unsure of any value this book might hold for me. In addition, I am not a teacher, have never been a teacher, and have little desire to be a teacher at this junction in my career (though I have the utmost respect for those who teach. I quite simply do not have the patience). But, as a lifelong student, I figured, why not jump right in?

And gosh-darn-it if this book didn't just blow me away! This is not just for the spiritual followers of Zen Buddhism. There is something for everyone in this little gem. It is a quick read full of insightful stories from the classroom. The chapters are brief, always beginning with a fun anecdote from Quesada's own teaching experience at Santa Monica College, with a cohesive lesson of zen to cap off each chapter and tie together the book so beautifully.

Speaking on a more personal note now, I think there are lessons to be learned for every individual in this book. In my own life, I deal with quite a bit of anxiety (Type A personality might be a bit of an understatement), and this book provides coping mechanisms to help not only the teacher and the student, but the everyday person too, as all of us can benefit by putting an extra thought or two into our actions most of the time. I think the tendency among our modern academia and clinicians to over-diagnose and provide quick solutions marks a dangerous shift.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hillary Frazey on February 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I also teach adults, so I appreciated her perspective as a community college instructor. The wisdom in this book has helped improve my practice and helped me through days when I thought I might lose my mind! I recommend this book to teachers who feel like they are nearing the end of their rope...it will help get you back on track. (FYI, I purchased the Kindle edition and shortly afterward received an updated download of the book. The update must have fixed the page problems because I did not notice any problems as I was reading. If you have been holding off on the Kindle edition based on previous reviews, it looks like the problem has been fixed.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carole M. on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover. I found each chapter very engaging and filled with powerful information, knowledge and experiences that anyone from any profession can relate to.

The basic values spoken about in this book are inspirational and can be applied to anyone from all walks of life. If we all would take just one of the many important values from this book and practice it in our everyday living, this world would be a much better place.

I loved it and recommend this book to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Smith on January 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a disclaimer, I did receive a free copy of this book. The book itself is a beautiful product, very well produced.

Reading the book brings me back to the first time I looked at my own tests from my undergraduate days for the course I was currently teaching. It allowed me to empathize with my students who were struggling with certain concepts. As Quesada states near the back of the book, "We forget that in between, we are all a work in progress." While stressing the importance of sincerity in our connections with students, she illuminates the struggle with setting expectations, teaching responsibility, and respecting ourselves and the students enough to say no and sometimes disappoint them.

Those who are familiar with Zen Buddhism or philosophically trained may find even more within the book, but to those who are not, it is easily accessible and leaves plenty of room for thought without ever being esoteric. There is nothing religious or new-age in here. It's just a discussion of how to apply some learned wisdom to the activities associated with teaching.

I read the book during the end of my first year as a teacher, and now as I prepare for the coming fall semester, I am flipping through the book to revisit some of the things I appreciated in it, but forgot about. I don't think I reached the point of burnout, but I certainly had continued frustrations in my second semester of teaching. I would imagine that anyone who teaches college courses, whatever their field, will recognize a few of the example students described in the book. It can be read straight through, or you could easily pick a chapter or find a Zen quote that sounds interesting, flip to it and start reading.

In the end, I learned to treat both myself and each student I encounter with a greater amount of respect. It's a book I will keep on my office shelf during the years to come.
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