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Kill Your Self: Life After Ego [Kindle Edition]

Dogo Barry Graham
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

"You might as well take your socks off... because they'll be knocked off anyway by the writing of Dogo Barry Graham. Little diamonds of Zen blasted into your mushy brain to pry your eyelids open."
- Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

No, this book doesn't advocate suicide - it teaches something that takes a lot more courage: that we are always enlightened, and must take responsibility for realizing our enlightenment. It invites us to meet life on its own terms, wherever we are, whoever we are, right now, killing our false sense of self by seeing through it to our true nature.

This is Zen for real life, in the world of relationships, jobs, dirty dishes, teacups and toilets. Zen master Dogo Barry Graham eschews traditional institutions and dogmas and insists instead that we trust in ourselves. Zen is not a system of belief, or a theory about the meaning of life. It is beyond philosophy, beyond religion. It is the gateless gate to freedom from suffering.

Editorial Reviews


"You might as well take your socks off... because they'll be knocked off anyway by the writing of Dogo Barry Graham. Little diamonds of Zen blasted into your mushy brain to pry your eyelids open." 
- Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Cracked Sidewalk Press (September 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NP03GS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,567 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing from our Zen ancestors January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Early in my Zen journey I came across the Dogen Zenji quote: To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. “What in the world was he talking about?” I thought.

This book, KILL YOUR SELF: Life After Ego, does just this -- it’s a study of the self. Dogo Barry Graham tells us not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear in this 2014 world. Drawing from our Zen ancestors, it’s a practical and useful book for today, whether you are new to Zen or have a few years under your belt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start December 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nice introduction to zen and why it can help...definitely worth 're-reading the parts that I couldn't quite grasp. Clear writing style.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Ego November 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My habit is to highlight particularly insightful passages in books I read---however with this book, the practice was abandoned as soon as I reached a quarter of the way through, for its impracticality. I was highlighting near every passage.

This book has a quiet and unexpected immensity and directness to it. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stellar Introduction to the Basics of Zen Practice January 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has proven to be quite helpful to me over the past couple of months. Graham is very clear about down-to-earth, realistic applications to anyone's life right now--as is, currently, without the purchase of a designer meditation pillow or a subscription to Tricycle magazine. His short, concise musings on life and zen principles are refreshingly irreverent, witty, reassuring, and poignant.

As a person who doesn't subscribe to any particular religion, I appreciated lines like, "Ecstatic, agitated, calm, impatient, bored, rapturous--whatever comes up, just acknowledge it and return to the breath. To return to the breath is to return to life, your life, this moment," and "There's not much Zen practice going on anywhere, especially in Zen centers. There's not much spiritual practice going on anywhere..."

Most importantly, though, after having read this book, I understand the importance of appreciating and loving myself, just as I am, in this moment--without agonizing over the future, my career, my publications, my writing routine, my skin, my wardrobe, my "self." Before zen, nothing is good enough. After zen, all is good enough, because all beings are inherently valuable, but also, things haven't changed, but you've changed. You've been shown how to view the same home movie of your own life in a different way: not completely detached, with indifference, but in a way that allows yourself the space to realize there is a movie playing onscreen, but it's only a story.

Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars quintessial book. April 19, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A quintessial book about zen teaching. A book to share, a book to read all over again and consult in your everyday life. Dogo Barry Graham is brilliant from heart to Zen !
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen for your life, right now. December 13, 2011
Dogo Barry Graham has written a very valuable book on the actual practice of Zen in this life, your life, right this instant as you read this.

Taken partly from Dharma talks at his Sitting Frog Sangha in central Phoenix and student interviews, it relentlessly drives home the point that enlightenment is life as it is, without a story.

Read enough of Dogo's blog and listen to enough of his dharma talks and you will become very familiar with the role stories play in preventing a clear look at what is directly in front of us. As best as I can tell, our stories about reality are the equivalent of being in front of the loudspeaker system at a Stones concert - and at the same time trying to listen to a poet read his poems from a few feet away, without amplification. The loudspeakers surely drown out the poet, as our stories obscure, like a heavy black curtain, the aching beauty right in front of us.

Two chapters really stood out for me in this book. One chapter (half a page, in keeping with Dogo's Zen-like economy of words) shines a million-watt spotlight on the concept of gratitude. Dogo makes the point that if you hate your life, what EXACTLY do you hate? (and I mean, let's take out a laser calibrated in microns here) Do you hate the chair you're sitting in? Do you hate your right index finger? Do you hate the grass in your front yard? And if you don't hate your right index finger, could it be you are actually quite grateful for it, and that in a sense you love your right index finger? (and just maybe the guy that gave you the middle finger in traffic?)

Dogo posits the only thing you hate is the story you tell yourself about how reality is worse (of course) than your fantasy du jour.
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More About the Author

Barry Graham is a novelist, journalist, poet and Zen monk from Glasgow, Scotland. He has been based in the U.S. since 1995, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of more than a dozen books and has written for a diversity of magazines and newspapers, including Harper's, Flaunt, Parabola, Nerve, PANK, The Big Click, Scottish Sunday Mail, Las Vegas Life, The Arizona Republic and Scotland on Sunday.

The Book of Man was an American Library Association best book of the year. The Wrong Thing was a Spinetingler Magazine best book of the year, and When It All Comes Down to Dust was a Mystery People best book of the year.

He was named one of "the great Buddhist bloggers" by Tricycle, and has written a book on Zen practice, Kill Your Self: Life After Ego, an Amazon Kindle bestseller in the Zen category. He is a teacher in The Sitting Frog Zen Sangha.

He witnessed two executions in Arizona, invited each time by the prisoner, an experience described in his collection of memoir and reportage, Why I Watch People Die.

Three of his novels and a collection of his stories have been translated into French and published by 13E Note Editions.


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