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Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen Paperback – June 2, 2009
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Shunryu Suzuki was an important emissary of Zen Buddhism to the United States. Establishing a Zen center in San Francisco in the 1960s, he attracted many noted pupils, including this book's editor, Edward Espe Brown. In fact, Not Always So is Brown's collection of Suzuki's teachings during his last years, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
No doubt some readers will want to wrestle with the often paradoxical nature of Zen teachings. And those from the Western philosophical tradition may find vast differences between the Western system that takes its cue from Descartes' cogito and the Eastern one that emphasizes the destruction of the ego. Says Suzuki: "It is just your mind that says you are here and I am there, that's all. Originally we are one with everything." While the book does not wrestle with cultural-philosophical differences, it is nevertheless a good introduction to Zen. Suzuki's teachings tend to flow from simple stories, usually drawn from his own experiences. It's almost entirely free of the jargon that clutters many books on Buddhism, and the teachings are communicated with clarity and brevity. --Eric de Place --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
- an unseen companion in the dark." Again we are blessed with more of his superb vision.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Life is a process of learning. But learning alone is simply not enough. There isn't a good practice or a bad practice, there is only practice. That means you, "vow to save all beings suffering everywhere." That's not good or bad. That's your job. Roshi Suzuki helps each and everyone of us step into the world that is eternally present and free from all opposites. Where everything we encounter is, "Just like this." Only that. Every action leads to understanding, so please don't separate anything; this is Roshi's most precious gem he has left behind for all of us. Buddhist life is just life. It's going to work, caring for the garden, and taking a walk. I do hope you'll buy this book so you may step into the world of practice as stated by Suzuki here, because it's the key to all of the happiness humanity can ever know. The happiness of no happiness. Hopefully you understand that point. As Korean master Seung Sahn would likewise state, "Only go straight." Enjoy this book.
"One day, something wonderful will happen..." Here is the expression of Zen in a modern teacher who came to America to share a quiet enlightenment.
in 1971. He seems to have been the greatest Zen Master in the
occidental world to date. The first series of talks is in "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" which came out in 1970. This seems to be the most inspirational book in Zen of our time. Please buy both
of these treasures. Please don't buy these two books (or one if
you already have "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) if you believe that
this book will teach you zen formally. The author makes it clear
that you need a teacher. But once you have one, these two books are the most inspirational books that you can have. I guess that
the most practical is still "The Three Pillars of Zen" by Roshi Kapleau. This second book of talks seems just as good as the first. I don't know why Zen Center waited 32 years to print it.
Nevertheless, it is a real treasure. Please don't treat this great man's teaching as basic. He implys in this book that just sitting can lead you to seeing the source of all phenomena. So
this is not a "cute" book. It's quite deep. Thank you.
Each chapter is short and refreshing, and ends with his "Thank you"...
I have many things to encourage myself to practice, this is one -when first I got it, I used it as a breakfast treat, allowing myself to read just one of the very short chapters in the morning, then meditate.
He makes me laugh and smile and be.
Now I need to read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (I often do things backwards).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great follow up to Zen Mind Beginners Mind. Read that one first and then read this one.Published 1 month ago by Ryan Smith
If you enjoyed Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, you'll enjoy Not Always So. This is a collection of additional talks that Shunryu gave at the San Francisco Zen Center. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Z. Becker
These teachings are what we have come to love about Suzuki. Clear, understandable, compassionate and sometimes humorous. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Observer
These short commentaries are just the right length for dharma readings that usually follow my sangha's regular Soto Zen service. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gunslinger
This is a wonderful, inspiring and touching book. Many have compared it to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Suzuki Roshi, which is also a deeply moving and inspiring book, but I think... Read morePublished 13 months ago by James Kenney