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Nothing Special Paperback – September 3, 1994
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"Joko Beck speaks from the timeless and the perennial, so her metaphors of ordinary things and everyday incidents illumine my mundane life. Nothing Special is Zen alive and how to live it." -- Robert Aitken, author of Taking the Path of Zen
About the Author
Charlotte Joko Beck, who passed away in 2011, was the founder and former head teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego.
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Top Customer Reviews
I ended up working with Joko for about five years. She was (and is) every bit as remarkable in real life as she was in her book. There isn't a lot of drama in this practice. Our life becomes less of a soap opera and becomes more mundane. From that ordinariness emerge joy, compassion, love and all of the other aspects of our true nature. You might have fewer of the kind of lightening bolts of a traditional practice. Instead, you will have a grounded life that brings peace rather than pain into this world.
The book is comprised of a series of talks from Joko and some questions from her students. Joko is an American and so the message couched in the familiar language of our culture. IT is not like reading Dogen, and is more accessible. I would recommend this work to anyone who is serious about---well words escape me. It is not quie accurate to say that it is for those who are serious about taking the Zen path. But for anyone who wants to learn to be present with their real life, this offers solid guidance as much as words can.
This book will give you lots to think about. The stories, the experiences, the questions and answers. They get your mind going, and they will open your eyes if you take Beck's words to heart. "Nothing Special" is all about living a full life. Not an easy life, not a 100% happy and pain-free life, but a full life.
Much of what you may get from this book, you'll find you already knew. But along the way you may discover that you've learned something beyond the mere words and ideas on the pages - that there is perhaps a better way of living, one that embraces the good and the bad. Living for the sake of living. "Living Zen".
Parenthetically, her other books, "Everyday Zen", and "Now Zen" are equally worthwhile. "Now Zen" is a little compilation book and an absolute gem. It is the first book I would give to anyone who was interested in Zen or what is so special about Nothing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm very thankful to Joko Beck. It took a western woman to explain zen to me. Everything I never understood from the japanese and chinese male zen authors, revealed clearly through... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Title describes this book perfectly. Fell asleep by the second chapter.Published 4 months ago by Retired Army Major
I have been reading this book for YEARS. Will make sense to anyone with a daily meditation practice!Published 4 months ago by Joan France Luzier
I have kept a copy nearby all these years - to go back to, again and again. Charlotte J. Beck was feisty and fearless, and these qualities shine through in the essays. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elizabeth Sy
This was my 2nd book by Joko Beck. I previously read Everyday Zen. The author presents Zen concepts in am accessible way by using great metaphors. Read morePublished 5 months ago by CC_stuff
Ever since I decided to seek ¨enlightment¨, everything I've read was about transcending and avoiding emotions, feelings and thoughts. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ricardo castano
Charlotte's writing is very approachable for those of us who are intimidated/bored by traditional Zen writings. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kate
Author and book great! Item arrived with dirty edges smelling like moth balls.Published 8 months ago by bsmsw
This is an incredible book, but you must have a sense of what Zen is in order to fully appreciate this book. She explains things very clearly. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer