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Playing Ball on Running Water: The Japanese Way to Building a Better Life Paperback – September, 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st Quill ed edition (September 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688039138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688039134
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Playing Ball on Running Water" by David K. Reynolds is a book that advocates conscious living. The subtitle belays that concept, "The Japanese Way to Building a Better Life." Reynolds takes the Morita psychotherapeutic concepts and adapts them to Western life. The whole basis for this Morita approach is to live life by doing it. Doing it conscientious, with full awareness. This approach is based in Zen Buddhism and it is deceptively simple.
It is amazing that so many of us who are not present and get caught up worrying about the future and bemoaning the past. The book's contention is that we paralyze ourselves with thinking and speaking too much. Reynolds contends that we are not acting on life, not doing life, not actively observing where we are now and not noticing what is around us right now. "...every act provides the opportunity for purposeful accomplishment and personal growth. Every act can involve moments of directed attention."
The author's emphasis is on accepting the current state of being, not letting that keep you from moving on in life, and creating purposeful action. The doing is the important process, not the result. Not having your emotional state or your past keep you from going on at this moment is how Morita is applied. To put what Morita is succinctly, "...to teach students to accept feelings as they are, to know their purposes, and to do what needs to be done."
In summary, Reynolds does more than to illustrate what Morita psychotherapy is with client cases, with Zen Buddhist koans (puzzle), parables, and a clear process to follow. Reynolds gives the reader a blueprint to a life without regrets, to a life that you are fully responsible for.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
The first of Reynolds' books, _Playing Ball_ is the gateway book. From one perspective, this book with its emphasis on practical, pragmatic ways of coping with life is all you'll ever need. However, you may find it so useful and meaningful that you will want the rest of his books, too, for exactly the same reasons. They're all useful on a day-to-day basis. The best part of _Playing Ball on Running Water_ is that there is no filler, no b.s.. It is all practical, useful, immediate, sensible advice. No matter what shape your life is in, this book can make it better. And it doesn't hurt that Reynolds is an excellent writer.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Fiat Slug on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has been handed from one person to another in my family & now has been read so much the pages are falling out. The advice in this book reminds me in many places of The Work/Byron Katie. It's not about an escape or a fix or setting ideals by which to live, but rather, paying attention to that which you are doing. I love that this book is not about extensive self examination or reflection: feelings come, they go, and in the meantime, take a walk, do the dishes, live your life. Don't wait to be happy to give your attention to this moment.
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