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Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up Hardcover – May 6, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060505516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060505516
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"We usually take maturity for granted-one of life's givens," says Fischer, a former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. Many people equate biological age with spiritual maturity, a fundamental mistake. In this warm and simple book, Fischer draws from his experience as a spiritual mentor to four teenage boys and his well-honed dharma knowledge to impart nuggets of wisdom about "truly growing up." While the book draws most heavily upon Buddhist examples-particularly the guru-disciple relationships that are a staple of the Zen tradition-it is wide-reaching in its approach, and would be accessible to people from other faith traditions or no faith tradition. There are Jewish talmudic stories and Christian examples, as well as relevant illustrations from popular culture and Fischer's own life. Fischer explores several values and activities that contribute to spiritual maturity, including listening, persistence, connection, meditation, vowing, and right conduct. Overall, he says, these values help people cultivate responsibility-the ability to respond appropriately in changing situations. While there's nothing that is earth-shattering in all this, the book has a freshness forged out of its stubborn insistence that spiritual maturity is something to consciously strive for. As Fischer writes, "The journey to adulthood can be lackluster if we only drift, but it can be profoundly valuable if we completely say yes to it and are willing to travel on wholeheartedly."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Taking Our Places is wise, compassionate, poetic, and deeply moving. Growing up (at any age) at its best.” (Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma)

“A beautiful expression of deep spiritual maturity by a teacher whose wisdom shines brightly on every page.” (Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience)

“Zen-like in its elegant simplicity, this wonderfully wise presentation of maturity is inspirational.” (Sylvia Boorstein, author of Pay Attention, For Goodness’ Sake)

“Remarkably profound, moving, and far-ranging....Every word is an occasion to align yourself in the most practical of ways with what it might mean for you to be your best self and follow a path of wise action, compassion, and integrity.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full Catastrophe Living)

“Warm and endlessly wise... offers indispensable answers to the only question worth asking; What do we do with this life?” (Rabbi Alan Lew, author of One God Clapping)

“Thoughtful, wise, considered, beautiful. Helps you ask the questions of the heart.” (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart)

“This book beautifully illustrates that true maturity is more than a physical endeavor, it is a lifetime process.” (Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx)

“A refreshing book! For anyone who has struggled with their practice amid the complexities, frustrations, and ambiguities of real life.” (Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen)

“Fischer offers us a lifetime of experience in making sense of Zen.” (Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without A Thinker)

“Remarkable for its clarity in expressing complex concepts... this work focuses Fischer’s intellectual power into visceral, emotional reading.” (Jewish Bulletin)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book for anyone trying to make sense of their life with a little more awareness and clarity. It's a welcoming read that blends wisdom with warmth and humour. Norman Fischer's study of what it means to really grow up may have begun with his mentoring of teenage boys, but the scope of his study quickly broadened and deepened into a discovery of what it means for any of us to truly be adults in this world. Fischer's seasoned Zen practice (some thirty-plus years) is grounded in its applicability to real world situations, and offers practical tools, not just abstract meditations on the matter. There is a wealth of thought-provoking material, for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, for those just entering the years when they wonder what on earth being an adult might mean, and for those of us long ago arrived in adulthood and still wondering what on earth it might mean. Heck, also for those who think they know and could use a refresher course! The infectious enthusiasm of every endorsement on the Taking Our Places jacket reflects the great heart of this former San Francisco Zen Center abbot, in abundant evidence throughout the pages of this book. Why wait till things fall apart? Buy the book now!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By baidarkas on March 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book Norman Fischer and four young boys undertake a joint journey of discovery what it means to mature, to take our places. They discuss qualities of grown-ups they like "responsible without being boring, experienced without being closed-minded, self-accepting without being shut off to change and improvement, loving without being corny, and strong without being brittle." It is a wonderful incentive to look at our grown-upness :-)

Responsibility. Experience. Self-acceptance. Love. Strength. They are some of the pavers on this path of truly growing up. I very much like the image of growing up as a path. This book shows that Zen is not an esoteric art. It shows that Zen is about our lives, yours and mine, that your live is yours and mine is mine. Yours and mine but interdependent like two waves rising out of the same ocean. It is about love and compassion, about lowering that carefully constructed wall, being open to the experience of the moment. Being alive in this very moment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aoife Barror on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have never written a review for a book before on amazon, and I may never do so again, but this book is so rich, so stunningly beautiful, so subtle and ultimately so transcendent that I feel it's only fair to honour the author with this small thanks in return for one of the sweetest reading experiences imaginable. Poignant and keenly observed Taking our places is like a familiar voice in a crowded room full of strangers, as you read it, it rings out over the frenetic noise
And distraction of everyday thoughts, reminding you what you already know to be true but had long forgotten. No faith, delusional or magical thinking required, give this book your attention and you may find it as I find it- close to perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald K. Yancey on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is very clear and instructive. I'm happy I purchased and read it and would recommend it.
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