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Zen Without Zen Masters Paperback – May 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: New Falcon Publications; 2nd Falcon Edition (May 1, 2014) edition (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561840734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561840731
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you don't laugh at all, you've missed the point. If you only laugh, you've missed your chance for illumination." --Robert Anton Wilson, author of Cosmic Trigger

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Short, easy to read.
famousperson
I like this book due to it's simplicity in it's illustration of illumination within the context of Zen Buddhism, as well as the exercises in the back of the book.
Christopher Kroczaleski
I had the pleasure, during out weekly get-togethers, of having him read me a chapter each week, while I read to him the chapters of my then in-progress novel.
John Carr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By eShu on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
A book on Zen is a contradiction in terms. It's be like having a 300-page book on being succinct. Zen practioners believe that the best way to experience Zen is to experience life, not read or study it. "Zen Without Zen Masters" captures this theme beautifully. The book is comprised of short, mostly orignal, humorous Zen anecdotes. Each of which reads like the setup of a joke. As you read these stories, you'll find yourself thinking. But you'll also find youself laughing. So not only are you a reader of Benares' book, you're a participant as well. And after all, that's what Zen is all about.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Carr on April 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first met Camden Benares in 1974, when he was just finishing "Zen Without Zen Masters." I had the pleasure, during out weekly get-togethers, of having him read me a chapter each week, while I read to him the chapters of my then in-progress novel. I remember many times laughing so hard I almost fell off my chair -- certainly not my usual reaction to a work on enlightenment, or any other religious matter!

Camden wrote two other Zen books, one of which, "Riding Buddha's Bicycle" a much more autobiographical book, reamins unpublished. I've read them all and "Zen Without Zen Masters" was his crowning work. In my opinion it is the best book on Zen ever written.

He was a brilliant, gentle man who lived a life of wisdom in this "Age of Fools." Camden Beneres was an iconoclast, a Discordian and a man who never took himself too seriously. He was much loved by those privileged to know him -- in Japan he would have been revered as a "Living Treasure," a great sensei with many students.

Camden moved on to the next plane in the year 2000; wherever he is today, his spirit is surely smiling and full of laughter. Thankfully, he left us this book so that we can share his insights into life and enlightened wisdom.

John F. Carr
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ramsey E. Clark on July 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book manages to make you keenly aware of your own involvement with your happiness, while simultaneously keeping you laughing your head off. Well worth coming back to for both its analyses of taking control of your own experience and as a tool to brighten up your day with some levity.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a cute little book. It is made up of one page teaching stories (not necessarily Zen) and short essays on how to chill (in a spritual sense). Some of the stories and essays are profound, others instructive, and some just plain vanilla, common sense or you knew it anyway and so what? Whatever, a fun read.

It is totally 70s, illustrations and all. If you were a hippy or flower child back in the day, it will bring back smiling memories. If you weren't, but want a sense of what is was all about, this book will give you a hint.

Short, easy to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book due to it's simplicity in it's illustration of illumination within the context of Zen Buddhism, as well as the exercises in the back of the book. I have been studying Buddhism for over ten years and often find a lot of books on the subject to repeat what has already been written in other books. This book I found to be refreshing in it's original presentation and simplicity. I am also a fan of Discordianism as well, so that also played a role it's appeal to me.
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By Joe Adams on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the book 35 years ago or more. It remains fresh and acidic in a field were people think you must tiptoe. The faith it presents is loud and funny and stomps into the room for your attention.

Philosopher Wittgenstein said that a good book of religion could be written, composed of jokes.

This is the religion. This is the book.
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