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Ending the Pursuit of Happiness: A Zen Guide Paperback – March 17, 2008
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There's something about Charlotte Joko Beck, who is Magid's teacher, that is quite refreshing to me. I have found Joko Beck's two books, and the books of another of her students, Ezra Bayda, very useful. She has a non-sense style and an emphasis on the fact that Zen is not a means of escape (which is all I have ever really wanted from spiritual practice). Barry Magid takes this same theme and runs with it--presenting it with a new clarity and insight.
Magid, a psychoanalyst and Zen teacher, presents a bull****-free version of practice that emphasizes real life experience--not the aspiration to a higher state of consciousness. Much of what we come to spritual practice to find is imaginary, according to Magid---and I think this is something we can't hear enough: coming to practice might ultimately be transformative, but it won't change the "ordinariness" of our lives. I can think of no better book to guide us to this simple, yet quite profound truth.
Ending the Pursuit of Happiness is a fabulous, direct, inspired, articulate, accessible work. For those interested in Buddhism, and Zen in particular, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Although I don't think my teacher has to be my analyst (he does not necessarily advocate this) or that I necessarily need an analyst at all (if he doesn't advocate this, it is because he does not know me), I am left with the impression that North Americans are more psychologically weighted down than the rest of the world. Maybe we should be given our projection of anger, guilt, violence, etc. around the world, but I am not quite convinced of this idea. I don't know if he believes this or if it is more the Ordinary Mind School's incorporation of psychology in seeking the best `Zen fit' for those of us in the states.
If Charolette Joko Beck's teachings struck a chord with you, so will this book. No doubt this is one of those books you can read and re-read and benefit at each sitting. This is one of the best practice books I have read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am no Buddhist although I've been practicing meditation for more than five years now. I always felt meditation should work as a tool to make ourselves enjoy the ride rather than... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Caio Caridade
First, a disclaimer. I have attended a retreat led by the author, one of many over the past 20 years with other teachers, including several very powerful teachers. Read morePublished on June 27, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Barry Magid is a dharma heir to Charlotte Joko Beck, who purged her Zen teaching of much Japanese influence and focused it on an ongoing exploration of what is so in everyday life. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by Marc Poirier
I think this a truly excellent read. I find Barry’s writing both easy to read and thought-provoking. It regularly brings me back to basic truths. Read morePublished on March 22, 2014 by Peter King
A very thoughtful and honest book, one I re-read and keep in my Kindle. "Everyone who comes to therapy or meditation practice feels something is wrong and wants something... Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by Michael
I didn't think a book that only numbers 161 pages would pack so much of a punch. But this book by Barry Magid balances approaches to Zen and Psychotherapy in a way that compliment... Read morePublished on February 2, 2014 by John R. Gigliotti
A thoughtful piece of clear writing. Emphasizes self acceptance and challenges the assumption of the importance of being exceptional in order to be interesting or important. Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by Frank D. O'neal
Excellent guide for any zen practitioner...it all ultimately comes down to being here, now. Our hidden practices are all about becoming rather than simply being. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by George Jensen
This book provides clear instruction and insight for beginners and experienced Zen students. Magid's experience as a psychologist and Zen teacher enables him to see into human... Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by Tad Sullivan