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Zen Meditation in Plain English Paperback – June 15, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The title of this book implies an effort to bridge the gap and Buksbazen does a laudable job of delivering the goods. Don't expect an intellectual tour de force. That's not what it's about. Rather, this book is merely a short, simple, plainly-stated guide to getting started with "just sitting". The book is divided into three sections. The first provides a brief history of the Zen movement in Buddhism. The second, the heart of the book, provides some practical advice for the most basic form of Zen meditation, breath counting. The final section gives you some practical advice on continuing your practice within the "meditative community", an essential facet of meditative practice.
I especially appreciated the author's assurance that Zen is not as inaccessible as it might seem to us beginners. Don't worry, he says in effect, just start practicing and as you get better at settling your mind, you will begin to understand more and more. It will take some time and effort, but it will come. If you're looking for a book on different forms of meditation or a discourse on Zen practice, look elsewhere. But if you're looking for an easy "Getting Started:" manual, you might want to give this book a try.
I would recommend, for total beginners, to maybe start with this book and read Aitken's right after, or read both at the same time. Another great book to grasp the spirit of Zen is Eugen Herrigel's "Zen in the Art of Archery". All 3 books are very short and simple. The first 2 can be read partially, as guides or manuals. Herrigel's has a narrative form, he tells his own experience as a Zen student and takes you with him on his beautiful and transformative journey.
Needless to say that none of these books are "religious", they don't profess any particular faith, even if they can describe the cultural and historical background of buddhism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're looking to learn how to meditate, there are much better books out there. This wasn't specific enough and the introductory chapter to zen is a joke. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Pnigro
Very easy read. I have tried several books on Zen philosophy and practice, and most of them are impenetrable. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert Jacobs
Nice little Meditation primer for beginners!
Coupled this book with some deep TEDStalk meditation "How to's" videos on youtube and together they lay the stepping... Read more
Meditation always seemed so esoteric to me, something far out of reach. This book makes the practice learnable. Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by C. Kemp
I thought this book was pretty good, and it addressed most concerns, but I felt it could have had a bit more meat on it. Read morePublished on August 2, 2007 by The Capitol
However, if you are looking for something with more depth (perhaps after you have read "Zen... In Plain English") would be Robert Aitken's "Taking the Path of Zen". Read morePublished on July 30, 2006 by James Puett