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Nothing Special Paperback – September 3, 1994
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"Joko Beck speaks from the timeless and the perennial, so her metaphors of ordinary things and everyday incidents illumine my mundane life. Nothing Special is Zen alive and how to live it." -- Robert Aitken, author of Taking the Path of Zen
About the Author
Charlotte Joko Beck, who passed away in 2011, was the founder and former head teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego.
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Top Customer Reviews
I ended up working with Joko for about five years. She was (and is) every bit as remarkable in real life as she was in her book. There isn't a lot of drama in this practice. Our life becomes less of a soap opera and becomes more mundane. From that ordinariness emerge joy, compassion, love and all of the other aspects of our true nature. You might have fewer of the kind of lightening bolts of a traditional practice. Instead, you will have a grounded life that brings peace rather than pain into this world.
The book is comprised of a series of talks from Joko and some questions from her students. Joko is an American and so the message couched in the familiar language of our culture. IT is not like reading Dogen, and is more accessible. I would recommend this work to anyone who is serious about---well words escape me. It is not quie accurate to say that it is for those who are serious about taking the Zen path. But for anyone who wants to learn to be present with their real life, this offers solid guidance as much as words can.
This book will give you lots to think about. The stories, the experiences, the questions and answers. They get your mind going, and they will open your eyes if you take Beck's words to heart. "Nothing Special" is all about living a full life. Not an easy life, not a 100% happy and pain-free life, but a full life.
Much of what you may get from this book, you'll find you already knew. But along the way you may discover that you've learned something beyond the mere words and ideas on the pages - that there is perhaps a better way of living, one that embraces the good and the bad. Living for the sake of living. "Living Zen".
Parenthetically, her other books, "Everyday Zen", and "Now Zen" are equally worthwhile. "Now Zen" is a little compilation book and an absolute gem. It is the first book I would give to anyone who was interested in Zen or what is so special about Nothing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm going through this book with friends after we sit for 30 mins... great conversations have evolved around the conceptsPublished 4 days ago by Michell Cartwright
Great book...when I finish, I'm going to start it all over again.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
"Nothing Special" is literally nothing special...very disappointed in this book. Cannot even get through first chapter without having to go back and re-read what was just... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jeanne bonn
This is perhaps the most important book of my lifetime. There are no easy answers, but there are endless pearls of wisdom and insight within. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patrick Bruno
It makes you observe your thoughts and understand life is this moment, full of jiy. Life is what it is no matter what happens.Published 3 months ago by Anicia
great book,full of practical wisdom.i highly recommend it.Published 4 months ago by Nada Marjanovic