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Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden Paperback – April 29, 2014
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"Paradise in Plain Sight, for all its talk of gardening and the little details of domestic life, is one of the most thoroughly and unapologetically Zen books I have read in a long time. This is not easy Buddhism. This is a book that speaks as the tradition itself does: unflinchingly confident and perfectly at home with not knowing. May we all be so fortunate as to one day open a gate and find ourselves standing in a place so spacious, so overgrown and full of possibility. And may we say yes."
-- Koun Franz, Sweeping Zen
"A skillful blend of personal narrative and insightful dharma teaching . . . Miller's prose is always fresh and potent, grounded in the knowledge that anything we do can become a gateway to profound realization"
-- Dharma Spring
"Readers find it easy to relate to the author's story of finding her way out of fear, selfishness, and doubt to buy a home with a 100-year-old Japanese garden. She takes stock of her rocks, bamboo, and ponds to describe concepts of faith, emptiness, and "right view" . . . stories of bountiful fruits, flowers, and leaves relate thoughts on forgiveness, compassion, and letting go." -- Library Journal
"This little slip of a book, like the best of all soulful books, slips deep in your soul practically unnoticed. Suddenly, you're sitting bolt upright, because you've been reading quietly along and you realize you've just inhaled a sentence that packs a spiritual wallop. You needn't be a gardener, nor inclined to long hours of meditation, nor a disciple of Zen. And you certainly needn't travel to the nearest Japanese garden to unearth the truths Miller so generously lays at your mud-sodden soles." -- Chicago Tribune
Wise, insightful, and honest.”
Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness
This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Karen Maezen Miller has cleared a path for all of us from pain and confusion to joy and gratitude. She taught me that the secret garden I’ve been searching for has existed all along. I just needed to find the right guide.”
Priscilla Warner, author of Learning to Breathe and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Faith Club
Paradise in Plain Sight stopped me in my tracks and invited me to look into the backyard of my own life in a different way: with deep attention and radical gratitude. To read this extraordinary book so brief in length, yet so magnificently deep and so transparently clear is to remember that home is where I am and that what I need I have.”
Katrina Kenison, author of Magical Journey
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Top Customer Reviews
Maezen has an incredible gift to help bring the teachings into our lives, to inspire us, to help us understand the gifts she has been taught. I especially love the way she integrates stories and teachings so that it is relevant to all. I give this book as a gift to many friends and recommend it regularly. This book is incredibly special and dear to me, and will be part of my library and life for years to come.. I have already re- read it a few times & keep it close to me wherever I go.
One interesting, touching and central theme is Maezen Miller's relationship with her teacher, the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi, during his final years. The Roshi was a highly trained Japanese Zen Master who had been rejected by many students due to his periodic heavy drinking. Maezen accepts her teacher as a poet (rather than a saint), remarkable for his kindness, as well as the openness and clarity of his vision. "His kindness was the profound kindness of seeing a person or thing completely, without judgement," she writes. "I learned two things by this: that it is rare to be seen, and the seeing without judging is an act of love."
While Maezen has become a zen teacher in her own right, you might give her book to friends with no interest in zen, per se, for all she shares about discovering the beauty and intrinsic meaning of life -- even if there are always more weeds to pull.