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Silence and Noise: Growing Up Zen in America Paperback – Bargain Price, July 29, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Michael Downing Author of Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center Richmond writes in a refreshingly clear voice, and his frank memoir documents his intention to seek the Middle Way, which he locates somewhere between the remote Zen Buddhist monastery where he spent his early childhood and the roiling American mainstream into which he was plunged as an adolescent.
Norman Fischer Zen priest, poet, and author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up Honest and wise, [this] is a book anyone concerned with contemporary youth -- and with the Western Buddhist movement -- will want to read.
Syliva Boorstein, Author of Pay Attention, for Goodness' Sake This account of an American childhood in a community that is both countercultural and Zen weaves basic Buddhist concepts into the fabric of the narrative.... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
So what do we have? The insights of a sensitive, intelligent young man, with the added frisson of Buddhism. Anyone who has wrestled with pacifism versus violence, the mind-frying noisiness of our commercial civilisation, and so on, shall recognise Richmond's thoughts and insights. But, when it is done, this not uncharming book is as thin as a tatami mat.
Mr. Richmond serves as a translator, so to speak, a bridge between divergent world views and his descriptions of trying to understand "Pop Culture" ( and sometimes getting it wrong) are fascinating. He writes with humanity and humor, never taking the stand that his upbringing and ideals are "better" just because they are different. This is a white, middle class individual who speaks English, one can only guess at how hard American culture ( and the idea we are a "Christian Nation") is for some people coming from "outside" to grasp. I read it in one or two sittings, I found it touching and eye opening, with a refreshing simplicity.
The message I got: No world view, or lifestyle, is ever perfect. There is good and bad in all lifestyles and religions, and a compassionate person needs to see that we are *not* all alike, not all coming from a common reference. As we stretch toward empathy, our spirit grows. Mr. Richmond's struggle to unite "silence" with "noise" has given him a unique perspective, one I really enjoyed sharing.
This book is clearly and vibrantly written, and very enjoyable. It's also an eye-opener. I loved it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the better books I have encountered within the Buddhism/applied eastern philosophy genre. Read morePublished on July 20, 2010 by Carrie J. Lang
I loved this book. If you want to understand what zen is
about, this is the book. Who better to enlighten us than
someone born into a zen family? Read more