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Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk Paperback – May 14, 2013
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“This punk of a monk, who should be tending to his own affairs, has decided to infect the real world with his tall tales, and worse, to let the cat out of the bag. And what a sly, dangerous, beautiful, foul-smelling, heart-warming beast it is.”—Leonard Cohen, from the foreword
“This is the funniest, most genuine spiritual memoir I have ever read. It feels odd to call it a memoir, given how it is chock full of genuine Buddhist insight. A must-read, especially for those of us who have been accused of being in gay porn films.”—Lodro Rinzler, author of The Buddha Walks into a Bar…
“Zen Confidential has a virtue rare in spiritual books, it includes the whole of life. Here we have sex, bathroom customs of the monastery, politics, suicide, drugs, meanness, marriage, standup comedy, Las Vegas, koans and a 105-year-old Zen master. It’s a window into a magical world that pretends to be ordinary and an ordinary world that is magical. Haubner has an acute eye for the ridiculousness of the world and a larger-than-life way of seeing. It’s a fresh, living account of this kind of Zen in America and of living well and serving the way.” —John Tarrant, author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life
Top Customer Reviews
Shozan Jack demystifies the practice of Zen and, by extension, makes it more accessible to the potential practitioner. The honesty about the harsh realities of giving one's life over to Zen practice is refreshing. In addition to Shozan Jack's deep understanding of Zen practice and history, his ability to communicate the challenges of the monk life is laudable.
I highly recommend this text as a concrete presentation of the pursuit of enlightenment..
Clearly a partial view of life at Mt Baldy but in its way a very accurate one.
I asked my husband to read this book because I thought that I might have enjoyed it due to my many years of practice at Mt Baldy. He laughed out loud and did not put it down. You do not have to be a Zen practitionner to see the cutting humor of this book but,it helps!!!
If you're looking for trite, spiritual platitudes or a soft focus approach to zen, this is not the book for you. There is talk of s***, of porn, of constant human pettiness while trying to find the middle path. It is shocking, blasphemous and profane. It is loving, generous and kind. It does what a truly great memoir does - it brings us to a world few people have experience in and lays bare the author's mistakes and insights, so we can become better people just by reading it.
Carl Jung said that one does not become awakened by contemplating images of light but by casting light into the darkness. This author shines his laser beam on the profane with deep honesty, and we witness the enantiodromia—transformation into sacredness, gratitude, and compassion.
This was a page-turner and kept me up both reading and reflecting on the deep wisdom transmitted through the author’s courageous tenacity to see the practice through. Bravo!
Rev. Hannah Rappaport
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This monk's writing honest, real, entertaining and wonderful ! This book kept my interest from cover to cover ( a rare occurrence). Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Condition as described; fast delivery; good price; cannot ask for more. Book is a fun and insightful read.Published 4 months ago by Cordevero
This book is an exceptionally honest, creative description of the life of a man who develops spiritually into a monk of integrity.Published 5 months ago by pstar726
In this book Jack Haubner gives you a warts and all picture of what it was like for him to live in the Mount Baldy monastic community for a number of years. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peter King
First part of the book is good. Got tired of his voice and homophobia.Published 8 months ago by Edward G. Penniman
Gives good insight into the totality of Zen practice. By that I mean that the one of the components of the practice is the social climate in the Zen training environment, in this... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Happilyretired
Interesting Not exactly what I thought a Zen monastary was like.Published 11 months ago by M K Simon