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Zen and the Art of Falling in Love Hardcover – January 7, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

To find love, take off your shoes, sit on a cushion and do nothing, advises the author of Zen Miracles. These and 10 other Zen-based practices, Shoshanna says, will help prepare you to receive love, and, eventually, to build lasting, meaningful relationships. Each Zen instruction is like "a metaphor for our entire lives": consciously taking off our shoes teaches us about mindfulness; sitting quietly on a cushion allows us to get to know ourselves and our patterns of behavior; doing nothing helps us learn to let go of our need to control things and people. Shoshanna goes on to explain how other practices, from cooking to "struggling with your koan," also help us find our way to being in love, "our natural state." For readers seeking hands-on, practical advice for romantic rejuvenation, Shoshanna's guide may feel as weightless as the smoke rising from the nearest incense burner: there are no chapters on the Zen method to approaching that office crush, or dating someone who already has children, for example. But readers searching for broader meaning will revel in her ability to weave together the basic tenets of relationship psychology with the self-realization techniques of Zen practice. Nor is Shoshanna's advice limited to affairs of the heart; much of her counsel-to be open, loving and full of faith-feels relevant to all aspects of life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Marianne Williamsonbestselling author of A Return to LoveDr. Brenda Shoshanna's words are wonderful. -- Review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743243358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743243353
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The most important love relationship one can have is the relationship with the source of the questions within. From there, all love grows. Brenda Shoshanna has written an engaging, thoughtful book. In it, she illustrates the ways in which we thwart our opportunities to know this inner source, and the ways in which we can let go of the desire and proclivity to do so. In letting go, beauty and love become self-evident - waking from a dream. Shoshanna's book is brilliant not only in demystifying Zen practice, but in applying it in real terms to relationships of all kinds. This is not a book to be read in one shot on a transatlantic flight. It is more a book to be digested thoroughly, chapter by chapter, in one's own time. Highly recommend, highly, highly.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most profound books I have ever read that brilliantly looks at the truth and shows ways to fall in love eteranlly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am amazed at the little number of reviews of the book after having reading it. I love the Way Shoshana explains the basic rituals and elements of zen and blends them together with the practicality and reality of romantic relationships. The fact that the author is also a psychologist tremendously helps to mix both psychology of relationships and zen spirituality in an harmonic way, and in a way that is easy to understand and approachable for the lay reader. The result is a very unique book that will enchant spiritual people who aren't religious, religious people who are zen, and lay people with a need for food for the soul, not just dating tips that rarely work.

The book needs of you to be brutally honest with yourself, and might bring some tears to your eyes when you evaluate your past or present relationships and realize that you are/were part of the problem. Still the book does not intend blaming yourself, but making identify which of your behaviour or attitudes are sabotaging your romantic relationships.

The book is structured in three main sections: 1/ Becoming Available. 2/. Zen in Action. 3/ Developing endurance. Each part finishes with a summary of the teachings in it and a series of exercises and journaling questions to work on. They come handy as a summary when you do a second reading. My fav section is the second one, as tackles most of the issues that are important to me in relating and dealing with falling in love, dealing with trouble in relationships, and growing relationships in a healthy way.

My main concern with the teachings of the book is the fine line that separates being completely giving and accepting of a situation and becoming a doormat. Although it is clearly specified that they are two very different things, where do we put the line?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the many relationship books I have read, this book alone has helped me understand male/female relationships and the pitfalls we all fall into. It also helps one understand our relationships with everybody else, even people who drive us crazy. It is an introduction to Zen Buddhism also, but in a form that does not overwhelm. I highly recommend this book, especially to people in problem relationships.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book but only for those who have some understanding of what Zen Buddhism is and generally agree with its priciples, ideas and 'world-view'. If, on the other hand, you think that Buddhism/Zen is not your cup of tea or find it confusing/esoteric/strange, then you really won't get much out of this book.

For those of us who are lay or formal practitioners of Zen (it doesn't matter for how long), this book is one of it's kind in that it takes specific Zen practices/priciples and relates them to challenges and struggles a person faces when she/he is in a relationship.

My only issue is with some of the stories of 'real-life' people used by the author. They are meant to illustrate some point the author is trying to make but they end up being annoying, irrelevant or worse, counter-productive.

Overall: Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For me, this book is one of the most important books I ever read. Brenda Shoshanna's insights made me curious and I started to practice Zen meditation myself. During my practice, I learned a lot about myself and my way to relate to others, and I could experience most of what the book talked about. It was a transformational experience that was greatly beneficial for my life and meditation is now a vital part of my life. Thank you for this book!
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Format: Hardcover
This book has most definetly changed my outlook on how I see myself in relationships. It has helped me to take a more realistic and responsible stance when it comes to developing and maintaining loving relationships. It was a great and easy read. It was also one of those books where I got out my highlighter and marked all of the places in the book where I really wanted to remember that particular message or lesson. This book is one that I have recommended and even purchased for some of my good friends...it has really changed a lot for me! I am so glad this book popped into my life. I know it's one I'll continue to go back and read whenever I find myself struggling in relationships. Brenda Shoshanna is an utter genius!
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