- Paperback: 138 pages
- Publisher: Weatherhill (1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0834800799
- ISBN-13: 978-0834800793
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 533 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice Paperback – April 1, 1973
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A respected Zen master in Japan and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki has blazed a path in American Buddhism like few others. He is the master who climbs down from the pages of the koan books and answers your questions face to face. If not face to face, you can at least find the answers as recorded in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, a transcription of juicy excerpts from his lectures. From diverse topics such as transience of the world, sudden enlightenment, and the nuts and bolts of meditation, Suzuki always returns to the idea of beginner's mind, a recognition that our original nature is our true nature. With beginner's mind, we dedicate ourselves to sincere practice, without the thought of gaining anything special. Day to day life becomes our Zen training, and we discover that "to study Buddhism is to study ourselves." And to know our true selves is to be enlightened. --Brian Bruya
From Library Journal
In one of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice, the important teacher Shunryu Suzuki discusses posture and breathing in meditation as well as selflessness, emptiness, and mindfulness.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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On first reading, I understood very little of what it was trying to convey. Sentences in English, easy enough to read, but conveying concepts that clearly went deeply beneath the words to a place that I didn’t comprehend and couldn’t feel.
I’ve since re-read it and now, continually re-read sections of it! Its instruction cannot really be conveyed via language alone. The concepts have to be absorbed in combination with meditation, intent and an openness to different ways of looking at life. Each sentence becomes a phrase to study and meditate on. Eventually, the meaning of the words start to appear as if birds in a wood when you are looking for them. Everything quiets down and then they appear to you, though they’ve always been there.
Over time, my understanding of the book has changed from it being a lecture, a ‘this is how you should do it’ instructional to a ‘look, this is how it can work’ observation - an understanding of how it is possible to live with straight forward and simple, profound joy.
It is one of my go-to resources for spiritual guidance and calm beauty.
my conception of Meditation (and the 'spiritual path', as we call it) drastically shifted.
"Beginner's Mind" is arranged into chapters/vignettes of short, 3-page talks. Suzuki's wisdom is simple, clear, & effective.
His talks help clarify the proper mental attitude with which to practice zazen [sitting-meditation], and by consequence, he clarifies the spiritual path in general.
**the 2 other notable books were: “Be As You Are: the Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi” &
“Midnights with the Mystic” (teachings of Sadhguru, Jagadish Vasudev)
"In your mind you create an idea of place separate from an actual time". How true is this? Nobody is saying not to plan ahead. Everyone must plan for school, work, everyday life etc. On the other hand, as human beings, we overdo everything. There is only one time - here/now. Stop wasting your life and appreciate the only moment you have -- this one.
"The true purpose of ZEN is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes". This is much easier said than done. It almost gives a feeling of resist nothing but just let things happen. Of course, we have to determine in life when and where the right time to step in is, but again, I think as human beings, we think we can control everything. Instead we should realize how things fit together, and simply watch them come and go of their own accord.
"When you can do everything, whether it is good or bad, without disturbance or without being annoyed by the feeling, that is actually what we mean by form is form, and emptiness is emptiness. Knowing that your life is short, to enjoy it day after day, moment after moment, is the life of form is form, and emptiness is emptiness". This one truly speaks for itself so, must I go on?
Needless to say, this book will be reread...