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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Shambhala Library) Hardcover – October 10, 2006
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
When I first read "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," for a college class on Buddhism, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but I did end up practicing Zen, and maybe this book had something to do with that. For many years, even while living at a Zen monastery, I suspected that a lot of the enthusiasm for this book was an "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon: a few respected people said it was wonderful, so then everybody said it was wonderful.Read more ›
My only caveat is that for complete novices--like myself--the title is misleading, and therefore the book's teachings were not very accessible to me. The term "beginner's mind," as used in this work, refers to the idea of maintaining an open, childlike mind, and never acting or feeling as though one has ACHIEVED enlightenment. Be always searching, always growing.
"Beginner's mind" should NOT be taken as an indication that this is a book for those like myself who are newcomers to the study of Zen (i.e. "beginners"). Maybe you're an "old soul," but new to Zen, in which case, you may get more out of this book than I currently do.
As someone who instinctively feels that Zen has something BIG to offer me if only I can understand what the hell the books on Zen are talking about, this is NOT a good introduction. Zen terminology is thrown around as though I already know what the terms mean. The description of poses (without benefit of pictures) is confusing, and I must admit that I [shallowly?] found myself ticked off: if I couldn't figure out a stinking pose (or even get BEYOND the fact that I couldn't figure it out), how on earth was I "deep enough" to get my foot on the path to enlightenment?
For anyone who, like myself, needs something a little more concrete to get me started, something I can sink my literal Western teeth into, this ain't the book!Read more ›
Some years ago I undertook a fairly extensive program of reading in Indian, Chinese, and Japanese Buddhism and in Zen. Most of my Zen books have since disappeared. Only the choicest remain, among which is Shunryu Suzuki's 'Zen Mind Beginner's Mind.'
Buddhism may be said to have begun with the enlightement of the Buddha. Many centuries later, however, when Buddhism entered China, an incredibly elaborate and complex superstructure of Indian scholastic thought had grown up around the Buddha's original insight. The Chinese, with their basically down-to-earth and common sense attitude, had little use for Indian over-elaboration and set about ridding Buddhism of it.
The Chinese, as Lin Yutang says, believe in a reasonable use of reason, and not in reason's excesses. The end product of their effort to rid Buddhist thought of its heavy freight of scholasticism, and to shift the emphasis from theory back to the practical by centering Buddhism once again in the enlightenment experience, became what the Chinese know as Ch'an and the Japanese as Zen.
As Shunryu Suzuki himself pointed out, when freed of unnecessary theory and speculation, Buddhism as Zen becomes something that is basically "quite simple" (page 64). Its essence was brilliantly captured in the thirty-one verses of Third Patriarch Seng-ts'an's 'Hsin-hsin-ming,' the very first Zen treatise in verse. This is a beautiful text that deserves to be far better known, and an easily accessible translation will be found in D. T.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cool little Gizmo my husband loves things like this I recommend this product.Published 2 days ago by Jacqueline Payton
Deep reading that will impact everything in your day to day life. A must read for those interested in Zen, the breath, meditation, mindfulness, and awareness.Published 5 days ago by Jenn Adele K
A classic book that seems to explain very clearly the essentials of zen practice.A manual for mindfulness that will always stay with me.Published 6 days ago by michael bosley
To breathe,to be of calm mind,and to practice your own way or path,be it a Baker or Bodyguard always toward but never reaching enlighten perfection, is the essence of Zen. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Rich Roth
Its a great start (no pun intended) to Buddhism as related to the teachings of Dogan. Explains many of the confusing notions such as nothingness, emptiness and basic focus for... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Andrew Kattner
It is not exactly what I was expecting but a relaxing read. I normally only read 4-5 pages at a time and try to meditate in between. Read morePublished 18 days ago by H. Baumann