File Size: 441 KB
Print Length: 181 pages
Publisher: Shambhala; Anv edition (November 9, 2010)
Publication Date: November 9, 2010
Considering that this book isn't exactly for those in the nascent stages of Zen Buddhism, it can be quite enigmatic in some spots. Still, this does not detract from the wealth of information the reader will be able to garner should they maintain an open mind.
Total the book shows many insights individuals may follow to strengthen their core repertoire.
Some of the concepts the book talks about included mindfulness, the significance of calmness and focus in your life, proper practice, simplicity and much more.
For someone that's new in traversing the Zen realm, this book is quite appreciated. It synthesizes many complex subject areas in a straightforward to follow manner, and does so in a way that is rich in scope as well.
Reading this guide will definitely help the reader become more aware of your brain in numerous ways.
After having this book a while, and referenced it quite a bit, have a experience that how much this book helps an individual is proportional to how much one focuses on each of the concepts. It really is an excellent book., Reading this article book is like sitting with a teacher. The energy of it is clear and light, open. Its intent is to share its understanding, its observations.
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 obviously went deeply beneath the words to a place that I didn’t comprehend and couldn’t feel.
I have since re-read it and now, continually re-read sections of it! Its instruction may not be conveyed via terminology alone. The concepts need to be absorbed in blend 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 commence to appear as if birds in a wood when you are looking for them. Everything tones down and then they appear to you, though they’ve always been there.
Over time, my understanding of the book has changed from it becoming 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 ahead and simple, profound pleasure.
It is one of my go-to resources for spiritual guidance and calm beauty., I didn't really get much from this, possibly due to terminology issues with this content. Now i'm fairly well versed in another tradition, but have always been curious about Zen. This is a book with content based on speaks which were given. While I could detect bits and pieces of what I believe the Buddha trained, most of the contents in this book discovered as needlessly complicated doublespeak. This may be due to my not understanding Zen, or perhaps this is the way Zen is supposed to be -- opaque and requiring a really personal discovery. If I hadn't already gained an understanding of the Buddha's teachings, I don't think reading this book would have helped me. Having read many books on the Buddha's teachings, I maintain the best to be " In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi., The book is a hardcover with double-spiral binding (where the spirals are groups of two), and a red elastic band which can take the journal shut down. The style shown is the front cover and the back is darkish with calligraphy in black, and a black border on the edge where the spiral binding is. Inside the book, there are two types of pages: (1) The pages which feature images on them (usually relatively small) with sayings underneath them. This occupies the entire page and the page isn't reigned over, either on the front side or back. Note that there are pages with sayings about every 2-4 pages or so. (2) The pages that are lined contain dark grey rules on the face side, and are blank on the rear. The outlines for the pages are widely-spaced, and never in the thinner " college ruled" style. A few examples of sayings from the book are as follows (note that all the text is in lowercase lettering in the journal itself): " buddha nature is just another name for human character, our true being human. "... " in the beginner's mind there are extensive possibilities, in the expert's brain there are few. "... " in the beginner's mind there is no thought, " i have attained something. " all self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. " -- Note that you can preview some example pages from the journal on this site, if you like.
It's a reasonable journal and I'm glad it was still available, when i like the Zen sayings as food for thought as I'm writing entries. My only criticism is the wastefulness of the style. Having the Zen images and sayings take up a full page face, then not liner the back of the page, or the backs of lined pages, sensed exceedingly wasteful. The guide is listed as having 128 pages, but only one side of the lined pages is actually lined, and the picture/saying pages aren't lined at all, cutting the amount of lined page confronts down to less than 64. Given that seems really wasteful -- especially if you're only intending on using the lined page confronts. I personally don't brain writing on unlined pages, so I intend to use the backs of the picture/saying pages as well as the backs of the lined pages -- I dislike the inconsistency, though. It seems like it lacks mindfulness and consideration, in phrases of its design. Unfitting for a Zen diary, if you ask me personally. -- For this reason I took off a star. I'd rate it as 3 1/2 if I could, but without the half-stars, I decided to round upwards.
In phrases of giving this as something special, I'd say it's a reasonable stocking stuffer or small gift. It's not extravagant, but seems pretty well made, and I'd consider giving this to someone who is thinking about Zen and journaling. However as always, when it comes to gift-giving, it's not so much about the high cost as it is about how exactly well the gift idea matches the person getting it. Case in point: the 'gift' I gave which made the most effect to someone was only a card, but the art work was made by the recipient's favorite artist. This designed more with them than items I gave to other people which cost almost 5x as much. So , I think the point is to show you care by showing you take notice. Or, in the spirit of Zen: be mindful.; ), This was an assigned textbook in my Buddhism course, and I found myself reading the entire guide cover to cover, rather than stopping at the required pages. It attracts the reader in and flows well, keeping interest and providing insight. Whether or not you are studying the art of meditation or simply want to open the mind, this is the book for you. I habitually felt calmer after reading these pages and reflecting on them. This is one " textbook" I plan to hold on to!
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