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'I have relinquished all that ties me to the world, but the one thing that still haunts me is the beauty of the sky' These simple, inspiring writings by three medieval Buddhist monks offer peace and wisdom amid the world's uncertainties, and are an invitation to relinquish earthly desires and instead taste life in the moment. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
'In Japan we have an expression, 'Float like Cloud, Flow like Water'. Its meaning is: to live free and unconstrained' In this short introduction to Zen Buddhism, a practising Japanese monk shares the many lessons he has learned from life inside a temple. With charm and humour, he guides us through everything from meditation to tea-drinking ceremonies, the meaning of koans to preparing Zen food. Accompanied by the author's own illustrations, this book invites you to change your perception through the wisdom of monastic life.
Growing up in a conservative, middle-class family in Texas, Claire Myers Owens sought adventure and freedom at an early age. At twenty years old, she left home and quickly found a community of like-minded free spirits and intellectuals in New York's Greenwich Village. There Owens wrote novels and short stories, including the controversial novel The Unpredictable Adventure: A Comedy of Woman's Independence, which was banned by the New York Public Library for its ""risque"" content. Drawn to ideals of selfactualization and creative freedom, Owens became a key figure in the Human Potential Movement along with founder Abraham Maslow and Aldous Huxley, and became an ardent follower of Carl Jung. In her later years, Owens devoted her life to the practice of Zen Buddhism, moving to Rochester, NY, where she joined the Zen Center and studied under Roshi Philip Kapleau. She published her final book, Zen and the Lady, at the age of eighty-three. Friedman's rediscovery of Owens brings well-deserved attention to her little known yet extraordinary life and passionate spirit. Drawing upon autobiographies, letters, journals, and novels, Friedman chronicles Owens's robust intellect and her tumultuous private life and, along the way, shows readers what makes her story significant. With very few role models in the early twentieth century, Owens blazed her own path of independence and enlightenment.
A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained as a result.
'One of the most generous, beautiful, and essential books I’ve ever read – thoroughly engaging, so clear, so honest, so courageous and full of wisdom.' George Saunders, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo
'This book makes me think enlightenment is possible and necessary.' Russell Brand
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s experience begins the night he has chosen to embark on a four-year wandering retreat, slipping past the monastery gates. Alone for the first time in his life, he sets out into the unknown. His initial motivation is to step away from his life of privilege and to explore the deepest, most hidden aspects of his being, but what he discovers throughout his retreat – about himself and about the world around us – comes to define his meditation practice and teaching.
Just three weeks into his retreat, Rinpoche becomes deathly ill and his journey begins in earnest through this near-death experience. Moving, beautiful and suffused with local colour, In Love with the World is the story of two different kinds of death: that of the body and that of the ego, and how we can bridge these two experiences to live a better and more fulfilling life. Rinpoche’s skilful and intimate account of his search for the self is a demonstration of how we can transform our dread of dying into joyful living.
This book provides an in-depth textual and literary analysis of the Blue Cliff Record (Chinese Biyanlu, Japanese Hekiganroku), a seminal Chan/Zen Buddhist collection of commentaries on one hundred gongan/koan cases, considered in light of historical, cultural, and intellectual trends from the Song dynasty (960-1279). Compiled by Yuanwu Keqin in 1128, the Blue Cliff Record is considered a classic of East Asian literature for its creative integration of prose and verse as well as hybrid or capping-phrase interpretations of perplexing cases. The collection employs a variety of rhetorical devices culled from both classic and vernacular literary sources and styles and is particularly notable for its use of indirection, allusiveness, irony, paradox, and wordplay, all characteristic of the approach of literary or lettered Chan. However, as instrumental and influential as it is considered to be, the Blue Cliff Record has long been shrouded in controversy. The collection is probably best known today for having been destroyed in the 1130s at the dawn of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) by Dahui Zonggao, Yuanwu's main disciple and harshest critic. It was out of circulation for nearly two centuries before being revived and partially reconstructed in the early 1300s. In this book, Steven Heine examines the diverse ideological connections and disconnections behind subsequent commentaries and translations of the Blue Cliff Record, thereby shedding light on the broad range of gongan literature produced in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries and beyond.
There is a fine art to presenting complex ideas with simplicity and insight, in a manner that both guides and inspires. In Taking the Path of Zen Robert Aitken presents the practice, lifestyle, rationale, and ideology of Zen Buddhism with remarkable clarity.
The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature explores the growth, makeup, and transformation of Chan (Zen) Buddhist literature in late medieval China. The volume analyzes the earliest extant records about the life, teachings, and legacy of Mazu Daoyi (709-788), the famous leader of the Hongzhou School and one of the principal figures in Chan history. While some of the texts covered are well-known and form a central part of classical Chan (or more broadly Buddhist) literature in China, others have been largely ignored, forgotten, or glossed over until recently. Poceski presents a range of primary materials important for the historical study of Chan Buddhism, some translated for the first time into English or other Western language. He surveys the distinctive features and contents of particular types of texts, and analyzes the forces, milieus, and concerns that shaped key processes of textual production during this period. Although his main focus is on written sources associated with a celebrated Chan tradition that developed and rose to prominence during the Tang era (618-907), Poceski also explores the Five Dynasties (907-960) and Song (960-1279) periods, when many of the best-known Chan collections were compiled. Exploring the Chan School's creative adaptation of classical literary forms and experimentation with novel narrative styles, The Records of Mazu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature traces the creation of several distinctive Chan genres that exerted notable influence on the subsequent development of Buddhism in China and the rest of East Asia.
Truly see yourself
How to See is about our misperceptions, how we can gain insight and how mindfulness practices can help us see our real selves. Thich Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion and humour in showing us how to achieve an awakened, more relaxed state of self-awareness so we cn understand ourselves and the world around us.
This is a perfect pocket-sized guide to life by the most renowned Zen master in the world, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jodorowsky notes that most people are incapable of self-realization because of their fear of the void within, an emptiness they seek to fill with noise and chatter. He shows that Zen teachings can be compared to a finger pointing at the moon, directing you to awaken to your true nature--the Buddha within. The danger lies in mistaking the pointing finger for the moon, mistaking the words for the essential enlightenment, which can only be grasped once words have been surpassed. Unlike most tales, these stories are intended to evoke silent illumination--as true awakening and self-realization cannot occur until the mind has been stilled.
A rare and vivid narrative of a Buddhist nun's training and spiritual awakening. In this engagingly written account, Martine Batchelor relays the challenges a new ordinand faces in adapting to Buddhist monastic life: the spicy food, the rigorous daily schedule, the distinctive clothes and undergarments, and the cultural misunderstandings inevitable between a French woman and her Korean colleagues. She reveals as well the genuine pleasures that derive from solitude, meditative training, and communion with the deeply religious - whom the Buddhists call ""good friends."" Batchelor has also recorded the oral history/autobiography of her teacher, the eminent nun Son'gyong Sunim, leader of the Zen meditation hall at Naewonsa. It is a profoundly moving, often light-hearted story that offers insight into the challenges facing a woman on the path to enlightenment at the beginning of the twentieth century. Original English translations of eleven of Son'gyong Sunim's poems on Buddhist themes make a graceful and thought-provoking coda to the two women's narratives. Western readers only familiar with Buddhist ideas of female inferiority will be surprised by the degree of spiritual equality and authority enjoyed by nuns in Korea. While American writings on Buddhism increasingly emphasize the therapeutic, self-help, and comforting aspects of Buddhist thought, Batchelor's text offers a bracing and timely reminder of the strict discipline required in traditional Buddhism.
'Brings the spirit of Zen Buddhism to everyday life . . . 100 snack-size Zen activities you can do daily to add more calm to your life' Daily Telegraph Find your Zen with this little book of 100 tips and activities Zen is the perfect antidote to the stress and uncertainty of modern life . . . In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your thinking, to line up your shoes at night to bring order to your mind, to plant a single flower and watch it grow, to worry less about what you cannot control, and so much more . . . You will even make time to think about nothing at all. Simplify your life with the art of Zen, and learn how to feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and with a renewed sense of peace. 'Full of the simplest yet richest rituals to adopt in order to live a long and happy life, this book of wisdom is a soothing balm of peace for anyone living in the busy modern world' Psychologies 'Does for mental clutter what Marie Kondo has done for household clutter' Publisher's Weekly 'This little treasure needs to be at every bedside' llan Lokos, author of Through the Flames, Patience, and Pocket Peace 'Zen: The Art of Simple Living makes the wisdom of the Buddha radically accessible' Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of Emotional Rescue and Rebel Buddha
Zen is a way of life, providing a means of engaging on the great questions and of seeking enlightenment. Zen is also very much in the real world and you can see it around you in paintings, poetry, and nature. This inspiring calendar features 12 examples of Zen poetry and quotes placed alongside beautiful Zen photography. These art forms open up a visual world and are a simple expression of organic living, and nature, that can be meditated upon. The datepad features previous and next month's views.
Zen and Japanese Culture is a classic that has influenced generations of readers and played a major role in shaping conceptions of Zen's influence on Japanese traditional arts. In simple and poetic language, Daisetz Suzuki describes Zen and its historical evolution. He connects Zen to the philosophy of the samurai, and subtly portrays the relationship between Zen and swordsmanship, haiku, tea ceremonies, and the Japanese love of nature. Suzuki uses anecdotes, poetry, and illustrations of silk screens, calligraphy, and architecture. The book features an introduction by Richard Jaffe that acquaints readers with Suzuki's life and career and analyzes the book's reception in light of contemporary criticism, especially by scholars of Japanese Buddhism. Zen and Japanese Culture is a valuable source for those wishing to understand Zen in the context of Japanese life and art, and remains one of the leading works on the subject.
Zen Buddhist priest Shunmyo Masuno understands that today's busy world leaves little time or space for self-reflection, but that a garden-even in the most urban of spaces-can provide some respite. In his words, "The garden is a special spiritual place where the mind dwells." With this in mind, Masuno has designed scores of spectacular Japanese gardens and landscapes with the aim of helping people achieve a balanced life in the 21st century. This book explores Masuno's design process and ideas, which are integral to his daily Zen training and teachings. It features 15 unique gardens and contemplative landscapes completed in six countries over as many years-all thoughtfully described and documented in full-color photos and drawings. Readers will also find insights on Masuno's philosophy of garden design and a conversation between the designer and famed architect Terunobu Fujimori. Zen Garden Design provides an in-depth examination of Masuno's gardens and landscapes-not just as beautiful spaces, but as places for meditation and contemplation.
We're all on a search for happiness, but we're looking in the wrong places. Everyone looks externally to find contentment, we think material possessions will unlock our happiness. A Monk's Guide to Happiness explains how and why we need to look within, and connect to our true essence, in order to find peace. Everyone has the potential to be happy, after all, we're all 'hardwired' for happiness. But how do we get there? By meditating. Not just in the morning, but throughout the day by introducing micro moments so we never drop the mindfulness ball, even when we're busy. Meditation is more than just a stress-reduction tool or a relaxation therapy, it is the key to finding long-lasting happiness. Gelong Thubten, a Buddhist monk who has worked with everyone from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to Ruby Wax and Benedict Cumberbatch, explores the theme of happiness in his debut book and explains how to bring meditation into our busy 21st century lives with simple exercises.
In this ground-breaking approach to golf instruction, Dr Joseph Parent, both a noted PGA Tour coach and a respected Buddhist teacher, draws on this natural connection to teach golfers how to play with more consistency and less frustration, and consequently how to lower their scores. `When body and mind are synchronized, we can uncover our inherent dignity and confidence. The ultimate goal is not just to help people become better golfers, but better human beings.' Zen Golf offers a fresh perspective for golf and for life. Instead of focusing on what's wrong with us - what's broken, flawed or missing - we can take the attitude that there is something fundamentally, essentially right with us. In chapters such as `How to Get from the Practice Tee to the First Tee', `You Practice What You Fear', and `How to Enjoy a Bad Round of Golf', author Joseph Parent shows how to make one's mind an ally rather than an enemy: how to stay calm, clear the interference that leads to bad shots, and eliminate bad habits and mental mistakes. Rather than an instruction manual that takes you through a systematic programme, it is a collection of brief chapters offering the wisdom of traditional Zen stories and teachings distilled from a lifetime of actual lessons with golfers, many of whom are PGA professionals. Continued success at golf (and any other endeavour) requires preparation, action and response - these form the framework for the instructions presented in Zen Golf. Applied correctly, they will help every reader of this unique book to achieve their peak performance.
"All that I am, I am because of my mind."
All runners strive to get in the ?zone, ? but here they?ll learn to enter the ZEN ?zone?! By adopting Buddha's mindful approach, you will discover you can run longer, faster, and harder. This book shows how to align body and mind for success on?and off?the track! Iron Man triathlete and philosophy professor Larry Shapiro coaches you to:
A delightfully illustrated selection of the great Daoist writings of Zhuangzi by bestselling cartoonist C. C. Tsai C. C. Tsai is one of Asia's most popular cartoonists, and his editions of the Chinese classics have sold more than 40 million copies in over twenty languages. This volume presents Tsai's delightful graphic adaptation of the profound and humorous Daoist writings of Zhuangzi, some of the most popular and influential in the history of Asian philosophy and culture. The Way of Nature brings together all of Tsai's beguiling cartoon illustrations of the Zhuangzi, which takes its name from its author. The result is a uniquely accessible and entertaining adaptation of a pillar of classical Daoism, which has deeply influenced Chinese poetry, landscape painting, martial arts, and Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Irreverent and inspiring, The Way of Nature presents the memorable characters, fables, and thought experiments of Zhuangzi like no other edition, challenging readers to dig beneath conventional assumptions about self, society, and nature, and pointing to a more natural way of life. Through practical insights and far-reaching arguments, Zhuangzi shows why returning to the spontaneity of nature is the only sane response to a world of conflict. A marvelous introduction to a timeless classic, this book also features an illuminating foreword by Edward Slingerland. In addition, Zhuangzi's original Chinese text is artfully presented in narrow sidebars on each page, enriching the book for readers and students of Chinese without distracting from the self-contained English-language cartoons. The text is skillfully translated by Brian Bruya, who also provides an introduction.
A visual journey through Zen's influence on Japanese life, from calligraphy to the martial arts Formed by a convergence of the Buddha's teachings with Taoism and local tradition, Zen has had a profound impact on the art and culture of Japan. As a philosophy, Zen promotes a recognition of emptiness and impermanence. As an aesthetic, it is marked by striking simplicity and a reverence for space. It operates on the principle of wabi-sabi, the harmony found in all things transient and imperfect. Countless Japanese artists, artisans, and designers have engaged with the Zen tradition, their work the fruit of its wisdom. Author Gavin Blair has spent nearly two decades as a writer and journalist in Japan. In these pages, he shows how Zen has found expression in all aspects of Japanese culture, be it the tea ceremony, origami, or bonsai. Gorgeous full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of the Zen aesthetic, from the hanging noren curtains that adorn entrances and doorways, to the intricate craftwork of a wagasa umbrella. Together these images speak to the quiet power of Zen. Above all, Zen is an invitation to contemplate the mind, to cultivate harmony with nature and ease through understanding. This book is for any reader who is curious about Japanese culture and the Zen tradition.
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