"This punk of a monk, who should be tending to his own affairs, has decided to infect the real world with his tall tales, and worse, to let the cat out of the bag. And what a sly, dangerous, beautiful, foul-smelling, heart-warming beast it is."--Leonard Cohen, from the forewordThese hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn't really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he's dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name "Daniel Reed" (he didn't, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner's voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it's highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.
The fourth book in the bestselling Mindfulness Essentials series, a back-to-basics collection from world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that introduces everyone to the essentials of mindfulness practice. Slow, concentrated walking while focusing on in- and out-breaths allows for a unique opportunity to be in the present. There is no need to arrive somewhere--each step is the arrival to concentration, joy, insight, and the momentary enlightenment of aliveness. When your foot touches the Earth with awareness, you make yourself alive and the Earth real, and you forget for one minute the searching, rushing, and longing that rob our daily lives of awareness and cause us to "sleepwalk" through life. Thich Nhat Hanh shares amusing stories of the impact mindful walking has on both the walker and those who notice him, and shows how mindful walking can be a technique for diminishing depression, recapturing wonder, and expressing gratitude. Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Walk is a unique gift for all ages, sharing a simple practice that can have a profound effect on practitioners.
In the thirteenth century, Zen master Dogen--perhaps the most significant of all Japanese philosophers, and the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen sect--wrote a practical manual of Instructions for the Zen Cook . In drawing parallels between preparing meals for the Zen monastery and spiritual training, he reveals far more than simply the rules and manners of the Zen kitchen; he teaches us how to "cook," or refine our lives. In this volume Kosho Uchiyama Roshi undertakes the task of elucidating Dogen's text for the benefit of modern-day readers of Zen. Taken together, his translation and commentary truly constitute a "cookbook for life," one that shows us how to live with an unbiased mind in the midst of our workaday world.
An accessible and enjoyable introduction to Zen Buddhist practice--in a reader-friendly question-and-answer format--by two highly regarded teacher-writers. The question-and-answer format makes this introduction to Zen especially easy to understand--and also to use as a reference, as you can easily look up just the question you had in mind. The esteemed Zen teacher Norman Fischer and his old friend and teaching colleague Susan Moon (both of them in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) give this collaborative effort a playful tone: Susan asks a question on our behalf, Norman answers it, and then Sue challenges him. By the time you get through their conversations, you'll have a good basic education in Zen--not only the history, theory, and practice but also the contemporary issues, such as gender inequality, sexual ethics, and the tension between Asian traditions and the modern American reality.
When Bodhidharma, the legendary first ancestor of Zen, was asked about the main principle of his holy teaching, he's said to have replied: "A vast emptiness--with nothing holy about it " A millennium-and-a-half later, Tim Burkett finds that the answer still applies: you don't need to go looking for something holy--buddha nature is right here in front of you. The concise summary of Zen teaching he presents in this book is expressed precisely in terms of what he found right in front of him: beginning with the delightful non-holiness he experienced in the presence of his original teacher, Shunyru Suzuki, and continuing through a lifetime of further teaching experiences.