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Everyday Zen: Love and Work [Paperback]

Charlotte Beck
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 23 2007 Plus

Charlotte Joko Beck offers a warm, engaging, uniquely American approach to using Zen to deal with the problems of daily living—love, relationships, work, fear, ambition, and suffering. Everyday Zen shows us how to live each moment to the fullest. This Plus edition includes an interview with the author.


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Review

“An extraordinary book for ordinary people. It speaks about ultimate matters with ultimate simplicity.” (Robert Aiktken, Roshi, author of Taking the Path of Zen)

“Deals with the most important spiritual practice of all--how we can live awakened in our daily life.” (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry)

“An extraordinary book for ordinary people. It speaks about ultimate matters with ultimate simplicity.” (David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B, author of A Listening Heart)

About the Author

Charlotte Joko Beck, who passed away in 2011, was the founder and former head teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is the one you must read when you begin.... June 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Having read a few of the negative reviews of Beck's original introduction to the Ordinary Mind philosophy and practice, I have to say that I was one who had no previous exposure to zen nor do I have a zen teacher. The clarity of the subjects covered through lecture and teacher-student interaction at the zen hall made it quite understandable to me. Of course I am talking clearly about the text and its absorbility. Now understanding the way of life through zen, THAT is the challenge - not the author's teachablity through this work. Outstanding work by the author.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Back in the early 80's I read a few very scholarly volumes about Zen. They were great at giving a total novice some idea of the formation and history of Zen. They were full of very strict admonishments, you must live very austere existence, live off almost nothing, and be almost perfect before you even begin.
Twenty years on and I am interested again in Zen. This book is such a contrast to those early volumes. It teaches you that none of us are perfect, and each of us needs to move at a suitable pace for where we are now. It might be helpful if before reading this book you have some theoretical knowledge of how Zen came to be and what it's about, but I don't feel that is essential. If you are like me you will have decided you want to know about Zen or wish to begin practicing and you will find someone (a teacher) to help start you on the path, and they will recommend this book to you.
The writer seems to know EXACTLY how I'm feeling and writes in a style that speaks to the inner me, rather than talking to all the perfect people I envisaged would be the only ones to take up Zen practice...i.e. she de-esoteric-orises the subject. She also sounds like she must have experienced the doubts, the hopes, and all the other up's and downs that we all go through.
Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite zen book Oct. 17 2003
Format:Paperback
This is simply my favorite zen book, and I have read a few. Granted, if you are a total newcomer to zen, you may experience some frustration. In fact, I did not appreciate this book after my first read. After additional study and reading - especially of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now - I reread Everday Zen and now I cannot get enough of Charlotte Joko Beck's teaching. Her other book, Nothing Special, is equally beneficial. Her writing is straightforward, but profound. What a treasure she is!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading for all! Aug. 7 2003
Format:Paperback
great text for students of zen practice but also an amazing read for anyone NOT at all familiar with zen practice - sans the 'religious' spiritual overtones. this is an easy, flowing read with a lot of insightful observations and reminders that give the reader much to think about and consider on their journey! definitely a wonderful book for anyone :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Response to steve_kap8 June 15 2003
Format:Paperback
In a nutshell, Zen is meaningless without meditation. It is the basis of Zen. Charlotte Joko Beck's books are not instruction books on how to meditate, nor are they an introduction to the basic ideas of Zen Buddhism. Her books are also, I think, not very conrete.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for people practicing Zen Nov. 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book after reading "Nothing Special". I like Joko's writing a lot, simple, direct to the points just as Zen should be simple. This book may be hard for people trying to understand Zen only (without practice) or beginners. But to people practicing sitting Zen daily I think it contains a lot of good advices which I can apply into living. I will read and read again both books by Joko. I have read many Zen books and found that this book and "Nothing Special" are among the best for me. Highly recommend both "Everyday Zen" and "Nothing Special".
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1.0 out of 5 stars Written for the Author, Not the Reader Sept. 30 2002
Format:Paperback
I suppose if you were aready a Zen student and had a "teacher" and could run down to the local Zen center 3 times a week, you might enjoy this book, or at least know what its about. Otherwise, take a pass on this one.
Here's a hint, when writting a book in english, USE ENGLISH WORDS! Or at least define all of th non-english words you use. And putting them in italic helps about as much as an ugly Amercian shouting english at non-english speakers. I think using undefined terms and making inside references shows a lack of respect for the reader.
I bought this book trying to get into something new, trying to find inner peace, but am left feeling frustrated an left out of some sort of cliche. I'm sure all you Zen masters out there will have a big smirk on your face, because the simple midwestener just didn't get it, but I was at least trying to get it, and I don't think the author met me 1/2 way.
Look, my only experience with Zen is that I read a book called "Zen Golf" that improved my golf game, made me enjoy golf more, make me enjoy life in general more, an therefor made me want to learn more about Zen. This book had the opposite affect.
If there was a prerq., I wish it would have been listed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars searching for a great start.. Jan. 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It was about two years ago when I started out on my path. I needed something simple and right to the point. Which is why I recommend both of Charolette JoKo Beck's books. Not only will you learn a thing or two but it will change your way of life. All the answers have always been right infront of us. But we choose to live a fast paced life, not being able to live in the moment. Both books are great I recommend them for anyone who is starting out on their path.
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