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Everyday Zen: Love and Work [Paperback]

Charlotte Beck
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.50
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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.

Frequently Bought Together

Everyday Zen: Love and Work + Nothing Special + Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.55

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Product Description


“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
By A Customer
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Written for the Author, Not the Reader Sept. 30 2002
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 for serious practitioners Oct. 13 2001
I find the title of this book to be a bit misleading - it implies a sort of general applicability characteristic of perhaps the large majority of books on "zen" and "Buddhism" which have overwhelmed the market in recent years. Love and work, who wouldn't want to resolve these two koans. Joko Beck, in this book, gives us much more than a series of little chickensoup feel-good stories about love and work. In what is essentially a compilation of her talks for sesshin students, she tries to goad us into what really cannot be expressed, cannot be talked about - into the awareness of the moment. This book therefore cannot be *read*, it has to be *felt* with that mixture of gratitude, abandon, sensitivity and faith that one works on during the sesshin. One therefore cannot use it to "learn" something about zen. As a tool for zen practice, however, i have found it over the years to be invaluable. i come to this book again and again for inspiration and support - i 'd rank it, together with S. Suzuki's Beginner's Mind as the best book on zen practice available to us today. What (arguably) makes it even more valuable to us are its syncretic elements: Everyday Zen is written by a Westerner who sees her life from a perspective of an American, yet it also possesses the sensitivity to the workings of one's mind, the ferocity needed to face the mind's endless evasive maneouvers and a dedication to cultivation of awareness that matches that of any Japanese zen master, indeed, that of any spiritual master anywhere. In short, if you want to practice zen as opposed to "studying" it, this is a book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have found the right book on zen Aug. 18 2000
By Chaz
Dear readers, if you were drawn to this book as I was then you must also seek insight and a better quality of life. I have many books on Zen and books related to self-inquiry in general. Everything ranging from Thomas Cleary's translated classics to Allan Watts, D.T. Suzuki, Krishnamurti, to the mammoth book, Zen and the Brain. Not one of them spoke to me as intimately as this book did. This is wisdom for the people of our age. In some of the passages within this book, I found myself thinking "of course!! that makes so much sense!!" In summmarizing the book, its primary message is to just "live your life and do not seek the truth anywhere else." I especially admire Joko Beck's groundedness. She is not an egomaniac guru who puts herself upon a pedestal and challenges the words of other teachers. Her attitude is something like "Nothing to gain, nothing to lose. If you want to hear a little about the insight that I have then listen, if not, continue on to the next book. It's up to you." So if you have been searching as I have then please consider reading this book before spending another dollar on any Zen self-help book. I promise you that you will not be able to turn away from the priceless wisdom that are within these pages.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is the one you must read when you begin....
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... Read more
Published on June 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite zen book
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. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by Rick Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading for all!
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by nurse nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Response to steve_kap8
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... Read more
Published on June 14 2003 by Mark Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for people practicing Zen
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. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Written for the Author, not the Reader
I suppose if you were already a Zen student and had a "teacher" and could run down to the local "Zen Center" a few times a week, you might enjoy this book, or... Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2002 by Steven K.
5.0 out of 5 stars searching for a great start..
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for enlightenment
When I first started seeking, I began reading both books and enjoyed them tremendously. Everything we are searching for in life is right infront of us but we choose not to pay... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it NOW
breaks down every thought and emotion we have. It will help you realize the wrongs and that all the wrongs aren't bad as long as we do see them for what they are.
Published on Feb. 9 2001 by jason mcmickle
5.0 out of 5 stars highly reccomended
I bought this book 7 years ago in 1993 and have dipped into it every few months ever since. It's a great roadmap for the difficult job of letting go of your self amongst the... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2000 by Chris Charles
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