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Everyday Zen: Love and Work Paperback – Aug 16 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone (Aug. 16 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061285897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061285899
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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By Merle on Nov. 23 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. I read it some time ago and so can't remember every detail but on the whole I can say that it was down to Earth, charming, and inspirational all in one go. Charlotte Beck was a Zen teacher who founded her own lineage. She had received Dharma Transmission from the alcoholic sex criminal Maezumi Roshi. After Maezumi was exposed she started her own school which was a good idea. Contrary to the conduct of Maezumi Roshi, Charlotte Beck seems like a pleasant, normal human being.

In this book you get the picture of someone deeply committed to the idea of week long sesshin retreats. That's one of the main points she hammers home again and again. Yet at the same time she talks about how her Zen practice has improved her daily life. She has gained more equanimity and acts less rashly. She also knows herself better. Joko never claims to be enlightened. This is a good book for anyone who wants to read about a contemporary North American regular person who deeply cultivates Soto Zen practice and yet fails to attain enlightenment.
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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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