Most helpful positive review
Contemporary and Charming
on November 23, 2014
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.