Saturday, November 15, 2014

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Type 'zen' in the search bar of your favorite online bookstore and chances are that Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is near the top of the search results.  It is the first book I read on this area, but as you can see from my previous zen post, it is the book that I recommend last.

The contents are good and substantial, not that long, and helps one to know 'what is expected' of oneself from the practice which helps narrow the focus to the practice and let go of preformed misconceptions.  However it is written in that oblique, paradoxical  'zen style' of instruction that doesn't lend to immediate grasp.  That's why I would recommend it after at least some months practice and after the Dummies books or other Western oriented introductory manual. The Mind And the Brain by Jeffrey Schwartz, which I'll mention again some time, has helped me disentangle some of the paradoxes as well, ("Oh, so that's what he means"), so I'll recommend that as well.

In similar fashion to Zen Mind, there's Zen Essence ed. by Thomas Cleary which is a collection of opinions by different masters on various practice aspects. The multiangle approach is beneficial because it triangulates to what all are trying to convey at each point.


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