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Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment [Kindle Edition]

Ezra Bayda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
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Book Description

Many books have been published in recent years on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen teacher, believes that the happiness "boom" has been largely a bust for readers. Why? Because it's precisely the pursuit of happiness that keeps us trapped in cycles of dissatisfaction and suffering.

In Beyond Happiness, Bayda draws on Zen teachings to question our conventional notions about what happiness is and where we can find it. Most of us seek happiness in things that are external to us. We imagine that getting more money, a better relationship, or going on a nice vacation will finally make us happy. But Bayda shows us that the deepest and most lasting form of happiness does not rely on external circumstance at all. Bayda offers Zen insights and practices that point readers toward the true sources of lasting happiness: mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 245 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (14 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BPE415A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True happiness awaits.... If you want it! 29 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Absolutely brilliant! Very clear and concise, this truly is a remarkable book and it details many obvious truths that to be honest with you - just aren't that obvious until pointed out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book 28 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Down to earth. Real Zen for Western folk.

Ezra Bayda is an honest and experienced teacher who writes well. This book helped me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hello hello 3 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a very good read. Some very good words of wisdom, good focus on contentment. Yes it is worth reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
Very positive and clear explanation on how move towards more contented life
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of truth, but no easy fixes. 7 Jan. 2011
By zenmezzo - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have found all of Ezra Bayda's books profoundly helpful, but this one is a spiritual masterpiece. Its appearance in my life coincided with several immensely difficult and traumatic happenings, and the teaching has proved its worth far beyond anything I hoped. Bayda traces the daunting but truthful path to waking up to life as it is, without the illusions we have been taught to believe from our cradles: that life should be comfortable, fair, easy, without real difficulty, and that something is wrong with us if we have problems and setbacks. The truth is very different. Bayda gives powerful and practical tools for how to dwell in the open heart of reality, as it is, without judging or blaming ourselves or others. An invaluable tool for learning to open to genuine happiness and contentment. I'm buying copies for family and friends today!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUIET BUT POWERFUL 30 Jan. 2011
By Anna - Published on
I've read other books on happiness and been disappointed how little they helped me. So I was happily surprised on reading Beyond Happiness, because it immediately showed me what I've been doing in my own life to undermine my happiness, and it also gave me specific suggestions and practices to help cultivate what Ezra Bayda clearly describes as genuine happiness (as opposed to superficial or ephemeral personal happiness.)
The three questions that the author recommends asking, which I've been doing regularly, has particularly helped me to see what blocks happiness, and at the same time given me a practice where I've begun, for the first time, to feel real equanimity, even when things aren't going so well. I also appreciate the author's use of humor, which reminded me again and again to not take myself so seriously.
This is a quiet book - it does not shout out, "Do this and you'll be happy!" But in its quiet and very clear way, it's given me tools that are already becoming invaluable.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book To Be Read And Re-Read 17 Feb. 2011
By Rachel's mom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read every book Ezra Bayda has written. In my opinion, he gets better with every book, as he gains more experience as a writer and teacher.

Ezra's writing is very clear and specific, and he frequently illustrates his points with an example from his own life experiences. Since these references are frequently amusing, and always warm and personal, they're memorable.

Recently, when I was laid low by intense lower back pain, I remembered a vivid description of how Ezra had dealt with a serious illness in an earlier book, "Being Zen." I pulled that book off my shelf and followed every one of Ezra's suggestions during this frightening and painful time. The experience was one of the most valuable of my life; I found, among other things, that I could be truly happy in the midst of pain. (I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering pain or illness.)

But back to Ezra's latest: "Beyond Happiness." I've read this book twice now, from cover-to-cover. I also refer to it when I feel overwhelmed by circumstances and uncertain as to what practice in this moment might be, or as encouragement to persevere. That's what's so special about Ezra's work: after a thorough read, it's great as reference material or an inspirational boost.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a keeper 24 Dec. 2010
By Carol R. Wolfe - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a mature offering from an ernest Zen teacher that is helpful for all of us struggling with the human condition. Ezra Bayda blasts myths of how to achieve happiness and instead prescribes the genuine contentment of living from the open heart. Ezra clearly describes essential practice tools for both beginners and experienced meditators. This book is a keeper.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure and full of heart 10 Feb. 2011
By Nate DeMontigny - Published on
I really appreciate the author's approach with this book, and at this point in my practice I really needed something like his to come along. Those that are regular readers of my blog know of my constant, and more frequent, stumbles and questioning this thing we call practice.

Ezra, I believe, has found that delicate balance between that plastic outer happiness so many of us "Buddhists" project, and the real underlying happiness we truly desire but fail to tap into. He describes a level of contentment, where we just come to this place of still happiness. Not the kind of contentment where just forget about everything that is going on and masquerade our "inner happiness", but being content with where we are.

You might be comfortable in life, you've got some extra cash, a nice home and you've got the family you always wanted, circa the 1980's nuclear family model. You've got your spirituality, you pay for those high end retreats and feel the bliss buzz every time you leave. It burns off after a while, but you remember how to smile, so the act begins and you go about your life smiling but feeling tied up and confused inside, not truly happy. But you play the part because inside, you know it is there somewhere and you can find it if you try.

Then again, you might be poor and struggle for everything you "need". Finding a job is not easy, but you do what you have to to make ends meet. Your car sucks, it needs a mechanic badly, but it gets you from a to b so that's all that matters. Those high end retreats you dream of are never going to happen, even if you get the financial aid and are able to afford it, how are you going to get there? So you find a couple guided meditations online from a favorite teacher, maybe a dharma talk and run your own home retreat when the kids settle down for the night. Maybe you struggle a little bit, without face to face interaction you feel there cannot be proper instruction, but after the practice session the wall breaks down a bit and there comes that smile, and sense that no matter what, it's going to be ok.

With practical exercises, Ezra helps the general practitioner break down the barriers we put up for ourselves in order to truly be happy, no matter where we are. His wit and humor were more than welcome at times and his ability to write in a heartfelt manner made the book easy to read. I will go book back to this book in the future, I know I'll need to.
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