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Everyday Zen: Love and Work (Plus) [Paperback]

Charlotte Joko Beck , Steve Smith
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Sep 2007 --  

Book Description

Sep 2007 Plus
A uniquely American approach to using Zen to deal with the problems of daily living--love, relationships, fear, ambition, suffering. Beck shows how to live each moment to the fullest.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061285897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061285899
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 14.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,770,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"I trust her and learn from her." -- Robert Aitken, 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, founder, Insight Meditation Society"Reminds us vividly that practice and 'enlightenment' are here under our noses." -- Sandy Boucher, author of "Turning the Wheel""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""A rich source of practical wisdom." -- Stephan Bodian, editor, " Yoga Journal" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Most Zen teachings derive from a monastic tradition far removed from the everyday world. Black robes, shaved heads and traditional monastic rituals reinforce the impression of an austere alternative to everyday life. Yet most Western students of Zen are preoccupied with the same tasks as everyone else – finding sexual and romantic love, a happy family life, a successful career. 'Everyday Zen' offers a warm, engaging, uniquely Western approach to using Zen to deal with the problems of ordinary daily living. Charlotte Joko Beck has travelled this path, and through the simplicity of her words she shows that as long as people seek to awaken to themselves and to the immediacy of the moment, the spirit of Zen will appear.

‘Deals with the most important spiritual practice of all – how we can live awakened in our daily life.’
JACK KORNFIELD, founder of 'Insight Meditation Society'

‘A rich source of practical wisdom’
STEPHAN BODIAN, editor of 'Yoga Journal'

‘I trust her and learn from her.’
ROBERT AITKEN, ROSHI, author of 'Taking the Path of Zen'

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quiet and persistent book 1 July 2010
I loved the 'quietness' of this very readable book. It doesn't pretend to have all the answers - or any of the answers; it doesn't want you to shut up and be taught, but it shows you a way of questioning yourself as you work your own daily path to your own truth/inner peace/wherever you hope to be.

Another review here suggests this book is without humour, but I didn't find that. I'd say, rather, that there are little threads of wryness throughout - more of the quietness which made the book so enjoyable.

It isn't a book which offers easy answers, but it will help you to find the way of asking questions of yourself in order to find your way of simply (quietly) 'being' and 'doing'.

I'm not a student of Zen, and I'm not widely read on the subject. I picked up this book hoping to find a way to my own peace, and found it very helpful in that respect. I'd certainly read more from this author.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a simple, challenging book 8 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Joko Beck seems to have written Everyday Zen in the hope that, having read it, you will eventually discover its message was always the same as your true nature. Like all good zen literature, hers carries the implication, "Don't read this!" She would hope for the moment when you drop your opinions about what she is saying and pay attention to your own mind. The book is tough, practical and likeable to read. It's also encouraging - if a single parent housewife in America can attain zen, so can anyone else.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If this is Zen, it's too heavy for me! 22 Jun 2001
Having been an avid student of Buddhism for some time now, I have naturally tried to learn about and implement the values and precepts as laid out in the Eightfold-path, which has also meant exploring every possible avenue, to determine whether the foundations of the Truth, as related by the Buddha, are indeed watertight. This means that I have to date accumulated around 30 books, by various authors, on the subject. I would not recommend this book to a beginner. It is heavy-going, repetitive and humourless, and I am of the opinion that the author takes herself far too seriously. There are one or two memorable lines, one of which speaks of Death being Impermanence's right-hand man,and another, quoted from Suzuki Roshi, "Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting that they go away" which are apt to linger as mini beacons in one's mind, but on the whole, this is a book for those already very taken and devoted to Zen practise. For the most part, it is a difficult one to stay with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 20 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read and explaining the essence of Buddhism in a common sense way. The thoughts can be of use to anyone dealing with the challenges of life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and smile! 20 Nov 2010
By lily
This is a wonderful book.I have given a copy to each of my "grown up" children .
It is wise and very accessable. The last chapter is especially profound and makes you smile.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the uninitiated 28 Aug 2001
By A Customer
I bought this book from amazon on the basis of the (then) unanimously glowing reviews, in the hope that it would serve as an introduction to Zen Buddhism, and outline a way in which it could apply to everyday life. It proved disappointing for two main reasons - firstly it is a compilation of speech transcripts (I think this is right - if not it certainly reads like one), and as such it does not hang together in the way a well planned book would do. Secondly the references to everyday life are few and far between. Maybe as an inititate I am unaware how little a part everday living plays in the life of a Zen Buddhist, but for whatever reason there was a lot about 'practise' and a little about how to balance Zen into a life already full of existing commitments. So don't buy it if you want an introduction. On the positive side she is clearly an engaging speaker, and it made at times entertaining, if not particularly informative reading.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is it! 13 Dec 2003
This, and Joko Becks' other books express true Zen. I have read many, many books on Zen and 'practiced' on my own for many years whilst avoiding joining an established group. Joko Beck, however, changed that and after performing an internet serch of her name I became a member of her zen school headed by one of her dharma heirs. Another excellent book to consider is Hardcore zen by Brad Warner. I cannot recommend these books enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on zen. 9 July 2012
By pazie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everyday Zen is a easy to read book that can change your life for the better I advise everyone who is interested in zen to read it and enjoy its topics one by one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic practical resource grounded in everyday experience
I can't praise this book highly enough. The wisdom of both the Zen and Christian traditions shine through this author's wonderfully insightful writing. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Christine Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful
Guidance.I could put into practice! So buy some ease! (Hmm you do have to work with it!) Amazon want more words! That's enough now!
Published 1 month ago by W
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity
A truly great western Dharma teacher, she makes it possible to practice in everyday life with compassion.
Ageless wisdom from a true Dharma farer ! Gratitude.
Published 5 months ago by andrew maunsell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
As someone interested in Buddhism, especially Zen, I found this book really useful. I don't think it would be appropriate for beginners, but I didn't find it too taxing either.
Published 7 months ago by Cannon Lab
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to pure Zen without the superstition
This book introduced me to the principles behind Zen, without the mystique and superstition of Buddhism. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rod Dalitz
2.0 out of 5 stars why the bullying tone?
I agree with Telis and with the comments of other reviewers who disliked the book. It is well intentioned and for that I am willing to give it two stars, but I quickly tired of... Read more
Published on 30 May 2012 by Passant
1.0 out of 5 stars extremely importans matters have been ignored, dangerous...
Unfortunately I can not say anything good for that "Zen" book. Just few points:
a) page 7: "...No matter what the work is, it should be done with effort... Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by telis
5.0 out of 5 stars Calmly Awesome
Nothing here to rock your socks off, just plain, simple, honest truth.

I first read this as a yoga teacher interested in other approaches to taking practice into... Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2009 by Scott Rennie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Very helpful: not needlessly difficult or obscure, but straight to the core. We bought it ten years ago: it is indeed a standby for everyday life.
Published on 3 Mar 2009 by Mrs. A. M. J. Wigmore
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