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The Key: And the Name of the Key is Willingness Paperback – 6 Jan 1998

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Keep it Simple Books,U.S.; Revised edition edition (6 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963625543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963625540
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


These insights from many years of Zen meditation practice appeal to a wide range of spiritual traditions and explore topics such as the difference between process and content, notions of right and wrong, ending self-punishment, and taking responsibility for one's experiences. Perfect for beginning Zen students and for those interested in Buddhism in general or eastern religion, it features deep spiritual insights and playful illustrations that add warmth and approachability to the topic.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You can read this book in less than an hour - and it might be the best hour you've ever invested in anything. If you're open to what Cheri Huber has to say, this is IT - a simple analysis of why life sometimes seems so difficult, and how it could be so much simpler...or rather, an analysis of why we make things so difficult for ourselves, and how we can change - not the circumstances of our lives, but how we react to them.

Make no mistake, this is a 'spiritual' book, but it requires you to believe in nothing but the evidence of your own senses. Laid out in a friendly, accessible way with simple illustrative diagrams, and written with penetrating lucidity (if possible go for the earlier edition - 1984 - which is attractively handwritten) simply reading the book is a meditation in itself. I have read extensively in the mind-body-spirit field in the last thirty years - Gibran, Suzuki, Watts, Weil, Merton, Nisargadatta, Krishnamurti, Charlotte Yoko Beck, Neale Donald Walsch - but nothing equals this book for clarity and directness. And if you've always associated spiritual books with fantasy or vague wish-fulfilment, this will turn such notions on their head. The aim of this book is nothing less than to connect you to reality - your current reality, not some myth from ages past.

Everything Cheri Huber writes is worth reading - as are many of the works of those others mentioned above - but if you're unhappy or yearning to make sense of life, and you don't feel you have time to read much, try this book. You may never need another one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book - very short to read, and so life changing!

You are supposed to read it slowly, thinking about what you read and doing exercises. Just buy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8ee120f0) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ee2f264) out of 5 stars "The Key," changed my point of view forever! 17 Jun. 2000
By John J Kilfoil - Published on
Format: Paperback
I offer these words in loving-kindness as the words and pictures in this awesome book are offered to you.
In 1991, Tich Nhat Hanh's simple statement, "Understanding and love are not two things, but just one," in "Peace is Every Step," put on me the middle way. The awesome, life changing wisdom in this little book has kept me there.
Lovingly scribbled and illustrated (thanks so much June!) on the pages of this treasure is a practical approach to realizing the "Now What, But How" Compassion that is Zen. If you do not read anything else by Cheri Huber, read "The Key." If you find you love, "The Key," as I did, be sure to read "That Which You Are Seeking Is Causing You to Seek."
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f17a9cc) out of 5 stars The hardest to learn is the least complicated 16 Aug. 2000
By Jean Ellen - Published on
Format: Paperback
"The Key" explains Zen concepts in beautiful simplicity. I like that it was hand written (not typeset); it seems truly personal. This book was my introduction to Zen (and to the rest of Cheri Huber's books). What a joy! Zen is so clear and so simple that it almost seems complex. "The Key" contains so many pearls of wisdom that I find myself re-reading it. Each time I revisit the book, I find a new insight.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2da474) out of 5 stars A life changing experience 21 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book along with That Which You are Seeking became this first step of a wonderful life changing journey to acceptance of what is. I continue to re-read it and share it.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8edb22dc) out of 5 stars One of the best-ever "plain english" zen books 19 Mar. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are many zen books, and most of them are very hard for Americans to grasp because they are tied to Japanese, Indian, or Chinese cultural ideas, and are full of footnotes and "commentary" on what the author meant. They're harder to read than textbooks, which is ironic because zen is a simple concept.

Cheri Huber has written a set of books so graspable and sublime that you will find yourself having the "aha!" reaction on almost every page. The text is simple enough that even a gradeschooler could understand it, and it's handwritten with hand-drawn illustrations to make it that much friendlier.

True, there are no names, dates, or titles in this book, just the essential ideas. But don't let the simplicity fool you -- this is the real stuff. One can read this book a hundred times, and each time go "aha!" at some new level of understanding, or application of the ideas, or just at one's own progress with the ideas.

This is the first book in the series, and many people think it's the best, because it is the simplest and most general. If you're going to get any of Cheri's books, get this one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ee52b40) out of 5 stars More layers than the proverbial onion 17 July 2006
By CB - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Acceptance" is a lofty goal and yet a difficult one to achieve, especially when one's life has been fraught with challenges. Sometimes words like "fair" creep into thinking and push acceptance out of the picture, yet in doing so robs one of her chance for serenity.

My Twelve Step sponsor suggested this as a first stepping stone toward a spiritual awakening, but it took years of beating my head against the brick wall of "should" before I had the willingness to let go and just accept in the way this book suggests.

I have a hard head, so it took nearly ten years and a lot of painful life lessons to find that acceptance, and I sometimes wonder if I would have found it at all had it not been for the gentle, loving message in this book. It tells me things, reinforces that which I learned elsewhere, helps guide me along the path toward lasting inner peace.

I reread The Key from time to time, and I continue to find new layers to its message. Everything I experienced, realized and accepted since the previous reading has never failed to reveal some new, more clarified meaning than before. Like any spiritual experience of the educational variety, it keeps growing over time.
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