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Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk

Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk [Kindle Edition]

Shozan Jack Haubner , Leonard Cohen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

These hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn’t really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he’s dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name “Daniel Reed” (he didn’t, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner’s voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it’s highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 407 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611800331
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (1 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #223,647 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
Format:Kindle Edition
Perhaps it is because I come from the other side of the Atlantic but this book nearly drove me crazy. Every statement is expanded with a simile or a metaphor . 'T-bone filled the doorway like the villain in a slasher movie. His gaping maw was bent at a horrified angle, as though Picasso had done his makeup that morning.'' And on and on it goes, one strained simile after another. I persisted because a good friend had recommended it to me, but it gave up after 82 pages. I just couldn't take any more of that dreadful overworked American humour. It is honest and open, and gives a good account of what a monastery life is really like, but for me it is spoiled by the awful writing. I honestly don't know how it got past the editor's desk, so atrocious is the writing. I don't like to be negative for the sake of it, but be warned: more than a few of the similes won't mean anything to those of us who are not American with references to this movie or TV character or that US celebrity. I like American humour, but please, every sentence doesn't need to sound like the punch line in some Mel Brooks movie. See, I'm doing it now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, funny and insightful 28 Sep 2013
By Mel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a student of Rinzai Zen, I loved every syllable of this book. I am encouraged that it is ok to be the imperfect student... In fact, this is probably preferable and more authentic. I laughed and cringed equally. Loved it :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching 17 Feb 2014
By Tim
I was deeply moved by this book. I really enjoyed reading about a journey I myself relate to very strongly. It is hilarious and heart-warming, and has so much wisdom in it, I have to recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Zen for is flawed beings 6 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really great book you can't help but connect to. Shozan has a great and yet deeply human heart and this comes across in his words. I enjoyed this book but can't help feeling it has made me question a number of my behaviours as a follower of the way Gautama taught so very long ago seen through the zen eye.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "the middle way" between Funny, Shocking, and Deep. 15 May 2013
By Shanel - Published on
My husband and I took ZEN CONFIDENTIAL as an accompaniment to our road trip. We took turns reading the stories out loud as the other one was driving. We had many laughs, deep conversations, and a few moments of "can he do that?!". I loved every minute of it. As a person who tries to live a zen life but fails miserably the second the children come home from school, I have to say this book is Modern Zen life in it's rawest form (rawest... yeah you read it first here). It is extremely well written and I look forward to reading more of his work.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected 18 May 2013
By Heeragen - Published on
Once I started, I couldn't put this book down. Definitely a page-turner to the very end. Think J.D. Salinger as Zen monk. I learned a lot about Zen and a bit about life in general. I feel like I now know as much about the author as I do about my best friend. Very funny, very human, very honest. Haubner isn't afraid to tell the kinds of family secrets every single one of us has and does so in a voice that knows itself to be broken, is trying his best to fix, while making us aware of the beauty behind normal human foibles. I highly recommend it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop quoting the quips of cutting wisdom 17 May 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my all-time favorite books & I'm only on page 50. I'm slow reading it because I have to stop so often to post quotes of cutting wisdom from the pages. The author uses disturbingly hilarious prose to bring to light our own insecurities by poking fun at himself. I will be buying more copies as gifts.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROFLMAO 30 May 2013
By Connie Rose - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful book! Just rec'd it today from Amazon and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. Not only does it contain Buddhist grist for the mill, but it's a laugh a minute. Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars While irreverent, it is refreshingly honest... 18 Aug 2013
By Christopher J Born - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read Shozan Jack Haubner's pieces in the past in Tricycle magazine and elsewhere and have even assigned some of the pieces to my students in an Introduction to Religious Studies class. For some reason, North Americans view Zen as a serene practice free of complication and, in short, reality. Shozan Jack conveys the challenges of bringing the theories of the mind (and of faith by extension) into the concrete. Meditation looks beautiful on film, but sitting for hours on end has real consequences for the body and on the mind.

Shozan Jack demystifies the practice of Zen and, by extension, makes it more accessible to the potential practitioner. The honesty about the harsh realities of giving one's life over to Zen practice is refreshing. In addition to Shozan Jack's deep understanding of Zen practice and history, his ability to communicate the challenges of the monk life is laudable.

I highly recommend this text as a concrete presentation of the pursuit of enlightenment..
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