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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind [Kindle Edition]

Shunryu Suzuki , David Chadwick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” 

So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it’s all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that’s just the beginning.

In the forty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics, much beloved, much reread, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. It’s a book to come back to time and time again as an inspiration to practice, and it is now available to a new generation of seekers in this fortieth anniversary edition, with a new afterword by Shunryu Suzuki’s biographer, David Chadwick.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 255 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590308506
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications; Anv edition (15 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I8USOM0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 10 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
Classic is an overused word these days but it really does apply to this book. As other reviewers have pointed out it really isn't for beginners despite the title. If you are already involved in meditation practice this book will be helpful. It is a book written by someone from the Soto Zen tradition but it is often recomended by Tibetan teachers as well, so universal is its application. As Suzuki says 'Actually we are not the Soto school at all. We are just Buddhists. We are not even Zen Buddhists. If we understand this point, we are truly Buddhists'.
When I first read this it really did get through to me that meditation wasn't about attaining something but just about sitting. As the author says 'It is when your practice becomes greedy you become discouraged with it. So you should be grateful that you have a sign or a warning signal to show you the weak point in your practice'. This isn't about Buddhist philosophy but about actually doing Zazen for which it is invaluable. In a market place that has become swamped by new age books that use the word Zen in the title it's understandable that the word has become devalued or meaningless but this would undoubtedly make my short list after thirty years of Buddhist study.
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, clear, compassionate, practical. 5 Jan. 2006
The most useful book on Zen I have read so far. Zen abhors analysis and description, and Suzuki takes a practical, human approach to the practice of zazen. The book was compiled from talks given by him at his Zen centres, and is full of honest advice and personal experience.
I am on my third reading, and am finally getting to appreciate some of the messages. These concepts are in fact very simple, if you read with your heart rather than your head. It is free from Zen-stifling intellectual analysis and explanation which is found in lesser works, there is no struggling with brain-busting koans, and satori is never mentioned.
One of the most important messages is very encouraging: that difficulty, distraction and hardship actually improve the practice of zazen. Great news for Beginners like me.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for everyone 17 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
I agree with all of the positive comments below - this is a wonderful and beautiful book. However, I don't think it is only for those with experience of Buddhist practice. There is something here for everyone. If you have never meditated or thought about Buddhism, parts of the book may seem obscure at first: but this need not get in the way of enjoying the rest. Certainly, this book is not a "beginner's guide", but it values beginners (as the title suggests) and I strongly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Buddhism.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not really for beginners. 14 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
A simple and pure book, yet infinitely deep. I do not recommend it for those just starting meditation as it neglects techniques which will be necessary for the beginner. To such people I'd have to suggest the excellent 'MEDITATION: THE BUDDHIST WAY OF TRANQUILLITY AND INSIGHT' by KAMALASHILA. But for those who are fairly well grounded in meditation and who have more than an intellectual notion of buddhism then read this book. A real breath of fresh air.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But not a book for beginners 14 Aug. 2008
By MaxC
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this wonderful book is like prospecting for gold. The gems are in there somewhere, and when you find them, they really grab your attention and sparkle like the stars. But please be warned you have to search for them first through some very opaque writing.
My own Buddhist practice is not Zen (it is Nichiren buddhism) but I still found some truly invaluable insights about attitude and meditation that I shall bring to my own practice.
For me, though, the book illustrates the old adage that you more you speak about Zen the further away it gets. If you are new to Buddhism and looking for something for starters, I would respectfully suggest this book may put you off because of its obscurity and I would recommend a more accessible Zen master called Alan Watts. What Is Zen? Best of all, read some Haiku (Japaneses poems) The Sound of Water: Haiku - By Basho, Issa and Other Poets (Shambhala Centaur Editions): Haiku - By Basho, Issa and Other Poets (Shambhala Centaur Editions)
If you are well on your Path, however, Suzuki is a wily old guide. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging, touching, refreshing and motivating 3 Mar. 2009
This book has been fundamental to my understanding of Zen and influential in my own practice.

I find the entries engaging, touching, refreshing and motivating, even having read them several times.

It is a challenging book which can be difficult to comprehend and questions deeply held beliefs and attitudes. However, approached with an open-mind I have found it an absolutely wonderful book.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
If you are entirly new to meditation, avoid this book: it will put you off. You will think the master's been smoking weed. He refers to experiences in a way which initiates will understand, but you won't. Buy this book in a couple of years' time, when you're ready for it.
If you have some experience of meditation, this book is a must: the master's been everywhere we've been, and then a lot further. It's really helped my zazen, and the learning's rubbed off on my Tai Chi, too.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless, scintillating, magnificent 2 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
I was worried that this was out of print. My copy has been read and reread so many times that it is falling to pieces. Who needs more than this illuminating book? It explains nearly Everything in a simple, clear, compassionate style. Written as from a Master's spoken word. Brilliant!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great thanks
Published 12 days ago by L. Dossan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was what my husband wanted, and he seems to be enjoying it.
Published 2 months ago by elizabeth cumiskey
5.0 out of 5 stars defiantly recommend
This book has hugely helped my daily practice in both mediation and mindfulness as has helped my conceive deeper ideas and understanding out of true nature.
Published 2 months ago by Rick Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom
Still one of the best entry's to the circularity of the wisdom of beginners mind and the journey from that to a full understanding and return to the simplicity of being.
Published 4 months ago by Andrew John Westgate
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the definitive zen book
Published 4 months ago by Guy Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to get a deeper ...
Very inspiring book. It is a serious explanation about the different aspect of Zen meditation. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding on the topic.
Published 5 months ago by Dani
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by Fiona Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read
A modern classic, this book should be in the collection of anyone interested in Zen Buddhism, yoga, or mediation. Simple yet profound.
Published 7 months ago by Jess
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction and guide to zen
An excellent description of zen and zazen practice, in simple language but hinting at many layers of understanding that cannot quite be grasped at first reading. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Aw Bellenie
4.0 out of 5 stars ZEN MIND, BEGINNERS MIND
Published 9 months ago by M. Harborne
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