Customer Reviews


50 Reviews
5 star:
 (37)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
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...
Published on 10 Mar 2004

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly for beginners!
As an introductory book to Zen Buddhism, this is quite daunting or useless. The publishing industry seems to have cashed into the misconception that this this is a book for beginners because it has "Beginner's Mind" in the title. This book is really not where you should be starting as the first point for any sort of reading on Buddhism - Zen or not. I'd recommend reading...
Published on 24 Oct 2012 by Ankur Banerjee


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 10 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, clear, compassionate, practical., 5 Jan 2006
By 
K. Brodrick "James" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for everyone, 17 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not really for beginners., 14 April 2001
By A Customer
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 (London, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging, touching, refreshing and motivating, 3 Mar 2009
By 
J. S. Mungall "James Mungall" (Exeter, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useless for beginners; fantastic for the half-informed, 17 Feb 2000
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless, scintillating, magnificent, 2 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, profound, full of love, compassion and wisdom, 11 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
This wonderful book is different every time you read it. Although the book stays the same, you are changing between times. Sometimes Suzuki's statements make no apparent sense, then later you have more experience and begin to understand! If you want to get the feel of Zen then there is no better book than this. Read it and get on with doing the Zazen meditation (helped by Suzuki Roshi's simple but profound wisdom and advice). If you want to theorise about Zen you will probably be wasting your time reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give it try, now or later, 4 July 2011
This review is from: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Paperback)
There are some different opinions on whether this is for beginners or not and whether with a bit of knowledge about Buddhism you might enjoy this more.
If I had read this as a beginner I know I would of struggled and it will be helpful perhaps to tell you why. At the onset I just needed to learn the fundamentals of the practice without being given all the meaning of Sanskrit and Japanese Buddhist terms etc. So a few years in and having learnt slowly yes this book is now something of value with insightful and contemplative writings.
So if you like to get right into it at the onset this book is for you, if not check out some other books or better still go to some classes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki (Paperback - July 1973)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews