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Pagan Portals - Zen Druidry: Living a Natural Life, With Full Awareness Paperback – 26 Apr 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: Moon Books (26 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780993900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780993904
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

The best dishes are the ones that leave you wanting more, and this book is like a perfect appetiser. Joanna van der Hoeven shows you how well the two paths can weave together, and if someone were to ask me what books I would recommend to those interested in combining Buddhism and Druidry, I would say: start with Zen Druidry and then move on to Salmon in the Spring, which continues the journey of exploration into the way the traditions of Celtic spirituality and Buddhism can complement each other, a journey wonderfully introduced by Joanna in her book Zen Druidry Waking To The Natural World. --Philip Carr-Gomm, Order of Bards Ovates and Druids.

About the Author

Joanna is a Druid, the Director of a Belly Dance Company, a Marketing Officer for a music company and an author. She was born in Canada and moved to the UK in 1998. She enjoys horse-riding, otherwise known as the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground. She also enjoys hiking, camping, singing and Christmas pud vodka. Her philosophy on life is simple - live it. Fully and as aware as you can. Don't go with the flow. Be the flow itself. She lives in East Anglia, UK.


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Format: Paperback
ZEN DRUIDRY - WAKING TO THE NATURAL WORLD by JOANNA VAN DER HOEVEN: A REVIEW

The sign of a mature, cultured person is that they can mix well in a wide variety of social settings and can contribute to, and benefit from, interactions with many different kinds of people. So it is, one might say, with religion and spirituality, and by this criterion Druidry is a very mature and sophisticated path indeed. In the 18th & 19th centuries, Druid Revivalists found concordance with Christianity, and in the 1970s the Reformed Druids of North America experimented with combining Judaism and Zen Buddhism with their path. I don't know how whether the Judaism combination survived, but the combination of Zen with Druidry struck a chord, and 33 years later the RDNA grove in Seattle is still going strong, forming a branch known as the ZDNA - the Zen Druids of North America - with its founder reporting that `hundreds of people have been through the Zen Druid experience', and that they now have `a dance group, recording artists, choir, and other expressions beyond their ceremonial meetings. Now called the Emerald Grove, after the city's namesake, it is alive and well; growing like a tree.'

In the 1990s a collection of essays entitled The Rebirth of Druidry, included an article that explored Druidry's parallels with Taoism, and more recently in 2010, Jon Moore published his book Zen Druid: A Paganism for the 21st Century.
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This is a fascinating book that explores the areas of overlap between Druidry and Zen practice. If you have an interest in either tradition, I think you'll derive great benefit from reading Zen Druidry. There's much to draw inspiration from. Speaking as a Druid who is not following a Zen path, I found the ideas in this book really useful, and it has caused me to rethink aspects of my own practice and attitude. Jo is a great writer with a very accessible style and the book is a pleasure to read.
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Could not get into this book Gave to charity
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Clearly covering all of both of these deep subjects in any one book would be a massive task, however Joanna van der Hoeven does a wonderful job of looking at how they compliment one another.

It doesn't give the full explanation of all aspects of either path, as she rightly says there are many other texts which do that. What it does do is give an inspirational consideration to how well the two interlock or complement each other.

For anyone with a familiarity with either it will be valuable as a reflection, leading to further thought on the values each holds dear.

Basic principles of each are covered, with the focus on their common ground and how the understanding of either deepens the understanding of the other.

The authors style is non-prescriptive and gentle, easy to read and well informed.

I found that despite it's modest size (67 pages) it was in many ways a far more inspirational and stimulating read than many books twice it's size as it allows for intellegence on the part of the reader.

Read it but don't rush it. Allow each chapter to permeate into your mind and understanding and start to reflect in your life before rushing on to the next section and you'll never notice it's a slim volume. An appropriate approach for a student of either path. It's simplicity also means it's not likely to be too heavy or complex for a beginner, the power of the values it addresses means it's rich enough to be worthwhile reading for any more experienced student of either path. Quite an achievement of healthy balance and right thinking and action.

A lovely read I would happily recommend to anyone with the slightest interest in either or both subjects.
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Format: Paperback
Back in the distant past when I was taking early steps along the Druid path, I was also studying Eastern ways - Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Brahmanism, and the like. I stayed on the Druid path and became Druid because I better understood the imagery and symbolism which allowed me to better shape my own metaphysical stance. But I have never ceased to be a student of those other ways.

It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to pick up this little book which outlines both Zen (a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China during the 6th century) and Druidry (the modern name given to a spiritual path developed from that overseen by ancestral Druids) and shows how they can work together. It is a little book, so you might not expect too much of it. You will, however, be pleasantly surprised. It manages to pack a lot into its 74 pages, largely because it is written without fuss or pretensions - indeed, very much in keeping with the subject matter. That alone speaks to me about how valuable this little book is. The author not only knows her subject inside out, she clearly practises what she preaches.

I found the application of the Buddhist Eightfold Path to the eight annual festivals of the Druid way to be of particular interest. Meditation is important to Zen and I have long felt that following the ritual year is a form of extended meditation. And here we have an extra layer to contemplate, integrate, and practice as the seasons revolve.

The greatest connection between Zen and Druidry (for me, at least) lies in mindfulness. It is, perhaps, an attribute common to all spiritual paths, but it is of especial interest to those who recognise their rootedness in this world, who recognise that the worlds of spirit and matter are as integrated as everything else.
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