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Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts) Paperback – 30 Nov 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications,U.S. (30 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861712749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861712748
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 16.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 765,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ezra Bayda has been meditating since 1970. He was authorized to teach Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck in 1998, and now lives, writes and teaches at the Zen Center of San Diego.
Josh Bartok has served as in-house staff editor at Wisdom for almost 13 years and has worked on almost 200 books in all traditions of Buddhism. He is the co-author, with Ezra Bayda, of "Saying Yes To Life (Even the Hard Parts)," and the authoring editor of "Daily Doses of Wisdom," "Daily Wisdom," "More Daily Wisdom," Lama Zopa Rinpoche's "How to Be Happy," and Lama Yeshe's "When the Chocolate Runs Out."
He is also head teacher and spiritual director at the Greater Boston Zen Center, and one of the guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen. He is a full member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and the American Zen Teachers Association, and is a friend of the Lay Zen Teachers Association. Josh has served on the Board of Directors for the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and on the planning committee of the first-ever Next-Generation Dharma Teachers event, part of the Mahasangha Gathering that took place at Garrison Institute in July of 2011.
Josh graduated from Vassar College in 1993 with a degree in cognitive science. Recreationally, Josh is an amateur photographer who shows locally and regionally. His work is influenced by John Daido Loori, Kaz Tanahashi, as well as sumi-e and abstract expressionist painters. His photos can be seen online at
Thomas Moore is the bestselling author of "Care of the Soul."

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across an advertisement for this book in a magazine and, having enjoyed immensely various articles written by Ezra Bayda, decided to get a copy. It's a gem of a book, full of wisdom using everyday language. It's therefore accessible to Buddhists and non, and is divided into subjects such as 'fear, anger, grief, relationships' etc.Some of the written texts may appear brief and concise but they can open the door to an infinite personal array of experience to work with. This book is ideal as a gift; we all have 'hard parts' in our lives. I challenge anyone travelling through 'difficult terrain' , or simply travelling an easy, beaten path to not find something of insight and value in these pages, no matter the situation they find themselves in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have many books of short extracts designed to offer meaningful advice or wisdom, but this is probably the most helpful - certainly it is the one I refer to most often. This is largely because Ezra Bayda eschews New Age platitudes and instead offers enlightened yet, paradoxically, very down-to-earth observations on the human condition. One senses that one does not have to aspire to far-off gurudom to make make progress in one's struggle for a more spiritually enlightened and aware existence. Just a couple of extracts will hopefully illustrate this:

"Your difficulties are not obstacles on the path, they are the path"

"Our efforts in practice will inevitably'fail'. We will have periods of aspiration and effort, followed by periods of resistance and apathy. Ups and downs in practice are predictable and inevitable. The countermeasure is simply to persevere."

The book is paradoxically reassuring, comforting but also challenging.

Equally wise observations reflect Bayda's views on conflict, work, relationships, illusions, sex, work, anger, blame and many other topics. This book inspired me to read more Ezra Bayda books and I was not disappointed. If you like this you should enjoy and be inspired by 'At Home in the Muddy Water' - a fine book. There is a touching review of this book by Ezra Bayda's daughter on the US Amazon site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rather than a Book About practice this Book is a Practice 23 Aug. 2005
By ShivaDevotee - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book that goes into detail about the human condition and what a life of practice is in relationship to it, one of Ezra's previous books would be more appropriate. If you are looking for something that can instantaneously cut through the general sleep that is pervasive in day-to-day living, if used wisely, this book offers a hand. A place in my daily life where I tend to get consumed in the narrow tunnel of thinking is in relationship to finances. When balancing the checkbook I usually end up in a ball of constricted tightness and am completely asleep in my thinking. After purchasing a copy of this book I took one of the aphorisms and taped it to my computer where I do my finances. "You'll never be free from discomfort and fear, yet liberation comes from not needing to be free from them.", was gazing down at me throughout the process. Every few minutes I would take a look at the phrase and use it as a reminder to work with the experience rather than get completely caught in my usual mechanical way. Staying with the body, the breath, the sounds, observing the thoughts and this place, which usually leads to complete sleep, and suffering was just an interesting, even enjoyable experience. I recommend this book without reservation for anyone looking for a tool that can assist in the difficult process of a life of practice.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like a wise friend you can carry around with you... 22 Aug. 2005
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Paperback
As Ezra Bayda says in the preface, this is a book to live with, not a book to consume. The words on each page will inspire, challenge, encourage, or perplex you. They invite you to open yourself up to life, including the parts we typically try to push away. Although these ideas weren't new to me, the gentle, wise presentation here helped me to live them more fully and see them in new ways. It's a great book for people familiar with Zen and would also serve as an excellent introduction for people new to Zen. It doesn't assume that it has all the answers - instead, it raises important, life-enhancing questions.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He Doesn't Assume He Gets It All Right 17 Nov. 2005
By John OConnell - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is my third book by Ezra Bayda and in many ways it is my favorite. Thomas Moore sums it up best in the introduction when he said, "I like Ezra Bayda because I don't think he assumes he gets it all right." And this is why I liked this book, it does not provide answers it only provides questions for reflection. For some reason I like the format and I also like the way the book feels in my hand. It just begs to be carried around with you and read throughout the day. But unlike many books, I do not feel the need to read it from cover to cover, rather I use it judiciously throughout the day. I let the day determine what page I will read. If it is 9:34 in the morning I turn to page 93 and read the passage if the temperature is 74° I turn to page 74. I found this to be a great tool to return my awareness to what is real.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Practice Book 3 Nov. 2005
By Diane Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
I admit when I bought the book I read it quickly cover to cover. I couldn't resist the overview, but I quickly saw that real benefit would only come through practicing in depth with each page. Ezra's words gently encourage us to go to our own hear his wisdom and use it as inspiration toward our own proving ground.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another invaluable book from ezra bayda 22 Aug. 2005
By Anne Manchester - Published on
Format: Paperback
What I love about this book is that you can turn to any page and find something that's livable, do-able, and returns awareness to what's real.

Having ways to bring attention to what's going on, even the hard parts that we might wish to avoid - but can't - is a great gift.

Anne Manchester
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