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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 1 July 2010
I loved the 'quietness' of this very readable book. It doesn't pretend to have all the answers - or any of the answers; it doesn't want you to shut up and be taught, but it shows you a way of questioning yourself as you work your own daily path to your own truth/inner peace/wherever you hope to be.

Another review here suggests this book is without humour, but I didn't find that. I'd say, rather, that there are little threads of wryness throughout - more of the quietness which made the book so enjoyable.

It isn't a book which offers easy answers, but it will help you to find the way of asking questions of yourself in order to find your way of simply (quietly) 'being' and 'doing'.

I'm not a student of Zen, and I'm not widely read on the subject. I picked up this book hoping to find a way to my own peace, and found it very helpful in that respect. I'd certainly read more from this author.
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on 8 January 2000
Joko Beck seems to have written Everyday Zen in the hope that, having read it, you will eventually discover its message was always the same as your true nature. Like all good zen literature, hers carries the implication, "Don't read this!" She would hope for the moment when you drop your opinions about what she is saying and pay attention to your own mind. The book is tough, practical and likeable to read. It's also encouraging - if a single parent housewife in America can attain zen, so can anyone else.
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on 22 June 2001
Having been an avid student of Buddhism for some time now, I have naturally tried to learn about and implement the values and precepts as laid out in the Eightfold-path, which has also meant exploring every possible avenue, to determine whether the foundations of the Truth, as related by the Buddha, are indeed watertight. This means that I have to date accumulated around 30 books, by various authors, on the subject. I would not recommend this book to a beginner. It is heavy-going, repetitive and humourless, and I am of the opinion that the author takes herself far too seriously. There are one or two memorable lines, one of which speaks of Death being Impermanence's right-hand man,and another, quoted from Suzuki Roshi, "Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting that they go away" which are apt to linger as mini beacons in one's mind, but on the whole, this is a book for those already very taken and devoted to Zen practise. For the most part, it is a difficult one to stay with.
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on 28 August 2001
I bought this book from amazon on the basis of the (then) unanimously glowing reviews, in the hope that it would serve as an introduction to Zen Buddhism, and outline a way in which it could apply to everyday life. It proved disappointing for two main reasons - firstly it is a compilation of speech transcripts (I think this is right - if not it certainly reads like one), and as such it does not hang together in the way a well planned book would do. Secondly the references to everyday life are few and far between. Maybe as an inititate I am unaware how little a part everday living plays in the life of a Zen Buddhist, but for whatever reason there was a lot about 'practise' and a little about how to balance Zen into a life already full of existing commitments. So don't buy it if you want an introduction. On the positive side she is clearly an engaging speaker, and it made at times entertaining, if not particularly informative reading.
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on 13 December 2003
This, and Joko Becks' other books express true Zen. I have read many, many books on Zen and 'practiced' on my own for many years whilst avoiding joining an established group. Joko Beck, however, changed that and after performing an internet serch of her name I became a member of her zen school headed by one of her dharma heirs. Another excellent book to consider is Hardcore zen by Brad Warner. I cannot recommend these books enough.
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on 4 October 2015
This is a very practical book about what Zen really is about. The author makes it very clear that she is not trying to convince people to practice. In fact, she says that until you have tried everything else, you should not even bother. The reason is that practicing is not easy, and practicing well is even harder. One has to abandon all ideals and hopes to "make life better" and face the fact that our lives are what they are and no practice can change that.
I do not think that beginners should read this book, as it may disappoint them to the point that they will never start practicing. However, for people who have been practicing for some years, I would definitely recommend it. It is the kind of medicine that tastes really bad but helps a lot.
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on 7 December 1998
A western bloke who has been a monk for over 10 years (that I paticularly admired) recommended this book to me. I can see why. Its very clear and simple, but at the same time feels very profound. I found that as I was reading I felt the same sense of 'connection' I would get at a live monastic talk. Ive had the same experience with books by tich nat hahn. I think shes great because shes a mother and housewife who is a pretty hardcore buddist practitioner. (in the nicest possible way of course). She's no lightweight. Good stuff.
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on 26 August 2015
What an amazing read! Had to read and reread much of it and I'm sure I'll go back and read it again often. Feeling very inspired to try zazen and have already started trying to practice. What an inspiring book!!
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on 1 July 2004
I am not a Buddhist, nor do i know too much about Zen. But this book, to me, is pretty good 'practice' in itself. The content is not over complicated and although quite frank at times, it is this honesty that gives a ring of truth. I read this book when i feel in an irrational state, be it angry,fed up , whatever. i feel more centered afterwards.
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on 30 May 2012
I agree with Telis and with the comments of other reviewers who disliked the book. It is well intentioned and for that I am willing to give it two stars, but I quickly tired of the bullying, hectoring tone of the author. She makes meditation sound like the equilavent of Christian flaggelation, a process of suffering that has to be endured to rid ourselves of our misconceptions. She even tells of disciples at a Seshin, weeping, and screaming! In short, she makes meditation sound horrendous. I'm sorry, but this is NOT Buddhism.

Please read The Miracle of Mindfulness by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. I have begun to practice the meditation exercises he recommends, and have already begun to feel calmer and happier. I do not expect the miracle of enlightment, but I am sure that his methods have a far better chance of helping me to achieve greater peace and understanding.
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