11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: ZEN. A Simple Path to More Happiness, More Tranquility, and Less Problems. (Kindle Edition)
I would not describe myself as being the target audience for this book. I am in no way spiritual or Zen, and have frequently been guilty of dismissing the ideas associated with books like this.* That said, I can't pretend to have come through this book unscathed. I do find myself being more mindful and calmer than before, plus as a committed runner, some of the breathing exercises you end up doing are great. You may even find, as you read, that you're using controlled breathing to focus your attention on what you're reading.
The most important part of this book for me, is the underlying lesson, important regardless of who you are; that an essential part of being human is the ability to determine for yourself what is important in life and what is not, and let the unimportant go.
I'm half expecting the principles in this book to lead on to a kind of Zen Theory of Everything. But as it stands, this is a book that makes the world a slightly better place than it was before it was written. Which if you ask me, is pretty Zen.
But I still think it would have sounded fine to say `Fewer' in the title.
*My original review of this book, of which I am less than proud, can be found in the comments section of this review, where you will also see an example of the author putting theory into practise.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Aug 2013 18:30:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Jan 2014 22:17:06 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2013 19:50:58 BDT
I hardly feel that my rather flippant remarks were worth responding to, but since you have undertaken to do so, I must point out that yes, I do have a decent education, which I maintain has made life more meaningful, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't have the intellectual confidence to ignore a little jibe about your title, especially given how thoroughly you're outperforming the Dali Lama, whose many Noble Prizes for literature are testament to his status as the world's leading author, so well done you. I have to say that your inability to ignore a bit of internet criticism from people who ultimately don't matter isn't much of a testament to your book in itself. Perhaps you should just be a little more `Zen' about the whole thing?
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2013 20:19:50 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Jan 2014 22:27:20 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2013 20:39:46 BDT
I can only describe that as a humbling and decent response. What I believe in is the enlightenment. In measured, reasoned enquiry into the human condition and the world around us. This is a difficult thing; it is the work of a lifetime, but the understanding and acceptance that come as a result are ends in themselves. What does not advance our understanding of the human condition is being told that we need not bother with rational thought, with becoming emotionally articulate or with scientific enquiry, that in other words the difficult things are not worth doing. It is not for nothing that we hear constantly how nothing worth having in life comes easily, comes without effort or on occasion suffering.
The constant modern desire to find a way through life free of hassle, free of personal struggle is born out of the perceived impossibility of improving our external circumstances. The prime cause of the modern propensity for stress, anxiety and unhappiness in general throughout western society is to be found all around us, but not (and this is essential) within ourselves. We are unhappy because we live in societies fraught with inequality, with systemic brutality and greed. But these are not easy problems to solve. These are complex, all-consuming issues the resolution of even improvement of which would require generations of effort. It is hardly surprising then, that some people would rather try a silver bullet. It is hardly surprising that so many of us would rather look to ourselves for the causes of unhappiness. And it is even less surprising that authors like you, well intentioned though they are, end up cashing in on our collective reluctance to take responsibility for the world around us, which is the route of our problems, rather than the world within us, which is merely the manifestation of those problems.
However when somebody is as polite and genuine as you have been, I can hardly do less than buy your book and write a proper review, now can I? So that's exactly what I'll do.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2013 20:49:28 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Jan 2014 22:19:46 GMT]
Posted on 24 Aug 2013 12:01:56 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Jan 2014 22:20:05 GMT]
Posted on 3 Jan 2014 03:36:11 GMT
Viv Rosser says:
Hey, fewer problems ain't got no ring. sorry.
What about suggesting that every 'so called' problem is a potential learning curve.
No problems, only challenges.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2014 01:23:29 GMT
I really wish the author hadn't deleted his part of this conversation.I found the book interesting,Tom's comments and opinions just as interesting but of course one half of a conversation. The deletions have put me off of buying the book,not very Zen as Tom points out.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2014 10:29:19 GMT
Andrew Daley says:
Hi old biker I was trying to let go of the conversation and move on which I try to do when it's over (this wasn't my first conversation and probably won't be my last). I was trying to practise the Zen ideal of non-attachment.
As you have shown an interest I will give you an overview... Tom originally said some flippant things and I responded that he should give the book a go before trashing it, he then said I shouldn't care about his comments as he's not important and I replied that he is important to me as are all my readers, and we then chatted about if happiness and progress are in reach of any individual in any circumstance or if you need good things to happen in order to feel good. We concluded both are true to a degree and left the debate as friends.
Tom also said 'fewer problems' was grammatically correct not 'less problems' and I acknowledged that he had a point there, but that fewer didn't flow as nicely nor fit on the cover as well which is why I stuck with the grammatically incorrect 'less problems' you see today. I hope this overview is of some use to you.
Kind regards and namaste,
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2014 16:58:55 GMT
Diana Brighouse says:
You and Tom have provided a very good advertisement for the book! I will get on and buy it - thanks :-)