[[ Audiobooks ]] Everyday Zen: Love & WorkAuthor Charlotte Joko Beck – Cheapnikeshoes.co

My manual for Zen meditation and understanding return return The format of Everyday Zen is a series of transcripts of talks that Joko has given to students during intensive meditation retreats or during regular Saturday morning programs at the Zen Center of San Diego, which she heads return return Joko is a rarity in American Zen American, not Asian female mother of 3 children she had an independent career from which she retired She started Zen when a mature adult As a result, she brings a different, practical perspective to Zen, not always found in American zendos I can speak from personal experience to that return return Beck lives in today s world, not 11th or 13th century Japan She understands, as the Introduction puts it, that the chop wood, carry water idiom of medieval Eastern practice has to be translated, for Westerners, into make love, drive freeway She can speak to a modern, Western student in a way that those following the monastic model of Japanese Zen can not or find difficult return return Beck is a practical, no nonsense teacher One of her objectives is to destroy in her students the romantic notions that many people bring to Zen While psychological change probably will occur, it s not the object of Zen, nor or special powers Joko is relentless in refusing to give her students what she calls cookies false hopes or pretenses for starting what is really a way of life Joko is excellent, as a result, in defining what Zen is NOT, which turns out to be remarkably useful to a student She understands that Americans, in particular, want to be fed enlightenment, preferably by listening to a teacher tell them how to live or by reading it in a book Joko constantly demolishes these notions return return The book organizes the essays for that is what they turn out to be into sections Beginnings, Practice, Feelings, Relationships, Suffering, Ideals, Boundaries, Choices, Service Each gives practical advice on meditation and living While she is insistent that no book can take the place of practice, still this one is invaluable as a manual for those of us who do not have access to a teacher It really is a how to book rather than a series of inspirational messages I have found it invaluable in my own life return return Too bad there is no rating higher than 5 stars. I learned about Zen from this book than from any other I ve read so far. I ll be honest here The reason I got these books on Zen and meditation in the first place was to help me clarify what I was supposed to be doing in karate.Damn this book is sobering I don t even know where to startThis book is a series of lectures that were transcribed by some of Joko s students I guess the biggest thing that I got out of this book is the idea that yesterday is gone and tomorrow s not here yet so just live out today Now I know that the point isn t that tomorrow isn t here It s like the next second isn t here yet But those are baby steps.Another thing that s big are the ideas of the superstructure and the ego I didn t realize how much the ego rules everything I apply a superstructure on top of everything The idea of Zen kinda leaves me at a crossroads if I accept the philosophy, which, if I m honest with myself, I ve already begun to accept in very subtle ways, then it feels like it s a very lonely path. I have read a lot of books on Zen, and I have to say, this is probably one of the clearest, most accessible and relatable books on the subject that I have ever had the pleasure to read Charlotte Joko Beck is a compassionate, non nonsense and warm teacher reading her essays left me feeling comforted and very serene When I read a book like this one, where so much emphasis is put on simple zazen practice and compassion, I m not sure where the idea of Zen being harsh and militaristic comes from The writing is straight forward and engaging, realistic but still completely gentle The essays are transcribed talks given by Beck to her students, sometimes followed by some questions and answers, and organized by themes, such as feelings, suffering, ideals and choices There is no mysticism or religious trimmings to her essays just discussion on the practice, and the effect it has on one s life and the way we experience it Some people have referred to this approach as an Americanization of Zen, and Beck explains that this is not simply about making Zen look American, but about practicing it in a way that works best in the culture.I love that Beck will not give her students any false hopes, that she will not try to sell them the practice of Zen by pretending that it will make their lives better She insists that no one is perfect, that the practice is hard and that no one can do the work for you She is also quick to add that persevering in one s practice will smooth all those hurdles out, but the fact of the matter is, you have to stick to it I was very impressed with how much material Beck packs in every single chapter not a word is wasted Even the introduction and the author interview at the end of my edition were just packed with profound yet incredibly clear teachings and ideas A must read for anyone interested in or practicing Zen. I m still pretty new to the whole Buddhism thing, and for a long time I was intimidated by zen I held the common, but mistaken, belief that it was highly ascetic and all about denying human emotions and desires It took some time for me to be able to read a book like Everyday Zen and really understand what it s saying In fact, zen does not ask you to deny your emotions It asks you to feel them, really feel them, without obsessing on them or rationalizing them, reacting to them prematurely or injudiciously, clinging to them, or pushing them away When we allow ourselves to really experience our feelings, we can get used to their ebb and flow and get on with our lives without being in constant, unproductive dialogue with ourselves.This is the theme of Everyday Zen, and Charlotte Joko Beck proves to be an amazing teacher I m the first to admit that there are many Buddhist thinkers who just don t have a gift for writing, but I put Beck up there with Pema Chodron among those who really do have a gift Her writing is simple but engaging, compassionate yet uncompromising, and filled with humor.More so than with any other Buddhist book I ve read, I ve found myself repeating ideas from this one as I go about my daily life All there is to do is what s in front of us There is no good or bad things are always just the way they are We are always right here, right where we are in this moment No problem. This is my favorite Zen Buddhism book to date I read it in the middle of a crisis in my life, and it might have saved my marriage, because it spoke straight to me About how life doesn t work for you, about how people resist their lives and live in their dreams and fantasies, about how we expect things from other people and our lives and suffer when we are disappointed Joko speaks with such a feeling for the problems of real life that she could be any age, at any stage of practice except that she s actually been practicing Zen so long that she must be old I think she s now deceased She talks about how we must do what needs doingpreparing food for other people, raising children, going to work, etc How those things are the stuff of nirvana and fulfillment before our eyes, but we refuse to see She talks about love people expect relationships to work for them, to serve them and reflect their glory, and how we run away from relationships that don t stroke our egos and let us off easy She talks about people dying how they realize before they die that life is really not going to turn out the way they expect itsuddenly they are at peace, finally having released their expectations, cravings, disappointments, and anger She talks a lot about anger how we can learn to embrace all our human feelings with a big mind, feeling angry without creating new negative realities out of angry speech and action And so on A wealth of wisdom and hope for someone who suddenly feels the pinch of life and knows there is no one to save her Maybe the book will be dryer for someone who is not in a crisis, or who is not ready to hear the lessons in it Yet I think it is still a much better book for beginners than Zen Mind, Beginner s Mind or other, traditional philosophical zen books. One of the challenges of maintaining any kind of spiritual practice is bringing it into your daily routine This modern world we live in is just full of distractions, some important, others less so and I ve found it s easy to run through an entire day without having spent even five seconds in the right mindset For Buddhists and Buddhist fellow travelers like me, this tends to manifest most obviously as a neglect of sitting meditation, but it s really part of a whole lifestyle of neglect reading poisonous media, forgetting compassion in difficult situations, not showing ourselves or others or this universe the proper respect But what is to be done about it In the meditation lectures that form Everyday Zen , Charlotte Joko Beck spends a lot of time talking this Her wisdom flows like a good common sense talk from a wise old woman who personally saw a lot of pain in her life, which is exactly the kind of teacher I think we should all seek out Her teaching isn t earth shaking it basically boils down to practice every day with the material you ve got in your own life all that shit that bothers you the 99% of the time you re not meditating Also, try to do sitting meditation, show yourself and others compassion, and don t take anything, including Buddhism, too seriously And there s no better time to start than right this minute.If you like Pema Chodron s books, you ll probably enjoy Joko Beck s they share a similar vein of humor and straight talk Maybe that s because they share a lot of life experiences coming to Buddhism late, after marriage and divorce, working jobs, and generally being out there in the world I think in some ways you ve got to have some trouble before you can speak to anyone else about their problems advice from someone who hasn t suffered always feels inauthentic and a little false.One final tip from my personal experience If you have trouble making it through these books, put one in your bathroom I guarantee you ll always find 5 minutes a day to read it, and that s about all it takes The only drawback is, depending on your regularity and the length of the book, it can take some time to make it through a longer volume even this one, at 200 pages, took me almost a year to finish But what else do you have going on in there It has helped me to be accepting of myself and everything else, just the way it is It has helped me to see or reminded me that I don t have to change myself or my life, to try to get rid of my problems an endless and frustrating goose chase Actually, I can accept them, and in that acceptance, they lessen It has given me faith and clarity in my meditation practice, and inspiration and motivation to keep practicing The first time I tried to read it 4 or 5 years ago , I didn t get all the way through It resonates deeper every time I read it It can be very far out, very zen at times, so it s helpful having a meditation practice to have a clue as to what the hell she s talking about. This a great no nonsense guide to Zen spirituality, free of Asian exoticism and specialized language, whose only purpose is to make you see According to Joko Beck, enlightenment is really very simple and yet may take an entire lifetime or to achieve Enlightenment consists in this being present in the moment, every moment, for the rest of your life For you Christians who have been nourished by the spirituality of Juliana of Norwich, Meister Eckhardt and Brother Laurence of the Resurrection, you will discover a kindred spirit here. A Zen Guide To The Problems Of Daily Living, Love, Relationships, Work, Fear And Suffering Combining Earthly Wisdom With Spiritual Enlightenment, It Describes How To Live Each Moment To The Full And Shows The Relevance Of Zen To Every Aspect Of Life