Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple

Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple

by Kaoru Nonomura, Juliet Carpenter
     
 

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At the age of thirty, Kaoru Nonomura left his family, his girlfriend, and his job as a designer to undertake a year of ascetic training at Eiheiji, one of the most rigorous Zen training temples in Japan. This book is Nonomura's account of his experiences. He skillfully describes every aspect of training, including how to meditate, how to eat, how to wash, and even how…  See more details below

Overview

At the age of thirty, Kaoru Nonomura left his family, his girlfriend, and his job as a designer to undertake a year of ascetic training at Eiheiji, one of the most rigorous Zen training temples in Japan. This book is Nonomura's account of his experiences. He skillfully describes every aspect of training, including how to meditate, how to eat, how to wash, and even how to use the toilet, in a way that is easy to understand even for readers with no knowledge of Zen Buddhism. This first-person account also describes Nonomura's struggles in the face of beatings, hunger, exhaustion, fear, and loneliness, the comfort he draws from his friendships with the other trainees, and his quiet determination to give his life spiritual meaning. After writing Eat Sleep Sit, Kaoru Nonomura returned to his normal life as a designer, but his book has maintained its popularity in Japan, selling more than 100,000 copies since its first printing in 1996. Beautifully written, and a fascinating insight into a lifestyle of hardships that few people could endure, this is a book that will appeal to all those with an interest in Zen Buddhism and to anyone with an interest in the quest for spiritual growth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Here is an unusually fine translation of a most unusual best-seller. . . We sometimes have the odd idea that Zen means simply sitting around until satori happens. . . . It is much more, as novice Nonomura discovered when he joined the beginners at Eijeiji, one of the most rigorous temples in Japan. . . . a boot camp of a place that would make even brave marines quail. . . .Nonumura stood the strain. He stayed a year. . . . This painful route, then, is the true Zen path. . . . Almost as painful must have been the translation of this book with its extraordinary width of styles from the arcane Zen tracts of Dogen and others, to the diary-like grumbles of the clueless young Nonomura. Here, translator Juliet Carpenter not only stays the course, she defines it .here is a particularly felicitous translation, especially in the handling of the colloquial within the religious context. DONALD RICHIE, in The Japan Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9784770050076
Publisher:
Kodansha USA
Publication date:
01/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
17 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

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Meet the Author

Born in 1959, Kaoru Nonomura traveled widely in Asia as a university student, and upon graduation began to work as a designer in Tokyo. At the age of thirty, he decided to put his career on hold to spend a year as a trainee monk at Eiheiji, a monastery famed for its rigid discipline. Twelve months later, he returned to his design job, and it was during his daily commute on a crowded train that he began to jot down his recollections of his Eiheiji experience. These notes eventually became Eat Sleep Sit, the author's only book.

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