Everything Is the Way: Ordinary Mind Zen

Everything Is the Way: Ordinary Mind Zen

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by Elihu Genmyo Smith
     
 

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These days, when Zen has become a kind of shorthand for anything  that’s enigmatic or aesthetically spare, it’s refreshing be reminded that Zen is at heart a practice for waking up from the dream we inhabit—in order to free ourselves from the suffering the dream imposes on us. Elihu Genmyo Smith’s eminently practical Zen teaching never

Overview

These days, when Zen has become a kind of shorthand for anything  that’s enigmatic or aesthetically spare, it’s refreshing be reminded that Zen is at heart a practice for waking up from the dream we inhabit—in order to free ourselves from the suffering the dream imposes on us. Elihu Genmyo Smith’s eminently practical Zen teaching never loses sight of that central concern: Whether it takes the form of zazen (meditation), koan work, or just eating your breakfast, the aim of Zen practice is always nothing other than intimacy with ourselves and everything around us.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As I read Genmyo Elihu Smith’s book, I heard in his voice echoes of the voices of his teachers, Soen Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, and Joko Beck. And yet, Genmyo’s voice is his own, a voice imbued with confidence about the unique benefits of practice and its relevance to the difficulties of ordinary life. Reading this book is like having a Zen teacher appear in your living room, warm, wise and intimate.”—Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindful Eating and How to Train a Wild Elephant

“This is a text to digest and inhale, as you would the presence of someone facing you. Inspired by his long and intimate study with some of the greatest Zen teachers of our time, Genmyo comments skillfully on a range of Zen koans and teachings, bringing each, always, to his one insistent point: Zen practice is not at all difficult. It is allowing the awareness that we truly are.”—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation, author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up

“This astonishing collection of essays succeeds in its mission to show us how everything is the Way. Here you will find cogent insights into practice, impermanence, non-self, being transparency, and receiving the precepts.”—SpiritualityandPractice.com

“Revelatory for the Buddhist practitioner; fluent and fascinating for the general reader. Smith has written a fine and well-controlled book on his own experience and the fundamental truths of the Zen approach to Buddhist understanding and life.”—Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590309728
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
06/12/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,171,067
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.88(d)

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“As I read Genmyo Elihu Smith’s book, I heard in his voice echoes of the voices of his teachers, Soen Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, and Joko Beck. And yet, Genmyo’s voice is his own, a voice imbued with confidence about the unique benefits of practice and its relevance to the difficulties of ordinary life. Reading this book is like having a Zen teacher appear in your living room, warm, wise and intimate.”—Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindful Eating and How to Train a Wild Elephant

“This is a text to digest and inhale, as you would the presence of someone facing you. Inspired by his long and intimate study with some of the greatest Zen teachers of our time, Genmyo comments skillfully on a range of Zen koans and teachings, bringing each, always, to his one insistent point: Zen practice is not at all difficult. It is allowing the awareness that we truly are.”—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation, author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up

“This astonishing collection of essays succeeds in its mission to show us how everything is the Way. Here you will find cogent insights into practice, impermanence, non-self, being transparency, and receiving the precepts.”—SpiritualityandPractice.com

“Revelatory for the Buddhist practitioner; fluent and fascinating for the general reader. Smith has written a fine and well-controlled book on his own experience and the fundamental truths of the Zen approach to Buddhist understanding and life.”—Library Journal

Meet the Author

Elihu Genmyo Smith is the resident teacher of the Prairie Zen Center in Champaign, Illinois, and one of the co-founders, with Charlotte Joko Beck, of the Ordinary Mind Zen School, whose teachers include such well-known Zen authors as Diane Rizzetto, Ezra Bayda, and Elizabeth Hamilton, as well as Barry Magid. Genmyo has practiced Zen for around thirty-five years, beginning as a student of Soen Nakagawa and Eido Tai Shimano, then he trained with Maezumi Roshi, who ordained him, and then with Charlotte Joko Beck. He was her first dharma heir, and remains close to her. He teaches extensively around the Midwest/Chicago area, though he ventures beyond that as well. He's also associated with Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers. He blogs on "current events, books, and random themes" on his blog Clouds (clouds-genmyo.blogspot.com).

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Everything Is the Way: Ordinary Mind Zen 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having long been interested in the Tao and, more recently, it's influence on Chinese Buddhism, I thought this book would be informative.  I was mistaken; the author only mentions "the Way " only a couple of times throughout the book.  Of course, I could be wrong.  Smith uses so many Buddhist terms and references that I often without ever explaining or defining them that I often had no idea what he was talking about. How to interpret a statement like this: "The time that Avalokitesavara Bodhisattya practices profound prajna paramita is the total emptiness of the five skandhas, whole body seeing by illumined vision." I'm not really saying this is a bad book, but it's definitely not for the newcomer to Buddhism. For those who are into Buddhism, though, it seems to offer help & encouragement.