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Simple Zen: A Guide to Living Moment by Moment

Overview

Simple Zen is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Zen's history, themes and uses in our modern Western world. Beginning with a history of Zen from the time of its origin until the present, the books goes on to outline the themes and practices associated with it, such as koans, meditation, enlightenment and ethics. The final section of the book, entitled "Living Zen," addresses the ways in which Zen can help us to realize a deeper, fuller life through such artistic activities as poetry, brush painting, ...
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Overview

Simple Zen is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Zen's history, themes and uses in our modern Western world. Beginning with a history of Zen from the time of its origin until the present, the books goes on to outline the themes and practices associated with it, such as koans, meditation, enlightenment and ethics. The final section of the book, entitled "Living Zen," addresses the ways in which Zen can help us to realize a deeper, fuller life through such artistic activities as poetry, brush painting, the martial arts, tea ceremony and flower arrangement.
Drs. C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins live in San Diego and are both psychologists who have specialized in studies of the mind. They have devoted many years to the study of hypnosis and have taught meditation skills to people of all ages. They have also spent the past 25 years involved in the martial arts as practitioners, instructors, and writers. Their work in meditation spans their two worlds of professional interest: martial arts and psychology, adding a unique and comprehensive perspective to this book. In addition to contributing regularly to martial arts publications, they are the authors of Principles of Meditation, Living Meditation, Zen Around the World, and Meditation from Thought to Action, all published by Tuttle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804831741
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Simple Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,234,936
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Authors

Drs. C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins live in San Diego and are both psychologists who have specialized in studies of the mind. They have devoted many years to the study of hypnosis and have taught meditation skills to people of all ages. They have also spent the past 25 years involved in the martial arts as practitioners, instructors, and writers. Their work in meditation spans their two worlds of professional interest: martial arts and psychology, adding a unique and comprehensive perspective to this book. In addition to contributing regularly to martial arts publications, they are the authors of Principles of Meditation, Living Meditation, Zen Around the World, and Meditation from Thought to Action, all published by Tuttle.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    Simple Zen

    C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins, authors of 'Zen Around the World' have divided this helpful overview resource into three parts: the background and development of Zen, its key themes, and ways to bring Zen into your life. At the heart of this path is the practice of meditation, which helps calm the mind. According to the authors, a few of the major themes of Zen are the movement beyond words and concepts of self-awakening, emptiness, ethics as expressed in correct living, and enlightenment as wisdom's fulfillment. This path can be practiced in conjunction with other beliefs and religions. The most engaging part of this brief work is the last where the Simpkins focus on entering Zen through the arts. They discuss how virtues such as harmony, tranquility, purity, and reverence can be experienced through flower arrangement (ikebana), the tea ceremony (Cha-no-yu), poetry (haiku), ink painting (Sumi-e), and the martial arts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    Simple Zen

    What sets Simple Zen and Simple Taoism apart from other spiritual introductions is the way that the authors present clear overviews of the philosophical origins and history and then tie in simple ways to incorporate relevant themes in daily life. The coverage is accessible to anyone who is new to the theories and practices of Zen or Taoism, yet without being didactic or simplistic. The Simpkinses were recognized by 'Booklist' for their expertise in their book Zen Around the World: 'The authors combine sound scholarship with the knowingness of practitioners and an unerring sense of what will interest readers most in their lucid history of Zen. Their coverage of Buddhism in all its manifestations is fluent and informative...' These two guides make essential additions to any spiritually conscious bookshelf.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2000

    Simple Zen

    A little book of simple pleasures, this one and its companion 'Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance' will appeal to the Western mind that seeks solace from the maelstrom of furious thinking that our society and livelihoods seem to demand. Each of these books is an oasis, guiding the reader through these mysterious Eastern philosophies with an efficient yet reverent respect for their long histories. Immersed in the roots and beginnings of Zen or Taoism, the Simpkins' work is like a walk in a quiet forest on a warm day. While the authors admit that Zen is an experiential path that is difficult to describe, they do fill in enough blanks so that the mind is encouraged to embrace the wordless all by itself. That is no easy task! The ethics of different systems of belief are compared to encourage the release of preconceived notions of what is to be accomplished. A good example is Zen and Christianity: Christianity has a well-defined set of ideals that the follower is expected to live up to; Zen has none. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. Beautifuly presented and steeped in stories, legends, practices, examples, and exercises, these books will be a welcome addition to any collection on these subjects, and a good start to a clearer consciousness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    Simple Zen

    Within the ancient philosophy of Zen are dynamic instructions to calm the self in the midst of modern chaos or overload. 'Simple Zen, A Guide to Living Moment by Moment' is another pocket-sized guide that you'll want to leave close to your bedside or in your book bag for life. Organized into three interrelated parts, the book describes the origins of Zen and stories of great Zen masters, key themes revealed along the path of Zen, and a section showing the reader how to bring the insights of Zen into daily modern life. Enlightenment is the key word and the central concept of Zen. It 'encourages people to have faith in themselves and not to go looking for something outside of themselves.' Listen to your soul. Pay attention to experience and live your life fully. Chock full of meditations, poetry, and traditional Zen exercises, such as arranging flowers, performing the tea ceremony, brush painting and martial arts, the book is full of obtainable instructions on how to seek inner power and self-knowledge. If you want a clear, short, and easy-to-read book on Zen and how to achieve enlightenment, 'Simple Zen' is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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