From the Publisher
"Serious Zen taught in a friendly and accessible manner with special exercises, jokes, and more; from a San Diego-based teacher of Zen with 30 years' experience."—Library Journal
"A superb teacher who has peppered meditations with stories, colorful anecdotes, exercises, and imaginative phrases. . . . Hamilton helps us examine in fresh ways the warps of the conditioned mind, and provides many practices that you will want to try as you attempt to live a life of wholeheartedness."—Spirituality & Health
"Delightful humor and deep wisdom in the key of Zen. Elizabeth Hamilton has been there, done that, and tells the truth, so her teaching is gentle, grounded, and emotionally intelligent. She makes meditation practice real and accessible, rather than a romantic idealization."—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are
"The title tips us off that we're in for a witty read, rich with metaphor. But Untrain Your Parrot turns out to also be a brilliant reconceptualization of Zen practice as a comprehensive, do-able program for psycho-spiritual growth. The clarity of Hamilton's pedagogy makes this an uncommonly serviceable workbook for the inner (and outer!) life."—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, author of Taking Our Places
"Elizabeth Hamilton is an intrepid spiritual practitioner, meeting sorrows and hardships with a spirit that continues to open to love. With humor and unrelenting use of skillful means, Elizabeth provides sound guidance in everyday language for everyday folks who dare to live awake."—Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles
This debut book by San Diego Zen teacher Hamilton boasts a quirky, appropriately Zen-ish title and a foreword from, surprisingly, the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks, with whom the author worked during Parks's later life. It offers plenty of meditation exercises with easy-to-follow directions. It thoroughly translates what can be the culturally foreign characteristics of Japanese Zen into contemporary American parlance and life situations. All these things commend the book to a beginner, but it's too often unclear and could have used more work. The diction is occasionally foggy ("both tinged with some degree of narcissistic attachment to a truncated self"). Attempts to simplify aspire to easy-to-remember lists, but these come out idiosyncratically obscure ("BBSTSBB is a palindrome composed of the first letters of seven words that beckon our awareness"). It is interesting that the center of a person's chest includes the acupuncture point Conception Vessel 17, but there is such a thing as too much information, particularly for beginners. Hamilton is very likely a good Zen teacher, funny and imaginative, but that doesn't automatically translate onto the page. (Aug. 14)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Serious Zen taught in a friendly and accessible manner with special exercises, jokes, and more; from a San Diego-based teacher of Zen with 30 years' experience.