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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."

So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books.  Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line.  In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about.  An instant teaching on the first page.  And that's just the beginning.

In the forty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind has become one of the great modern spiritual classics, much beloved, much reread, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590308493
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 06/28/2011
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 43,979
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Shunryu Suzuki (1904–1971) was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and is truly a founding father of Zen in America. A Japanese priest of the Soto lineage, he taught in the United States from 1959 until his death. He was the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He is the author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai, and he is the subject of the biography Crooked Cucumber by David Chadwick.

Table of Contents

Preface Huston Smith ix

Introduction Richard Baker xiii

Prologue: Beginner's Mind 1

Part 1 Right Practice

Posture 7

Breathing 11

Control 14

Mind Waves 17

Mind Weeds 20

The Marrow of Zen 21

No Dualism 25

Bowing 28

Nothing Special 32

Part 2 Right Attitude

Single-Minded Way 37

Repetition 39

Zen and Excitement 42

Right Effort 44

No Trace 47

God Giving 51

Mistakes in Practice 57

Limiting Your Activity 61

Study Yourself 63

To Polish a Tile 67

Constancy 71

Communication 74

Negative and Positive 78

Nirvana, the Waterfall 81

Part 3 Right Understanding

Traditional Zen Spirit 87

Transiency 91

The Quality of Being 93

Naturalness 96

Emptiness 100

Readiness, Mindfulness 103

Believing in Nothing 106

Attachment, Nonattachment 109

Calmness 112

Experience, Not Philosophy 114

Original Buddhism 117

Beyond Consciousness 120

Buddha's Enlightenment 124

Epilogue: Zen Mind 127

Afterword David Chadwick 135

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“[This] is a different book every time I read it. Behind the simplicity, it is dense with Zen wisdom that flashes like lightning as you read and reread.”—Jon Lebkowskyl, Millennium Whole Earth Catalog

“One of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice.”—Library Journal

“One of the top five Buddhist books, ever.”—Elephant

Customer Reviews

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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
FaceMan More than 1 year ago
Excellent first read for the beginner, but also good for the more experienced Buddhist. A fast and engaging/engrossing read. Pertains more to zazen and meditating; and also how to start one's practice in Buddhism and zazen. Highly recommended.
Mrs_Fartzalot More than 1 year ago
I got this ebook on the recommendation from well-known coach Phil Jackson via Oprah's Super Soul Sunday program. I'm about halfway through it, and while I find it a simple, easy read with some nuggets worth highlighting, for the most part, I feel like it's not telling me anything I haven't already read elsewhere. If you are new to meditation and the idea of zen, you might enjoy his simplistic explanations. For me, I was hoping for a deeper angle than what I'd read in other books. I do think he offers a glimpse into the simple beauty of having a practice.
hamsterOR More than 1 year ago
The best introduction to Zen spirituality in English. I recommend it to the beginning student along with "Taking the Path of Zen" by Robert Aitken, which offers more "nuts and bolts" instruction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tells you not to read the book and to learn zen on your own.
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dhfishin More than 1 year ago
I have tried to understand the essence of Zen meditation and have fallen short in other material I have read. This is a westernized explanation of Zen meditation. I am reading through it for about the 3rd time and get a little better insight each time. I would recommend this book for anyone trying to get a handle on life through Zen meditation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a classic book that is meant to be read over and over. It is the work of true genius.He takes complex topics and breaks them down with the sole purpose of communication. Truly a masterpiece. It was originally produced in the 1970s and is timeless. After learning the word Suzuki you will see him quoted in fields of thought. Do yourself a favor and ensure that this book is available to you to read again and again.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intresting book, intresting author's opinion. But it didn't impressed me as I expected. I didn't find in the book lots of spirituality, i found it only intresting. Comparing with book I've read few weeks ago, I mean a crossing or the drop's history by Anatoliy Obraztsov where I really found a lot of spirutuality
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is the book that introduced me to Zen ans shikantaza. I read the book 5 years ago and I still read it.
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STORE NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
It helps you experience reality more fully :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suzuki roshi introduced America to zen and a totally different way of being that transcends the material world of dependence on form. This is a must have book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nobody_n_Nothing More than 1 year ago
If you are just embarking on a path of Zen or a serious practitioner or just curious about a different take this is a must read.