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Zen: The Art of Simple Living

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Zen is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life . . . In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your th Zen is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life . . . In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your thinking, to line up your shoes at night to bring order to your mind, to plant a single flower and watch it grow, to worry less about what you cannot control, and so much more . . . You will even make time to think about nothing at all. Simplify your life with the art of Zen, and learn how to feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and with a renewed sense of peace.


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Zen is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life . . . In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your th Zen is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life . . . In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your thinking, to line up your shoes at night to bring order to your mind, to plant a single flower and watch it grow, to worry less about what you cannot control, and so much more . . . You will even make time to think about nothing at all. Simplify your life with the art of Zen, and learn how to feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and with a renewed sense of peace.

30 review for Zen: The Art of Simple Living

  1. 5 out of 5

    Simple

    I like this kind of books. One simple idea in one page. They are separate ideas linked to one concept which is to live a simple life. #Takeaway_notes : Simple Living - Make time for emptiness. - Wake Up fifteen minutes earlier. - Discard what you don’t need. It will refresh your mind. - The happiness to be found in taking your time. - Try eating only vegetables one day a week. - Improve your breathing, and your mind, too, will improve. - Don’t waste time worrying about things you cannot control. - Becom I like this kind of books. One simple idea in one page. They are separate ideas linked to one concept which is to live a simple life. #Takeaway_notes : Simple Living - Make time for emptiness. - Wake Up fifteen minutes earlier. - Discard what you don’t need. It will refresh your mind. - The happiness to be found in taking your time. - Try eating only vegetables one day a week. - Improve your breathing, and your mind, too, will improve. - Don’t waste time worrying about things you cannot control. - Become adapt at switching modes. Create gates within your mind. - Breathe Slowly for 5 minute. - Make time to be alone. - Be grateful for making it through another day. - Don’t think of unpleasant things right before bed. - Try your best to do what you can now. - Don’t be troubled by things that have not yet happened. - In anything, the hard part is just to keep going. - No day is more important than today. - Do not fear change. - Wanting more leads to suffering - Try taking care of someone or something. - Understand what is important in life. - Life really does go by in the blink of an eye.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    Simple one pages chapters with surprising insight. Sure there’s a lot of basic stuff but quite a few nuggets in there as well. Worth the quick read and even a reread.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Owen

    This book consist of short chapters filled with insight. It takes time to read because you need to stop and think after reading a chapter.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Short and inspiring. Written by Shunmyo Masuno, a Zen Buddhist monk based in Yokohama, also renowned as a designer of Zen gardens. Each chapter is one short page that gives mostly practical advice about applying Buddhist principles to everyday life. It's a translation from a Japanese original, and is a window into Japanese culture as well as Zen thinking. Some of the chapters are very straightforward and easy to relate to. Others are more enigmatic or even contradictory, which adds some spice to Short and inspiring. Written by Shunmyo Masuno, a Zen Buddhist monk based in Yokohama, also renowned as a designer of Zen gardens. Each chapter is one short page that gives mostly practical advice about applying Buddhist principles to everyday life. It's a translation from a Japanese original, and is a window into Japanese culture as well as Zen thinking. Some of the chapters are very straightforward and easy to relate to. Others are more enigmatic or even contradictory, which adds some spice to the mix, I would say. I can think of some ways to improve this book, particularly the illustrations and presentation. I understand there is an attempt to keep the design sparse, with a simple line drawing by Harriet Lee-Merrion at the start of each chapter. These are OK, but I would do more. I would at least have the Japanese kanji for each chapter name. As a beginning student of Japanese, I would enjoy seeing the kanji for things like "savor the morning air", "feel instead of think", etc. If the author is going to explicitly reference Japanese kanji characters, I would actually show those characters. For example, in chapter 73, he talks about the concept of "ishiki" or mental consciousness, and mentions a contrast between the first character "i" and the second character "shiki". But I missed actually seeing those characters. This happens in a couple of other places. Similarly, in chapter 8 he mentions "the indescribable intensity in the calligraphy of the Zen monk Ikkyu." I suppose a Japanese reader knows what this calligraphy looks like, but a Western reader could really use an illustration. On the whole I think much of the interest and beauty in this book comes not only from the Zen principles, but from the way these principles are woven and integrated into the beautiful and ancient culture of Japan. I could imagine it being fleshed out into a much larger, more graphically appealing format. As is, it's an interesting and inspiring little book which I enjoyed reading in a single evening.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daryll

    Be Kind, and Un-wind Shunmyō Masuno's terse, and straight to the point book is densely packed with beginner level lessons (or more like power points) on the simple living of a Zen lifestyle. I found some talking points as real solutions to life's stressful problems while others seemed far too much into the Monk lifestyle (walking barefoot in the snow, lining your shoes, holding hands together to prevent angry inclinations, etc) for my liking as a non-monk. I would say there is enough here to Be Kind, and Un-wind Shunmyō Masuno's terse, and straight to the point book is densely packed with beginner level lessons (or more like power points) on the simple living of a Zen lifestyle. I found some talking points as real solutions to life's stressful problems while others seemed far too much into the Monk lifestyle (walking barefoot in the snow, lining your shoes, holding hands together to prevent angry inclinations, etc) for my liking as a non-monk. I would say there is enough here to chew on for the average reader, but be wary of expectations.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    This was the best time ever to read this book. I would listed to it on audio every time my mind got wrapped up with worry and anxiety which lately, has been often! Here are a few points that I took away but honestly, I could probably listen to this book on repeat for the next several weeks as a form of therapy. "You decide that you want to do something, pursue it as if your life depends on it." "Live how you want to die." Just delicious bite size pieces of Japanese wisdom. Loved it! This was the best time ever to read this book. I would listed to it on audio every time my mind got wrapped up with worry and anxiety which lately, has been often! Here are a few points that I took away but honestly, I could probably listen to this book on repeat for the next several weeks as a form of therapy. "You decide that you want to do something, pursue it as if your life depends on it." "Live how you want to die." Just delicious bite size pieces of Japanese wisdom. Loved it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abhi

    Let me pick some nits first. 1. A lot of the prescriptions in this book are repetitive, and are found again and again in several places. The one about clearing or emptying your mind, for instance. The "100" in the "100 ways..." then is, as Carlin would put it, a purely marketing decision. 2. I find something easier to learn or remember if it fits neatly in a framework that follows the MECE principle. And, well, yes, that was missing. Everything was all over the place, and the apportioning of the c Let me pick some nits first. 1. A lot of the prescriptions in this book are repetitive, and are found again and again in several places. The one about clearing or emptying your mind, for instance. The "100" in the "100 ways..." then is, as Carlin would put it, a purely marketing decision. 2. I find something easier to learn or remember if it fits neatly in a framework that follows the MECE principle. And, well, yes, that was missing. Everything was all over the place, and the apportioning of the content into the different parts did not make any logical sense to me. After all, this book is about Zen. It is hard to teach something so abstract. There is, obviously, no clear formula or a magic principle, or a set of them. The book does list a lot of good things that are, in my opinion, worth practising everyday, and things we have forgotten or take for granted. Like meditation, or appreciation for nature, or keeping your calm in a tough situation. Yes, this does sound like commonsense wisdom, but how many of us actually practice these things? The path to a good and peaceful life is well-lit, but we are blind.

  8. 4 out of 5

    FlyingBulgarian Svetli H.

    I felt a little bit betrayed by this book - I felt like some of the lessons were differently worded versions of previous lessons earlier in the book. But, nonetheless, I did note down the following as most important - these one spoke straight to my heart - don't leave what you can do today for tomorrow - don't think of unpleasant things before you go to bed - don't be troubled by things that have not yet happened - take pleasure in your work - cast away greed, anger and ignorance - the three poisons I felt a little bit betrayed by this book - I felt like some of the lessons were differently worded versions of previous lessons earlier in the book. But, nonetheless, I did note down the following as most important - these one spoke straight to my heart - don't leave what you can do today for tomorrow - don't think of unpleasant things before you go to bed - don't be troubled by things that have not yet happened - take pleasure in your work - cast away greed, anger and ignorance - the three poisons I would probably list through this book again, but reading it in one sitting was not satisfying

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    I am not a Buddhist, I am not becoming a Buddhist however this book has some simple life practices that are just good to be reminded of. Also it puts some things in a perspective that I might not of thought of. Overall good little read. I would have been done with this sooner had I not had to return it to the library and wait to check it out again! 🙂

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erika Teszler

    It’s not a book that you read in order to finish, but one from which you enjoy small parts every day. You might find out that you are already following some of the concepts in your everyday life without knowing they are part of the Zen way of thinking. A nice and easy reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane Glossil

    Simple. Calming. Practical.

  12. 5 out of 5

    StarMan

    3 to 5 stars, depending on how much you are into Zen stuff. A relaxing read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    SheAintGotNoShoes

    Thought provoking in many ways as a guide to good psychology and skills to lead a less stressed filled life. I like these types of books even though I am not Buddhist.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marija S.

    2,7/5 There is nothing fundamentaly wrong with this book but it is far, far less inspiring than other similar guides to 'small enlightenment'. Most advices are repetitive and pretty straightforward (common sense) and some are just random (to avoid using the word useless). If this is the first self help piece you read, I guess it is alright. To me it seems lazy, recycled and spiked with 'mysterious' Japanese words. 2,7/5 There is nothing fundamentaly wrong with this book but it is far, far less inspiring than other similar guides to 'small enlightenment'. Most advices are repetitive and pretty straightforward (common sense) and some are just random (to avoid using the word useless). If this is the first self help piece you read, I guess it is alright. To me it seems lazy, recycled and spiked with 'mysterious' Japanese words.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deepthi Nair

    Simple teachings..that calmed me down to a great extent! Reading daily..It was more like meditation for me! I felt a lot relaxed listening to the book through audible. A gem to be treasured in my library for life 😊

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    One hundred little practices from a Japanese monk, including going barefoot, lining up your shoes when you take them off, pausing after each bite while eating.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Oh the world would be a very calm and peaceful place if everyone could follow these simple suggestions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Billmen

    Zen: The Art of Simple Living features 100 clear, practical and easy to follow lessons, one a day for 100 days by renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno who has drew upon centuries of wisdom to show us how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. This book is a simple and easy read, I did take joy flicking through this book and reading a few pages a day, a lot of these lessons are very simple and easy to apply, which I appreciated. Some of these include: 1. Give up the need to be liked by everyo Zen: The Art of Simple Living features 100 clear, practical and easy to follow lessons, one a day for 100 days by renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno who has drew upon centuries of wisdom to show us how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life. This book is a simple and easy read, I did take joy flicking through this book and reading a few pages a day, a lot of these lessons are very simple and easy to apply, which I appreciated. Some of these include: 1. Give up the need to be liked by everyone 2. Do not fear change 3. Organise your desk 4. Line up your shoes when you take them off You may even find you already do a lot of these things, such as I did. My favourite part of this book were the beautiful colourful illustrations throughout, I found this really enhanced the relaxing feeling I got from reading and practising these lessons. Whilst I will admit this book hasn’t changed me, it has made me more aware of my actions and what I can personally do to help myself feel more calm and ‘zen’. I will happily reach back to this book for a re-read when I feel it’s needed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Supriya Pattanaik

    Well , most of the things written in the book is definitely known to all. But i love how the author has Depicted self - care, through beautiful illustrations🎨. This book is to be read slowly and Every words are to be felt when you read. Zen is just about subtle shifting in your regular habits and perspective. That's all you need to live live simply. Some favourite lessons ✒: 🔑Arrange your room simply 🔑 Take out time for not thinking anything 🔑exhale deeply and Breathe slowly 🔑seek out the sunset 🔑 Well , most of the things written in the book is definitely known to all. But i love how the author has Depicted self - care, through beautiful illustrations🎨. This book is to be read slowly and Every words are to be felt when you read. Zen is just about subtle shifting in your regular habits and perspective. That's all you need to live live simply. Some favourite lessons ✒: 🔑Arrange your room simply 🔑 Take out time for not thinking anything 🔑exhale deeply and Breathe slowly 🔑seek out the sunset 🔑Don't waste time worrying about things you cannot control 🔑Don't think unpleasant things just before going to bed. 🔑stop Procrastinating 🔑discover another you - find your inner protagonist 🔑 Discard things you don't need. 🔑 Take pleasure in your work 🔑don't be bound by someone's or a single perspective 🔑Appreciate your connection with things and people 🔑 Always value stories or learnings of old people

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dilip Chauhan

    Simple lessons on life, in simple words. Those who are struggling with life should give it a try, it's not Just preaching but actual way of living a simple Zen life. I read it evey day couple of chapters, chapters are small and easy, and mapped the way you will feel that it's a continuation of improvement. 4 star read. Strongly recommended if you are looking for self-help books which will make your life simple and easy. Simple lessons on life, in simple words. Those who are struggling with life should give it a try, it's not Just preaching but actual way of living a simple Zen life. I read it evey day couple of chapters, chapters are small and easy, and mapped the way you will feel that it's a continuation of improvement. 4 star read. Strongly recommended if you are looking for self-help books which will make your life simple and easy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pixi Jo

    Aaaah loved this book so much!!! Really it's just 100 or so little nibbles of advice on things you can do to make your life a little less stressful, less full of worry and just more - with less! It's the sort of book you pick up over and over and read randomly to just calm thine mind & soul a bit. And no, it has 0.0% religion in it, just lovely suggestions well worth investigating! I am so going to hunt down any other books in a similar vein! Aaaah loved this book so much!!! Really it's just 100 or so little nibbles of advice on things you can do to make your life a little less stressful, less full of worry and just more - with less! It's the sort of book you pick up over and over and read randomly to just calm thine mind & soul a bit. And no, it has 0.0% religion in it, just lovely suggestions well worth investigating! I am so going to hunt down any other books in a similar vein!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracy T

    2019 POP Sugar Challenge - A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lena Nechet

    Not really my way to view zen, but good (Shunmyō Masuno).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shaloo Walia

    Little book of Zen wisdom...must read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Nicola

    Calming read over the last few stressful days.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Indya

    Definitely had some interesting thoughts in it, but I did not like the way it is written. It did not resonate with me in this way, but the messages it tries to convey are very good

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Tobias Christian Fischer

    Less is more Live more intense I guess Zen is known by know. It’s a nice refresher - unfortunately not more or less.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Akira Amasawa

    Simple and effective read. Loved it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Read twice already and I’m going to read it again and again. I have the audiobook version, and the narrator is very good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    Such a great refresher! Almost in dot point form in it's directness, this book packs a real punch for its size with regards the easily applicable life lessons it offers. Such a great refresher! Almost in dot point form in it's directness, this book packs a real punch for its size with regards the easily applicable life lessons it offers.

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