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Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace

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All runners strive to get in the "zone," but here you'll learn to enter the ZEN "zone"! By adopting Buddha's mindful approach, you'll discover that you can run longer, faster, and harder. Zen and the Art of Running shows you how to align body and mind for success on -- and off -- the track! Iron Man triathlete and philosophy professor Larry Shapiro coaches you to get out a All runners strive to get in the "zone," but here you'll learn to enter the ZEN "zone"! By adopting Buddha's mindful approach, you'll discover that you can run longer, faster, and harder. Zen and the Art of Running shows you how to align body and mind for success on -- and off -- the track! Iron Man triathlete and philosophy professor Larry Shapiro coaches you to get out and run, train harder, and race the Zen way. Complete with case studies, testimonials, and training techniques, this right action guide will inspire you -- whether you're a seasoned runner or new to the sport -- to pound the path to enlightenment, one stride at a time. (text above is from the back cover of the book)


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All runners strive to get in the "zone," but here you'll learn to enter the ZEN "zone"! By adopting Buddha's mindful approach, you'll discover that you can run longer, faster, and harder. Zen and the Art of Running shows you how to align body and mind for success on -- and off -- the track! Iron Man triathlete and philosophy professor Larry Shapiro coaches you to get out a All runners strive to get in the "zone," but here you'll learn to enter the ZEN "zone"! By adopting Buddha's mindful approach, you'll discover that you can run longer, faster, and harder. Zen and the Art of Running shows you how to align body and mind for success on -- and off -- the track! Iron Man triathlete and philosophy professor Larry Shapiro coaches you to get out and run, train harder, and race the Zen way. Complete with case studies, testimonials, and training techniques, this right action guide will inspire you -- whether you're a seasoned runner or new to the sport -- to pound the path to enlightenment, one stride at a time. (text above is from the back cover of the book)

30 review for Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarkMcgwire

    one step closer to not hating running

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Practice mindfulness by separating fact from attitude. Figure out what thoughts & emotions prevent you from running. Figure out why you are attached to those thoughts & emotions. Negative attachments to an idea are a choice. Figure out what you can do to get rid of the attachments and just accept the facts. Obstacles arise from within. Knowing and acting on knowledge are two different things. Don't let a harmful attachment control your mind and actions. Prioritize commitments, deadlines & respons Practice mindfulness by separating fact from attitude. Figure out what thoughts & emotions prevent you from running. Figure out why you are attached to those thoughts & emotions. Negative attachments to an idea are a choice. Figure out what you can do to get rid of the attachments and just accept the facts. Obstacles arise from within. Knowing and acting on knowledge are two different things. Don't let a harmful attachment control your mind and actions. Prioritize commitments, deadlines & responsibilities, then deal with the attachments that are causing fear, worry & dislike. You may not be able to change the task, but since it has to be done anyways, seek to change your negative attitude towards it. Choose "right effort" to replace negative emotions with positive ones. The goal of "right effort" is to alleviate dukka, or a battle of clashing desires. This is one of the hardest skills for anyone to learn, but it complements mindfulness. Look for areas of compromise when dealing with a conflict...perhaps there are negative attachments?

  3. 5 out of 5

    ☼Shannon☼

    I've had a hard time motivating myself to get myself up and run when I wake up. I was going to force myself to run this morning but yesterday a callus formed on my toe that made walking painful. I opted not to run so I could hopefully let the callus heal. The first chapter deals with motivating yourself to run. I will definitely be utilizing some of these techniques. I have been training to run faster as I am very unhappy with 15 minute mile. There are tools in this book that will help you train I've had a hard time motivating myself to get myself up and run when I wake up. I was going to force myself to run this morning but yesterday a callus formed on my toe that made walking painful. I opted not to run so I could hopefully let the callus heal. The first chapter deals with motivating yourself to run. I will definitely be utilizing some of these techniques. I have been training to run faster as I am very unhappy with 15 minute mile. There are tools in this book that will help you train or just accept your pace for what it is. I can also see applying the lessons in this book to your life. Meditating sounds interesting. (I skipped 2 chapters because they weren't applicable at the moment.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I always am motivated when I read a good running book. Most of the book will help me, especially if I'm tired & still have further to go in the run. Shapiro still didn't convince me, however,to run outside on a dark, cold rainy morning. I can't dismiss it as being what it is & just run anyway. Its still cold & wet & unpleasant. I always am motivated when I read a good running book. Most of the book will help me, especially if I'm tired & still have further to go in the run. Shapiro still didn't convince me, however,to run outside on a dark, cold rainy morning. I can't dismiss it as being what it is & just run anyway. Its still cold & wet & unpleasant.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hetal

    Great book for beginners in running. My first book on running was 'the Chi of Running', which is also a fabulous book. While chi was more technical and focused on the right type of running, zen, as the name suggests, focusses on the mental part, which is a significant part for any runner. Happy running , I mean reading! Great book for beginners in running. My first book on running was 'the Chi of Running', which is also a fabulous book. While chi was more technical and focused on the right type of running, zen, as the name suggests, focusses on the mental part, which is a significant part for any runner. Happy running , I mean reading!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This book is not perfect, but I think I can give it partial credit for the fact that I consider myself a runner now. I have my first 5K coming up next month and while I've tried to start running before, I believe I always had the wrong mindset going in - this book definitely helped in that regard. This book is not perfect, but I think I can give it partial credit for the fact that I consider myself a runner now. I have my first 5K coming up next month and while I've tried to start running before, I believe I always had the wrong mindset going in - this book definitely helped in that regard.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eero

    If you like running and reading about running it's hard to understand why you wouldn't like this book. If you like running and reading about running it's hard to understand why you wouldn't like this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Zen and the art of running turned out to be more of a book about Zen Buddhism then I was expecting. The chapters are all about running, but the principles all come from the philosophical perspective of Zen. This is not a book about a religion, yet it's easy to see how the Zen practices would apply to many other elements of life outside of running. I was impressed by the author's ability to pull elements from this spiritual practice without ever making a dogma of it. I found the text very easy to Zen and the art of running turned out to be more of a book about Zen Buddhism then I was expecting. The chapters are all about running, but the principles all come from the philosophical perspective of Zen. This is not a book about a religion, yet it's easy to see how the Zen practices would apply to many other elements of life outside of running. I was impressed by the author's ability to pull elements from this spiritual practice without ever making a dogma of it. I found the text very easy to read and the examples meaningful as someone in a bit of lull in my running. The book increased my appreciating for running(specifically racing) and drastically increased my interest in Zen Buddhism. I think this is probably a better text for more experienced runners, but that might be my bias because what is it like not to be a runner?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I struggled with this book. Not sure if it was the writing style, content, or both. Finally skim finished it off. I may come back to this at times in my life (for example the chapters on injury and aging), but I currently found it repetitive and too narrow focused (men have a different experience running than women -- he could have broadened his perspective in order to better connect with his audience). Tldr: mindfulness in running and life is good.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Giuseppe Caruso

    Nice book, on Zen, watered with running. A bit repetitive after 75% of the book. If you run, you already know that "trance" feeling after a while focusing on your breath and steps. But it is interesting the "zen" and "buddhism" part of the book where he explains some of the basic principles of mindfulness and "best effort" zen thinking. The author should, probably, write a book "just" on Zen. Nice book, on Zen, watered with running. A bit repetitive after 75% of the book. If you run, you already know that "trance" feeling after a while focusing on your breath and steps. But it is interesting the "zen" and "buddhism" part of the book where he explains some of the basic principles of mindfulness and "best effort" zen thinking. The author should, probably, write a book "just" on Zen.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    6am in the fall, in New England, is dark, and cold. I get out of my warm bed, just a couple stretches and some juice, and out the door quickly... I keep my mind focused on the *feeling* - ignore the cold, ignore the rain, the traffic, just feel... My feet know the route, I can run it in the dark... my feet know every dip in the sidewalk, every curb, where the tree roots cross my path. When I hit mile 2 the sky begins to turn rose coloured and all I feel is peace, and I'm happy to be out and, yep 6am in the fall, in New England, is dark, and cold. I get out of my warm bed, just a couple stretches and some juice, and out the door quickly... I keep my mind focused on the *feeling* - ignore the cold, ignore the rain, the traffic, just feel... My feet know the route, I can run it in the dark... my feet know every dip in the sidewalk, every curb, where the tree roots cross my path. When I hit mile 2 the sky begins to turn rose coloured and all I feel is peace, and I'm happy to be out and, yep, happy to have another 2-3 miles to go. I hear my feet, I hear the cars and the birds. It's a meditation in motion. So Larry didn't get to this feeling until chapter 5, I think, and that's what I was looking for - how to go even more deeply into this feeling. I would have put the book down, except it's an easy read and a small book. If you don't have this feeling already and would like it - read the book. If you do, and you want to share with someone else - share the book. If you already feel this, just smile and high five me on the road.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cow

    Meh. Got it as a Nook deal of the day thing, so I think I paid 99c for it. It was worth about that. It seemed mostly a collection of obvious statements. I guess if you've truly never thought about Buddhism/zen/meditation/whatever concepts before *and* you've never thought about running before, you could get things out of this book, but...then why are you picking up the book? I'm not even a practitioner of Buddhism; I've just read enough to read this and go "yep, yep, yup, okay, yup, skimming now. Meh. Got it as a Nook deal of the day thing, so I think I paid 99c for it. It was worth about that. It seemed mostly a collection of obvious statements. I guess if you've truly never thought about Buddhism/zen/meditation/whatever concepts before *and* you've never thought about running before, you could get things out of this book, but...then why are you picking up the book? I'm not even a practitioner of Buddhism; I've just read enough to read this and go "yep, yep, yup, okay, yup, skimming now." That said, it's also slightly unfair of me as a lot of these concerns just don't apply. I could pretty much skim the entire chapter on using these concepts to make running while having a family or while aging easier, since neither apply. Maybe someday I'll go "hey, he was right!" and rewrite this review. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I tried to read this book straight through, but came to realize that it's more of a reference book that I'll go to when I need it. For example, I loved the "Zen Motivation: Getting Out the Door" section since I often need an extra push to convince myself to go running when it's dark and I'm tired from working all day. However, I gave myself permission to just browse about half the book (the racing, injury, and aging sections) since it didn't pertain to my life right now. I enjoyed reading about I tried to read this book straight through, but came to realize that it's more of a reference book that I'll go to when I need it. For example, I loved the "Zen Motivation: Getting Out the Door" section since I often need an extra push to convince myself to go running when it's dark and I'm tired from working all day. However, I gave myself permission to just browse about half the book (the racing, injury, and aging sections) since it didn't pertain to my life right now. I enjoyed reading about Zen practices and have actually used some of the techniques to clear my head of distracting thoughts while trying to fall asleep.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert Kosara

    The book promises a bit more than it delivers, or at least it creates expectations that it can't quite meet. I'd have liked to read more about zen then about running. At times, it feels like Shapiro ran out of things to say about zen and instead started writing a running guide. Other books do that better, this book should have staid closer to the zen side of things. There are some good parts, like the meditation exercises and how to meditate during a run, but that part felt a bit too short and s The book promises a bit more than it delivers, or at least it creates expectations that it can't quite meet. I'd have liked to read more about zen then about running. At times, it feels like Shapiro ran out of things to say about zen and instead started writing a running guide. Other books do that better, this book should have staid closer to the zen side of things. There are some good parts, like the meditation exercises and how to meditate during a run, but that part felt a bit too short and shallow in comparison to the rest.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    For an author who has gained his PHD in philosophy Larry Shapiro's Zen and the Art of Running reads like an average fifth grade essay assignment; complete with tips on how to double tie your shoelaces. On the other hand, could his writing style actually reflect the true spirit of Zen? Simplicity after all is synonymous with both practices. Zen and the Art of Running is either a brilliant handbook for a contemplative approach to running or a professors bored attempt at reaching the 200 page goal For an author who has gained his PHD in philosophy Larry Shapiro's Zen and the Art of Running reads like an average fifth grade essay assignment; complete with tips on how to double tie your shoelaces. On the other hand, could his writing style actually reflect the true spirit of Zen? Simplicity after all is synonymous with both practices. Zen and the Art of Running is either a brilliant handbook for a contemplative approach to running or a professors bored attempt at reaching the 200 page goal before publishing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I like the idea of mindfulness and right effort while running. The practice of meditation has also helped me find moments in my day to just breathe. The authors examples are often flat and difficult to relate to and the book is written almost like a high-school project, but taken with a grain salt this book is useful and my first zen run was very pleasant. I'm one who can talk myself out if nearly anything so using zen principles helped me stick to the run and not count down the seconds until it I like the idea of mindfulness and right effort while running. The practice of meditation has also helped me find moments in my day to just breathe. The authors examples are often flat and difficult to relate to and the book is written almost like a high-school project, but taken with a grain salt this book is useful and my first zen run was very pleasant. I'm one who can talk myself out if nearly anything so using zen principles helped me stick to the run and not count down the seconds until it was over.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Matthew

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read many books on running but this was the first about the mental part of it. Shapiro does a good job of explaining how to apply Zen to your life in general and running in particular. It is easy to apply some of these but it takes a lifetime to master. I do wonder about the simplicity of "Zen teaches us ...." I don't know if Zen is as monolithic as that. The running advice is a big simple. Don't read this as your first running book but if you want to lea I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read many books on running but this was the first about the mental part of it. Shapiro does a good job of explaining how to apply Zen to your life in general and running in particular. It is easy to apply some of these but it takes a lifetime to master. I do wonder about the simplicity of "Zen teaches us ...." I don't know if Zen is as monolithic as that. The running advice is a big simple. Don't read this as your first running book but if you want to learn about how to use Zen in your running, this is recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Bencic

    An excellent book explaining the fundamental concepts of zen through the activity of running. Using simple and clear examples, the author shows how to use the power of mindfulness, right effort and the middle way to look at the reality in a different light, objectively and free from personal attachments.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I hope I can try and use some of these techniques to my running and also the Zen attitude and beliefs to my everyday life and relationships. This book, I feel, is for hardcore runners, even though he does add in some novice acknowledgements as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I learned more about Zen Buddhism than I did running. It's kind of an introduction to Buddhist thought presented as a runner's guide. There's certainly a lot of practical application for runners but it's more about how you think about running than how you actually do it. I learned more about Zen Buddhism than I did running. It's kind of an introduction to Buddhist thought presented as a runner's guide. There's certainly a lot of practical application for runners but it's more about how you think about running than how you actually do it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arpan

    Motivational, yet at times you may feel like it opens more questions than answers. A good book that can make you, think, reflect and focus on what's important in your life. Being in the present is its main philosophy. Motivational, yet at times you may feel like it opens more questions than answers. A good book that can make you, think, reflect and focus on what's important in your life. Being in the present is its main philosophy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Npescatrice

    Easy introduction to the ideas of Zen. The correlation of mindfulness, right effort, meditation, and The Middle Way to running was clever. It's always nice to read something that makes you think about something in a new way. I enjoyed applying the new approach to running. Easy introduction to the ideas of Zen. The correlation of mindfulness, right effort, meditation, and The Middle Way to running was clever. It's always nice to read something that makes you think about something in a new way. I enjoyed applying the new approach to running.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marni

    Book for an aspiring long-distance runner. Finding work-sport-life balance.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ray Charbonneau

    Not terribly useful to me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Taueret

    meh. Probably nothing wrong with it, just didn't speak to me. meh. Probably nothing wrong with it, just didn't speak to me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Holly Miller

    This book was just okay. A lot of the scenarios the author discussed I could not relate too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    Pretty good, overall, though I will admit to skipping the sections on training and racing, as I currently run for the sheer enjoyment of it. I'll hold on to the book, though, should that ever change. Pretty good, overall, though I will admit to skipping the sections on training and racing, as I currently run for the sheer enjoyment of it. I'll hold on to the book, though, should that ever change.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    I see it didn't get great ratings by others but I liked it a lot and could see rereading it. Easy and fast but motivational.. I see it didn't get great ratings by others but I liked it a lot and could see rereading it. Easy and fast but motivational..

  29. 4 out of 5

    Harmonkurt

    Not a great book, but got me to run a couple times I wouldn't so worth the read. Not a great book, but got me to run a couple times I wouldn't so worth the read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Torture! Bought this to regain some motivation, and got it because I needed to get away from this book!

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