Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Named one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century (Spirituality & Practice)
A 50th Anniversary edition of the bestselling Zen classic on meditation, maintaining a curious and open mind, and living with simplicity.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are…
Why read it?
7 authors picked Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the experts there are few" is one of hundreds of gems from this collection of talks by Shunryu Suzuki, founding teacher of the San Francisco Zen Center.
Living a meaningful and successful life requires cultivating a full-functioning mind and body. Here are simple and profound instructions for seeing through the world of greed, aversion, and delusion. Suzuki provides guidelines for redefining meaning and success, going way beyond the usual self-help realm and toward a way of transforming how you see and live in the world.
This modern classic presents the essential teachings of Zen master Shunryu Suzuki.
Through a series of informal talks, Suzuki introduces the basics of Zen practice, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a beginner's mind. Suzuki is considered one of the big Zen masters from the US. He was not teaching Steve Jobs, as many think, however. But he was related to that person, Kobun Roshi.
As a trainer to many programming students, this book reminded me about the power of being a beginner, able to ask questions freely, and ready to make mistakes. It also makes me think often about being…
I work with groups and communities in studio environments where people worldwide encounter past baggage about their artistic expression or lack of it, all of which invariably arouses intimidation, fear, doubt, and resistance. This concise, 138-page text has been the go-to book in affirming universal and quality participation. Less experienced artists appreciate the value of beginning and veterans let go and begin anew. The goal for all is authentic expression, or as Suzuki-roshi says, “to express your true nature in the simplest, most adequate way and to appreciate it in the smallest existence.”
At the core of Buddhism lies the question: how much are you moving toward your inner peace and awakening and how much are you indulging in your own confusion and suffering? This classic text from the Zen master Suzuki Roshi was written here in the West half a century ago yet is still relevant today because it helps us quickly figure out what it means to be in touch with that sense of awakening by coming into the present moment and accessing the “Zen mind” right here and now.
D. T. Suzuki and Alan Watts introduced Zen to a Western audience. Shunryu Suzuki, no relationship to the scholar, was one of the first to show Westerners how to live Zen. He founded the San Francisco Zen Center as one of the first centers dedicated to offering authentic practice to Westerners. This book has become a beloved classic, arguably the first classic of American Zen.
I’ll end with a book that should be seen as a starting point in the journey of lifelong learning. Written more than a half-century ago by a Japanese priest of the Soto lineage who was one of the founding fathers of Zen in America, this slim but potent book helped popularize the concept of “beginner’s mind”--which is simply about trying to see the world around us with a fresh eye and an open mind. As Suzuki writes in his book, “The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert.” Such a mind, he added, “is…
This may be the most loved and widely known books on Zen. Like the Paramahansa Yogananda selection I spoke of above, it is transcribed from a series of talks, and so, it has a direct and intimate feel. Like many Zen masters, Shunryu Suzuki speaks with humor and conveys deep wisdom through Koans and lighthearted parables. The relaxed tone reminds us that enlightenment isn’t meant to be complicated. It’s right here, but we miss it because we expect deep wisdom to come cloaked in armor and difficulties.
If you only read one book on Zen, let it be this one,…
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