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Blowing Zen: Finding an Authentic Life

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4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
As a young, up and coming electrical engineer living in England, Ray Brooks had everything he could want a high paying job, late nights, and fast cars. All he was missing in his life was the meaning. A series of events brought him to Japan, where he met a man who played the shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese flute. That fortuitous interaction motivated Brooks to embark on a ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published May 16th 2011 by Sentient Publications (first published January 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Brett
I really enjoyed this book. Ray's journey as a "gaijin komuso" in Japan is both entertaining and inspiring. His ability to incorporate Zen perspectives into everyday (and not so everyday) events is refreshing.

The author has clearly put a lot of effort into making this book fun and accessible for the reader, even those without much prior knowledge of Zen concepts. Those with an interest in Zen or Buddhist theory may find the book more compelling overall, but the portions of the work dealing with
...more
Amazan274
Oct 18, 2012 Amazan274 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
This book presents a wonderful story of a man that fell in love with music and redefined the course of his life. I decided to read this book as a way to expand my knowledge about different cultures, in this case, the Japanese art of Shakuhachi. Once I started reading this book I was immediately hooked by the author's honest way of narrating his spiritual journey. This is not an academic description of ancient eastern music. It is a sincere narration of a man who passionately fell in love with an ...more
Duc
Jun 03, 2016 Duc rated it really liked it
This book is such a joy to read. An honest account of how an amateur would "stumble" upon the shakuhachi - one of the most difficult musical instruments to master - then went on to to be guided by this instrument to encounter extraordinary people and zen, and find an authentic way of life through musical mastery.

This book is another testament to the fruits of the inner discovery journey that, sooner or later, beckons all of us. I would love to hear the author Ray Brooks play the shakuhachi live
...more
Laura  Williams
Feb 01, 2012 Laura Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This may be a non-fiction book but it was beautifully crafted and flowed like a well written novel. I enjoyed the author's personal experiences and observations about his life, life and customs in Japan, and even the insights to life (regardless of your location, path or aspirations) - a very positive book that was spiritual yet not preachy. Worth the time to read. I have added it to my favourites self not only for content but because of several passages that flow like water. (I am Canadian and ...more
Mage
Aug 12, 2013 Mage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read
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15296908
Ray Brooks, is the author of, "The shadow that seeks the sun, a story of yogis bhogis and an unexpected encounter. " His previous works are, "Blowing Zen: finding an authentic life and "Ich ging den Weg der Zen Flote: a spiritual biography.


Ray is also a musician and recording artist, internationally known in the world of shakuhachi music. He has studied with many great shakuhachi masters and perf
...more
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