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Upside-Down Zen

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Upside-Down Zen invites readers to explore the vivid spirit of Zen Buddhism in fresh ways. Recalling, in another vein, the warm, lyrical style of Lin Jensen’s Bad Dog!, author Susan Murphy offers a multifaceted take on the spiritual, grounded in the everyday. She uses her skills as storyteller, filmmaker, and poet to uncover the connections between Zen and Western cinema, ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 13th 2006 by Wisdom Publications
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Ben Hourigan
I came to this one in hard times. An old friend of mine, who I had not seen in years, was dying; I was under enough stress that I considered a full year off overseas, to write; and I was on the verge of realizing I had to leave yet another girlfriend.

It was this old friend who helped pull me back closer to Zen after several years away from my sangha and my practice. We were both students of Susan Murphy's, and it seemed time to read this at last.

So I didn't read it from beginning to end, but pic
Deep, rich, and poetic, and much of it way over my head. But I discovered that going back and re-reading something that made me go "Huh?" was rewarding, and it is on my new shelf, the "to-read-again" shelf. I took notes like mad, because so many things spoke to me and I wanted to hang on to them. Very un-Buddhist of me. The author is an Australian zen teacher, in the lineage of Robert Aitkin, and introduces many koans as she goes along. She also has an interest in finding the connections between ...more
Judy Kuhn
This was the first book I read on Zen Buddhism and Zen koans, and it was a revelation -- a creative, imaginative and delightfully un-stuffy way to deal with life's problems that seems to speak to me. There are lots of people writing about Buddhism and Zen Buddhism these days, and many of them are brilliant, but I especially like a group of "down-under" thinkers from Australia and thereabouts that includes Susan Murphy and John Tarrant.
Murphy incorporates a lot of narratives -- her own and others -- as she uses a Buddhist framework to respond to a variety of life's challenges. A gentle book with great depth.
Very very dense. You need a whole day to read one paragraph....but that's what's so great about it!
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