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The Little Zen Companion

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  322 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
While it seeks neither to define Zen nor answer its most famous koan (a riddle unanswerable by conventional thinking, in this case the sound of one hand clapping), this bestselling little book with 437,000 copies in print possesses a maverick Zen spirit that points to a different way of looking at the world.

With each page featuring a quote, phrase, story, koan, haiku, or p
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 2nd 1994 by Workman Publishing Company
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Joey
Aug 11, 2015 Joey rated it liked it
My beloved cousin lent me this book, for he knows how much I am fond of reading quotes coming from the powerful lips of famous historical figures . I want to be moved and inspired by their philosophical insights and thoughts.

To be honest, I still don’t have the completely clear ideas of what ZEN is all about. Before, I just knew of that it was some kind of spiritual practices to gain ENLIGHTENMENT and PEACE OF MIND. No wonder I tend to get fascinated to read more on this dogma. In fact, the only
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Mansoor
Apr 20, 2007 Mansoor rated it liked it
This is a book that tries to help you understand Zen thought through a compilation of quotes that demonstrate Zen ideas.

It doesn't work.

Rather, I should say, it doesn't seem to work so well. The quotes are sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, but at the end of the book, I felt no closer to understanding Zen. The Zen parables are especially confusing (to the uninitiated, I guess):

A monk brought two potted plants to his Master. “Drop it,” ordered the Master. The monk dropped one pot. “Drop it,”
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Jade
Jan 05, 2016 Jade rated it liked it
The Little Zen Companion is quite a cute little book, filled to the brim with a compilation of quotes, philosophies, and very short stories all centred around Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism. The sources of the material are immensely varied – from thousand-year-old Zen teachings to more recent quotes by Westerners looking into the religious/philosophical path. This provides many perspectives on Zen, one quote or story perhaps more relatable or understandable than the other.

A page per quote/s
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Judith
Aug 29, 2014 Judith rated it it was amazing
I love The Little Zen Companion. This book is pure delight. Each page gives the reader fresh perspective, useful insights, food for thought, with an occasional break for the purest of humor. A lifelong companion, and an ideal gift for all kinds of friends and acquaintances.
Cheryl
Sep 22, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The little tidbits of information were, in some ways, more useful than the quotes. However, I have learned I am not zen because the parables and the koans seemed pointless to me.
Benjamin Barnes
Feb 08, 2015 Benjamin Barnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable

I enjoyed the short stories and Koans from around the world. Definitely have me things to meditate on. Will recommend.
Randy
Jul 04, 2014 Randy rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Although there's many nice quotes here, overall many readers may dislike the author's choice to include "Zen-like" quotes from other cultures, famous personalities, and religions. The author's disclaimer at the start states "This book doesn't presume to define Zen" and the sayings were "chosen for their power to suggest." This makes the book's title misleading, perhaps chosen for marketing reasons. Ultimately, the random clash of Zen quotes vs. Western quotes creates a confusing spiritual vibe f ...more
Ryk Stanton
Dec 22, 2013 Ryk Stanton rated it really liked it
This is a good book just to keep around to read when you feel like opening your mind a little bit and seeing things in a new way. But the new way is really the old way, the forgotten way your mind used to work and sometimes still does when you're asleep. I feel as if I have become wiser without learning anything, and hope that makes sense while knowing there is no sense to be made. I never understand if Zen is meant to be some sort of religion or just a way to see the world and oneself in relati ...more
Ami
Sep 02, 2010 Ami added it
Shelves: spirit-matters, 2010
This is one of those books you can wander through, setting it aside when a reading gets you in the gut/soul. I loved the juxtaposition of quotes/stories/writings from different worlds: Eastern philosophers' & artists' words next to Westerners', writings from hundreds or even more than a thousand years ago next to much more recent ones. It lends itself wonderfully to an appreciation of some of the universals of the human experience. And zen itself is fascinating--deep but right on the surface ...more
Steven Galley
Mar 31, 2015 Steven Galley rated it liked it
This book is a helpful little book to keep in your pocket. It can serve as an incredibly useful tool to have, when you don't have much time to read. At first glance, it may seem simple, but that's the beauty of Zen; Something simple, can contain so much depth and meaning within it. My score does not reflect the quality of the book, but more reflects the fact that I believe I will have to read it thoroughly, a few times, before I truly see the meanings in some of the quotes.
Lyricsninja
Jan 31, 2012 Lyricsninja rated it liked it
This isnt a bad book by any means, but it also isnt something I see as a must read. Basically it is almost a daily book of zen sayings and some tidbits on the major figures that have played into it. There are some good little quotes in there, which do indeed give you some guidelines to live by. But if you want anything of a real book related to zen, i would suggest searching elsewhere.
Jay
Aug 07, 2014 Jay rated it did not like it
When you can do nothing, what can you do?
Vassilena Valchanova
Dec 24, 2014 Vassilena Valchanova rated it did not like it
Може и аз да не съм била в точното настроение за книгата, но за моя вкус тя е твърде фрагментарна и не предава ясно послание. Интересна ми беше историята на Дзен, биографиите на учителите и прочие. Мислите са твърде радикално различни за моя западняшки ум, вероятно.
Niva
Sep 02, 2011 Niva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this book is small, the haiku,quotes are simply awesome.It has been more than six years I've read it yet the memories of excitement,pain and the huge wisdom it shared remains till today.This book proved that small is indeed beautiful.
Orishaz
Aug 11, 2010 Orishaz rated it it was amazing
This is one of those little books I have in my library that I pick up constantly for some quick little wisdom.
Shirley Plummer
Jul 05, 2009 Shirley Plummer rated it it was ok
A variety of authors over time and geography.
A sampler...look for a 'thought for the day'
Jeff
Sep 22, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: metaphysics
Delightful little book full of one page quotes, poems, and stories related to the concept of Zen.
Jim
Aug 22, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Pleasant bathroom book . Consisting of a quote, saying, poem on each page.
Caroline
Feb 15, 2009 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: magic, nonfiction
I bought this little book in Kodiak, and that's mainly why I love it.
Raina Smith
Nov 03, 2012 Raina Smith rated it really liked it
Great little book to open up randomly and read uplifting quotes.
Erika
Jun 09, 2010 Erika added it
had this for years...always randomly read
Benny
Sep 02, 2016 Benny rated it really liked it
Not entirely worthless.
Chriss
Feb 01, 2008 Chriss rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A good bathroom book.
Sean Moriva
Nov 21, 2013 Sean Moriva rated it it was amazing
Kind of all you need.
Barbara James
Jan 27, 2016 Barbara James added it
Shelves: 12-08-25
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