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Afterzen: Experiences of a Zen Student Out on His Ear
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Afterzen: Experiences of a Zen Student Out on His Ear

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In Afterzen, van de Wetering provides unorthodox solutions to a collection of classical koans found in Walter Nowick's The Wisteria Triangle. Van de Wetering gives them his own distinctive touch of humor, down to earth reality, and tough spirituality in the context of meeting and adventures with personalities "collaged from bits and pieces of teachers and fellow students w ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 8th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 1st 1999)
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William Burr
Nov 12, 2015 William Burr rated it it was amazing
This is the most difficult and complicated book in this three book series. In the previous two books, van de Wetering follows teachers' instructions to move toward enlightenment. In those books, he is young or middle-aged. In this book, he is an old man, and he has largely thrown out the respect he had for many teachers, and seems at first glance to have thrown out Buddhism, too. His American teacher ends up being hopelessly gloomy, authoritarian, mean, and could be considered abusive. He encoun ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Z rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2014
"Besides," I protested, "linking insight to a nationality or a race is silly. Pure being is everywhere, even in me, and I am Dutch, for God's sake. Can you imagine?"

All 3 of van de Wetering's Zen books now feature among my all-time favourites, especially Afterzen, in which he winds up the story of his experiences with Zen. Always honest and hilarious, he describes his own frustration and failures, the seemingly inevitable discovery that his former gurus and teachers were all-too-human, yet emer
May 13, 2013 Merrikay rated it really liked it
I've read a couple of other books by this author and liked them a lot. I was cranky when I started this one and did not like it. As I read on or my mood improved, not sure which, or perhaps it was my understanding. I liked it more. Yes - my understanding increased. It is a memoir of his experiences after leaving the "serious" study of Zen in Japan and moving to the U.S. He is Dutch which added more interest for me. He writes each chapter round a koan, those nasty little things that annoy the he ...more
Mar 04, 2016 ania rated it really liked it
"The plot line may seem to go somewhere but soon turns bizarre. Who can make head or tail of his or her own life?"
Jun 01, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better known for his detective novels featuring Adjutant-Detective Henk Grijpstra and Detective-Sergeant Rinus de Gier, detectives of the Amsterdam homicide division, Dutch author Janwillem van de Wetering (1931-2008) also wrote a set of three books about his experiences as a Zen student. This, Afterzen: Experiences of a Zen Student out on His Ear, is the last.

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Dec 13, 2008 Rickeclectic rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Folks interested in Zen, Japan or Van de Wetering
Shelves: about-meaning
Van de Wetering's later book about doing Zen. Like the early one, when he was first getting into zen, this one focuses on the reality of doing zen. He gives away trade secrets about zen, like the "answers" to some Koans. More importantly, he tries to get past the superficial mysticism of zen and the notion that somehow zen will cure all your spiritual ills. He is not anti-zen, but he is a zen "realist."
Ellen Johnson
Dec 27, 2012 Ellen Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
more a series of essays but with recurring characters of Sensei, Roshi, Baba, and other disciples. I really liked it at first, but it became somewhat tiresome and repetitive. only natural that the essays should become like the koans, all telling the same story that there is nothing. nothing doesn't provide much fodder for a book, though. Love his attitude and humor.
Jul 16, 2014 Judith rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddhism, non-fiction
This is the last book of Weterings trilogy regarding his experience with Zen buddhism. It is clear that the author could not come to terms with the sometimes eccentric style of education of his different teachers over the years. The book is mostly a chronicle of the darker side of Weterings quest to find the meaning of life.
Steve Wilson
Aug 10, 2011 Steve Wilson rated it really liked it
After such rigorous Zen training, it was refreshing to read about how this Dutch author re-integrated into everyday life. He takes away a lot of the mystique that gets built up around Eastern religious training. I have absolutely no desire to go spend time in a monastery after reading this book!
Nov 26, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
This guy had quite an interesting life and this is the final volume. It gives you something to think about in regards to the meaning of life and some insight to Buddhism.
Mar 06, 2007 Davin rated it liked it
Shelves: zen
The less fun, but no less interesting, fallout of his Zen experiences.
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