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Zen Heart: Simple Advice for Living with Mindfulness and Compassion

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  14 reviews
There's a secret to spiritual practice, and it's surprisingly simple: learn to be present with attention. Do that, and the whole world becomes your teacher, you wake up to the sacredness of every aspect of existence, and compassion for others arises without even thinking about it. It's indeed just that simple, says Zen teacher Ezra Bayda, but that doesn't necessarily mean ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by Shambhala
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Kasey Jueds
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As with all spiritual books I really love, I read this one very, very slowly. There's so much on each page, you truly have to. I loved Ezra Bayda's first two books, but this one is probably my favorite. It's wonderfully plain-spoken and clear about subjects that are incredibly difficult to talk about, let alone write about; it's honest and encouraging but never seems to over-simplify things; it's a perfect blend of memoir/anecdote, advice, and inspiration.
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a nice read with some great tips to put some zen in your heart. Bayda split up the book in an approachable manner that gives you stepping stones for your heart and mind.

I think the most important part is the first section, "The Me Phase of Practice." I think the realization of how me-focused our brains are is an incredibly powerful tool in becoming mindful and awake, and he spells it out well. Our minds will analyze, blame, and try to fix "problems" and any uncomfortableness we
Roger Hoehn
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Zen books that I have read!
Anne-Maria Yritys
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I fell asleep, lights on, with the book gently pressed towards my chest and heart when having finished it as my evening read.
Joshua Buhs
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: b12, non-fiction
Ironically, for a book on Zen, Zen Heart too often gets in its own way--which isn't to say that there aren't any useful insights. Just that they are free-floating, not quite woven into a cohesive fabric.

These problems despite the fact that in Zen Heart, Bayda's fourth book, he has found his voice, a cohesive structure for what he is trying to say, and repeats a lot--sometimes almost verbatim--what was in his first book. The problem, I think, is that he is too "down to earth," as everyone likes
Randi Kennedy
This was perhaps not a good choice to begin with, as Bayda assumed an audience that was well-versed in meditation practice.

However, the chapters on channeling anger and facing the deeper emotions and beliefs that underlie our reactions--anger, sadness, irritation, etc--were extremely useful for me.

This might be worth revisiting after reading some additional Buddhist texts.
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Again, Ezra was my zen meditation teacher in San Diego. I found this book more helpful than his last book I read. I like meditation books that really breakdown what exactly it is you're working towards while sitting in meditation, or while trying to bring awareness to your everyday tasks. Zen Heart focuses mainly on opening the heart center and gives specific meditation techniques to do just that. I definitely recommend it if any of my friends are into meditation (and I don't believe any of you ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book might be useful for beginners to Zen techniques and Buddhism, but not for people who are already aware of the basic concepts.

I found it didn't delve deep enough into the topics it presented. Also, I found the references to God uncomfortable, as it automatically assumes that the reader believes in God.

However the best part of this book is the meditation recommendations. The affirmations are really helpful and I will probably use them in everyday life. The appendix of essential
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelf
There was a lot in this book to appreciate, but I got pretty bored by the end because Bayda is very repetitive. It's actually more a self-help book than a Buddhist book, and like most of those, it got sort of predictable and formulaic. He does give some meditation instructions that are in depth and workable.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
Couldn't finish this. I don't know what I was expecting: earth-shattering wisdom? The secret to life, the universe, everthing? Whatever it was, I didn't find it. To be frank, I've found better information regarding Buddhism for free online.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is not the first book on Zen I would recommend reading but it is excellent for those familiar with the subject. I very much like the insight Bayda has into using Zen to help us be more present and more awake in our lives.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simple and easy to understand, brought a lot of new ideas and perspectives.
Kathi Repka
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
love this book! I would like to have it my personal library
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