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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  29,374 Ratings  ·  987 Reviews
Paperback, 132 pages
Published April 1st 1973 by Weatherhill (first published 1970)
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Richard Yim Jia Jun 禪者的初心-mean Beginner of Zen with the fresh Heart
it's original in English language as Daisetz Suzuki brought Zen to west and Shunryu Suzuki is ordinary…more
禪者的初心-mean Beginner of Zen with the fresh Heart
it's original in English language as Daisetz Suzuki brought Zen to west and Shunryu Suzuki is ordinary . two Suzukis are monk from Japan (less)

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Keleigh
May 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by various persons in different phases of my life, but I clearly wasn't ready to read it till now. Suzuki's talks on zazen are spare and direct, demystifying Buddhism as a religion or philosophy and continually bringing the focus back to the simple and perfect practice of sitting--cleaning out your mind through meditation. Though we all choose different paths according to our culture and temperament, the ultimate desire is the same: for the soul or "big I" to free ...more
Bookdragon Sean
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
“In the zazen posture, your mind and body have the great power to accept things as they are, whether agreeable or disagreeable.”

description

How do I put this into words? This does actually work. Simple Zen meditation on a nightly basis does help to put things into perspective. It helps clear the mind and get rid of those false delusions and expectations; it helps you move away from dangerous attachment and recognise the impermanence of everything. Not to mention its benefits in reducing stress and actual
...more
Riku Sayuj
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-r-rs, spiritual
If and when you meet The Buddha,
Kill him.
Then come back
And sit.
Sit
In Zazen.
Be.
Enlightenment is there,
Before it arrives.
Heather
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
I know this is supposed to be THE zen book for beginners, by one of the most influential western zen masters, etc. But it didn't set a fire under me at all. I found myself trying to mine a few words of relevant wisdom from chapter after chapter of semi-opaque discourse. It's not that the book is difficult to read, but that the insights offered by Suzuki Roshi (undeniably a great zen master) are the insights of an old man who has been practicing zen for a long time and talking to serious zen stud ...more
Francisco
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the classic introductions of Buddhist Zen practice in America. So many books on Zen written since this small jewel first came out forty-five years ago. Is there really more to say than shikan taza - just sitting: "When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit you should just sit; when you eat you should just eat. When you do this, the universal nature is there." We are achievers, us westerners. Goal oriented. Forever striving. But what if what your heart most wants (even if you don't kn ...more
Jan-Maat
The most important things in our practice are our physical posture and our way of breathing. We are not so concerned about a deep understanding of Buddhism. p99

To cook is not just to prepare for someone or for yourself; it is to express your sincerity. So when you cook you should express yourself in the activity in the kitchen. You should allow plenty of time; you should work on it with nothing in your mind, and without expecting anything. You should just cook! That is also an expression of our
...more
Gabrielle
This book had been on my radar for a while, and then in his bibliography of "Don't Be A Jerk" (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), Brad Warner basically says "You need this book!!". Who am I to argue with Brad?

As the subtitle "Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice" implies, the essays in this book are transcripts of lectures Shunryu Suzuki gave to students, arranged by topics. Suzuki is often described as a "founding father" of Zen in America, as he was one of the first to bring t
...more
Erik Graff
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Paul Schaich
Shelves: religion
This is the best non-academic introduction to Zen Buddhism that I've come upon. What caught me especially was a moment in the introduction when an interview with Suzuki was interrupted by his wife. She was serving tea, overheard part of his discourse and remarked to the interviewer that, in essence, he was full of shit, having never attained satori--all given and taken in good humor.
mark monday
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book, learned a lot, and decided to do the exact opposite. what is the opposite of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind exactly? I dunno. Crazy Expert Mind?
Kim
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: seekers
Recommended to Kim by: Meido Moore
As a music performance major who is burned out and bitter going into her last year of her undergraduate career, this book was invaluable for its ability to have the notion of practicing zazen also be equal to practicing her instrument.

I have taken a bit of a break from meditation and music for 3-4 months now, and these informal talks are exactly the kind of thing I need to get myself to head in the right direction. It's a book that I recommend re-visiting often, for it provides a perfect impetus
...more
Mike W
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is frustrating to read. There is some wisdom here, and in Zen Buddhism generally, but the delight Suzuki takes in paradoxes and contradictions serves to obscure his meaning, rather than illuminating it, eg 'we prepare by being unprepared'.

The book gets its title from his contention that wisdom consists in being open to the present moment, with the eagerness of the beginner, rather than closing oneself off like the self-styled expert.

A closely related concept is that of zazen, which, t
...more
rahul
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, aatm-saath
गम और खुशी में फरक ना महसूस हो जहा
मैं दिल को उस मकाम पे लाता चला गया

Gham aur khushi mein fark
na mehsoos ho jahaan
Main dil ko us makaam pe
lata chala gaya

Where there is no difference felt
between Joy and pain,
I kept bringing my heart to that realm,
again and again...

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Movie : Hum Dono Lyricist: Sahir Ludhiyanvi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCUUgy...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
It is practice
...more
Sara Alaee
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"When you become you, Zen becomes Zen. When you are you, you see things as they are, and you become one with your surroundings."
Gergana
Short and to the point. What I like about books about Buddhism, Taoism and so on, is that they make you feel really relaxed and accepting of yourself. Although self-improvement books on how to get rich, find love, loose weight etc. are great, it's nice to hear that life can be uneventful and boring, yet completely satisfying if you just stop and relax.

PS: On a personal note: People who have been the happiest in their lives, who lived the longest and didn't get ill as often, were not the ones th
...more
Vaishali
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional, and highly surprising. Really helpful in clearing up obstacles to motivation, and why we sometimes cannot practice/complete tasks.

Some quotes:
------------

** Keep your practice pure.

** In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind, there are few.

** When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.

** The most important point is to own your own physical body… when we have our body and mind in order, everything will exist in the right place, in the right way.
...more
Graham
Jul 15, 2008 added it
You don't have to understand it to love it: I bought this book eighteen years ago. When I bought it, I understood little of it but for the past 18 years it has been my favourite companion book helping me to calm down before I went to sleep. I have never read "a new age book" and pride myself on being hard-headed, but nonetheless the soothing, calm prose was reassuring even if enigmatic. 18 years on, I now actually understand quite a bit of it and read it not only for the prose style but for the ...more
David
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was put together from a series of lectures by Shunyru Suzuki who was one of the first Zen Buddhist teachers to share Buddhism with Americans in the middle to late 20th century. I met Suzuki when I was a teenager, and was influenced by him a great deal. Because of him I found that I was very attracted to meditation practice and to his particular style of teaching. He was a good spiritual friend. In this book Shunryu expresses the heart of Zen in the simplest but most profound ways. His ...more
Ankur Banerjee
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
As an introductory book to Zen Buddhism, this is quite daunting or useless. The publishing industry seems to have cashed into the misconception that this this is a book for beginners because it has "Beginner's Mind" in the title. This book is really not where you should be starting as the first point for any sort of reading on Buddhism - Zen or not. I'd recommend reading something else first, actually attending a zazen session somewhere and *then* reading this book to get the full impact.

Suzuki'
...more
John
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is a classic to be read from time to time. At present I am not reading it but have convinced my 15 year old sn to read it hoping that it, together with long conversations and care, will immediately help him with his teenage angst. Even more, I hope the ideas in the book can be planted now to bloom later.

Those are just some thoughts about some present concerns. The main reason for the posting is to pass on something I read that as not in a book. It is this powerful Zen koan.

Count the s
...more
T.J. Beitelman
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am not the only Westerner to be moved by this, the first Zen tract aimed specifically at an American audience. And maybe to the Zen true-believer (Western or otherwise) it’s Zen-lite, I don’t know. I’m not a Buddhist or anything, much less a Zen master. But reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind helped me realize that Zen is not so much about religion as it is about discipline of all kinds — it is, in fact, a discipline about discipline. Not so much the rap-your-knuckles kind. More the “fall down s ...more
Synthia
Some take aways:

-Right attitude is to have strong confidence in our original nature
-Repetition
-Concentration on our usual everyday routine
-When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
-Study yourself and forget yourself
-When you become you, Zen becomes Zen. When you are you, you see things as they are, and you become one with your surroundings.
-Big mind is something to express, not something to figure out. Big mind is something you
...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by the late Shunryu Suzuki is the most interesting book on Zen Buddhism I've read so far. I thought it was a pleasure to read, and unlike so often, I just took my time reading it, taking one chapter a day. There is something calming about reading it, and I think that has to do with the author voice. It is a bit like sitting somewhere, listening to a knowledgeable man talking about the subject.

Partly that is because it's not written. It is a collection of talks Shunryu S
...more
Hamidreza
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
always stay a beginner
Jay
Mar 10, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018, nonfiction
While I have now read all the words on all the pages, I don't think I'm actually finished with this book. And I don't mean that the thoughts will stick with me, though that is true. What I mean is that I will skim parts of this book again, maybe even soon. Or I will reread sections of it, thinking about the ideas again. For as simply as the words are written, the ideas have oceanic depth, I'm going to be swimming here for quite a while.
MissUnderstoodGenius
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The title "Beginner's Mind" could/might mislead a few, as it refers to the idea of maintaining an open, childlike mind, and never acting or feeling as though one has ACHIEVED enlightenment. Beginner's mind in this case refers to the state of mind we have when first jump into any endeavour. Be always searching, always growing.

Each chapter is just the right length for a cup of tea (or coffee). "Crooked Cucumber" is a biography of Suzuki and a wonderful intro to Zen Mind.

In this world of Space and
...more
Adriana Scarpin
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: budismo, japonesa, ebooks
Necessário ser relido todos os anos para lembrarmos, apenas lembrarmos.
Mike Zickar
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zen
Simply just one of the best books I've read about Zen. I have been practicing for a while and have heard this book referenced by teachers and students for a long time, and finally got around to reading it.

I think this is a book with an extreme amount of depth, one that will reward many rereadings. Despite the title, I don't think this is a good introduction to Zen practice. This is a book that will mean a lot more if you have been practicing zazen meditation for a while. In many ways, this book
...more
Laurie
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Is it strange that this book was essentially my father's manual for child-rearing? "The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous... To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good; that is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to c ...more
tooliepanna
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Książka napisana jest w formie przepisanych wykładów jednego z najważniejszych mistrzów zen XX wieku. Przez to książka traci trochę na odbiorze - mistrz nie próbuje czytelnie wyjaśnić o co mu chodzi, to płynnie wychodzące z jego ust słowa, które na papierze brzmią jeszcze bardziej enigmatycznie.
Samo zen również, przynajmniej w taki sposób jak zostało wyjaśnione tutaj, nie przemawia do mnie mimo, że wcześniej czułam więź z tą filozofią/ideą.

Książka polecana jest jako dobry wstęp do praktyki, al
...more
Mindaugas Mozūras
"You and I are just swinging doors."

"Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is a brief book about Zen and meditation. It lays out the key ideas and practices. But it's not just a straightforward guide. It gives a good idea of what Zen is all about. Even if occasionally, Suzuki overdoes it with metaphors.
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287 followers
Suzuki Roshi was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). Suzuki founded San Francisco Zen Center, which along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most influential Zen organizations in the United States. A book of his teachings, Zen Mind, ...more
More about Shunryu Suzuki
“Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.” 300 likes
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” 130 likes
More quotes…