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Zen: The Art of Simple Living

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,427 ratings  ·  477 reviews
Zen is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life . . .

In clear, practical and easy to follow lessons - one a day for 100 days - renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno draws on centuries of wisdom to show you how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life.

You will learn how to exhale deeply to eliminate negative emotions, to arrange your house simply to clear your th
...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 18th 2019 by Michael Joseph (first published June 19th 2009)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Simple
I like this kind of books. One simple idea in one page. They are separate ideas linked to one concept which is to live a simple life.

#Takeaway_notes : Simple Living

- Make time for emptiness.
- Wake Up fifteen minutes earlier.
- Discard what you don’t need. It will refresh your mind.
- The happiness to be found in taking your time.
- Try eating only vegetables one day a week.
- Improve your breathing, and your mind, too, will improve.
- Don’t waste time worrying about things you cannot control.
- Becom
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7jane
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to 7jane by: Chris
The author is a Zen Buddhist (head) priest, a Zen garden designer, lecturer, and environmental design professor at an art school. These are 100 lessons for happiness and calm, put in four parts. Some parts are clearly connected and there is some repetition, but it doesn’t really disturb the flow. One gets among other things a light introduction to Zen, and I learned for instance why Zen paintings are done only in black ink (chapter 65), and why there’s that using of koans (chapter 87). The last ...more
Sarah Booth
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple one pages chapters with surprising insight. Sure there’s a lot of basic stuff but quite a few nuggets in there as well. Worth the quick read and even a reread.
She-Readers Book Club
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the best time ever to read this book. I would listed to it on audio every time my mind got wrapped up with worry and anxiety which lately, has been often! Here are a few points that I took away but honestly, I could probably listen to this book on repeat for the next several weeks as a form of therapy. "You decide that you want to do something, pursue it as if your life depends on it." "Live how you want to die." Just delicious bite size pieces of Japanese wisdom. Loved it! ...more
John Owen
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book consist of short chapters filled with insight. It takes time to read because you need to stop and think after reading a chapter.
Adam
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short and inspiring. Written by Shunmyo Masuno, a Zen Buddhist monk based in Yokohama, also renowned as a designer of Zen gardens. Each chapter is one short page that gives mostly practical advice about applying Buddhist principles to everyday life. It's a translation from a Japanese original, and is a window into Japanese culture as well as Zen thinking. Some of the chapters are very straightforward and easy to relate to. Others are more enigmatic or even contradictory, which adds some spice to ...more
Daryll
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be Kind, and Un-wind

Shunmyō Masuno's terse, and straight to the point book is densely packed with beginner level lessons (or more like power points) on the simple living of a Zen lifestyle. I found some talking points as real solutions to life's stressful problems while others seemed far too much into the Monk lifestyle (walking barefoot in the snow, lining your shoes, holding hands together to prevent angry inclinations, etc) for my liking as a non-monk. I would say there is enough here to
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Shweta
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
With our busy never ending schedules and tasks on our to do lists, it's bound to happen, we often forget what's important for us as human to live a peaceful and content life. This book reminds us how we can lead a simple life. It's a good simple read which gives a reader a positive attitude towards life. ...more
Stacia
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, 2021
A calm and simply pleasant book of ideas, some immediately practical and some esoteric/requiring more contemplation. A balm.
Abhi
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me pick some nits first.
1. A lot of the prescriptions in this book are repetitive, and are found again and again in several places. The one about clearing or emptying your mind, for instance. The "100" in the "100 ways..." then is, as Carlin would put it, a purely marketing decision.
2. I find something easier to learn or remember if it fits neatly in a framework that follows the MECE principle. And, well, yes, that was missing. Everything was all over the place, and the apportioning of the c
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FlyingBulgarian Svetli H.
I felt a little bit betrayed by this book - I felt like some of the lessons were differently worded versions of previous lessons earlier in the book.

But, nonetheless, I did note down the following as most important - these one spoke straight to my heart
- don't leave what you can do today for tomorrow
- don't think of unpleasant things before you go to bed
- don't be troubled by things that have not yet happened
- take pleasure in your work
- cast away greed, anger and ignorance - the three poisons
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Lydia
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a Buddhist, I am not becoming a Buddhist however this book has some simple life practices that are just good to be reminded of. Also it puts some things in a perspective that I might not of thought of. Overall good little read. I would have been done with this sooner had I not had to return it to the library and wait to check it out again! 🙂
Erika Teszler
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s not a book that you read in order to finish, but one from which you enjoy small parts every day. You might find out that you are already following some of the concepts in your everyday life without knowing they are part of the Zen way of thinking.
A nice and easy reading.
StarMan
3 to 5 stars, depending on how much you are into Zen stuff. A relaxing read.
Diep Nguyen
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book gave me some useful simple but powerful tips that could be applied in daily life. Small things like arranging the shoes after entering the home, or try to see the sunset everyday to appreciate life better... those are examples of what I’ve been able to add on mindfully to my daily routine, and they do make me happier
Emilija
Jun 13, 2021 rated it liked it
perfect over a morning cup of coffee. there is nothing ground breaking here, just simple reminders. and that can be nice sometimes.
SheAintGotNoShoes
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking in many ways as a guide to good psychology and skills to lead a less stressed filled life.
I like these types of books even though I am not Buddhist.
Marija S.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: soul-lifters
2,7/5

There is nothing fundamentaly wrong with this book but it is far, far less inspiring than other similar guides to 'small enlightenment'. Most advices are repetitive and pretty straightforward (common sense) and some are just random (to avoid using the word useless). If this is the first self help piece you read, I guess it is alright. To me it seems lazy, recycled and spiked with 'mysterious' Japanese words.
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Sparky Jo
Aaaah loved this book so much!!!
Really it's just 100 or so little nibbles of advice on things you can do to make your life a little less stressful, less full of worry and just more - with less!
It's the sort of book you pick up over and over and read randomly to just calm thine mind & soul a bit.
And no, it has 0.0% religion in it, just lovely suggestions well worth investigating!
I am so going to hunt down any other books in a similar vein!
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Deepthi Nair
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simple teachings..that calmed me down to a great extent! Reading daily..It was more like meditation for me! I felt a lot relaxed listening to the book through audible. A gem to be treasured in my library for life 😊
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
One hundred little practices from a Japanese monk, including going barefoot, lining up your shoes when you take them off, pausing after each bite while eating.
Jeanne
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh the world would be a very calm and peaceful place if everyone could follow these simple suggestions.
Diane
Read twice already and I’m going to read it again and again. I have the audiobook version, and the narrator is very good.
Laurel
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great refresher! Almost in dot point form in it's directness, this book packs a real punch for its size with regards the easily applicable life lessons it offers. ...more
Chitranjan Mishra
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Zen: The Art of Simple Living is a delicately stunning little hardback that is as loveable for its illustrations as its wise and gentle words.
“Zen is about habits, ideas, and hints for living a happy life,” Shunmyō Masuno writes. “A treasure trove, if you will, of deep yet simple life wisdom.”
It’s a book to remind you how going outside to watch the sunset can make every day feel celebratory, spending time barefoot can strengthen your body, and lining up your shoes after you take them off can off
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Alisha Billmen
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: selfhelp
Zen: The Art of Simple Living features 100 clear, practical and easy to follow lessons, one a day for 100 days by renowned Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno who has drew upon centuries of wisdom to show us how to apply the essence of Zen to modern life.

This book is a simple and easy read, I did take joy flicking through this book and reading a few pages a day, a lot of these lessons are very simple and easy to apply, which I appreciated. Some of these include:

1. Give up the need to be liked by everyo
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Supriya Pattanaik
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well , most of the things written in the book is definitely known to all. But i love how the author has Depicted self - care, through beautiful illustrations🎨.
This book is to be read slowly and Every words are to be felt when you read.
Zen is just about subtle shifting in your regular habits and perspective. That's all you need to live live simply.

Some favourite lessons ✒:
🔑Arrange your room simply
🔑 Take out time for not thinking anything
🔑exhale deeply and Breathe slowly
🔑seek out the sunset
🔑
...more
Dilip Chauhan
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Simple lessons on life, in simple words. Those who are struggling with life should give it a try, it's not Just preaching but actual way of living a simple Zen life.
I read it evey day couple of chapters, chapters are small and easy, and mapped the way you will feel that it's a continuation of improvement.
4 star read.
Strongly recommended if you are looking for self-help books which will make your life simple and easy.
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Jan Carlson
I'm currently reading this book for the second time. I started it the first time on January 1, 2021 and read one page each day for 100 days. It's written by the head priest of a 450-year-old Zen Buddhist temple in Japan, who is also an award-winning Zen garden designer. Each day the author offers and explains a simple practice the reader can perform to create a calmer, more joyful life. I don't think all the practices are relevant to my current life situation (e.g., being retired), but many have ...more
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See also:枡野 俊明(Japanese)、枡野俊明(Chinese)

Shunmyō Masuno is a Japanese monk and garden designer. He is chief priest of the Sōtō Zen temple Kenkō-ji, professor at Tama Art University, and president of a design firm that has completed numerous projects in Japan and overseas. He has been called "Japan's leading garden designer".
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