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Zen: The Art of Simple Living

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,347 ratings  ·  164 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
...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 18th 2019 by Michael Joseph (first published June 19th 2009)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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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.
-
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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.
Flying Bulgarian
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! ...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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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.
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
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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.
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.
Lena Nechet
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not really my way to view zen, but good (Shunmyō Masuno).
Tracy T
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2019 POP Sugar Challenge - A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover
SahooraQ
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
100 ways to simplify my world..ways to make my life easier so I would become happier with in my self
Puty Puar
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book shares about how to apply zen in out daily life like spending time with our family, not thinking about money or what kind of profit we can get from someone. It sounds normative for me and some parts about zen garden isn't either relatable and applicablen for me. However, it's a nice book :)
Sachin Gopal
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must have on your desk. Simple points to live by. Short and sweet. I am going to read this every six months to incorporate suggestion from Shunmyo into daily life.

Now I arrange my shoes every time I leave or when I come back to home.
Nik
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book with some great lessons shared within its pages
Jen
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simple but meaningful steps that will change your life.
Jack
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Page 25 has a great shortcut to enlightenment. Hint: it involves money.
Bookworm
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this book on a whim from the library. Simplifying and decreasing the clutter and whatnot is a goal of mine and I enjoy picking up books that might give me a different perspective than say the Kondos or other similar books out there.

The book is what it says: 100 or so lessons with a page or so of stuff that probably isn't new. You've likely heard in some or fashion, from spending time alone to accepting change to throwing away whatever you don't need, etc. If you've read Kondo, have been
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Rachel
Book Review: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
I love this book so much I own two copies! Just kidding. The one with the Mt Fuji cover was a purchase and the one with the shoes on the cover was gifted.

Shunmyo Masuno is a chief monk of a 450 year old Zen Buddhist temple, he works as a professor of environmental design as well as a Zen garden designer, with clients from around the world. He’s also lectured at Harvard, Cornell, and Brown. The Art of Simple Living is a collection of his
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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 ...more
Happy Dwi Wardhana
Light and easy to read. Masuno explains every chapter in short paragraphs. Since the writer is a zen garden master, some of the tips are related to gardening - that I don't really get it in terms of mindfulness.
Nehal Sangoi
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
As the foreword in the book states - JIST a subtle shift in your habits and perspective that's all you need to live simple.
This book is divided into 4 parts.
Part One - 30 ways to energize your "Present Self". Try making subtle shift in your habits. Definitely worth reading once atleast and in the very 1st time you'll be able to take a lot from the book. Below are mentioned some of the contents from all four parts.
Some of the contents of Part One are as follows
- Make time for emptiness.
- Wake up
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Pocket Watch Purveyor
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have been taking steps to simplify my life and way of living for several years now. Mindfulness is a key part of my routine. Being satisfied with what I have, enjoying what I have and shedding the rest is at the core of my journey.

This book, Zen: The Art of Simple Living is a great motivational refresher for anyone looking to follow the path of simplicity.

The key takeaways are:
1) When it comes to happiness, less is more.
2) Transforming your own attitudes is the key to getting along with
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Irene Gracesiana
Tons of philosophy of zen living. The author is the head priest of 450-year-old Zen Buddhist temple in Japan, also award winning zen garden designer! Worth to read all the 100 daily practices for a calm, and simple living!

Consists 4 parts:
Part 1. 30 ways to energize your 'present self' - try making a subtle shift in your habits
Part 2. 30 ways to inspire confidence and courage for living - try changing your perspective
Part 3. 20 ways to alleviate confusion and worry - try changing how you
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Wendyjune
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the illustrations dispersed throughout this book. A lovely contemplative touch.

A beautiful simple book that discusses Zen as a practice and a way. It's lightness and easy nature makes for a quick read.
I like to think that how you place your shoes is just as valuable as reaching enlightenment.
Each of these acts and the thoughts behind these acts are linked, and none is more important than the other.

I think many of these small acts within the book will be integrated into my life, many
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Artemisia Hunt
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perennial wisdom from a master teacher in the Japanese Buddhist tradition. Shunmyo Masuno is a Buddhist priest but also a designer of beautiful Zen gardens which also figure in these lovely little essays on Zen practices, traditions and teachings. And so typical of the simplicity of this ancient philosophy, there is a sense of careful attention to the smallest details of life as Masuno advises that placing shoes in a neat row after removing them is a way to bring order to the mind, or that ...more
Ryan Farrow
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This book is gorgeously constructed and adorned. It's a great little hardcover decorated throughout with delightful illustrations, it's truly a pleasure to hold and peruse without even taking into account the written content. The advice within is in keeping with Zen Buddhism, offering short tidbits of wisdom and insight, this time with a knack for the everyday and the practical. It's fairly simple stuff, but it's useful to be reminded of these "common sense" Buddhist principles and to stop after ...more
Ashley Speed
I wanted this to be like the Little Book of Hygge and it was not. I did like the suggestions about making distinctions. For example, stop thinking about work when you enter your car. When you are at home with family, be fully with family. . . That sort of thing. The zen empty your mind stuff sounds great in theory but it isn't feasible to just sit in silence all the time unless of course you are a monk. And I don't buy the whole "a messy house is an unhappy house" thought process. Some messy ...more
Brad Dunn
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I am quite fond of little books with small lessons about life in them. Hagakure, The Prophet, The Art of War, The Prince...

Yet some of these books feel better suited to today's world than others. This may be one of those - it's very accessible. In this book, a Zen priest passes on wisdom in ways designed for westerners to absorb. It feels like a ven diagram of Mari Kondo and Tony Robbins. I can almost see the Oprah guest spot from here.

A good book, but I suspect one you'll forget soon enough.
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See also:枡野 俊明(Japanese)、枡野俊明(Chinese)
“those who do not pay attention to their foot- steps cannot know themselves, and cannot know where their life is going.” 2 likes
“Disorder in your mind shows in your feet. It has long been said that you can tell a lot about a household by looking at its entrance hall, especially in Japanese homes, where we remove our shoes upon entering. If the footwear is perfectly lined up, or if it is all ajumble—you can know the state of mind of those who live there by just this one detail.” 1 likes
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