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

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

Suzuki's talks on zazen are spare and direct. He demystifies Buddhism as a religion or philosophy and continually brings the focus back to the simple and perfect practice of 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 freely express itself, released from delusion. Whether you meditate or not, Suzuki provides useful and illuminating truths for anyone interested in becoming more mindful.

Review

I tend to revisit Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind on a yearly basis. It helps me to bring peace to my heart and calm to my mind. If you want to read some of my thoughts on it, read my post on "Self-reliance and Zen Buddhism".

Favorite Quotes

"If you understand the secret of our practice, wherever you go, you yourself are 'boss'. No matter what the situation, you cannot neglect Buddha, because you yourself are Buddha. Only this Buddha will help you completely."
“In order not to leave any traces, when you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do."
“The purpose of studying Buddhism is to study ourselves and to forget ourselves. When we forget ourselves, we actually are the true activity of the big existence, or reality itself. When we realize this fact, there is no problem whatsoever in this world, and we can enjoy our life without feeling any difficulties. The purpose of our practice is to be aware of this fact.”

Other recommended books

Meditations
Marcus Aurelius

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Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning