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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 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 thinking, to line up your shoes at night to bring order to your mind, to plant a single flower and watch it grow, to worry less about what you cannot control, and so much more . . . You will even make time to think about nothing at all. Simplify your life with the art of Zen, and learn how to feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and with a renewed sense of peace.


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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 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 thinking, to line up your shoes at night to bring order to your mind, to plant a single flower and watch it grow, to worry less about what you cannot control, and so much more . . . You will even make time to think about nothing at all. Simplify your life with the art of Zen, and learn how to feel more relaxed, fulfilled, and with a renewed sense of peace.

30 review for Zen: The Art of Simple Living

  1. 4 out of 5

    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 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. - Become adapt at switching modes. Create gates within your mind. - Breathe Slowly for 5 minute. - Make time to be alone. - Be grateful for making it through another day. - Don’t think of unpleasant things right before bed. - Try your best to do what you can now. - Don’t be troubled by things that have not yet happened. - In anything, the hard part is just to keep going. - No day is more important than today. - Do not fear change. - Wanting more leads to suffering - Try taking care of someone or something. - Understand what is important in life. - Life really does go by in the blink of an eye.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    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!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    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 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 the mix, I would say. I can think of some ways to improve this book, particularly the illustrations and presentation. I understand there is an attempt to keep the design sparse, with a simple line drawing by Harriet Lee-Merrion at the start of each chapter. These are OK, but I would do more. I would at least have the Japanese kanji for each chapter name. As a beginning student of Japanese, I would enjoy seeing the kanji for things like "savor the morning air", "feel instead of think", etc. If the author is going to explicitly reference Japanese kanji characters, I would actually show those characters. For example, in chapter 73, he talks about the concept of "ishiki" or mental consciousness, and mentions a contrast between the first character "i" and the second character "shiki". But I missed actually seeing those characters. This happens in a couple of other places. Similarly, in chapter 8 he mentions "the indescribable intensity in the calligraphy of the Zen monk Ikkyu." I suppose a Japanese reader knows what this calligraphy looks like, but a Western reader could really use an illustration. On the whole I think much of the interest and beauty in this book comes not only from the Zen principles, but from the way these principles are woven and integrated into the beautiful and ancient culture of Japan. I could imagine it being fleshed out into a much larger, more graphically appealing format. As is, it's an interesting and inspiring little book which I enjoyed reading in a single evening.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 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 I would probably list through this book again, but reading it in one sitting was not satisfying

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erika Teszler

    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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abhi

    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 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 content into the different parts did not make any logical sense to me. After all, this book is about Zen. It is hard to teach something so abstract. There is, obviously, no clear formula or a magic principle, or a set of them. The book does list a lot of good things that are, in my opinion, worth practising everyday, and things we have forgotten or take for granted. Like meditation, or appreciation for nature, or keeping your calm in a tough situation. Yes, this does sound like commonsense wisdom, but how many of us actually practice these things? The path to a good and peaceful life is well-lit, but we are blind.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    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! 🙂

  9. 5 out of 5

    SheAintGotNoShoes

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daryll

    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 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 chew on for the average reader, but be wary of expectations.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deepthi Nair

    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 😊

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Oh the world would be a very calm and peaceful place if everyone could follow these simple suggestions.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alisha Billmen

    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 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 everyone 2. Do not fear change 3. Organise your desk 4. Line up your shoes when you take them off You may even find you already do a lot of these things, such as I did. My favourite part of this book were the beautiful colourful illustrations throughout, I found this really enhanced the relaxing feeling I got from reading and practising these lessons. Whilst I will admit this book hasn’t changed me, it has made me more aware of my actions and what I can personally do to help myself feel more calm and ‘zen’. I will happily reach back to this book for a re-read when I feel it’s needed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marija S.

    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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracy T

    2019 POP Sugar Challenge - A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover

  16. 4 out of 5

    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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lena Nechet

    Not really my way to view zen, but good (Shunmyō Masuno).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shaloo Walia

    Little book of Zen wisdom...must read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Nicola

    Calming read over the last few stressful days.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Indya

    Definitely had some interesting thoughts in it, but I did not like the way it is written. It did not resonate with me in this way, but the messages it tries to convey are very good

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Tobias Christian Fischer

    Less is more Live more intense I guess Zen is known by know. It’s a nice refresher - unfortunately not more or less.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Puty Puar

    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 :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    SahooraQ

    100 ways to simplify my world..ways to make my life easier so I would become happier with in my self

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sachin Gopal

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nik

    A beautiful book with some great lessons shared within its pages

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Simple but meaningful steps that will change your life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    Page 25 has a great shortcut to enlightenment. Hint: it involves money.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rosol

    Calming, short and sweet.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    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 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 on the minimalism or cleaning trends/activities that you may have seen around then there isn't much here that's a revelation. I suppose it could be helpful for someone who likes these types of books, to keep as a reference and to pull off the shelf if you need a quick reminder and don't have time to reread some of the other, more detailed books that are out there. Otherwise, I was glad I borrowed this from the library and that's how I'd recommend reading it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    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 te 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 teachings. • There’s something comforting and peaceful about this deeply reflective and wise work. The writing is simple and straightforward, yet incredibly meaningful and enlightened. Would highly recommend this book if you’re experiencing low moods or an existential crisis. • I think of this book as a sort of spiritual and practical dummy’s guide to life :) The readability and timelessness of this book makes it one worth revisiting and multiple re-reads, who knows, reading it at different periods of our lives could have a different yet profound effect. I was quite moved by a page where the author spoke of a dying monk who was well admired by his peers. Monks are taught to let go of life in the face of death. For this particular monk, in the face of death, he whispered that he still clung to life. The other younger monks were surprised and moved closer to listen. The elderly monk repeated what he said. Even on his death bed, he was not willing to let go of life. The author wrote of his desire to leave the earth with as little attachment to it as possible. While I don’t believe in the religious aspects, I do feel inspired by the philosophical teachings and values of Zen Buddhism espoused in this book such as having a disciplined attitude, good work ethic, ‘emptying of the mind’, reconnecting with nature, forgiveness, not being swayed by other people and their words and opinions, being true to oneself, not limiting ourselves, living life to the fullest and maximising our true potential. Some of these ideas form the core of Zen Buddhism. • “When things aren’t going well, we tend to think we are lacking in something. But if we want to change our current situation, we should first part with something before we look to acquire something else. Discard your attachments. Reduce your possessions. Living simply is also about discarding your physical and mental burdens. It’s amazing how refreshed we can feel after a good cry. Crying clears out whatever weight you were carrying in your heart. You feel energised to try again.” • “It’s not that we are busy because there isn’t enough time. We are busy because there is no room in our heart. Especially when things are hectic, try waking up fifteen minutes earlier than usual... [it will] magically liberate you from busyness.” • “Deep contemplation about absolute truth in the world or the meaning of life is not something that can be accomplished while in motion. For zazen, first we assume the correct posture, next we focus on our breathing, and finally we steady our mind. Once we arrange all three of these things, then we begin to practise zazen. Try sitting zazen: empty your mind and allow your thoughts to float up and then drift away.” • “Consider putting into practice the concept of ‘seclusion in the city’. A place where you can disconnect from other people and spend time by yourself. A place in nature where you can regain mental freedom. A few moments of seclusion can illuminate the path forward.” • “In order to live more freely, or with more ease, Zen Buddhism teaches the importance of not labelling ourselves as ‘this or that kind of person”. There is another you within yourself. This version of you is freer than the self you think you know, and rich with potential. It is your essential self. Within yourself lives your true protagonist. Each of us plays various roles in society. You might be an office worker, mother or cook. These are without a doubt our various ‘selves’. But we each have another self, the true protagonist that lives within us. Do your best to awaken this other self.” • “In Buddhism, there are what we call the ‘three poisons.’ These are not the kind of poisons that you can ingest; the teachings refer to them as passions or worldly desires. They are the root of human suffering, and they prevent us from attaining enlightenment. The three poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. When we are afflicted with greed, once we acquire whatever it is we desire, we are still left wanting more. Anger makes us enraged by the slightest things, and once it is provoked, we take it out on others. Ignorance is a state of foolishness: we are heedless of common sense or knowledge and lacking in education. As long as we allow ourselves to be governed by these three poisons, we will be unable to find peace. In contrast, if we cast away these three poisons, or worldly afflictions, we can live happily and freely. Whenever you notice any of the three poisons begin to show themselves, try to calm your mind by regulating your breathing. This can stop the afflictions from taking hold.” • “Some of us will be graced with a long life, and others have only a brief amount of time. There is nothing fair about this. But Buddhism teaches that a life’s worth is not measured by its duration. What is important is how we use the life we are given. How will you use your life today?” • Just to compare the two copies, both have pretty covers in their own right. Cover with shoes -> - Easier to hold while reading. - Pages are yellow-cream colour. - Text more dense, less spacing between paras. - Illustration every two pages. - Text and images in black and white. Cover with Mt Fuji -> - Harder to hold while reading because of binding. - Pages are a bluish white. - Text less dense, more spacing between paras, much easier to read. - Colour text and colour illustration every few pages. I think this book is an easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Very grateful to @times.reads for this amazing read 🙏🏻

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