Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Front Cover
Shambhala Publications, 2006 - Religion - 179 pages
427 Reviews
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line of Shunryu Suzuki's classic. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that's just the beginning.

In the thirty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics, much beloved, much re-read, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. It's a book to come back to time and time again as an inspiration to practice.
 

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Excellent introduction to the zen/meditative mindset. - Goodreads
But his philosophical writing is vague. - Goodreads
The prose style is delightful. - Goodreads
Excellent introduction. - Goodreads
... a wonderfully simple and easy to read book - Goodreads
I loved the ending but it kinda dragged in the middle. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

Suzuki writes with clarity on topics like meditation posture and breathing techniques. But his philosophical writing is vague. Read full review

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

User Review  - Jordan O'Leary - Goodreads

Simply a classic. There's a good reason why it's at the top of every Zen reading list and why I continually come back to it. It's also amazing how it seems to be suitable for beginners in the practice and by more advanced students as well. Simply a classic. Read full review

All 181 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Beginners Mind
1
RIGHT PRACTICE
5
Posture
7
Breathing
13
Control
18
Mind Waves
22
Mind Weeds
25
The Marrow of Zen
28
To Polish a Tile
90
Constancy
96
Communication
101
Negative and Positive
106
Nirvana the Waterfall
110
RIGHT UNDERSTANDING
115
Traditional Zen Spirit
117
Transiency
122

No Dualism
33
Bowing
38
Nothing Special
43
RIGHT ATTITUDE
47
SingleMinded Way
49
Repetition
53
Zen and Excitement
56
Right Effort
59
No Trace
64
God Giving
69
Mistakes in Practice
77
Limiting Your Activity
82
Study Yourself
85
The Quality of Being
125
Naturalness
130
Emptiness
135
Readiness Mindfulness
140
Believing in Nothing
144
Attachment Nonattachment
148
Calmness
152
Experience Not Philosophy
155
Original Buddhism
158
Beyond Consciousness
162
Buddhas Enlightenment
168
Zen Mind
171
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Shunryu Suzuki (1904–1971) was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and is truly a founding father of Zen in America. A Japanese priest of the Soto lineage, he taught in the United States from 1959 until his death. He was the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He is the author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai, and he is the subject of the biography Crooked Cucumber by David Chadwick.

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