Doubt-Free Zen Practice

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Doubt-Free Zen Practice
Author: Shunmyō Masuno
Specifications: ISBN  978-4309246840
189 pages
13.0 x 18.8 cm / 5.2 x 7.5 in (WxH)
Category: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers
Tokyo, 2014
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This book of guidance for a well-lived life is by a Zen priest who has gained a worldwide reputation for his Zen garden designs. The volume is a sequel to Okoranai Zen no sahō (Anger-Free Zen Practice), published in 2013.

As a 35-year veteran of zazen (“sitting Zen”) meditation, author Shunmyō Masuno says that adopting the practice?sitting quietly with the body positioned properly and allowing the breath to settle?will enable our distress and apprehensions to dissipate, turn our life in a positive direction, and open the way to greater happiness. In the present volume he focuses on the moments of choice that punctuate our lives, and on how to make decisions without the fear of second-guessing ourselves later, offering an array of 38 specific habits that will foster better choices.

He begins by discussing our overall frame of mind. Instead of thinking in terms of gain or loss, we should believe in ourselves, and give ourselves permission to ignore the opinions of others. If we can trust our own instincts and judgment and take confidence in the paths we choose, then no matter what the results may be, we can accept them as having been the right decisions for us.

Masuno also emphasizes the importance of adopting helpful habits in daily life. In order to see and understand who we really are, we must make time in our schedules to spend just with ourselves. Having regular routines, beginning with a set time for getting up in the morning, will give us the “spiritual elbow room” we need. Instead of “to-do” lists, Masuno encourages the creation of “not-to-do” lists based on personal values and worldviews: by not forcing ourselves to do things we don’t really want to do, we can achieve a life that better reflects our true desires. He also offers guidance on the means and bases for value judgments by looking at case studies in five specific categories: relationships, money, work, love and marriage, and lifestyle.

As he has done in his other best-selling works, Masuno explains the deep wisdom of Zen in terms that anyone can understand, offering a host of ideas that can be put into daily practice right away.