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

Author: Shunryu Suzuki, Trudy Dixon, David Chadwick
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by garyrob   2019-08-19
I just want to share that I'm finding the practice of Zen meditation in the context of its overall philosophy to be profoundly helpful. I've read a substantial number of books on the subject. Books are only useful as pointers for how to practice; knowledge alone is useless in Zen. You have to practice, period. But the best books are useful as pointers for how to practice. And if anyone here is interested in exploring Zen, the single book that I feel does the best job of giving you what you need to really practice is "Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice" by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi[1]. "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" [2] is also a wonderful book, and it's where I started. Its poetic manner of expression made me feel there was something there that I needed to explore. But the Uchiyama book just takes the cake for being very clear and down-to-earth, without watering down either the practice or the philosophy. After that it's helpful to read commentaries on writings by Dogen. And, ideally, sitting regularly with other folks in a Zen center is extremely helpful. Avoid overly simplistic beginner's Zen books. I can't recommend them because they seem to distort the essence in an attempt to make it seem as approachable as possible.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Opening-Hand-Thought-Foundations-Budd...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Mind-Beginners-Informal-Meditatio...

by auslegung   2018-09-19
I was recently given this list of books by some very skilled engineers who I trust

1. [The Pragmatic Programmer](https://pragprog.com) 2. Martin Fowler's [Refactoring Book](https://martinfowler.com/books/refactoring.html) 3. Kent Beck's [Test Driven Development: By Example](https://www.amazon.com/Test-Driven-Development-Kent-Beck/dp/...) 4. [Thinking in Systems: A Primer](https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...) 5. [Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice](https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Mind-Beginners-Informal-Meditatio...) 6. [Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware](https://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor....)

by C1ph3rL0ck   2018-09-01
Here's some reading I did that helped me:

Zen Mind Beginners Mind - I'm not religious in the slightest but I knew a part of my problem was that I wasn't really being self aware. I had friend that was into meditation and swore it helped him be more self aware. So I picked up this book and read it along side using the Headspace app to get into meditation. I use it as a moment of calm and clarity, to regain my thoughts, and refocus. Especially when I feel procrastination kicking in. It helped me calm down and identify why I was procrastinating and often come up with a plan to deal with whatever was making me want to procrastinate. I found I was often thinking or focusing or stressing about something else instead of focusing on me and my wants.


7 Habits of Highly Successful People: This book was another friend recommendation, that helped me focus on and deal with my own internal issues that was encouraging my procrastination. I was able to start identifying them and working on them.


It took me about 6 months of diligent work to get myself out of my procrastinating funk and get myself to a place where I was starting to be happy with what I did. I still occasionally break these books out and go over them, I still meditate to help me keep focused, etc. There isn't some quick fix to deal with it, but I believe you can learn to manage and deal with your procrastination like I have.