The Wooden Bowl: Simple Meditations for Everyday Life

Clark Strand, Author Hyperion Books $19.45 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6286-3
Former Buddhist monk Strand (Seeds from a Birch Tree) opens this engaging book with a personal anecdote about how despair led to his early embracr of Zen Buddhism and how disillusionment led to his eventual resignation from his position as director of the New York Zendo, a Renzai Zen Buddhist training center in Manhattan. Strand's disillusionment stemmed from his sudden realization that meditation was too often considered by professional religious teachers to be little more than a technique to be mastered by their students. In this book, Strand argues that meditation should be a ""hobby"" whose practice can be enjoyed by novices seeking to enfold meditation into their everyday lives. Strand combines lively stories drawn from his personal experience as a teacher and Zen practitioner with short meditation exercises as he guides readers to use meditation to ""be present to nature, to oneself, and to other people."" The book is divided into three sections. In ""Getting Started,"" Strand offers simple instructions for beginning meditation. ""Getting Settled"" provides insights into establishing a regular meditation practice. And, ""Getting Together"" offers recommendations on starting and maintaining a meditation group. Rather than giving readers a set of rules to follow to get meditation right the first and every time, Strand, with good humor, helps readers gain a sense of their inner presence through a sharing of his own faltering steps to make meditation a hobby rather than a professional life. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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FORMATS
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7868-8415-5
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-7171-2872-3
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