BEING ZEN: Bringing Meditation to Life

Ezra Bayda, Author, Charlotte Joko Beck, Foreword by
Ezra Bayda, Author, Charlotte Joko Beck, Foreword by . Shambhala $21.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-57062-856-6
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Novice author and veteran meditator Bayda writes with exceptional clarity and simplicity about the awakened life. Bayda is a recognized teacher in the Ordinary Mind Zen School founded by Charlotte Joko Beck (who provides the foreword), and he has a gift for describing that "ordinary mind," or the customary thoughts, feelings and experiences of everyday life. His style is as plainspoken as Tibetan teacher Pema Chödrön's; it's not surprising that she acknowledges his work in her latest book. Bayda's grounding in life as it's lived makes his teaching and writing unpretentious and inviting, as if ready to apply. Indeed, one of the book's strengths is the techniques and exercises that the meditation teacher describes. None of them is startlingly new, but his explanations are precise, discriminating among similar practices and noting how results change over time as the meditator grows more experienced with tools for inner inquiry. Meditation, after all, takes as much time as any other habit to acquire. The book breaks no new ground—a big expectation, true, after 2,500 years of Buddhist teaching and practice—and it's on the small side for its price point. But Bayda offers clear instruction, as a teacher pointing the way toward Ultimate Clarity should. He deserves membership in the ranks of respected meditation teacher-authors. (Mar.)

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