cover image Zen in the Age of Anxiety: Wisdom for Navigating Our Modern Lives

Zen in the Age of Anxiety: Wisdom for Navigating Our Modern Lives

Tim Burkett. Shambhala, $16.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-61180-486-7

Burkett (Nothing Holy About It), a psychologist and teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, explores how Zen Buddhist principles can help readers lead more fulfilling lives. Focusing on the ways the “movie-making mind” creates suffering, Burkett explains why human beings struggle with anger, anxiety, and fear, and shows how a more accurate understanding of the mind and the practice of meditation can promote well-being. Using an informal, friendly tone, Burkett offers clear explanations and examples to illustrate core Zen ideas. In addition to examining what he calls the “most troublesome areas” of “feelings of unworthiness” (sex, money, and failure), Burkett provides a Zen perspective on such topics as humility, experiences of nature, non-attachment, and non-dualism. He also includes many affectionate memories of his studies in the 1960s with Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki, a seminal figure in the beginnings of Zen practice in North America. While Burkett serves as a wise witness to Suzuki’s legacy, his focus on specific generational experiences (including songs by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Pete Townshend) will seem dated to some readers. Compiled from Burkett’s former talks, this light book will appeal to readers who are new to Buddhism. (June)