Zen: The Art of Simple Living By Shunmyo Masuno

Written by Shunmyo Masuno—a head priest of a 450-year-old Zen Buddhist temple and an award-winning Zen garden designer—the book is a pure delight to read.

It contains 100 pieces of advice on how to lead a simpler and more fulfilling life. Each chapter is a couple of pages long, which makes for a quick read. But it’s full of wisdom. It’s one of those books that you need to read and then re-read, to let everything sink in well. And then start practicing.

The essence of the book is to show us the ways to slow down, live in the moment and appreciate every minute. It teaches everything from savouring the morning air, making time to be alone, not put off the things you can do today, to planting a single flower, believing in yourself, making a Zen garden, being positive and cherishing being alive.

Especially in today’s environment, where many of us are anxious and fearful about the uncertainties of the future, the it gives us an excellent advice on how to stay grounded in the present and enjoy just being in the Now.

Highly recommend it!

Here are some of my favourite excerpts

Make time for emptiness

“In our everyday lives, do any of us have time to think about nothing? Any given day, a mere ten minutes is all you need. Try making time for emptiness, for not thinking about anything.

Just try clearing your mind, and not being caught up in the things around you.”

Don’t be troubled by the things that have not yet happened.

“Think only about what is happening right now. Almost all anxieties are intangible. They are the invention of your own mind.” Recognize the futility in this.

Believe in yourself, especially when you feel anxious

“Take a look at what lies beneath the anxiety. I expect that you will find self-confidence. Once you can recognize that the self-confidence beneath your anxiety, you will be able to overcome whatever anxiety you may be seized by. This is why it’s important to make a habit of believing in yourself.”

~ Evelyn

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