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Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life
Synopses & Reviews
We can use whatever life presents, Ezra Bayda teaches, to strengthen our spiritual practice--including the turmoil of daily life. What we need is the willingness to just be with our experiences--whether they are painful or pleasing--opening ourselves to the reality of our lives without trying to fix or change anything. But doing this requires that we confront our most deeply rooted fears and assumptions in order to gradually become free of the constrictions and suffering they create. Then we can awaken to the loving-kindness that is at the heart of our being. While many books aspire to bring meditation into everyday experience, Being Zen gives us practical ways to actually do it, introducing techniques that enable the reader to foster qualities essential to continued spiritual awakening. Topics include how to cultivate: Perseverance: staying with anger, fear, and other distressing emotions. Stillness: abiding with chaotic experiences without becoming overwhelmed. Clarity: seeing through the conditioned beliefs and fears that run us. Direct experience: encountering the physical reality of the present moment--even when that moment is exactly where we don't want to be. Like Pema Chodron, the best-selling author of When Things Fall Apart, Ezra Bayda writes with clear, heartfelt simplicity, using his own life stories to illustrate the teachings in an immediate and accessible way that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.
We can use whatever life presents, Ezra Bayda teaches, to strengthen our spiritual practice — including the turmoil of daily life. In a gentle, direct, and eminently accessible style, Bayda explains how we can use techniques adapted from the Zen tradition to develop clarity and equanimity amid the stress and commotion of everyday living. All we need, Bayda explains, is the willingness to just be with our experiences — whether they are painful or pleasing — opening ourselves to the reality of our lives without trying to fix or change anything. Then we can awaken to the loving-kindness that is at the heart of our being.
In this book Bayda blends storytelling, traditional Buddhist teachings, and a dose of humor to explore such topics as finding stillness, working with difficult emotions such as anger and fear, and living open-heartedly in the present moment.
According the Bayda, the more the willingness to just be permeates every moment of our lives, the more we are liberated from the fears, disappointments, and self-judgments that cripple us — and the more we discover the sense of lightness, spaciousness, and compassion that surrounds every moment. This basic willingness to be present, Bayda explains, is not a kind of passive resignation to whatever comes our way, but rather a choice we make to actively examine our most deeply held beliefs and to open-heartedly embrace every moment of our lives.
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