November 28, 2008

Book review: Zen Heart: simple advice for living with mindfulness and compassion (Ezra Bayda)

Zen Heart is the fourth book from Ezra Bayda, a Zen teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego, California.  In this particular book, Bayda breaks down the spiritual path into three sections, the “Me Phase,” the “Being Awareness” phase, and the “Being Kindess” phase.  Each phase, addressed separately, could be considered a step, yet the path he outlines in this book isn’t really so neatly sequential (though implementing them that way makes sense and works best), and each of these phases is too closely intertwined with the others to be so neatly categorized.  In Zen Heart, Bayda further breaks down each of these phases into three other “sections,” and concludes each phase with meditations and practices for incorporation into daily life.  The book is simply written (without being simple) and approachable, but is likely best for someone who at least has something of a background or some basic familiarity with the concepts of Buddhism, rather than for someone that is just starting on the path.  From Shambhala Publications and available at your local, independent bookstore.

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